Recent Posts

Follow Me

Exotic Flowers in Boston

Fresh Cut  #ChristmasTrees for 2017

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Dec 05, 2017

It’s time to hang those wreaths, plug in some lights and get that wrapping paper ready because the holiday season is finally here!  If you are already writing down your list of to-do’s, you might want to make sure choosing a Christmas tree is one of your top priorities.  What would the holiday season be without the fresh scent of pine wafting through the house and the sparkling of ornaments draped on each bough?  You simply cannot do Christmas without the “piece de resistance”!  Now, not every tree is the same in the lot so you’re going to want to go shopping with a bit of insight on the varieties available and the differences between them as well.  A tree is never just a tree in this business and you’ll need to bring your holiday savviness when you set off on this mission.  Here are a few facts to consider as you browse the selection.

CHRISTMAS TREES BOSTON.jpg

Possible Species You May See in New England:


Blue Spruce Green Spruce


Balsam Fir Fraser Fir


White Pine Noble Fir


Listed above are probable species you might catch site of when selecting your tree.  With careful study, you’ll notice that these trees all vary in size, width, shade and texture.  It all depends on the family’s (or decorators) preference when it comes to opting for one or the other.  Be on the lookout for these specific features which will help you to navigate the path to your dream tree!


Blue Spruce-Pretty tree with an oblong shape that has a pointy top which is perfect for hanging a glowing star.


Balsam Fir- The number 1 choice for Bostonians is the balsam because it has a long-lasting lifespan and a pungent aroma that holds for the season.


White Pine- One of the largest species to grow in the forest; for those who like a “showy” Christmas display, this one’s for you!


Green Spruce-Although these are beauties, they possess wicked sharp needles and the branches are loaded with them… Be careful if you have little ones at home.

Fraser Fir- This tree has a great shape for Christmas decorating because the body is a uniform pyramid and the branches twist upwards to prevent ornaments from sliding down.

 

Noble Fir- These guys can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes but they are stunning for the holiday occasion due to their soft leafage and strong branches.  They are rare around these parts since they thrive on warmer Washington and California temperatures.



 

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Trees

Champagne is In for Christmas Heavy Metal

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 01, 2017


When we think of Christmas, often shades traditionally associated with the season come to mind.  Red, green and white are the go-to palette for most florists and interior decorators who are given the job to transform homes into a festive place to have warm gatherings with friends and families.  While it’s safe to say that these three shades have no plans of ever going anywhere, I was pleasantly surprised to find that metal tints are making their way to center stage to close out 2017 and WOW do they bring a wonderful sense of style!  Gold, silver and bronze may have always been applied in small doses throughout holiday decorating but this year, they become more than just your basic accessory...  

champagne flowers.jpg

Refreshingly, one color that top designers are convinced will be a hit during December celebrations is champagne.  Most people might wonder what this exactly means since there is sometimes a controversy over what the exact tint champagne actually is.  According to the dictionary, the metallic sheen is referred to as, “a name given for various very pale tints of yellowish-orange that are close to beige. The color's name is derived from the typical color of the beverage Champagne.” If you’re still confused, one way to navigate these tricky waters is to rely heavily on blossoms of peach, blush pink and cream.  Excellent species that will work to your favor are soft garden roses (which grow in both of these colors), as well as stock, ranunculus and even certain types of Asiatic lilies.  You can mix any combination of these together or use one specific variety to feature in your arrangements.    


