Sunday, September 06, 2009

Dark Side of the Bloom

Everything’s coming up roses as the Wizard of Oz 70th anniversary celebration kicks into high gear.

In his later years, Oz creator L. Frank Baum was a devoted floriculturist reaping multiple awards for his magnificent chrysanthemums. From the onset, flowers and floral motifs are prevalent in the original Oz book series and its varied adaptations thereafter. Sometimes playing integral roles are a diverse range of flowers from poppies to roses to an enchanted flower contained in a golden pot that blooms continually transforming into a different flower every time.

The successful Wizard of Oz stage show, the Wicked of the early 1900s if you will, mesmerized audiences and critics with a dazzling poppy field spectacle that concluded Act. 1
The same held true almost 40 years later when MGM studios produced the Wizard of Oz for the movie goers of 1939. Stage technicians erected an acre and a half of poppies on a massive sound stage for Judy Garland and cohorts to succumb and ultimately skip through.

The Wizard of Oz continues to be a source of inspiration for department store windows, home and garden shows, parade floats, and more.

This year Teleflora marks 75 years of delivering smiles and comfort with beautiful flower arrangements assembled by the very finest floral artisans.

Teleflora boasts 20,000 member florists in North America and 20,000 more affiliates around the world. Members are audited regularly to ensure only the freshest flowers reach their valued recipients.

In recent years more competitor floral providers sprouted seemingly from nowhere giving Teleflora a run for their money. Mother’s Day 2008 observed its 100th anniversary giving Teleflora the prime opportunity to go on the defense. Teleflora mounted an ingenuous multimedia marketing blitz in “Teleflora Presents America’s Favorite Mom” which concluded with a prime time special on NBC. The campaign struck such a chord with viewers that Teleflora was rewarded with a 70% increase in sales and garnered a silver Effie award.

Teleflora has assembled an esteemed grouping of partners such as Fenton, Galway, M&Ms, Waterford, Charles Wysocki, BarcaLounger, and Moulin Rouge. Current licenses include Thomas Kinkade, Susan Winget, Williamsburg, Lenox, MiGi, Top Chef, and Ford and Teleflora joins the fight to make a difference with Stand Up to Cancer, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

In conjunction with their newest collaborator, Warner Brothers Consumer Products, Teleflora has designed a Wizard of Oz arrangement celebrating the release of the 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors’ Editions on DVD and Blu Ray.

You can choose from standard, deluxe, and premium bouquets to savor the aromatic blends of button spray chrysanthemums, solidago, spray roses, and alstoremeria all in hues of yellow symbolic of the road the jovial four companions travel in pursuit of their hearts’ desires. (Coincidentally, Judy Garland’s favorite flowers are said to be yellow roses.) The bouquet is crowned with a hand painted sculpture of Dorothy and Toto dancing joyfully with their new friends. The engaging figurine measures 3 ¾” wide by 5 ½” high.

Given the repeated appearances of flowers throughout Oz-dom and L. Frank Baum’s love of them, the Teleflora bouquet is more than a fitting tribute commemorating 70 years of the film we hold so dear in our hearts.

For more information and to order please read Teleflora’s press release and visit
Please click photos to enlarge for detail.
Be sure to watch Teleflora's blog for Oz updates including a Q & A with John Fricke and an essay by Michael Wilmington.

A special thank you to Jacqueline Fitzgerald & Teleflora for information and photos. Congratulations on your 75th!!! Thanks to Heartlover1717, Bill Roberts, and Megan Carroll for the use of their beautiful photos. And thanks to the members of the International Wizard of Oz Club forum for citing numerous floral examples from the Oz canon.