Exotic Flowers - We Deliver Flowers in Boston

Ten Things to Keep You Healthy During A New England Winter

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 20, 2017

So far, we’ve been pretty lucky in New England this winter avoiding snow storms and other undesirable weather but for many who like to keep active outdoors with sports, it’s been a bit of a challenge.  Without a nice blanket of snow to cover the ground, activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are out of the question.  Yes, I know you can always visit a ski resort which pumps that white stuff out no matter what the temperature is but not everyone wants to pay for expensive tickets. The sky is dark, frigid and often depressing to say the least so what can we do to stay active, healthy and happy until the warmer months arrive?  


PLENTY!

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The state of your health depends on more than just the number read on your scale and demands further attention to maintain a balance for your mind, body and soul.   By including some of these suggested pursuits in your weekly agendas, you’ll see fast, positive changes that will support your health when the dreariness of the season gets to you!


Mind

We know that’s it’s important to keep our mind just as strong as our body but sometimes we forget and neglect the fact that our brains need to exercise, too!  Your local library is the perfect place to begin looking for preferred material that will get your neurological thinking directed in the right place and spinning again like a well oiled machine.  Read a great new novel (maybe even join a book club), check out the programs offered and start using that library card of yours!  You’ll find a huge assortment of material to devour plus engage within a community that possesses both literary and socializing attributes.


Body

You may not be able to stand the cold long enough to enjoy a long walk in the woods for the next few weeks but there are many movements you can do to keep yourself limber until the sun warms us up again!  Five minutes of simple calisthenics everyday will get your blood flowing and you endorphins spiking, plus you can do them anywhere in your home making it hard to make excuses.  Think knee bends, sit-ups or jumping jacks to get you started and don’t forget a trip to the mall or grocery store can also promote healthy benefits due to all that walking you’ll be doing while you shop!


Soul

Feeding your soul is a lot simpler than most people think…  It can be anything that relaxes you such as attending a yoga class, enjoying a favorite hobby or even just listening to music.  Don’t over think this to the point where your booking flights to tropical islands because most of the time, all you need is a few minutes to take care of you.

Tags: exercise, winter, February, outdoors

The Meaning of the English Daisy

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

The Daisy

the daisy in the vase

sits by the window

with its feet dipped in water

its drooping head

drinking in sunshine


By Lea Rose

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photo credit: via gardenguides.com

The English Daisy is one of the most popular and traditional flowers of all time and to this day, remains to be a favorite for many.  Wildly grown and used as a natural romantic predictor for whether “he loves me, he loves me not,” (derived from French origin - effeuiller la marguerite) this bloom has made a considerable symbolic impact within a variety of cultures.  


The physical attributes of the flower are known for its’ daintiness and sweet appeal.  Each head of yellow is surrounded by white petals and tipped with pink at the very edges.  Being the “sister” to the white daisy, the English variety also grows in clumps, giving off several different shoots during its blooming stage.  The petals are dark colored in green and have a soft, plush texture when rubbed between your fingers.  Typically, the English Daisy blooms right before Easter, telling all that spring is close to arrive but if the weather is temperate during the fall, you might see a re-shoot of the plant before the coldness of winter sets in.


Since this flower is thought to be an older species, it’s meaning can be traced back to times during the Renaissance and probably even beforehand.  Artists sought out the flower for many paintings, particularly those with a theme of innocence and purity.  As stated before, one of the greatest purposes of the English Daisy was an efficient tool to foretell the future.  Children often played games such as “Rich man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Doctor, Layer, Banker, Chief” to see what occupation they would someday have by taking one petal off for each different title.  When there was one left, a girl would know what her future husband would have as a career.  Another use would be for a young female to close her eyes and rip out of clump of flowers from the base of the roots.  If she pulled out five buds, then it would be five years until she wed.  


Other depictions of the English Daisy can be connected to calmness where it is believed if you hang pictures of the flower in your home, you will attract a sense of peace and calmness for all those who live there.  “Rebirth” is another common meaning where the stems are layered on top of recently deceased gravesites as a well wish for the life after.  “Gentleness is another huge theme behind the flower and is shown by making wreaths placed atop heads as a token symbol.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, Daisies

Flowers for Tea

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 15, 2017


The older I get, the more I have adapted to drinking more tea and less coffee.  I have no idea why this is but I’ve got to admit that I feel a lot better.  There’s a big difference between the two beverages even though they both can contain heightened amounts of caffeine (although coffee typically has about 100x’s more depending on the brand).  While coffee is made out of concentrated beans, tea is made from leaves, petals, herbs and other natural environmental elements, which hold properties benefiting digestion and vascular circulation.  Tea also has a longer history of existence since it was first introduced in 2737 BC while coffee came into play only in the 9th century AD.  If you think about it, emotional states connecting to the drinks are also a differentiating factor because while coffee is tied to speed and quickness, tea is linked more often to relaxation and calmness.  

