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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.  

FALL_DOOR.jpg

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…


fall_flowers_boston.jpg 



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.  

FALL_PLANTERS_BOSTON.jpg

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.

fall_flowers_boston.jpg

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.

autumn_flowers.jpg

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

Fall Décor for Your New England Front Door

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Sep 29, 2015

We’re New Englanders so it’s pretty safe to say that we are really into the seasonal changes, particularly autumn.  We admire everything from the leaves changing color to the acorns piling up on the ground because they are all beautiful signs from Mother Nature that fall has arrived.  For those who like to decorate, these natural gifts from the outdoors are often utilized in accessorizing our homes such as back patios, doorsteps and walkways.  One area that appears to be a strong focus for Boston home designers are the pieces used as props for our front doors.  


Why is that such a desired display feature?  


photo credit: marthastewart.com

The entryways to our homes are the first impressions we give to visitors that can have a direct effect on their mood or state of mind for the duration of their stay.  If we give friends and families a presentation that encourages an elated or comfortable feeling, than some believe that their visit will reflect these positive emotions.  


Sound silly to you?  


Photo credit: MarthaStewart.com

Well, have a look at these top autumn looks for New England front doors and see if your state of mind is automatically improved!  All of these designs are easy to construct on your own and lucky for us Bostonians, the materials are readily available as well.  If you’re not sure that your artistic capabilities are up to the challenge, visit your local flower shop that will be glad create the perfect piece for you’re home.  Happy decorating!





Tags: Halloween Decorating, Autumn, Fall, Holiday Decor, Outdoor Living

Autumn Wreaths for Your Thanksgiving Door

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

 Martha-Stewart-big-wreath                                                    photo credit: hookedonhouses.net

Holiday décor is a major piece of the puzzle when planning your Thanksgiving Day celebration.  From the cornucopias to the seasonal floral centerpieces, it’s crucial for Boston’s party planners to keep this in mind when hosting family and friends this November.  While we all know that the turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies are the main attraction, specialists agree that adding a touch of autumn flair turns a nice Thanksgiving meal into an unforgettable event.  Some shy away from installing decorations because they believe that the added cost will break their budgets but I assure you there are several ways to insert beautiful festive pieces without excessive spending. 

fall_wreath_boston

                                                      photo credit: families.com

Wreaths remain a popular decoration during the holiday months, and for very good reasons.  Stylish yet simple, wreaths are easily displayed and are produced using many different materials, which is perfect for anyone with a love for flowers, shells, grape vine, leaves, berries and more.  Wonderful because many options can be found right in your own backyard, the list is limitless, allowing you to reflect exactly your taste and personality within your design.  Although some believe that wreathes are confined only to the Christmas season, I assure that this is not true.  Thanksgiving wreaths hold their own particular appeal, offering warmth of rich color and texture.  Here are a few ideas that will dazzle your holiday front door. 

 autumn_wreath_boston

                                                  photo credit: Martha Stewart

Berries are a crafters “treat” from nature because they are versatile between seasons and have stems that are flexible in dexterity.  Easy bending and weaving is important when selecting your featured material since rigid root systems can keep you from forming the desired circular or square shape.  Berries are also wonderful because they come in a variety of shades including red, yellow, orange, pink, green, blue, purple, black and sometimes even peach.  Excellent varieties for this project include bittersweet, rosehip and bayberries.  There is one thing to keep in mind, be careful not to cut anything that is highly toxic if you are planning to hang the piece indoors.  Pets and small children are at risk for swallowing poisonous fallen berries so always know what you are working with.

 

Fall leaves also make another splash for Thanksgiving décor because New England has the most stunning foliage during the autumn months.  Don’t be afraid to cut branches from a maple tree bursting with color because although the wreath may not last for years to come, it will certainly live for a few weeks leading up to the holiday.  If you would like to construct this by yourself, find a thin but strong wire and wind it tightly around the sections of the two branches without leaves.  Carefully add more shoots being mindful of keeping the desired structure intact throughout.  Once the wreath is completed, if you find spots with too few leaves, you can layer smaller branches on top to minimize thinning areas.