Another idea to keep in mind is to create the effect by using props such as holiday baubles, jewelry, ornaments, lights and other trinkets luminescent of the champagne color.  By using props, you can add to the theme by placing white or cream blossoms in the center or incorporate pretty tea lights to set off the right glow.  In this picture, we can see that the designers relied heavily on this notion by arranging faux stems of spray painted gold poinsettias and silver/pink balls to the side of the container.  This makes a gorgeous centerpiece and will live long past New Year’s if you’re planning a second holiday party.  If you think you can pull it off, combine these two theories by mixing together stems of blush and cream roses with glittered ornaments surrounded by a bed of pine.  This piece won’t only impress people with the champagne effect but will also show how much effort you’ve put in to following the latest yuletide seasonal trends.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Trends

Holiday Amaryllis Trends

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 29, 2017


The holidays are a busy season for florists all over the city who are looking to improve past floral themes with fresh new designs each year.  While red and white roses are pretty much a staple through the month of December, certain varieties often pop up in popularity which freshen a traditional presentation into a contemporary arrangement.  In recent years, species such as freesia, phalaenopsis, privet berries and green frilly gerbera have graced the pages of industry magazines focusing on promoting a serene, effortless style.  Luckily, 2017 promises not to disappoint.  Instead of previous mixes of compact arrangements most commonly associated with the “globe” shape, technique is switching to a more architecture look using branches, berries and other lengthier stems that will bring more dynamic to the table.  One variety which is said to be the true highlight in most holiday centerpieces this year is the amaryllis.

AMARYLLIS.jpg

One of the reasons that keeps this flower around during the Christmas season is because of the multitude of styles you can use to create beautiful bouquets and arrangements.  Featured in this photo is an excellent example of how the amaryllis can be cleverly positioned as a stunning centerpiece.  Choose a tall, slender glass vase for the container and simply place the bunch inside with two inches of water at the bottom.  You’ll only need about five to seven stems to replicate this design and you’ll be pleased to see how long it lasts!


 

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Amaryllis

Easy to Make Floral Gifts for Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 27, 2017

Christmas is a wonderful time of year when we rejoice with others to spend time caroling, feasting and swapping gifts to express how much we care for one another.  For some, this season is a joyous time when the spirit invokes an ease of generosity towards family and friends while others have a hard time keeping inline within budget and cost restraints.  It can be stressful to say the least but the truth is, there are other ways to wrap our presents without succumbing to stress and guilt over our leftover credit card receipts.  Christmas means more than how much money we spend and it is high time we manifest options where we won’t have to break the bank to please those on our list.  One area that is beginning to look promising is the expansion of ideas coming from Boston florists who say “they know how to impress at a price much less”.  Here are some of the clever gift giving notions designers are pushing for customers who are seeking reasonable expenditures for this year’s December festivities.

christmas buds.jpg

Personalized bud vases

This is a really neat idea, particularly for those who like to collect mason jars or other small bud vases to save for later use.  Well, here’s your chance!  With a touch of art, these tiny vessels can be transformed into wonderful gifts just by adding a little personalized touch along with a few sprigs of beautiful blooms.  First, you’ll want to check the containers to make sure there are no cracks or holes which will dribble water once they are filled.  Next, it’s important to clean the inside and outside of the lids until the material is sparkling.  After you are sure they are dry, use a permanent marker to write a cheerful message or print their initials on the side to make it special.  Don’t forget to insert a date on the bottom of the base that will remind friends and families of your thoughtful gesture years later.  If your vases are now ready to be filled, visit your local flower shop and purchase sweet blooms of roses, freesia, ranunculus or aster.  You want them to look airy and natural but if you prefer a more festive appeal, mix in a sprig or two of pine to spruce of the seasonal theme.


Pressed Flower Bookmarks

This is another fabulous trick for flower fans to gift to loved ones and you’ll be thrilled to know it won’t cost a whole lot from beginning to end.  All you need are some stems of blossoms that prefer to be dried such as lavender, violets, pansies, daisies or heather that will have no problem being easily flattened.  You also want to make sure they have small centers and petals with minimal bulk because these are the species which usually are troublesome for this type of project due to water retention.  Once you’ve chosen your selection, lay them in between two pieces of wax paper and press using a hot iron.  After sealing the ends, cut the paper into attractive strips similar in sizing to a bookmark and slide it in between a favorite book you already own.  Gift the entire present to someone special and watch them adore the time you’ve taken to make them feel special.

