Today’s first speaker today was Leailia Bartleson of Mrs. B’s Baskets in Golden, Colorado-our award winning gift basket designer. Leailia brought in several baskets and products that she uses in her gift baskets – she started by explaining how she wraps her baskets. Leailia uses tubular shrink wrap, so there are no seams and you have a clear view all the way around the basket, the heat gun shrinks the plastic so none of the items can shift around. She also makes the wrap tall – as height increases perceived value – and uses only cloth or raffia ribbon, making for a very attractive presentation. Leailia of Mrs. B’s Baskets then showed a few of the components that she uses in her baskets, such as a variety of nuts that can be personally labeled for the recipient, a new product called Viagro-white chocolate dyed blue with Viagro stamped into the face, and an older product that Leailia has used for the last seven years, Amy Lasley’s Rocky Mountain Salsa, which is made in Ft. Collins, Colorado with no preservatives. She wanted us to taste test it and passed around the jar for everyone to take a taste, by the way – it is very, very good!! Leailia then showed off some of her latest creations-the first was the Grill Tray-this includes a tray with all the grilling tools you need, barbecue sauce, a kabob kit and salt and pepper shakers in the shape of a grill and fire extinguiser, the cost runs around 50.00. The next basket Leailia showed us was the Garden Tote-this is a mini version, there are 6 miniature gardening tools that work and English teas, a tea cup and lavender organic soap, this runs about 55.00. Her next creation was the Movie Bucket, this one is in a popcorn bucket, filled with movie theater candy, popcorn and you can include a gift certificate for a movie theater or a dvd of their favorite movie, cost on this can run from 40.00-60.00 depending on how much stuff you want to include. Very cute!! For the Golf Fan in your life – Leailia brought out a mini golf bag that is actually a cooler, in the display she showed us she had added a baseball cap, a couple sleeves of balls, some dark chocolate golf balls, a golf towel and water. This “basket” costs between 50.00 and 60.00, once again depending on the items you want to load in it. The last item Leailia brought out was a Picnic Basket, this wicker basket is perfect for that Sunday outing and included a blanket, cutting board and knife, sausage and wine cheese, salmon, dark chocolate, red wine and wine glasses. The cost on this can run from 65.00 to 129.00.

Leailia at Mrs. B’s Baskets will fill your gift giving needs with a unique and personal gift basket!

Leailia Bartleson * Mrs. B’s Basket * 303.278.6433 or 888.281.4422 *

“Where Old Fashioned Service is Our Gift to You!”


Our second speaker today was Ginger Kaiser of Willows Floral in Lakewood, Colorado. She spoke to us today about selecting and caring for cut flowers. Ginger tells us that a beautiful bouquet of fresh cut flowers can turn any room into a garden, whether you get them as a gift or buy them for yourself. Sometimes even the best gardener can have trouble keeping their cut flowers fresh and beautiful indoors. A lot of the life of fresh cut flowers depends on how fresh they are when you buy them.

Ginger gave us a couple tips on buying flowers.

Take a look at the stems – they should be green and smooth not slimy or yellow.

  1. When buying a bouquet – check to make sure that the water is clear and fresh.

  2. Watch for broken stems or drooping buds.

Once you find your flowers and get them home, Ginger gave us a couple tips for keeping them fresh:

  1. Keep them cool until you can get them in water, don’t leave them your car while making that last stop before getting home.

  2. Make a fresh cut about 1 inch from the bottom of the stem.

  3. Make sure your vase and all cutting tools are clean.

  4. Remove all the leaves that will be under the level of the water.

  5. You should only use about 1/3 of the flower food that comes with your bouquet – you can use the rest when you change then water.

  6. Keep fresh flowers out of direct sunlight and drafty windows.

  7. Change the water frequently – every other day is good.

Finally Ginger gave us a list of flowers with a long vase life and these are the flowers she spoke about:

  1. Alstremeria – usually seen in white, although the ones Ginger had today where a deep burgundy, the flower is bell shaped and has a freckled or spotted appearance. I thought the burgundy was quite beautiful.

  2. Anthirium – these are a tropical plant with usually a red or pink with a large stamen of a contrasting color, normally waxy in appearance, although more expensive than most these are a wonderful addition to any bouquet!

  3. Bells of Ireland – a green foliage that has a flower like appearance up the stem. Ginger showed us a sample and we all agreed, although we had never seen it – it was really different and something we would use!

  4. Blue Lepto – which is mostly used as a filler flower has the look of cherry blossoms but are blue.

  5. Chrysanthemums – a flower we are all familiar with and is also used as a filler flower because of its large variety of colors.

  6. Carnations – not Ginger’s favorite, but also comes in a wide variety of colors and does come in a miniature version that has become very popular in bouquets.

  7. Dianthus – most of us think of this as a annual for your garden but added to a bouquet with it’s small bright red, purple, pink or white flowers, they just pop!

  8. Lilies – of any variety are really long lasting although the Asiatic Lilies are less expensive and are just as colorful and last just as long as the typical Stargazer Lilies. Keep in mind when picking them out to look for stems that have the most buds that will bloom long after you bring them home!

  9. Orchids – once again on the expensive side most orchids are bright in color and add a lot to a bouquet and they will last up to tens days in a vase.

  10. Spider Mums – this is a unique flower that comes in yellow, white and pink and adds style to your bouquet.

  11. Sunflowers – this is a bright and cheery flower that makes everyone smile and lasts up to 10 days in a vase.

  12. Daisies – another cheery flower on the lower end of the price range – just remember do not buy the dyed daisies as they have a really short life span – because of the dye.

  13. Roses – when buying roses look for the freshest cut and the tightest buds this will go a long way in keeping them around for a long time. One other thing to keep in mind with roses is that you need to keep cutting the stem so the flower can draw the water up to help it bloom and look it’s best.

    If you need a bouquet for any occasion for any call Ginger Kaiser at Willows Floral for the best flowers for the best price!

    Ginger Kaiser * Willows Floral * 303.989.6446