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Peony Power

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 25, 2018

One of the top leading floral species in the industry during the spring season is the peony.  If you are familiar with the breed, no doubt you are not surprised since this variety has withstood decades upon decades of competition from similar grown varieties.  A peony’s smell, appearance and ability to take one’s breath away when mixed in a bouquet are all the factors responsible for the puffy bloom’s success. Flower shops across the country depend on this beauty’s availability once April rolls around and almost immediately becomes the primary pick chosen for high end arrangements.  It isn’t every day that one flower can appeal to both traditional and contemporary genres, plus have the flexibility to be used in everything from Mother’s Day bouquets to wedding work. Yes, the peony is an impressive species that has become just as synonymous with spring as the blue jays returning from the fall and if you would like to learn more about its impressive traits, all you have to do is look at the facts:


Millions of Colors to Choose From

The peony is grown in thousands of different shades by top growers and local farmers

who harvest the perennial to appease local florists, supermarkets and nurseries.  From pink to dark red, this flower has a majestic gem-like quality when it comes to color, which is why wedding planners are constantly suggesting peonies to couples about to walk down the aisle.

        Some of the top breeds include:

        Coral Charm (Coral/Orange)

  Sarah Bernhardt (Soft Pink)

  Diane James (Buttery Pink/Rose)

  Pink Double Dandy (Pink)

  Festiva Maxima (White with Red Flecks)

Peonies are Garden Ready

Many people in the New England area like to harvest their own crops of hearty peonies.  Manifesting in a bush-form, these root systems are easily grown in most soil types typical to this region and are dependable as an annual perennial even when the winter has been particularly cruel.  The stems resemble tree branches so the sturdiness of the plant makes the blooms stable as they grow larger and larger, preventing the weight from causing snapping. Perfect to grow and cut for your own home, peonies also make excellent landscaping options to plant around your property.

Tags: Peonies, Flowers, garden flowers

How to Say Thank You with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 20, 2018

We’ve all been taught at a very young age that saying our “thank you’s” is one of the most important manners we can ever learn.  The idea is drilled into us over and over again along with a multitude of different ways we can express our gratitude. For some of us, it’s a personal speech, while others prefer to write a touching letter or perhaps the gesture of sending a thoughtful gift.  For those who love to shower loved ones with beautiful blooms, sending a floral bouquet to express appreciation is a wonderful deed to get in the habit of doing. Not only will a fresh vase of blossoms brighten their day but the act can also communicate a deep sentiment unlike other options you may have tried in the past.  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the bank with overly expensive arrangements or purchase enormous centerpieces to get your point across. Nope- you can make a clear and concise “thank you” statement just by selecting an affordable mix of springtime flowers. If you have a special someone who you’d like to express recognition for making a difference in your life, check out these sensational styles that your local florist is bound to already showcase.

tiger lilies

It’s a well-known fact that roses go with just about everything, which makes this species the perfect choice to praise someone with.  Pink, orange and yellow hued varieties are the most popular when fulfilling this type of order but you can request just about any shade you want and they’re promised to be a hit.  Just watch out when sending red roses since this can certainly come across as a mixed message.


Sunflowers are one of the top requested blooms for cheering someone up, apologizing and yes-sending a big thank you for something wonderfully done.  Sunflowers are now available pretty much year-round making them an easy choice, plus they are likely to survive a bit longer than other comparable varieties.  Pair with yellow roses, freesia and mimosa for a stunning bouquet or simply send a single package of a ten-stem bouquet. Both will knock the socks of their recipients!

Lilies are a frequently sold variety for this type of purchase because of their showy presence and overall like-ability with customers.  Pink lilies are a wonderful shade to say “thank you” as well as Asiatic breeds such as orange and yellow. Although white lilies are often associated with death and funerals, there’s no rule against swapping their meaning to show your sentiment of gratitude.  

