Florabundance Blog

Garden Roses, so gorgeous, so fragrant and so very popular for weddings. But, Garden Roses are also fragile and require special care and handling needs. In this video Leanne Kesler and Joost Bongaerts of Florabundance, Inc. explore the many varieties of Garden Roses as Leanne reviews their care and handling and creates a beautiful Garden Rose Bridal Bouquet. Enjoy!!!

Video produced by Leanne Kessler of Floral Design Institute in Portland, Oregon using Florabundance fresh flowers and locally grown Garden Roses.


Great news for anyone who would love to experience a once in a lifetime trip and get behind the scenes access to amazing floral industry places! Joost is leading a trip to Holland this November!
Arrival in Holland on Monday, November 3rd and return to the USA on Saturday, November 8th.
Flower arrangements at International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair (IFTF) Expo

What you’ll experience:

  • Visit International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair (IFTF) Expo
  • FloraHolland Trade Fair
  • Visit various flower growers, including the Rose breeder De Ruiter
  • Visit behind the scenes at Aalsmeer – the world’s largest flower auction
  • Visit Cultra and view a plethora of new floral design products
  • See Holex in action – Holland’s market leader in the export of fresh-cut flowers to distant destinations serviced by airfreight
  • Visit Zuidkoop, the floral designers for The Netherlands’s Royal Family
  • Dinner at De Kas, where a greenhouse has been converted into a restaurant
  • Optional Hands-On Design Class
  • First class transportation and hotels included
  • Most meals are included
  • Private touring van with Joost, a Dutch native and floral industry expert, as the guide

Aalsmeer Flower Auction in Holland

It is simply amazing to think how many people are involved in every step of the floral industry: the breeders, the farmers, the airlines and shipping companies, the mind-blowing Aalsmeer auction operation, and the wholesale houses around the world. To experience this first hand is an eye-opening experience, and one that will make anyone appreciate the floral industry even more than they already do!

Take advantage of this one in a lifetime opportunity to experience Holland!

Joost Bongaerts visiting DeRuiter Roses in Holland

The cost is $2,900 + airfare.
Limited spaces available.
Reserve your space with a deposit by August 1, 2014!


For more information, please contact Joost directly:
P: 805-456-5919



Over the past several weeks you’ve heard my conversations with floral designers who are leading the way when it comes to sourcing their flowers, leaves and branches from local farms. They place high value on seasonal blooms, because they know their bouquets and arrangements will be all the more beautiful and cherished by the customer – a customer who is also asking, Where do my flowers come from?

We’re kicking off this important conversation with Joost Bongaerts, owner of Florabundance in Carpinteria, California.

Joost has been involved in the horticulture and floral industry his entire life – and through Florabundance he sells flowers to retail florists and designers all around the country.

Located as they are in the flower-basket of the U.S., Florabundance has the unique ability to source from small and large flower farms in California and in many other states on an almost a year-round basis.

I applaud Joost for labeling all of the CA-grown options on the Florabundance web site. In the future, we should see other wholesalers adopting this practice. And next, we’ll urge them all to identify other states, as well as use the soon-to-launch American Grown Flowers logo.

To read the full story including the Podcast with Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers and Joost Bongaerts of Florabundance, please click here.


Fritillaria is a delicate flower that comes in various shapes and colors (how pretty is this spotted purple and white variety above?), and is perfect for a spring wedding.

Fritillaria can be used in a variety of ways from simple centerpieces to elegant one-bloom bouquets like this:

Order some of spring’s most delicate flower right here! Happy arranging!

Florabundance Inspiration Design Days & Chapel Designers in Santa Barbara, California

In January, 58 floral designers from around the world descended upon the quaint seaside town of Santa Barbara, California. The floral designers gathered for 3 flower filled and information packed days at Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2014
 {An Official Chapel Designer Event}. We gathered to learn more about building and operating our floral businesses and to push our creative talents with a plethora of flowers at our fingertips.

This year Florabundance combined efforts with The Chapel Designers to pull off a lovely affair!
Holly Chapple, Owner of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers and Founder of The Chapel Designers, gathered together an impressive list of presenters to teach alongside her – the UK’s hottest young designer, Joseph Massie; the Queen of Woodlands design, Francoise Weeks; San Francisco’s much sought after designer and lover of all things beautiful, Nancy Liu Chin; and the four of them lead 2 days of splendid hands-on floral design workshops. On the business discussion day I led a discussion on Online Presences (including websites, blogs & social media) and Courtenay Lambert led a fantastic discussion about the ordering & pricing of wedding flowers.

