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Keeping a Flower Diary on your Cross Country Outing

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 25, 2017

If you’ve never driven across country, you should definitely put it on your bucket list because it’s the opportunity of a lifetime!  We are so lucky to live in a country where we are home to hundreds of different types of regions where each and every environment can be different from the next.   Many people in other parts of the world have to get on a plane or cross the border into the next country to experience the richness that we already possess in our climate and ecological systems.  The variations are vast and expansive which makes the U.S. the perfect spot to spend vacation time studying the eclectic nature of our landscape.  The best way to do this is by planning a car trip where you can visit a multitude of different places at your own pace.  Stunning variations of trees, lakes, oceans and plant life are all at our fingertips-especially when we’re talking about flowers that graze our earth in splendor!

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photo credit via MattSalad.com

If this idea is right up your alley, you’ll want to make sure you have a few things to bring with you which will make recording and referencing a whole lot easier.  All of the items are relatively inexpensive, a wise  invest before you leave:


  1. 1 blank notebook that can be used for a journal and sketches.

  1. Charcoal pencil for drawing and eraser. (Yes, pencils are fine too but charcoal will capture the specimen’s better.)

  1. One or two preferred reference guides to help you decipher unfamiliar species of plants and flowers.  If you’re into a more “tech” approach, download “PlantSnap” or “Ipflanzen” from the App store.

  1. Plastic baggies are a great thing to bring if you’re planning on taking a flower or plant home.  Just make sure the specimen is not poisonous or you’ll be taking along with you an unpleasant memento.

Now that you’re all stocked up, it’s smart to know a few of the species abundant in certain regions of the country to help you navigate properly.  For instance, Massachusetts’ most popular native flowers are carpetweed and violets while California hosts a wide spread population of poppies.  Here’s a few states to get you going on your way, which can help you plot your floral adventure!


  1. Nevada- Verbena 4.  Alabama- Agrimony
  2. West Virginia- Yarrow 5.  North Carolina- American Hornbean
  1.   Texas-Blue Bonnet 6.  Vermont- Broad Leaf Arrowhead

Tags: USA, Travel, About Flowers, America

Floral Dreams and Their Meanings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Aug 23, 2017

Have you ever woken up from a strange dream and wondered, “What the heck was that all about?”  Do you dream about climbing the tallest mountain, being diagnosed with a fatal disease or find out that you’re pregnant while fast asleep?  Maybe you dabble in the erotic side of REM relaxation and wake up with a whole story wrapped up in romance just for you?  We’ve all let our imaginations go while safely tucked beneath our covers and often contemplate what the meaning of each voyage means.  There are books upon books describing the different possibilities, which may define our unconscious interpretation of reality versus fantasy.  Personally, I’ve had countless dreams over the years that have left me dumbfounded and even concerned by the ones curetted during the more stressful times in life.

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One re-occuring episode I experienced over and over again was dreams about flowers while working in the wholesale floral industry.   It was commonly practiced that I’d imagine bunches of roses and freesia rambling around in my mind, which I guess is normal for people who work with flowers, isn’t it?


Apparently not…


It turns out that those who have images of blossoms swimming around in their heads are dreaming about plants for a particular reason.  If the flowers you’re dreaming about are colorful, it means that you are full of kindness and compassion or you have just completed an act in the same spirit.  This can also mean that you are about to come into a financial gain and it might be wise to close that business deal you’ve been keeping on the fence or splurge on a raffle ticket.  Another meaning can signify perfection and spirituality, which often translates into the person’s actual personality.  In general, a colorful bouquet is a dream you want to hold onto because it can only mean good things are ahead.


If it’s a singular flower on the other hand…

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photo via McQueens Flower, London, UK

Flowers that are dreamt about of a particular species can translate into deeper inferences, both good and unfortunately bad.  Take the sunflower for instance which can stand for wealth but also the idea of being wronged blindly by another person.  Bachelor Buttons are another interesting example since this blue stunner can signify a weakness in a lover’s relationship that might need significant nurturing.  If you are not currently attached to someone and have this dream anyways, it can mean you are lonely and wanting to find companionship.  Keep your eyes peeled for a red rose because this is surely an omen that romance is on its way!