Tags: Language of Flowers, Thank You, Sunflowers, Lilies

Should You Do Your Own Flowers ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 18, 2018

So, there’s a ton of people out there who love flowers.  I’m certainly one of them. There’s also a ton of people who want to become a florist.  Yes, I was also one of them. Then there’s a ton of people who think just because you love flowers, becoming a florist must be easy.  Here’s where you lose me… By a show of hands, who out there has ever browsed a flower shop, viewed the arrangements made by professional designers and thought to themselves, “Hmmm… I can do that!”  Now right off the bat- I’m willing to admit that there is a small segment of this population who is capable of replicating these florals but the hard truth is-most cannot. It’s a belief amongst some that professionally arranged flowers are overpriced and simply just not that hard to whip up yourself.  You see this with a lot of brides trying to save a buck or two or party hosts who believe their floral talents are just as good as the real deal. Well, maybe you will get lucky and prove to pull off the impossible! There is a select group who is able to pull off the wedding of their dreams by asking bridesmaids to give up their Friday night to stuff roses in oasis and who knows-they might even come out have decent…  ?


But trust me- if you have thoughts of playing these odds, I’d cash in your chips ahead.

Realistically, playing designer is actually really, really, really, HARD.  Many of the best in the Boston area have gone to college just to study the ins and outs of the industry, including floral varieties, seasonal availability, horticulture aspects, architectural theory and creativity techniques.  Most of the desired designers have several years training or have been mentored by a seasoned staff member. There’s also the business end of things behind these beautiful little buds which is incredibly important to understand when serving clientele.  They’ve learned how not to “age” a bloom” by over touching and what makes “sense” when arranging with a multitude of different varieties. My point is- more often than not, save yourself the hassle, expense and disappointment by doing your own arrangements for an important event.

If you’re going to ignore this advice- I’d read the rest…


Ok- I get it.  You’re not taking NO for an answer and are hell bent on making your own centerpieces for your bridal event or party.  If this is you- just think about these tips that might save you the pain and agony of having a total floral meltdown right before your special day.

To Avoid “The MESS”

When you spend too much time trying to jam stems of flowers together and then end up taking them out over and over again, it’s likely your piece just looks like one big mess.  To cut back on the likelihood of this happening, make sure you have the right height vase with the length of stems you want to use. Tall arrangements need a 10 to 12-inch cylinder, rectangular or flute shaped vase while shorter bouquets are great with low lying bubble vases.  Having the perfect height will cut back on “rearranging” pieces and protect against the petals from aging too quickly.

Make Your Colors Make Sense!

No, it’s a vicious lie that all flowers are beautiful so that must mean they all go together all the time.  WRONG! There’s a lot of thought that goes into professionally made color palettes, making it of great importance to pre-plan beforehand.  If you like blush tones, then purchase blooms of the pastel realm or if you prefer bright styles, stick to the straight rainbow spectrum shades.  Mixing and matching sound like a good idea but more often than not- the arrangement just won’t make eye appealing sense.

Tags: DIY Brides, Wedding Flowers, DIY

Flower Personality Quiz

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 16, 2018

Variety is the spice of life as you all well know which is why the flower world is the perfect place to find your personality with a multitude of different varieties.  Just like anything else-there are specific characteristics one seeks to find in their favorite fleurs and each aspect is directly correlated to match a person’s unique self.  Not everyone loves roses just because they are a common bloom and not everyone prefers gerbera daisies just because they have a reputation for signifying happiness. Yes-there’s a bud for each individual person out there- the trick is to be savvy enough to recognize it!  How does one approach this conundrum? The answer lies in pursuing a personality test that directly ties tastes and preferences to specified flowers. Does this actually work? Heck yes! Give it a try and see what your favorite flower might be!


The mantra you start your day with is:

  • The sooner I get up, the sooner I can get back to bed.
  • Today Could Be the Day…
  • Yippee!  Rise and Shine!

For lunch, you prefer:

  1. Ham and Cheese on Rye Sandwich
  2. Sushi with a Side of Salad
  3. Meatball Sub with Loads of Cheese.  What the hell- you only live once!

You like to wear to bed:

  1. Sweats and a T-Shirt.  Comfort is priority.
  2. A Slinky Negligee
  3. Nothing.  You Like to Sleep in the Buff.

Your favorite pastime is:

  1. Hitting the Couch to Watch the Sports Channel
  2. Hiking in the Woods
  3. Sky Diving

You would rate your last relationship as being:

  1. A Total Nightmare.  You’re done with dating…
  2. Lukewarm.  You haven’t met your Prince Charming yet but you know he’s out there!
  3. Hot like Fire!  They usually all are…

You would rate your personality as being:

  1. Quiet, Shy and Keeps to Oneself
  2. Social with Friends but always in Bed by Ten
  3. A Total Party Animal!

If most of your answers were “A”, you probably prefer a dependable stem with an adequate blooming time.  Try roses, carnations or lilies to add to your home.

