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Decorating Christmas Wreaths

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 09, 2017

As you’ve probably noticed, streets are slowly being filled with lit up homes dressed in garland and other festive décor that lets everyone know it’s their favorite time of year.  For decorators and floral designers, it’s the busiest time of the year where they put their creative thinking to the test to manifest stunning holiday pieces that will encourage the holiday spirit.  From trees to pine roping, experts are hard at work accommodating their customers tastes and needs to produce beautiful reminders that Christmas has indeed arrived.  One area of particular interest is the demand for personalized hanging door wreaths which are an increase of demand.  In past years, trends have shown an absence of interest in this item but in 2017, wreaths look to be making a gigantic comeback.

CHRISTMAS WREATH BOSTON.jpg

One reason why they are returning to so many Christmas lists is the fact that this symbol encompasses the true meaning of the season, which embraces unity, love and the centrality of togetherness.  The circular shape of the ornament is the expression of eternity where there is no end, just the continuation of interwoven branches that signify the bonds between family.  The significance of the wreath dates back to centuries ago where people made their own decorations using material they had available and replicated formations of icons they found of importance. The circular shape being one that held the most importance during celebrations-particularly Christmas.


Although you see many wreaths made out of pine, there are many different types sold in tree lots, flower shops or ones you can whip up on your own.  You can use a variety of materials to create breathtaking décor to be placed on your door and several can be found for little to no cost at all.  Here are some of my favorite branches and foliage which are fabulous for this type of project:

Leather Leaf

Eucalyptus

Pussy Willow

Grape Vine

Privet Berries

Ruscus

Boxwood

Evergreen

Dried Flowers and Herbs


Depending on what you have chosen for greenery, you can add ornaments to the piece by using a hot glue gun to secure the items.  Ribbons, pine cones and small charms make wonderful additions to holiday wreathes or you can forgo further design to allow a natural style for you to enjoy.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Holiday Roping, Christmas

Styling in Silver Follows Champagne Trend

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Nov 28, 2017

Alert!  Alert!  There has been another fashion trend flowing towards the floral industry this holiday season naming silver as decorator’s top choice for accessory material.  Designing experts have revealed that following in the footsteps of the metallic vogue, silver is the newest sensation to sweep seasonal décor and we couldn’t be happier about the news.  Professionals are loving this idea because not only does it make a dazzling display when applied properly, silver has the tendency to make holiday presentations appear crisp, majestic and glamorously ornamental.  It’s a real change from previous years when we’ve been dependent on boring, dull shades that have been on the downtrend for decades.  By instead using silver mixed with white, we can illuminate pieces in a naturalistic manner allowing designers to use a “less is more” approach when making flower bouquets, wreaths and garland for clients. You may have noticed that major retail outlets have already jumped on board since aisle upon aisle is lined with silvery baubles which are being scooped up by our pros.  If you like this idea but are interested in surveying the availability of flowers dressed in silver- you may be surprised to learn that creative geniuses behind the bench are brainstorming exciting answers to this puzzle… Think spray paint, glitter and acrylics when imagining how to replicate this look and here are a few ideas to go those artistic wheels turning.

silver christmas.jpg

Silver Bells

The easiest way to make an infusion of silver within your holiday decorating is to pick up packages of inexpensive silver bells you might find at a Christmas Tree Shop, Walmart or Target.  You can add the ornaments throughout a low-lying centerpiece or glue them to the base of the arrangement making a pretty base for the flowers to reflect off of.  If you are planning on using the bells as a part of the floral design, attach the ornaments to six inch picks using a glue gun and place within the assortment.  If you want to try matching the shade of featured species, request a bunch of eucalyptus, Artemisia or dusty miller.  All of these varieties will look amazing in contrast to this particular motif and expel the feeling of joy we emulate during the season.  


