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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Veggie Beautiful Florals

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 10, 2018


Eating your vegetables is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet but did you also know they can be useful to a florist as well?  Seldom, do we associate adding our legumes to other areas of concern other than our dinner plates but new trends suggest this is about to change…. Word on the street is that some of our city’s top floral designers are trying something new this summer by looking beyond the cooler and into the garden beds.  If you think about it- the style makes sense since veggies grow in a multitude of stunning shapes and colors. Beyond these important properties which either “make” or “break” a flower in terms of being a highly demanded species or not, many vegetable plants and fruit also hold a desirable scent. Mixed with the right species, this aroma can be quite pleasant with providing end users with a unique aromatherapy experience.  With all of these wonderful benefits for using veggies in contemporary to farmhouse floral compositions, it’s no wonder why this idea is catching on like wildfire across floral communities. While some varieties work better than others, here are a few suggestions of vegetables that are fun to try out next time you arrange a fresh bouquet for your home.

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Tags: Flower Arrangements, Vegetable Garden, kale

Rosemary Infused Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 06, 2018

If you’re a decent florist, you know how to use a multitude of different materials to keep things fresh looking on a daily basis.  Arrangements need a “change over” just like any other product line in order to maintain a steady sales track for a continuous customer flow.  No one likes to see the same thing over and over again and if pieces consistently only showcase blooms such as carnations, lilies and carnations, you’re risking the threat of boring clientele.  As the flower industry is well known as one which is incredibly difficult to flourish- let alone survive within, this is an issue professionals should take seriously.

rosemary and flowers 

The question is…  How do we design arrangements that are dependable for a good four to seven days after purchase while still becoming a presentation that is impressive for display?  

One way florists are implementing a summertime makeover is by using a variety of plants that reflect both of these requirements.  Any guesses as to what they might be?

HERBS!  Yes, herbs are becoming more and more useful in floral design due to their interesting texture and beautiful color.  Depending on what variety is available, we are able to manifest exciting visual presentations while still satisfying a reasonable life expectancy for the finished product being sent out.  One type of herb that is really make head waves is rosemary, which just happens to be one of New England’s favorite seasonal plants to view both in the garden and inside homes.

When we look at the reasons why rosemary might be the answer to our prayers in terms of reviving our bouquet production, these characteristics might put things into perspective:

  1. The strength of stem is sturdy in both bouquets and centerpieces.
    1. This herb has an impressive longevity as a cut flower.
      1. As long as the water is changed, the aroma is another alluring feature rosemary offers.
      2. The dark green needles mix well with a multitude of different colors especially sunflowers, delphinium and nasturtiums.  

 

Tags: herbs, Summer, Rosemary

Guys Who Bring Flowers Get Rewarded

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 03, 2018

Are you a single guy who tends to stay home on the weekends a bit more often than he would like?  Are you cruising the match making sites with little to no luck of finding a decent date? Well, if this sounds a lot like the reality of life these days, you might want to think about stopping by your local flower shop for a bouquet of blooms to pick things up!  Why in the world would a florist be the guy or gal to hook you up? New stats show that purchasing fresh flowers for your home or office is a real turn on to women and can actually increase your shot at making a love connection. Sounds silly to some but this is truly working for a multitude of men in our city who are trading in their tough exterior for a more sensitive approach when it comes to pleasing their lady friends. By showing an appreciation for a delicate floral piece, you are sending the message that you are capable of holding a stable, long lasting relationship as well as appreciative of a simple source of beauty.  I’m not saying you need to go overboard by flooding your apartment with twelve dozen roses in every room-that might be construed as a little over the top. No, a simple vase of a variety that appeals to you can work magic by making her feel comfortable in your home while also implying you’re a person who has a creative side. So, if your Saturday slump is looking grim these days, try grabbing some flowers for that lovely lady.