The event took place at Sunstone Vineyards and Winery in Santa Ynez Valley, with lovely views of the valley – the perfect location to get our creative juices flowing! Holly instructed the participants on how to design a loosely styled hand-tied bridal bouquet. Francoise taught how to create awe-inspiring head pieces. Nancy designed four tablescapes to share a variety of styles with the designers, and then got everyone involved in designing with her. Joe designed an art installation with the purpose of building and emphasizing the unity between all the designers that participated in the conference.

Of course, Joost and his team at Florabundance provided us with the most gorgeous flowers. We had the pleasure of designing with gorgeous Poppies, Anemones, Lisianthus and the prettiest Garden Roses! Plus, textures galore – Pieris Japonica, Chocolate Lace, and Privet Berries to name a few. Thank you to Joost and all the staff at Florabundance for your hard work and beautiful flowers!

Enjoy the photos!
xo, Alicia

Joost Bongaerts Francoise Weeks

Joost and Francoise

Florabundance Purple Anemones

Purple Anemones

Holly Chapple Demonstration

Holly demonstrating how to create a loosely gathered bridal bouquet, Susan & Julia assist by wiring garden roses.

Joseph Massie

Joseph blending moss, of course!

Joost Bongaerts Florabundance

Joost matches the Icelandic Poppies!

Holly Rutt of Sweet Pea Floral Design

Holly of Sweet Pea Floral Design working on her floral head piece

Holly Chapple Joost Bongaerts Joseph Massie

Holly Chapple, Joost Bongaerts, Joseph Massie

Francoise Weeks Icelandic Poppies

Francoise Weeks peeling Icelandic Poppies

Florabundance Purple Lisianthus

Purple Double Lisianthus

Florabundance Wholesale Flowers, Hot Pink Garden Roses, Plum Tulips, Romantic Antik Garden Roses, Pink Peonies, Dusty Miller, Pink Sweet Peas

Florabundance Icelandic Poppies

Icelandic Poppies

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Bridal bouquet of Astilbe, Pieris Japonica, Pink Mink Protea, Juliet Garden Roses, Sweet Peas, Agonis and Chocolate Lace, Privet Berries, Jasmine Vine

Bridal bouquet of Astilbe, Pieris Japonica, Pink Mink Protea, Juliet Garden Roses, Sweet Peas, Agonis and Chocolate Lace, Privet Berries, Jasmine Vine

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Bridal bouquet of Astilbe, Pieris Japonica, Pink Mink Protea, Juliet Garden Roses, Sweet Peas, Agonis and Chocolate Lace, Privet Berries, Jasmine Vine,

Bridal bouquet of Astilbe, Pieris Japonica, Pink Mink Protea, Juliet Garden Roses, Sweet Peas, Agonis and Chocolate Lace, Privet Berries, Jasmine Vine

Katie Noonan Floral Designer

Katie of Noonan Floral Designs

Kim Starr Wise Floral Events

Kim Starr Wise Floral Events

Nancy Liu Chin Florabundance Conference

Nancy leading a discussion on creating tablescapes

Thank You to all of the California Cut Flower Growers who participated in making product available at special pricing and donations for the this event.
Thank You to Holex for donations of specialty Dutch flowers.
Thank You to Alexandra Farms for donating many of the Garden roses we used for designs.
Thank You to Oregon Roses, Fedex, Fitz design, Design Master and Westerlay Orchids
Thank You Smithers Oasis for the great products.

Guest Post Written by Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs Floral Blog

Florabundance was pleased to have KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, Victoria Sanchez, visit our headquarters the week of Valentine’s to check out all the hustle and bustle!
Check out more of the interview here.