 

Grapevine is one of my favorite types of fall wreath material because it barely ages and it is so easily made by intertwining vines within one another.  This variety also has beautiful natural curls at the tips, which make a gorgeous yet unfettered and organic presentation.  Luckily, grape vine is native to Boston’s habitat, usually growing in abundance within ground packed with heavy mulch.  Concord, Mass. is home to many grape vineyards, a perfect place to visit if you are interested in this style of Thanksgiving wreathing where many of the local farming and hand made goods stores carry a wide diversity of products using this native plant.  New Englanders sure are lucky to have so many magnificent prospects of materials gifted from our natural environment to inspire our holiday decorating creations!

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

florist_costume Suzie Canale has published four children's books and works at the Westwood Public Library in Westwood, Mass.

Tags: Autumn, Fall, Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor

What My Fall Color Palette Symbolizes for Me

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 25, 2014

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Autumn in New England is a time of year in which Bostonians relish in seasonal activities of carving pumpkins, jumping in piles of raked leaves and baking pumpkin pies that infiltrate our homes with decadent aroma.  We often sit in anticipation of these crisp few months before snowfall because they are reflective of themes embodying outside activity, family and warmth.  As a Boston florist, we attempt to capture this feeling when designing centerpieces, funeral arrangements, party planning, wedding bouquets and general storefront décor.  While purchases from the flower market often reflect varieties that are locally grown during the months of September and October, flower buyers are also aware of color selections, often opting for tones of red, orange and yellow.  Occasionally, you’ll see a fun accent of purple, green or pink but this base palette is the most popular and supports a strong product line for the fall season.  Why do we depend on this traditional spectrum when creating flower arrangements?  The answer is simple.  Particular colors bring forth particular emotions, many of which revolve around pleasant memories that Bostonians generally experience during this time of year.  Certain colors represent familiar seasonal symbols and events, arousing pleasant thoughts and moods.  The memories make us feel good, which is why we put pumpkins on our doorsteps, tie hay bales to our lantern poles and yes, buy flowers emanating the hues of autumn.  Here’s what my fall color palette symbolizes for me.

 

Red

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Red is often associated with the emotions connected to passion.  Whether love or hate, there is strength behind this hue, a quality that makes us react more so than any other color on the spectrum.  When connecting red to autumn facets, thoughts of crackling fires when the weather drops colder, plucking a ripened Macintosh apple off of an orchard branch and Japanese maples tree leaves blanketing the ground in a luxurious carpet.  The color red connects me to the words warmth, ripe and decadence. 

 

Orange

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When feeling the color orange during fall, there is no getting around the obvious imagery of pumpkin patches. What is so wonderful about pumpkins is that they fulfill almost all of the human senses including sight, taste, scent and touch, a desirable reaction when incorporating this color within your flower arrangements.  Pumpkin patches can symbolize the scent of pumpkin pie baking in the oven, the fun touch of seeds slipping through your fingers and the site of bright orange globes of bittersweet resting in curls of vines.  Orange for me represents the idea of health, enjoyment, laughter and imagination.  Of course we all know what Cinderella’s carriage changed into at the stroke of midnight!

 

Yellow

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Who doesn’t love the color yellow?  Its happy, dazzling and uplifting to the eye where in most cases, brings a person’s general emotion state to a higher level after visual contact.  Sunflowers, chrysanthemums and dahlias are favorites of florists when using this shade within their pieces for exactly this reason.  When associating yellow with fall, I think of the comforting rays of sunshine that we learn to appreciate as they grow fewer and fewer, a field of sunflowers standing stiff with their round faces full of light and the emotion hope as we see more and more candles flicker with the changing months.

- Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

suzie_canale Suzie Canale is an avid gardener, accomplished floral designer, mother of two boys, works at the Westwood Public Library, has published four children's books, and is the director of the Women's Locker Room Foundation.

 * all images in post supplied by Flower Factor's flickr site

 

Tags: Traditions, New England, Autumn, Fall, Suzie Canale, Colors

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