view current print edition







Greenery garlands — versatile, multipurpose and dependably profitable

If you’d asked me 10 years ago about using greenery garlands for your events, I would have responded with something like, “Oh they are gorgeous aisle runners and create beautiful swagging for railings.” Which is a totally accurate statement and on point with the ways we saw garlands used back then. Fast forward to 2018 and my response would be closer to, “Garlands are a staple tool in today’s floral industry. They can stand alone or be a huge help mechanically in a variety of ways.”

What changed? Almost everything. We are seeing a surge in floral greens use in general, due to some fantastically organic-style design trends, so garlands are being used regularly in events and weddings.

WOODLAND-STYLE-GARLAND There is a surge in floral greens use, due to organic-style design trends, so garlands are being used regularly in events and weddings. Florists and event companies are using garlands for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. First, garlands have a very clear-cut profit margin. Second, floral greens have tons of shade variance; from grey to bluish tones, to dark green and mahogany tones and everything in between, so there are options for any color palette. Finally, garlands are very multipurpose. Drape them, lay them, swag them, wrap them, swing from the ceiling on them … well not literally, but you get the picture — they’re versatile.

Let’s talk about profitability. Hard goods -— which are how I would classify garlands, regarding pricing — are very cut and dry. They warrant a straight markup, often 1.5 to 2.5 times your cost.

Garlands require no labor, except the labor it takes to put them in place at your event or wedding. In most cases, you will be calculating your set up charges as part of your overall budget, taking into consideration anything that drives set up to a higher percentage cost such as hanging things from ceilings that may require a rigger or a prolonged set up time frame.

Garlands are a fresh product, but have little to no waste, creating a dependable profit margin. Where you really come out ahead is in your timesaving. This part is important when considering pre-made greens bouquets for holiday pre-greening, wreaths, candle rings, garlands, pre-greened containers, anything that takes some of the labor out of your hands. Very few florists accurately calculate labor — even with industry guides to help — and having a tool like garlands eliminates errors that take money out of your pocket.

Textures are the talk of our floral world right now and color trends continue to evolve. Garlands offer the best “backdrop” for any color trend. With over 85 different varieties of floral greens grown in the Central Florida area — “greens” are not just green anymore. Versatility in styles, textures, and colorations will continue to allow garlands a chameleon’s role in the floral industry. They can be anything you need them to be. The options in how you use garlands are just as versatile as the colors and styles.

To me, garlands are viewed as a tool just like my knife or UGLU adhesive. How can I make this event easier to produce? What areas of this wedding can I use a floral greens timesaver? The more I can insert a garland into the base of a design element, the faster and more profitable I will become.

Jennifer Strickland is director of sales and marketing at the Alpha Fern Company in Pierson, FL. She can be contacted at