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Admin's Day 2017

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 24, 2017

Wednesday April 26th is Administrative Professionals Day, formerly known as Secretary’s Day.  On this occasion, it is customary to pay respect to assistants and other personnel who aid in everyday tasks and responsibilities within business and all other organizations.  Although it’s upon good advice to recognize these special employees throughout the year, Administrative Professionals Day is a date where an appropriate gesture should be made in “thanks” for their dedication and support.  Not only will some Boston companies be planning special gifts and luncheons for those who fall within this category, but countries such as the Netherlands, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Hong Kong will also be joining in the festivities as they too observe this holiday.

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If you’re wondering the history behind Administrative Professionals Day, it’s really quite interesting… During World War II, the military found a shortage of skilled administrative staff to help organize and run specific divisions.  In order to attract new personnel to the field, The National Secretaries Association was founded in 1942 to help promote the importance of more workers learning the trade.  As the organization grew, the facilitators found it important to change the name in 1981 to Professional Secretaries International in order to create a firmer presence and a stronger seriousness across all industries.  The name changed once more in the year 2000 to what we now refer to as “Administrative Professional Day” where we celebrate April 26th as well as the entire week.  The period was elongated to free up space within restaurants so that all employees who qualify can be taken out to eat by their employers.


If you have a special assistant in mind that needs their own pat on the back, here are some ideas to properly show how much you appreciate them.  


Lunch Out!

Take him or her to a great local restaurant and let them load up on their favorite foods!  There’s no shortage of great cafes, bistros and eateries in Bean Town so plan a special luncheon just right for your staff members.


Massage Anyone?

I bet you didn’t know this but there are several massage therapists willing to visit your office for personal appointments right there at work!  Let them roll out the stress of your employees during their workweek and feel relaxed after a half hour session.


FLOWERS are a NO BRAINER

Don’t be a cheap skate by forgetting to do even the simplest gesture for your hardworking assistant and buy them a bunch of mixed spring flowers!  Have them delivered to make them feel special by showcasing pretty blossoms on their desk!

Tags: Secretary's Day, Administrative Professional's Day, April

How to Care for Your Lawn and Your Cat

Posted by Jenny Holt on Mon, Apr 24, 2017

marnhe-du-plooy-1647.jpg photo credit via: https://unsplash.com/photos/U6u_A5z6mME

When you’re a gardening enthusiast, you might not think twice about what you use to maintain your garden and grow beautiful flowers. But if you’re also a pet owner, you need to take care, as the chemicals and pesticides used in some garden products can do real damage to your pets. These garden chemicals can case serious poisoning in house pets, particularly cats, but you can save your felines by changing a few small things.

 

To safeguard your pets while looking after your garden you must:

  1. Go Organic: Only use organic and natural lawn care.
  2. Water: Hydrate your garden correctly, so that it can stay healthy. Remember, neither too much, nor too little.
  3. Make A Mess: Though it can look untidy, if you leave the clippings in your garden it’ll end up a lot healthier in the long run.

To learn more about protecting your pets, take a look at this article to see how Lawn Care Products Harm Your Cat.

Tags: Pets, Cats, Lawn Care, Organic

Why I Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 21, 2017

  1. I have long been an adorer of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum here in Boston and always make it a point to visit at least twice a year or more if the time allows.  Since I was very little, I remember being drawn to the enchantment of the three-tiered mansion that once belonged to the Gardner Family showcasing an impressive collection of art, music and plantings.   Most notable proprietor, Isabella or otherwise known as “Mrs. Jack” born on April 14, 1840 (a fellow Aries), was a feverish collector of paintings, artifacts and other beautiful treasures, which she displayed in a revolutionary fashion.  Instead of exhibiting her cherished items on walls typical to museum fashion (such as the MFA), Isabella decided to present her artwork in a more intimately elaborate array.  If you’ve ever been to the Gardner, you’ll be familiar with this fact as you pass by Renoirs and Segal’s hung in tiny rooms alongside an assemblage of antique spoons and shoes.  The appeal to wander through Isabella’s house marveling at her priceless compilation is more than a cultural experience, it’s a personal one.
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For many Bostonians who have journeyed through the museum, one of the utmost attractions is the stunning garden that blooms year round in the center of the architecture.  Depending on when you go, there is a courtyard filled with seasonal plants and flowers that patrons can photograph (without flashes) or sketch in the interlude of enjoying the other pieces of fine art.  As a person who is crazy about the idea of strolling through a Victorian stone building growing blossoms through the center, I couldn’t recommend this day trip more to others with similar interests.  But perhaps gardening isn’t your thing and ask, “Why should I bother to go?”  That’s a very good question… The Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is such an important example of Bostonian art history that I can name several reasons why you should tour the vicinity whether you’re into botany or not.



