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Fall Chores Equal Great Workout

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 21, 2016

I was working in the yard over the weekend where I was preparing for the end of fall and the beginning of winter to arrive.  I took notice of all the multi colored leaves scattered on the ground as well as the shrubbery bulging with angular branches and although it looked festive it also left a huge mess.  You probably know what I’m talking about if you’re from New England and have started similar tasks to get ahead of the frost, which will surely freeze the earth to ice.

 

I’ve always been well aware of the importance of these chores but what I didn’t realize is the great workout that can be utilized during autumn primping and preening!   You’d be surprised by the amount of calories one can burn in only a half hour’s work of outdoor raking, weeding and other relatable undertakings.  The bending, stretching and pulling all works crucial muscles and is just as effective as bench pressing in a gym or taking a cardio class.  These activities can be ideal for supporting a stronger body and assisting with weight loss efforts in a fun and flexible manner.

 

If you’re interested in trying this new approach to promoting a healthier and fitter you, try these simple home and garden projects that will get you started!  You’re yard won’t be the only one who’ll be looking good this season!

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  • Raking Leaves     

       Burning calories is a snap when you pick up a rake because it’s estimated        that a person can fire off over 300 in only an hours worth of work.  You might want to keep in mind that the process of bagging them will charge up to another 100-200 calories.

 

  1.   If That Snowflake Should Fall Before Christmas

       Look-it’s just part of the package when you live in the northeast that a          few flakes can fall before the official start of winter.  In this case, don’t be  too upset about it because you can eliminate around 600-700 calories in  just less than one hour.  If it’s the heavy, wet, stuff, tack on another 100- 150 calories.  

 

  1.  Pruning Shrubs

       You might not think this involves a lot of movement but in reality,  holding a pair of shears and snapping away scraggily limbs can do a lot for your physique.  Muscles are easily flexed and           strengthened during a single half hour of this activity and can leave your arms in a firmer toned state than before.

 

  1.  Weeding

       I’ve mentioned this in other summer blogs but this is so effective, it  warrants re-mentioning.  Weeding is a wonderful way to give your legs  and arms more flexibility as well as exercising fine motor skills.  Calories  burned in one hour of this chore can equal over 250 and can also         stimulate relaxing hormones that will leave you in a happier frame of mind.  

Tags: Gardening, Fall, exercise, outdoors, Health

What Is the Meaning of the Chrysanthemum Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Nov 01, 2016

The Symbolic Meaning of Chrysanthemum


Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum,

Rose,

Buttercup.

Each morning he would guess a floret that might match

Her loveliness.

And every night,

When he pulled her close under…

By Pearl

chrysanthemum_meaning.jpg

photo credit via Flower Factor

The Chrysanthemum has a long history of importance within several different regions and cultures of the world.  Today, the flower meaning “gold” is seen in most flower shops and is used consistently within arrangements, particularly funeral pieces.  Although they can mean love, loyalty, friendship, luck and a whole slew of other connotations, mums historically have been tied to death and mourning.  In practical terms, the bloom’s impressive overall physical properties of longevity, wide spectrum of color, and year round availability is responsible for their high demand in global markets.  The chrysanthemum’s sturdy stem and large head also make them a pleasure to design with as well although the symbolic significance behind the flower is its real reasoning for being the number one flower bought for this occasion.

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According to belief in Japan, the flower signifies peace and strength of the soul to those survived by their loved ones.  Mums are continually seen throughout many festivals and are utilized in celebrations extending from religious rituals as well as weddings.  The flower became such an asset to this culture that Japanese horticulturalists were the first in the world to cultivate shades outside of its wildlife hue of natural yellow.  Thanks to their expertise in knowledge of the chrysanthemum, varieties now exist that include tones of red, white, green, gold and violet.


As travel options increased and the floral industry widened, Japan was able to share and expose their native blooms to other countries.  Slowly, mums began to pop up everywhere making a huge splash across Europe, particularly France.  In the late nineteenth century, the French became obsessed with the new species and began farming the chrysanthemum in abundance along their countryside.  Due to its fuss-free nature, the flower became increasingly popular where they even attached its significance to the holiday, “All Saints Day”, ironically occurring during the time when the flower blooms.


