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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Pink Orchid Mantis

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 06, 2018

pink orchid mantis

photo via - www.houzz.com

I am an orchid lover by nature.  I adore James Story, Phalaenopsis, Vanda,  Cypripedium and just about any other flower that resembles this delicate family of blooms-even if it happens to be a MANTIS.  Yes, Mother Nature is awfully clever when creating her creatures, especially when it comes to the species, “Pink Orchid Mantis” that lives in the warm climates of SouthEast Asia, Malaysia.  Some scientists call this predator of the wild a miracle specimen due to its unusual coloring that looks exactly like a real blooming orchid. What do you think?

 

Although quite beautiful to behold, don’t get the wrong idea about this little guy who is seen as a threat to many other organisms living inside the same habitat.  This Mantis (like so many others) is capable of attacking and killing insects as well as frogs, birds and lizards. Don’t judge him by his size because Mr. Mantis can take out enemies possessing small vertebrates just by using his legs and teeth.  Mrs. Mantis is said to be even more dangerous to her prey since she can double in size from her male counterpart. If you happen to be traveling to this side of the world and catch a glimpse of this critter, don’t be afraid you’ll be his next meal because the venom of most Mantis is harmless to humans although you might feel quite a pinch.  The bottom line is- this species means BUSINESS when it comes to their appetite and can also be quite domineering of their territory. There are even recorded instances of a mantis’ consuming family relatives who get too close for comfort when threatening their dinner.

 

But you have to admit… the Orchid Mantis is quite a beauty!  Often shaded in pink to blend in with the environment, this mantis is also known to change to tints of brown and green when nature calls for further blending into landscapes.  The flower look-alike can play one of the best games of “Hide-and-Seek” with both predators and prey that mistake the legs for petals and face for the center of the blossom. Don’t make the mistake that unknowing species might make because the bloom really are teeth that are waiting clenched for an attack!

 

Praying Mantis have long been a mysterious creature that lurk in woods, rain forests and even outdoor gardens which make perfect homes because of their rare physical appearance and hunting skills.  Many children dream of owning a mantis as a pet but truth be told-their survival rate in this condition is only about a year. Its best to leave this wondrous animal out in the wild where it can continue to stun, amaze and leave all those in awe of its tremendous presence.  

Tags: Orchid League, Orchids, Orchid Plants

What Flowers to Order for Every Occasion

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 04, 2018

Flowers are one of the top five gifts to send for all occasions, being beaten only by Hallmark cards statistically speaking.  Baskets, bouquets, centerpieces and even single stemmed blooms have always been the go-to for making a thoughtful gesture in both good times and bad.  No matter what the events is such as birthdays, holidays, wedding or funerals- local florists are always prepared to extend your thoughtfulness with a gorgeous selection of fresh blossoms.  While designers are always happy to steer you towards the appropriate mix of variety, there is a generalized system for ordering these flowers although customers can definitely bend the rules.  If you don’t know the person’s favorite variety, color or style, here are some tips that may help you navigate these waters. Remember, this is a broad outline for the best flowers to give for each occasion so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and select the species that appeals to you most!

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Birthday: A special birthday present for her is always a beautiful bouquet so you really can’t go wrong when selecting the variety mix.  If you know her favorite blooms, then great but if you don’t, pink roses, purple lilac or green cymbidium orchids will do the trick!


Mother’s Day:  Pink roses are another big hit on Mother’s Day but you can also substitute them for ranunculus, sweet pea or peonies.  Blush and coral work best for this holiday but there’s a wide spectrum of shades to choose from.


Valentine’s Day: You can’t get away with not giving a nod to red roses on Valentine’s Day but mix bouquets of lavender, hot pink and green seem to become more and more popular each year.  Red is clearly the theme tint for V-Day but it’s okay to stray away with some variation.


Funerals: This can be a difficult venue to book flowers for but keep in mind, the family will appreciate your thought no matter what you send.  Staples for funerals usually include white lilies, white callas, white Phalaenopsis and white roses but again, color is not taboo for funeral pieces.  Gifting a basket of bright flowers can sometimes really pick up the mood for those who attend the services such as pink peonies, sunflowers or blue delphinium.


Get Well Soon: “Get Well Soon” bouquets are typically mixes of soothing shades, textures and aromas.  Even though one may believe that bright yellow is cheerful, the tint can actually cause anxiety, particularly for those who are on the mend.  Instead, ask for tones of light blue, peach, blush or coral. If you are set on yellow, go for a lighter shade that won’t attract so much attention.