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Gifts, Christmas Ornaments

How to Deck the Halls “Bad Moms 2” Style

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 24, 2017

 bad moms 2 christmas.jpg

If you’re a mom, you might have already seen the movie, “Bad Moms 2” where our favorite off tilt mommies are at in again with their shenanigans.  It’s definitely a decent sequel to the first which continues the storyline to include their mothers on the train wreck to parenthood.  Yes, the film is pretty funny but being a previous florist and decorator, I couldn’t help not to notice the beautiful staging used to create Christmas displays within the homes.  Throughout the flick, there is a constant battle between mother and daughter to solve the question of who does it better when sprucing up for a Christmas holiday-the root of the plot’s conflict.  While one depends on a traditional look of a simple lights, homemade cookies and a stolen tree from Foot Locker, the style is vehemently opposed by dear mom who prefers to kick things way up into an affluent ordeal.  Think crystal, matching wrapping paper, blue tinsel and a musical display of “Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Yep-this one was a little over the top for even me but it was really interesting how the set designers contrasted the two different styles while keeping them both stunning for visual appeal.  Which Bad Mom are you?   Take a look at the trends to see which yuletide decorating fashion suits you!

bad moms 2.jpg

Traditional Daughter

You’re probably low key in nature and like to reuse ornaments from previous years over and over again to memorialize past Christmas’s ago.  Red, green and white are your go-to colors for palette and multi- hued lights with the big bulbs are favorites to load onto the tree and outside the home.  Other designer preferences that you adore are homemade crafts from the kids, fresh pine roping to hang in every corner of each room, newspaper for wrapping and cut-out white snowflakes you also cut out on your own.

 

Contemporary Grandma

You’re in this holiday season to make a big bang and to let every neighbor out there know- you own this holiday thing! There’s no way you’ll rely on the same ho-hum trinkets you’ve used in previous years because whatever is the hot trend seen in Times Square is what you’ll be replicating for family and friends.  Silver, gold and blue turn you on since red and white have been done to death and there will be no strings of tinsel that will make your tree appear unkept. You’ll also like roping made of faux material because those needles will make a mess when they drop and untidy the presentation you’ve worked so hard to propel.   Clear crystal glassware will be a necessity for dining as well as for lighting which will be strung in perfect ringlets across tree(s) and living space.  

White bulbs are all you’ll tolerate to keep things looking crisp and immaculate so don’t even think about flashing rainbow lights!

 

Best Case Scenario- The Compromise

Truth be told, both of these styles are really beautiful but when put together, the result will be even more gorgeous than expected.  Compromise by allowing some homemade personal touches accompanied with fashionable baubles that modernize the look.  Remember, the holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends so don’t waste every moment trying to perfect decorations that will only be taken down in the end.  

Tags: Movies, Holiday Movies, Holiday Decor, Christmas

Does Your Kid Turn into a Monster During the Holidays?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 19, 2016

You may have laughed out loud when you read the title of this blog but I bet it wasn’t because the idea was out totally of the park!  How many of you secretly parent a child who is otherwise perfectly well mannered until the dreaded Christmas season rears its ugly head?

“I want this!  

“I better get that!”

“But you said Santa would give it to me!”  

santa-claus-crying-child-512x250.png

photo credit via http://702mag.com/

Sound familiar?

 

I don’t know what happens but many kids suffer this incredible personality change when Christmas closes in and many of us have a hard time figuring out why this occurs?

 

We use Santa as bait for good behavior, but even the guy in the red suit is no match for the whiles of overly excited, out of control little pills.

 

Perhaps the “Twinkie Defense” (or in this case the “Candy Cane Defense”) is responsible since their intake of sugar extends well past what their small bodies can manage?   Or could it be the continuous visions we load their tiny minds with through holiday media of movies and books?  Are characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge impacting their little minds with thoughts of selfishness, annoyance and naughty behavior?

