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Fifty Shades Darker Shows a Little Love for Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 27, 2017

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A few days ago, I went to see a movie you may of heard of called, “Fifty Shades Darker”, the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” that blew box offices away in 2015.  Starring Melanie Griffith’s daughter, Dakota Johnson as Anastasia and Jamie Dornam as Christian Grey, this sexy film is pulling in ticket sales by the millions already grossing over $300,000,000 worldwide.  If you’ve already experienced this pleasantly naughty flick, you’re probably not surprised why it’s doing so well since the screen is filled with at least 100 minutes of pure flesh on flesh erotica.  Leather straps, toys (I found the silver balls quite interesting…) and kinky lingerie tends to grip a viewer’s attention pretty fast but it’s in the rest of the those 20 minutes where the director has to insert (dare I say) a plot.

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Nestled safely inside the two hour movie is actually a story about rekindling a love affair between Anna and Christian Grey.  After the first movie leads you to believe things are kaput between the feisty partners, they manage to make up real quick within the first fifteen minutes of Part II.  Since they’ve already done the dating thing, of course there’s nowhere else to lead the script accept down the aisle!  That’s right!  The hunky Mr. Grey decides that it’s time to settle down at the ripe old age of 27 and pops the question after a hot night of romping in his playroom.  

 

It really is actually sweet the two sex birds end up finding each other in holy matrimony but the interesting part (for a florist- you know besides the obvious) is the scene where Christian presents Anna with a whopper of a ring!  During a family birthday party, Grey takes his lady friend into the pool house where the entire space has been filled with luscious blooms covering the sides of the swimming area as well as the ceiling.  Right there, he bends down and proposes his love for her, which of course she says, “yes” to.  One of the only scenes where both of them keep their clothes on for a full five minutes, I would recommend to all flower lovers “Fifty Shades Darker”.  You’ll enjoy this breathtaking display of lovely flowers plus a little titillating fun as a bonus!  

 

Tags: Movies, Celebrity Florist, Hollywood Florist, Reaction Guaranteed

Most Desired Islands to Visit by New Englanders During Winter

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 24, 2017

I bet it’s not a total shocker when you hear the fact that New Englanders are the highest rated tourists to tropical islands during the months of December through February.  We’ve all been there when the eerie bleakness of the winter gets to us and we just have to find escape even if it’s just for a few days of fun in the sun.  New Englanders have a lot to battle during this season including expensive heating bills, early nighttime fall and debilitating light deprivation just to name a few… It’s a tough time of year for many of us and it’s only natural we’d seek refuge to someplace warmer.  If you’re thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, you might want to review this list which has the top five most visited tropical islands...by us!  Check out these beautiful destinations and see if one of them just might be the perfect place for your winter getaway!


The Maldives

These incredible low lying islands are home to crystal aqua marine waters, white sand and stunning coral reefs that beckon snorkelers by the thousands.  The huts are their signature calling card where visitors can sleep and fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

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Bora Bora

This South Pacific Island has long been the fantasy for many travelers seeking warmth and exotic surroundings.  French owned, the colors of the beaches and water reflect an omnificent property and have become home to beautiful animals such as turtles and stingrays.  Many foodies also enjoy it here since Bora Bora has an A Class reputation for delicious cuisine.


Santorini

This one is definitely a place I want to visit because the water is a magnificent electric blue and the beaches are actually carpeted with red sand.  I enjoy learning about history as well making this a perfect match for me since Thira and Akrotiri are also located here to explore.  


Galapagos Islands

Another dream of mine is to experience the beauty of the Galapagos Islands because of the pristine beaches that lay on the islands coast and the wildlife which breeds on the land and water.  Funky species of birds and aquatic life flourish here and are fun to discover and you can even pretend you're Charles Darwin himself!


Palawan

These Philippine islands are a must visit if you’re looking for a wonderland like adventure this winter.  Not only is the ocean infused with breathtaking blues but it also possesses swirls of emerald green that excite photographers from around the world.  If you get bored hanging out on beaches too long, you’ll love that Palawan also is home to a very cool jungle where hiking is a favorite activity.

Tags: Tropical Flowers, Exotic Flowers, winter, Travel

The Meaning of the “Mimosa” Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 22, 2017

I am like a mimosa tree


If only you could see

I am like a mimosa tree

My branches you can climb

My leaves will give you shade

When my spring arrives

My flowers you can see

The aroma is only for you


By Wade Lancaster

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As a previous floral importer, I have many fond memories of early mornings spent in Boston awaiting some of the most beautiful varieties of blooms from around the world.  One delivery I always anticipated was our weekly shipment from Italy that would include boxes of deliciously scented petals, specifically freshly pruned mimosa.  The electric yellow color of round balls hanging from the boughs of their dainty stems always made this such a treat and often we had a hard time keeping the product in stock for longer than an hour.  Customers stood in line to purchase bundles of the intoxicating flora that brides across the city adamantly requested for their bridal bouquets.  Although there is an increased allergen reaction due to it’s high content of pollen, mimosa not only makes a lovely additive to large floral arrangements but is also cherished because of its rich history.

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Originally, the plant was found to grow in Africa and Asia, preferring warmer climates as opposed to colder.  As experimentalists, scientists and botanists took specimens and cultivated them in other parts of the world, the flower began to pop up in new areas such as Australia and even America (California).  France soon joined the mimosa bandwagon and now can harvest this special variety in the hills and mountains of cities outside Nice.   The French were so excited about their new native bloom that they made mimosa a permanent part of the celebratory decorations during parades and carnival events.  Floats in particular are traditionally covered in yellow pompoms as a sign of joy and good luck sending a positive message to all spectators that attend.   


So what is the meaning of the mimosa flower?


Funny enough, mimosa is tied to “sensibility” and is often connected to philosophers or problem solvers.  It also means to literally “expand” your life whether referring to family, career or travel planning.  In other cultures, mimosa is tied to “sensitivity” and is given in small bouquets as a gesture of mourning or sympathy.  Here in the states, the pretty yellow spheres have become symbolic as the official flower to “Women’s Day”.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Mimosa, Women's Day, Flower Meanings

Mimosa Flower is a Symbol for International Women's Day March 8th

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Feb 22, 2017

mimosa in boston resized 600International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on March 8th. The Day traces its beginnings to the early 20th century as a result of the socialist movement. The holiday recognizes the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries. It is also a chance for us all to show women how much we respect them and appreciate them.

The holiday stirs more emotions in some countries than others.  The custom of giving the mimosa flower can be traced back to Italy around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and the mimosa's symbolism rivals that of a red rose on Valentine's day. 

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Mimosa's origin can be traced back to Australia. It arrived in Europe around 1820. The plant is quite invasive and should not be placed too close to other plants. Its blooms are often harvested for cut flowers, honey and oils for perfume. You may recognize the blossom at the premium cosmetic store, L'Occitane en Provence.

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Many clients from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy will often call or email to check on this fleeting flower's availability for March 8th. Mimosa has a lovely scent and Exotic Flowers in Boston will have Mimosa for sale on International Women's Day.


Tags: International Women's Day, Mimosa, Women's Day, Boston Florist, March

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

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