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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.  

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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

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

Beachy Blooms

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Aug 18, 2016

The summer is coming to an end and hopefully you’ve enjoyed several fun filled days enjoying the warm activities that this time of year blesses New England with.  My favorite destination spot are the beaches on the north shore that never disappoint with their crystal clear waters and beautiful rocky landscape.  One feature that I particularly love is the stunning blooms that grace the seashore with tranquil color and sweetened fragrance.  Being a gardener myself, I have often tried to replicate this “beachy” scene within my own backyard, trying to use the same if not similar varieties accustomed to the ocean habitat.  Truthfully, it’s not easy because if you’re like me who lives inland with forestry surrounding their home, it can be difficult to succeed within our compromised growing conditions.  For one thing, our soil does not drain as well as sand so it’s imperative to find plants that can adapt to both potting environments.  The second factor is the lack of salt in the atmosphere, which beach flowers typically thrive on.  The third issue can be a lack in sunshine or direct light if your beds are hidden underneath branches or enlarged shrubbery.  Although this seems like a depressing abundance of obstacles, I assure you that there are some species of flowers that will do A-okay if you can tweak your gardening regime just a bit.  After some trial and error, I’ve found this list of successful bloomers that will bring the ocean essence to your backyard no matter where you live.

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Photo credit Lisa Greene via Flower Factor

Hydrangea

Hydrangea is one of those flowers that are always associated with the beach, particularly in shades of blue.  Like many of their seafaring friends, they adore the sodium (NaCl), which makes them bloom happily well into the fall season.  If you’ve visited Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll no this to be true hydrangeas can also be planted in other areas, too.  As long as the soil is soft and well watered, this bushy flower can flourish in yards or as part of a summer garden.  Hydrangeas also prefer a little bit of shaded area so for those of us whose backyards are overgrown with trees, that’s really no problem for this variety to survive within.

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photo credit - Lizzie Borchers via Flower Factor 

Beach Grass

Beach Grass is a fairly prevalent shrub that grows along our coastline with little to no maintenance necessary.  I have planted several of these bushes on my property and with the exception of watering them during dry spells; they really require little effort on my part.  One tip to make them grow larger each year is to cut them at the base when October arrives to ensure a healthy return the next spring.   


Summer Asters

I love these little beauties because they represent a “wildflower” appeal that can be grown not only close to the seashore but also in meadows, forests and almost anywhere else you can think of.  If you have raised beds, then the soil will stay a bit warmer which they’ll thank you for during the colder winter months of the year.

Tags: Floral Design, Hydrangeas, Flowers, Beach, Summer

Books in Bloom

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 29, 2016


There’s nothing like reading a good book but when you couple it with a beautiful flower arrangement, what could be better?  “Books in Bloom” is a new trend that is sweeping libraries, bookstores and flower shops throughout New England and is showing both flower and book lovers a clever and creative approach to combining the two things they love most in this world.  Perfect for display work or events, this interesting way to dress up a great story not only proves successful within increasing customer and patron visitation, but it can also initiate a positive marketing effect for book and floral sales.  Due the fact that merchandizing can become stale over time for both industries, this idea is a perfect way to amp up an organization’s style with an ingenious and imaginative fresh way to exhibit product lines.

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photo credit: Flower Factor

So how exactly does it work?

 

Thanks to our city’s talented florists, designers are able to recreate a physical reflection of the content stored in some of our favorite titles by selecting particular varieties and showcasing them next to the book.  As patrons glance at the arrangement, their mind is believed to connect the pleasurable eye candy with the actual book, encouraging the reader to engage with the material at a more enjoyable level. The architecture of the floral pieces can be simple or elaborate depending on the details of where they are to be shown and props are encouraged to be included as well.  The great thing about “Books in Bloom” is that this concept works for both children and adult novels, making almost any book in a library you see possible to include within the presentation.  Of course certain titles work better than others such as “The Hungry Caterpillar” and the “Great Gatsby” so selecting the books should be carefully calculated beforehand.  

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photo credit: AboutFlowers.com via Flower Factor

By designing arrangements that mimic the essence of the media, we can foster a whole new level of appreciation for reading and foster a blossoming love for literature.  


Here are a few examples of my favorites!

Tags: Floral Design, Books, Childrens Book, Libraries, Flower Meanings

What Temperature is Too Hot for Flowers?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 18, 2016

I’m a summer girl at heart and although the heat isn’t a favorite for everyone, I have to admit it’s the time of year I look forward to the most.  A day of high eighties or even ninety is a welcomed atmosphere, causing the seedlings to burst open and vegetables to grow almost full size overnight.  But one thing that may not appreciate the scorching temperatures is the cut flowers sold by local Boston florists.  The overwhelming humidity can be just too much on the delicate petals, no matter how fresh they are or what air conditioned spot they’re going to be placed within.  Something as easy as transporting fragile blooms in warm weather can cause the heads to wilt and the foliage to shrivel up and die.  Just like the chilling temperatures we New Englanders experience during the wintertime, which can irritate floral presentation with issues surrounding freezing, the summer can be equally as tricky due to the opposite conditions.  


