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Decorating your Boston Home with Garland and Swags for Christmas

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Nov 28, 2014

Christmas garland Boston resized 600

Did you ever decorate your home with Christmas garland for the holidays ? If not, now is the time to start your own tradition. Live evergreen garland can decorate banisters, light poles, mantles and doorways.  Although garland can be artificial, the staff at Exotic Flowers firmly believes in fresh evergreen garland. We often say, 'real garland means real Christmas.'

Christmas garland can be ornate or simple. Some use simple long needled white pine roping. Some Bostonians look for mixed greenery which includes balsam fir, noble fir and berries. Some even add light strings to their garland. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we offer all the ingredients for Christmas garland. We even install holiday garland in homes in Boston, Canton, Brookline and Beacon Hill.

Evergreen garland often comes in twenty and thirty foot rolls. Of course we can sell you any length your home requires.  Fresh evergreen garland not only enhances the beauty of your home but also brings the scent of Christmas into your home.

10979213455_6b77cd2312_h                                                                               photo credit Flower Factor

Evergreen swags are another great option to decorate for Christmas. Swags are made from evergreen sprigs tied together. Swags in the Boston area are created with  Balsam fir, Cedar, boxwood and  a combination of  berries and cones.   Swags are often hung vertically with a bow added for color. You can hang a swag anywhere you would hang a wreath; of course the front door is most popular. The swag is often the most economical alternative to a wreath.



Another great idea for decorating the outside of your Boston home for Christmas are mixed evergreen planters. In place of pots filled with geraniums, the staff at Exotic Flowers will install mixed evergreen planters on your front steps. These planters often include balsam fir, fraser fir, cedar, pine cones and white birch. The best part of these planters is their durability. They often decorate the front steps of Boston area homes throughout the winter.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Holiday Roping, Christmas Trees, Christmas

The Best Christmas Specials for Kids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 26, 2014

What kid doesn’t love a great holiday TV special?  I myself have fond memories of staying up a little extra late to catch some of my favorites.  Reruns were always the best where you could memorize the script and look forward to seeing the part that you couldn’t wait to watch over and over again.  Christmas stories are especially popular, adding to the child’s anticipation of Santa Claus to whoosh down the chimney with gifts.  It is an enchanting time of year when magic is everywhere, particularly in the movies and shows that we view both in the cinemas and in our own homes.  Although there’s no denying the hundreds of great children’s specials played during the last two months of the year, I have my top six that I just have to see to get me into the yuletide spirit. 


Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (1964)

A reindeer is out casted for having a bright red nose but finds a path straight to Santa when he is chosen to lead the sleigh on Christmas Eve.   Saving the day by lighting the way, this story tells a wonderful moral that sometimes the parts of us that are different are the ones that truly outshine us from the rest. The postal service this year commemorates this great flick with holiday stamps celebrating the movie. Exotic Flowers will be using these stamps on all their holiday mail.


Frosty the Snowman (1969)

A snowman comes to life when a magician loses his hat and finds itself on Frosty the Snowman’s head.  Trouble appears when Frosty’s companion gets sick from the cold and he must get her to a warmer climate other than the chilly outdoors.  Although the beloved snowman melts, Santa Claus promises to have Frosty return every winter to play with the children once again. 



How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

All of Whoville is bursting with holiday cheer but little do they know that a terrible Grinch is plotting their ruin by planning to take their Christmas away.  After stealing the decorations, cards, presents and feasts, he is stunned to find that the village still joins together to celebrate learning the true meaning of Christmas spirit can never be broken.


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

The Peanuts gang joins together again when Charlie Brown searches for a deeper understanding of what Christmas is all about.  Keeping in theme with the anti-commercialism aspect of the holiday, kids will love Snoopy’s rendition of stringing lights on top of his doghouse and Charlie’s sweet adoration for a small sapling tree. 


A Christmas Carol (1984)

“Bah Humbug” are the famous words guffawed by Ebenezer Scrooge as three ghosts visit him with visions of his past, present and future.  The miser soon learns that he is destined for doom if he does not change his stingy ways and open up his heart to the beauty of Christmas.


