Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Arrangement Traverse City...
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The Arrangement Traverse City floral designer competes on TV series

By Erin Crowell - October 11th, 2010
Like other reality career competition series (think Project Runway for fashion and Top Chef for epicurean creations), The Arrangement brings 10 floral designers together from around the country to compete for the title of the “best.” The title also includes a grand prize of $25,000 and a new Smart Car Passion Coupe.
Woodruff, who owns Floral Underground Floral in Traverse City, was one of those competitors. While only the first episode has aired (the second episode airs Monday night, Oct. 11), the series has already proven to be a nail-biter for Woodruff.

WEEDING OUT THE COMPETITION
With filming wrapped up (it was filmed in L.A.), Woodruff is now home and has to keep mum — due to contract agreements — about how he fared on the series. However, the first episode showed he was able to survive the first round of challenges.
Barely.
“They really do push you,” Woodruff said, “and we were pushed to the max with over the top challenges.”
For their first “seedlings challenge,” the designers were divided into teams of two and asked to assemble a table-top arrangement—using limited materials—for a sushi buffet that was to be displayed on a naked model.
Afterward, the competitors were divided into two teams of five and had to cover two life-size wire manikins with completely natural materials that would be displayed at the Americana at Brand, a shopping center in Glendale, California.
Woodruff’s team lost, and after careful deliberation, the judges “weeded out”
the bottom two competitors – Woodruff being one.
In a final challenge to hold his spot, Woodruff had to assemble a floral arrangement in three minutes. Woodruff secured his spot by using a combination of bear grass woven through a floral bouquet of green hydrangea and orange ranunculus – his signature color.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I’m all about the color orange,” Woodruff said.

ABSTRACT AND URBAN
At home in Traverse City, Woodruff’s bright orange jeep sits outside his modern studio. Inside, clients can discuss wedding floral options on his IKEA furniture – a fierce orange couch that sits in the studio’s upper level.
“I have a very abstract and urban style,” said Woodruff. “I like to use unusual flowers and in unusual ways – random color combinations submerged in water, things like that.”
It’s a style that earned Woodruff a spot on the TV show in the first place.
“A casting producer messaged me on Facebook. At the time I thought, ‘this has got to be a scam,’” said Woodruff. “They had contacted the institute I went to and asked them if they knew of someone young, with unique characteristics of style who would do well on the show. So they told them about me.”
Woodruff earned his AIFD or Accredited in Floral Design through the American Institute of Floral Design – a PhD, if you will, in the floral industry. It’s one of many acronyms attached to Woodruff’s name: AIFD, CFD, CF – certifications that only he possesses in the Traverse City floral design community.
He currently holds an associates degree in horticulture, starting his schooling at Lansing Community College and Michigan State University before finishing at Northwestern Michigan College and MSU North.

FLORAL FOCUS
Originally from Jackson, Woodruff earned Certified Michigan Florist (CF) at age 17, just two years after he developed an interest in the plant sciences. When Woodruff discovered the only other option was landscaping, he narrowed his focus to floral design.
“Landscaping involves too much physical work,” he laughed.
Age always seems to come up for Woodruff. He was the youngest competitor on The Arrangement and spent the first half of his career proving his skills, mostly when he worked his first job at Hibbard’s Flowers, also in Traverse City.
“My first wedding I booked, the clients giggled as I walked up to them and they asked how old I was,” said Woodruff. “After our consultation they said they felt completely comfortable with my design style and that they didn’t worry a bit.”
Worrying is something he does less, himself.
“I was kind of a wreck when I came home,” Woodruff said after finishing the TV show. “But from the stress of it, nothing at weddings and events I’m working on now can stress me out. Last year I was second-guessing myself on designs. Now, I’ve got this new found confidence.”

Floral Underground is located at 1129 Woodmere Ave. Suite C in the Tru Fit Trouser Building. Call 231-715-6550 or visit thefloralunderground.com. Catch Derek Woodruff on Logo TV’s ‘The Arrangement,’ airing Mondays at 11 p.m. EST. Full episodes are available to watch 24 hours after they air at logotv.com.
 
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