 

According to specialists, the “Christmas Crank for Children” diagnosis stems from an increase of stimulation, decreased amount of sleep and an influx of in-nutritious foods.  One of these off kilter may not seem like such a big deal but when you combine all three-SHAZZAM!  You’ve got yourself one unhappy, inflexible hooligan of a kid.  

 

That kind of stinks, right?

 

After all, this season is made merry and bright by a child’s faith in holiday magic.  Their inherent ability “to believe” is what makes the whole thing fun and memorable for all of us who will do anything to see smiling faces on Christmas Day.

 

Is there anything we can do to prevent this negative metamorphous from occurring?  

 

Of course there is!   

 

While we can’t compete with the impact of Christmas Crazy, we can attempt to manage certain areas of their care, which will benefit their health (most specifically their mood) during the holidays.

  1. Mandate a reasonable time for bed and just say no to “Can I have ten more minutes, pleeeaaaasssseee?”
  2. Make sure they are drinking lots and lots of water to wash their systems out from built up sugar.  You’re not going to get them to avoid all of the Christmas sweets but you can help to keep them hydrated.
  3. Lower their expectations of what they are going to “get” and ask them what they are going to “give”.  Not up scaling previous holiday shopping is one way to keep things under control and to evade some of the unwarranted “gimmees”.  
  4. While there are lots of invitations to get-togethers and parties, your child may not be able to attend all of them.  Seasonal burn-out is typical with younger children who really need a grounded schedule to go by.  While agreeing to a few dates is perfectly fine, having your family booked out every day of the Christmas month is going to undoubtedly overwhelm and exhaust them.
  5. Switch up their books and DVD’s with some topics that are not holiday related.  Keep the Christmas classics that you love and add material other than stuff solely wrapped around trees, wreaths and Santa.  It will help keep things in perspective and allow an easier transition when it’s time to get back to their regular routines.

Tags: Christmas, Holidays, Kids, Santa

When is a Christmas Tree JUST TOO BIG!

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 17, 2016

So, I’m writing this blog topic because it seems to be a seasonal issue that comes up in my household a lot.  Whether you reside in an apartment, condo, cottage or mansion, the size of the tree you select for the holidays should really be suitable for the space that you live in.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because many people become a bit overly exuberant when the time of trimming comes upon us, which can sometimes affect our selection process.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the crisp clean scent of pine wafting through the house for a couple of weeks and hanging heirloom ornaments that have been cherished over the years but isn’t the height and diameter of our Christmas stage a factor to consider?  With minimal space, you’ve got to be realistic and opt for trees that will ACCENTUATE not ARROGATE your living space.  I get it-you love the yuletide season and finding the biggest, baddest tree in the lot has become an activity you look forward to but you’ve got get real.  That sucker is going to be in a living room, dining room, sitting room or wherever for a good chunk of the month and finding the right size is imperative to continuing the household’s routine functionality.  Dragging home a whopper that is seven times the build of the dinky corner you’re planning to set it up in can only lead to disorganization, tipping accidents, dry out and even fires.  You don’t have to be Clark Griswold to celebrate the holiday in style by mowing down a fir that a cathedral couldn’t even host!  Think about where you’re really putting the thing and then browse your options from there.  You should also be thinking about the comfort of both you and OTHERS who you’ll be sharing the holidays with since someone’s going to be cleaning up a whole lot of needles for the next month.  

Rick Canale.jpg

If you’re not sure what the right size tree is, ask one of the guys that are working the lot because they have a pretty good idea when it comes to Christmas tree etiquette.  If you want, print this out and take it along with you to help make your decision easier and wiser!


My first apartment wasn’t huge but I always had a perfectly trimmed tree that fit beautifully in my living room.  This ½ pint adorable pine is all you need to dress your place up for the holidays!



If you are lucky to live in a warm cottage, you might want to think about this size since it is completely reflective of the charm of your home.  Not to big, not too little but          just right!