Guys Who Buy Flowers

Tags: Romance, Bouquets, Dating

Gerbera Daisies Are a Symbol of Happiness

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Aug 01, 2018

Gerberas are one of the most popular varieties of flowers in the industry- a fact that has held true for decades.  The reasons why are fairly simple when regarding the flower and can be easily understood based on their color, texture and shape.  Gerberas = Happiness to most people; a statement that has been held in truth across a wide variety of demographics. Both young and old have always enjoyed requesting this bloom for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays or just to take home for a vase for themselves.  Boston florists recognized the need to keep their inventory of this particular species well packed in coolers, especially in the summer months where their popularity really skyrockets. Commonly associated with the sunflower (another summer bloomer of particular interest during June –September) and the daisy (hence its name), people just can’t get enough of the beautiful, unscented fleur that has been synonymous in meaning to “happiness” and “joy” since the beginning of time.

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

Basil Infused Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 30, 2018

YUM!  Who doesn’t love the intoxicating taste and scent of fresh basil?  Whether we’re talking about a smooth marinara sauce or as a dressing for marinated chicken, this herb is one of the most beloved spices in the Boston area…  But guess what? Food isn’t the only purpose for these vibrantly beautiful green leaves! Florists all over Massachusetts are taking advantage of basil’s popularity and working these plants right into their specialty of providing customers with stunning arrangements.  Particularly during these next few months, basil is noted as not only being a perfect reflection of the summer season but also “right for the pick’n” as a matter of speech. Farms, greenhouses and local nurseries are overwhelmed with clumps of fresh basil, which makes this variety a no brainer for designers.  If it’s nice to look at and readily available by suppliers, why not use this herb as a focus for this month’s fresh flower bouquet?

basil 

Using basil can be really simple for both designers and at-home hobbyists.  Select simple garden flowers such as cosmos, bachelor buttons, daisies or scabiosa and mix gently within a large bunch of basil.  All you need is a touch of color that will break up all of that green such as pink, white, blue or red (but any color will work) to create a stunning summer arrangement that will last a good five to six days with replenished water.  If you really want to complete the look, place in a water-soluble bowl or glass mason jar to give it that Homestyle look.

One of the best characteristics of basil is that the plant is grown in a variety of colors that pair well with just about any shade you can think of.  If the petals happen to be purple, then you are really in luck because the leaves will provide an extra “kick” to the arrangement. Try varieties such as dahlias, sunflowers and lantana to give the piece a real “pop” of color.  You’ll be amazed how easy it is to put together and the natural beauty that emanates once you are finished!

I know we’ve been talking a lot about flowers mixed with basil but how about going back to the plant’s “roots” so to speak?  Basil not only looks beautiful with summertime bloomers but also with veggies that might already be planted nearby. This style is sometimes referred to as the “salad bouquet” where plants such as tomatoes, squash, beans and kale replace the traditional blossoms for a total “green” presentation.  The colors that effervesce from these centerpieces is simply spellbinding while also reflecting the theme of fresh fruits and veggies.

Tags: Flower Arrangements, garden flowers, basil

Pink Is Not Just For Princesses

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 20, 2018

Pink is a funny color in the floral world.  It’s often associated with a “princess” feel in design work and used mainly for female clientele but is this right?  Think about where you might usually see this hue in regards to flower arrangements and tell me if I’m wrong:

  1. congratulations “It’s A Girl! bouquets
  2. Valentine’s Day flowers for her
  3. Dance Recital Bouquets
  4. Mother's Day Centerpieces
  5. Sweet Sixteen Party

These are the top five occasions we typically notice pink flowers being implemented but if it were up to me- I’d like to widen that bridge to include more areas of placement.  After all, why should the color pink be solely associated with women instead of including men in this circle? A guy can be just as masculine for liking this soft shade in his bouquet as opposed to merely sticking with varieties grown in blue and green, am I right?  Who’s to say pink should be off limits to men, anyways? In my opinion, is high time we change these sexist rules surrounding the shade of pink and open the doors to further exposure residing past the traditional occasions it has been used for in past years. Check out these funky varieties cultivated in the shade of pink and suggested events where they can start being showcased more often in floral arranging.

