Presenters for  2019

September 17, 2019

Scott Hasty


Ken Senter 

March 19, 2019



Lana King Certified Texas Master Florist

January 22, 2019


Presenters for  2018 

January 16, 2018- Alan Masters AIFD CFD. from Compton’s Florist gave us Beautiful Valentine Floral Designs that were raffled off to our Members.

February 20, 2018- Andy Hopper from HEB Blooms Design Studio 
March 20, 2018- Blooming Idea The Woodlands
April 17, 2018- Illissa Monet Collins will teach Bow Making and Gift Wrap techniques.
May 15, 2018- Nicola Parker from the Senterpiece.  She will do a leaf manipulation workshop.

September 2018 Meeting

Alex Torres & Nicola Parker


November 2018 Monthly Meeting

Alan Masters, AIFD CFD Presenter

Presenters for 2017

September 19, 2017- Beth O’Reilly from Mayesh
October 17, 2017- Debbie Lyon from Kroger 
November 7, 2017- Abel Gonzalez Mencio 
December 19, 2017- Patricia Gomez Floral Workshop 



Presenters – 2015 – 16

September 16, 2015  Mark Ruisinger

A long time friend and supporter of SAFD, Mark Ruisinger, started off our year  with a presentation about designs for home entertaining.  Mark began his floral career as a delivery person for Galloway Florist, where he discovered his interest in and talent for floral design.  He now owns Mark Anthony Florist, where he stays busy providing designs for nearby businesses.


Mark brought with him six delightful small designs  which we gladly raffled off to lucky winners.  All during the presentation Mark taught little lessons on floral design.   The first thing he demonstrated was how to prepare a taped grid on a cylinder vase.  Inside the vase was a lining of Tru-Life Leaves, the ribbon that simulates an Aspidistra leaf.  The ribbon sample was passed around to the audience.  This ribbon is available at the local floral wholesalers.

Simplicity of nature could describe Mark’s first design.   He effortlessly gathered up a hand-tied bouquet of three types of millet and wheat, bound the stems and dropped them into a vase.  The stems were grouped together by type.  This quick and simple design captures a hint of Autumn and adds texture and linear lines with the stalks.  Not one flower was needed to make this arrangement perfect.  Where could you envision this arrangement in your home?  I could see it on the fireplace mantel.

Lesson number two from Mark came with the second design.  Gerberas need a little help to make them stand up on their hollow stems  With a medium weight wire, insert the wire through the head and then loosely twist down the stem.  Gerberas are phototropic, which means their heads will turn to face strong light.  If you need to hydrate them, position them over a wire grid (chicken wire for example) over a bucket so their stems fall straight down.  The water should be warm and have the proper mix of flower food.  Gerbera stems should be cut under water with a sharp knife.    If you have not worked with a floral knife, you should purchase one at the local wholesalers and practice.  A knife cut causes the least damage to a flower stem.  At the recent Pike’s Peak Fall and Christmas Show, Sharon McGunkin AIFD, AFF, PFCI told the audience that she advises new students to wear several band-aids on their thumb when learning to use a floral knife.  This way you are slicing through the band-aid instead of your thumb while you acquire the new skill.  Sounds like pretty sharp advice to me!  Now back to Mark’s second design,  a little hot and sassy European hand-tied design featuring vibrant pink Gerberas, Florigene carnations, and Green Trick Dianthus.  Do not let anyone tell you carnations are out of fashion, they are very popular right now!  Florigene carnations range in color from lilac to a reddish purple to dark purple.  They are  all named with “moon” as in Moonaqua, Moonlite, Moonshade, etc.    Green Trick Dianthus is a member of the carnation family .  If you look at the stem of the Green Trick Dianthus, you will see that it resembles the stem of regular carnations.  Its bright green color makes it a great accent for arrangements.