If you live here- GO FOR IT!  Go check out the monster trees that could only probably fit in the entrance of a mall and light that sucker up!

Tags: Traditions, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

A Poinsettia Isn’t Just Your Everyday Christmas Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 16, 2016

The poinsettia is the most popular species of flower grown for the month of December and is cultivated for the sole purpose of seasonal arrangements and décor.  The Christmas bloom is both traditionally recognized as one of the top five holiday symbols (trees, wreaths, lights and holly are above) as well as the most frequently purchased item for gifts.  Every year, florists seek out premier plants from premier growers expecting that it will once again be an item of high demand. If you aren’t familiarly with the poinsettia, take a good look and you, too might become smitten with its seasonal attractiveness.   Formed with large star-like petals and decadent hues of red, white, pink and burgundy, the pleasant visual presentation keeps this product continuously in high demand.  Easily transportable and relatively affordable compared to other Yuletide tokens, its no wonder why guests often pick up a poinsettia as a quick gift for friends and family!

winter rose poins.jpg

Here’s the irony…  Compared to other plant varieties generally grown in greenhouses, the poinsettia is incredibly difficult to produce and cultivate on a grand stage of performance.  Issues concerning temperature control, lighting and watering have given this bloom the reputation of being a fussy plant that many florists sometimes wish to phase out of their holiday product line.  Personally I think that it’s pretty unfair.  I mean, what do you expect from a plant that originated in the arid desert of Mexico?  Poinsettias come from a natural region consisting of soaring heat waves and well-drained soil conditions.  Bean Town’s ever changing climate and weather conditions make growing this species almost impossible to duplicate in the northeast, although there are a few gifted growers who are successful…  If you’re curious how your Christmas Poinsettia was cared for before purchase, read these tips on how to productively cultivate these beautiful holiday plants.

 

  1.  Temperature Control

This flower not only requires a warm Celsius reading, it’s also incredibly susceptible to frost bite even when exposed to the smallest amount of chill.  As I said before, this species is a tropical bloomer so you must do the best you can to replicate these conditions even after you’ve brought it home.  Keep them away from doors and windows and make sure they stay away from drafty areas in the house.

poinsettias boston.jpg

photo credit via aboutflowers.com

  1.  Let There Be LIGHT

As if growing these babies couldn’t get any more difficult, they also need a minimum of six to eight hours contact with bright light.  As you can imagine, the northeast gets pretty dark these days and finding this amount of adequate sunlight can become tricky.  Many agriculturalists are forced to provide faux overhead lamps to deceive the plants into thinking that it’s really natural light.  When this happens, there’s a mix bag of results.  Typically you’ll see the plant’s leaves droop or experience stem decay well before the expected end of its lifeline.  

 

  1.  Water, Water, WATER

Another proven difficulty is watering.  Poinsettias adore healthy moisture and misting but they detest sitting on top of it.  In order to prevent mold and decay of roots, it’s crucial to have a watering tray underneath that can be emptied periodically.  Packing the bottom of pots with pebbles can also do the trick, which will allow the excess water to drain easily from the container.  

Tags: Poinsettia, Plant Care, Christmas, Winter Rose

Trimming the Christmas Tree with Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 14, 2016

Snowflakes are beginning to fall throughout New England and we are making our plans for our holiday décor!   We’ll be hanging wreathes, boughs and lighting throughout our homes in the hopes that these festive additions will bring joy to our family and friends.  For Boston florists, they’re making their lists as we speak to prepare for customers who wish to spread the spirit with decadent blooms.  Poinsettias, pine ribbing and myrtle garland always make the top of the list but this year, we’re seeing an interesting trend emerge…

 

A plentiful variety of orchids are being featured in designer magazines where their customary implant within urns and vases are extending into other areas of Christmas grooming.  While the tropical flowers still remain as a substantial part of December centerpieces, they’re also being used as trimming for the tree!  If you think about it, this is a clever idea for several reasons including their impressive longevity when placed in water tubes and the wide spectrum of color available from most species.  You may have seen flowers such as roses and baby’s breadth hung from balsam boughs in previous years but this new implementation of fancy fleurs is sure to turn heads and outlast past varieties. Flower lovers have always adored the idea of pruning with their favorite blooms but are often disappointed by the cost and maintenance.  If fussy flowers are chosen as ornaments, the upkeep to maintain a lively looking display for the duration of Christmas may prove extremely difficult. 

