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An Easter and Passover Letter to our Clients

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Apr 12, 2017


Dear friends,
I love to read. I have two books I am reading at work, three books at home, an audio book in my car, a paperback in the glove box and I read at least three books to my son Lance every day.
Reading promotes tranquility and sharpens the mind. It transports you to wonderful places in history and your imagination. As a florist, my eyes widen when I read about the roles flowers play in history and fiction. Glenn Stout tells us in Fenway 1912, that pots of flowers greeted fans at the grand opening of Fenway Park in 1912. Vanessa Diffenbaugh's Language of Flowers tells a magical tale where the Easter Lily (Lilium Longiflorum) is a symbol of majesty.


Easter and Pass over are holdays filled with symbols and traditions. Flowers on the table are a tradition and these symbols leave us with memories to pass down from generation to generation.


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with respect and gratitude,
Your florist, Rick Canale

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Jewish Holidays, Holidays, Passion Flower

Easter Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

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Flowers are an enormous tradition associated with the Easter holiday.  For some, it’s because of the religious attributes and for others it’s the seasonal celebration of spring.  Whichever attribute resonates with you most, it is true that more than have the homes in the Boston area will feature a floral arrangement during the next few days of festivities.  As some are purchased in order to brighten up their dining room tables while some are otherwise gifted from a loved one, Easter flowers are the most beautiful presentations that mark the warmer weather of the year!  As the temperatures begin to warm, a brighter and bolder color wheel of options is renewed giving us a breathtaking palette to work from.  With options such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, hydrangea and other little bulbed beauties that are finally available, florists are whipping up sensational treats for you to enjoy.  

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Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holidays, Flowers

How to Make A Fun Easter Basket

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 01, 2015

It’s Easter Bunny time!

 

Who can stand the wait as we’re planning and plotting our to do’s for the upcoming holiday!  What’s at the top of our lists?  Well, our Easter basket necessities of course!  We’ll need the staples such as plastic eggs for the hunt and a pair of bunny ears to be festive for the children but what else should we be on the lookout for in order to make this upcoming April 5th the best Sunday ever? 

 Easter-Basket                                              Photo credit: 1061evansville.com

 

I don’t know about you but creating a fun and different basket for my boys is something that I always look forward to.  Sure they always contain the traditional items of Cadbury eggs, rabbits molded out of chocolate and jellybeans in every shade of the rainbow but I want to add a little individuality to this year’s creations. 

 easterbasketboston

In order to do this, I like to reflect on what makes the holidays treats so appealing for children.  First and foremost, the premium factor is the brilliant colors that we see pouring from the brims of the containers.  The spectacular spectrum brings and automatic positive sensation to the brain causing the feeling of excitement and joy.  Because of this, I love to be sure to make their baskets look like a Crayola crayon set, adding shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue purple, pink and any other tint that I might see. 

 

The texture of the things I put in the baskets is another important issue when selecting treats.  I like to always have egg shaped items but I also like to mix it up with hand wrapped specialty candies, swirl lollipops and beautifully foiled chocolate morsels.  The interesting combination of the different heights and sizes causes a pleasing presentation instead of a flat looking bulk of candy.  Take a look around your area and try to find a local candy shop or chocolate baker who might sell unique and distinctive options other than the regular supermarket and CVS stock of holiday wares.

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                                              Photo credit; Gifttree.com

Don’t be afraid to walk outside the “sweet” realm and incorporate things such as small spring themed stuffed animals, yo-yo’s, customary toys such as paddleballs and jump ropes or little games and puzzles.  One of my son’s has an adoration for books, specifically written and illustrated by Mo Willems so I found and elephant and piggy novelty that I’ll prop up with a copy from his series.  For my older son, I think I’ll make a trail of treats leading to a new basketball, his newest favorite sport this year. 

 

The point is, never be afraid to try new themes that work for your kids.  Make their Easter as special as they are by utilizing their interest and hobbies within their baskets.  Be as sneaky as you can with candy trails and hiding spots and watch the joy of Easter egg hunting work its magic! 

 Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Traditions, Easter Traditions, Holiday Memories, Holidays, Kids, #EXFL

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 30, 2015

Easter is a celebration that entails several dimensions and traditions.  For those who observe this holiday, customs include religious rituals, family gatherings and special feastings that bring loved ones together.  For some, the anticipation of dyeing Easter eggs is also part of the excitement, particularly for those who have young children.  Over generations, there have been several strategies and techniques that have been passed down claiming to be the best way to create these festive decorations.  Even the process of readying the eggs has become debatable on whether pricking a whole at each end and blowing out the yolk or otherwise keeping the contents and simply boiling them before crafting.  What to color the eggs with is also a complicated choice because of the extensive products that you can purchase in stores or otherwise making your own dye concoction using kitchen ready ingredients.  Easter egg dyeing is serious business and one can feel overwhelmed when deciding just how to go about it.  After careful research, I’ve found some effective and efficient ways to color your eggs that will leave even the Easter Bunny speechless!

 egg-dyeing-app-d107182egg-basics0414_vert                                     photo credit: Emily Kate Roemer via MarthaStewart.com 

 Although millions of eggs are dyed each year in totality with food coloring, there’s nothing that says you can’t decorate using plain acrylic paints.  Not only will they be bright in color but kids and adults can put their own original touch within design and shading that a store bought brand wont allow you to do.  Patterns of stripes, polka dots and elaborate pictures are just a few of the possibilities when using crafting paints and will also encourage the little artist in you and your family.  One tip to keep in mind, water or oil based paints will not give the desired results that you’re looking for so be sure to have the right variety. 

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                                      photo credit: MarthaStewart.com

If you’re looking to make some fancy eggs, try using this recipe to create marble eggs quickly and inexpensively.  Take 3 to 4 mugs and add 7 droplets of food coloring.  Add to each container 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.  Fill the rest with water until it is about ¾ full of liquid.  With a spoon, stir the contents to make a spinning whirlpool.  Carefully place the egg on the utensil and gently lower into the moving vessel.  Count to 10 and then remove to allow drying.  For this method, a hard-boiled egg works best because the lightness of an egg that has been hollowed out may crack up against the mug during the dyeing process. 

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                                                  Photo Credit; Emily Kate Roemer via MarthaStewart.com

This idea is my favorite so far…  Visit your local hardware store and buy a small canister of chalkboard paint.  Paint the eggs (again, this works best with hard-boiled eggs) and set aside on a paper towel to dry, touching up spots that may smudge in the process.  Find some regular chalk and let your family stencil their eggs anyway that comes to their imaginations. This is a wonderful tactic for small children because if they make a mistake and want to change it, all they have to do is erase and draw again. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Suzie will be coloring eggs this week with her two boys.

Tags: Traditions, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holiday Memories, #EXFL

Easter Lilies - a Fusion of Beauty and Tradition

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Easter Lilies

 

Easter will be celebrated in many different ways within the city of Boston this April.  Depending on a person’s depiction of the holiday, various methods and tools will be used such as decorating eggs, displaying Easter baskets, hunting for hidden chocolate treats, attending religious services or maybe even hosting a feast of a pineapple glazed ham.  Sure, it’s pretty likely that our children will be anticipating a visit from the big white bunny but what else do we use in our preparations during this time of year?  One custom that is popular in many homes this holiday is the Easter lily plant, which has it’s own fascinating explanation as to why its demand is so high.  I’ll bet you’ll be as surprised as I was to learn the different correlations that this bulbed beauty has tied to Easter and what makes this one of the highest produced greenhouse products next to the poinsettia, azalea and mum. 

