Where can you find sunny skies, an ocean breeze and endless flower fields? The answer is: California. This fall we are introducing our Happy Harvest Centerpiece, which consists of flowers that were all grown right here in the golden state.

This bouquet encompasses everything we love about California—cheerful sunflowers, red hypericum berries, yellow and orange tulips…and even a vibrant artichoke. This autumn arrangement inspired us to take a little field trip from our San Diego headquarters to the Sun Valley Farm in Oxnard, CA. We were fascinated with our findings and wanted to share with you the very intricate process of how ProFlowers blooms go from the ground to your front door.

Step 1: The ground is prepped

Tractors are used to flatten out the soil, and then create divots that go on for miles and miles. The divots create two mounds, which is where the seeds are actually planted.

Prepping the ground to plant bulbs.

 

Step 2: The process of planting

Machines plant seeds in tiny containers about an inch and a half deep. Once they begin to sprout, they are hand planted into the ground. Each row in the field grows approximately 10,000 plants or flowers.

Flowers grown from seeds.

Some flower species are grown from bulbs instead of seeds. The bulbs are kept in dark, temperature-controlled rooms until they are ready, before being planted.

Flowers grown from bulbs.

 

Step 3: Maintenance

Everything on the farm functions efficiently and seamlessly. Every little detail required to maintain these flowers and plants is down to an exact science. Here’s how:

10-17_Grown-in-California_Step3a

  • Each row has a water system that delivers just the right amount of water necessary.
  • Each plant or flower is sectioned off by wire so it has enough space to grow to the appropriate size. The wiring is moved up as the flowers grow to help support the stem until they can build up their own strength and thickness to support themselves.
  • Lighting is monitored with large black tarps that cover the greenhouse domes above the flowers. The workers move the tarps throughout the day to allow for just the right amount of light needed per species.
  • Yellow tape is put up around the field to attract bugs to stick to the tape. At the end of the day, workers count how many good bugs vs. bad bugs they get (they use the good bugs to fight the bad bugs), and can then make any necessary adjustments to their process based on their findings.
  • A sign is placed at the end of each row, on which workers write down every detail of the species in that row, including when it was planted, variety, temperature, water, lighting and which bulb grower they came from. This sign helps the workers determine what may have gone wrong if a plant isn’t doing well, and how they can adjust the process for improvement. It also lets them know whether they should or shouldn’t order a product from the same bulb grower again.

 

Step 4: Picking the blooms

Flowers picked fresh from the field.

Flowers are picked while still in bud form—this guarantees they are fresh when they arrive to their destination. The flowers are cut, gathered and then placed into buckets of water. Once the buckets are full of flowers, they are carted into the warehouse for bouquet assembly.

 

Step 5: Bouquet creation

Creating the bouquets

Workers are given the “recipe” for each bouquet. The flowers are kept in a temperature-controlled room and then the bouquets are put together in assembly-line fashion.

Once a bouquet is created, it is placed in a box with the correct vase and then shipped either directly from the field to your recipient’s home, or to a local distribution center near its final destination.

A lot of time and hard work goes into the creation of our bouquets, which is why they are so beautiful and fresh when they arrive to your door! The next time you send or receive a colorful, joyous arrangement, think about where it may have come from, and all that went into making someone smile.