So does that mean we have to go without beautiful arrangements until the start of fall?  Heck no!  

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phot credit: Lisa Greene via aboutflowers.com

You’ll be pleased to know that there are varieties in existence that can sustain severe increases in the thermometer readings.  By requesting these species from florists, we can continue to enjoy blooms all the way through July and August.  So what are these magical specimens that can fight the blaze of the sun?  Take a look below and see which one of these fabulous floral varieties appeals to you!


Sunflowers

This is the number one species that you should be looking for if your planning on throwing an outdoor party within the next few weeks because they’re a strong fighter against drooping and petal dropping.  Their stalks are extremely durable and for some reason and can withstand long durations outside with minimal water.  If you are expecting to use these as cut flowers in vases, make sure to change the water frequently if the containers are clear because it often gets murky pretty quickly due to the plant’s milky substance.  

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photo credit: aboutflowers.com

Zinnias

Zinnias are an excellent option because they are available in a zillion different colors and can also live through long heat waves. They are particularly perfect for July weddings when made as boutonnières, flower girl baskets or even hair accessories for the bride or her bridesmaids.  They’ll add a pop of color and also hold their shape until long after the ceremony ends.

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photo credit: aboutflowers.com

Celosia

This heather-like plant is a great additive to outdoor mixed arrangements because their feather appearance exhumes the essence of summer but also will maintain its erect stature no matter how hot the day becomes.  You might find it to be a little pricey but celosia is well worth the investment and promises to not let customers down.

Tags: Floral Design, Flowers, Sunflowers, Celosia, Zinnias

Fun with Fruit and Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jun 17, 2016

I LOVE fruit!  I love it for so many reasons, which is why my fridge is constantly stocked to the brim with assorted varieties so that my whole family can pull out a delicious treat whenever the urge arises.  Assortments such as grapes, oranges, apples, mangos, bananas and pears are incredibly good for the body but as a former florist, I can see a whole other world of possibilities that make this food group a desirable topic for designers.  One of the best qualities besides the health benefits of fruit is the color, texture and shape that the juicy flesh grows inside of.  This is an interesting factor for florists to acknowledge because it allows us to get really creative when incorporating blossoms with eye appealing produce.  After all, why should we have to solely depend on a flower’s properties of shading, size and appearance when the work can be shared with a prop having similarly positive attributes of attractiveness?   

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Here’s what I mean…


By mixing flowers with fruit or utilizing the fruit as the fixture (vase) for the arrangement, we can create a fantastic conversational piece as well as a display that promotes contemporary style and clever technical skill. This type of designer theme also strongly reverberates the essence of “health” which can be useful for events appropriate for children or even fundraisers sponsored by hospitals, hotels or other service motivated organizations.  They’re also great for wedding buffets and cocktail/dinner centerpieces if the bride and groom wish to focus on a tropical or seasonal appeal (apples are popular with fall ceremonies).  The possibilities are endless so try playing around with these fruit infused floral bouquets for a fun and flirty look for your next occasion!


Fruit for Inside the Vase


Using fruit inside the vase to contrast the blooms you have chosen for the arrangement can spark up a drab composition and increase dynamic and color.  Strawberry stems alone can be put in bud vases or you can drip clumps of red or green grapes throughout a traditional floral structure.  Other great varieties that work well are apples, oranges and raspberry/blackberry branches.

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Fruit Used as the Vase


Pineapples are not only yummy but the core of the fruit also makes an excellent vase along with cantaloupes and watermelons.  If you choose to use a clear glass vase, you can fill the inside with whole or halved lemons, limes or other varieties with a rind-like texture.  The color will beam from both the top and bottom of the composition making it an extra stunning arrangement or display.

Tags: Floral Design, Flowers, Design, Fruit

Simple As 1-2-3 Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 29, 2016

I really love flowers.

So much so that it’s hard not to want fresh arrangements in every room of my home every day of the year but the problem is, this addiction can sometimes get pricey.   It’s true there are hundreds of affordable options available to people like me that won't break the bank such as spring tulips and bulbs of narcissus that seem to be sold everywhere but what if I’m looking for more?  There’s nothing like looking at a mixed bouquet or a mound of wild flowers to brighten up a dreary day so how can we incorporate blooms into our everyday life without going flat broke?  You’ll be pleased to know that after careful research and years of experimentation, I’ve come up with a set of tips that can lift you out of the flower drought while still staying on budget.  By referring to these guidelines, not only will you be able to enjoy this delightful vice without spending exorbitant amounts of cash but you’ll learn a thing or two about designing on your own!  It’s fun, fast and as easy as 1-2-3, plus your aura and home will glow from the presence of having frequently displayed flowers.

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Tips for the Addicted Flower Lover


  1.  Tulips sometimes get a bad wrap from flower snobs who consider them to be beneath other exotic varieties but in reality, they are truly stunning when bunched together in a mass and dropped into an attractive container.  