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First of all, the physical attribute of the Easter lily is reason enough to seek this as a centerpiece or gift.  The plant yields long tube-like heads that resemble a trumpet shape that stretches either flat out, down or slightly up.  Leaves are also sleek, growing in a deep green with a silky texture that runs straight across the plant from its base to the head.  Easter lilies were historically imported from Japan but began to decline during the 1940’s when cultivators from California and Oregon began improving growing systems in their greenhouses.  As technology developed, the bulb quickly became one of the U.S.’s highest demanded bulbs to remain shipped throughout the states and then exported across the globe.  The bulb is systematically planted in pots during the fall and forced to grow during the winter so that they would be ready for a March or April crop.  Because they could be harvested on domestic soil, the Easter lily has remained both easily supplied and economically reasonable in price.  These two factors encouraged people to buy the seasonal flower and use it annually during their celebrations. 

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Other reasons that make the Easter lily popular is the meaning of the name, which means purity, birth and renewal-all thematic concepts of the Easter holiday.  Religious scripture believes that these particular lilies grew from the droplets of sweat that Jesus made during his last hours.  Flowers sprung to life from the perspiration symbolizing the rebirth of Christ, making the lily one of the highest regarded flowers in the Bible.  Catholic artwork emphasizes this connection with several paintings including one of the Virgin Mary surrounded by white lilies while pregnant and also featured at her tomb.   If you are planning on attending a service at your church, you can bet you’ll see several specimens of Easter Lilies both lining the aisles and perhaps even planted in a cross formation. 

 

If you haven’t bought an Easter lily for your celebration plans, visit your local florist to find a healthy selection of potted plants or even cut flowers that make excellent centerpieces.  Those lacking a green thumb will also love that these are pretty hard to kill, as they need only a little water to keep moist and a sunny space to sit. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holidays, Plants

Resurrect Your Tradition with Easter Flower Centerpieces

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 23, 2015

easter flowers for the table

                       photo credit: Flower Factor

In just a few weeks, it will be time for the bunny to arrive and you know what that means.  Time to put out your best china, decorate eggs, accessorize with pastels, pull out holiday recipes and most importantly order your Easter Sunday table centerpiece!  This year, Boston florists are offering a whole new array of choices perfect for April 5th’s festivities that not only will create the perfect setting for friends and families but also inspire a spring feeling that all New Englanders are craving after this winter.  Past Easter arrangements often were styled in a soft mixture of light pink, peach and baby yellow with sprigs of octoberweed or if not too expensive and available, lady’s mantle.  The French styled, rounded pieces were admittedly perfect for the season but lacked adventure and let’s face it- we all need a little pop of adventure these days.  Luckily, contemporary artists are coming up with some new options for us to enjoy with ideas encompassing a more vibrant palette.

 Easter flowers

                   photo credit: Flower Factor

We’re switching the blushing pink for some hot fuchsia this time around and there’s not an inch of doubt about the positive impact the color trend will happily surprise flower lovers.  Traditionally the softer sides of this shade are used but why can’t we amp up the volume and give Easter celebrations the bright and fun splash that it deserves?  Fuchsia can be easily combined with other deeper tints such as plum purple, burgundy and tangerine orange so don’t be afraid to ask your Boston florist for something different than what you usually order.  If you still want to experience the delicate gesture of pastels in your pieces, request that your flowers include some of the traditional tints of cream and baby blue.   The bouquet will still showcase the exciting new style as well as expel the romantic feel that Easter blossoms are famous for. 

 easter centerpiece

                          photo credit: Flower Factor

Spring bulbs are more than just the daffodils popping up from a newly thawed lawn you know.  Boston designers are beginning to implement them in arrangements because they have a lot to offer including texture, architectural placement and color appeal.  Fabulous choices available may be lily of the valley, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, paper whites and fancy tulips.  Usually, they are forced open by growing them in a pot of soil in a warm area near light.  When ready, they are transplanted into a holiday box garden or simply cut and arranged with other spring blooms.  If they have been kept attached to the bulb, customers will enjoy the extra longevity of the plant and may even be repotted in the garden if the season is cooperative.  I recently tried this experiment and was able to force white daffodils by placing them in a cup of water allowing the roots to grow and a stem to sprout.  After a healthy unit matured, I placed the bulb with a grown flower in a container full of soil and used green moss to surround the base.  The presentation was not only inexpensive to make but offered a beautiful springtime time presentation. 

 Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holidays

Palm Sunday - History, Symbolism and Accent Decor

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 20, 2015

The spring is arriving and so aren’t the special holidays that makes this upcoming season a wonderful time of year.  Occurring the Sunday before Easter is the Christian observance of Palm Sunday, a celebration that marks Jesus arrival into Jerusalem.   For those who will celebrate on March 20th, many will attend masses and receive the traditional icon of the moveable feast, which stands for the people of Jerusalem lying down palms as a pathway for Jesus into the city.  For some regions that do not harbor the appropriate climate to harvest this fanlike greenery, substitutions of yee, willow or even box flower are used in its place.  For this reason, Palm Sunday can be referred to universally as “Branch Sunday”.  Bostonians who will be partaking in this festivity will most likely be handed real palms that local city florists have imported from countries around the world.  Churches generally give out the symbol in either single stems or in formations designed to mirror the cross. Although they are an intricate part of the ritual, the tropical branches can also be utilized to make their holiday centerpieces.  Here are a few ideas for a fabulous floral arrangement for your Palm Sunday festivities.

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                from wikipedia.org  "Entry of Christ into Jerusalem (1320) by Pietro Lorenzetti: entering the city on a donkey symbolizes arrival in peace rather than as a war-waging king arriving on a horse"

If you have been lucky to receive the customary branch of palms from your religious establishment, you would be wise to use them as décor for your holiday table setting.  The beauty of this technique lies in the greens stunning simplicity and architectural appeal.  A plain glass cylinder or square that reaches a height taller than twelve inches is ideal for displaying two or three palms or even a single sprig for a feng shui effect.  Not only is this presentation clean but visually attractive and wont interfere with the attractiveness of your dishes served on the table.  Another incentive to getting creative with your palms is that they have a remarkable longevity.  If the branches are fresh, they will be perfectly fine to showcase a week later for Easter! 

 170px-William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_1825-1905_-_The_Palm_Leaf_Unknown

                       The Palm Leaf by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), portrait of an unidentified                                 woman in ancient dress - wikipedia.org

If you’re interested in swapping the customary palm for another type of look, you have several options in front of you.  New England trees and shrubs such as forsythia, pussy willow and even cherry branches make lovely substitutions and can be placed in a container alone or mix and matched together.  If you are pruning from your yard, be sure to cut the stem at an angle and then place in warm water, which will allow the flower to drink quickly and easily.  If you want to beef up your vases, take advantage of the life popping up from the (hopefully) thawed ground such as daffodils, hyacinth and tulips.  For small nosegays and low arrangements, be on the search for crocus, grape hyacinth and lily of the valley.  Not only are the blossoms bold in color but also are also complimentary with one another as well as aromatic for your home. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Easter Traditions, Christianity, Religion, Palm Sunday

Easter Traditions are a lot more than Peeps and Cadbury Eggs

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Growing up Jewish always brought a host of questions this time of year. Did we really have to do the whole “matzah thing” again for an eight-day stretch?  What was the deal with eating fish on Fridays? And that most perplexing of all mysteries – what do colored eggs, jelly beans, and rabbits have to do with commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

 Easter Baskets in Boston

The sacrifices of the unleavened Passover diet were difficult enough for a bread-obsessed, food-focused kid, but watching my friends make what seemed to be drastically reduced abstentions with Lent and gorging on spiral ham, Peeps, and Cadbury eggs at Easter made this time of year even harder to swallow.

 

The passage of time and the onset of maturity have given me a more accepting take on the practices connected with these Spring festivals, but I’m still left with unanswered questions regarding my Christian brothers’ and sisters’ Easter observances. An attempt divine some answers via an Easter-themed google search may have given me more than I bargained for in the “things that make you go huh?” department. It should come as no surprise that the internet is filled with an abundance of informational sites that pop up when you type in “What is Easter?”, so grab a big proverbial grain of salt for my findings, and let’s dig in!

