Exotic Flowers - We Deliver Flowers in Boston

Mayor Menino - The Art of Giving Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Oct 28, 2014

Mayor Menino
For more than twenty years, Exotic Flowers has served Mayor Menino as his florist. A great man who made a great difference, Mayor Menino beautified the lives of so many. What many do not know is what a great believer in sending flowers that the Mayor was. At Exotic Flowers, we would get at least one order per week to the bereaved,the host, the colleague or new parents. His staff was as personal as the Mayor himself. The Mayor drove by our flower shop on American Legion Highway daily on his way to city hall. He would often pop into our Quincy Market location and even shared a piece of pizzagaina in our Roslindale store one Easter Sunday years ago.
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The Mayor knew the importance of flowers at political events. During city council and Mayoral inaugurations, the staff at Exotic Flowers would adorn the stage with a plethora of fresh flowers and lapel flowers for the celebrants. This great man also never forgot his granddaughters' recitals. He always ordered flowers to present to them. 

"Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino ranks as one of the most generous flower givers, spending at least $7000 on flowers in 2010, most from his favorite florist, Exotic Flowers, in Boston.

A spokesperson for the Menino campaign could not be reached and the mayor’s office declined comment.

Flowers are such a powerful political tool and are so common that OCPF has even created specific regulations for them. Candidates cannot buy flowers for people they or their treasurer has a personal relationship with, the flowers must be appropriate for the occasion, and an “important political relationship” must exist, the regulations state." - By Maggie Mulvihill, Sarah Favot and Matt Porter |Masslive.com 2/20/2011

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Mayor Menino's best gift however as Mayor was on Mayor Walsh's inauguration day. Mayor Menino sent Mayor Walsh a Boston Fern for his new office. 

 

 

Dear Mayor, thank you. Thank you for being a great client, a strong Mayor and remarkable man. 

Tags: Boston City Council, Boston, Mayor Menino

What My Fall Color Palette Symbolizes for Me

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 25, 2014

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Autumn in New England is a time of year in which Bostonians relish in seasonal activities of carving pumpkins, jumping in piles of raked leaves and baking pumpkin pies that infiltrate our homes with decadent aroma.  We often sit in anticipation of these crisp few months before snowfall because they are reflective of themes embodying outside activity, family and warmth.  As a Boston florist, we attempt to capture this feeling when designing centerpieces, funeral arrangements, party planning, wedding bouquets and general storefront décor.  While purchases from the flower market often reflect varieties that are locally grown during the months of September and October, flower buyers are also aware of color selections, often opting for tones of red, orange and yellow.  Occasionally, you’ll see a fun accent of purple, green or pink but this base palette is the most popular and supports a strong product line for the fall season.  Why do we depend on this traditional spectrum when creating flower arrangements?  The answer is simple.  Particular colors bring forth particular emotions, many of which revolve around pleasant memories that Bostonians generally experience during this time of year.  Certain colors represent familiar seasonal symbols and events, arousing pleasant thoughts and moods.  The memories make us feel good, which is why we put pumpkins on our doorsteps, tie hay bales to our lantern poles and yes, buy flowers emanating the hues of autumn.  Here’s what my fall color palette symbolizes for me.

 

Red

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Red is often associated with the emotions connected to passion.  Whether love or hate, there is strength behind this hue, a quality that makes us react more so than any other color on the spectrum.  When connecting red to autumn facets, thoughts of crackling fires when the weather drops colder, plucking a ripened Macintosh apple off of an orchard branch and Japanese maples tree leaves blanketing the ground in a luxurious carpet.  The color red connects me to the words warmth, ripe and decadence. 

 

Orange

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When feeling the color orange during fall, there is no getting around the obvious imagery of pumpkin patches. What is so wonderful about pumpkins is that they fulfill almost all of the human senses including sight, taste, scent and touch, a desirable reaction when incorporating this color within your flower arrangements.  Pumpkin patches can symbolize the scent of pumpkin pie baking in the oven, the fun touch of seeds slipping through your fingers and the site of bright orange globes of bittersweet resting in curls of vines.  Orange for me represents the idea of health, enjoyment, laughter and imagination.  Of course we all know what Cinderella’s carriage changed into at the stroke of midnight!