Tags: Emotion Flowers, Flowers for Emotional Health, About Flowers, Bachelor Buttons, Cornflower

Smarty Pants Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 21, 2017

You might not believe this but there are actually flowers in existence, which make you smarter just by placing them nearby in your living space.  Whether they are growing in a garden or sitting in a bouquet upon your coffee table, particular floral species have the ability to spike human intelligence along with other essential vital components.  According to research, inherent properties such as smell, color and texture influence our brain’s activity in a positive way.  While each of these characteristics will have different results depending on the person, the inhalation of sweet scents, the visual of a striking color and the touch of softness on your fingertips all encourage higher neuro-wavelengths in the cranium.  

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Other benefits from regular exposure to flowers can also determine mood changes, stress levels and the body’s ability to recover from injury.  I bet you don’t think about the impact you’re really having on someone when you send flowers to the hospital but the gesture truly is another form of medicine that you are gifting the patient.   Doctors routinely indicate that a present of fresh cut blossoms boost endorphins, which assist the ill with beneficial energy that is needed to heal.  Another area where we’ve seen an obvious favorable floral outcome is within a person’s mood transformation when exposed to certain flowers.  For those who need enhancers to correct issues of depression, anxiety or temperament, you might want to add a bunch of fresh daisies to their daily lifestyle to improve their outlook.  Yes- it really works!  70% percent of people who experience these symptoms admit a weekly stop at their local florist increases their mood and overall outlook.  


If these benefits sound alluring, you might want to check out this list of varieties that are said to work wonders for the brain.  Including intelligence, creativity, personality and bodily system regulation, these buds are top notch in helping you reach your full potential!


  1. Celosia- The appearance of this flower says it all since it closely resembles the image of a human brain.  
  2. Sweet Pea- This pretty spring bloomer, which gives off a pleasant aroma, will improve even the darkest mental state.
  3. Gerbera Daisies- This flower has long been popular with most people due to it’s happy exterior of a round face surrounded by bright petals.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Flowers for Emotional Health, Wellness, About Flowers

The Symbolic Meaning of the Butter Cup

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 18, 2017

One of the first flowers we are ever introduced to as children is the “buttercup”, a bloom which most of us found popping up in our backyards in pretty patches of yellow.  Perhaps you picked a bouquet for your mother or maybe rubbed the petals against your chin to see it glow?  However you played with these beloved, tiny blossoms, I’m confident that many of you have a summer memory or two that includes the buttercup in childhood play.  

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photo credit via wikipedia.org

Belonging to the “ranunculus” family, this plant often has yellow, shiny petals and a green center, which is easily cultivated in a multitude of areas such as meadows, glens and grassy areas.   Often, it is referred to as a “weed” only because it needs little to survive and can be counted on to arrive each and every spring depending on weather conditions. Due to it’s congenial growing temperament, it’s no wonder why the buttercup becomes a sought after ground cover for many landscaping designs.


Because the buttercup is so closely intertwined with children, the symbolic meaning is understandably synonymous with this theme.  Although there are variations, quite often the flower is said to represent joy, youth, purity, happiness and friendship.  It can also mean playfulness, cheerfulness and sunshine, which reflect the bloom’s happy appearance.  If you wake up from having a dream about buttercups, this can mean that you are missing some piece of your childhood and perhaps it’s time to visit the house where you grew up or call and old friend.  Another meaning can be that you are making decisions in life, which are moving you at an uncomfortably fast pace.  In this case, it’s wise to slow down and reevaluate the direction you’ve chosen.