Never Underestimate the Power of Spray Paint…


I don’t know about you but I’m a huge fan of spray paint because it’s a really simple way to quickly change the shade of any solid object and that flowers are no exception. While some of the softer species might have trouble with this process, others have no problem absorbing a coat of paint and quite often will last longer with this system of preservation.  Foliage such as ruscus, leather leaf, bear grass and willow branches are excellent examples of greenery which will work well spray painted as well as poppy pods (hens and chickens).  Make sure you have an area that is well ventilated to complete this project and have fun sprucing up your home in silver this holiday season.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Flowers, Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Symbols and the History Behind Them

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 07, 2016

Christmas is the season for time-honored traditions experienced with friends and family.  We mark this special occasion by decorating with particular items in order to make our homes feel festive for ourselves and for those who visit.  Twinkle lights, wreaths and trees are in high demand throughout Boston and are slowly appearing on doors and spotted within windows.  Just by driving by a house lit up by tiny rainbow bulbs, many of us experience a feeling of uplift and immediate joy.  Holiday décor plays a very strong influence upon creating the magic that the Yule Tide brings and the emotions that effervesce from these beautiful signs we associate with Christmas.  Every year, families partake in seeking out these novelties but have you ever wondered where the traditional influence began?  Find out what makes a balsam a Christmas tree and why a circle of garland eventually resulted into a holiday wreath.  You may just be surprised how these icons earned their fame and resulted into our most cherished seasonal ornamentation!

christmas_trees_in_boston-resized-600.jpg

Christmas Trees

Here’s an interesting fact:  Did you know that Christmas trees are the only single variety of arbor grown in all 52 states?  Yup- and that even includes Alaska and Hawaii!  Balsam, spruce and fir species are the #1 cultivated species in the U.S. and that’s all because of our love for Christmas!  Historically, there’s a ton of stories claiming the truth behind the Christmas tree but the one I like best is the tale about how the ancient people in the northern hemisphere celebrated the winter’s solstice, (the longest day of the year).  They believed that the Sun God had cyclical levels of feeling well during the warmer season and weak during the cold.  On December 21st, there would be a celebration for the Sun God because it was the end of her “ailing term” (the cold dark nights) and the beginning of her health once again (the return of heat and sunlight).  The people would mark this occasion by using pine and evergreen boughs to hang in their homes as a gesture for an early spring arrival.  They chose pine because it held its bright green color throughout the year.  The early Vikings and Romans also implemented a similar ritual when they displayed Christmas trees as a sign of continued health and everlasting life.

christmas_wreath_in_boston-resized-600.jpg

Wreaths

As you can imagine, wreaths have been used as a symbol throughout time holding both a positive and negative implication.  Depending on the culture, region and religion, this icon could be gifted as either a token of victory or hung as a sign of death.  In “Christmasy” terms, the shape being a circle is typically tied with unity, everlasting love and “infinity” depictions, almost always recognized as a pleasant connotation.  As you might see today different styles woven out of berries, twigs or branches, the wreath is traditionally made with pine bows because past civilizations sought after its unchanging green hue.  If you’re Catholic, you might be interested in knowing that the wreath became associated with Christmas after the resurrection of Christ as it became used as a sign of eternal life.  

Tags: Symbols of Christmas, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Christianity

Is it Too Early To Be Buying Our Christmas Decorations?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Nov 14, 2015

There’s been a lot of hubbub lately surrounding the issue of whether it is too early to be stocking up on Christmas fare when it’s only November.  Starbucks is the latest culprit who recently launched their “red cup” marketing ploy, which interestingly enough has attracted a large amount of controversial press.  Is it wrong to change all accessorized décor color to red and green?  Is it pushing things to be lighting up the trees with holiday bulbs?  Or how about this one- buying floral centerpieces designed to reflect the Yule Tide season?  Is it offensive or simply a show of our adoration for the merriest time of the year?  


photo credit: Flower Factor

Personally, my holiday spread is put up a couple of weeks into December and taken down one week after Christmas but that’s just me.  I understand that there are many people out there who want to grab every second they can out of the season and I admire you, I really do.  But you have to admit, there’s no doubt the ugly head of commercialism does play a part in the mass movement to put Santa Clauses in storefronts even before we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving.  Do we actually spend more when influenced by the merchandising of Frasier Firs standing in doorways and twinkling lights dangled across glass display cases?  Most advertising business experts agree that inarguable, we do.