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So what does this have to do with flowers?


Due to this emerging interest of people consuming more tea, manufacturers are looking for ways to expand product lines beyond Breakfast, Green and Earl Tea flavors.  One surge we’re seeing is the addition of flowers into brands that are said to bring about a preferred sweeter tang to the taste.  


What flowers are the most efficient and effective for tea making?


Passionflower Rose Hips Yarrow


Lemon Balm Milk Thistle Lavender


Dandelion Lemon Grass Calendula


If you’re thinking about trying to make your own floral tea, it’s really pretty easy!


For Herbs/Sprigs:

Boil water and insert herbs or sprigs of leaves into a mesh ball or infuser.  Let the contents sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes so that the essence can flavor the water.  It will likely not change to a darker color similar to store bought teas, which is more natural and healthier for the body.


For Hips/Petals/Seeds:

These floral ingredients make wonderfully flavorful accents to teas and you’ll notice a freshness that packaged varieties don’t have.  First you want to crush the ingredients thoroughly and then place the contents into a cup of boiling water.  Let stand for 10 minutes and then strain the remains so that the “earthy” substances are extinguished.  


If you really get into floral teas, there are hundreds of easy ways to create your own indoor “Tea Garden” so that you can enjoy it year round!

Tags: Chef, cooking, Wellness, Lavender, Passion Flower

What can florists learn from Leonardo da Vinci?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 13, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the world’s greatest artists, inventors and mathematicians of all time whose contributions led to thousands of discoveries that enhanced the way we live today.  Through his philosophical and analytical thinking, da Vinci was able to create inventions that paved the way for contemporary machinery as well as provide a system for trouble shooting that would aid in unforeseen problem solving.  Due to his work, architecture, aviation and transportation have all been inspired by his scientific accomplishments and continue to grow from his documented advances.  Leonardo was the original Renaissance Man having a multitude of talents that extended far beyond his love for painting, having a passion for learning which led him to fascinating areas of exploration.  Scientists, technologists, engineers and many others continue to learn from his methodology of technique… and that even includes florists!  

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Interesting enough, flower designers can learn a lot from da Vinci through his style, balance and naturally brilliant arithmetic mind.  Within everything he made, there was a constant desire to manifest a sense of functionality, sensibility and efficiency no matter what genre he was working in.  For instance, the bicycle model he constructed was carefully erected to distribute a greater rear wheel suspension than the front, where a person would be lifted higher into the air.  The theory behind this was to be able to drive the bike forward faster by using higher hind resistance allowing the front to be easily steered.  Florists can use this lesson by deferring more support to the base of each arrangement while keeping the top lighter with product.  As seen in this beautiful bike display, the designer paid close attention to place a basket of blossoms on top of the rear wheel to showcase the need for a visual equilibrium.  

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photo credit via tampabay.com

Taking a lesson from Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man, we can forecast equipoise in bouquets produced, consistently paying close attention to the symmetrical ratio in everything we design.  While it is true that floral fads deem angled branches and protruding stems to be a fresh way to create pieces, take it from the infamous artist who stood by the notion of consistent counterweight and proportion.

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photo credit via flower factor aboutflowers.com

The Museum of Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts is hosting Da Vinci - Genius through February 26, 2016 -- check it out we did. It's eye opening.

“You will never have a greater or lesser domino than that over yourself…”

Tags: The Arts, #EXFL, Museums, Culture, Da Vanci

Exotic Flowers Raises Hundreds of Dollars for the Women's Locker Room Foundation

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 10, 2017

Exotic Flowers Makes a Big Difference with the Caring Bouquet


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Boston is a beautiful city filled with impressive museums, outstanding music venues, IVY League schools, delicious eateries and a talented community of residents who keep this town hopping. It remains one of the hottest locations in the country for residency and touring, while still maintaining it’s historical charm that Bostonians have come to cherish.  Although there is tight knit sense of belonging and pride, Boston is not without its problems that many other urban areas face-particularly the difficulties endured by our homeless population.  


