Handpicked Perfection 8

Eric Luoma of Cactus Flower Florists shares some easy steps for recreating his “Roadsidia” bouquet

Cactus Flower imports blooms from around the world. But when Eric Luoma wants something that looks, feels and smells like Scottsdale, he keeps his eye peeled on the side of the road and creates a “Roadsidia” bouquet. He has a good sense of humor, but also recognizes the value in slowing down to smell the creosote.

How-To

  1. Forage for an assortment of greenery, such as creosote, which smells sweet like rain even when its dry. Other common desert plants such as sage, brittlebush, white flowers from a blooming yucca, senna and Mexican bird of paradise can be found alongside the road or in your yard.
  2. Trim one-half inch off each stem and place the flowers and greenery in water as soon as possible.
  3. Arrange your new flora in a vase or container at home and combine with other fresh flowers.

See how-to videos on CactusFlower.com for additional design tips from floral experts.

 About Cactus Flower Florists

How Passion Bloomed into a Business

Everyone has a flower story, but few compare to that of Eric Luoma. He’s been in the flower business since he was four years old, giving him a lifetime of colorful memories. His mother, Sharron, was passionate about flowers. In the 1970s, she opened a flower shop and became one of the first women entrepreneurs in Scottsdale. And although one may think she named her business after the beautiful blooms in the desert, she didn’t. Sharron named it after her favorite movie starring Goldie Hawn, Cactus Flower.

Cactus Flower Florists has always been a family affair, and their current location is only 100 feet from where it all began. The torch was passed to Eric and his sister, Kristina Dyrr, in the mid 1990s, and their dad joined the team when he retired from Honeywell.

However, the business has changed since the days when the Luoma children dressed up as Easter bunnies and elves to deliver flowers. Expanding to five retail stores in the Valley now allows them to share quality flowers and thoughtful gifts with people from across the country, but the important things remain the same.

“Our family has been helping the community celebrate life’s milestones for 45 years,” says Eric. “We give people a place to go when they don’t know what to say or how to say it.”

Find a store near you at CactusFlower.com and explore more options at FlowerShop.com.

Fun Flower Facts

Air Purifier:

It’s good to have live plants around your office and home to help filter toxins and air pollutants. Date, areca and bamboo palms are the best at removing toxins; there is nothing more natural to clean your air with.

Edible Flowers:

Corn flower, marigolds and rose petals are edible flowers and used in salads at fine restaurants.

Trendy Carnations:

The price of the carnation is almost the same as when Cactus Flower opened in 1972. It’s often overlooked as a common flower, but it comes in a variety of surprising scents, shapes and colors.

Longest Lasting: Go tropical if you’re looking for a flower to last a couple of weeks. Cactus Flower flies in tropical stems all the way from Costa Rica and Thailand.

Pricey Flowers:

The Phalaenopsis orchid is the most expensive flower purchased by Cactus Flower. It has a four-foot stem covered with blooms and costs $100. Lilly of the Valley is coveted by many brides, and costs between $50 to $75 a stem. The small, delicate flower is six to eight inches long and can usually only be purchased for two or three weeks during the winter.

Most Popular:

The rose is the most symbolic and requested flower. It comes in thousands of colors, fragrances and styles. “Roses remind some people of their childhood, while others associate them with romance or Valentine’s Day,” says Eric. “They are fragrant, beautiful and bring happiness to those who receive them.”