Articles By Iva Tanurkova

“Pearls” – styled photo-shoot for Wedding Planners Magazine

“Pearls” – vintage urban styled photo-shoot published in The Wedding Planner Magazine winter edition was a result of a beautiful collaboration with talented wedding professionals.  We had the opportunity to decorate and shoot at the Burroughes building in Toronto. Extremely talented Marcie Costello from Marcie Costello was behind the camera that produced these stunning images. I had the absolute pleasure to create the floral arrangements.

Many thanks to all who participated in this amazing photo-shoot (full list bellow).

You can find a copy of the publication in your local Chapters & Indigo stores. I hope you will enjoy these amazing images.



Here is the amazing team that helped put this Photo Shoot together:

Marcie Costello Photography

Floral Design
Floraville Design Studio

Patricia’s Cake Creations

Bridal Gown
Gown and Glory Consignment Boutique

Bridal jewellery and accessories
Accessories by Talia

Hair and Make up

Katerina Papoport

Make up:
Rachel Jones


The Burroughes

Décor Rentals
Happily Ever After Events Inc.

Model agency
Wild Card Experience 






How to properly pin a boutonnière!

Let me show you a trick on how to properly pin a boutonnière or corsage like a pro.

Creating beautiful floral arrangements is my passion. It’s a hard but very rewarding work and I love every second of it. Making personal flowers like corsages and boutonnières, take some time and these little masterpieces must be presented properly. The wedding season is in full swing and I have seen a few times boutonnières pinned the wrong way or people struggling to attached them.

This might come in handy next time you need to attach a personal flowers:


A boutonnière should sit over the button hole on the left lapel of the wearer’s suit. You should not see any pins holding the boutonnière in place.


There are other ways to attach personal flowers. A magnet or a safety pin can be used. These options must be discussed in advance with your florist, as they required certain mechanics and both the magnet and the safety pin have to be securely inserted in the boutonnière. Please keep in mind that magnets are no recommended to be used in personal flowers for small kids or people with pacemakers.

Happy pinning!















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Wedding Industry Experts 2014 Awards – Most Popular New Floral Designer in Mississauga!





We have just entered the Wedding Industry Experts 2014 Awards.

It’s official!  Floraville Design Studio has entered the Wedding industry Experts, 2014 Awards in the category of Most Popular New Floral Designer in Mississauga.  We want to send a message to our future clients that we are proud of the level of service we deliver for every client and prove that those who know us are happy to support us.

About the Awards
Each year the Wedding Industry Experts Awards attract a vast array of world class wedding professionals and related businesses of all sizes, from across the globe.  The awards are now the largest international popularity competition for Wedding Professionals worldwide and we are proud to be one of the participants.

Our vote page shows our category, location and a description of our service.  There is no judging panel.  Past clients, peers and fans vote for their favourites. In previous years fans could vote more than once.  This year they have limited it to one vote per email address for the duration of the month long voting period.

The voting process is simple.
Fans can cast one vote per email address at any time during the voting period.   They can log into the new awards system via a simple sign-up form, or with ease via their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts.  The number of votes will not be shown on the awards site – just the rank from most votes to least.

Saundra Hadley from Planning Forever Events sums it up best when she says:  “There is nothing more honourable and exciting to win an award for your business. It validates your efforts, your relationship with others and frankly, it’s the cherry on top for your hard work.  It’s comforting to know that people, besides your Mother, think you are special.”

If you think we are worthy of The Most Popular New Floral Designer in Mississauga, please visit our vote page at VOTE FOR FLORAVILLE to cast a vote for us. You can see a sample of our portfolio by opening the PDF file link posted on our voting page.

Voting starts May 1st, 2014 and will close May 31st, 2014.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us to date.  It is through your support and referrals that we can continue to do what we love.


Every vote counts, spread the word!

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Iva Tanurkova & Floraville’s team.

Flower of the month of April – Daffodil!

daffodilYou know that the Spring has arrived when you see Daffodils blooming everywhere!