From the year 2014 to 2015, Massachusetts saw a 25% spike in those without housing reporting an estimated 1, 600 families without shelter.  In 2016, the numbers were still staggering accounting a minimum of 600 individuals who were continually homeless.  In response to this epidemic, organizations have responded by doing whatever they could to assist this demographic such as hosting clothing drives, organizing sock drops, holding food banks, supplying career assistance and providing hot meals for those hungry in their community.  One Boston non-profit, referred to as The Women’s Locker Room Foundation, decided to tackle another issue facing those who were homeless and seized the opportunity to raise toiletry donations for local women’s shelters.

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The WLRF began four years ago when a group of women came together with the purpose of raising personal cleansing products through surrounding businesses and individual contributions.  Founder and CEO, Suzie Canale, became inspired to start-up the 501 C3 after working in a Boston church, which served the community by offering luncheons, outreach programs and weekly social events.  There, she learned about the devastating reality of those left without shelter and became impassioned to come up with a way to get involved.  One area of difficulty she saw of particular concern was the availability of cleaning supplies that were critical to maintaining both health and a sense of dignity.  Items typically found in a women’s locker room such as basic hygienic goods were sparse if possessed at all.  With the help of Murphy Hearl, Helen Wyche and Akiko Kaneko, a board of directors was soon founded in September of 2012 and continues to disperse much-needed sanitary products to local women’s shelters quarterly throughout the year.  Luckily, the WLRF hasn’t been alone in their efforts to make a change and has been greatly assisted by the help of a residential Roslindale flower shop, Exotic Flowers.  


Three years ago, management decided to create a stunning bouquet filled with an array of multi-colored pink flowers that would be called“The Caring Bouquet” where a small percent of the proceeds would go directly to The Women’s Locker Room Foundation.  The brightly mixed arrangement filled with roses, carnations and other stunning seasonal blooms is offered exclusively on their website and is offered to customers who are looking for a gorgeous presentation as well as an important cause to assist.  Due to the generosity of Exotic Flowers, The WLRF has been able to pack, ship and deliver toiletries such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo and toothpaste to New England shelters including Marguerite’s Place, The Oasis Foundation, The Women’s Lunch Place and the Lazarus House.  “The Caring” bouquet has become a large part of the non-profit's success and has raised over $1500 since January of 2014 where every “Caring Bouquet” sold helps facilitate a pursuit to assist the homeless population of New England.  

Tags: Women's Locker Room Foundation, Charity, Caring Bouquet, WLRF

What to Do on Valentine’s Day in Case of Blizzard

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 08, 2017

If you’re a florist, you’re probably laughing already since you are well aware that Valentine’s Day blizzards are a probable occurrence if you’ve set up business in New England. Some of us believe that there is a long-standing curse against the flower industry where at some point we must have ticked off the “flower Gods” in some way or another to deserve this heinous punishment.  It is after all our Super Sunday so to speak-I mean seriously, why can’t the weather turn incremental on a holiday like Saint Patrick’s Day or Halloween?  

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photo credit via Boston Globe

Valentine’s Day means that we have one day to deliver the goods, a forty eight hour time frame to get the job done so a mess of powdery white stuff can really slow things up!  It’s not like we’re going to take the day off and go home or anything.  We’ll still be up at four in the morning, tackling last minute orders and sending out drivers onto the icy streets while they curse us under their breath.  It’s just the nature of the beast and because Valentine’s Day is the #1 flower holiday on the calendar, we must carry on and bite the brute of the New England winter.  


If you’re new to the industry, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do besides biting your nails while watching the weather channel the week before the big day.  Well, there is!  Take it from some of the old dogs that have been through many snow challenging Valentine’s Days who have learned a trick or two on how to keep your cool in the event of a nor’easter.  You can’t just lock up and try again next year-no way!  By using a little forecasting in your planning, you’ll be able to have a strategy that works for your business in the case of a snowed-out February 14th.  Here are some tips that industry old timers swear by and keep them from having a disappointing Valentine’s Day.

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Pre-Delivery

If you start seeing that scary swirl on the meteorologists map than you should always be prepared to deliver early.  Offer customers an incentive such as a rebate or coupon to purchase flowers for the preceding days instead of on February 14th.  By doing so, you’ll get a head start for delivery workers as well as excite patrons with a slight reduction in cost.  Don’t think for a second you’ll lose too much money because of the deflated holiday profit margins -it’s way better than being stuck with thousands of roses with no place to go!


Don’t Be Overly Zealous

For some of you who are just learning about the flower biz, you might get a little too eager when buying for your first Valentine’s Day.  If the weather has been choppy and there is a high likelihood of storming than play it safe and cut back your purchases from wholesalers.  You won’t get stuck with dead flowers and your suppliers won’t be knocking down your door holding expensive bills you can’t pay back in March.