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photo via aboutflowers.com

Let’s start with the obvious-wedding work.  This is the perfect place to start including pink, especially when talking about some of the roles men may play into.  Groomsmen might be the #1 spot to promote this shade, particularly in concern with their boutonnieres. Pink roses, pink calla lilies, pink freesia and pink ranunculus are a few of the best options with this type of floral design as well as pink dendrobiums and carnations which work, too!  Wedding planners and brides can have fun with extra coordination tactics by setting the groomsmen’s attire to match with pink belts, socks and ties. Their presence will reflect a happy and bright feel as they walk their bridesmaids down the aisle while also setting a tone of equality throughout the event.  

 Another area where we can expand pink’s presence in the male world is in the realm of their “man caves”.  Little do we realize many guys like to have a fresh bouquet of flowers sitting on their coffee tables so why not suggest a variety that fits in with our plan?  Try out mokara orchids, peonies, tulips or lilies that are both attractive to look at while still preserving a “manly” presence. While roses may not fit the bill for some men who rely on more burly varieties, gerbera daisies, Phalaenopsis or pink protea just might do the trick

 

Tags: Colors, Dance Recitals, pink

FAST CARS AND FLOWERS

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jul 18, 2018

Many believe there’s nothing sexier in this world than a hot car.  The speed, body and build of an automobile has been known to be one of the greatest aphrodisiacs- a real turn on to those who love to live life in the fast lane.  There is something to be said of this theory since many models are engineered to entice buyers by their “sex appeal” in the showroom. How about you? Do fast cars turn you on?

FERRARI RED ROSES 

PHOTO via khaleejtimes.com

If they do, you may be interested in knowing that for every perfect car, there is the perfect flower by which it should be accompanied with.  Judging by the same means of style, shade and personality, we can accurately “couple” classic beauties with their blossoming counterparts. So, the next time you’re cruising the streets for a great bunch of blooms that will look snazzy with your baby on wheels, think about one of these varieties.  Chances are that your taste for cars will carry over with the same preference for flowers!

 

 

Tags: Roses, Trends, Cars

The Joys of Urban Gardening

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 16, 2018

“Urban Gardening” is a term heard quite often in recent years as we’ve witnessed beautiful flower and vegetable beds flourishing on top of Boston’s highest buildings.  Once unused and covered in tar, these rooftops are being converted one by one into magnificent, landscaped oasis’ that are incredibly purposeful in their design. Not only are these areas transformed into “green” areas where people can connect with the great outdoors but these gardens are also providing a healthy source of food for their proprietors.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and lettuce are just a few of the delicious assortments of crops Bostonians are harvesting right above their ceilings. Depending on the garden, a percentage of produce are sometimes even being donated to local shelters and food pantries, not only promoting healthy eating but also showing kindness to others who are less fortunate.  Further implementation of these efforts is also used for local food market inventory and restaurants focusing on the “farm to table” concept. Pretty amazing, right?

NBC NEWS FENWAY photo via NBC News - 

You might ask yourself how a slab of roofing is magically changed into these cultivatable platforms that are hundreds of feet up in the sky?  Thankfully, you don’t have to enlist the expertise of a high-priced designer or fancy architect to complete the job. You will on the other hand, need to first make sure that the roof is secure to withstand the weight of a garden.  For this job, you might have to hire a pro but once you get the “ok”, you can pretty much do the rest on your own. First, you’ll need to purchase raised bed brackets that are made out of plastic or other light form of material and put them together.  Wood gets heavy after its been rained on for a bit so unless you are making this garden on top of steel, stick to other options available. Next, fill the beds with soil adding miracle grow or some other nutrient rich compound. Plant your preferred varieties of fruits and veggies and tend to your crop as it grows.  

Did I forget to mention the watering issue? In some cases, it’s possible to install a pipe to have your water connected straight to the roof.  If this is true, then things are going to be a little easier than the guy who has to drag up a water bucket on a daily basis. Check it out and do your homework.  If it’s a problem a plumber can fix, then do it! If not, find a light weight bucket to do the job. It might take longer but look at it this way… You’ll get a heck of a workout in the process! Wait…