Japan and France aren’t the only countries that adore this stunning species either.   Australia uses the mum as the preferred choice for gifting mom with flowers on Mother’s Day and China recognizes them as one of the “Four Gentlemen” which ties into the importance of cultural artwork.  In the United States, not only does New Orleans use it as the symbol for “All Saint’s Day” but the U.S. has officially deemed the chrysanthemum as the primary flower for the month of November.   

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Fall, Flower Meanings, Chrysanthemum, Mums

Carrots Are The Main Event in Harvest Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 08, 2016

I’m a New Englander, through and through and that means raising a hardy garden is pretty important during the harvesting months.  I’m also a lover of flowers having once been a wholesale florist right in the heart of the city.  These two passions sometimes simultaneously combine to create new ways of putting vegetables, fruits and yes-blossoms together. carrot.jpg 

photo credit: rossirovetti.com

Since we’re nearing the time when gardens shed their summer food and focus more on root vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli and onions, many florists are taking this opportunity to push forth-innovative ways to use the changes of the season within their daily work.  Why use edibles in centerpieces when traditionally they’re used to eat?  Because they too offer a boom of color and can compliment autumn floral varieties better than expensive stems that would otherwise be used as the primary product.  Not convinced yet to try out this new trend?  Just take a look at what some of the finest designers came up with just by adding a typical bunch of carrots to their bouquets!

carrot_florals.jpg 

photo credit: designsponge.com

 

Tags: Floral Design, Flower Arrangements, Harvest Season, Fall, October

Fall Floral Containers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Oct 04, 2016

Fall has officially arrived in New England and we are nothing short of thrilled about the wonderful change in season!  What’s not to love about this chillier time of year where the apple orchards burst with fruit, pumpkin patches swell with rotund gourds and overhanging leaves sparkle in a colorful splendor of wonder.  To put it mildly, our home state of Massachusetts is stunning right now and should be enjoyed for everything she offers.  Flower lovers are especially rejoicing because of the refreshed batch of environmental change that inspiring different textures, pigmentation and overall style.  One faction of floral design that is seeing an interesting alternation is the containers where centerpieces and smaller arrangements are being displayed within.  While the summer season usually depends on a lot of clear glass and turquoise blue ceramics, the fall months rely on a very different platform to present their blossoms.  As clever designers often exhibit, their idea of a perfect autumn vase is often decided by its connection to the season.  Rich in color, three-dimensional surfaces and warm tints often decide which container will be used for October flower orders.  

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According to industry reports, the top five criteria for a suitable autumn container are:

  1. Affordability
  2. Accessibility
  3. Reflective of an Autumn New England Motif
  4. Eye Appealing to A Wide Variety of Customers
  5. Water Tight

The list seems pretty simple but in actuality, these guidelines make finding proper fall containers somewhat challenging if they’re trying to implement some imaginative ideas in their design work.


It’s tricky stuff, I tell you…


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New Englanders are notorious for placing large urns at the foot of their steps and when they are filled with cabbage, kale and chili peppers, they are simple gorgeous for the fall season.  Pumpkins and gourds are also excellent options because they will hold water without leaking plus give off an interesting textured look.  If you’re going to use glass, try selecting a style that has a soft brown or cream hue to reflect the months of October and November adequately.  

Tags: Floral Design, Harvest Season, Autumn, Fall, October

Autumn Greenhouse Growing

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Sep 24, 2016

Right about now our summer gardens are starting to bid their farewell as the vegetables finish up their final yield of crops and flowers bloom for the last time.  It certainly can be depressing but there are many ways to keep your green thumbs busy even if the weather is certainly changing towards the cooler temperatures.  There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t keep growing during the fall because with the right conditions and a positive attitude, anything is possible for New England’s challenging gardeners!  Whether you want to continue nurturing your cultivations outside or enjoy some of your favorite blossoms within your home, there are several ways to do so just by applying a little ingenuity.  Here are some helpful tips that will get you on your way to autumn gardening in Boston!


Indoor

If you’re looking to bring your flowers and vegetables indoors for the season, there are many varieties that can be successful options.  When speaking of flowers, your best bet is to dig up the annuals that you planted last spring and repot them in containers that are big enough to allow growth.  Varieties such as geraniums, begonias and cosmos typically move with ease and are durable with slight variations in their environment.  The more delicate buds such as nasturtiums are tricky but that doesn’t stop you from beginning over with seeds and starting from scratch.  

