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Take some time to smell the roses

It’s been an extremely rainy summer with widespread flooding around Lake Wobegon, MN, my fictional hometown on the edge of the prairie. Meanwhile, in my real hometown, our normal June rainfall is 4.25 inches but this year we had 11.36 inches, the wettest month statewide in recorded history. July continued the monsoon trend and I’m contemplating building an ark.

This abundance of water has made me feel a little guilty because so many of the farms on the West Coast are dying of thirst. I recently chatted with Kasey Cronquist from the California Cut Flower Commission and I asked him to devise a way to transport some of the water that’s accumulating in my basement out west to help the flower growers. Maybe we could just tip the country on its side?

MIXED-ROSE-BOUQA brilliant pink mixed rose bouquet with alstroemeria, Asiatic lilies and purple statice would brighten anyone’s day.Meanwhile, summer seems to be flying by, so make sure you take some time to stop and smell the roses in order to recharge your batteries for the approaching fall holiday season. To assist you, this edition of Floral Marketing puts the spotlight on those exquisite blooms. With over 1.6 billion roses sold in this country in 2013, roses are the single most important flower in the floral industry, accounting for more sales than any other flower.

We have gathered together a group of industry experts to write about roses from various angles — from the expanding rose industry in Africa, to the continuous rose production in South America, to the impending renaissance in the California rose industry. We also present roses from the perspective of a wholesale florist, a floral designer, a supermarket floral executive, a rose breeder, a scientist and even a giraffe.

In addition, we continue to preview upcoming industry shows and conventions and recap those that recently wrapped up. These educational and networking opportunities also help to keep your business fuel tanks full.

Looking ahead to the September edition, we will focus on transportation in the floral industry and preparing for the fall holidays.

Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where, as Garrison Keillor, creator and host of “A Prairie Home Companion” public radio show, reminds us: “All the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average” — even though in the real world we’re also all waterlogged. See you next month.

Richard Lutes is the floral editor and floral sales manager of The Produce News. He can be contacted at 763/595-9559 or