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Exotic Flowers in Boston

How to Make a Hand Tied Bouquet

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jun 23, 2017

How often have you visited your local florist and been envious of the way they can whip up bouquets like there’s nothing to it?  So, you go home, snip a few blooms out of the garden and think you can make the identical replica no problem, right?  WRONG!  There is a skill associated with making hand held bouquets that requires an eye for color, taste and the ability to follow a process.  Yes, it’s true.  Anyone can learn if they have the patience and passion to work with flowers and you don’t need a horticultural degree to do it.  Let this guide lead you through the steps towards creating beautiful arrangements for your home and events without having them look disastrous.

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If you have a garden, particularly a perennial garden, you have a strong advantage from those who don’t because the product is waiting for you in your backyard.   If you don’t possess a green thumb, visit local farms that usually sell bundles of single variety blooms.  No matter what the temptation, stay out of your neighbor’s yard because it’s likely they won’t be pleased you’ve helped yourself to their hard earned harvested blossoms.  

 

When you’ve selected your stems, try to make choices that will allow you to make pretty contrasts between textures and colors.  Unless you’re using all of the same kind, mix spiky heads with wide faced petals and leafy foliage with simple greenery.  Do not overload the combination with too many things that just don’t go together.  If you want to play it safe, try arranging same shaded flowers instead of getting creative before you’re ready.  Learn the basics first.

 

Now that you’ve gathered all your flowers, it’s time to put them all together!  The trick to this is you want to slowly add stems to the bunch and turn the bouquet while you’re doing this.  That way, each side will balance allowing fewer holes and clumping.  Do not make it any bigger than what your hand can fit and tie a ribbon around the middle to finish it off.  Place in a vase or give as a gift to someone you love.  They’ll adore the thought and your floral efforts.

Tags: DIY Brides, Wedding Flowers, Garden, DIY, Bouquets

Is It the Dirt ? - Video

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jun 22, 2017

 

Is it the flowers ?

Is it the dirt ?

Is it the hard work ?

It's all that.

when you are working outside and dirt weaves through your hands, your endorphins get going. Step outside and make your life better.

 

 

.

Tags: Gardening, outdoors, Outdoor Living, Garden, DIY

New Home, New Garden

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jun 03, 2017

It’s typical this time of year in New England to see several houses for sale in your neighborhood.  During the months of June, July and August, this real estate market is in full swing, selling more homes than any other time of year.  It’s no mystery why since we’re more than likely to be covered in snow during the winter, which is not a great sales pitch for future buyers.  So if you are getting ready to buy a house in the Boston area, besides paying close attention to the condition of the roof and plumbing, make sure to inspect the grounds including lawn care, landscaping and most importantly – THE GARDEN!  

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You might think this is a small improvement you’ll have to make down the road, an issue that needs very little concern but I assure you it will save you time and money to investigate beforehand.  Renovating garden beds is a bigger job than you suspect and will absolutely affect the value of your property down the road.  I know… I know… you’d rather replace old furniture with new or perhaps blast out an outdated bathroom before getting your hands dirty in the backyard but the truth is-it’s the perfect place to start.  With a few tips on how to get going, you can whip up your surrounding outdoor area with little headache or worry.  Not a green thumb?  No sweat!  Follow these suggestions closely and you’ll be on your way to having an ideal spring and summer season both in and out of your new home.


Tips for New Homeowners Concerning Gardens, Lawn Care and Landscape:

  1. Take a look around and notice if there are a density of pine trees hovering over your lawn.  If there are, it’s likely that you’ll have trouble keeping a nice green patch growing and will need professional care down the road.  The reason is because the needles will drop, affecting the growth of healthy blades beneath so you might want to consider mulch or another attractive ground covering.  