Vegetables are also not impossible to grow inside if you’re clever with what you select to harvest.  Good choices would include wax beans, peas, tomatoes and yes, even potatoes.  Grab an extra large bin, fill it with dirt and place a rooted spud inside.  If you’re patient, you’ll be able to see their foliage begin to grow and three months down the road, you’ll be able to dig up real, fresh potatoes of your own!

Things to keep in Mind: Make sure you choose a well-lit area that is close by a heater and water the same as you would during the summer.  Feeding your plants every now and again will also keep them healthy and who knows?  You might even get them to survive through the winter and into the spring when you can put them right back into the earth for another season of blooming.  

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Outdoor

Although most flowers flourish during June through August, there are species that won’t wilt or wither during September and October.  Depending on the weather pattern (a snowstorm will almost definitely ruin a fall gardening project), you can plant mums, asters and even start new seeds of sunflowers if the temperatures are right.  Morning Glories (which like the cooler air to sprout from) are also another option, particularly if you have access to a greenhouse.   

Vegetables happen to be a great thing to reap in gardens during this time of year and options include cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.  Kale, cabbage and lettuce will also thrive in autumn and also make lovely landscaping displays, which exhume a fun and festive presentation.  They enjoy the chill of autumn nights and the warmth that the days still hold so go nuts and re-plant your whole garden with these babies if you want to!  

Tags: Gardening, New England, Autumn, Fall, Greenhouse

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

New Trends in Fall Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Sep 12, 2016

What’s In Store for Fresh Fall Blooms


If you’re a true New Englander, you’re going to love what Boston florists have in store for this season’s hot new list of autumn blooms!  

We’re talking bright.  

We’re talking bold.  

We’re talking EXCITING new changes to alternate from this summer’s sweet palette of pink, peach and yellow spectrum that was such a huge success!  Instead of offering a taste of what last year’s fad reflected relying heavily on reds, golds and oranges, our designers are getting a bit frisky with their selections and opting for a fun and feverish floral mix instead!  

Think sultry.  

Think sexy.

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phot credit via Flower Factor - aboutflowers.com

Think flirty and fierce because that’s exactly what florists and party planners are betting their shirts on to stun and amaze their customers!  With so many possibilities from farm field varieties to imported delicacies shipped straight from Holland, flower lovers will flip their lids when they see the new fall line of centerpieces and bouquets.

You’re curious aren’t you?

You’re a little excited, too, right?

Well, as long as you keep things under wraps, I’ll give you a little peek at the top ten autumn flowers that designers are stocking up their coolers with as we speak.  

So take a gander.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Jot your favorites down…

And get ready for a rollercoaster of fabulous fall flowers!

Top Ten Autumn Varieties in New England

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Black Millet
  3. Green Amaranths
  4. Octoberweed
  5. Zinnias
  6. Green Celosia
  7. Mango Callas
  8. Red Helenium
  9. Black Dahlias
  10. Black Privet Berries

For Those Who Like A Little Excitement…

  1.  Lime Green Gerberas
  2.  Red Spider Lilies
  3.  Green Gladiolas
  4.  Orange Protea
  5.   Purple Kale (for foliage)
  6.    Hens and Chickens
  7.    “Blacknight” Hollyhock
  8.    Orange Star Flower
  9.    “Jelena” Witch Hazel
  10.    Puschkinia

Tags: Floral Design, Autumn, Fall, Flowers

Fall Crafts for Kids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Oct 21, 2015

New Englanders are crazy about the fall season, a time where brilliant colors surrounds us, new flavors are created to comfort us and a vast array of new activities are invented to keep us moving when the temperatures begin to drop.  Although we are still gifted with the pleasures of the outdoors, including hiking and harvesting, there are still those “iffy” days when we start to realize we’ll be hunkered down indoors very shortly.  Kids, in particular are sensitive to this realization and that’s why parents need to be fully prepared with options of entertainment.   Rainy, cold, autumn days can be tough on little ones so moms and dads want to be stocked with crafting ideas and materials helpful towards staving of the inevitable winter blues.  Try these fun and festive do-it-yourself art projects for children that not only will keep them occupied during the drearier times of the month but will also enhance your home’s décor for the holidays!


