it's in the cups

Noni MorrisonJune 3, 2005

We have a new concept we are trying this weekend, which is the Garden Tour weekend.

DH is to pick up a sleeve of 20 oz plastic drink cups today. HE will use his(I forget the name of the tool) to burn a hole in the middle of each lid. The hole will be just big enough for the stems, We will set them in our stand cup holder and people can take them home all ready to travel, even if they come from off island. We will not have to fuss with rubber bands or sleeves (And buy them) We will not hav to carry flower food to fill the cups. We will not have to wash the cups. If this works out we can get the cups by the case at Costco. DH can whip me up a divider to fit in my plastic milk crates that I haul the flowers in. I should be able to fit 9-12 bouquets in a crate, depending on the shapes of the flowers each week. HE can make me a nine and a 12...of light weight wood or plastic. Gee, suppose I could sell them by the 6-pack?!

We will advertise "Flowers to go". A lot of times we have had customers ask if they could have one of the containers (OR they have taken them) because they are staying at the hotel across the street, or they live off Island and are just over sightseeing, or they want to take them to someone in the hospital off island.

I can't wait to try it! Besides, I forgot to buy more rubber bands yesterday :( Well, better g o put some bouquets together for today and get them down there.....

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GrassIsEvil(z6 TN)

Have you looked at the four-drink carriers fast food places, especially the retro drive-ins, use? They even have a handle for convenient carrying.

You might also check with the factories in your area. They may use the same large boxes for all parts, but use cardboard dividers to pack different kinds of parts. These are sturdy and they're already cut, so they might let you recycle them.

I know it's early with the idea, but you can get cups printed with your name or logo for a reasonable price. You won't want to invest that until you see how this goes, but it's an idea.

Ray

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 7:39PM
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susiq(NW AR 6B)

Do those cups have lids? I've only seen lids at fast food places, not at the grocery store when you buy a package. Otherwise, I think its a WAY cool idea. Brava to you for thinking of it!

My friend runs an upscale gift shop and regularly prints school/wedding/team logos on soft drink cups for an event, but those I think are mostly styrofoam. Maybe a few clear plastic. If there are no/few print shops on your island, check w/ the wedding invitation people and/or gift shops. They may have printing possibilities.

Susi

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 8:13PM
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Noni Morrison

WAY COOL IDEAS, folks! I was able to get a sleeve of 50 20 oz clear plastic cups with lids for about $6. I have the first dozen loaded with flowerfood and bouquets and packed in my crates ready to roll...Hubby picked up the cups at a "Cash and Carry Grocery" (subs of Associated Groceries). THe lids come in seperate sleeves of 50. They come with an X already cut in them for a straw. I tried burning bigger holes with a sodering iron but it was easier just to punch the X bigger with a knife. I also found that after they were filled I could sink them into a bucket of water to top the water level up..done quite quickly.

Now, we see whether they will fit in the holes in the stand without falling through! IF so, if is a GO! 6 cups of "FLowers to GO" fit well in each crate.

Furthur report tomorrow....

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 2:15AM
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Fundybayfarm(z5westernN.S.)

Great idea! I'm looking forward to the results.
Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 6:57AM
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crdahlia(z8bWA)

What a great idea! I'm also looking forward to results. Hope you took a picture and post it so we can see what size your bouquet is, and how it looked.

Teresa

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 8:01AM
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Noni Morrison

Well, sold the usual amount. I think I just have 3 customers on Sat evenings. 2 pay full price. One buys 2 bouquets. And one buys a $5 bouquet for $1. It's when someone does this regularly that it ticks me off big time! Not enough money to sit for hours and monitor. Just enought to be really annoying and feel insulted to think that they value my gorgoues flwoers so little. SUre hoping that with summer folk coming in the next few weeks I sell more.

However the cups worked out great! I need the next size up or to make the holes in the stand smaller but this sure beats sleeves and rubber bands. NOw I will be able to set up all the cups in a row and mass produce the bouquets...greenery in, fillers in, main events in, done. THe crates are lighter to carry, set up is less messy, and the flowers seem to like it.

So going to try what ever the next sizeup from 20 oz is. However, if you were making a new stand for this, the 20 oz size is quite adequate. As it was I set them into the plastic drinking glasses we have been using. I am going to look for some foam tape to run around the inside of the holes and see if that will narrow the circumference enough.
Will send my photos to our faithful photo female...(Can't resist alliteration, LOL)...

Liza

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 11:37AM
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flowerfarmer

Spiffy idea. What is the next size up from 20 oz? I'm not real fond of the idea of a preprinted logo, nor do I think some of my multi-bucko yacht owning customers would be either. But, then again they simply think I can just give them one of my flower containers. I used to sell them; but, it is a big hassle trying to replace them during the season. I don't want customers calling for special orders; and, I really don't want them showing up at the farm. Don't I just sound like a Scrooge? I love the "Flowers to go" idea.