  1. “Blossoming” Artists:  Student artists will not only be able to take a lesson or two from the impressive renaissance portraits on display but can actual get a hands on experience drawing and sketching the garden itself.  The museum provides pencils and paper for anyone who would like to take the time to capture the beauty in their own expressive way.  
  2. Mystery Lovers:  If you like a good who-done-it then you’ll love trying to solve the mystery of the famous March 18, 1990 heist where 500 million dollars worth of artwork was stolen.  The crime has never been solved but the frames are still left empty on the walls.
  3. Philanthropists:  Isabella was more than just an art collector; she was one of the largest philanthropists in her time within Boston.  She relayed millions of dollars to special causes such as Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Industrial School for Crippled and Deformed Children, Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  4. If You’re Cheap:  The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has great deals on tickets such as free entry on your birthday, $2 dollars off admission prices if you wear Red Sox gear, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free entry on the first full weekend of each month and if you’re name is “Isabella” than you have free admission for LIFE

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Tags: The Arts, Boston, Museums, Gardner Museum, Culture

Most Popular Flowers from Japan

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 19, 2017

Being a HUGE flower lover, I often wonder about what other countries are growing compared to the United States.  Here, are most popular varieties usually include roses, hydrangea, sunflowers, mums and tulips but elsewhere, the answer might be significantly different. Depending on where we are in the world, there are assorted growing conditions, which make some plantings of flora and fauna more successful in one area compared to another.  Temperature, soil acidity, humidity and the abundance of water sources all go into the formula of a nation’s vegetation and particular horticulture.  If we are to visit the desert for example, we might see samples of cacti that need dry soil and little water.  If we visit a rainforest, we’re probably going to notice orchids and banana plants that need heat in addition to high humidity.  It really is pretty fascinating when you think about it.  So I’ve decided to research a few specific countries to see what their favorite flowers are native to their region and why they flourish so well.  

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my husband recently brought home this Spirea from Japan for our sitting room

Japan is known for their stunning and eclectic resource of exotic blossoms and the reason lie within their asset of possessing a temperate climate.  Even though there are four seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall, the temperature usually doesn’t drop under 32 F unless you travel north where snowfall has known to occur.  The moist wet soil is also a beneficial characteristic composed of red and yellow sediment, breeding impressive species of ferns, which matriculate everywhere you go.  Yes, the heat, soil and extensive education for growing in Japan has laid claim to a gorgeous composition of plants and flowers across the land.  Here are a few of the most popular blooms, which are customary in this country.

  • Dahlia
  • Ranunculus
  • Scabiosa
  • Spirea 
  • Sweet Pea

Tags: Flowers Worldwide, Worldwide Flowers, Flowers, Japan

Earth Day - Plant a Tree - Drop A Seed Bomb

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 17, 2017

April 22nd is Earth Day, a celebration honoring our beautiful planet and the importance of keeping her healthy.  The tradition began in 1970 when a United States Senator by the name of Gaylord Nelson started the initiative and became the founder of this first ever, global celebration.  His mission was to teach others the importance of maintaining and sustaining our natural resources after the massive 1969 oil spill in California.  During this time, vehicles were also sucking down massive consumptions of gas, air pollution was on an upward skew and the concept of global warming had sudden become a threat.  

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With the help of a Republican Congressman, Pete McClosky and a Harvard professor, Nelson was able to devise a team that would promote events around the country to peacefully protest the need to preserve our home.  For the first time in ages, both parties of government joined together as well as different diversities, ethnicities, religions and financial realms to serve a common purpose.  People from all over marched in the streets holding signs to advertise the need for new legislature, which would protect our natural environment.  The outcome was successful and led the way for “The Clean Air Act”, “Endangered Species Act” and “The Clean Water Act” to become legalized.  Although there is still much work to do, every year Earth Day participants seek to push this important initiative and show their love for our planet.


