Darling in the Dahlias

Whether it's a corporate event or a wedding reception, re-purposing fresh flower centerpieces is always something I encourage my customers to do.  I offer to pick them up and donate them to patients at rehab centers, senior centers, or organizations of their choice.  Allowing others to be blessed by the beauty of their fresh flowers is a kind and generous gift to give.  

This summer one of my brides choose to give her centerpiece flowers to her sister to be used in a photo shoot with her little girl. What a beautiful way to share the beauty of all those gorgeous locally grown dahlias. Another bride had all of her colorful votive cups filled with blossoms go to one of the senior centers to decorate their tables for their weekly luncheon. This allowed each person to take home a cup of flowers. They were over the moon excited about it too. Others went to Meals on Wheels seniors delivered with their hot lunches. It warms my heart to have couples who are so generous to share their flowers with others in our community. It may require a little more work on my end, but it’s always worth it to see the smiles and hear how much joy they bring to the lives of others.

Sayde & Cameron's Winter Wedding Flowers

February 17, 2018 a winter storm was brewing outside but inside their hearts were overflowing with so much love and excitement for this special day, I doubt Cameron and Sayde noticed it much.  She choose a mix of eucalyptus greens for her brides maids to carry and wanted a king protea as the focal flower in her bouquet along with a mix of lovely burgundy blossoms.  I included Black Magic roses, scabiosa, chocolate queen anne's lace, anemones, hellebore, cymbidium orchids, service berries, jasmine and seeded eucalyptus. It was a gorgeous winter bouquet.  Her break-away tossing bouquet included love quotes she choose printed on ribbons that tied around each of the 5 clusters of flowers including one queen protea.  The plan was that she would untie the burgundy ribbon that held it together before tossing it and as she did it would scatter so 5 different people would get to have a piece of her bouquet.  It worked too!  It surprised everyone.  She had greenery boutonnieres with seeded eucalyptus and tiny pinecones as the focal point for all the men.  Italian Ruscus  swags were aisle markers with burgundy ribbons and orchids at the church.  After the ceremony they were taken to the reception and used as a garland for the head table with her bridesmaids green bouquets added in and her bouquet in a vase in front of her.  The reception was held at the Red Lion at the Park in the Skyline banquet room on the 12th floor with  lots of windows offering guests a beautiful view of the downtown Spokane area.   I can't wait to see the photos  of their special day that their photographer captured.  Here's a few pictures I took prior to delivering her flowers.  It was a joy to be a part of your special day Sayde!  

Love My Local Flower Farms

It may be cold outside, but all across our Inland North West area there are warm greenhouses and grow lights glowing as our local flower farmers are busy tending to the planting of seeds for this years flower crops.  My local flower farmers provide me and many other florists with fresh, fragrant and gorgeous blossoms to design with starting in late spring.  As a florists it's kind of like the feeling a child has waiting to open their birthday presents. The anticipation and excitement are growing daily and by March it starts getting hard to wait.    I want to find the package and peek inside.  Just like our children when traveling in the car and asking us "are we there yet?"  That is me with the flower farmers, asking "are they ready yet? How much longer do I have to wait?"

 I thought it would be fun and educational for my readers this year to experience a little of the behind the scenes of floral designing to help you understand and appreciate those blossoms on your table a little more.  While I am visiting the farms, picking up my fresh blossoms to design with I plan to create some little video clips to share with you so you can see for yourself just what a treasure we have here among our local farmers.  I'll take you on a  flowers journey from  her start on the farm to her final delivery, covering all the steps in between.   You might be surprised to the amount of time and work that goes into an arrangement prior to your receiving it.  I hear comments from people about what a wonderful job I have working with flowers all day.  I agree, it is a work I enjoy immensely, but there's a lot more to it than just arranging flowers in a vase.  I look forward to sharing the ins and outs of a florist in the months ahead with you.

I have been buying flowers from my mother's "Little Bit" garden since I started my business in 2014. Weaving the beauty and freshness of her local gladiolus and dahlias into many of my summer orders.  Last year I became acquainted with another local florist Esther Ryan owner of Special Touch Florist who introduced me to a group of the most amazing local flower farmers who are growing a wide variety of flowers including those gorgeous Cafe au Lait Dahlias, peonies, lilies, sweetpeas and so much more.  In fact, when it comes to dahlias Scott and Nicki owners of Tall Grass Farms even sell the tubers of their dahlias in the fall and ship them to you for planting in the spring.   They are the place to go in the spring to purchase your bedding plants, flowers, veggies and more if you are here in my local area.  Healthy, fresh and locally grown, you can't get it any better than this.  You can also follow them on facebook to get updates on their greenhouse days/hours.  I will visit them in the spring to give you a tour of what they have available for you to purchase and plant.   

Just down the road, around the bend and over a hill or two among the wheat fields you will find  Dream-Dirt-Florals  Terri Bongarts-Carstens grows some more stunning blossoms including peonies, more lovely dahlias,  sweet smelling molucella/Bells of Ireland (my favorite), dusty miller and so much more. You have to drive slowly for her chickens roam freely  and always seem to be out enjoying a snack along the driveway.  Follow her on instagram under her name to see more photos of the gorgeous blossoms she has to offer.  Terri is also a floral designer and does beautiful wedding flowers.  Then we travel to the south hill of Spokane out the S. Palouse Hwy to Beth's Snapdragon Flower Farm.  Yes, Beth is the queen of snapdragons and oh so much more!  Last year I remember getting some the loveliest mini lisianthus and her sweetpeas were to die for.  You can visit her on facebook under Snapdragon Flower Farm and sign up for her newsletter.  On her website you can also sign up for a subscription for fresh flowers on a regular bases from weekly to monthly. 