 

Yellow

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Who doesn’t love the color yellow?  Its happy, dazzling and uplifting to the eye where in most cases, brings a person’s general emotion state to a higher level after visual contact.  Sunflowers, chrysanthemums and dahlias are favorites of florists when using this shade within their pieces for exactly this reason.  When associating yellow with fall, I think of the comforting rays of sunshine that we learn to appreciate as they grow fewer and fewer, a field of sunflowers standing stiff with their round faces full of light and the emotion hope as we see more and more candles flicker with the changing months.

- Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

suzie_canale Suzie Canale is an avid gardener, accomplished floral designer, mother of two boys, works at the Westwood Public Library, has published four children's books, and is the director of the Women's Locker Room Foundation.

 * all images in post supplied by Flower Factor's flickr site

 

Tags: Traditions, New England, Autumn, Fall, Suzie Canale, Colors

A Florist's Halloween Poem by Suzie Canale

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Oct 23, 2014

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Who says Halloween is just for kids,
Or only for the Salem tourists?
This is a poem to tell of you about,
Boston's frightfully scary florists.
You sell all of them have a particular interest,
Towards sharing their eerier side,
By serving their clients with a fun festive flair,
Of bouquets made with spookily pride.
Indeed if you're looking for special treat,
Something more than just pumpkins and candy,
You might to consider some help from these guys,
Your florist just might come in handy.
Bright orange replaces the blush shades of pink,
To create the most ghoulish effect,
Millet, Bat Orchids, and black witches' thimble,
I can assure you are "creepy" perfect.
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For those of you who have romance on the mind,
And want blossoms that promise a scare,
Glow in the dark roses are the right pick for you,
Turn all the lights out if you dare...
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Did you know there were blooms that were named for this eve,
To celebrate this special night ?
Candy Corn, Black Magic, Devil's Claw and Ghost
All show beauty with cunning fright.
So as you prepare for the haunts and the screams, 
And you shiver from all that is seen,
Don't forget to choose flowers that will scare up a thrill,
And have a happy, happy Halloween!

Tags: Halloween Flowers, Suzie Hearl Canale, Poetry

A Poem for the World Series via Exotic Flowers in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Oct 21, 2014

2014 world series logo

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are huge baseball fans. We sponsor little league teams in Boston and Westwood. We even sponsored the Red Sox from 2007-2009. The Official Florist of the Boston Red Sox was cool and we still maintain a lot of contacts at Fenway Park. We remain strong supporters of the arts and literature, we enjoy sharing classic poems with our friends.

 

Below is the poem

"The Base Stealer" by Robert Francis 

 

Poised between going on and back, pulled

Both ways taut like a tightrope-walker,

Fingertips pointing the opposites,

Now bouncing tiptoe like a dropped ball

Or a kid skipping rope, come on, come on,

Running a scattering of steps sidewise,

How he teeters, skitters, tingles, teases,

Taunts them, hovers like an ecstatic bird,

He's only flirting, crowd him, crowd him,

Delicate, delicate, delicate, delicate - now!

 

 

This poem is offered in almost every high school English class. My first exposure to this poem came at The Roxbury Latin School. It has stuck with me all these years and I am happy to share it with you.

My favorite base stealer was Rickey Henderson. Who was yours ? Henderson signed this card me as teenager. He was always great with the fans. If you ever want to know how cool a guy Henderson was, read this article by social media giant Gary V.

Rickey Henderson Autograph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Poetry, World Series

George Clooney's Wedding Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 18, 2014

It’s been deemed the wedding of the decade as fans watched the 53-year-old Hollywood actor, George Clooney, marry the famous human rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin.  Dating less than a year, the nephew of acclaimed silver screen actress, Rosemary Clooney, had finally found his ladylove after a long career of bachelorhood.  Although details of the matrimonial extravaganza, which took place in Venice, Italy, are still surfacing, the world is on the edge of their seats wondering what this star studded pair had in mind to celebrate their nuptials. 

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Believed to have taken place over a three-day span, reports specify that guests were escorted to the seven-starred venue in boats driven through the romantic Grande Canal.  Once they arrived at the Aman Grande Resort, an imperial dinner was served following the couple’s exchange of loving promises atop of a lifted stage.   Official wedding photographs were taken in the middle of the hotel’s lush garden, containing blossoms rich in vibrant color.  A-lister invitees including Matt Damon, Bono and Cindy Crawford who watched as the bride (dressed in a stunning Oscar de la Renta gown tailored with cream French lace) and groom recited vows on a raised platform decorated with white pillar candles.  Red wine flowed and music played on until the early hours of the morning…

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But what about the flowers? 