 Easter Flowers in Boston

1) Did you know that depending on whom you believe, the name Easter stems from the pagan goddess Ashtaroth, goddess of Spring and Fertility, or the Egyptian fertility goddess Astarte, or the Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess Ostara. or…the commonality of all of these goddesses and their names leads me to my next point, which is…

 

2) Were you aware that the Christian holiday of Easter evolved from pagan celebrations honoring their fertility goddesses  upon the arrival of Spring? There are even descriptions of families celebrating their savior’s resurrection by decorating their homes with flowers and bunnies, painting and hiding eggs, observing 40 days of abstention ending in a worship service at dawn and a ham dinner with all the fixings. Only these weren’t early Christians, they were Babylonian families celebrating the resurrection of their god Tammuz, who was led back to life by their fertility goddess Ishtar.  Sounds a bit like Easter, only the events just described took place over 2,000 years before the birth of Jesus!

 Easter flower delivery in Boston

2) Did you know that the celebration of Easter wasn’t commonplace in America until nearly 100 years after the country was founded? The Puritans who arrived on our shores seeking freedom to observe religion in the manner they saw fit were leery of the pagan festivals connected with the arrival of Spring. These misgivings about the “chiristian nature” of certain holidays included Christmas as well. The appearance of Easter as a celebration of the mystery of faith (the death, resurrection and ascension to heaven of Jesus) became more commonplace shortly after the Civil War.

 

3) Lastly, the connection of rabbits and eggs to the holiday is somewhat murky, but both served as symbols of fertility and life dating back to some of the earliest pagan practices, and seemed to accompany the transformation of pagan spring festivals into what is more commonly known as Easter.

 

None of this, of course, is shared with any intention other than to illuminate some lesser known aspects of a celebration that is a mainstay in our lives. As is often the case, the celebrations and traditions that have been a part of many of our lives for as long as we or our parents and grandparents can remember are not necessarily what we might have expected. The research (if you can refer to a google search as such!) leaves us with the impression that no matter what the explanation, these times of year are likely descended from universal and time honored celebrations of man, hope, life, faith, and family brought on by the burst of life that arrives with Spring each year.

 

Most importantly, keep in mind that Spring and the arrival of the holidays like Easter and Passover create a wonderful time to gather with friends and family, be grateful for our many blessings, and send lots of beautiful arrangements from the folks at Exotic Flowers as a token of that gratitude! Happy holidays, and Happy Spring!

 Jon BornsteinJonathan Bornstein

on Twitter @Zucrow

 

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Tags: Passover Flowers, Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Jon Bornstein

Begin Your Own Easter Tradition with Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

Easter Basket Boston

Dear friends,

The spring is the most exciting time of year at Exotic Flowers. We ready ourselves for Easter, Secretary's Day, Mother's Day, Proms, Graduations, and the garden. Our greenhouses are bursting with outdoor plants and our sales staff and designers are ramping up for an intense eight weeks.

This week celebrates Easter and Passover. I am sure you have noticed that these holidays no longer carry their previous stature. It is time to change that. It is time to start your own traditions and create your own memories. Our childhoods were so special because we have so many special memories. Start your holiday tradition today and make sure flowers are a part of it. Perhaps you could even take in an Easter movie this weekend. Hop is sure to please.

"The change of seasons in the spring is associated with new life, so bright new spring blossoms are especially meaningful at Easter. According to Christian beliefs, Easter also symbolizes the rebirth of Christ; lilies sprung up from Jesus’ blood drops, which make Easter lilies especially significant traditional flowers for religious celebrations." - BigAppleFlorist Blog

Easter Flowers BostonThis Easter, Exotic Flowers in both Roslindale will be open til 2pm and delivering. Exotic Flowers in Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston will be open from 11am-6pm. We will have hostess gifts, like Easter lilies, tulip plants, pansies, azaleas and abundance of fresh cut flowers.

Thank you for your loyalty. Thank you for your referrals. Thank you for spending your hard earned money at Exotic Flowers & Lombardi Florist.

 

Easter Flowers in Cambridge

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Hostess Flowers

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