It’s All About the Flower Power

Local and national florists combine to create a cavalcade of sights and scents
By CYNTHIA YANG, Weekendr Staff Writer
Published on Dec 28, 2021

There is tradition, there is history, there are horses, music, marching bands, a queen, and princesses, but mostly the 133rd Tournament of Roses Parade, like all the previous parades, is about flowers — millions of them.

For family-owned, Southern California-based Mellano & Company, the return of the Rose Parade is a continuation of a nearly 90-year tradition of providing flowers for The Rose Parade.

In addition to the Mellano Company, FTD, which has been affiliated with the Rose Bowl for more than 60 years, is decorating the antique automobiles that carry the Rose Parade VIPs down Colorado Boulevard. Decorating these cars can take more than 1,120 total work hours, with more 8,000 stems of flowers and foliage used.

Mellano, an Italian immigrant flower farmer, began his flower company in 1925. The company has now provided flowers to the Rose Parade for over eight decades.

For the 2022 parade, Mellano will supply flowers for 23 floats—nearly half of the parade’s entries—as well as police motorcycles, either directly from their 400-acre San Diego County farm or its global network of floral vendors.

“This year’s theme of ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ hits very close to home as we are now the third generation to carry on the humble dream of our grandfather,” said Bob Mellano, vice president of Mellano & Company. “It is a fitting reminder as we look to secure over 665,000 stems of flowers and greens over the holidays across seven states and 15 countries in the midst of global supply chain issues but we will dream, believe and achieve.”

The company was founded and built on just six acres of land. But by the 1960’s, Mellano & Company had taken over management of the Los Angeles Flower Market. As the demand for Mellano-grown flowers increased, the farms continued to expand.

By the time a third family generation of Mellano’s took over operations, its combined farms had grown to over 375 acres with wholesale locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, Carlsbad and Orange County, California.

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