So where do these references originate from?  Through myth and history, the buttercup has earned its reputation from a miser and a cow, each offering their unique take on why the flower remains symbolically important.  In the first example, it is said that a miser was punished for not sharing his gold coins with fairies one day while crossing a meadow.  This angered the fairies, making them poke a hole in the bag thus dropping the money to the ground.  Fearing the miser would notice, they turned the gold into yellow flowers, which hid them from his view.  The second story originates from a farmer believing that his prized cow gave the sweetest milk because she only grazed on yellow buttercups instead of grass like the others.  The blooms nutrients were said to have made her milk delicious, surpassing any heifer in town.  You may want to take this legend with a grain of salt because cows or humans should never ingest the buttercup.  The high toxicity of the plant can cause sickness and in some cases even death.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, About Flowers

A Look into Your Floral Personality

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 14, 2017


People who buy flowers are after a multitude of different things…  One possible is that they love bright colors and another may be the aromatherapy they seek from the scent.  Customers buy flowers to add décor to their homes, to impress clientele when they enter an office and some will even order a bouquet to attract a suitor.  There are a zillion different scenarios to match this question, which is why Boston florists continue to brainstorm new ways to attract shoppers by implementing creative marketing techniques.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

If you can believe it, numerous studies have taken place to match personality traits to floral taste, basing the equation on factors such as educational background, age, hobbies, financial brackets, geographical locations and even the propensity one has to use either the left or right side of the brain.  This last factor might make you stop and think about things for a moment but yes-it is true a person can have a floral preference that directly connects to their individual cranial activity.  Sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it?


In fact, those who use their left side more frequently are apt to be attracted to presentations, which satisfy a mathematical sequence or in floral terms, an architecturally driven piece.  What does this mean?  It means that this segment of the population relies on stimulation that is motivated by factors such as height, balance and symmetry.  Examples of this can be found in centerpieces created with orchids, branches and simple foliage.  Bamboo is a huge seller within this niche as well as pussy willow, oncidium and birds of paradise.  The goal for this type of design is “less is more” as well as a hidden underlying meaning, which is created by the artist.  If this style is right up your alley, take look at these arrangements that can be readily made available by your local city florist.

Tags: SAF, Floral Studies, Design, About Flowers

The Symbolic Meaning of the Gillyflower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 11, 2017

How many of you out there have ever heard of the “Gillyflower”?  I have to admit, I was kind of in the dark about this stock flower, which not only has an interesting appearance but also holds significant symbolic meaning to many cultures around the world.  The species grows quite richly in diversity and is thought of as a traditional bloom originating in the Mediterranean.  Although it has now been successfully cultivated in other warmer regions and still continues to grow as a highly demanded import, gillyflower remains historically as one of the original “romantic” plants for lovers.

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Coming from the “stock” family, this flower holds a stunning scent within every puffy bloom and also possesses the sought after trait of being a hardy crop.  While gillyflower grows in a multitude of different colors, pink, cream and shades of white are popularly used in wedding bouquets and centerpieces (different meanings apply to different shades).  Of course, the flower’s intoxicating smell is a strong seller to brides but more than that is it’s sweet yet sturdy presentation when intermixed with a variety of other species.  The fact that gillyflower is also attached to themes of “bliss” and “everlasting love” also helps to put this bloom at the top of many wedding party planner’s lists.


The symbolism of the stock flower dates back to centuries ago in England where it was used as a type of currency to buy parcels of land.  Often referred to as “clove”, people believed the blossom to be valuable, which attributes the “opulence” and “wealth” end of its meaning.  Gillyflower can also stand for accepting and enjoying the life you have been given, endless beauty, purity, adoration, a religious connection and even as a sign for the zodiac, Taurus.  In general, this flower represents a long lived life, luck and immense happiness so it’s a wonderful choice for weddings, births and special anniversaries.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, About Flowers

