b.brooks fine flowers
 Welcome to bbrooks fine flowers®    
 Make Better Arrangements™

Archive for September, 2014

Future of SF Flower Mart

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The future of the Wholesale Flower Mart may be in the hands of The City’s voters come next year.

On the heels of a pending sale of half the site at Brannan and Sixth streets, a group of flower vendors, florists, wholesalers and concerned citizens plan to file paperwork with The City today to get a measure on 2015′s ballot that would protect the San Francisco wholesale flower market from a planned tech office development.

With roughly 100 vendors, the more than 50-year-old covered market connects growers with buyers from across Northern California and beyond and is the nation’s second-largest flower wholesaler. In the early-morning hours, trucks delivering flowers unload their wares for sales inside the large airy building. To many, it is a San Francisco icon whose presence is part of The City’s fabric.

The San Francisco Flower Mart Protection Act will make it impossible for The City to give any planning exemptions, which might facilitate turning the site into a tech campus or other office space.

“We thought we’d take it to the voters of San Francisco,” said Patrick McCann, a vendor at the site. “The Flower Mart has a long history of being heard and it should stay here.”

FLWRMART01. AgnosFormer San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos.

Public efforts to protect the Flower Mart began in August when a group of local politicos, including former Mayor Art Agnos and former supervisors Aaron Peskin and Quentin Kopp, held a news conference announcing their fight to save the more than 80 local businesses located there.

Those efforts were meant to notify the public about a pending sale of the site and keep working-class jobs in The City.

Despite such protests, on Sept. 11, a majority of the San Francisco Flower Growers Association voted to sell their half of the Flower Mart to Kilroy Realty Corp. The price, according to opponents, was $26.6 million.

Kilroy, which plans to construct a 655,000-sqaure-foot tech campus on the site, has promised to include flower sellers in any future space. But many fear they will be excluded, at worst, and left without a home for years of construction, at best.

As it stands, many long-term leases at the site expire at the end of the year, and no guarantees beyond vague promises have been given to the tenants, McCann said. Thus far, no communications have been made to tenants by Kilroy, McCann added.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit was filed Sept. 11 by David Repetto, a shareholder of the SFFGA, alleging that the association’s board of directors breached its fiduciary duties by secretly brokering the sale and merger of the SFFGA to Kilroy. It is asking for the court to invalidate the board’s actions.

Before the vote to sell, the SFFGA filed a proposal in 2013 for a 160-foot office building on the site and have until January to file a development proposal.

Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the district, has also introduced legislation that would postpone construction of offices on land zoned for light industry and distribution until a full-fledged rezoning of the area is complete, a process still several years away.

Next steps for moving the ballot measure ahead include circulation of the petition to San Francisco voters in order to qualify for the ballot.

To read more, please see article by Jonah Owen Lamb from Sept 30, 2014 www.sfexaminer.com

The Beautiful Edible Garden

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner share their combined knowledge of landscape design at Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening in the San Francisco Bay area.  Together they utilize ecologically sound landscape design principles and small-scale urban agriculture by working with both ornamental and edible plants to create integrated ornamental and edible landscapes.


For more information, look for their book “The Beautiful Edible Garden” with noted input from BBrooks member florist Studio Choo partners Jill Rizzo and Aletha Harampolis.

Remembering David Jones

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

A long-time friend and supporter of Barbera Brooks and Fine Flowers by Phone, David Jones shaped the world’s taste for nearly 5o years; he did flowers for both the Reagan and Ford White Houses and lectured at the Smithsonian.

david jones

During high school in South Bend, Ind., Jones worked for a flower store doing odd jobs. He went on to attend the American Floral Art School in Chicago. Moving to New York to study at Parsons School of Design, he wandered into a chic-looking flower salon on Lexington Avenue. Because he was living with relatives and his expenses were low, Jones told the owner he would work for free for six months. If the owner was satisfied, he would hire him. In three months, Jones had a paid position.

Dear Friend, you will be missed.

Sourced from fine flowers by phone and the Los Angeles Times.

Barbara Flowers

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Barbara Flowers is an international artist who lived most of her life in a small village near the Rhine Valley in Germany. A deep desire to create art began at a young age. Barbara’s parents encouraged her artistic growth with private art lessons and visits to Europe’s museums to see the collections of masterpieces.

barbara flowers. japanese magnolia.1

Barbara’s art may include energetic brushwork, palette knife work, soft passages of blended paint or a heavy build-up of paint.  She strives for just enough variety without too much unity so as to capture the viewer’s attention.
Barbara’s work is held in international private and corporate collections.

Blooms for Rosh Hashanah

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

robin wood.blue and white

Rosh Hashanah begins September 24 this year. Yom Kippur begins October 3.  The holidays are commonly known as the Days of Repentance or the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim), a time for serious introspection and repentance.

Floral arrangement seen above is  by long time BBrooks member florist, Robin Wood Flowers in Cincinnati, OH.

Joseph Massie

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Joseph Massie is widely regarded as one of Europe’s top floral artists.

At just age fourteen, Joseph began working spending his weekends working in his hometown of Huyton, Liverpool, UK. Perhaps to some it was an uncommon interest for a fourteen year old boy, but Joseph quickly found his vocation amongst the buckets of blossoms and buds.


Taking steps to pursue his passion, Joseph self funded his education and began to hone his practice and develop a creative ethos, participating in intense training sessions with top international designers. To further build his artistic vocabulary, Joseph began to participate firstly in regional, followed by national, floral design competitions, and aged nineteen, won his first national design competition, the BFA Young Florist of the Year 2007.

Floral Chandeliers

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Long time BBrooks member The Hidden Garden Floral Studio, Los Angeles, shows off a stunning display of Phalaenopsis stems and Lush Green Hydrangea in Flirty Fleurs’ Wedding Wednesday feature from September 3.


COLORS in Kobe-shi, Hyogo, Japan

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

tulip.willowUnique, imaginative presentation from COLORS in Kobe, Japan.

giftinggreen anthurium