Narcissus (Daffodil) naturally grows in meadows, woodlands, along watercourses, and in rocky outcroppings up to subalpine altitudes. They are native to Europe, North Africa and West Asia.

Narcissus is a genus of mainly hardy bulbous perennials in the Amaryllis family. Various common names including daffodilnarcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some of the genus. It grows from pale brown-skinned spherical bulbs with pronounced necks. The leafless stems, appearing from early to late spring depending on the species, bear from 1 to 20 blooms.

This is a popular ornamental plant for gardens, parks and as cut flowers, providing color from the end of winter to the beginning of summer. Thousands of varieties and cultivars are available on the market.

All Narcissus species contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves. The sap from the flowers may irritate the skin; the bulb if eaten may cause mild to severe stomach problems.

Daffodil (Narcissus) symbolism

There is no clear evidence that the flower’s name derives directly from the Greek myth of Narcissus, who drowned while gazing at his own reflection in the water. However, the two are firmly linked in popular culture, as illustrated in Salvador Dalí’s painting “Metamorphosis of Narcissus”.

Another Greek myth finds Persephone, daughter of the goddess Demeter, lured to her doom in the Underworld by the god Hades while picking a narcissus flower.

The narcissus is perceived in the West as a symbol of vanity, in the East as a symbol of wealth and good fortune.

The narcissus is a national flower symbolizing the New Year or Newroz in the Kurdish culture.

Various cancer charities around the world, including the American Cancer Society, New Zealand Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia,and the Irish Cancer Society, use the daffodil emblem as a fundraising symbol. “Daffodil Days”, first instituted in Toronto in 1957 by the Canadian Cancer Society, are organized to raise funds by offering the flowers in return for a donation.

Daffodil is a very popular cut flower available on the market in early spring. Cut stems produce a slimy sap that is toxic to many flowers, including roses, carnations, freesias and tulips. Flowers are ethylene sensitive. In other words do not combine daffodils with the above mentioned flowers and keep them away form fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas.

Enjoy a bouquet of fresh cut daffodils or a pot of blooming ones this Spring!

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Flower Budget

budgetLet’s talk about Flower Budget. What’s included in the quote that you were given by your florist and what to expect when planning an event.

The key elements for a great party are: good location, great food, music for everybody to dance, great décor and lot’s of fun. A beautiful floral arrangement it’s a good ice breaker at the table; to get the conversation started.

Having said that a good floral décor comes with a price and it should be included in the initial planning process. When organizing an event, any event: wedding, corporate party, family affair, etc. it is recommended to set a side 10%-15% of the total you want to spent for flowers. This is just a recommendation, but it’s a good start.

Always book an appointment with a professional florist to discus your ideas and to get a quote. The prices given to you by different florist will vary, depending on what they normally charge for their products, labor and delivery and set up.

A lot of customers are surprised to see some of these charges, for them it’s just flowers. Why does it cost more to do an event floral design, then just a regular bouquet?

There are many factors involved. It takes time, hours of work by professional designer; lots of goods are used to make the perfect arrangement; the flowers must be kept at the best conditions in order to look amazing on the big day, every detail counts; delivery and set up are time consuming and must be done on time and perfect state.

In order for a floral studio or shop to do one event, there is weeks in advance preparation. Few days before the event date the real hard work starts. The flowers are ordered in advance and they must be picked up by your florist on time so they can be cleaned, conditioned and monitored before the designs are made. Depending on the size of the event a professional designer or a few are assigned to work on a specific event, which in a busy shop or studio means  that there should be more help and additional staff on hand, which means extra labor charges. Conditioning the flowers is a hard work, literally. There are buckets to be cleaned, filled with water and flower food, not to mention carried around. Then there is the cleaning and prepping of the flowers. Lots of dirty work, accidents do happened some even require medical attention. And there may be a few insects or other animals involved here and there, just to make your day pleasant (they bite, if you don’t see them on time; they arrive with the flowers and remain hidden in the leaves). Vases need to be washed and prepped as well before any one can start to design or as many customers say “play with flowers”.