A Christmas Story (1983)

This is a fabulous story telling the tale of a typical family celebrating Christmas with one another.  Filled with funny bits including feasting on their holiday meal at a Chinese restaurant, the father’s awful taste in leg lamps, bunny rabbit pajamas, getting tongues stuck to icy telephone poles and the famous scene when Ralphie shoots his eye out with a Beebe gun-you will love this movie as it reminds us of the bloopers that commonly occur during the Christmas season. 

 If you want to just tune in, check out ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas.

suzie_canale_boston Suzie Canale

Fenway Park, 2014

Suzie lives in Westwood, MA and will be watching these shows with her two boys; creating lifetime memories.


Tags: Holiday Movies, Traditions, Christmas, Holiday Memories, TV, Kids

The Best Thanksgiving Movie and TV Episodes Ever

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 24, 2014

Holiday movies and TV show ratings accrue some of the highest viewership in the media industry.  Often filled with scenes of delicious foods, gorgeous flowers,  glamorous clothing and most importantly, hilarious family dysfunction, Thanksgiving Day themed scripts are beloved by millions because we often see much of our own family dynamics being played out on the screen and can relate to many of the common mishaps that this time of year is notorious for.  Perhaps it’s the great aunt who wraps up empty packages or the mom’s turkey that was overcooked by four hours or maybe it’s the in-laws who just can't stand their daughter’s husband, but one things for sure, we connect to these stories.  The reason lies in the fact that they are a reminder of own holiday get-togethers and we find both comfort and comedic relief when viewing these similarities on screen.  For many, this niche of entertainment is what allows us to survive the holidays, understanding that the stresses and anxiety traditionally interwoven throughout this season is quite common for most. This entertainment is as much a part of our tradition as the flowers on the table. Although there are several great picks, here is my go-to movie and TV sitcom that keep me rolling with laughter all throughout the Thanksgiving Day season.


“Home for the Holidays”

My all time favorite Thanksgiving Day flick is hands down “Home For The Holidays” starring Robert Downey Jr., Holly Hunter and Ann Bancroft (just to name a few).  This film will leave you in stitches as the main character, Claudia, returns to her childhood home after losing her job in a museum and allowing her sixteen year old daughter to stay back in the city with her sex starved boyfriend.  Bancroft portrays her neurotic mother who just can’t seem to stop worrying about her three children while her husband, played by Charles Durning, just wants to be left alone in peace with his massive turkey.  Filled with sibling rivalry, seductive romances and twisted perceptions of what the life that they are all living really is, this movie promises a whole lot of belly shaking laughter that is all to common for many of us who go “Home for the Holidays”.



The hilarious sitcom, “Roseanne” has several unforgettable Thanksgiving Day episodes, which all contain both make believe humor and realistic drama that many extended families experience during this holiday encompassing giving thanks, food and football.  The modest means and a-typical chemistry of this normal Illinois family makes this show beloved long after its final season airing on May 20, 1997.  During the 1991 season 4, show 10, all are in disbelief as Roseanne’s mother, Beverly, refuses to take action against her cheating husband.  Or how about 1994’s season 6, show 10, when anger erupts after Becky takes over cooking the dinner and a fist fight boils over between her father, Dan, and her husband, Mark.  With highlights from dynamic characters such as Nana Mary, grandmother and free spirited soul, and Ed Connor, Dan’s irresponsible father, each scene twists you from smiles to tears as the plates are passed up and down the table.

suzie_c Suzie will be celebrating Thanksgiving at her home in Westwood, MA with her husband, two sons, mother and aunt.