New Baby: This is an easy one… Blue for boy and pink for girls!  Don’t make it any harder than it has to be…


Graduation: This is an occasion where you want your flowers to stand out so go for jewel tones that “pop” with color.  If this is a high school graduation, do your homework and find out where the student will be attending college.  Look up what the colors for the university are and then design your bouquet accordingly.

Tags: Flowers, Gifts, About Flowers

How to Make Rose Beads

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jun 01, 2018

When I was a little girl, I remember a special gift my parents gave me for my seventh birthday, a necklace made from rose beads.  Being a lover of flowers starting from a young age (I figure it was in my blood since both mom and dad were florists), I adored anything and everything made from the petals of blossoms.  When I opened the tiny pink box to see the delicate piece of jewelry, I immediately believed that I would cherish them for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, my education in horticulture was only just beginning because I hadn’t yet understood that my trinket was almost 100% organic and would eventually disintegrate.  Nevertheless, I did my best to preserve the pretty bauble in the hopes that I would one day pass it down to my daughter. Thirty-four years later, this is merely a sweet memory of my childhood I carry with me and smile thinking about every time I spot a similar styled necklace in a store window.

black pearl roses

Along with a rose beaded necklace being a lovely way to show your affection for flowers, this form of jewelry is actually the outcome of some interesting history dating back to centuries ago.  Before even the 1500’s, rose beads were used as tools for counting, originating in the country of India. Easy to make and a reliable resource, they were made by the bushel and used to teach science and mathematics.  As time continued, they found their way into the religious realm, specifically by the Christians who formed necklaces as a sign of worship. The delicate yet stunning presentation of the strung roses made them a precious commodity-some of which survived to be passed to future family members. Today, they are still used in religion although you probably see them more often as a metallic chain called, “the rosary”.


Get togethers called, “Beading Bees” still exist today and are still quite popular all over the United States.  During these group meetings, friends and family join to make their own rose beads to use as bracelets or necklaces.  If you are interested in trying out a simple and fun recipe to make your own, follow these simple instructions to create them today!


  1. De-petal a dozen roses (preferably red) and discard the center core.
  2. Boil a pot of distilled water and throw the petals in until they are soft.
  3. Drain the water and place in a blender.  Puree until they have a doughy consistency.
  4. Add a few drops of rose incense to replace any aroma that has escaped.
  5. Let the dough dry until it is easily capable of being formed into balls.
  6. Roll small balls to whatever size you would like and push a sewing pin through the center.
  7. Let the rose beads dry in the sun and string for decoration!

Tags: Rose Symbolism, Roses, DIY

Flower Bags Are All the Rage

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 30, 2018

f you’ve been perusing the nursery scenes lately, you might have seen a cool new way of growing and displaying your favorite blooming flowers.  Unlike other planters and pots filled to the brim with spring and summer blooms, there is an interesting method that clever gardeners have invented to optimize growing power while providing a dynamic presentation.  “Bag-a-Bloom is a funky container system that yes-is made out of plastic bag material. Usually fashioned in black or forest green, these interesting harvesting contraptions allows you to hang wherever there is a spot available.  Depending on the variety used to be planted, long cascades and tendrils can flourish down walls and posts, causing an optimal floral display for all who pass by. I’ve even seen these babies used by restaurants and hotels to create show stopping entryways for an ultimate ambiance splash.  For personal consumption, we can hang them on a hook outside front doors or place on gates, poles and trellis archways. Use your imagination when it comes to Bag-a-Bloom styling and here are some ideas to get those wheels turning!


Coleus

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Coleus is an awesome variety of foliage to add in this type of growing vessel because it will appreciate the heat generated within the plastic as well as enable to the roots to firmly situate themselves in the condensed soil.  This variety grows in a variety of colors including green, purple and even pink so the overall arrangement is tremendous no matter what type of coleus plants you choose. Conveniently, these flowering bags are only good for one season and since the coleus is an annual, you can just toss the whole thing out in the fall.  Remember to hang the bag in a brightly lit area with tons of sunlight and water frequently to keep the plant moist and continuously flowering.

Impatiens


Pansies are probably the top choice for bagged flowers because again, they are an annual that can be discarded at the end of the season plus they are a wonderful spreading décor to hang outside.  Impatiens are pretty tough in nature and don’t demand a lot of fussing over if you don’t have the hours to play full time gardener, which keep their demand high with good reasoning. With partial sun to shade flexibility, impatiens bags are a guaranteed winner for gifts or seasonal garnishing.