Now the design process takes time and a lot of skills to be done properly, the flowers to last and look at their best for the event date. Wires, tape, tubes, sharp knifes, cutters, shears, pins, slippery floors, you name it. Lots of tools and little things are used and happen behind the designers table. It takes patience, concentration and no time to waste. The most time consuming work is making personal flowers – corsages and boutonnières, those cute little things. I’ll be honest it takes twice the time of making a bridal bouquet to do one corsage.

What should be considered when a quote is given? (and this goes for both sides on the table – florist and consumer)

-         cost of flowers

-         cost of greens

-         cost of vases

-         Other materials used (foam, wires, ribbons, tape, etc.)

-         Labor

-         Delivery based on location

-         Set up / tear down fee

-         Taxes are always extra

Most florists will not give a very detailed quote in regards what’s exactly is included in the price, in terms of flower stem count or labor charges. The reason why that is it’s because is hard to know in advance exactly how many stems will be used. We are working with live materials and most of the times they are not perfect size or shape and we have to compensate that by adding more or taking some away in order to create the design we want. Same goes for labour charges. There are designs that require more time and specific skills to be done. For example there should be different labor charges for doing a hand-tied style bouquet and cascading bouquet, event if the flower stem count is the same. Cascading style bouquet requires more time, more other materials are used; some of the flowers must be wired, so the price is higher.

When you go for your appointment be ready to disclose your budget and be realistic in your expectations. Show pictures of designs that you like and have fun choosing your flowers.

Happy planning! 

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Beautiful fresh cut flowers – how to make them last!


flower_careAs flower lover I always take a detailed care to ensure my flowers stay as fresh and beautiful as possible and so can you.

To achieve maximum enjoyment and longevity from your fresh flowers, you need to provide them with a little care when they arrive at your door.

What is required is very simple. Here are a few easy steps that will ensure your flowers will look great and last for as long as possible.

Start with a clean vase and clean water! Bacteria are the number one cause for short vase life of fresh cut flower bouquets. Bacteria and fungi are everywhere and are ready to enter the cut surface of the stem and multiply. A plant’s root system serves as a filter to limit dirt, micro-organisms and chemicals from entering and blocking the plant’s ability to absorb water. When the flower is cut off from its life-sustaining root system, it loses this vital filter. Prior to actual decay symptoms, cells of the water-transporting tissues can become blocked with micro-organisms, inhibiting water uptake.

It is very important to always use clean vase and water in order to protect and preserve the flowers.

Use the Flower Food sachet, provided by your florist. While the flower is attached to the plant, it receives nourishment allowing it to grow and develop. When cut from the plant, it loses its source of nourishment and water.

Flower Food has been developed to simulate the flower’s original environment, it allows the flowers to fully develop and can increase the vase life of cut flowers. Commercial Fresh Flower Food is scientifically developed formula, carefully balanced mixture generally containing:

 Sucrose (sugar) – it serves as a source of energy (food). Like all other living things flowers require food energy. Too much sugar can be a bad thing, as it can “force” the life cycle of the flower to proceed faster than normal.

 Acidifier - most water supplies are alkaline and can reduce the life of cut flowers, an acidifier will help bring the waters pH closer to the acid pH of the cell sap. Slightly acidic water is taken up more readily through the stems than water that is neutral or alkaline. The acidifier also aids in stabilizing the pigment and the colour of the flowers.

Bactericide - designed to limit the growth of bacteria in the water. Bacteria, just like the flowers are growing on sugar. Because cells of the water-transporting tissues in flowers can become blocked with microorganisms, inhibiting the flowers ability to hydrate and severely reducing longevity we need something to limit it bacteria’s growth, in order to protect the flowers.

Follow the directions on the package and always use the recommended amount.