If you’re not up for joining a demonstration but want to celebrate Earth Day just the same, there are plenty of fun ways to do it!  The most common activity is to plant a tree, which helps cultivate new wildlife, vegetation and better air quality.  You can also start a garden and include flowers that attract bees or make “seed bombs” and disperse them around your yard.  For those who don’t have a green thumb, there are several other options to support the holiday, which can simply mean fixing leaky faucets around the house, starting a compost collection or recycling paper products and tin cans.  Forgoing driving and walking or biking for the day will also raise awareness as well as swapping your electric phone chargers for solar powered units.  Become smarter buying groceries, build a birdhouse and simply picking up litter you see on the ground are also easy ways to get involved.

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Families should keep in mind the spirit of Earth Day by teaching their children the concerns facing our home and how we can all do our part to implement solutions!  April 22nd is all about educating one another about the importance of our environment and one easy way to accomplish this is by spending time in the outdoors.  Go for a hike or a walk in the woods and expose your kids to the beautiful natural wonders that surround us everyday!

Tags: Outdoor Living, Earth Day, Seeds, Trees, hiking, Nature

April's Cool Weather Is Perfect for Pansies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Apr 15, 2017

Spring is finally here and so isn’t the frenzy for pansies!  Pansies are the number one flower sold from garden centers and florists this time of year, particularly here in Boston where the weather can still be temperamental.  It’s not uncommon for New England to have an intermittent rough patch of chillier weather during the months of March and April (and perhaps even a touch of S-N-O-W) so this variety is the perfect fit to withstand these conditions.  Even though the pansy looks pretty delicate, the bloom is considered a “toughie” in the flower world due to the fact that they can withstand temperatures anywhere above twenty-six degrees Fahrenheit.  That means unless the ground freezes, your pansies have a fair shot at surviving because of their natural hardiness found in their stem and root system. Very few other flowers can perform as well making this breed a highly attractive and highly demanded plant.

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Another reason to invest in this species as your first springtime landscaping addition is their beautiful assortment of availability in color.  This blossom is readily sold in a spectrum of rainbow shades including straight and variegated tones.  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink-it’s all at your fingertips if you’re looking to match a certain shade to your home or simply desiring to create a potpourri assortment.  If you would like to browse some of the fancy flavors, here are a few to get you started!


Delta Pansies


Deltas are the most typical kind of pansy you’ll find in the northeast because they easily rebound off of difficult weather and also have the ability to overwinter in some regions.  These varieties also have a large face with over thirty colors and mixtures, which continue to grow year after year.  If you’re the impatient type, you’ll love Delta’s since they are the earliest bloomers out of any other subunit.  







Tags: Gardening, April, Spring, Pansies

Using Flowers to Create Peace and Serenity

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 14, 2017

In this time, many of us are seeking signs of peace and tranquility due to the tumultuous conditions we view our world is in today.  Everyday life has seemed to also become far more stressful and hectic compared to only two decades ago, causing painful anxiety for millions of people.  Technology, inflation, over population and depleting environmental concerns are just a few of the reasons why we struggle to maintain a harmonious balance with others and ourselves.  For some, exercise is their chosen therapy and for others; perhaps meditation or sleep is what works to keep them above the surface of the water.  Whatever means you implement, it is a proven fact that these activities are beneficial for our mental being and is detrimental in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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One facet that is becoming more and more popular as we continue to seek our own Zen avenue, is the accumulation of specific species of plants that are known to effervesce the spirit of “peace”. From around the earth, different ethnicities, cultures and religions have collected these plants for centuries claiming they possess some sort of healing property to induce the feeling of relaxation. It isn’t unheard of to infuse teas with lavender petals or rose hips to encourage a particular sensation so why is it far fetched that just viewing a blossom can also change our mental state?  According to experts, if you place one of these blooms in front of you for at least a half hour to an hour a day, you can actually stimulate positive hormones throughout the human body.  Ideal placement would be on a dining room table, bedroom or a sitting area of the home that you spend a significant time within.  Check out these interesting varieties of flowers and see if you might enjoy the benefits of ocular floral hypnotherapy.