What kind of person is stuffing the one dollar into the money box? That makes me angry. This is the new location. Right?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 7:26PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Standby for photos of "Flowers to Go." Beautiful Liza! Who'd have guessed you could cram so much beauty into one 20 oz cup? Love the colors, especially of June Gold, my favorite color combos. I wish you great success with this. I've previously used an empty drink cup with lid for one single giant dahlia but this is sheer genius. The cups are a great idea because there's less chance of spilling, easy to grab and go! They are all lovely.

FLowers to Go:

June Gold:

Some Bouquets:

A Day's work:

Packed to go:

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 9:15PM
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susiq(NW AR 6B)

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Liza! Thanks for the photo-hosting poochella!

Liza, I sure hope we can borrow your idea if the time ever comes where we could use it. Those of you who get to go to farmer's markets could use it big-time. I'm hoping I'll have an opportunity one day to use your idea.

Your flowers are gorgeous!

Susi.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 11:44PM
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Noni Morrison

THAnks, Susi! Just have to solve the problem of the holes being cut too big in the stand..really don't want to ask DH to cut a new one...those holes were hard to do! Had a good day of sales today and 80% of them even paid for their purchases.....;-O. And you are all welcome to my idea....I have gotten such good ones from all of you! I love Garden Web!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:06AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Liza - these are great! I want to hear feedback on the cups! This sure makes it easier...no sleeves! Your bouquets are beautiful too! Are you also using hardy geraniums in some of those? Looks like Johnson's Blue?

I like seeing your workspace as well! It's soooo helpful to see how others organize things!
Great job!
Wendy

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 11:44AM
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Noni Morrison

Wendy, those are indeed hardy geraniums...I think they may be related to Johnson's Blue but they have deep purple in the Center. They also come on earlier. THey have good hard stems and hold up pretty well. MY Johnson's hasn't started blooming yet. SOrry, I lost the tag on the one that is blooming.

Yes, you are seeing the top of my new workbench I got my hubby to build last fall. IT is 8' long with a double stainless sink in the middle (He found it at a recycle place). SO it has 2 shelves below the counter, and the little half shelf above that is perfect for setting finished bouquets on as I work. I also use this for a potting bench so... frequent shuffling of materials, but I have a hose bringing water to the faucets and another on a sprayer head at the side. It cost about $200 to build and I am glad I spent the money. It is built of cedar. I would love to add a shade canopy over it as it faces into the sun and can get quite hot there in mid summer. However it is a nice place to work in the evening or early morning.Only thing I would do different is to extend the lattice back down to the ground, as my cat goes through and knocks off empty containers into the garden on the other side of this, LOL. ON the other side of the workbench I Put in a bed with clematis to climb the lattice and pink cone flowers(Ruby Giant and Razzmatazz) with strawberries around the edge. Real easy to keep it watered with the sprayer head hose right there.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 12:44PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

oh oh, I cleaned out my Photo bucket and now I see the red X on a couple! Sorry gang. "June Gold" is the blue/yellow arrangement to the far right in top photo.

"Packed to go" were all of the bouquets packed for travel in plastic crates.

Liza, how did people like the cups o' flowers?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 3:24PM
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PrettyPosies(z5 CT)

In "Flowers To Go", what's the yellow daisy-form flower in the far right bouquet? Always looking for something new to grow for spring. Hope it'll go in zone 5 where I am.

Love your combinations. I'm hoping to develop a second sense of what goes with what, so I can build up some speed when making bouquets. I take way too long.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 7:01AM
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crdahlia(z8bWA)

Thanks so much for sending the pictures -- they are great! I've alwlays wanted to do a
"mobile" flower truck -- you know, like the ice cream trucks that go through the neighborhood playing a song. (I know I could find something appropriate to play.) Can't you just see all the housewives running out to buy a bouquet? With your great-cup idea, I may just give this a try.Teresa

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 8:28AM
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Noni Morrison

Pretty Posies, the yellow flower I think was a doronicum daisy,...about the only one that has not been eaten by slugs as I await the growth of my baby ducks to keep the slug population down.

Teresa, love the idea of a flower wagon! Hppe it works out for you...! I have thought about that (daydreamed about that...) I thought "WHO WILL BUY?" from the music Oliver..."My Wild Irish ROse", "Daisy, Daisy", "In an English Country Garden".

Liza

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 10:16AM
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PrettyPosies(z5 CT)

I'm not good at judging size from your photos - What's the tallest arrangement you've found you can do in a cup? I wouldn't want one of my bouquets to topple over when a customer sets it down - they're usually 18", sometimes to 24".