  1. Landscaping is a tricky area of renovation because it relies a lot on the past owners taste and whether it is congruent to your own.  If they preferred large shrubs as opposed to flowering bushes like hydrangea, this might be an area where you’re going to have to invest some money.  Also watch out for large rocks that might be difficult to remove if you’re interested in another layout for your yard.  There are companies who will come out to lift and take them away but they are costly.
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  1.  Now for the area of grand discussion….THE GARDENS.  You’re in good shape if the previous gardeners liked their perennials because lucky for you-they come back every year bigger and better than before.  In this case, you’ll have to do an occasional weeding but for the most part, the hard work has been done for you.  If you’re working with a blank slate, that’s also fortunate since you can design the area with anything you like.  It’s your yard now, so go for it!  If the new property has old framework like rotting raised beds or other accessories you don’t want, get someone who can help you lug the stuff away and start fresh.  Try to salvage anything that might be reused, though because again, this can get costly.  

Tags: Gardening, Outdoor Living, Garden, DIY

New England’s Cutting Garden Flower Menu

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, May 26, 2017

If you like to garden, you already know there are several different types to grow, which are made to match our individual style and taste.  Based on your needs, preferences and land availability, there are a variety of selections to fill a space with vegetables/flowers, perennials, annuals, succulents, cacti or possibly a Zen garden.  If you’re a fan of putting fresh flowers in your home, you may even consider planting a “cutting garden” to suit your hobby!  I have been building this type of blooming patch for years and can tell you first hand there’s nothing like growing your own flowers for personal centerpiece arrangements.

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So what exactly is a “cutting garden”?  A “cutting garden” is a flowerbed that contains specific species that transfer well from soil to water.  They can be left to grow in the earth or cut to provide the owner with their beauty inside the home. Another property that allows a bloom to become a strong candidate for this type of garden is if the flower grows quickly since you’ll want to plant varieties that can replenish themselves instead of dying out.  A cutting garden isn’t very pretty when it becomes a graveyard of sliced foliage and stems so we need to make sure the plant has a decent rejuvenation system.  

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What kinds of flowers do the best in cutting gardens?  The good news is, you have a ton of options available so if you only want pink and blue flowers or wildflowers or blooms with large heads, it’s safe to say you’ll find them.  You can map out your plot anyway you’d like to but there are proven winners you should keep in mind if you’re new to this whole idea.  Fantastic examples suitable for the summer include sunflowers, october weed, delphinium, zinnias, gladiolas, ageratum, sweet pea, alliums, peonies, bachelor buttons, butterfly bush, hollyhocks, lupine, salvia, liatris, black-eyed susans and nasturtiums.  For an earlier spring garden, my advice would be to plant tulips, lily of the valley, hyacinth and fritillaries.  


Happy Gardening!

Tags: Entertaining with Flowers, Perennials, Garden, DIY

Flowers in a Box - Trend or Foe

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 29, 2017

As you might suspect, most florists fulfill orders by sending mixed bouquets and other carefully arranged floral pieces, which have been designed to present a professional appeal.  For the most part, this used to be the preferred way of doing things where artistically constructed flowers were sold in vases as a finished product and ready for presentation as soon as they’re delivered.  Traditionally, this is the way the retail aspect of the industry has operated for centuries although recently, Bostonians have been making a request that is leading florists towards unchartered waters.  Interestingly enough, clientele are asking to arrange their own varieties of bouquets, nosegays and other blooming treats instead of designers doing it for them.  Where most flower shops have always done the mass creating single handedly, more and more people are begging to give floral styling a try for themselves.

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While designing your own flowers has made the supermarkets the floral powerhouse they are. Why would you ever gift someone flowers that need assembly. It's like buying the ingredients to a great meal and asking them to cook it themselves.

Of course, if you are gifting yourself and who doesn;t like to treat themselves. Flowers are the perfect treat and arranging them gets your creativity going. 

We recommned tulips, roses, hydangeas, sunflowers, hyacinth, peonies and gerbera daisies as easy to work with while your beautifying your space. 