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 


Tags: Holiday Movies, Traditions, Thanksgiving, TV

Jennifer Aniston versus Angelina Jolie - Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 21, 2014

Hollywood starlets are already planning their Thanksgiving meals, some with the help of California’s top chefs who have found delicious new ways to make their mouths water.  You won’t see the typical mashed potatoes, yellow squash and gravy on these tables, no way!  Instead of traditional dishes, recipes are being concocted to alter basic holiday fare into wild and fresh foods fit for the icons of the silver screen.  While some celebrate this family holiday dining out in Hollywood’s hottest restaurants, others choose to stay home with their loved ones.   Either way, these stars no exactly how to celebrate this years special day in style. 


Aniston played a florist in the movie Love Happens.

Jennifer Aniston has long been a lover of the sun and has resided in the area of Malibu, California for decades.  While the beauty loves to celebrate the holiday festivities with zest, rumor has it that Ms. Aniston is a local patron to many of the local restaurants located within the posh, beach friendly area.  Hot spots such as Seasons 52 (which also has a location on route 9 in Chestnut Hill) feature a lovely menu created by Chef Timothy Kast, which advertises sensational meals all under 475 calories, something that definitely attracts the forty something yoga loving actress.  Another possibility as to where you might find her dining might be at Tres by Jose Andres, set in downtown Hollywood.  This restaurant is known for their contemporary style and generous pour of fine wine while offering a warm décor and elite dining experience.  This may very well be Jen’s go to for Thanksgiving since one of their famous dishes is their gnocchi with lobster, a long time favorite delicacy of Aniston’s. And of course, given her experience as a florist actress, you know that flowers will be on the table. 


Jolie is apparently a flower fan as well. Here she is picking up some calla lilies and thistle from a London flower shop.


When you think about Jenn, you can’t help but think of what her famous ex, Brad Pitt, will be up to with his new wife, Angelina Jolie and brood of six children.  Well, interesting enough, the magazine cover family often chooses to stay closer to home when celebrating this November holiday.  Whether habituating inside their French estate, Chateau Miraval, in the south of France or within their mansion nestled in Los Feliz, California, the Jolie-Pitts most likely will be dining on family favorites of spaghetti and meatballs and hotdogs, while the adults finish off a homemade rosemary infused turkey cooked by, you’ll never guess…themselves!  Often this power couple opts out of hiring expensive chefs and rolls up their own sleeves when it comes to Thanksgiving Day dinner, (a refreshing change of pace from most movie headliners).  While Angelina has admitted that neither her nor Brad are always sure of how to prepare the meal, they admit that the experience is always fun as long as the family is together.  After all, that is what Thanksgiving is all about!  

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

suze Suzie Canale lives in Westwood, Massachusetts with her family. She is an accomplished writer and chef. For Thanksgiving, she will be serving a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Of course, fresh flowers will be on the table.





Tags: Movies, Celebrity Florist, Hollywood Florist, Thanksgiving, Holidays

Fret Free Flowers for Your Thanksgiving Table

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Flowers Boston

Thanksgiving Day centerpieces can sometimes be a source of worry when planning holiday gatherings.   What we choose to put in the middle of our turkey tables enhances the festivities for guests because, for one thing, the color extenuates the other aspects of the meal including linens, candlelight and most importantly the food.  Flowers are also wonderful for contributing to the fantastic sense of smell that we all know is essential for a successful Thanksgiving meal.  Many people become overwhelmed with the tasks necessary to host a victorious dinner, often feeling anxious as to how they will get everything done and select their floral arrangements for the special day.   The tasks of heavy cleaning and exorbitant cooking almost always take the front seat on hosting agendas and many ask, “Who has the time for flowers?”  The issue of cost can also be another negative and many times leads to omitting them altogether.  Well, you don’t have to.  Hear a few easy and inexpensive ways to decorate your table without fret. 

Thanksgiving Boston


The trees in Boston are too beautiful not to utilize within your holiday décor.  Reds, yellows and greens are hanging everywhere holding a natural beauty, which makes New England famous for their autumn season.  From lovely bushes to towering maples, there are stunning possibilities all around us so keep your eyes open and your clippers close.  Effective eye popping arrangements can be as simple as a few maple branches placed strategically in a glass oval vase.  This look not only compliments the seasonal aspects traditional to this time of year but also gives your table an interesting architectural dimension of height.  Remember, less is more with this design so be careful not to overcrowd your floral vessels!