Species such as French Tulips or Parrot Tulips are drop dead gorgeous and are cultivated in a broad spectrum of color leaving the possibilities endless.   They’re also relatively inexpensive if you're attracted to some of the plainer breeds which still have a lifespan of at least a week if not longer.  Dutch tulips are ranked number one in the industry making their lifespan a few days longer than other competitors.  One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you cut tulip stems a little shorter than desired because they actually stretch in height as they soak up water.


  1.  If you have a garden, pull out the clippers and snag a few of the early spring arrivals that might be starting to pop up in your yard.  Plants and flowers such as forsythia, grape hyacinth and daffodils make perfect kitchen and bathroom arrangements and come in cheery tones of bright yellow or lavender/purple.  They won't cost you a thing plus you know that they’ll last being brought straight in from the garden.  I wouldn’t wait too long though since these flowers despise the heat and only last during the cool and wet days of early spring.

  1.  Did you know that you can grow flowers from seed all throughout the year?  That’s right!  All you need is a warm and sunny window to harvest your very favorite blooms and it won't matter a bit if there’s still snow on the ground.  Put away some packets from your summer stash and start growing your own whenever you feel like it!  

Tags: Floral Design, Flower Arrangements, Tulips, DIY

Flower Demonstration at the Westwood Public Library

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Mar 31, 2016

Rick Canale flowers

Libraries are amazing places and serve their communities far beyond the task of lending books.  Most local libraries also provide informative classes and workshops for both children and adults to enhance their knowledge and education throughout many different topics.  There are science programs, writing workshops and impressive guest lecturers including top authors from the area who offer stimulating presentations throughout the year.  While all are open to the public, these sessions are provided for the sole purpose of connecting members of the community and growing comparable interests that will foster both new ideas and relationships.  Plus- almost everything offered is free of charge, allowing anyone with a library card to join in.

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That’s pretty cool, right?


On Tuesday, March 22nd I was fortunate to assist my husband with an impressive floral demonstration to the patrons of the Westwood Public Library.  During the two-hour program, guests were given their own vases, supplies and flowers to learn the easy and fun way to arrange their own centerpieces.  Along with teaching proper technique and form, Rick Canale led an interesting talk about the do’s and don’ts of handling the blooms as well as giving a brief background of the flowers he was using.  Varieties included stunning garden roses, spray roses, alstroemeria, anemones and lemon leaf for the finishing foliage.  The vases were rectangular, heavy glass, which provided a sturdy base for the product and a cardboard box for easy carry home was also available.  In the end, the room couldn’t have smelled better with the luscious spring color bursting from every table.

suzie and rick canale

We had a great time during this adult flower arranging class and hope to return with a fresh new look designing in the future!

Tags: Floral Design, Rick Canale, Floral Studies, Suzie Canale, Westwood, Libraries

Flower Styles From Around The World

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 20, 2016

 

I bet you didn’t know that because we live in Boston, we have access to some of the finest florists in the world!  Complete with their own sense of style and flair, Boston is ranked one of the top twenty best performing floral designers across the globe.   

I bet you didn’t know that each region has their own unique way of floral designing, making their pieces distinct and unique.  Really, it’s true!

Each designer has their own influence on how they manipulate color, texture and size and it’s mainly due to the specific geographic location where he or she has learned their talents!  For instance, Boston is pretty conservative when it comes to floral presentation but we also enjoy constant change in varieties mainly due to the fact that we experience a varying four-season climate.  Another fact about our area’s likes and dislikes are that we have an inherent taste for blending shades instead of separate color tones.  Even all white wedding work commonly has a pinch of peach or green added to create a richer balance.  

Are you curious about what other worldwide florists are designing?  Take a look at these nationally acclaimed floral industry masters and compare them to see where your taste truly lies.  You might be surprised where you find the answer!

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photo credit: weddingsitaly.com

Italian Fiori

Italian floral arrangements are influenced largely by the Tuscany theme, which relies heavily on wildflowers and species representative of this region’s infamous product, grapes.  The essence usually revolves around romantic and sensual aspects, often cultivating opulent palettes of gem tones.  Historically, Romans often offered poppies to the gods as a gift making them to this day a popular addition to many    Italian bouquets.  

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photo credit: Jeff Leatham    

French Fleurs

French floral design is without a doubt, some of the most beautiful work the world has ever seen.  The reason why is because regional designers have an eclectic style that stretches from single color clumping to erratic spectrums, incorporating bright shades of blues, yellows and oranges.  Popular flowers used are (of course) native to the area’s agriculture, including French iris, tulips, ranunculus and my favorite, French roses.  

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       Japanese Hana

 

The Japanese style focuses on constructing intricate and contemporary designs that depend on architectural shape and balance.   Many experts deem this method as “cutting edge” within the industry and are impressed by the ability to break free from traditional pieces.  Often, floral centerpieces are looked upon as more than simply adding stems to a vase but viewed as “true art” because of the sophisticated techniques and creativity utilized.  While orchids still remain as one of the top ten varieties used in the culture’s floral décor, other species such as gerbera daisies, delphinium and hydrangea are also highly requested.



Tags: Floral Design, Worldwide Flowers, Design, Florist

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