Congratulations to Rene Van Wingerden of Ocean Breeze Floral Farms on winning this year’s Floral Design Challenge. Hosted by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), the Floral Design Challenge was created to engage California lawmakers to help raise the profile of California’s flower farmers in Sacramento and to help kickoff June as California Grown Flowers Month.
However, this year we had to punt.
The state Assembly decided to work late (until 9 p.m.), which prevented our four legislators from being able compete at this year’s legislative reception. So instead of the four lawmakers we had scheduled to compete, we grabbed our own flower farmers: Lane DeVries of Sun Valley Floral Farms, Benno Dobbe of Holland America and Rene Van Wingerden Ocean Breeze Farms, along with CCFC’s lobbyist George Soares of Kahn, Soares and Conway. Not what they had signed up for that night, but we had them all take the stage and compete against each other for this year’s bragging rights.
It was a sight to see.
When the petals settled and clippers were down, our reception guests were invited to vote for their favorite design. And despite early indications that he wouldn’t be able to finish his design in the five minutes allowed, Rene Van Wingerden was this year’s Floral Design Challenge winner.