Thanksgiving Flower Delivery


Some become fixated with the idea that bigger is always better, particularly when talking about holiday events.  Trust me, its not.  Stunning table arrangements can be as simple as a few cuttings of multi colored coleus from your garden or miniature pumpkins placed at each setting for your guests.  Other arrangements can be a straight line of baby green gourds positioned straight down the table creating a sophisticated and uncluttered appeal.  Black millet is another idea, which makes a dramatic impact on your table while still carrying the November scheme of design.  If these choices don’t seem to strike your fancy, it’s as easy as looking around you and seeing what does excite your green thumb.  Visit local farm stands or take a peek in your own backyard.  You’ll be surprised as to what New England’s natural beauty may provide you with for this Thanksgiving’s holiday centerpiece!

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

all photos in this post can be attributed to Flower Factor and About Flowers.

suzie_canale_westwood Suzie Canale is a writer, chef, gardener, philanthropist and mom who lives in Westwood, MA.



Tags: Thanksgiving, Suzie Canale, Holiday Decor, Holiday Memories

Three Delicious Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 17, 2014

Giving Thanks

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we believe that sharing food with family and friends is such an important part of your traditions. Here are three great side dishes that are exquisite and easy to create. My family and I celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with these three dishes every year at our Westwood home.


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and excitement is growing towards spending this time-honored holiday with friends and family.  Having special meaning to those celebrating in the New England area, each year we pay particular attention to things that we are thankful for.  For some, it is their family.  For others, it is their friends.  Homes, jobs, health and happiness are all aspects of our lives that we give a noted appreciation for during this time of year.  Although everyone observes the festivities in their own individual ways, it is customary to join together with loved ones and break bread with some of the season’s most beloved dishes!  Here are some of my favorites if you would like to try them out on your table this year.

 Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole is one food that I never forget at my Thanksgiving Day dinner because it contains affordable ingredients, its easy to prepare and perfectly delicious!  All you will need is 1 bag of frozen French cut green beans (make sure they are French cut, whole beans don’t bake as well with the other ingredients), 1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup (I prefer the 98 % fat free that saves you tons of calories without sacrificing the taste-they will never know!), 1/3 cup of 2 % milk, 1 large container of French’s Fried Onions and salt and pepper to season with.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and defrost frozen green beans until thawed.  Combined beans with the whole can of mushroom soup, milk and half of the container of fried onions.  Add salt and pepper to taste (I really like white pepper) and mix thoroughly.  Place in casserole dish and shake the rest of the container of onions over the top.  Bake in the oven for 35 minutes and you are done with your first Thanksgiving dish!


Zucchini Bake

This is one of my favorites and goes with just about any meat, poultry or fish that might be your main course.  For this easy bake, you will need 1 large yellow onion, 2 ripened zucchini, 1 sleeve of reduced fat Ritz crackers, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and thinly slice the onion and zucchini into round rings.  With a cooking mallet, crush the Ritz crackers until they resemble the size of breadcrumbs.  Layer the glass casserole dish with 1 layer of zucchini being careful not to overlap and then doing the same with 1 layer of onion.   Dust with a light salt and pepper and then sprinkle top with Ritz breadcrumbs.  Very carefully dash olive oil across the layers to seal the vegetables.  Continue this process for 1 or 2 more layers until all of your ingredients have been used.  Place the dish into the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is crisp.  Serve immediately and enjoy!