If most of your answers were “B”, you have a love for things traditional but aren’t afraid to branch out and try new things.  Bouquets of anemones, sweet pea and sunflowers are your perfect match!

If most of your answers were “C”, then you’re a wild child who will do best with orchids, calla lilies and other exotic varieties that will appeal to your adventurous, fun side!  

Tags: Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, Lifestyle

Flowers at Breakfast

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 13, 2018

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day where we gain most of our energy, preparing ourselves for the tasks ahead.  Florists are the first ones to agree with this philosophy although they make their own amendment to the belief by suggesting that breakfast should be served with more than just a side of eggs.  Yes, designers are inclined to advice their clients to accompany the first meal of the day with a fresh bouquet of flowers which can contribute specific essentials to maximize the success of a person’s day.  Just by setting a vase of perky daffodils in the center of your table while you munch on some toast can:

-Incrhospitality-resized-600ease one’s overall mood

-Adjust self-modulation for better interpersonal connections

-Increase serotonin levels

-Apply aromatherapy benefits

-Encourage relaxation and deflect anxiety

-Promote problem-solving skills at work and at home

-Generate an increase of creative thinking in the brain

-Help to facilitate an organic and natural start to your day

Wow!  That’s a lot of persuasive reasoning to include a bunch of your favorite florets into your morning rituals and luckily, I’ve found some perfect examples of blooms which pair perfectly with delicious breakfast menus.  Take a peek and see if these stunning blooming companions are what you’re looking for next time you sit down to eat a bagel. You’ll be amazed what the change can do for your health and happiness!


Your Basic Eggs and Bacon

If you’re an easy going fellow who likes plain old eggs and bacon then matching this dish with another simple, yet satisfying flower bouquet such as daisies or gerberas is exactly what you need.  The scent will not interfere with the aroma of the food but the color will properly compliment the plate, making it even that more enjoyable to taste.

Waffles Loaded with Butter and Syrup

If this is your idea of the perfect plate to wake up to, then I know you’re into the richer things in life-stuff you can really sink your teeth into…  In this case, adding a bouquet of chocolate cosmos, burgundy scabiosa or plum calla lilies is what will appeal to your appetite! The intoxicating hues will melt right into the cuisine, accentuating the scrumptious texture while not interfering with the enjoyment of the plentiful stacks.

Pastry, Pastry and More Pastry

You’ve got a sweet tooth alright so we want to make sure that the flowers on your table will mirror this personality trait.  Stick with scented garden roses, lily of the valley or peonies to add to the tray or pastel ranunculus that have a delicate appeal similar to the baked goods.  Any spring smell will only make things better so don’t be afraid to venture out into more intoxicating scents. 

Tags: Flowers for Emotional Health, Chef, Health

Floral Centerpieces with Herbs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 11, 2018

As you may know, spring has had a slow start around here in the Boston area where snow banks are still noticeable even though winter is officially over.  For those of us who have fond remembrances of sprouts already greening our backyards at this time last year, the weather may be a bit depressing as we all steadily and patiently await its return.  While it may take a few more weeks to see hellebores bloom or a stock of delphinium to emerge, there are some species that are capable of defying the odds of Mother Nature… Not every New England perennial cowers away so easily, in fact you may have even spotted greenery popping up from the earth, clearly not being able to stall their regrowth any longer.  Which superhero variety of flora and fauna may I be referring to? The HERB family of course!


photo credit via Flower Factor

Herbs are far and away my most favorite crop to harvest in raised beds and here are the five reasons why:

  1. For the most part, herbs are hardy, which make them able to take a beating when it comes to a rough northeast winter season.
  2. Herbs are multi-purposeful.  They can be used in cooking, aromatherapy therapy, and several other useful medicinal areas.
  3. Many varieties of herbs bloom florets that look stunning in mixed arrangements.
  4. You don’t have to possess a green thumb to grow herbs.  Many species are pretty simple to plant and easy to take care of.  
  5. When all else in your garden is still decayed from the frost, the herbs will always lift your spirits by sprouting in late March to early April.

