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Different Ways to Gift with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 04, 2017

When we meet that special person, we often seek ways to impress him or her in order to show them how we feel.  Maybe it’s a dinner to a fancy restaurant or maybe it’s a Hallmark card that’s says just the right sentiment, but whatever we decide, we want it to be a perfect match for that individual.   If you’re a flower lover, you probably choose to send flowers that perhaps might consist of a dozen roses, a bouquet of favorite blossoms or even a single stem of buttercup or daisy.  Yes, flowers have been the most popular way to connect with a person and have continuously been an effective conduit to show them how you feel.  

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Here’s an idea… what if you could be a bit clever on how you gifted them? Instead of just wrapping up any old bunch of flowers, how about using your noggin to think of interesting ways to impress their unique sense of self?  What are their likes, dislikes, hobbies or dreams?  As soon as you figure that out, you can implement your creativeness to really give them something special!  No two people are the same and neither are two roses.  Here are a few ideas to get the wheels really turning towards impressing the love of your life!  


For Those Who Love to Bake

A colleague recently told me about this movie she watched where a baker was wooed with a case of “flour”-you know, the cooking kind?  I thought this was so brilliant and really showed his love for her individuality while still sticking to a traditional gesture.  By making a pun based on her occupation, he was able to connect with her in a deeper, more meaningful way as well as show a sense of humor.  Sure, she probably would have kissed the guy anyways if he handed over a pile of orchids, but the effect wouldn’t have been nearly as strong, nor would have been the scene.  If you’re trying to get a special baker’s attention, this might be the “sweetest” way to do it!

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For the Book Lover

If you’re trying to get the attention of a book lover, you’re going to have to use your head.  Although a vase full of wildflowers will surely be adored, why not pick out a few titles that are written about flowers instead?  You can either grab a few floral designing books, gardening manuals or even a novel such as, “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh or “Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews if they like a good thriller.  Your courtship will be extra intellectually sentimental as well as useful reading material for the future!


For the Gardener

I personally love this approach because not only will a gardener appreciate the message but they’ll be extra excited to have a head start for planting.  Seeds that are the most thoughtful would either be varieties of their favorites or choosing perennials instead of annuals.  Perennials will come back year after year and will remind them of you each time they bloom.  

Tags: Gardening, cooking, Flowers, Gifts, book

Make It This Year’s Resolution to Put More Flowers In Your Home

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Jan 03, 2017

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one cymbidium orchid stem can be cut in half and used a feature flower in your home for two to three weeks.

As 2016 leaves and 2017 arrives, our hearts and heads are filled with every hope of it becoming the best year ahead of us!  While we celebrate the holiday, I bet many of you took it upon yourself to make a few promises- otherwise known as a “New Year’s Resolution”.  Perhaps it was about changing some un-preferred aspect of daily life such as reading more, shopping less or losing a little weight (it’s time for those last five pounds to go).  Some of you might have wanted to strive for more patience, hope and joy, possibly take more vacations or reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with.  Whatever your resolution may have been, I hope it included something that will make you healthier and happy during the next twelve months.  One idea to enhance the human spirit and mind is to make a conscience effort to place more live plants and flowers throughout your homes.

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Dendrobium orchids may be old fashioned for some, but premium stems that have flower buds that reach to the end are majestic and elegant.

I bet you didn’t know this but flowers have actually been proven to elevate a person’s mood thus benefiting their overall health.  Daisies, roses, sunflowers, delphinium or any other species can visually stimulate the frontal lobe of the brain as well as affect sensory arousal from a blossom’s aromatic properties.  Not only does the scent of a flower play a large part in the responsiveness to one’s positive reaction but the color is also a large contributor.  For example, red encourages a seductive, sensual, “search for inner perspective” type nuance while shades like green and yellow suggest a lighter, giddier appeal.  If you frequently experience spouts of depression, try inserting a few small bouquets of orange and purple arrangements in places like the bedroom and living room.  This combination of hues is said to promote mental wellness and balance.  If you find yourself constantly stressed or tense, you’re going to want to choose flowers with soft tones of blue or pink.  These cooler colors bolster a sense of ease and comfort and do best in areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

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Star of bethlehem are sturdy and long lasting.