        Fall Leaf Sun Catcher’s


photo credit:  homemadethingsandapronstrings.com

  Materials:

(2) Laminating Paper

Tissue Paper

Paint for Outline

Scissors


These are not only easy to make but they are simply stunning in glass windows!  To start, lay out a piece of clean 5 x 8 piece of laminating paper.  Shred small, flat sections of red, yellow, green and orange tissue paper and then lay them on top of the laminating paper.  Select a preferable leaf shape and carefully eye ball an outline using paint (or a thin marker) that will dry quickly.  Once it dries, cut out the leaf and lay it on top of the second sheet of laminating paper.  Seal all sides and hang the leaves in the window immediately to enjoy!


    Kid’s Autumn Themed Hand Paintings


photo credit: babble.com

Black Spiders


Sometimes making beautiful pictures is as easy as this!

Fall Tree   Acorns


By just using your hands, you can make spectacular painting perfect for this season! All you need is finger paints, newspaper, construction paper and a little imagination to create these lovely seasonal themed pieces of artwork!  These are great to do after school or even give them away to guests as hostess gifts for your holiday gathering!

Tags: Autumn, Fall, Kids, October

Top Children's Books for Halloween

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Oct 14, 2015

Halloween is here and for some little ghost and goblins, trick or treating for the first time can be frightening.  Lucky for book lovers, there are tons of stories perfect for teaching young children all about the spooky holiday while taking a little of the fright away from their worries.  By using furry creatures, clever pumpkins and beloved characters that your kids may already be familiar with, parents have a huge selection to choose from to help get their witches and warlocks ready!  Halloween is more than eerie things creeping behind dark corners- it’s a lot of fun, too!  Here are a few of my favorites that I read to my boys, which have stayed favorites on our bookshelves during the month of October!

 

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

August 20, 2002

by Linda D. Williams

CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP… This great tale surrounds a little old woman who says she’s not afraid of anything but is she really?  Follow the scarecrow whose clothing makes noises and chases her through the woods to find out if what she claims is true!

 

Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins

 

July 21, 2015

by James Dean          Who doesn’t love Pete the Cat or                   the classic story about The Five                 Little Pumpkins?  Now readers will          enjoy a double dose of the tale as               this cool character and his                buddies retell the                   Halloween favorite!




Mouse’s First Halloween

By Lauren Thompson


“EEK” mouse squeaked!”

Poor little mouse is so scared of everything that visits on Halloween night but one by one he finds that all of the things associated with the holiday “are not so scary after all!”

 

Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody

By Michael Rex


A ghoulishly fun spin on Margaret Wise Brown’s, “Goodnight Moon” told from

the perspective of visiting Martians!  The kids will love the silly comparatives

and parents will adore the unique details the author creates!



Tags: Autumn, Fall, Childrens Book, Kids, October, Halloween

The Use of New England Autumn Leaves in Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 09, 2015

New England is famous for their beautiful seasonal changes, which offers us a plethora of different scenery and climates to enjoy.  Undoubtedly the most celebrated out of the four are typically the autumn months of September, October and November.  It isn’t hard to guess why since we are constantly reminded of the reason every time we step outside our front doors.  The incredible rainbow of color that touches almost all elements of Boston’s environment provide us with a natural beauty that stays long with us after the snow begins to drift.  In order to capture the magnificence that the fall offers us we press leaves, take photographs and create decorative pieces to display within our yards and homes.  That’s why Bean Town’s florists are already prepping their inventories to use this theme throughout their autumn arrangements.  How do they intend to use this style without making vase work look shoddy or messy?  Take a look at these samples from designers that are wowing the city’s flower lovers with their exquisite use of seasonal color and texture!


Fall Foliage


Photo credit: Flower Factor / aboutflowers.com

Green and orange roses pop when Even wedding bouquets can utilize

with purple kale and green/red leaves. the autumn theme by tucking red

   maple leaves into the cascade.



fall flowers in boston



Photo credit: flower factor / aboutflowers.com

It’s not hard to bring the outdoors Make your own fall wreath by weaving

into your home by plucking a few several multi-colored branches together.

branches and placing them in a clear

vase with pebbles on the bottom and

a small amount of water.

Tags: October Flowers, Flower Arrangements, Autumn, Fall, October

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