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Floral Classes by appointment

Floral Design classes by appointment

Consumer Bunch Floral Design Class
Learn to create a beautiful round design in water. We cover the principals and elements of design, color theory, the care and handling of flowers for longevity+ so much more! All in 2.5 hours of FLOWER FUN����
Everything is included, you bring the creative spirit, and a friend. And go home with an AMAZING floral design.

Class size: 2 students. $95 each
daytime 10-6pm
evenings 6:30-9pm begin April 6, 2020

Have a different topic you are interested in learning more about....Contact me for pricing and set your appointment.


Payment by Pay Pal invoice
Pay with any credit card or pay pal account

I am looking forward to meeting you in the classroom and sharing my floral passion and knowledge with you!! I love to learn new things....Hope you do too!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sun Valley Flowers

April 12, 2018
Edition 60
The Light of Spring
Growing flowers for a living has its challenges, especially in the middle of a cold, wet Humboldt County winter. However, it appears spring is finally here, and I am grateful. 

The return of spring is like the light coming up after the darkness. The scent in the air, the warm sun drying the rows between the hoop houses and feeling a fresh breeze off the Pacific makes me feel blessed to work as a flower farmer.

The cycles of nature remind me of a quote from one of my favorite authors, Viktor Frankl, "What is to give light must endure burning."

We have endured the winter, lets enjoy the light of spring.
                                                                                                          - Lane
Spring Specialty Tulips
Our fancy tulip harvest is still growing!  We are harvesting new, rare and unique varieties daily.   Crazy textures and crazy colors are the theme      
here on the farm. Talk to your sales rep  to see what we are picking today..and if you have one minute and six seconds, treat yourself to our ZANY Tulip Mania Video! 
Timing is Everything:
Mother's Day Lilies

Our growers have been timing our lily plantings to come in perfectly for the big day, and we are running right on schedule for Mother's Day 2018. Fragrant Oriental lilies are bursting  
from the greenhouses with the whites, dark pinks and light pinks that capture the essence of the day.  

America is in Season

July is the perfect month to promote and support American Grown Flowers.

In 2016 Congress declared July "American Grown Flowers Month."  We need your help to drive awareness and celebrate the history and legacy of our American flower-farming families. 

July is when "America is in Season." 

To learn how you can participate in American Grown Flower Month click HERE
Lisianthus Love 
It is still early, but Lisianthus season has started.  We will see a spike in availability in June, so get your orders on the books now.

Check out our video of Lane explaining the biologic controls we use to ensure a successful harvest.  
Freesia's Return!
We are thrilled to announce Sun Valley is bringing back our white freesia!

We aren't harvesting just yet, but will be soon. White has always been the most popular color.  So, due to popular demand, we brought back a white only program in Arcata. YAY!

Can you see the brides circling?

Mother's Day Pacific Paradise
Looking to add on bouquets for Mother's Day?

Our Pacific Paradise farm direct bouquets are ready to jump into the action.

We have several sizes and price points available, so talk to your rep for current recipe options.

Catch the Pacific Paradise wave!
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The Sun Valley Group, 3160 Upper Bay Road, Arcata, CA 95521

Christina Burton-Fox AIFD floral artist & instructor

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Instagram Stories by Mayesh

Why You Should be Using Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories

So you’re on Instagram, but so are 700 million other people, with 25 million of those being businesses. How can you make yourself stand out in a sea of literally millions of other Instagrammers? (Yes, it’s a word, we checked. Merriam-Webster is more than likely adding it to the dictionary as you read this.) One word: Stories. You’ve most likely watched Instagram Stories from some of your favorite ‘grammers, be it other florists, bloggers or friends. And you’ve probably loved them, right? Instagram Stories are a great way to not only be seen on Instagram, but to connect more personally with clients as well.

According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed Stories on the platform are from businesses – a huge number when you consider business profiles only make up about 28% of the total users on Instagram. And even better news, two-thirds of visits to business profiles are users that don’t already follow that business on Instagram. With 300 million Instagram users viewing Stories daily, that’s a lot of opportunities to get your content before the eyes of potential customers, and current customers that you want to keep coming back for more of your floral magic.

Instagram Stories

We know, we know, we’re total data geeks and we just threw a lot of numbers at you! But aside from all of the technological reasons (changing algorithms, engagement, etc.) there are so many other ways and reasons to be using Stories for your business. So now that you’re on board, we want to share some of the different ways you can use them to your benefit and achieve the engagement you need to run a successful business in the age of Social Media!