Flowers for the Sea Lover

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 04, 2017

I love just about anything connected to the ocean including the sand, surf and all wildlife crawling about the shores.  It’s a place in my life where serenity is naturally cultivated by the sounds, scents and views saturating every inch of canvas making the seaside my number one destination for retreat.  I’m assuming I’m not alone and perhaps you feel the same way about your annual summer visits to the beach.   Being in New England, unfortunately our time spent there is fleeting due to the fact we only have a few months to enjoy it.  I know I can admit to having serious withdrawals once September rolls around since I know it’s not long before the warmth is replaced by the bitter realities of winter.  It’s hard to say goodbye to somewhere you love when you know it will be another nine months before it’s time to pull out the umbrella and towels once again…

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If you’re like me and have experienced this depressing moment of truth, maybe I can give you a bit of advice on how to resurrect the blissful ocean ambiance until the new season calls upon us?  There are a lot of helpful tips including adding scented candles to your home, making sand terrariums, listening to wave recordings, or painting rooms in similar shades of blues and seafoam green.  All of these ideas are great suggestions and are bound to help you through the snowy months of the calendar but might I suggest another coping mechanism to get you over the chilly hump?  

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photo via aboutflowers.com

Flowers make excellent props for setting a similar beach scene within the comfort of your own home and will also provide you with the perfect dose of aromatherapy to boot!  Yes, certain species of plants and blooms will give the suggestion to your brain that you can still experience the attributes of the shore while you’re still bundled up inside.  Check out this list of sandy shore flowers, which will enhance your mood and senses until you’re back in the ocean swimming again…


Beach Flowers:


Beach Roses American Beach Grass Eastern Showy Aster


Rose Hips Beach Pea Columbine


Hydrangea Black Grass Lavender


Golden Rod Heather Beach Plum

Tags: Floral Design, Beach, Summer, About Flowers

Deadly Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 31, 2017

We’re always talking about the beauty of flowers but what if we took a second to analyze some of the deadliest flowers in the world?  Still stunning in their appearance, toxic blooms can be found growing all over our globe, just waiting to claim their next victim…  If you’re a person who likes to pick their own bouquets while walking in the woods, a little helpful information on the subject might really come in handy.  Even if your mother always taught you to never put anything near your mouth, particularly when it comes to treasures found in the forest, this list of highly poisonous plants can still infect a person just by the mere touch of their petals or stems.  If you were planning to hike this summer, it would be wise to steer clear of these deadly flowers to avoid harmful contact that might cause infection or even death.

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photo via wikipedia.org

Monkshood

You need to be aware of this variety of flora because although it originally harvested naturally in parts of Western Europe, the monkshood is popularly cultivated in our region for perennial gardens and landscaping.  It’s no wonder why due to its attractive characteristics of long sleek stems and beautiful purple blooms, which grow up and down the stalk.  I’ll warn you though, the monkshoods allure ends there because any contact with the florets at a minimum, can erupt in a case of increased hypertension or numbness of the fingers.  If you are less lucky, ingestion leads to almost certain death.

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photo via wikipedia.org

Castor Oil Plant “The Palm of Christ”

This may be the most deadly flower in the world since every inch of the specimen is lethal.  Having shiny leaves and heads that are referred to as “ticks” the flower grows as a perennial in countries such as India from July through October.  Ingestion of any part of this plant’s anatomy will give you a one-way ticket to an early grave, although a unique benefit exists in the plant’s leaves- castor oil.  Castor oil is made from the plant extract where it is used to treat burns, cuts and other flesh injuries.  The plant is also referred to as “The Palm of Christ” due to its biblical ties of healing Jesus’ hands.

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photo via wikipedia.org

Poison Hemlock

This one is tricky because the flower resembles some of my favorites like Queen Anne’s Lace and other similar members of the parsley family.  Naturally, it grows along the roadsides of Washington and is indeed extremely harmful if eaten or touched.  There are a wide array of symptoms including dizziness, swollen glands and nausea, which can be contracted from all parts of the plant.  Stay clear of those grown in direct sunlight because they are the most lethal in toxicity.  