Tomatoes


Yes-I know.  Tomatoes are not a flower but you’ll love growing your own juicy veggies all summer long with the convenience of no large garden patches to tend to.  Treating yourself to freshly made salads and other tomato based recipes will become a luxury I guarantee you’ll become accustomed to quite quickly! If you really want to see something spectacular, select a species that possesses long vines and watch a hanging garden appear right before your very eyes!

Tags: Garden Center, Gardening, Outdoor Living, Gardens

Trends in Late Spring Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 28, 2018


You might be seeing a lot of hype lately over certain seasonal blooms we’re typically accustomed to in the northeast this time of year.  Unlike other plants and flowers that grow during the fall or summer, springtime varieties have a certain magical quality around them that their counterparts just seem to lack.  Maybe it’s because we’ve waited so long to see their arrival or maybe they presume a delicate presence among their soon to be followers like roses and sunflowers. Whatever the reason, when the May bulbs finally decide to poke their heads out of the newly thawed earth, New Englanders tend to swoon over their presence.  What’s not love, really? Spring blossoms are some of the most stunning species to ever sweep over our lawns and gardens, which also make perfect clippings to fill up our floral vases. If you are in need of adding this type of landscaping to your surrounding property, here are my favorite bulbs to plant every fall!

Fritillaria


This is honestly my most anticipated flower to watch out for every May because of its funky shape and cool coloring.  Appearing like an upside-down bell, fritillaria is often purple in color with speckled dots across the petals. Although there are different hues available for purchase, this variety grows traditionally in the Massachusetts area.  One thing to keep in mind though- fritillaria is happier growing in soil than cut for arrangements, which will considerably shorten the bloom’s lifespan.

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Peonies


Peonies are pretty standard for New England spring bulbs and luckily for us, they will last a bit longer than its seasonal competitors such as tulips and hyacinth.  This flower will bloom large, fluffy heads on a bush along with green foliage that stretches up and down the stem. Due to their popularity, peonies are the number #1 variety requested by spring Boston brides and continues to be cultivated in more and more colors to satisfy a growing selection.


Bearded Iris


These are probably the most majestic species out of any spring bulb due to its fierce appearance and striking array of color.  The bearded iris only blooms for a short time before the weather turns too hot but boy is it worth planting a few around the house to really make the yard “pop” for those few weeks in May and June.  Bearded Iris grows in shades of purple, pink, red, orange, yellow and even black so there’s a ton of options to choose from!

Tags: Peonies, Spring, May

Flowers for Your Summer Cottage

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, May 25, 2018

The salty air is beginning to waft off our coastlines and people everywhere in New England are thrilled to be dreaming of near future visits to our gorgeous beaches.  For some Bostonians, they might even be lucky to own or rent a cottage on the Cape, Maine or Rhode Island in the next few months where they will enjoy the closeness in proximity to the ocean.  New England summers are a treat for us locals so we tend to accentuate the season as much as possible with barbecues, pool parties and evening get togethers on the porch. Foods such as shrimp, lobster and clams are a theme for these events but other areas of party planning are equally qualified for the same sort of inspiration-namely flower arrangements.

beach_theme_flowers

photo via aboutflowers.com

While we usually select blooms such as red berries and pine greenery for winter décor, summer time reflects a whole other field of wild blooms of a softer palette.  Mimicking the motif of a beach cottage, these varieties are softer in nature with hues of pale peaches, whites, creams and blues. Top designers around the city try their best to replicate the sensation of the sea and sand within their pieces so customers will take in the “feel” of the beach even if they are remaining within their city dwellings.  For me, this is my favorite time of year when blossoms represent a core attribute of peace and tranquility, especially when displayed near the oceanfront. If you are anticipating a love for summer flowers reminding you of past/present days spent on the seashore, check out these “can’t miss” bouquets that envelope the meaning of beach living in New England.

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Stunning flowers to request or replicate on your own which convey a beachy feel are those that are light, airy and whimsical.  This may sound like a strange description but species such as delphinium, lace flower, ranunculus, garden roses and wisteria are perfect examples of what I’m talking about.  If you live by the shore, take special notice of any blooming shrubs such as hydrangea that love the salt air-they make great clipping for inserts in arrangements. Peonies are another excellent variety that goes cuckoo for a seaside habitat, particularly those that produce buds of sweet pink, cream and blush.  I also like a fresh vase of stems that have been gathered from around the yard in hues of deep blues and purples. If you’re planning a summer getaway to the ocean or just enjoy the notion of the idea, treat yourself to a cottage inspired arrangement which will keep you happy throughout the warmer season!