Always re-cut Stems & Remove Foliage. Make sure to always re-cut the stems (preferably at an angle) removing at least an inch of the stem. Use a sharp knife or clippers and avoid crushing the stem and therefore the vascular system. The slanted cut opens more stem area for hydration and prevents the end of the stem from resting directly on the bottom of the vase blocking the water flow.

Leaves sitting in water will deteriorate and rot. Decaying leaves are a good medium for bacteria and fungi, which will plug the stems and prevent hydration. Do not remove all leaves along the stem; the flowers require the leaves as part of their hydration process, only the one that will go below the water level. Check the water level daily and replenish as needed. If the water becomes cloudy, it should be completely exchanged for fresh.

Keep flowers away from drafts, direct sunlight, and ripening fruits, which emit ethylene gas, which can causes buds to remain closed, petals to have poor colour, and flowers to have a shortened vase life. Discard wilted blooms.

Enjoy your dose of fresh flowers. Recommended daily!

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Gerbera daisy – flower of the month of February!




It’s been a long and cold winter here in North America and I need some sun and warmth.

The flower that reminds me of the sun and always makes me very happy is the strikingly beautiful Gerbera daisy.

Gerbera daisies are so perfect they hardly look real. They bloom in nearly every color (except true blues and purples) and produces large flowers on long, thick, sturdy stems. They last for a week or more in the vase, making them a favourite for fresh-flower bouquets.

It is the fifth most used cut flower in the world after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip.

Gerbera is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber. The first scientific description of a Gerbera was made by J.D. Hooker in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 1889 when he described Gerbera jamesonii, a South African species also known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton Daisy. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African daisy. It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia.

Gerbera daisies mean innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.

This bright, flowering plant is an air purifier very effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom.

Gerbera is also used as a flowering garden plant. Though they’re commonly sold potted as gifts, they can make wonderful additions to any flower garden. Plus, when you grow your own gerbera flowers, you’ll be able to make beautiful cut flower arrangements. In warm areas such as Florida, gerberas grow perennially, but in cooler regions, they should be treated as annuals.

With so many varieties available it’s hard not to love this flower. Bouquets and arrangements made with Gerbera daisies are so cheerful and beautiful.

This is my “happy flower”. What is yours?

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Support the local florist!

One of the biggest events in florist industry had passed and it made me think how all of us can help to support the local florist shop or studio, just around the corner.


First that comes in my mind is build a good friendship with your local florist. Get to know them closer. Stop by every now and then to chat or just to admire our work. We are nice people and love to communicate. Visit us on-line and leave us a note on Facebook or Twitter. Yes, most shops and studios have social media presence. That’s a fun way to communicate and get to know each other.

Second – shop LOCAL! By that I mean call or visit in person your local florist friend, not the grocery store or Teleflora web-site. Why? (This is rather long explanation; I’ll try to make it “short”)

 -The main line of business for the grocery store is NOT FLOWERS. They offer flowers just for the sake of customer’s convenience. Their prices are extremely low just because they buy huge amount of flowers from the suppliers and get huge discounts. Then the flowers are just placed on the store floor for sale. Nobody takes a proper care for the flowers, maybe just change of water and that’s about it. The result is bad quality, waste of money, unhappy recipient.

 -On-line florist channels, aka Wire-service. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use their service at all, just not all the time. There are a lot of local floral stores that are part of the wire service network and this can be a significant amount of their sales. The way it works is the tricky part. When you order trough a florist web-site (that is part of that network) your order goes in one central hub and then it’s redirected to the nearest to the recipient’s postal code florist. So, if you want the store next to you to get that order and arrange a delivery, just call them directly. Another very important detail is that very often you don’t get the arrangement that you see on-line. Most of the pictures that are on the web-site are Luxe or Deluxe option and are made just to attract the customer.