photo credit: Flower Factor

So what does that mean for Boston florists who are beginning to bring in shipments of poinsettias, Christmas trees and wreaths?  I’d say it’s a pretty good prediction that there will be a solid sales base for the early bird shoppers who can't wait to stock up on seasonal festivities. If customers are eager for holiday pieces but are torn by the issue of the timing possibly being premature, offer them arrangements that include some identifiable props but still can be categorized as appropriate for fall.  By not overwhelming clientele with a complete switch to silver bells and frosted greenery, we can make the most of November and December by easing ourselves gently into the holiday season.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas, Holidays, Christmas Flowers, December

Christmas Flowers and Color Combinations

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 08, 2014

Christmas is filled with beautiful arrangements created in festive colors and designs using a variety of flowers and accessories.  While the poinsettia is definitely a seasonal favorite because of its deep red pigmentation and traditional sentiment, florists are looking to expand this year’s selection by offering new options for December floral décor.  Wreaths,Christmas Flower Delivery Bostongarlands and trees are essential but there is no rule against looking outside the flower box and trying something new!  Stray away from the ho-hum greens and ornamental basics by delving into a more contemporary style that mixes customary basics with a modern flair.  Stumped as to how to accomplish this presentation without wandering too far away from the Christmas favorites?  Here are a few simple tricks to step up your holiday floral game!

 Hanukkah flower delivery newton

Roses are a stunning substitute for the poinsettia plant because it holds well in arrangements (particularly in oasis) and grows in a massive spectrum of color.  Roses also hold a simple but compact shape that compliments other varieties of flowers without overcrowding the piece.  Just because the expected tints of green, red and white are popular, don’t be afraid to throw in your own idea of Christmas spirit by adding shades of blue, purple or maybe even pink.  Furling together tones of blush, beige and cream sprinkled with glitter and finished with a few sprigs of pine can be perfectly wonderful combination for the dinner table centerpiece.  Not only does it hold the quality of longevity but expresses a sophisticated feel with a unique body of texture.  If you really want to try an interesting look, dip white roses in red sparkle glitter and let them dry before inserting them in vases.  You’ll be surprised as to the elegance this expels and without a doubt; it will become a strong conversational piece for holiday parties. 

holiday flower delivery boston

 

Suggestion color palettes to mix this season’s Christmas centerpieces:

Hot pink, orange and lime green

            White, blush and beige (lambs ear or pine sprigs for greenery)

            Blue, white baby forest green

            Dark red, peach and baby yellow

            White, cream and brown

 

Suggested Natural Accessories

            Box Tree

            Pine Cones

            Seasonal Nuts

            Pine (A staple)

            Birch Bark

            Pine Needles

            Seedling Trees

            

Photo credits: all photosin this post can be attributed to Flower Factor and AboutFlowers.com

suzie_canaleSuzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Suzie is a published children's book author, avid gardener and enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

 

Tags: Christmas Wreaths, Christmas, Christmas Flowers

Where Do You Buy a Fresh Christmas Tree in Boston ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Dec 01, 2014

Exotic Flowers in BostonExotic Flowers on American Legion Highway in Roslindale has been selling cut Christmas Trees for more than fifty years in the same location. At Exotic Flowers, there are hundreds of cut Christmas trees to choose from. Our Christmas tree lot features balsam fir, fraser fir, concolor fir, white pine, douglas fir and even snow flocked Christmas trees.
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, all our Christmas trees have visible pricing. No tree lot haggling, swindles or off the cuff remarks. An experienced sales staff will help you pick out the perfect Christmas tree for your home.
Our Christmas trees are all standing and can be viewed at all angles, no hidden sides. After you select your perfect Christmas tree, our sales staff will bundle your tree for easy transport and tie it your car at no charge. We also give every Christmas tree a fresh cut to ensure freshness.
CHRISTMAS WREATH IN BOSTON resized 600
Of course, we do not just sell Christmas trees. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we offer hundreds of plain and decorated Christmas wreaths. We also have kissing balls, evergreen roping, mistletoe and a greenhouse filled with locally grown poinsettias, cyclamen and amaryllis.
We can also deliver your Christmas tree to your door. Not sure if you have a tree stand, we sell Christmas tree stands, ornaments, lights and removal bags. Also every child gets a book and candy cane at no charge. 2015 Exotic Flowers wall calendars are also available for free to adults too.
BOXWOOD TREE IN BOSTON resized 600Boxwood trees are a specialty at Exotic Flowers in Boston. Many Bostonians live in apartments and have a need for these miniature Christmas trees. Our boxwood trees can also be created in any color scheme and with fresh flowers too. 
When you visit Exotic Flowers to buy your Christmas tree, ask for a tour. We would love to show you around.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Holiday Memories, Holidays