One of our most asked questions when it comes to Instagram is whether or not to share BTS (behind-the-scenes) and personal images on your business feed. Well, when answering that question, there are many things to consider. The Instagram feed has now become your portfolio… brides will scroll through yours and decide within SECONDS if they like your work and want to reach out to you. And with all of the beautifully curated feeds out there, you do want to compete with those and make sure yours is consistent and representative of your brand. However, with all of those beautifully curated feeds, how do YOU stand out? To a potential bride or customer who doesn’t necessarily look at flowers and weddings all day, it can be overwhelming to differentiate between all the pretty! Well, Stories are a great way to set yourself apart and show the world a little bit about the designer behind the flowers.

I don’t know about you, but when the time comes for me to choose all of the vendors for my wedding, I not only want to love their work, but I want to love them. Stories is a space to share your personality – if you’re a big goofball in real life, show us! Are you witty and sarcastic and have an opinion on just about everything? You bet there’s going to be someone out there who connects with that. Instagram users and potential clients love seeing little pieces of your life outside of work – it helps them feel like they know you even if in reality, you’ve never met.

Stories are also a great place to share some BTS of your day-to-day life as a florist… the “ugly” stuff. We know that gorgeous centerpiece on that carefully curated tablescape didn’t just appear… show us how it got there! The process can be just as interesting for your clients or fellow vendors, and as an added bonus, it shows them just how much hard work goes into being a florist, something people don’t always realize! On top of potential clients, this is also a great way to network and connect with other vendors in the industry, making “Instagram friends” if you will, who want to work with you in the future and will direct their clients to you. Win-win!

Instagram Stories

Okay, so let’s quickly recap the WHY’S of using Stories:

  1. To show off that sparkling (or goofy) personality of yours
  2. To show your process and a little BTS of your life as a florist
  3. To increase engagement on your content
  4. To network with industry vendors

So now that you have a little more insight into some of the benefits of using Stories, here are some tips, tricks and how-to’s to achieving that.

Instagram Live

Going live can be super intimidating, but Instagram has made it so easy that it’s really not that big of a deal! We’ve seen florists use Live videos in a number of ways… from live design demonstrations to Q+A’s (both personal and business related), Live stories are a great way to interact in real time and allow your followers to ask questions for you to answer right then and there. If you’re not already following Ponderosa & Thyme, she uses Instagram Live all the time and is one of our favorites to tune into.


If your Instagram is a business account (which it should be) one of our most utilized features is the good ‘ole “Swipe Up!” for links. Whether you want to share new content you’ve posted to your blog or website, or you just want to direct customers/brides to your contact page, this feature is exclusive to business profiles and sees really high engagement. When we started linking our new blog posts on Stories, we saw a huge increase in link opens and people reading and commenting on our blogs, and it makes complete sense with how convenient it is – a simple swipe and they’re right where you want them.


In the most general sense, polls can be a great way to find out WHAT your followers are interested in seeing. If you’re still struggling with determining what to post on your feed and/or Stories, do a little crowdsourcing!
Polls can also be used as fun little ways to interact with your followers, even if you’re not *really* looking for an answer. For example, posting two arrangements and asking them which they like best. Or maybe you DO want an answer! Your followers’ input could be just what you need to answer the important questions in life…. like blush vs. millennial pink 😉

Story Highlights

It’s both a blessing and a curse that Stories only last 24 hours… but that all changed when Instagram introduced Highlights. If you went on an Insta-Rant (not yet a word, but it probably should be) about pricing and you want everyone to hear what you had to say, make it a Highlight! You can really use them for anything – a portfolio of your best work, a BTS of an event from start to finish, upcoming events or workshops – and you can add to individual highlights even after you’ve already posted the original one. If you need a little inspiration, Shean Strong has some great ones – from “Five Fun Facts” to our personal favorite, “Driving with Shean,” the possibilities are endless.

Instagram Stories

Fight the Algorithm

We’ve all heard about the changing algorithms, and because of them you might sometimes notice less engagement (likes & comments) on your posts. One way to help guide followers to new posts on your feed is to use Stories! Many bloggers & Influencers do this by screenshotting their feed and literally just saying “NEW POST!” as a way to direct them there and increase engagement. And in doing research for this blog, we learned that there might be some new features on the way to make sharing new posts even easier… stay tuned!