Now we head north up to BeeHaven Flower Farm in the Bonner's Ferry, Idaho area.  Oh my,  talk about a heavenly place!  Some of the most beautiful peonies I used last year came from them.  They are the ones who introduced me to the fun of using raspberry canes as foliage in my designs and I loved it.  You will find their blossoms being shared and enjoyed across the Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho area.   I was like a little kid in a candy store when their van packed with flowers arrived at Special Touch Florist shop on Wednesday mornings and got to personally select the blossoms I wanted.   

After being introduced to these wonderful local flower farms my customers started commenting even more about how much they enjoy the unique and fragrant fresh flowers.  The most common comment I heard last year over and over was on how long lasting the blossoms were and I contribute that to the loving care the growers give them and in their processing practices prior to me receiving them.  Brides loved having local flowers in their bouquets too.  Using these fresh unique blossoms helped me to design a more natural, organic, fresh out of the garden look for them. 

 I will be sharing updates on these growers with you  from time to time.  For some will be offering classes, demos, or will have beautiful bedding plants available for their communities to purchase. One way you can support your local growers is to purchase flowers from florists who do business with them.  Ask your florist if they buy their flowers from the local growers and if so then you know you are helping to support your local growers too. 

Follow the flower farms on facebook, instagram or on their own personal websites.  If you have a question about flowers I'd highly encourage you to reach out to them for their expertise and insights on plants/flowers.  I haven't met one yet that didn't love to talk about about plants, flowers, and gardening.    I know there are more local growers out there and new ones starting up this year in our area as well.  It will be fun for me to meet them and share them with you.  It may be cold and snowy out right now, but spring is coming and soon we will all be enjoying warmer days with the bees and butterflies in the sunshine among the flower blossoms.  

 Local sources blossoms in a May Bouquet

Local sources blossoms in a May Bouquet

Why Ask For Flowers In A Flower Boxes

More of my flowerbox designs can be found on my www.facebook.com/suehinesfloral page.  

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The Flowerbox company located in the Pearl District of Portland, OR  offers florists one of my favorite products to use called the flowerbox.  The perfect earth-friendly product that lays flat until you need to fold it up to use.  This feature saves me  a lot space in my studio.  Which is important to me because I'd rather have my space available for designing instead of being used for the storage for vases. One shelf can hold a couple hundred boxes instead of a couple dozen glass vases.  This makes very good sense to me.  Plus, these bright and colorful  waterproof and recyclable boxes are appreciated by my customers  who want to enjoy flowers without having to deal with a vase after the flowers fade.  They simply toss the box into the recycle bin.  Flower-boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and I find them a wonderful product to work with.  Customers also appreciate their wide square bottoms making it easy to transport their flowers with less tipping and spilling.  There are so many ways to dress them up and personalize them with ribbons, stickers, gems, wires and ribbons.  It's like having a  mini canvas to artistically design on which I find enjoyable to do.  Using Flower-boxes is a simple and fun way for me to personalize someones arrangement when I want to make it pop with personality.  I find the 4x4 cube perfect to use for flowers going to the hospital because the waterproof cube takes up little space and is easy for the family to transport home when they leave.  Their grab and go boxes are one of my favorite items for transporting wedding bouquets they come with tags attached for quick labeling.  The square cubes are also perfect for a casual outdoor wedding reception.  No need to worry about vases tipping over, their low profile makes them the perfect height for table centerpieces.   Consider asking for a FlowerBox in your next floral order,  Florists all over are using them so just ask your local florist for one. 

Why The Change

Today is New Years Day 2018!  I have been in business for a little over three years now and have made the decision recently to go forward with changing my business name from Personal Touch Florals to simply Sue Hines Floral.  Some are asking why change it Sue?  Several reasons have played into my choice and I'd like to share the top two with you today.  I have gone back and forth in my mind for the past year and half do I keep it, do I change it?  It has felt like I've been on the teeter totter and I decided it was time to get off.  

1.  I was hearing this comment a lot from customers.  "I can never remember your business name so I told my friend to just google "Sue Hines" to find you.  By changing my name to Sue Hines Floral it solves the issue of what is the name of my business.  It's simply me, I am a independent florist with a rural floral studio located at my home in the woods.  

2. Another reason I choose to make the change is to help eliminate having my business confused with other local businesses.  I hadn't realized at the time I choose  the name Personal Touch that there had been years earlier in my area another similar business that also used Personal Touch in their business name. Nor did I know about the wonderful local shop in Spokane called Special Touch Florist.  I have become friends with the owner of Special Touch and I don't want our customers to get us confused.  I want her to have all the business that is meant to be hers and the same for me.  So by switching my business name to my name helps to solve all confusion between other floral businesses in my area.  

If you're interested in knowing my service area and hours in studio you will that information  here.  Want to contact me about placing an order, or have a questions? Please go to  either the wedding inquiry or the general contact form.  I look forward to 2018 and continuing to share with my community fresh lovely flowers from the amazing flower farmers right here around us.

I'd love to have you connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest too.

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