Tags: Hostess Flowers, Beach, June, Summer, July

Welcome to Our Sister Company - Baseball Treasure

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, May 22, 2018

Baseball Treasure Introduces Collectible Baseball Coins Officially Licensed by MLB and MLBPA

TREASURE_TWITTER

BOSTON, MA - MAY 22, 2018 – Baseball Treasure, a company that mints MLB licensed collectible coins featuring 30 current Major League Baseball stars, today announced the introduction of collectible baseball  coins in copper, silver and gold.

For the first time ever, a star from every Major League team has been minted in a one-ounce copper coin presented in a full color cardboard mount. Each coin displays the player's name, position, and etched portrait on the front (or heads), and an action image with a  2017 highlight on the back (or tails). Blind packs retail at $6.99 each.

In addition to the 30-coin copper base set for 2018 Baseball Treasure MLB Coins, collectors can also hope for the rare chase coins. The odds of obtaining a .999 fine Silver version (a $50 retail value) is one in 432, while the chances of getting a gold coin (a $2,000 retail value) is one in 21,600.

The logo and packaging are designed by Todd Radom, an independent graphic designer specializing in branding for professional sports franchises and events. His work includes the official logos for Super Bowl XXXVIII and the 2009 NBA All Star Game, as well as the graphic identity for Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels.

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“Baseball Treasure offers the thrill of the chase’,” said co-founder Rick Canale. “With Baseball Treasure, we have added the excitement of including the gold and silver coins. You never know who or what coin you might get.”

Officially licensed by MLB and the MLB Players Association, the coins will retail at $6.99 and are sold on the BaseballTreasure.com website, at sports memorabilia shops, Modell’s Sporting Goods, and at the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals gift stores. The coins will also be sold at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum gift shop in Cooperstown and on the Hall of Fame’s website, www.mlb.com and www.fanatics.com

“What MLB liked about our product is the “blind pack” nature of it,,” said Baseball Treasure co-founder, Rick Canale.  “It’s the ‘thrill of the chase.’ You don’t know which player you are going to get. If you are in New York and opened a pack and got Mookie Betts, you might buy another one or try to trade it to get Aaron Judge.”

The BaseballTreasure.com website was designed by FanBrandz.com, which creates branding programs and logos for sports licensees, sponsors, broadcast partners, web designers and advertising agencies. With over 25 years working with league and team brand owners and their stakeholders, Fanbrandz knows what it takes for imagery that resonates with marketers and fans. Follow Baseball Treasure on Facebook (facebook.com/baseballtreasure), Instagram (instagram.com/baseballtreasure), and Twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballtreasur).

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Tags: Baseball, Baseball Treasure, Treasure Hunt

Baseball Inspired Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 21, 2018

bettsflowers

Like many Bostonians, there is a huge rush of energy in the city lately and that’s all due to the opening of our beloved Fenway Park!  Get your peanuts, pretzels and soft drinks ready kids because this year, the Red Sox seem to be planning on having a sensational six months ahead of them!  Last week, just happens to be my first time back to the old ballpark and boy- was it great to be sitting in those familiar red seats waving at Wally again.  Everyone around me seemed to be taking in the smells, sounds and sights that are synonymous with Fenway such as the decadence of sweet sausage and authentic hot dogs, the brightness of the overhead lights and the cheer of the crowd as the first ballplayer took his turn up at bat.  Visiting the park really is an experience in itself that many people keep the memories of long after they’ve left. How do you keep these fond thoughts alive? We can browse through old programs, take a look at snapshots or wear our favorite team member’s jersey you’d do anything to be just like!

baseball flowers-1

If you are a flower lover who happens to share the same adornment with Boston’s favorite baseball team, you can even combine the two notions to make a gorgeous piece of memorabilia!  There’s zillions of ways to make a beautiful Red Sox arrangement to either showcase at your next birthday party or simply keep for yourself. The first step to designing this piece is to keep in mind the obvious:  the colors of the team are red, blue and white. This might seem tricky at first glance but in actuality, there are several varieties of flowers that are grown in these hues. The obvious answer might be to whip up a bubble bowl stuffed with red roses to encircle the vase.  This, no doubt works perfectly with little fuss but if you’re looking for a challenge-here are a few more ideas to mull about.