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, Gardens

Repurposed Summer Flower Vases

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jul 05, 2018

I’ve written a lot of blogs in the past about summer flowers that make amazing indoor arrangements.  It is after all, my favorite time of year when it is incredibly easy to spot stunning bloomers for both indoor and outdoor purposes.  Maybe your thing is sunflowers or roses? Perhaps a heaping pile of blue/green hydrangea or pink perfection peonies? Whichever way your floral boat floats, summer in New England is one of the best places in the word to design pieces compiled of beautiful wildflowers.  If you are like me and love to put their green thumb to use during this season, you may have already constructed flower beds with your preference of chosen varieties. If this is the case, you’ve already probably begun clipping some of the earlier favorites such as sweet pea, helioborus or bachelor buttons that seem to be cultivated everywhere.  Have you made arrangements for your dining room, living room, bathroom or bedroom already? I can attest that I sure I have!

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Once you’ve been bitten by this bug to design your own floral displays, we come to an important question of what we will display them in?  You might have a particular vase you like to use or maybe you don’t care as long as the container doesn’t leak. In these cases, you should arrange your bouquets in whatever you’d like but if you’re looking to find ways to expand your vase collection, I just may have some tips that can come in handy…

 

Unlike popular belief that floral containers have to be vases, many top designers have looked outside the traditional vessels and gone for some unique ideas that are fun and attractive.  Sometimes by choosing something that is a little different, we can create a fantastically original piece no one has ever thought of before! Search places in your house such as the attic and basement first.  These are the most likely areas where you’ll strike “JACKPOT!” for unexpected cool flower holders. Often, we forget about the old jars we were saving for that big canning project or an antique water-tight tin where we used to keep our pencils handy.  These are only two examples of what you may already have that make incredible containers for your wildflower clippings. Other suggestions might include:

Coffee Tin Containers

Soup Containers

Pots and Ceramics

China Sets

Tea Cups

Old Milk Bottles (Glass)

Scotch/Jim Bean Bottles

Wine Bottles

Water Bottles (Glass)

Beer Bottles (Glass)

 

These are merely a few ideas to get you going but go on the hunt yourself and see what turns up!  You might just be surprised by the treasures you find…

Tags: Vases, Summer, Sunflowers

Summer Flowers That Make Great Indoor Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Jul 03, 2018

Everything around us is up and blooming here in New England with beautiful foliage and flowers popping up from the green ground!  Whether we are growing our own summer beds or just enjoying someone else’s landscaping efforts, Bostonians are stopping often during their daily busy routines to embrace the beauty of summertime blossoms and the significant appeal they add to the view.  Personally, I love to check out what everyone else is cultivating in their yards, particularly varieties of blossoms that can be easily cut and transferred in to the home. Making your own arrangements during this time of year can be both rewarding and therapeutic, making it a popular past time for many.  Of course, there are certain blooms that are better for use in this hobby that browsers should be aware of when browsing the selection. Zinnias, hydrangeas and roses are some of the more dependable species but if you don’t see these where you live, there are plenty more to choose from. Be on the lookout for wild sweet pea, lavender, catmint, peonies, sunflowers, sedum, nasturtiums and yarrow if you don’t have issues with serious allergies.  Types that may be difficult to remove along with possibly shortening their lifespan are poppies, morning glories, scabiosa and lantana so be aware of what makes a great clipping as opposed to a bad.

budget flowers

photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Once you spot something you like that will withstand the procedure, grab a good pair of sharp clipping shears and snip the stem at the base.  If it is attached to a larger limb, be sure not damage the existing plant so that another offshoot will grow in to replace the one you took. Small samples of flowers are perfectly okay to use in indoor arrangements but taking the base plant can end up killing the entire thing, allowing no growth to return at all.


The next step is to immediately pace the summer bouquet in a clean container of warm (not hot!) water.  If the vase you are using is a bit dusty and you want to give it a quick rinse before designing your flowers, be sure not to use soap that will cling to the edges.  The cleanser can kill off your blooms quicker than anything, which can act like a poison to the stem. Depending on the varieties you’ve chosen, you may have to change the water frequently to avoid buildup of murky liquid-a not so pretty presentation for the flowers you’ve collected.  Place in a warm to cool area that does not exceed temperatures past 70 degrees and enjoy the blooms for as long as they last!

Tags: Summer, July, Sunflowers

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