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Expert Advice: Flower Power

Kimm Birkicht of the Velvet Garden

In full bloom: Our minimum gift floral order is $60 plus delivery. For most centerpieces in 60-inch rounds, the pricing is between $75 and $100 per table.

Petal to the mettle: Fall: autumn vintage Asian troughs filled with fruits, vegetables and turning leaves, with vibrant fall-colored flowers. Winter: floral fantasies made with ornaments or placed in a winter-wonderland garden. Spring: daffodils, tulips, amaryllis and other bulb flowers in soft pastel ceramic containers or silk boxes. Summer: the splendor of brilliantly colored dahlias in crisp modern containers.

DIY florist: Take flowers that are all of the same type and cleanly cut the stems. Finish by placing them in a piece of modern glassware.

The Velvet Garden, 8327 W. Third St., Los Angeles, (323) 852-1766

Tina Hansen of Laurels Custom Flora & Events

In full bloom: Because we use high-end flora and supplies, our arrangements have a set price.They go for $75 and up. Usually the prices stay the same with multiples — it’s not as much about the number of arrangements as it is about quality and design.

Petal to the mettle: Fall: We like to incorporate a lot of fall colors as well as using pumpkins, squash and champagne grapes. Winter: A lot of the Christmas arrangements include red roses, amaryllis, pinecones, ribbon and snowberries. Summer: We tend to use lilac and French tulips and garden roses in our summer arrangements to add fragrance after the long shut-in of the winter. Spring: Since peonies are only in season for a short time, our designers like to arrange these flowers in a tight pavé style wrapped with lamb’s leaf.

DIY florist: Go to the farmers market and keep it natural. Try to get all of one kind of flower — this is easier for a person to arrange. Doing short arrangements is usually a lot easier than tall ones. Hold all your flowers tightly like a bouquet and cut the bottoms so they match, and then put them in a vase.

Laurels Custom Flora & Events, 7964 Melrose Ave., (323) 655-3466; www.laurelsevents.com

Clifford Miller from the Flower Shop

In full bloom: A single arrangement varies in cost from a minimum of $50 (without delivery and tax) to generally no more than $500. Unlike some other businesses, floral and event design is not produced on a sliding scale. It takes the same amount of product, either floral or hard goods, and the same amount of labor to produce one or 1,000 designs.

Petal to the mettle: For any season the arrangement that works well would be one component of elements that are at their peak during the season or that are generally associated with the season. Mixing in elements that are not available on a wide commercial basis adds to the customized appearance. A few good examples might be utilizing fresh-cut geraniums or mint leaves in the spring and summer months and incorporating fallen sycamore leaves or magnolia bunches in the fall.

DIY florist: If one makes the joyous choice of arranging their own flowers, they should consider the following: Use clear vessels and lukewarm water; remove any foliage that would fall beneath the water level; cut the stem on an angle with a sharp knife or pruner; select a container that has a narrow neck and a wide base; take a deep breath and enjoy the process — it is the most wonderful part of floral design.

The Flower Shop, 616 N. Almont Drive, Suite C, Beverly Hills, (310) 274-8491

Andrea Roth and Ilga Ziegler of Gardenia Studio

In full bloom: Our prices are based on the cost of the flowers. Our minimum price for delivery is $65; average arrangements range from $85 to $125. The more the budget allows, the more voluminous the arrangement. For parties and weddings, we like to fulfill our clients’ dreams while also accommodating their budget.

Petal to the mettle: Currently for fall, we would suggest New Zealand peonies, rich-colored anthuriums or old-fashioned chrysanthemums arranged in a cut-crystal vase. For winter, we love classic silver vases abundant with orchids, Dutch hydrangea or vibrant poppies. In spring we love to use local product and suggest tulips, peonies, lilac, snowballs and elegant Casablanca lilies arranged beautifully in fine ceramic ware. The summer brings fluffy dahlias, fragrant sweet peas and roses arranged in white, frosted seashell vases.

Blossom moment: The strangest request was for a poodle fashioned from all-pink carnations. We ended up loving it, and now we’re waiting for just the right baby shower.

DIY florist: It is important to always cut stems diagonally and trim off all excess leaves before submerging them in water.

Gardenia Studio, 5613 San Vicente Blvd., (323) 930-9470; www.gardeniastudio.com

Kimberly Mendoza of Collage

In full bloom: I meet with a customer and discuss his or her needs and desires. We calculate the time, labor and supplies for each event. Each job is completely different. It’s almost an impossible question to answer. We’ve designed arrangements from $25 to $2,500.

Petal to the mettle: Spring: I love incorporating fruit into our arrangements; spring could be citrus: oranges, lemons and limes with the same-color flowers. Spring is also fragrant bulb flowers in handmade baskets. Summer: bright, vibrant flowers in weathered terra cotta containers. Autumn: my personal favorite. Fall brings rich, beautiful colors: rust, green, red, orange and shades of gold. Fall is pumpkins and gourds, with interesting vines and berries. It brings texture, leaves, hay and cornstalks. Winter: Winter can be all white with pinecones and winter greens nestled into interesting moss. It can be contemporary with frosted glass and candles. The holidays can be silver and blue or they could be gold and red. Winter always has berries of some type, be it white snowberries or red canterberries. Monochromatic is always a beautiful look.

DIY florist: I don’t recommend that people experiment with arranging flowers for special occasions. Enjoy your event and leave the flowers to the professionals. But, having said that, allow triple the time you think it will take you, because it’s much more work than you can imagine.

Collage, 2730 S. La Cienega Blvd., (310) 558-1300


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