A Countdown to Christmas Calendar

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Nov 29, 2014

We all know there are a million things to get done during the month of December in order to prepare for one of the biggest holidays of the year, Christmas!  Our lists are long and we sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed with trying to accomplish an impossible tally of tasks, at the end feeling apprehensive, uneasy and exhausted.  Well, that’s not the way the holiday season should be at all!  Christmas is about being together and enjoying the special spirit the yuletide season summons in all of us.  So how do we fix the Christmas frenzy of anxiety?  We get organized with a simple calendar that will help us get all of our undertakings accomplished while still having fun and enjoying Christmas for all of the magic that it brings.  Here is a schedule that works for me but design yours to suit your specific needs and agenda.

 

December 1st    Break out the Christmas Advent for the Kids. Lego offers a really cute one with a new mini set daily. LEGO_ADVENT_CALENDAR_2014

 

December 2nd   Begin preparing the house for decorations by storing excess clutter

                            and knickknacks. 

 December 3rd   Lights go up outside - white lights are my favorite!

 December 4th  My husband's birthday. The Christmas Wreath is hung on the door and the Christmas cards are addressed. The Jimmy Fund offers beautiful holiday cards that Exotic Flowers send to its top clients.

 December 5th   Make a complete list of gifts for family and friends.  It’s better to plan

                          ahead to defer from going over the budget. 

 December 6th   Bake a cranberry pie and put in freezer to be stored until Christmas

                          for last minute hostess dessert needs.   

 December 7th   String the rest of the cranberries for garland.  They are beautiful on

                          The tree!

 December 8th   Gingerbread House Project Day!  One of the kid’s favorite activities!

 December 9th    Make sure the kids have made their last and final version of their

                           Christmas lists.  You don’t want any new wish list surprises popping

                           up any later…

 December 10th  The tree arrives!  Put in stand with water to allow the branches to

                             relax overnight.

 December 11th  My son Lance's birthday. We have a tradition of putting up ours today. The tree is ready to                         be decorated with lights, tinsel, popcorn strands and ornaments!

 December 12th   Buy Christmas pajamas for everyone!  Decorate the hearth with

                            candles and balsam garland. 

 December 13th     Christmas bonuses for the mailman and paperboy. 

 December 14th    Buy the wine for the holiday table.

 christmas_cookies                                                 photo credit: honeyandjam.com

December 15th    Bake sugar cookies for the neighbors and package those that are to

                             be given as small gifts.

 December 16th    Donate items to the local soup kitchen for their holiday feasts. 

                            make sure to include some children’s books for the kids.           

 December 17th    Finish up any last minute Christmas present shopping and be

                             officially DONE!

 December 18th    Plan your menu for Christmas dinner including everything

                             from the main course to the dessert.  Don’t forget the rolls!

 December 19th     Finish wrapping all of the presents and hide them in the attic. 

 

December 20th     Pick up the floral centerpiece from Exotic Flowers in Boston 

 

                              christmas_centerpiece

December 21st     Brace yourself-its grocery store shopping day for your holiday

                              food!   

 December 22nd    Grab stocking stuffers at CVS- make sure you don’t forget the

                              candy canes.

 December 23rd     Prepare the side dishes that can be refrigerated.  Get as much of

                               the cooking done as early as possible!

 December 24th    Christmas stockings are hung by the fire and cookies and milk are

                              left by the fireplace for Santa Claus. 

 December 25th    Christmas Day-Enjoy the holiday with friends and family!

 

suzie_canale_boston Suzie Canale at Fenway Park with her boys May 2014.

Suzie will be celebrating this Christmas with her familly at her home in Westwood, MA.