Tags: Floral Design, Hydrangeas, Peonies, Flower Arrangements, Flowers for Emotional Health, Sunflowers, DIY

Easy Step-by-Step Flower Garland Craft

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 03, 2017

We are pushing through the last few weeks of winter here in New England and although spring is certainly not to far away, there’s still the possibility of a snowy day or two.  Being stuck in the house with nothing to do can be difficult, especially when you have little kids trapped inside with you and it may be a challenge to find something to do.  That’s why its always a great idea to have a few fun crafts on hand to toil away the hours until the more temperate days allow us to play outdoors again.  Crafting for both kids and adults is a healthy way to keep our hands and minds busy as well as enjoy special time together creating with one another!  Since we love flowers so much, I’ve found this great project that’s simple, easy and ready to hang in your home when you are finished!  

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PHOTO CREDIT via guidepatterns.com

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

* Tissue Paper

* Pipe Cleaners

* Beads with Large Holes

* Tape

* Scissors


Crafting Technique Steps:


  1. Slide a bead on each end of a pipe cleaner and bend the ends to avoid the beads from slipping off.


  1. Find the mid point of the pipe cleaner and bend them exactly in half.


  1. Use the scissors and cut colored tissue paper into strips to be used as flower petals.


  1. Roll the strips of tissue paper around the pipe cleaners in different sizes and shapes to create a multitude of different looking blossoms and them secure the paper with tape.  

  1.  Secure the florets onto a long piece of string using the remaining tape and        hang in an archway to create a garland for your home.   

Tags: Kids, DIY, Crafts

Ornamental Magic on a Budget

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

hristmas time is here and the bells are ringing, music is flowing and the decorations are being hung with care!  One of the biggest yuletide displays is the beloved Christmas tree, which is customarily decked out with shiny baubles and lights.  This presentation is the focus of the celebratory decor so it’s important to take pride in choosing themes, color palettes and textures.  


But wait a minute…  This can be EXPENSIVE!

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

Have you ever really done a good accounting check on how much ornaments, tinsel and lights can cost for only a single year?  Generally, tree accessories can be a fortune ranging anywhere from $5.00 to $50.00 for a single package.  Holiday companies have made a fortune over charging for personalized gifts and hanging tokens when realistically we’re only using them one day out of the whole year!  I mean come on!  How much is overspending when it comes to dressing up a tree?

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photo credit via http://www.bhg.com/

Through careful research, I’ve found some great ways to cut back on the elaborate ornament fees by just using a little imagination.  Make your tree gorgeous without having to tap into the kids college fund and show your guests you can still implement a look with style and taste!  Start checking in your closets, attics and basements because I guarantee- you’ll have everything you need if you do some prep work before hand.  Be sure to add both perishable and nonperishable items including dried fruits and antique relics that have been passed down for generations.  Select only materials that are small in size and durable enough to be featured on branches that might be whimsy.  This is a fun activity for the entire family so get together and raid the house for anything and everything that will make your tree uniquely spectacular!

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photo credit via http://stowandtellu.com/

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Kids, DIY, Christmas Ornaments, Crafts

How to get Your Kids to Love Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Nov 05, 2016

If you’re a big fan of flowers, you might want to pass along your hobby to your children.  Whether you have boys or girls, floral enthusiasts understand the importance of nourishing their child’s connection to nature, particularly when it comes to flora and fauna.  The reason lies in the benefits, which include a healthy development of curiosity, creativity and a stronger bond to our surrounding environment.  According to scientific study, kids that play with flowers grow up to have a stronger nurturing tendency towards both nature and human beings.  Many lessons can be learned by all who raise a family with fresh flowers in and around their homes, which are beneficial to all long term.  If you’re stumped as to how you can begin educating your children about the importance of appreciating flowers, try these fun activities and projects to get you started!

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photo credit via www.milajasmineflowers.com.au

Fun and Easy Activities to Nourish a Child’s Bond to Flowers


  1. Pick a patch of land and start a flowerbed in your backyard!  Allow your child to hand select their desired varieties of packaged seeds and let them get digging!
  2. Literally, make your kids stop and smell the roses.  The effects of aromatherapy are said to cure issues such as anxiety and depression without having to use over the counter drugs.  When they feel better, they’ll instantly tie flowers with positive feelings and mindsets.
  3. Crafting with flowers shows little ones the vast usage of heads, petals and stems while simultaneously opening the door to their imaginations.  Try having them glue dried petals to construction paper and let them make cards, bookmarks or beautiful pictures to hang up on the wall.
  4. Encourage your kids to play “florist” and allow them to manifest their own arrangements using cut flowers that are either purchased from local shops or simply cut from the backyard.  Don’t focus on the perfection of the piece, instead emphasize creativity and see what their tiny hands can come up with!  Who knows?  You might just have a brilliant designer in the making!
  5. Do your neighborhood some good and have the kids mix together small bouquets that they can gift to friends and family.  They’ll see the immediate joy and happiness they elicit and seek out to replicate that reaction over and over again.