-There is something else about the Wire-service. Big percentage of the customer’s money is taken by fees, service charges and delivery and the florist it self takes vary minimal amount, just about enough to cover the labour and the supplies. There is almost no profit. This is true and it hurts a lot, especially during the peak season.

If you want to send flowers out of town or country, this is a good choice.

I always suggest though looking on-line for a good florist nearby the recipient’s location and calling directly.

What goes behind the curtain in every floral shop on a regular daily basis? Why we charge what we charge? Most florists receive their flowers, fresh from the supplier on a regular basis; everyday or a few times a week, depending on their location and other factors. Then every single flower is processed and conditioned by hand – clean, dethorn, recut, properly hydrated and kept in their perfect condition. The water is changed daily. It’s the same for every studio or event planning company offering flowers.

And that is just for the flowers. There are vases to be cleaned and shined, store to be kept in good looking and attractive condition. That’s a lot of heavy work. We do it with a smile, excitement and pride. For most of us this is our only line of business and for some of us a live long experience.

That’s why we charge more then the grocery store.

When a customer orders directly – by visiting in person or calling the store, we get paid for our hard and beautiful work. Most of my colleagues are well educated and certified professionals, very talented and creative hard workers.

Next time, when you need flowers for you special occasion, think about where you are going to get them – grocery store, on-line or a local artist. Think about how you can support you fellow neighbour, with the neat little shop just around the corner.

I know you will make a smart choice. Thank you for that!


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The legend behind Valentine’s Day.

valentines_day1All across the Globe we are getting ready to celebrate the day of love and romance and I thought it’s a good time to learn more about the legend behind Valentine’s Day and it’s symbols.

Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated on February 14 each year in many countries around the world.

St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular story of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

February 14 was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.*

Celebrate Love, be loved and give love!


Roses are Red
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Carnations are Sweet
And so are you.

And so are they
That send you this
And when we meet
We’ll have a kiss.

Author Unknown



P.S. I love handwritten cards, a lovely bouquet of flowers and a deluxe chocolate!

How about you? Share your Valentine’s Day favourite.

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* as published in Wikipedia

Valentine’s Day roses – why they cost more!



Now that Valentine’s Day is a few weeks away, let’s talk about why do roses cost more on that lovely day.
The simple answer to this is supply and demand. Everybody wants roses!

But here is a little more, if you are interested. As our friends at Daley’s Florist & Country Expressions in US mentioned:

- Growers need to pinch back their crops in order to time them to be ready for mid February. This leads to a period of lost production and income for the grower, which they recover by upping the price of the next crop.

- The amount of labour to harvest all these roses triples for the Valentine’s Day crop. These extra labour charges are also passed along.

- The short days and cold temperatures, (yes even in South America) add to the energy costs needed to produce premium blooms.

- Transportation costs also increase. Most of the roses used today in North America are imported from Ecuador and Columbia. There is such a high demand for the holiday that there is often not enough time to wait for a cargo planes to return empty to pick up the next shipment of roses. The additional freight needed to move all these blooms is reflected in the price.

We all want the BEST! Majority of floral shops are ordering their roses a month or more ahead of time. We know the variety and grower who has the best performing flowers and we are all basically bidding on them to make sure we can offer the best quality.

Here in Canada things can be a bit different, it all depends on the weather conditions. We  always have to keep in mind that we may end up with no flower delivery, do to bad weather.  It almost happened last year. A big snow storm closed the roads in Ontario, a lot of flights were cancelled, and a lot of shipments were delayed. We are working with perishable goods, the flowers can’t be stored more then a few days in advance, so the flower shops can’t stock up a week or two prior to the event. So fingers crossed and let’s hope this year we will have a nice sunny calm week before Valentine’s Day.

What you as a consumer can do to get the most for your money, when you order flowers for the most romantic day of the year:

- Order Early!

- Send a mixed arrangement that includes a few roses.

- Take good care of your investment, change the water and recut the stems every couple days.

Plan ahead Ladies and Gentlemen and enjoy this special day.

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