“Say it With Flowers,” I think FTD had it right way back when. I have never in my life seen so much expressed with flowers as I saw last night. As the fresh flowers came out of the flower tent to be loaded on to the floats, the emotion was almost overwhelming. So beautiful, so creative, so incredible how everything changed with the addition of the flowers. 106,000 vialed flowers and tens of thousands more carnations, mums and other fresh flowers spread among just 10 floats that were housed in the Rose Palace.
Floats that we saw up close and personal included the Lions Club with their tribute to world peace, a huge dove covered the globe with a ring of flags surrounding the globe. The Oddfellows and Rebekahs created a knight in shining armor, one silverleaf at a time. The City of Glendale started out as my favorite all week, and while I still love it, the addition of flowers brought many more to life. The float has a huge circus elephant pulling a cart – so playful and vibrant, and they were so creative with their materials, now that I think about it, it probably still is my favorite.
The Farmers Insurance Group created a whirlwind of the unimaginable tragedies that can strike, it is clever and huge, very well done and the first float called as “officially complete” last night. LMU (Loyola Marymount) had a proud lion standing in front of a university building, the lion is magnificent, most of the flowers are done in arrangements and were gorgeous.
The LA County Natural History Museum is a Wow! float, the dinosaurs will astound you, this was the last float being worked on last night.
We spent most of our week working on the Lutheran Ministry Hour float, my original thought was that it was kind of boring compared to the other floats. I mean, it was done well and very respectful, but it’s just a huge Bible, so while it was meaningful, it didn’t look spectacular. But that must have been just because I was too close to the details. When the float was completed last night, it was awe-inspiring, the design, the colors, the flowers are exactly what they should be. I am proud to have been on this float with so many wonderful people, we had a great time, worked hard and did good work.
Along about ten last night as we finished the Lutheran float, we got asked if we were free agents, and recruited to the Wells Fargo float. Wells Fargo is the theme float this year, it is a huge canvas, fully painted with seeds that will lead the parade. We helped to petal the last of the very front of the float. With that float done just after midnight, we moved down the row to the Shriners float. The Shriners have two bears flying in an airplane above the clouds. It is whimsical and so cute, we helped place the last of the flowers on this one too.
Our final move was to the HGTV float, HGTV built their Dream Home 2012 on the float. Each year there is a contest on HGTV.com to win a Dream Home, it is in Park City this year. I have entered for years, but truly, this home will be one of the finest, it is a gorgeous mountain retreat. The lead designer was working on the flower arrangements as we wandered by last night and we offered our help. She has a beautiful eye for color and they have a huge budget, so the entire deck is covered with flowers of all kinds, we poked irises, carnations, roses and more in to the decking, and just when we would complete one, we would move something else and poke some more. It turned out beautifully and we were thanked many times over for our great attitude and hard work.
As we took our last photo and exited the building, we were surprised to find the Mini alone on the street, we looked around and realized we were the last volunteers left at the Rose Palace. There were others there, all members of the Phoenix Decorating staff in some form, but we were it for volunteers, it was 2:11 a.m. and 90% of the floats were done. It felt so good. A very satisfying week, thank you to the Petal Pushers for allowing us to be part of the crew, I can’t wait to go back. The theme for the parade is “Just Imagine” and it’s perfect for me. Welcome 2012, just imagine the possibilities!