If You Get Stuck

It happens to everyone at some point of their floral career where they blow a holiday and are left with a lot more product than anticipated.  Go easy on yourself.  This is an industry where learning and experience are everything so take notes on February 15th and record what went right and what went wrong.  Next year is bound to be more successful.

Tags: Flower Deliveries in Snow, winter, Valentines Day, Blizzard, Snowmageddon, Florist

Around the World on Valentine’s Day

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 06, 2017

Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending flowers, chocolates and Hallmark cards filled with romantic gestures of intention.  Annually celebrated on February 14th, we see our stores and flower shops filled to the brim with red and pink decorations, cupid shooting arrows and other symbols relating to love between two people.  Since we’re used to this traditional presentation typical to most states in the USA, we sometimes don’t realize that other people across the globe carry out these festivities in a whole other manner.   Not everyone observes Valentine’s Day by dining in dimly lit restaurants, gifting their lovers with sensual bouquets of blossoms or satisfying their sweetheart’s “sweet tooth” with a box of sugary treats.  No, it’s a big world out there, encompassing hundreds of thousands of different customary practices -particularly when it comes to the holiday designated to “amore”.  Curious by this, I decided to research a few outside cultures and see how we match up!  Is perfume, lingerie and long stem roses all that’s needed for the rest of the world or is there a differentiation between the United States and other countries?  You’ll be surprised to read what I found out…   

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Photo credit via Jeff Leatham

Denmark

This is a country that loves to celebrate February 14th and has always had an overall strong appreciation for flowers.  While blooms are definitely apart of their romantic rituals, they opt instead to give their honeys pressed white snowdrops instead of fresh arrangements.  Cards are also exchanged but are referred to as “gaekkebrev” (a joking letter) that holds a funny poem instead of our typical use for sentimental varieties.  


Wales

Wales is a really interesting place to discover during Valentine’s Day as well because they have no use for roses or other generalized gifts during their holiday.  Celebrated on January 25th in retribution for their patron saint of love, the Welsh choose to give their mate a spoon made with beautiful designs that represent a feeling or trait.  Many become very valuable with age and are past down as family heirlooms throughout the generations, sometimes re-gifted as a token of luck during marriage celebrations.  


Philippines

This is a place that really understands romance at it’s highest!  While we focus on “stuff” to give our valentines, they utilize this special day with ceremony-MASS CEREMONY!  Thousands of couples gather together in areas such as community-based organizations, parks and even malls to recite their wedding vows.  Instead of walking down the aisle as a single couple, Philippine lovers prefer to say their “I do’s” in front of a multitude of others, truly sending out a message of love to all.  

Tags: Flowers Worldwide, FTD, Worldwide Flowers, Holidays, Valentines Day

Valentines Day Lingerie, Red Roses & Chocolates

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 03, 2017

What is the top gift for women on Valentines Day?  Is it a box of chocolates or a dozen red roses?  Those gifts are certainly popular but lingerie remains the top requested item for the holiday.  The reason is because lace and silk make a woman feel sexy, appealing and most importantly, wanted by her someone special.  Now this can sometimes become problematic for the shy guy unwilling to brave it alone through stores selling undergarments.  We have all seen that male customer enter Victoria Secrets with a hat pulled down over his eyes and that hilarious stutter when a sales person asks if she can help him find anything in particular.  It can be a rough task but knowing beforehand exactly what you want to purchase takes a whole lot of pressure off.  How are you supposed to know what she likes?  Research is the key and here are a few tips to get you started.

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                                       photo credits on this page Adriana Lima via Victoria's Secret

Color plays a huge impact when buying bras, underwear, teddies or nightgowns.  Certain shades reflect certain personalities and role-playing so take a little time to notice what her tastes and preferences are in the bedroom.  White can be a great choice which represents more of the “play hard to get” kind of girl but black might also be the way you want to go if she’s more of an exotic or serious partner.  Red works well for women who love playing the seductress and pink pairs well with the flirtatious type.  Yellow and blue are your safety picks when you’re not quite ready to choose a bedroom personality for her yet.  If you really want to indulge in the fantasy, buy her something in purple, which stands for passion and sexuality.

