in 1937 Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck planted the ivy at Wrigley Field. The idea was to create a park in the city where people felt welcome.
I think I have been a baseball fan since I was born. The game was always on tv or the radio throughout my childhood and remains that way today. My earliest major league memory comes from the 1975 World Series when Fred Lynn crashed into the wall at Fenway Park. I was four years old.
Having grown up in the flower business, I have always been in awe how flowers and plants make such a difference in people's lives. Whether sending orchids in Boston, receiving roses in Roxbury or planting hydrangeas in Hyde Park, it is amazing how much happier flowers make us all feel.
The Colorado Rockies' Coors Field has one of the most majestic treescapes as its showcase in centerfield.
Recently I read an article in greenProfit magazine, John Friel provides his insight on the importance of plants and people and our quality of life.
With some quotes from Dr. Charlie Hall and co-author Madeline W. Dixon, Friel writes " Plants mean business: 'Aesthetically-pleasing landscaping welcomes customers (and) enhances their perception of the quality of products and services. Consumers... pay higher prices, travel further and shop longer in a store that they perceive to be a quality establishment,'." This theory is most evident at the ballpark. In 1937 Bill Veeck, led by Philip Wrigley planted the ivy and trees at Wrigley Field. In 1912, author Glenn Stout tells us that the Red Sox had installed planters filled with flora and fauna to welcome fans to the new ball park in Boston. Unfortunately, the Red Sox have lost their way a bit and the park often appears cold and commercial and less welcoming one hundred years later.
in 2008, the Washington Nationals built their new ballpark and installed cherry blossom trees in and around the park.
Friel goes on to write, "Plants love tourists: 'Parks and botanical gardens (are) effective tourist attractions... food, transportation, lodging, etc. represent additional revenue for local businesses (and) a city's economy. This revenue gets filtered back into the economy and adds to financial prosperity.' "
Who would have thought that flowers actually make money? So many people look at flowers as a luxury. "Landscaping yields, on average, a 109% return on every dollar spent." It is no mystery that new style ball parks have been created to welcome fans. Places like Camden Yards in Baltimore and PNC Park in Pittsburgh have been created to welcome fans. While concrete and steel stadiums like Veterans Stadium and Riverfront Stadium have been torn down.
photo credit Flowers and Fancies, Baltimore, MD.
The Orioles, Red Sox, Reds, Twins and Yankees have all been known to celebrate their opening days and World Series with flowers. Of course, some teams see the importance more than others. The Yankees have been know to have hundreds of floral arrangements throughout their stadium during the World Series. My pal Eddie Wingrat of Flowers & Fancies in Baltimore has been creating the opening day flowers at Camden Yards for more than twenty years. See the spectacular arrangements he created in the above photo for 2013.
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we get ramped up for Opening Day. Celebrate Opening Day
with our tradition of watching, Who's on First ?
Drop by Exotic Flowers on Opening Day and get a free pack of baseball cards when you mention that you read it on this blog.
Larry Lucchino Cares About Red Sox Fans One at a Time
a few months ago my 8 year old son came home and said I should be a Yankees fans. He is a huge fan of Fenway Park, but the Red Sox recent woes had made him look elsewhere. He argued that the Yankees had Babe Ruth, the greatest of all time.
Being a lifelong Red Sox fan, I was stumped. I wrote a letter to Sox chief Larry Lucchino asking for advice.
Here is the letter he wrote back.
I received your 'urgent' note and wanted to lend a few ideas to ensure that your son remains a member of Red Sox Nation. You mentioned that your son's love of Fenway Park, and that's a good place to start as any. Yankee Stadium is a fine venue, to be sure, but nothing can match a Red Sox game at America's Most Beloved Ballpark with its 100 years of tradition (and counting).
Second, your son should consider the personalities of Red Sox past and present. From all-time greats like Ted Williams and Yaz to modern heroes like Big Papi and Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox have a lineage of ballplayers unlike any in our game's history. And while it's true the Yankees 'had' Babe Ruth, we did win three championships of our own with the Bambino and had the good sense to use him as both a pitcher and a hitter.
Finally, I hope your son continues to see the payoff in rooting for our club instead of the Yankees. Supporting the Yankees is like rooting for the Roman Empire (or even the 'Evil Empire' - as I once said about our rivals to the south). Encourage your son to pick the good side as he considers his baseball loyalties. We look forward to calling your son one of our most loyal fans. "
P.S. Enclosed is a Red Sox hat for your son - used as bribery to sway your son away from the Yankees.
as a florist in Boston, who has done lots of business with the Red Sox, I have a new found respect for Larry Lucchino and see why those argue for his plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
When a great man passes, we often stop to reflect on the impact that person had on our lives and others. Stan 'The Man' Musial passed away after 90 plus years. His life was a model for current ball players and every man, woman and child.