Insights & Tutorials

We’ve talked a lot about engagement and insights and all this technical stuff – but what does it all mean?! To find out how to analyze all this data, check out this article from Social Media Examiner… they can explain things a bit better than we can 😉
And if you’re looking for some more technical help on how to use all of the great (and constantly evolving) features, check out these two helpful visual guides to help you master your Insta-Story game!

If you weren’t already using Stories, we hope you’ve convinced you by now! If you have any questions or comments, or have discovered another creative use of them, share with us in the Comments below!

Christina Burton-Fox AIFD floral artist & instructor

Grand Central Newsletter

A Next Generation Multimedia Company
For the Floriculture Industry

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Evidence of refined floristry dates as far back as Ancient Egypt, incorporating the same design elements we use today: line, form, space, texture and color. However, the European influence incorporates a variety of botanical materials not limited to only blooming flowers. Check out the natural (and unnatural) elements used in these floral designs from Europe:... Read More »
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Rock Stars of the Industry

Royal Wedding Florist Named: Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Will Decorate with THESE Flower

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s florist has been named as Philippa Craddock, and the flowers they will be surrounded by on the wedding day have been revealed. Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan Markle, 36, have chosen floral designer Philippa Craddock to create the church flowers for their May nuptials. The happy couple will be surrounded... Read More »

Tricks of the Fresh Cut Trade

The 10 Most Beautiful Flowers in the World

In our opinion, few material things are more meaningful than flowers. At weddings, flowers are used to beautify the venue and honor the couple’s union. At funerals and cemeteries, flowers are used to pay respect to the deceased. Flowers are exchanged between lovers as gifts of adoration, and they’re widely used as inspiration for art... Read More »

Tricks of the Plant Trade

Colombian Plant Growers To Have Nursery Research Center

Within the framework of its Second General Assembly held in Bogotá on March 21st, Colviveros, the Association of Colombian Nurseries and Ornamental Growers, announced the creation of the Research Center for the Advancement of the Ornamental Nursery Industry (Ceniviveros). According to Jairo Cadavid, President of Colviveros, this initiative will be structured around a technological development... Read More »

Industry Events

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Blooms Bigger with More Plants, Food and Music

Flowers are Liz Anziano’s thing, and the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is her place, as it has been for 25 years. “Of course I’m going again,” she said with a laugh, as if it could be any other way. “My mom and I have gone every year since the first one, so it’s... Read More »

Career Builders

10 Ways to Spend the First and Last Minutes of Your Workday

The first and last 15 minutes of your work day are the most important to set the tone for your productivity and performance at the office. As a busy professional or entrepreneur, creating mindful habits benefit not only your productivity, but your overall attitude toward the work you’re doing. Instead of getting overwhelmed with the... Read More »

Colors and Trends

Man Uses Toilet Paper And Tissues To Create Wedding Dresses For His Barbies, And Result Is Amazing

Jian Yang is passionate about collecting Barbie dolls. He has amassed a huge collection of more than 9,000 dolls sourced from 50 countries. From what we know on Instagram, this Jian Yang is already the largest male collector of Barbie dolls in the world. But here’s something you don’t know – he travels with a doll... Read More »

Tech Tips

VIDEO: Blockchain Is the Future, But It’s Confusing. Here’s an Explanation in Plain English

Blockchain. If you’re like me a year ago, the mere mention might make you go “huh?” You keep hearing the word and it isn’t going away. You admit defeat of your lack of knowledge and find yourself Googling “What is blockchain?” Decentralized, tokens, ledgers….you’ll quickly find yourself down a rabbit hole of even more confusion.... Read More »

Retail Trends

What You Need to Know About Milwaukee’s Newest Flower-Powered Startup

This floral company doesn’t just deliver flowers – it also delivers major charitable contributions to local nonprofits each month. Steven Dyme founded an innovative, flower-powered startup in 2012, while enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The idea was simple – he figured he could sell a few hundred floral bouquets to parents for a local... Read More »

Science & Research

Did Flowering Plants Evolve On A Lost Continent, Like Darwin Imagined?

In his vast correspondence with other contemporary naturalists, Charles Darwin mentions an “abominable mystery”. This mystery was the origin of angiosperms or plants with flowers. The fossil record showed that flowering plants appear relatively suddenly all around the world in the mid-Cretaceous, in contrast with Darwin’s belief of a gradual, slow evolution. Darwin explained the... Read More »

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Christina Burton-Fox AIFD floral artist & instructor