Florist brings attention and care to arrangements

If you look back at the photos, the flowers are exactly the same.

Friston Ho’okano had to make sure Abercrombie’s flowers were just as tall as Hannemann’s, that Hanabusa’s heliconias were just as showy as Djou’s.

“It’s not just throwing flowers together. Florists work so hard,” he said. “I was there with my tape measure.”

Ho’okano, 47, did the floral arrangements for all four televised debates on KGMB this year. You might not have noticed how perfect each arrangement was, but if one candidate had droopy gingers or dying fronds, your eye would be drawn to that instantly. Instead, he helped make the stage look dressed, but not overdressed; and more polished than some areca palms in plastic pots, with a definite Hawaii aesthetic.

“For a piece in front of a podium, I always plan a slender design so the attention points up to the candidate’s face,” he said.

Ho’okano has worked in several Oahu flower shops and counts most florists on the island as his friends. He had his own shop, Waimalu Florist, for four years before moving to Ribbons n Rainbows in Kapolei.