Sure would be a neat alternative to the bag and tie method I'm using now. I'd love to send all my flowers off in water.

I could get littler cups for my nosegays.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 2:32PM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

My goodness, what an awesome idea! I was trying to think of ways to sell them roadside, gee, mind if I borrow your idea? The cup that is, the flowers to go is alllllll yours, lol. Your bouquets are just beautiful, good work!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 2:56PM
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Noni Morrison

I set the cups down into the cut out rings in the stand that Flowers4You (wendy from Oregon) showed us a while back. We came up with our own version of it that has 2 tiers of half circles with cup sized cut outs. Now my 20 oz cups sit down almost to the rims in the circles so they are very stable. I did one that had two foxgloves in it that was a little tippy when out of the holder...those were probably about 24", just as a guess. My partner is trying out 24 oz cups at her stand. WIll see how they go and reevaluate when the ones I have bought began to run out. Probably when the glads start we will want taller cups.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Patty_WI(z4 WI)

Liza Lily or Wendy could you possibly repost the how-to on the stand for the flower vases? Or e-mail me with the picts?

The Thursday market that I sell at has moved to a new site and boy is it windy! I have a friend who is willing to make me a stand and I thought yours sounded perfect. I'd appreciate it!

Also, where do you find the cups with the lids? I've searched the stores around here with no luck.

Thank you! Patty

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 12:01PM
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Noni Morrison

PATTY, my hubby foudn them at a wholesale grocery. We also found them in 200 count at COstco. You buy the lids seperate but they carry them too.

SEnd me your address, Patty and I will send you photos of my stand. If you look back through the archives last fall or winter we were talking about our stands and Wendy posted her photos as well as several other people.

My Email is LilyMoLady@aol.com

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 12:51AM
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MPosey

Would the lids that already have an opening in the top work as well? I am thinking about the kind that Sonic Drive-In uses to make Sonic Blasts. The lid is dome shaped and has a hole that is used to "swirl" the ice cream and goodies together. Some quick marts use these for "icees" as well. The opening would not have to be cut. Would the opening be large enough?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 9:09AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Patty - my stand for vase arrangements is posted under booth displays. However, it almost blew over last Saturday! It doesn't have a piece on the backside to keep it from tipping...so, I ended up using cinderblocks and bungee cords (borrowed from my neighbor vendor) on Saturday! IT was very windy and I found that the vase on the top tier was top heavy (I put my tallest, showiest on the top...so, another factor to consider!), I ended up standing by the stand and prepared to grab the vase if necessary! I think if I did this again, I'd go with two tiers of shelves and keep them at about 18" and 3' high respectively and put the display in the least windy spot of the booth. Let me know if you can't retrieve the pictures.
Customers love this new site, but for vendors it is more windy and definitely hot! Not as much shade!

Wendy

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 1:21PM
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honeybunny442(z6 TN)

Liza, your arrangements are simply gorgeous and the person who stuffed $1 for a bouquet will certainly have bad karma!
Susan
what a great idea with the cups- they look good!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 2:21PM
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Patty_WI(z4 WI)

Wendy,
Call me a dim bulb, but I can't find that thread. I typed booth displays under the search option here and then tried to find archives by doing a google with garden web and booth displays with no luck.
Your new locale sounds like our new one, sunny and gusty. It is in a parking lot near a freeway. The traffic noise makes it really loud too.

This is only my 2nd year growing and marketing, but I find it wonderful how willing to share and help the other venders are at my market. It was great the neighbor vendor of yours lent you his stuff.

I think that with your stand and Lizalily's cups it will make the market MUCH easier. Thanks both of you!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 8:08AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Patty - I can't find it either...I'm not sure "where" it went! And, I haven't figured out how to find it!
Wendy

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 12:11PM
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Patty_WI(z4 WI)

Well, at least I'm not the only one. Thanks for trying!

Patty

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 7:24AM
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jansblooms(z4 IA)

I was frustrated yesterday and today, too, in being unable to check previous posts, so I've sent a message to Garden Web, explaning that the Search link is not functioning. Hopefully they'll fix it soon!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:23AM
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crdahlia(z8bWA)

Just wanted to pass on a great bargain I found yesterday. Since my bouquets are primarily dahlias, I need large cups. I was at a local liquidation store and found 40 OUNCE plastic coke cups with lids for $1 a sleeve of 16, including lids or $10 for a case of 192. I bought 3 sleeves to give them a try before I commit to a case that I have absolutely no room for in my garage. These are a dark green, and the Coke logo is very subdued. Quite appropriate for a bouquet of flowers. Hope others are able to find these.

