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It’s that time of the year when our pincushion fields start to look like fireworks displays that were pulled right out of the sky and tossed onto the steep hillsides. And when it comes to the ‘Best in Show’ display, there’s no doubt Leucospermum Brandi dela Cruz takes the gold for its dazzling carpet of color and texture. A field full of blooms in rich golden-yellow with orange tints and each flower, large with a diameter of almost 6 inches. This pincushion is one of the new hybrids from the University of Hawaii's research project on Maui. A gorgeous selection that is mostly a mix of Leucospermum reflexum and lineare parents. Brandi dela Cruz is extremely prolific, long stemmed and has a very good vase life.
Just in time for the spring gardening season, a collection of protea seeds are now available. Ideal for plant enthusiasts and gardeners, these protea, telopea, banksia and leucospermum seeds are prefect for those of you who have been wondering if protea will grow in your gardens. Read on to learn how to cultivate some of our favorites.
Proteas like full sun, ample wind circulation, and acidic, free-draining soil. It is best to stay out of areas where temperatures are known to remain below 28 degrees for an extended period of time.
How to Plant:
Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
Then sow in a tray of well-drained soil, decomposed granite is ideal. Adding perlite and sand to the seed compost improves drainage.
Once sown, cover the seeds with about 1/4” of sand.
Germination takes 3-4 weeks at around 60-70°F, and up to several months in cooler conditions. Let the germination temperature drop naturally at night.
Transplant young seedlings into a container with well-drained compost being careful to avoid root disturbance.
Seedlings should remain in their container for a year before planting in the garden.
The way we see it, everything is better with farm friends, including work. We’re proud to count quite a few ‘new’ two and four-legged animals among the Resendiz Brothers team. Meet Orio, Rudy and Lucky Jr., our baby pups, Kity our kitten, a fleet of precious chicks and several adorable goats - which got us thinking: Why not share them with all our friends? Not only did they enjoy posing for the photos, but we think they will love living and working on our flower farm. Welcome to our family, guys and gals!
This month Florists' Review Magazine presented the 8th biennial trend forecast developed exclusively for the floral industry. It’s their hope that each of the four imaginative looks they created will inspire compelling and successful flower arrangements, merchandising decisions, retail atmospheres, and wedding and event themes. As we perused the pages of this guide, we couldn't help but wonder what flowers and foliage we grow would mesh with these floral trends.
Hanami: Flower Viewing – The Transient Beauty of Flowers
This Asian-influenced trend emphasizes the richness of the red hue, and maroon, peony and coral are embraced. Bold statements are punctuated by complementing the strong colors with dark green foliage.
Crescendo: Low & High Notes – Subdued Colors Infused
As if a gardener is conducting the color palette, the perennial blush is accompanied by raspberry pinks and intensified with lavender hyacinth. The herbal tones are introduced with the muted greens of basil and the earthiness of beach. Robin’s egg blue is a key element in this trend.
Kaleidoscope: Embracing an “Anything Goes” Vibe
Combinations of green and blue burst from the “Kaleidoscope” color palette. The strong contrast of Tangerine makes its present felt as the dominant accent.
Wildroot: Modern Farmhouse – Back to One’s Roots
The softer shades of greys found in gray flannel and lavender are prevalent in this palette, with granite being represented as a black detailing element. Radish makes a contrasting statement, with salmon highlighted by metallic copper.
Commonly known as waboom (Afrikaans for wagon tree) and botanically known as Protea nitida or arborea. This is a South African shrub, native to the dry slopes of South Africa where it often attains a knotted picturesque habit, has both functional and ornamental uses. In Africa waboom was traditionally used to make ink and construct wheel-wheels.
However, this protea is also a lovely shrub or tree with large, ivory flowers and beautiful foliage. Waboom has long, oval leaves that are leathery and fully evergreen. They emerge opaque magenta but mature to a light bluish 'sea-green' or silver. Large, white flowers bloom mainly during the winter and early spring. Each blossom opens from a tidy bud to an impressive flower with creamy-white spike-like stamens. Once the flowers dry, beautiful pods remain to be enjoyed.
“I must have flowers, always and always,” said Claude Monet.
We couldn’t agree with him more! But in January, for many gardeners it’s easier said than done. The garden is relatively sparse and those bare-root plants are just starting to get their feet wet. Attempting to create your own winter floral display can feel a bit like decorating Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.
But that’s not to say the gardeners or ‘Monets’ among us are out of luck. On Saturday morning we teamed up with several members of the Fallbrook Garden Club (and a lot of protea), and created winter arrangements that would warm up any home or office.
Our guests toured the greenhouse, nursery and packing house, and learned about propagating and growing protea. We even shared tips about what’s currently blooming in our fields and how to arrange them in a handy ‘re-useable’ container… something they’ll use again when their gardens are back in bloom.
Lady Di has just recently entered the Protea scene here in California and has done so in royal fashion! Considered a hybrid queen, this flower is a blend of P. magnifica (queen) and P. compacta. Lady Di has a medium-to-large bloom with a soft, velvety-pink appearance, obviously more compacta influence and lacking the woolly beards of the magnifica. The long floral bracts are plush and tipped in delicate white fur, then shading to cream at the base. The central peaked dome is silvery-pink, providing for a subtle yet noble combination. Lady Di blooms winter through early spring.
When harvested and mixed with other protea, there’s no doubt Lady Di is majestic!
Before the Cal Poly Universities’ float made its debut down Colorado Boulevard, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, in partnership with the Buy California Marketing Agreement (BCMA), recognized the students and advisors in a special ceremony for sourcing exclusively California grown flowers and foliage. To earn this special certification, a float must be decorated with more than 85 percent of its flowers and greens from California, and ‘kudos’ to this year’s Cal Poly Float for being nearly 97 percent. This is the seventh year that the university has received this certification.
Named “Dreams Take Flight,” the float was designed to inspire the audience to join the young animals’ journey to take flight, in much the same way that Cal Poly students journey through college. The diversity of the animals represents the diversity of the Cal Poly Rose Float team. The team consists of students from both Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly, Pomona who travel over 200 miles to come together to design, build, and decorate a float.
This year not only was the Cal Poly Float Certified CA Grown, it was recognized with the Past President’s award for their innovative use of the floral – Congratulations Cal Poly Universities!
For the last seventeen years we have designed and created our own special Resendiz Brothers calendar, which we proudly share with all our friends and family. The time spent crafting the calendar has also become very special to us as it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the years past, to rummage through fabulous photos and select our thirteen favorites. The cover is usually a photograph that received quite a bit of attention during the year, and this year's choice - was no exception. The remaining twelve pictures are selected based on the holiday or month the various protea are typically in bloom. Scroll on down and have a look at our 2018 picks… they are a combination of arrangements, bouquets, field shots and wreaths!
We first met Helen Davis this summer when Mel was the featured farmer in the California State Floral Association’s booth at the State Fair in Sacramento. With some determination, her daughter, Laura, brought her to meet Mel and see the protea. She was asked to pick the flowers of her choice and make her own special protea bouquet which she proudly took home with her. Meeting Helen and seeing her light-up as she created her bouquet has since been a highlight of ‘2017’ for both Mel and me!
To our delight earlier this month, we heard from Laura once again. She asked if she could bring her mother down to see the farm around the middle of the month. Since we saw Helen in July, she had been diagnosed with a rare cancer and Laura wanted her to visit us while she was active and able to make the trip. Laura said, “We have been living your flowers from afar but it’s time to see the real thing in person.”
They decided to join us on the 16th for our farm tour, wreath class and a special trip up into Rainbow to see the flower fields or what Helen called, Protea Heaven!”
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