As I begin to sift through the leftover remnants of fall and winter, I’m starting to see some greens lift from the ground, mainly chive, thyme, lavender and rosemary.  This makes me smile because the first thought that comes to mind is dreaming about the lush and vibrant bouquet I’ll be able to make in the upcoming weeks. By this time, I’ll be able to utilize the pleasant smells and textures the herbs offer as either the primary bloom or as a foliage to tie the piece together.  Not only will the pretty leaves and blossoming heads dress my entire home with an appealing centerpiece, but the aroma will provide a crisp scent of spring that we are all waiting anxiously for.

Tags: Flower Arrangements, herbs, garden flowers

What's Your Flower Arranging Style 

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 09, 2018

If you love flowers, then you probably do your fair share of visiting public gardens, reading books about floral arranging and grabbing a bunch of fresh blossoms for your home any chance that you get.  It’s also a pretty safe assumption that you’re also a frequent customer to local flower shops in the area who tempt you with stunning bouquets every time you walk through their door. You’re a personality easily tracked in the floral industry where professionals dedicate much of their time and energy trying to study what people like you prefer for blooms.  Are you big into country varieties that you might see at a local farm stand or perhaps you’d rather enjoy a sleek bundle of all white roses? These taste differentiations make all the difference in the world to buyers and designers who attempt to please customer bases in a consistent manner. Even if you’ve never self-reflected on what you tend to gravitate towards, it’s a safe bet you do in fact have a favorable color palette, design frame and odor criteria when ordering centerpieces.  If you’re unaware where you lie on the flower spectrum, check out this variety of creations that are all unique from one another and can tell us a lot about you in the process.


Wild Flower Design

If you love to watch the naturally stunning flowers bud up by the side of the road, you probably fall within the wild flower category.  Species such as Bachelor Buttons, Queen Anne’s Lace and daisies will be right up your alley and easily either ordered by your florist or grown in your summer garden.

autumn gemstones

Bright and Beautiful

This is one of the most popular methods of arranging because it appeals to a wide demographic of flower lovers.  Purple, orange and lime green pops from any vase and sends a message of happiness to whoever receives it. If you ever get depressed during the drearier months of the year, this type of arrangement is the perfect medicine.

topaz flowers


This style isn’t for everyone but if you are a creative person who loves drama in your flower pieces, contemporary design is just right for you!  These mixtures are usually architecturally compelling and strive to be different from anything else on the designing bench. The key to this genre is modernization with a focus on artistic composition.


European Designing

This is my sweet spot when it comes to flower arranging because the style originates in the countries of France and Holland.  Instead of stretching stems and strong contrasting color, European methodology relies heavily on the simple blends of similar hues, which are typically placed in a compact shape.

Tags: Floral Design, Flower Arrangements, Design

Spring Flowers to Add to Your Spring Cleaning

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 06, 2018

It’s finally SPRING and part of this season’s chores are dusting the cobwebs from darkened corners to get ready for a brighter season ahead.  For many of us, our chores consist of washing floors, cleaning drapery, changing up the linens and other tedious tasks that are reminders of more temperate temperatures soon to arrive in our near future. It’s a whole new section of the calendar most New Englanders have waited six months to enjoy so it’s no wonder why we put forth so much effort in the upcoming weeks.  While we often become overwhelmed with the daunting jobs that we’ve waited a whole year to resume, there are a few ways to make the process more enjoyable-especially for you!

If you are a lover of flowers but need an excuse to indulge in the cost, then look no further…  Adding a fresh bouquet of flowers to your home as you spring clean can bump up your efforts to create a more beautifully, smelling home.  While we associate the springtime with ideas of newness, freshness and vitality, we can also use these motifs to showcase within bouquets and centerpieces.  Blossoms native to the Boston area during this time period are perfect reflections of this sentiment and will look incredible as a showcase piece once your cleaning is done.  Need a few recommendations for New England spring cleaning bouquets? Here are examples of the best blooms to reward yourself with!


Crisp and White Blooms

The shade of white is often associated with cleanliness and rebirth which makes it one of the most popular hues for colors during April and May.  There is an abundance of white flowers that grow natively around these parts that contain breathtaking smells promised to infuse your entire home.  Lily of the Valley, Snowdrops, Crocus and white hyacinth are among my top four varieties to place in every freshly, polished room.


Fragrantly Fresh

Once we put away the Windex and Pledge bottles, often we look for something to mask or diffuse the chemical smell.  One way to accomplish this is to place a vase of strongly scented blooms to disguise leftover fumes until they have vanished from the house.  Suggestions for this include any type of aromatic rose, grape hyacinth, fringe tree branches and freesia. If you are wondering what other species might be available from other countries, ask your local florist for a possible request for purchase.