Teresa

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 7:48AM
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Noni Morrison

I had one of my customers come up to tell me today that she loved the cups of flowers. She said she loved putting â hem in her drinks holder and driving around with a whole bouquet! Made her feel like a luxury car with a bouquet holder but instead of a daisy she has the whole works. LOL. I did remind her not to leave them in the car in the sun.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 11:05PM
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paveggie(z5-6)

Loved your idea. Local Sam's club had package of colored transparent cups (Prairieware "Vibrant") in blue, orange, red and green. They are only 16 oz. but do for some of my smaller flowers. Accidentally bought the wrong lid tho I'm able to make them do (had already opened and messed around with them, so couldn't return). Have only used them for a couple of weeks, but found them very handy for folks in a hurry on a hot day or who aren't going right home from market.

Generally use soda bottle with top trimmed off for these situations, but the color cups add a splash of jazz, too.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 2:46PM
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sherrym(TNzone7)

Thanks for this great idea!

I've been using 20 oz styrofoam cups, with lids, to sell the "short stems" that I end up with while cleaning up the flowers. The white seems to bring out the bright colors of the flowers.

Kids love em! And, they are quick and easy for people going to visit folks in the hospital, or elderly parents, etc.

I found the cups at Wal-Mart, without the lids, but the in-store MacDonald's had lids to fit. They were generous enough to let me have a few for trial. Works great!

And - I took some leftovers to the local soup kitchen Saturday. Perfect for them - they can just throw them away when they fade.

Thank you!

Sassy Stems

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 4:22PM
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Noni Morrison

This weekend we are providing flowers for a beach wedding. We will pack the "bucket of flowers" in the cups and at the beach Âhey can just set Âhe cups down in the sand to hold them! No worry about glass breaking, spilled vases in the wind, etc! And the cups will be filled with flowers short enough to fit into an ice chest.

ANother thing I love about using the cups is that when I have flowers left over I can dump them and run the cups and lids through the dishwasher and re-use them. Didn't work that well with plastic sleeves!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 8:52PM
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magz88(5a - Central Ontario)

I know this is a super old thread, but I just want to say that I love this idea. I used water bottles and brought them to yesterday's market. I brought 9 bouquets and sold all but 1. One woman didn't want the bottle and just took the flowers.

I am using the water bottles that are heat wrapped with plastic so that all I have to do is cut off the wrapping and sterilize the bottle. I am happy to be able to reuse existing bottles rather than purchase new ones.

I am using the Aquafina Vitamins Plus bottles that have a nice shape to them.

Here is a pic of one of my little bottle bouquets.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:54PM
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flower_farmer(5/6 MI)

Cute idea with the Aquafina Vitamins Plus bottles. Could you please share the price of your bouquet?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:30PM
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magz88(5a - Central Ontario)

$5 per bottle.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:22PM
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flower_farmer(5/6 MI)

That is kinda what I figured; however, your dollar is worth more than ours.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 12:23AM
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paveggie(z5-6)

Every time a customer remarks about a bouquet with the cup-to-good, I think of (and thank) LizaLily for the idea. Customers, kids especially, get a kick out of the convenience. I've been using the idea since '05. (yep, I posted before.) I didn't have access to the 20 oz size at the time. So, I've used the colored plastic ones at 16 oz. That works fine for my medium bouquets.

One day I got quite a chuckle. I was using see-through plastic cups. One little girl picked out a "clear" red one and wanted to know why I dyed the water red. Leave it to a kid!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:42AM
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Noni Morrison

Just checked back in here as I am ordering flower seeds. How good it made me feel to see people still loving my idea! And yes, I still use it too. Have been frustrated this past year by not being able to find both cups and lids in the 24 oz size I Like best at Costco. I am having to use 20 oz and they are out of proportion to my flowers.

Business seemed really good most days here this summer. I now have a stand near my house as well as the one on the main road down our island.

Last year, due to back problems, I tried just selling dahlias with what ever shrubs or perennials I had. This year I am planting every annual I have enjoyed in the past and can find room for! Hubby has retired and is around to help out with more of the heavy work, plus I now have a diagnosis on the spinal problems and am getting treatment for them. So this gardener has no intention of just "wilting away", LOL.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 10:21AM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Hi, I don't sell flowers, but I often do bring in flowers from my garden to work. I agree that plastic cups or water bottles are great, and they fit in my car's cup holder which is my main 'vase' criteria.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Noni Morrison

You can go as high in the cup as you can balance the bottom. Try washing some natural pebbles (otherwise they will muddy the water) ad filling the bottom of the cup to offset the height. We do that for beach weddings, etc or picnic tables for outdoor weddings.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:23PM
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