Tags: Gardening, Garden, wild flowers, About Flowers

Kids' Flower Bouquets

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 17, 2017

It’s summertime and parents all over New England are looking for fun activities to distract and entertain the kiddies for the next several months.  Hopefully encouraging them to play outside, there are so many wonderful things to do to pass the time, many of which you can find hidden in your own backyard.  If you have a child who particularly loves gardening, here’s an idea that might be perfect for you!  Do you have a bed of flowers and a few old masons jars lying around that need to be repurposed?  If you do, here is an excellent craft to teach your children while also bringing the beauty of summertime into your homes.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Kid-Friendly Directions for Making Arrangements


Materials:

Cutting Shears Masons Jars


Water Flowers


Green Thumb


Directions:

(Your child will need to be supervised during this activity.)

  1.  Take the cutting shears and snip off shoots that are bright in color of differentiating lengths.  Depending on the child’s age, you may want him or her to do their own cuttings so you’ll want to remind them of the plants they are allowed to snip and the ones they are not.  Excellent species to use for this type of arrangement are catmint, hydrangea, nasturtiums, campanula, yarrow, sunflowers, sedum, butterfly bush and lavender.  

  1.  Fill the masons jar with warm, temperate water (not cold) and set aside.

  1.  Once you have your floral clippings ready, place one at a time in the vase, fluctuating between colors and lengths to design an attractive an interesting piece.  Be sure to turn the jar as you add stems to avoid off balanced bouquets and clumping.  Try to only touch a flower once as well because the more times the petals are disturbed, the greater chance of bruising or breakage.

  1.  Once you have filled the vase, bring the piece inside and place on your table.  If you have more spare containers and an overflowing garden bed, create several others and gift to loved ones and neighbors.  

Tags: Kids, Summer, About Flowers, Crafts, Bouquets

Perfect Petals for Pregnancy

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jun 30, 2017

If you are soon expecting a bouncing baby boy or girl, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed about what’s to come…  It is a time for joy but it can also be a little anxiety driven due to big changes soon to come.  For many women, they are well versed on how to take care of this situation during pregnancy and stock up well in advance with things that relieve their discomfort.  For some, lavender infused tea may due the trick and for others a soothing massage could be what gets the kinks out.  Comfort foods, soft clothing, long naps, a relaxing walk and fizzy bubble baths are just a few of the medicines many pregnant women utilize.  

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photo credit via http://www.karenscottreflexology.com

If you are a lover of flowers, you might want to consider a simple aromatherapy tactic that doctors and florists swear by.  No, you don’t have to drink elixirs filled with petals or swallow an all-natural pill with remnants of roots or leaves to make you feel better.  The answer is simple when looking to implement blossoms to ease expecting mom’s irritability, soreness and other common maladies related to pregnancy.  It is a proven fact that by selecting certain varieties of flowers to be placed inside the home, you can alleviate a multitude of symptoms just by having them near you.  Based on color and scent, floral designers can actually create perfect arrangements that will help mom feel happier and healthier.  If you are a soon-to-be who is having a difficult time adjusting to Mother Nature’s calling, try these helpful plant ideas to help you find a source of restful peace.


Color


If you are looking to select flowers based on their color, you might want to pick up a bunch or purple iris or yellow daffodils.  Science says that purple and yellow are instant triggers to encourage tranquility and serenity.  While it is commonplace to give pregnant women bouquets of either pink or blue in relation to the baby’s sex, experts insist the other options available might be a better choice.  




Scent


This is a tricky area because many expecting moms suffer from over sensitivity when it comes to their sniffers.  Stay away from strong scented species such as roses and lilies and opt for a softer smelling variety like sweet pea or ranunculus.  The last thing you want to do is make her even more nauseous than she already is so be sure to ask your florist for suggestions.

Tags: Flowers for Emotional Health, About Flowers, Health

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