“We didn't have much expect for kindness.” - Stan Musial
Ever the optimist and always the torch bearer, Musial never beat his chest. Did not clamor for individual headlines and always thought of others. When Musial he had an off year, he even had ownership give him a pay cut. Do you think any ballplayer today would offer to cut their own pay ? Doubtful.
Musial commanded respect. We are a better nation for his presence and example. At his funeral and viewing, we see how important flowers are at a funeral. From the single roses and bouquets at the base of his statue, to the grand wreath or baseball made of flowers; we see that a person's life is amplified by the presence of flowers at a funeral.
At his eulogy, Bob Costas tells us how the great Mickey Mantle walked in Musial's shadow. . "He was a better player than me," the Mick apparently told Costas, "because he was a better man than me."
Witness in this video how the Musial family shows the importance of memorializing Stan Musial with a red and white wreath of flowers at the base of his statue.
If you are any type of baseball fan, then you have heard of Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper. Bryce has been heralded as the next Mickey Mantle since he was 15 years old. He helped the Nationals capture the National League East Championship in 2012, was the Rookie of the Year and appeared in the All Star Game.
Harper's popularity seems to know no end. He has appeared in commercials and video game boxes. Harper even shows he can help the floral industry. In Harper's latest video promoting MLB13 video game, he shows how important flowers are in building relationships. Bravo to you Bryce Harper, you just remindeds millions of people how important roses and flowers when wooing. Flowers show romance and Harper reminds millions of fans. See his video here.
Note to Bryce Harper, if the baseball thing does not work out. Call Rick at Exotic Flowers in Boston. We could always use a florist like you in Boston.
When we think of Valentine's Day in Boston - roses, romance and restaurants come to mind. Valentine's Day in Boston is a celebration of love and also the busiest day of the year for florists too. Yesterday, October 4, 2012 Valentine's Day came early. Red Sox fans paused to briefly celebrate the termination of Bobby Valentine as manager of the Boston Red Sox. Valentine watched over the worst Red Sox record in decades.
The hiring of Valentine never sat well with this Red Sox fan. I knew his ego would never fit in Boston or in the Red Sox clubhouse. More than twenty five years ago I used to collect autographs at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston when visiting teams came to play the Red Sox. There was always a handful of kids and some adults too waiting outside and inside for players to show up and sign. One time when Valentine was managing the Rangers, I got his signature. Thank you Bobby. But he was not exactly friendly about it. When security came to shoe me away, Valentine quickly had to throw in his 'now run along, you're not supposed to be here,'. Dear coach, I was a kid. I knew I was breaking the rules. No need to embarass me. I see why your players felt like you did not know how to speak to them either.
I do find it admirable that Valentine walked out of his firing with his head high and wishing the team the best. But after reading an article by the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo
, it all made sense. Valentine has a gag order. He cannot bad mouth the team or his 2.5 millions dollars due in 2013 will be withdrawn for breach of contract. So I ask this, if the North Korea-like Red Sox PR team knew Valentine could not control his words when the contract was written then why even put him in the pressure cooker of Boston sports ?
I wish you the best Bobby. 'Run along now, you're not supposed to be here,'. Valentine's day came early in Boston and this Boston florist is thrilled. The Red Sox lost their last game to the Yankees who scored '14' runs. Valentine was fired '14' hours and '14' minutes after the last pitch of the season. Valentine's Day is February '14' - coincidence ? Maybe or maybe the baseball gods needed a laugh.
The Boston Red Sox have been playing baseball for more than 100 years. They are a part of the community. The Red Sox are our heroes, our co-workers, our neighbors and our friends. Of course, Dustin Pedroia does not call me over his house to play cribbage, but the team employs hundreds of New Englanders and millions more of us cheer them on even when the season is as bleak as 2012.
As a pillar of our community, the Red Sox also show how important flowers are at a funeral or upon someone's passing. The Red Sox realize how important flowers in easing the grieving process. I have personally handled funeral flowers for the team on many occasions. Recently the public got a first hand look on how much the Red Sox value funeral flowers and what they mean during as a symbol of celebrating one's life.
On Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 the world witnessed Red Sox players past (Jason Varitek, Pedro Martinez) and present (Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz) et al. on the field at Fenway Park presenting single red roses upon the landscaped '6' on the infield dirt. This ceremony not only shows how much the Red Sox value flowers, but also how much flowers serve as a symbol as a celebration of life.
Even upon Johnny Pesky's death in August, the Red Sox had a wreath of flowers hung over his retired #6 in Fenway Park by our colleagues at Winston Flowers. What is most important of this gesture is that the Red Sox were not even playing at home during this floral installation. The Red Sox were looking to show their respect with sympathy flowers.
Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe remain one of the most famous couples in history. Eventhough their marriage lasted only nine months, DiMaggio and Monroe's relationship is legend. Joe's affection for Marilyn was always visible in many gestures. Seven years after their marriage, we can see evidence of his affection by this New York florist's receipt for two dozen roses. Forty years later this same order would be $200. I did try and see if Goldfarb Flowers of New York was still in business, but had no luck.
DiMaggio who was known to be serious, private and reserved rarely let others know his many acts of kindness for Marilyn. Upon her tragic death, DiMaggio even tended to all the details of her funeral. At her funeral, Joe's affection was again shown with flowers, below is a picture of a funeral heart of roses for Marilyn.
One often hears that flowers say what words cannot. Joe DiMaggio was a man of few words, but his fans can see that he expressed himself with flowers.
After Marilyn's death, Joe also arranged for flowers to be put at her grave every week for more than twenty years. DiMaggio realized the importance of beautifying her grave with fresh flowers and the importance that flowers have in our lives.
August 4th, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death. Marilyn Monroe remains a cultural icon and her fans continue to show their affection with fresh flowers at her grave.
Fresh flowers at the cemetery remain the best way for us to keep in touch with our loved ones.
Father's Day is all about treating dad to a special day. Create your own memories with your dad, your kids' dad or even someone who is just like a dad. Boston has some exciting and fun things to do. Many of these venues are tailor made for dad. From history buffs to sports fans, here are the staff at Exotic Flowers' top things to do on Father's Day in the Boston area.
Zip across Boston Harbor at 40 miles per hour. Codzilla is a forty minute thrill ride across the ocean. High energy sounds of ACDC enhance the ride. Share this exciting ride with your dad. Create a lasting memory and start your own Father's Day tradition.
Take a walk into Fenway Park this father's day. Every Father's Day, the Red Sox allow a stroll around the warning track, admission is free. I know we are getting a little tired of the same old, same old from the Red Sox. But if you have not tried this, why not check it out this year. Jerry Remy's around the corner is also offering some great Father's Day specials and free Wally toys for the kids.
You know Dad loves the History Channel. Why not take him to the real life History Channel ? The USS Constitution is a living breathing museum. In celebration of its role in the War of 1812, celebrate its centennial and Father's Day with a visit to Old Ironsides.
Okay, I know it's not in Boston. If you're like me, you consider Foxboro a town in Rhode Island. But Dad loves football and the Patriots. Why not take him to luch at Patriot Place. While you're there, he can visit the Bass Pro Shop and visit some really cool football memorabilia at the Hall at Patriot Place.
These are just a couple of our favorite spots. Of course, a few of our honorable mentions include Battle Ship Cove in Fall River (a real life Military Channel); Butcher Boy in North Andover for a the griller in your life, he will thank you; or take a ride to Mystic, CT and check out their awesome aquarium.
Father's Day is Sunday June 17th. Don't take your dad for granted. He appreciates being appreciated. Whether you buy him a card, a balloon or even a rose. Let your dad know how much you love him.
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we currently have five full time fathers on staff. The dads at Exotic Flowers have put together a list of the gifts they would love receive this Father's Day.
- An antispasto fileld with tasty bites of olives, cheeses and salty meats is sure to please the men in your life. Throw in a bottle of red wine, an afternoon of the History channel and you have an event that rivals Super Bowl Sunday.
- The mini solar emergency radio from LL Bean. Hurricane season started June 1st. This is a must-have item for your dad's or husband's emergency kit, bedside stand or car. Or even if he just likes to listen to Joe Castiglione and the Red Sox in the back yard. Affordable, practical and comes from one of our favorite companies, LL Bean. Exotic Flowers in Boston has taken many pages from the LL Bean customer service program.
- They say a way to man's heart is through his stomach. While dad is listening to his new radio in the back yard. Why not pick him up a few thick ribeyes from Butcher Boy in North Andover. Of course, you do not have to leave Boston to buy beef, but Butcher Boy is the best in business.
- While your dad is in the backyard grilling his steaks and listening to the Red Sox, why not help beautify the yard. Many make the mistake of buying dad tools and plants for him to plant. Why not give him a break and have the staff at Exotic Flowers send our Mixed Summer Planter. This delightful planter bustles with lovely flowers and long-lasting garden plants. With so much to offer, it'll make the days of summer brighter.
- Rounding out our top five gifts might be the most nostalgic and best received Father's Day presents of all. How about a box of 2012 Topps Archives Baseball cards. " Archives features a mix of active players and retired greats in a mix of designs based on previous Topps base sets of the past. Hobby boxes have 24 packs with eight cards per pack. Each box is also said to contain two Fan Favorites autographs which include guys like Will Clark, Wally Joyner and Ron Kittle.