Tortellini with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

This is a great one for those who love Italian food served along side their turkey!  For this recipe, you will need 1 large package of spinach and cheese Buitoni tortellini (you can use many other varieties of tortellini but this one tastes the best), 1 package of fresh baby spinach, olive oil, 1 package of cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring a pot of water to boil and add a dash of olive oil and salt.  Once bubbles appear, place the tortellini in the pot and cook until they rise to the surface (a sure way to tell when they are done).  Drain noodles and place to the side.  In a sauté pan, add olive oil and spinach and cook until leaves are soft.  Add the cherry tomatoes and season with spices until the desired taste is achieved.  Mix the tortellini into the pan and stir thoroughly until adequately blended.  Serve immediately and watch your guests swoon over this amazing recipe of pasta and veggies!

suze Suzie Canale lives in Westwood, MA with her family. An employee of the Westwood Public Library, Suzie has published four children's books and serves as the director of The Women's Lockerroom Foundation.


Tags: Traditions, Thanksgiving, Suzie Canale

Find the Perfect Holiday Vases in Your Home

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 14, 2014

vintage flower vase

Flower arranging can be a sensational way to add to your holiday decorating.  Bringing cheer, happiness and beauty to any home, a stunning plethora of blooms gives incredible accent to traditional festive pieces such as ornaments, wreathes and candles. Decadent in color, texture and exquisite scent, the right vase of flowers will enhance your seasonal settings without outdoing the more traditional essentials of table settings and of course, the turkey.  From dainty bud vases to massive urns and vessels, there is no denying the charm a bouquet of fresh flowers can bring to a home during this special time of year so don’t be afraid to get creative when searching.  Some of the most dazzling centerpieces are found within the least likely treasures hidden within our home.  Try these ideas to make the perfect floral epergne for your holiday enjoyment.

 root beer bottle vases

The best place to start your search is in your basement or attic.  You never know what kind of funky trinkets you may be able to morph into a vase.  Items such as pottery and glass servings make excellent choices since they show off the colors of the stems as well as eradicate an antique, “no fuss” appeal.  Patterned china is also a lovely option as well as ceramic, planting pots, mismatched coffee cups and even lanterns.  Don’t be afraid to really think outside of the box and try other possibilities such as small glass match holder containers, children’s teacups and maybe even old pantry sugar and flour jars.  All of these reflect the feeling of “home”, which is ideally what we look for in this type of “family” theme.   If you cant seem to find any of these in your own house, flea markets and yard sales are wonderful places to hunt for unique valuables where you can not only get a great deal but have the satisfaction of recreating something used into something new.

 unique flower vase

If this concept of making your own vase sounds enticing, you may want to keep in mind a few tips to ensure a successful centerpiece arrangement.  The most important factor is if the object holds water.  Before actually placing flowers within a holder, run water into it over the sink to be positive that it is drip free.  Other things to keep in mind are dyes that may be painted in inside or outside of the jar causing water to turn an undesired color and deciding beforehand if the material the vase is made up of will keep its form instead of disintegrating or decomposing (I’ve seen people try to use paper for vases-doesn’t work I assure you).  Whatever means you go about utilizing your own holiday vase, be certain that it is reflective of your individuality and taste because there is nothing more important than making your holiday special for you and your loved ones. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

all flower photos in this post courtesy of Flower Factor and AboutFlowes.com

suzie_hearl Suzie Canale lives in Westwood, Mass her hobbies include, fitness, decor, reading and cooking. 

Tags: Floral Design, DIY Brides, Flower Arrangements, Vases

Exotic Flowers In Boston's Top Three Pies for Thanksgiving

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 12, 2014

What’s Thanksgiving in New England without serving up delicious, scrumptious, mouth watering pie?  It’s the dish we look forward to from the moment we step up to the holiday table, allured by sweet scents wafting from the kitchen oven.  Bostonians are particularly lucky because many of the best pies hold ingredients, which are native to our farms and local orchards during this season.  Using native produce within our cooking makes foods even more spectacular, so it’s important to remember to buy or pick within the Boston region whenever possible.  Looking for the perfect pie to bring to the table this Thanksgiving but aren’t sure where to start?  No problem, here are a few of my best New England pie suggestions to get you rolling the baking pin in no time!


