Australian flower industry launches new guidebook for florists

Posted On 25 Feb 2014
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WCFIT thumbnailCANBERRA, Australia: What Cut Flower is That? is the title of the newly launched guidebook for florists and provides a comprehensive overview of the exciting and diverse range of floristry products available. Initiated by the Australian flower industry, the book is written by Delwyn (Del) Thomas and Bettina Gollnow.

It packs the latest information about the exciting and diverse range of floristry products available into almost 200 pages, some of it never before published. Every entry has beautiful full colour photos, many of which were taken specifically for this book, while the detailed index ensures speedy access and enjoyable readability for all.

It is already attracting much interest from the Australian flower industry since publication and now the International Protea Association hopes it will become more widely known and used internationally to improve floral care and knowledge of Proteaceae and related plants. 

Del is a horticulturist and floral designer with a lifetime of experience in the floriculture, nursery and garden and floristry industries. She has taught floristry and horticulture at technical colleges part time for the last 22 years whilst continuing to work on other projects and is owner of Flowers by Delwyn, her small wedding flower specialist business.

Bettina Gollnow, currently Communications and Extension Manager with WildFlowers Australia, is an extension horticulturist with over 20 years of experience of working with the Australian cut flower industry. Additionally, Bettina has managed many projects, and co-authored and produced numerous high quality industry manuals and brings an eminently high level of knowledge and professionalism to this project.

The book is printed on plastic, fully waterproof paper. Preparation and production of this manual was supported by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation and sponsored by industry associations the Flower Association of Queensland Inc and WildFlowers Australia Ltd.

The International Protea Association (IPA) says it is proud to be involved in the wider promotion of the guidebook, and a full review is posted on their website http://www.ipa-protea.org /. A free download is available from https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/13-079 . Overseas customers wanting to buy a printed copy should email publications@rirdc.gov.au for a quote on the book price including freight.

“Making product information relevant and easy to find encourages florists and designers to use a wider variety of products,” explained co-author Del Thomas. She added, “From the A-Z of cut flower and foliage profiles to advice on care and handling, the information is presented in an easy to read format and design so that every floral artist and florist will want to leave it open on the workbench for quick easy reference.”

Although this guidebook was developed in collaboration with the Australian flower industry, anyone with an interest in the care and handling of high quality cut flowers and foliage, will find this an essential reference.

What Cut Flower is That? includes a general introduction to the Australian flower industry along with extensive information regarding recognition of flower quality, essential postharvest care and typical problems. It includes the latest research and reliable industry knowledge. Industry members including growers, wholesalers, postharvest experts and leading florists were consulted to ensure that this manual provides the most accurate and up-to-date information on all products, with the initial draft reviewed by 15 industry specialists.

Managing product quality and vase life, which are so important to consumers, is discussed in detail, and recommendations are offered for holding temperatures, cooling, hydration, hygiene, care in handling, conditioning, use of floral foam and advice to pass on to customers.

The authors unravel the mysteries of subjects such as air embolisms, stem blockages, ethylene, geotropism, leaf blackening, uneven stem lengths, grey mould and issues associated with imported flowers that have the potential to reduce flower quality and vase life. This guidebook discusses these subjects and many more with straight forward advice on how to recognise and avoid problems.

“The strength of this guidebook”, said IPA’s chair Audrey Gerber, “is that it addresses a whole range of flowers, from commonly used products, such as Waxflower and kangaroo paws, to highly specialised, seasonal products such as the Waratah. It is not intended for a particular sector of the flower industry. Instead it encourages general recognition of flower quality, and careful flower handling, all contributing to consumer satisfaction and repeat purchases.”

A wide range of the 116 cut flower and 30 foliage products profiled are grown globally, ensuring that highly seasonal products are readily available.

What Cut Flower is That? lists an extensive range of Australian wildflower products according to seasonal availability and colour range. This list will undoubtedly become a lasting and valued resource across the international industry, replacing much of the misinformation that currently persists in some corners of industry and education. In the Quick guide to seasonal flowers and foliage both common and botanical names, are provided. The guide features native Australian and South African flower and foliage products, orchids and tropical flowers alongside the range of currently available traditional flowers. Additional notes and special care advice are given for orchids and tropical species.

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