With the stately Birds of Paradise in this third design, I would say the arrangement is To Dine For!  This is the perfect size for the dinner table.  We learned several things about tall centerpieces for your dining room.  Height:  The traditional height of an arrangement is 1 1/2 times the height of the container … if you are taking a floral exam.  Otherwise, it is what pleases the eye, or as Mark says, what stays out of the chandelier above the dining room table.  Centerpieces should either be under 14” or above 24”.  A simple way to measure the 14” is to put your elbow on the table, and let no flower stand taller than your fist.    Tulips:  Tulips continue to grow in your arrangement.  Do your designing the day before so they are not leggy.  Callas:  The yellow callas in this design are “open cut”.  This means you do not need to coax the bloom open.  If they are too tight, however, you can insert a piece of wet cotton into the bloom  (another trick from  Sharon McGunkin).  Mini callas should be put in buckets with no more than 2” of water.  The stems are mostly water, and leaving them in high water will weaken the stem.  For large white callas, be sure to order them to arrive three days before your event.  That will help them open naturally.  Otherwise, Mark said  to gently massage inside the larger calla blooms to help them open.   The Birds of Paradise were not open at all.  Mark demonstrated how to open the blooms.  There is a excellent video about Birds of Paradise by Leanne Kessler of Floral Design Institute at this link:   The finished design was ready to grace the dining room of the lucky raffle winner.  It included yellow callas, pink tulips, pincushion protea, Birds of Paradise, and Agapanthus.  Remember to hold the Agapanthus down and shake a bit to allow loose petals to fall to the floor, rather than in your food, before you add that flower to your design.  Wonder about the value of this tall centerpiece?  It would be in the $200 range.

Arrangement number four is truly a Fall Rhapsody masterpiece.  Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly called American sweetgum, was the base of this design.   Yellow Viking poms, David Austin garden roses, Asiatic lilies, pincushion protea and Agapanthas come together under the masterful hands of Mark to sing the praises of nature’s beauty.  The value of this arrangement in a shop would be between $85 and $100.  The lucky winner of this piece had cause to celebrate!

The teaching moment of this design came when Mark showed us how to gently peel back petals of this David  Austin rose to make the bloom appear larger.

Before the next design, Mark had everyone scribbling notes about several useful tips.  Asiatic lilies:  he leaves the pollen on.  He designs with the lily bud closed, so it will open later when the arrangement is delivered.  Another knife tip for cutting flowers:  do not use your thumb!  Remember the prior advice for you new  knife users—be sure to cover that thumb with lots of band-aids.  As you cut your stem with a knife, use your arm to pull the knife through the stem, leaving a sharp point.  The knife cut leaves more surface open for the stem to drink.  Also, a blade does not collect as much residue as clippers.  Have you taken a look at your flower clippers?  They are probably covered by dried, crusty residue!  Flower stems:  Cut most stems 2” up from the bottom.  During transit, water in the stem has moved up above the bottom 2”, so you want to remove this dried area.  Roses should be cut under water.  When you cut a rose, it takes a drink right way.  You want that drink to be water, not air.  You may even see this when you cut a rose under water – air bubbles will rise from the stem.  Your roses will last longer and open better with proper care.  Dahlias:  Treat these carefully.  Once you lose petals, you have lost the Dahlia.  Don’t stand Dahlias in deep water,  just a couple of inches.  Their stems will also become weak.  Mark mentioned a time-release chlorine pill.  This product is Chrysal CVBN,  a tablet that prolongs the life of Gerberas and neutralizes  bacteria.  Look at the proof demonstrated by Tradewinds Wholesale’s test, day 2 and day 9 comparison of Gerbera condition with water and with CVBN (see,

The last design featured some beautiful pink Amaryllus which also had pink stems!  Added to this are yellow and red Dahlias, mini Gerberas, the Viking poms, mini-carnations, and Liquidambar.  I would say Mark ended with this Blaze of Glory, a vibrant and happy design.

Thank you, Mark, for starting off our year with so much useful advice and lovely arrangements!

Pam Bates, Programs Chair





Presenters 2014-15

October 21 – Nikki Parker

All Occasions


November 18 -Pintrest Holidays

Lillian Walker, Martha Els and Pam Bates (Lillian – Thanksgiving Designs – Martha – Christmas Designs – Pam – New Year’s Designs)


December 16 -Nora Cisneros

A Christmas workshop


Jan 20th – Alan Masters – A Compendium of Caligenous Cusiosties

Program with up cycles and reinventions based in the growing trend of Steampunk. Learn to repurpose what we alreaady have.



February 17 – Kim Jones

Our designer will be  Kim Jones, Certified Floral Designer and Texas Master Florist Associate, who will be presenting “Avant-Garden: Contemporary Floral Designs!” She will introduce wonderful techniques to make creative and different spring floral arrangements!



March 17 – Yoshi Sakamoto




April 23 – SAFD Cup Competition

SAFD’s First Annual Cup Competition where there are 6 designers (The Texas 6) to help randomly chosen SAFD members create a floral arrangement based on a prompt! The two prompts this year were arrangements made for a Secretary’s desk and the other was for a long dinner table. (Short round vase was provided for the first and an oblong vase for the second) We had two professional florists as judges of these designs! The winners of the SAFD Cup Competition were Julie Vickers and her designer Kim Jones!!! Congratulations!!!! Thank you Martha Els, Programs Chairman, for planning and organizing this amazing competition!