 

Floral décor has remained a hushed topic for this event although we have been able to take a peek at a few details revealing first and foremost- that there were a lot of them!  As having been described as a wedding exhuming elegance and grandeur, the palette has been described as mainly white with accents flowing throughout the table centerpieces.  The stunning British advocate carried an all white bouquet of ranunculus and hydrangea, tied together in a traditional European style, while Clooney nixed wearing a wedding boutonnière all together.  We know that massive buckets of white hybrid delphinium were used in several main staged pieces as well Casa Blanca lilies, roses, orchids and lisianthus, again all in shades of white.  Pictures of delicate peach roses and green lady’s mantle were also seen being delivered by florists in dozens of massive buckets.  Floral arrangements included large arches, small bud vases, table rounds and personals, which were included in the estimated $13 million dollar wedding festivity.  Now that’s what you call a wedding!

 suze-1 Suzie Canale lives in Westwood, MA. She works in the Westwood public library, mother of two boys, an avid chef and gardener who finds time to serve as the Director of The Women's Lockerroom Foundation of Boston. She has published four children's books through the Beantown Tales. 

Clooney wedding photos for this blog from People Magazine and CNN

Tags: Celebrity Florist, Hollywood Florist, Weddings, Suzie Canale, Wedding Flowers

The Best Pumpkin Patches in the Boston Area

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 17, 2014

 

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New England is one of the most spectacular places in the world to celebrate Halloween because our natural environment reaps amazing treats for us to enjoy-specifically pumpkin patches!  Bursting with healthy vines and rotund spheres of orange, pumpkin picking is a popular activity that thousands of Bostonians enjoy during the month of October.  Maybe it’s the simplistic beauty or the wisp of magic that surrounds these mystifying harvest fields, but one thing’s for sure, we have the biggest and best patches surrounding our city giving visitors a multitude of festive locations to celebrate their seasonal activities.  So if you haven’t carved your jack-o-lantern yet, here are a few places in Massachusetts that are sure not to disappoint.

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Connors Farm in Danvers, MA is an impressive operation to behold featuring not only a pumpkin picking area of shear perfection but also mazes, which reveres families from all over the state.  Their maze-technology is so sophisticated that they offer options of a gigantic haunted corn maze, regular corn maze or a hale bale maze for the younger guests.  Hayrides are also available as well as a bouncy pillow for children to jump through, petting zoo and zombie paintball.  Parking is free and if you get hungry during your stay fear not.  Connors Farm hosts a picnic area where you can sample from concessions or goodies sold inside their farm stand.  Costs for activities vary with discounted rates available for groups and seniors.

 

Marini Farm, situated in Ipswich, MA, is a lot of fun to visit because not only do they have a glorious and fruitful pumpkin patch, this location also provides several entertaining booths such as live music, games for kids and a massive corn maze sure to fool even the savviest puzzle manipulator.    What I enjoyed most about my visit to Marini Farm was their simple and authentic style emanating a down home country appeal that provides guests with a real autumn farm experience. 

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Carver Hill Orchard in Stow, MA is another hot spot that I would recommend because of their enormous array of fruit and vegetable picking choices including pumpkins, tomatoes, pears, strawberries, peppers, corn, and yes, even flowers!   This orchard also includes a picnic area where kitchen ready foods such as hot dogs and ice cream are available for purchase.  For those who truly love the freshness of pick- your- own styled farms, Carver also features a cut -your -own Christmas tree event where saws are provided starting in the month of December!

And if you're stuck and did not have time to pick your pumpkin from the patch, Exotic Flowers at 609 American Legion Hwy in Boston has pumpkins in all sizes.

 

suze Suzie Canale is local Boston author who has published four children's books, is the director of the Women's Lockerroom Foundation, an avid chef, gardener and mother of two. She also finds time to work at the public library in Westwood, MA.