 

 

 

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Holidays, #EXFL

Decorating your Boston Home with Garland and Swags for Christmas

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Nov 28, 2014

Christmas garland Boston resized 600

Did you ever decorate your home with Christmas garland for the holidays ? If not, now is the time to start your own tradition. Live evergreen garland can decorate banisters, light poles, mantles and doorways.  Although garland can be artificial, the staff at Exotic Flowers firmly believes in fresh evergreen garland. We often say, 'real garland means real Christmas.'

Christmas garland can be ornate or simple. Some use simple long needled white pine roping. Some Bostonians look for mixed greenery which includes balsam fir, noble fir and berries. Some even add light strings to their garland. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we offer all the ingredients for Christmas garland. We even install holiday garland in homes in Boston, Canton, Brookline and Beacon Hill.

Evergreen garland often comes in twenty and thirty foot rolls. Of course we can sell you any length your home requires.  Fresh evergreen garland not only enhances the beauty of your home but also brings the scent of Christmas into your home.

10979213455_6b77cd2312_h                                                                               photo credit Flower Factor

Evergreen swags are another great option to decorate for Christmas. Swags are made from evergreen sprigs tied together. Swags in the Boston area are created with  Balsam fir, Cedar, boxwood and  a combination of  berries and cones.   Swags are often hung vertically with a bow added for color. You can hang a swag anywhere you would hang a wreath; of course the front door is most popular. The swag is often the most economical alternative to a wreath.

CHRISTMAS_DOOR_ARCH_BOSTON

 

Another great idea for decorating the outside of your Boston home for Christmas are mixed evergreen planters. In place of pots filled with geraniums, the staff at Exotic Flowers will install mixed evergreen planters on your front steps. These planters often include balsam fir, fraser fir, cedar, pine cones and white birch. The best part of these planters is their durability. They often decorate the front steps of Boston area homes throughout the winter.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Holiday Roping, Christmas Trees, Christmas

When is the Best Time to Buy a Christmas Tree

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Dec 04, 2013

boston christmas trees resized 600
Whether you cut your own Christmas Tree or visit one of the many tree lots in the Boston area, people often ask when is the best time to buy a Christmas Tree ? While many people often celebrate Thanksgiving with a Christmas Tree set up, the staff at Exotic Flowers does not recommend a fresh cut Christmas in any home before December 4th. 
While all of our Christmas trees are freshly cut, a Christmas tree only has a short life span. The warmer your home is, the less durability your Christmas tree will have.
Christmas trees in Boston
You will hear that Christmas trees need fire retardant and special tree food. These are all myths, Christmas trees need cool environments and a fresh cut. Many Boston apartments are just too hot and dry to put a Christmas tree up in November.
If you do love that fresh balsam fir tree smell, then Exotic Flowers can even deliver your Christmas tree in the Boston area. Fraser fir and balsam fir remain our best selling Christmas trees.
This blog post was inspired my cousin Lisa Canale Trachtman whose father Kenny brings my fondest memories of Christmas.

Tags: Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas

The Society of American Florists Acknowledges Exotic Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Nov 16, 2013

Christmas FlowersEvery Saturday, the Society of American Florists (SAF) offers sales tips to floral industry professionals. This week, Katie Hendrick shares some holiday sales tips from Exotic Flowers in Boston.

Inexpensive Perks Keep Customers Merry

by Katie Hendrick
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, convenience and customer appreciation define the company's holiday marketing philosophy. We reached out to Rick Canale, owner of the 2008 Marketer of the Year-winning shop, for some tactics to get customers in the door and spending money, amidst all their other shopping activity.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Sell Christmas trees and wreaths to generate in-store traffic
  • Provide snacks – popcorn and candy canes – to keep tired shoppers in good spirits
  • Offer complimentary containers of hand sanitizer (to keep cold and flu germs at bay). The Exotic Flowers version has "Red Sox World Series Champions" emblazoned on it.
  • Send letters reminding customers of the previous year's holiday order with a personal letter. ("This gets great feedback," Canale said. "People appreciate reminders and they really love the personalization of the letter.")
  • Hand deliver poinsettias to top 100 clients.
  • Hand sign cards to top 200 clients.

Tags: SAF, Society of American Florists, Marketing, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Christmas Flowers

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