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Body types can determine the right style for your sweetheart so it’s another area that you need to pay close attention to.  Take notice what her best physical assets are (legs, back, use your imagination) and select outfits that show them off.  Silk slip nightgowns are really flattering on a full size woman as is a great bustier.   Bra and panty sets are perfect for a woman with height and for the slighter gal, a teddy combination with wrap is the right choice.  If she’s on the petite side, try a two-piece thong and push up bra made solely of lace.  Several lingerie companies suggest purchasing a robe to accompany the undergarments bought making this truly a romantic gift tailored specifically for your special someone. 

 So you’ve figured out a plan and now you need to know where to go.  Victorias Secret is the heavy hitter in this category and has several locations around the Boston area including Copley Place, Newbury Street, Legacy Place and Faneuil Hall.  If you want to try somewhere else, check out Intimacy, also in Copley Place, La Perla on Huntington Avenue, and Forty Winks in Cambridge.  All of these companies carry high-end , beautiful sleepwear that also promises to “wow” your girl this Valentines Day!

 

 

Tags: Chocolates, Adriana Lima, Valentines Day, Romance, Lingerie

Black Pearl - The Hottest Red Rose for #ValentinesDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 01, 2017

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Did you know there are over 100, 000 different varieties of roses?  Out of those, there’s another few thousand species of red, which are still the most popular color requested for Valentine’s Day floral deliveries. Now, you might think a rose is just a rose but some species have made a name for themselves based on their exotic beauty, durability and pristine formation.  Due to these impeccable characteristics, growers devise a list of the most spectacular burgundy, maroon, crimson, scarlet, and ruby shades to promote to wholesale and retail customers around the world.   While super stunners such as “Darcy”, “Chrysler Imperial”, “Eternity”, “Black Magic” and “Samourai” have remained some of the top favorites by florists, a new breed is taking the industry by storm and is expected to become a hot seller for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday.

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photo credit via Rosaprima

The Black Pearl Rose


The “Black Pearl” rose is becoming one of the hottest items this season and judging by its appearance, there’s little argument as to why.  The deep lush tone of blood red crimson is truly invoking, as is the flower’s velvet petals that promote a romantic effect when paired next to candlelight.  Being a relatively new variety, the Black Pearl is RosaprimaInc.’s premier pride amongst their other products and is referred to as the “crown jewel” of the rose world.  Sold exclusively by the rose grower, this stunner is cultivated in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador and shipped to designers who utilize the stems in prominent arrangements saved for their most exclusive clientele.

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Meanings of the rose extend from symbolizing “passion”, “romance” and “love” making this a fantastic choice to gift to your sweetheart this February.  Also keep in mind that stem length can extend from 40-90 centimeters and does not omit an aroma as do many other types of blooms  

Tags: Valentine's Flowers, Valentine's Day, Roses, Valentine's Roses, Black Pearl

Super Bowl 2017 Inspired Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Jan 31, 2017

Football fans are getting ready for their favorite day of the year next Sunday, the ultimate showdown between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons!  Hosted in Houston, Texas within NRG Stadium, people are on the edge of their seats to find out who will win the 51st annual sporting event that is sure to cause quite a commotion since Tom Brady has yet to be defeated by the southern team.  Another reason to stay glued to the TV is to watch how the quarterback yields his revenge after being suspended for the first four games of the season.  Experts are predicting a spitfire competition to see who will be the recipient of the Lombardi Trophy so be sure to plan ahead with food, décor and of course, flowers!


If you’re hosting this year’s Super Bowl and are thinking beyond making a vat of chicken wings and nachos for your guests to enjoy, you might want to think about a little décor to go along with the menu.   Team banners, t-shirts and color- coordinated settings are always fun but perhaps a few flower arrangements could be just what you need to spruce up your evening?  Here are a couple of samples for both Patriots and Falcon fans to select from and if you know you’ll have friends and family over who are routing for different teams, try a combination of the two to set an exciting Super Bowl mood!

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New England Patriots

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When coming up with design for floral pieces based on the Patriots, keep in mind that that there are three colors to play with: red, white and blue.  This gives you options of either combining the three or placing single colors in vases throughout the area you are entertaining.  Red roses, white hydrangea and blue delphinium are excellent varieties that will work well, either separate or together.  Other substitutes can also include red gerbera daisies, white phlox or blue dyed pom-poms.  



Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons also have a similar color scheme going which will work really well if you’re planning to create both for your party.  Featuring again red and white hues, you can easily implement white daisies and red carnations for centerpieces for a festive yet inexpensive presentation.  This team jersey also has black woven into the fabric, which can be interesting if you can find black millet, black roses or black calla lilies to incorporate within the bouquets.  

Tags: Patriot Place, Patriotic Flowers, Super Bowl, Football, Patriots

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