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Red Sox

Tips to Transform Your Garden into a Great Outdoor Space

Posted by Jenny Holt on Fri, May 18, 2018

Is your garden looking a bit neglected after the winter? Maybe you’ve piled surplus stuff from inside the home to make some extra space? Whatever your reason, it’s time to think about transforming it into a fabulous outdoor space and growing plants from seeds before spring arrives. Giving your garden a spruce-up will not only make it a beautiful and relaxing space to hang out for family and friends, but it can also be rewarding feeling once all the work is done. Here are a few ideas for you to try.

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Make it comfortable

Inject a bit of personality into your outdoor space through repainting your fencing, buying or re-purposing garden furniture and decluttering broken or useless junk lying around. Try and think about maximizing the space to make it more comfortable for everyone to enjoy, and that includes making a pet-friendly garden if you have animals. If you want privacy, consider planting tall, evergreen trees which will also provide shade on hot, summer days.

Create a grassy space

Lawn care takes a lot of work to get the lush greenness you want to relax on but it’s not the same if you have to sit on concrete paving stone! Plus, it’s a great space for children to play on. If you’ve already got a lawn, look out for any patches or signs of unhealthiness that have appeared but if you don’t have grassy area then maybe it’s time to consider planted grass seeds. Either way, depending on the size of your space, the chances are you’ll need a handheld spreader for a small space or review broadcast and drop style spreaders for larger areas as they'll allow the area to be covered in a few passes.

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Add color

Who doesn’t like the stunning colors of nature’s flowers growing in a garden? Admittedly, it takes a bit of effort to start off but once established you’ll be able to enjoy their beauty in the months to come. There are many ways to brighten up your garden, even on a budget and you should choose different types of species, for example, exotic flowers, edible flowers, annual, etc, to mix it up. It’s important to make sure they’re watered well and receive the right amount of shade or sun they desire and you can either plant from seed or buy in pots from a gardening center.

Whatever you decide to incorporate or add into your garden, it will be a reflection of your style and tastes so makes for a perfect escape in the good weather.

Tags: Gardening, Outdoor Living, Garden

Trellis Flower Designs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 16, 2018

The weather is finally looking up around here, which means it’s time we filled up our leaf bags, mulch the yard and do a little planning for a spring season of landscaping!  Many people see this process as a chore but for me- I look forward to the task each year and actually become excited with the possibilities of new plantings I’ve been dreaming of all winter long…. There’s nothing better than gazing at your green thumb efforts once the summer appears so right now is the moment to kick up your gardening to-do’s in high gear!  One area that’s a nice place to start is choosing the seeds you would like to feature in your pots, raised beds or lawn props. Might I suggest focusing on the species of blooms you would like to watch blossom up your trellis? Archway trellises are some of the most beautiful places to harvest vine plants that will slowly creep up the sides to make a stunning veil of buds.  I myself, have a couple I can’t wait to see covered in strands of brightly colored flowers. If you are in need of a bit of research before you plant around your trellis, here are some of the best varieties that do particularly well in this area of the garden.

GEORGIA_OKEEFE_MORNING_GLORIES

Morning Glories: Morning Glories are pretty much a staple flower when matching a bloom to an archway trellis.  They exist in a variety of cheery hues and can survive with little fuss from the gardener. Just take a pack of seeds and pour near the base of the structure and they’ll do their own thing throughout the entire summer!

trellis-inspiration-225x300

photo via http://handydad.tv/diy-trellis-in-a-weekend

Clematis:  These are another great choice and will not disappoint those who want to quickly cover their trellis with wild looking blossoms!  Another species growing in many different colors, clematis will return each year in the spring although it will die once the heat appears in July and August.


Ivy Sweet Pea: This particular variety of sweet pea is capable of growing in a cabled vine that is simply gorgeous when scaling poles, arbors and trellises. They are extremely delicate in appearance but manage to take their curly leaves and tiny buds to great lengths if allowed.  


Wisteria: Wisteria is very popular in the United States and is able to last for generations if grown in temperate areas with shelter from severe ice.  These heads will drop in cone-like shapes and create beautiful overhangs for people to walk underneath as well as provide a pleasant aroma to the air.  

Tags: Gardening, Garden, Gardens

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