Are those bells ringing in your ears? While there may be a few left over celebration bells ringing and welcoming in the new year, the bells you may be hearing are those of the future brides who just got engaged during the most popular time of the year – Christmas. More engagements are announced at the holiday time than any other time of the year. With all the excitement of future nuptials in the air, future brides immediately start researching the details to make her wedding day perfect. They will be attending bridal shows, purchasing wedding magazines, exploring ideas on Pinterest, and visiting local retail websites for all the necessary information to help plan their perfect day.
So with all that said, now would be a good time for you to visit both your Pinterest board and your shop’s website to make sure you are catching the eye of future brides. Before you start any major overhauls, start by asking yourself (and your staff) a few simple questions.
Begin by asking yourself if and why you want to do wedding work. You may be surprised to learn that often wedding work is not your highest revenue generator. Often time weddings and events can often spiral out of control and when all is done and said, there is little profit for all the time, labor and stress that went into producing the event. Make sure that all the systems are in place to make sure you will be ending up with your desired profit margin. Watch all those little hidden costs that have a way of creeping into your profit margin such as delivery costs, rental replacements, and unforeseen increased costs of goods sold that all start gnawing away at your profit margin.
Next question is to determine what size wedding or event you do best considering things such as: cooler space, design space, delivery vehicles, design labor, flower processing labor, installation teams and tear out teams. If you end up paying too much to have adequate coverage on all these areas, you might be surprised at just how little you have left after doing “the Wedding of the Year”. While it is often appealing to execute a large event, start with more manageable events that take less manpower and work your way up to the larger events. Remember, “Crawl, Walk, Run” is a good way to evaluate your success. No one wants to take on more than they can handle. Your future reputation is at stake with every event you accept.
After you have asked yourself some serious questions, now ask yourself what kind of profit you want to make and how are you going to do so? This takes a lot of hard-nosed accounting to make sure that every floral execution has an accurate recipe and those recipes are followed when it comes time to execute the designs. Just think how adding just a couple of roses or carnations can play havoc with the profit margin when repeated over and over again. Tight controls are a must along with accurate markups for product and labor. Remember your time and expertise is the most valuable commodity that you are selling. You never want to give your services away for free. Whether you charge for the consultations or build the costs into your design work, you need to be compensated for your time. It is not uncommon for an average event to have a minimum of 60+ hours of planning to make the event a success. That is over a week’s worth of time you should be compensated for.
Now that you’re ready to meet and greet those wonderful brides, make sure you are well armed with accurate information about color choices, flower availability and pricing. Work hand in hand with your Florabundance flower consultant to make sure everything is good all the way from start to finish. Use your tablet device during the consultation showing the beautiful selection of products available from Florabundance! With all systems in place, you will be able to turn those wedding bells into the sound of Cha-Ching cash register bells for a profitable event.

Holly & Joost

Welcome to Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2014

{An Official Chapel Designer Event}

Last year Florabundance organized its first ever Inspirational Design Days event, which took place at Dos Pueblos Ranch. The event was a huge success and we are thrilled to announce the dates for our next designer conference taking place right here in Santa Barbara, California!

January 20, 21 & 22, 2014
Hilton Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara, CA

This year Joost, Owner of Florabundance, and Holly, Owner of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers and Founder of The Chapel Designers, will be combining their resources and experience to produce a fantastic West Coast Floral Designer event to kick off 2014 in style!

What’s on Tap!
The conference will unofficially start with a welcome “get together” on Sunday evening at The Fess Parker Resort’s hotel lobby bar – meet us there at 6pm, we cannot wait to Welcome you!

Monday we will convene in the hotel’s conference room, where the day will be filled with guest speakers and open discussion sessions. {Bring your questions; we’ll be discussing the business side of the industry}

Joost of Florabundance

Joost gives a tour of Florabundance to attendees of Florabundance Inspirational Design Days

Tuesday and Wednesday we will be designing gorgeous flowers {provided by Florabundance, of course!} at the lovely Sunstone Villa in Santa Ynez. Transportation to and from Sunstone Villa is included.

This year’s speakers and floral designer extraordinaires include:
Holly Chapple, the founder & leader of The Chapel Designers

Wedding Trend Setter & Lover of all things beautiful – Nancy Liu Chin
The UK’s hottest up & coming designer – Joseph Massie
The Queen of Woodlands Design – Francoise Weeks
Alicia Schwede will brief us on the latest in Social Media.

UK Floral Designer Joseph Massie

Joseph Massie Creative

We do highly recommend you stay at Fess Parker Resort, as the conference is at its best in the “after hours” when we gather together and continue networking, sharing and laughing!

Our “home base” is the Fess Parker Hilton located at 633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. We have reserved a block of rooms for our event at a discounted rate (available until December 31). We cannot guarantee room rates after this block has been secured. For reservations call (805) 564-4333 or Click Here.

For more information and to Register for the Event, please visit the Chapel Designer Website – Click Here

Francoise Weeks

elegant white wedding reception

Nancy Liu Chin


Persimmons are a beautiful deep orange fruit that is perfect for a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece. Here our persimmons branches are mixed with orange ranunculus, dusty miller, orange dahlias, and bittersweet to make the simple centerpiece.

Use a low shallow bowl, pile persimmons and tuck in dusty miller for a very quick version of this look.

Photos: Nancy Neil via SB Chic

Florabundance is featured in the new print magazine Flutter in a stunning farm to table feature that features an easy to recreate harvest centerpiece with wheat, millet, scabiosa, and astrantia all from Florabundance.

To recreate the look, use pillar candles and loose weave ribbon (these are from Michaels). Use some simple thread and wind it around the loose weave ribbon and tie it around the candle to attach the ribbon pillar candle. Then simply clip and tuck in product into the loose weave ribbon. And there’s a simple and easy DIY centerpiece perfect for a fall dinner or Thanksgiving. See the full feature here.

Photos: Cover: Michael Costa // 3 middle images Nancy Neil // DIY photo Kelly Oshiro 

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