 2016-10-26 11.00.36.jpg

photo credit via Cheyenne Tozzi's Instagram Page 

That’s why orchids are the solution to this problem and can be enjoyed long after the season if cared for properly.  Here’s a list of favorites that are sure-fire winners for vase and tree trimming this holiday season.    

 

Cypripedium

Not only are these orchids strong and resilient against heat and cold, but they are also grown in the perfect hues for Christmas-chartreuse green and white. The heads make them noticeable among other ornaments as well and provide an interesting conversational piece for guests. 

 

 Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis are one of the most popular orchids around the world and due to its impressive beauty, there’s little argument as to why.  A single head is large enough to be placed in the tree alone or you can choose large branches to drape across the branches.  White remains the most requested color, although this species also comes in shades of pink, yellow and peach.  If you really want to get creative, inquire from your florist options for dyed heads. 

 

James Story

This is another great option due to its coloring, which is deep red or crimson.  The florets are shaped as small stars that are delicately grown up a slender stem.  Designers are most likely to place James Story in water tubes and use along side other orchids that are white or brightly colored.   

Tags: Orchids, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

Christmas Flower Sugar Cookies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 09, 2016

Bakers love the holiday season because there is a vast assortment of ideas to create delicious edibles including cakes, pies and particularly, sugar cookies!  After all, you can’t have Saint Nick make his annual visit without leaving a few morsels of yummy sweets, right?  

Easy-Poinsettia-Platter-5.jpg

photo credit via sweetsugarbelle.com

Christmas cookies are by far the most fun and certainly the most beautiful out of all traditional seasonal desserts.  Creative chefs can let their imaginations fly when coming up with new shapes and images, making their presentations even more impressive.  


Although snowflakes, pine trees, ornaments and stars are among the most popular themes during this month, garden lovers will be overjoyed to see the new trend of “flower sugar cookies” climbing in demand! From happy daisy faces to poinsettia plant designs, horticultural elements are beginning to turn up in several Boston bakeries and floral shop owners couldn’t be more excited!  Not only are upscale supermarkets and restaurants using the new fad to gift patrons with samples but florists are also jumping on the bandwagon and adding satchels of these cookies to holiday orders.  Pretty smart, huh?


For the experts, this is an easy task but for those who neglect culinary brilliance, baking can seem a bit overwhelming.  Honestly, who hasn’t burned a cookie sheet or two in their day?  Thankfully, there are hundreds of recipes that are simple to follow including this one from the Food Network.  Grab your aprons and rolling pins and lets get baking!


Ingredients:  Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter 1 large egg

1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt


Ingredients: Icing

1/4 cup water 2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons egg white powder Candy, sprinkles, dots, chocolate chips, ANYTHING SWEET!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the butter with vanilla extract, egg and brown sugar until blended.  Slowly add the flour and season with salt to make the dough firm.  Freeze the dough for 20 minutes and then begin to carve and shape cookies with cutters or free style.  Place in oven for 20 minutes and watch their edges turn golden brown.   Cool cookies for another 20 minutes before decorating.


Whisk together the water, egg powder and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Add desired coloring of food dye to create color and immediately apply to cookies.  Decorate with candies and let them sit for an additional 30 minutes icing to set.  

Tags: Traditions, Christmas, Holidays, cooking

Subscribe via E-mail

Contact Us for All Your Floral Needs