 

Tags: Halloween Decorating, Autumn, Fall, Suzie Canale, Pumpkins

Decorating with Fall Flowers in New England

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Oct 09, 2014

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New England is famous for many attributes including beautiful coastlines, historic landmarks and a spectrum of seasonal changes.  For many, autumn is many Bostonians' favorite portion of the year where sprigs of red, orange, yellow and gold flowers brew all around them.  There is little doubt as to why since all of our Boston’s natural aspects morph into a spectacular spectrum of color right before our eyes once the month of September arrives.  From the trees to the fields, every inch of our landscape seems infused with brilliant rich and warm hues, inspiring an entire theme for design and décor.  Local crafters are savvy to incorporate this gift bestowed upon us by Mother Nature, essentially adding a fresh and exciting approach to their creations.  Boston florists are also taking advantage of this simple, beautiful and economically beneficial trend of designing with fall fabulous products.  Try a couple of these tips to inculcate your floral propaganda!

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Pumpkins are not only a delicious additive to just about any dish or baked good this time of year, but also a clever way to display arrangements.  Festive and fun, simply hollow out the inside of a 6 to 8 inch globe and place a bubble bowl within it.  Fill the vase with local seasonal favorites such as mums, coleus, sunflowers, zinnias and lanterns to create the perfect October centerpiece.  Keep in mind to never full the inner holder with too much water since overflow will hasten the aging process of the pumpkin.  Another way you can incorporate pumpkins are to select miniatures to place at the base of large, clear glass cylinders (apples work too and keep in theme with the season).  Smaller pumpkins age slower, minimizing a cloudy water effect over a short period of time.  Suggested flowers for this type of arrangement include branches of willow, grape vine or forsythia. 

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A second option for inserting a few of New England’s favorite fall fauna are to select multi-colored tree branches and use them as your foliage instead of the traditional ruscus and leather leaf.  Illuminating a delicate but stunning effect, this rustic style is perfect for hotel accounts where out of town visitors can gaze upon the true joy of living in Boston during autumn.  Be careful not to over-busy the bouquet with uncomplimentary floral varieties or jam the vase with too many stems.  It doesn’t need it.  Keep it uncomplicated, delicate and most of all delightful, by showcasing the naturally infused colors that Bostonians are so lucky to enjoy!

 

Suzie Canale - 

suzie Suzie has published four children's books, is the Director of the non-profit Women's Locker Room Foundation, mother of 2 boys, an avid gardener, chef and also works at the Westwood Public Library.

 

 

 

Tags: Floral Design, New England, Autumn, Fall, Suzie Canale, Pumpkins

Did You Know That Judy Garland Was a Florist ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Oct 07, 2014

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I often write about pop culture. The subject fasciantes me and you can uncover some cool flower facts along the way. While I was researching my recent Starlets & Stargazers blog post, I came across an amazing fact, Actress Judy Garland was not only a florist but owned her own flower shop on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. The actress started this venture at fifteen years old. Her mother thought wanted to make sure that Judy had a trade to fall back on if acting did not work out. The profits from the flower shop[ were meant to put into a trust fund for Judy.
judy_garland_florist The venture was strictly business. After a day of filming the Wizard of Oz, Garland would come to the flower shop and put in one to two days work. 
A true art form of the era was to put out a huge dispaly of cut flowers outside. Some Boston florists still practice this floral merchandising today. shop_judy
bouts_garlands At the time, owners of flower shops would pin boutonieres on the gentlemen who wore them. Unfortunately, gentlemen no longer wear flowers during the day.
judy_florist Garland was clearly no slouch when it came to being a florist. Fortunately for Garland, her star shined and she became more successful as an actress than a florist.

Tags: Academy Awards, Celebrity Florist, Hollywood Florist

Indoor Winter Gardening in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Oct 03, 2014

 

by Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Westwood Garden

The colder temperatures are slowly but surely creeping in and many New Englanders are becoming anxious about the demise of their hard worked summer gardens.  Although Mother Nature’s reclaims our green thumb’s efforts during the colder months of the year, there are ways to enjoy some of our hardier favorites year round by learning the techniques of indoor plant weathering.  While it is true that not every growth can be repotted and stored until the thaw of spring arrives, there are some varieties, which make perfect candidates for building an indoor winterized garden. Unfortunately, due to this region’s inclement drop in temperature, not every garden favorite will be strong enough to make the transition from your Boston back yard, so before taking your trowel to begin digging, keep these tips in mind to make sure you are choosing the right species. By keeping your eyes peeled for these hardier varieties, you’ll have a fighting chance of keeping some of your favorite greenhouse treasures year round.  