Tags: Floral Design, Kids, DIY

Lovely Little Flower Bouquets

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Nov 03, 2016

You’ve heard them say, “The best gifts in life come in the smallest packages,” and that remains to be true even when talking about flowers!  Although large, bountiful and cascading creations still cause quite an affect on audiences, smaller vase work and nosegays are brimming up excitement for the “Less is More” end of the floral spectrum.  People are starting to become enticed by miniature arrangements and the precision that goes into making them.  Tiny pots, jars and urns are being snatched up by designers and filled with the most delicately beautiful blooms from the best wholesale markets in town.  Word has it that they’re being utilized in a massive array of situations including weddings, restaurant/hotel functions, personalized presents, holiday décor and interior decorating.  Because of their wide screen of desirability, florists are having a grand ole time projecting what their product needs will be for future sales.  

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photo credit via Flower Factor

According to them, it ain’t easy…

One reason is due to the fact that orders are ranging in all types of design and color including contemporary vs. French styles and bold hues vs. pastels.  Some local Boston buyers are even saying that tropicals are starting to show up within this trend as well as succulents and cacti.  Apparently, anything is up for arranging when it comes to these tiny wonders.  

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photo credit via Flower Factor

Tags: Floral Design, Flowers, DIY, Bouquets

Make Your Own Fall Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Sep 22, 2016

Boston is starting to slide into another season and so aren’t thecity’s florists who are changing their palettes accordingly.  The soft pastels and vibrant green and blue hues that traditionally grace the floral vases of summer are beautiful but it’s time to swap things up! Warm tints of gold, red, sienna and emerald are just what we’re looking for to dramatize our creations and omit a seducing taste of what autumn has to offer.  Texture, tone and container selection are all part of fall’s new style with simple designs that you can even recreate at home!  Here is one I whipped up over the weekend that reflects this current fad of flowers, which was not only easy to make but really inexpensive as well.  Here are the steps to achieving these three seasonal arrangements for your bedrooms, living rooms or kitchens!





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What you’ll need:  

  1. A watertight container.  Preferably a ceramic dish, bowl or planter that has a bit of wear and tear.  The chips or faded color will just add to the appearance of the arrangement and reflect a fuss-free style.
  2. Flowers, flowers, flowers!  Either take a peek in your backyard or visit a flower shop for these fall ready varieties.  If you have one close by, hit a farm stand-they usually have freshly picked goodies that will last and last.  In these pieces, I’ve chosen green amaranths, black millet, October-weed and black privet berries but exchange any of these for other options available that you prefer as long as you don’t spend double the amount.  All of these flowers cost me less than $25.00 from a nearby farm with fill ins from my own garden so look for the native blossoms first that are usually low in cost.  
  3. A pair of cutting shears.  Try not to use scissors but if you must, cut the stems on an angle to avoid shredding.

As Simple AS 1-2-3:

  1. Fill your container up with warm water-NOT HOT!  Steamy water will kill the flowers faster than anything else so keep the temperature moderate.  
  2. Start with the variety that is most “bushy” and cut the stem to the desirable length, making a globe structure.  Once you have the base, add in the rest of the flowers placing them strategically throughout the arrangement.  Avoid clumping too many of the same varieties together in one place- it will make your design look “clumpy”.  
  3. Use whatever sprigs are leftover and place them in bud jars for the bathroom or entryway.  Never, Never, NEVER throw out flowers that can be used somewhere else and ENJOY!

Tags: Floral Design, Flower Arrangements, Autumn, Fall, DIY

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