                                                                                                       photo credit: Wikimedia


Apple Pie, it’s a classic and there is no denying that it is one of the favorites during the Thanksgiving season, and why shouldn’t it be?  Apples of all kinds are plucked from the regional orchards of Massachusetts, holding the crispest, sweetest (and if you prefer) the tartest fruit just perfect for autumn recipes.  According to and article featured in Bon Appétit written by Chris Morocco, the three top suggested apples to create the filling for this pie are Pink Lady, Granny Smith and Honey Crisp, which all have varying degrees of sweetness and tartness.   Bakers are hinted to taste a sample of each before deciding which variety to use since the selection that is made will drastically affect the taste of the pie once it is completed.  Simple recipes can be found on the websites of Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and the Food Network.  

 rhubarb_pie                                                                 photo credit: TasteOfHome.com

Rhubarb Pie

I’ll admit it; this is hands down my favorite treat of the Thanksgiving season.  Traditional to many New England tables, Rhubarb pie is an interesting concoction, tasting bitter and sweet all at the same time.  With every spoonful, the unusual root never fails to delight eaters with a decadent assortment of flavor while being accompanied by only a few simple ingredients of sugar, flour, butter and salt.  Many bakers are frightened by the seemingly complexity of Rhubarb pie, but I assure you, there’s nothing to it.  According to a recipe found on allrecipes.com, here are the easy steps to making this incredible dessert!

Ingredients: 4 cups of chopped rhubarb, 1 1/3 cups of sugar, 6 table spoons of flour, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 pre made pastry crust. 

Directions: Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.  Combine sugar and flour and use ¼ of the mixture to sprinkle the bottom of the crust.  Place rhubarb directly over and add remaining flour and sugar over the top.  Slice butter into tablespoons and use as the next layer.  Cover the top with a pre-made crust and bake for fifteen minutes then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Finish baking for forty to forty - five minutes and serve warm.  Trust me, your guests will love it!


                                                                photo credit: Meals.com

Pumpkin Pie

Let’s face it.  You can’t really say your having a New England Thanksgiving without enjoying a pumpkin pie!  This dessert is by far the most popular dish to serve during this holiday and there is a good reason why… Boston is known for their precious patches that reap some of the world’s fines pumpkins.  Working in combination with our warm summers that change into chillier temperatures once the fall rolls around, this creates the perfect environment to raise beautiful, plump and most importantly, tasty fruit that bakers just cant wait to get their hands on!  Pumpkin pie is also popular for its creamy consistency that always pares well with Thanksgiving’s top star, the turkey.  Again, make sure when you begin preparing this dessert to choose a simple recipe where the true pumpkin flavor won’t become over burdened by fancy additives that are just not needed.  Select a really great vanilla bean ice cream to top slices with (Haagen Dazs, it’s the best) and you are all set!

At our home in Westwood, my mom always make certain that we have a delicious selection of traditional pies for dessert. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

suzie_canale Suzie will be celebrating Thanksgiving with her two sons, husband, mom and aunt at her home in Westwood. Masschusetts.


Tags: Thanksgiving, Holiday Memories, Holidays

Veterans Day Activities in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Nov 11, 2014

Veterans Day is a holiday marked to honor all of those who have served our country in the military forces.  Often confused with Memorial Day, which remembers all those who have died while in the service, November 11th is the federal holiday that marks the end of The Great War otherwise known as World War I.   Although the document that officially ended the battle, The Treaty of Versailles, wasn’t signed in France until seven months later on June 28, 1919, soldiers ceased their fighting on the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour, thus becoming what we all celebrate as Veterans Day.  Around the country, United States citizens pay homage to the brave men and women who sacrifice themselves in complete totality by engaging in activities, events and honorariums to say their thanks in appreciation for everything that they do.  Among one of the most active demographics to participate within these celebrations are Bostonians who are particularly patriotic due to the rich history Bean Town possesses.  Here are some local events occurring within Massachusetts observing the Veterans Day holiday essence. 