Colorfully Inspiring

Sometimes we get excited to see new bursts of color during the spring months and lucky for us, we have a ton of options to choose from!  Mix hyacinth with ranunculus, sweet pea and tulips for a striking arrangement or opt for a single massive bouquet of green hellebores! Spring is all about giving light to color so don’t be afraid to sprinkle a little rainbow of shading into your arrangement.  

Tags: Hyacinth, April, Spring, daffodils

Famous Flowers in Video Games

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 04, 2018

It’s the type of entertainment that most generations have experienced during their youth and perhaps even enjoyed later on in their adulthood-VIDEO GAMES!  Yes, the truth is, I spent much of my childhood and teen years in front of a gaming console; battling out demons and other monsters who stood in the way of my character’s mission.   Asteroids, Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Centipede, Pong, King Kong and Tetris is just a short list of the digitalized adventures that I devoured over the decades and continue to find myself enticed by every time I take my boys to the arcade.  Let’s face it- gaming is a massive part of most juvenile entertainment that not only teaches us hand eye coordination but also problem solving and coding skills. That is why gaming still remains one of the largest sources of revenue for major technology companies who spend millions of dollars pouring research and development funds into cultivating new ideas to hook untapped demographics.  Each year, brilliant innovators are able to attract a fresh customer base to try their luck at a specific game matched according to their individualized, unique interests. Could that perhaps even include flower enthusiasts? Well, I do believe so…

Flowers have actually made several appearances within some of our most beloved games and contribute attributes such as super powers and even assistance against evil nemeses.  Programmers have cleverly inserted these seemingly innocent blooms to become anything from a bomb to a weed that allows players to climb up to higher levels. Florists may want to take notice of this finding for purposes such as teen birthdays parties, graduations or even a gaming fanatic’s wedding celebration.  Creative and inspiring centerpieces can be designed to mimic our favorite digital icons, which not only provide an interesting theme but a sure-fire conversational piece for events. If this idea sounds alluring, here are some of our favorite arcade challenges which all feature a crucial flower as part of the game.

flower fire super mario.jpg

Super Mario Brothers

Flower Fire: These are essential “power up” icons to find during Mario’s travels which allow him to throw fire balls at all of his enemies.

super mario plant.jpg

Piranha Plant:  These hungry plants are awfully scary, especially since they pop up out of tunnels unexpectedly attempting to eat our hero!

The Legend of Zelda

Flower Bombs: Be careful with these buds because once you throw them, they’re likely to go BOOM!



This whole game is comprised of petal exploration as gamers travel through a world, manipulating factors such as wind intensity to grow new fields of blooms and regrow those that have died.

Tags: Video Game, Games, Video Flower Commercial

Spring Flowers and Their Scents

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 02, 2018

New Englander’s love the idea of no more snow, no more shoveling and no more layering clothing with a dozen wool pullovers to keep warm.  If you live around these parts, you probably agree that although the first snowfall can be a beautiful sight to behold, the daydreaming of warm beaches usually follows quickly.  That’s why the first blooms of the fresh spring season are an exciting event in the northeast and are often looked upon as a sign of better things to come. Who doesn’t love the blankets of crocus, daffodils and hyacinth sweeping across our backyard lawns and the beautiful addition of bright color that replaces the dismal ice we’ve lived with for months.  It’s a welcome change to look forward to each spring although there are a few of us who can be bothered by a select portion of their properties…


Flowers can be troubling for those afflicted with allergies, particularly when it comes to the scent.  While many varieties have less ability to produce a strong smell, others produce a fragrance that is quite pungent and can be annoying to some.  If you belong to this group who ducks for cover every time blooming season arrives but still would like to enjoy the beauty of flowers, you might want to take a look at this list which separates the stinky species from the less assuming.  No one has to go without a cheerful bouquet of seasonal bloomers as long as we recognize the species set that will be less bothersome to their health issues.


artwork via

Stinky        VS    Less Stinky

Narcissus (←same family→   Daffodils

Hyacinth         Poppies

Lilac                Tulips

Clematis         Crocus

Stargazer Lilies       Hydrangea

Sweet Pea       Ranunculus

Lily of the Valley       Anemones

Tags: Lilacs, Hyacinth, Spring, About Flowers

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