view current print edition







Seasonal California-style bouquets capture the essence of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos

Halloween and Day of the Dead are unique for flower occasions — they aren’t about love or mom or Christmas, and there are no cornucopia bouquets for this week. Though these two significant flower-giving occasions have more of a dark theme, there is still is an amazing opportunity to offer customers wonderful arrangements that capture the essence of the season.

According to Kasey Cronquist, chief executive officer at the California Cut Flower Commission, “As the seasons change, the selection of flowers from California change with it, making October a wonderful time to source seasonal, American Grown Flowers.”

DOD-BOUQUETThis bold and vibrant California-style bouquet from the Sun Valley Group in Arcata, CA, captures the essence of the autumn holidays.West Coast flower farmers are harvesting flowers that fit the Halloween and Day of the Dead vibe. Black and white callas, traditional marigolds, specialty lilies like the “Tango Series”, sunflowers, and of course huge, white oriental lilies are now in season. By blending these elements into California-style bouquets you have irresistible bouquets that can be upscale, playful or spooky.

California-style bouquets represent what is seasonally available, they highlight texture, and often include unusual blooms that you don’t see in bouquets produced in South America.

Rodi Groot, the Sun Pacific bouquet manager and product coordinator at the Sun Valley Group’s Bouquet Division said, “Our bouquets featuring marigolds are very popular, there is no flower more appropriate for Halloween and Day of the Dead. The way marigolds contrast with botanicals such as Cotinus is amazing.”

For color, orange (of course) rules supreme, but the contrast between light and dark tones is really popular. This is not a time for the monochromatic bouquet — consumers want mixed colors and a bit of drama to go with their ghosts and ghouls. Surprisingly, it is also a season for shades of purple. Deep purple tulips or Matsumoto asters combined with yellow, red or orange calla lilies speak to a non-traditional, upscale bouquet that doesn’t need to look like a jack-o-lantern.

“The past three years we have seen an increasing demand in the month of October and into the first week of November for bold and vibrant fall colors in callas than in the past,” said Ashley Nally, mass market sales and marketing manager at CallaCo in Moss Landing, CA. “This year we have increased our plantings especially in black, orange, red and yellow callas to have an ample supply for the market.”

Look to California farmers to have the blooms that will catch your customers’ attention and give a fresh, reinvigorating approach to Halloween and Day of the Dead-themed bouquets.

Bill Prescott is marketing communications associate at the Sun Valley Group in Arcata, CA. He can be contacted at