  • White Poppies
  • Lavender
  • Apple Blossoms
  • Olive Branches
  • Cat Tails

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Flowers for Emotional Health, Health, Peace

An Easter and Passover Letter to our Clients

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Apr 12, 2017


Dear friends,
I love to read. I have two books I am reading at work, three books at home, an audio book in my car, a paperback in the glove box and I read at least three books to my son Lance every day.
Reading promotes tranquility and sharpens the mind. It transports you to wonderful places in history and your imagination. As a florist, my eyes widen when I read about the roles flowers play in history and fiction. Glenn Stout tells us in Fenway 1912, that pots of flowers greeted fans at the grand opening of Fenway Park in 1912. Vanessa Diffenbaugh's Language of Flowers tells a magical tale where the Easter Lily (Lilium Longiflorum) is a symbol of majesty.


Easter and Pass over are holdays filled with symbols and traditions. Flowers on the table are a tradition and these symbols leave us with memories to pass down from generation to generation.


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with respect and gratitude,
Your florist, Rick Canale

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Jewish Holidays, Holidays, Passion Flower

Fancy Floral Cakes

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

If you have a birthday coming up, you might want to consider having a themed cake made just for you to celebrate your special day.  If you love super heroes, maybe a Batman cake would work or if you enjoy spending your summer’s at the beach, maybe a tiered tropical island shaped cake would be the ideal sweet treat.  Whatever interest or passion you may have, I promise you there’s a bakery willing to whip you up a creative and imaginative sugary sensation that will help you ring in the new year with pizzazz!  Boston’s best bakers make a large percent of their income satisfying customers with goods inspired by their hobbies and personalities.  It doesn’t matter if you’re into skydiving or snorkeling, chances are-they’ll be able to provide you with a delicious model that celebrates the unique you that you are!

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photo via pinterest.com

So what do you ask for if you’re infatuated with flowers?  Perhaps you’re an avid gardener, a local florist or just someone who loves a fresh vase of blossoms in their home and are wishing for a cake that visually commemorates this interest?  I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to dig into a stunning pedaled spoonful of frosting instead of the traditional chocolate square cake you’re used to eating on your birthday?  


Of course it would!  

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photo via pinterest.com

With a little research, I’ve found some of the most outrageously beautiful flower themed birthday cakes created right here in our own city.  Roses, sunflowers, dahlias, daisies and even orchids are possible to design and can be specifically tailored to conform to whatever your favorites might be!  Check out these amazing styles and a few local bakeries that are willing to make your sweetest floral dreams come true!

Tags: Wedding Favors, Chef, cooking

Wild About Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 05, 2017


My favorite blooms in the whole world are tropical orchids.  The color, structure, florets, foliage and scent are all attributes, which keep this variety of flora and fauna one of the most sought after flowers in the nation.  Unlike other species, orchids have a sort of funky presentation that illuminate a magical and care free spirit.  Many believe that people with out going, creative and imaginative personalities are immediately drawn to them because of their own unique individuality.  Orchids are also available in a hundreds of different flavors and can cost anywhere from a few dollars to thousands depending on the breed.  Over the last three decades, orchid collecting has become a fashionable pastime for botanists all over the world, where additions of rare varieties are said to be valued in the hundreds of thousands.  I figure you have to really like orchids to be willing to spend so much but if you’re looking to start a compilation that starts a little cheaper, why not check out these affordable species sold in greenhouses near you!

Phalaenopsis

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This variety is probably very familiar to people because it is sold everywhere including flower shops, nurseries and even grocery stores.  Phalaenopsis come in a wide variety of hues including white, pink and mixed.  If you have a sense of humor, you can even find them dyed in yellow, orange and blue.  Most of the time, you can find a pretty decent one for only $19.99 and you should be able to get at least four weeks of blooms out of it when watered properly.  

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Mokara

If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, you might want to invest in the Mokara Orchid since it is easy to care for and forgiving enough that it can withstand a bit of neglect.  Available in cut or plant form; they are easily mixed with other flowers or stunning all by themselves in a vase.  This species also is grown in a spectrum of color such as orange, yellow, pink, purple and red which is majestic in presentation.   

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Cymbidiums

Although cymbidiums can be a bit tricky to care for, they’re well worth the effort because these plants are stunning for any home or office to display.  Depending on the breed, cymbidiums can either be very inexpensive or very expensive.

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Orchid Plants

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