Westwood Herb garden

 

Many herb plants are wonderful for re-planting once the autumn frosts have begun.   Types such as parsley, sage and particularly rosemary are easily transitioned from the garden to a sunny windowsill and require very little maintenance with the exception of a once a week watering and pruning when stems become spindly and brittle.  Basil is a highly desired herb for transfer but often has disappointing results since the plant prefers warm temperatures and a significant amount of light to thrive.  Commonly, the plants will stay the same size when brought inside until replanted back into their natural environment so the constant need for larger planting containers is rarely an issue.  When removing the roots from the outside soil, make sure you dig far enough down to get the entire system (or as much as possible) to avoid damaging the plant and causing a stressful transfer.  Once safely inside, locate a sunny area with little drafting.  An icy spot can cause an instant droop within the petals and a shorter likelihood of survival.

 

Several people desire a flowering plant to enjoy within their Boston home once their gardens have gone to sleep for the winter.   Truthfully, it’s a difficult order to fill but not impossible if you choose the right selection.  Scented and unscented geraniums make excellent candidates and seem to thrive both indoors and outdoors if properly cared for.  Be mindful of areas with a lot of sunlight for placement, a weekly watering schedule and the occasional task of removing dead leaves and unhealthy stems.  Plant food should also be put into the mix every few weeks to ensure an adequate amount of nutrients.  Another flowering possibility is marigolds, which seems to also transition easily from one place to the next.  More durable than some of your other garden varieties, these pretty little blooms will provide a cheerful burst of color and appealing scent with little maintenance required.  Winter is just around the corner, so pick out your favorites and start building an indoor garden that will keep you entertained until the warmth of the summer returns once again.

Suzie Canale Suzie Canale is the Founder and President of The Women's Lockerroom Foundation, has written four children books, works at the Westwood Public Library and raises two sons.

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, Plant Care, Suzie Hearl Canale, Author, Suzie Canale

More Autumn Fun in New England by Jon Bornstein

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Oct 01, 2014

flowers and cranberries resized 600Guest blogger Jon Bornstein of Newton, Massachusetts returns to share his insight and observations on autumn in New England. Exotic Flowers of Boston is honored to have our friend Jonathan share is writing skills. We have received great feedback from his guest writing and cannot wait to share his blog posts. Not only is Jonathan enjoyable to read, but he is also an avid flower buyer at Exotic Flowers. Jonathan and his company L. Bornstein are both top clients at Exotic Flowers in Boston where they send flowers throughout the world.

Autumn In New New England

  - Autumn is upon us, and with it arrives appetizing phrases like “pumpkin spice” and “apple cider”. That’s right, kids, the Sandwich Guy’s got food on the brain as usual, and the ushering in of the fall harvest season brings the opportunity to experience home-made and fresh baked foodstuffs of every size, shape and flavor at farm stands, fairs and festivals from Westerly to Waterville. At our DNA’s core resides the vestiges of our ancestor’s hunter/gatherer instincts, so for goodness’ sake heed their call and get out to your local orchards and farms while the weather is inviting and the festival season is in full gear.

 

I like my fruits and vegetables just fine, but I LOVE baked goods made with them even better. Pie, crumble, cobbler, I don’t discriminate. I love’em all. Heat it up, top it off with a dollop (love that word) of whipped cream and pass me my share and yours, too. I guarantee you won’t enjoy it as much as I will.

 

This time of year is truly magical with edible adventures. Just this past weekend my family was redirected from one of our favorite farms for apple picking (Apple Crest in Hampton, NH, anyone?) when we got word that there was a Cranberry Harvest Celebration at Tihonet Village in Wareham, MA. Rides and activities for the kids, bog tours by tractor and helicopter for the adults, and most importantly, food of every sort imaginable from food trucks, farm stands, and fair booths for the whole family.

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 Don’t get me started on the nearly two dozen vendors plying their tempting fares. Everything from kettle corn to deep fried Oreos and even a raw bar practically put me in a blissful food coma. After all, the fact that we savor our food is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, am I right?

 fall foods in new england resized 600mmmmm donuts.

Ask any New Englander what their favorite time of year is, and chances are they’ll come right back at you with the Fall. But don’t take my word for it. Get out there and see for yourself!

Jon Bornstein

 

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Exotic Flowers may not sell those delicious donuts, but we do offer full line of gourmet and fruit baskets. 

Tags: Harvest Season, New England, Autumn, Fall, Jon Bornstein

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