Parades are a wonderful way to join with one another to lionize a special occasion and Boston just so happens to put on a remarkable show.  Beginning at 1pm at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Street, this eclectic group of marchers includes ROTC high school cadets, several military units and incredible bands blaring nationalistic music throughout the city.  Following only three minutes behind is the second parade segment marched by the “Veteran’s For Peace”, an organization dedicated towards advocating knowledge about the cost (financial, physical and mental) of war upon our country.  Filled with chants, speeches and colorful presentations, Boston’s Veteran’s Day Parade is one of the most reputable patriotic gatherings of the year.


Boston is also hosting a variety of special events including the “Women’s Veterans Appreciation Day” event located at the State House on 2014 November 6th, at 11 am.  Not only will families and friends gather to eat an exquisite brunch celebrating female military personnel but one will be awarded the Deborah Sampson Award in dedication of Massachusetts’ first female veteran.  “Back On My Feet Veteran’s Walk & Run” is another alternative where awareness and funds are raised to support returning military troops to deter homelessness and abandonment.  This wonderful cause takes place on the 11th of November at 6pm starting meeting at Government Center.   A third option to be included on your calendar is the “Habitat For Humanity Veterans Build”, a construction project supported by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services to build homes for returning female soldiers.  And the best part about it?  You don’t have to have any previous architectural or contracting skills to join in!



Tags: Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Veterans, Politics

What Flowers Should I Bring to the Cemetery ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 10, 2014

There are flowers for all occasions.  Some are happy, some are sad and some are given with the intent of remembrance.  During these times when we select pieces to honor those we have lost, many look for blooms, which reflect memories of their spirit, hoping to feel once again connected to those who are gone.  Memorial urns, cascades and plants are placed to signify our love and admiration at the sites of their burial for this reason.  We seek to select arrangements that will not only signify our emotion but also withstand the natural outdoor elements that are accustomed to cemeteries and graveyards.  How do we choose remembrance arrangements that are beautiful but will hold up for an elongated time outside?  Here are a few popular floral ideas that will satisfy both the demands of eye appeal and longevity for your loved ones memorial sites.


Long lasting flowers are some of the more popular choices for this type of occasion.  While no blossom is immune to death, there are varieties that will outlive some of the more delicate picks.  Lilies for example, are excellent because of the boldness of their flower’s head and their ability to last for longer than a week depending on the freshness of the stems.  Special species in the lily family, which make great solutions for memorial vases, are Asiatic lilies, known to be grown in bright colors as well as possess strong chutes enabling a longer length of service and calla lilies that boast an elegant white cone shaped face.  


Another type of flower high in demand by funeral specializing florists are in the tropical family with options of birds of paradise, ginger and dendrobium orchids.  Highly branded as strong and almost indestructible (again, make sure you are purchasing the products from a reputable wholesaler with high quality and fresh inventory), their durability and exotic presentation keep this variety on the most wanted list for this type of floral work.  Tropicals are easily mixed with one another and look favorably with other tropical greens including bamboo and hosta leaves.  Don’t be intimidated by a slight increase in cost, their beauty and perpetual ability to outlast other common stems of roses and carnations will leave funeral goers in awe of the design work.


You can’t talk about the options of memorial flowers without mentioning the use of silk flowers within this segment of the flower business.  Un-beloved by all, they do offer the indestructible feature of not being alive and the fact that contemporary manufacturers have made silks a lot more attractive and life like.  Varieties that have ranked among the higher desired for funeral pieces are oncidium, pussy willow and forsythia branches.  If you’re not a huge fan of this material, there is no law stopping designers from intertwining real flowers with the fake.  Peonies, iris and chrysanthemums can add an authentic appeal to urns when paired with quality silk accessories.  Onlookers will love the depth of color and be none the wiser that the piece contains faux stems of flowers. 

Whether you visit Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston to visit E.E. Cummings' grave  or Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park to visit Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's grave, make sure you bring flowers.


Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Suzie lives in Westwood, MA with her family. She works at the Westwood Public Library, has published four children's books and is the founder of the Women's Lockerroom Foundation.


Tags: Cemetery Flowers, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Funeral Flowers

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