Some of you might say, “Sure, this sounds like a great idea but who’s going to pay for it?”  I understand your concern but in actuality, adding moderate stems of blooms weekly doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  If you can afford to set up an account with a local florist than go for it but if that’s out of your budget, I’ll give you some hints where to start.  First of all, seek out a nearby farm that might offer year round cut flowers from their greenhouses.  They’ll most likely be pretty affordable and will also sustain an impressive longevity due to freshness.  A second tip is to start your own indoor garden where you can clip blooms throughout the colder seasons and grow outdoors when it warms up.  Bulbs are also a lot of fun to start inside and give off an amazing aroma as well.  

NEWYEARS FLOWERS.jpg My husband salvaged the throats on spent cymbidium orchid flowers to offer exquisite detail to this bathroom arrangement.

Tags: New Years Resolutions, Flowers, Happy New Year, New Years, Lifestyle

Hot New Flower Trends for 2017

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 30, 2016

Whenever a new year rolls around, you have to expect a whole new floral fad to go along with it!  Although 2016 focused on compact arrangements styled after European influence using soft and neutral colors, 2017 is showing signs of a completely different look for the future.  Architecturally inspired pieces are being scene photographed on the hottest industry covers and are likely to be the next big thing in flowers!  Sticks, branches, leaves and other minimalistic material are being sought to replace “bushier” blooms such as hydrangeas and asters.  Orchids such as cymbidiums are replacing these blossoms and changing the “smoothed out” style to a much brasher, funkier appeal. Think sleek, sharp and tightly groomed, florists are after this edgier method of combining stems and hopeful that Bostonians will take to the trend.  Pastels and even hues are also out and have been replaced by tones that acutely contrast one another in ways never seen before. A year ago, we would have thought these colors clashed but now experts can’t get enough of the fascinating demarcation.  We’re raising the bar for floral design in 2017 so take a peek at what’s going to be hot and what’s not!

In - Orchids continue to be the mainstay. Vandas, Miltonia, Cymbidiums and Phaelenopsis.

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In - Reds, blues and Greens for colors. Check out the new Black Pearl rose from Rosa Prima.

Out - round, mounded and compacted arrangements. It's about time this design style has died. While appreciated in its simplicity, skilled floral designers have grasped the importance of symmetry and framing each flower. 

Out - Blush Pinks, Cream and White-All Pastels. 2017 is all about colors and energy. If we can have an orange president. Expect lime greens, purples, deep reds and greens to pop the landscape. 

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Tags: Orchids, Flowers, Trends, 2017

Lovely Little Flower Bouquets

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Nov 03, 2016

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

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photo credit via Flower Factor

According to them, it ain’t easy…

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

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photo credit via Flower Factor

Tags: Floral Design, Flowers, DIY, Bouquets

The States and Their Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Oct 19, 2016

Have you ever wondered what the state flower of Massachusetts is?  It’s actually the Mayflower.  Can you guess why?  Well first of all, there’s the obvious reason of the name being tied to our founding father, Christopher Columbus who sailed the ocean blue until he landed on Plymouth Rock.  The ship he rode over on was also called “The Mayflower” making it the perfect flora from the northeast to symbolize.  Also called climbing laurel or trailing arbutus, the pretty purple blossoms are clumped together in a delicate pattern holding a sweet fragrance that makes it a favorite among many New Englanders.  Mayflower prefers sandy sediment or rocky soil that is typical where evergreens grow so if you’re taking a walk in the woods, keep your eyes peeled!

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Like the meaning and sentiment the mayflower represents to the residents of Massachusetts, people across the U.S. pay homage to a particular flower that makes them unique from surrounding areas.  Each and every state has an assigned bloom that tells a special story reflective of a historical background, a topographical attribute or traditional rite.  Check out your state flower by following the grid below!



Alabama

Camellia

Alaska

Forget-me-not

Arizona

Saguaro Cactus blossom

Arkansas

Apple blossom

California

California Poppy

Colorado

Rocky Mountain Columbine

Connecticut

Mountain laurel

Delaware

Peach blossom

Florida

Orange blossom

Georgia

Cherokee Rose

Hawaii

Hawaiian hibiscus (ma‘o hau hele)

Idaho

Mock Orange

Illinois

Purple Violet

Indiana

Peony

Iowa

Wild Prairie Rose

Kansas

Sunflower

Kentucky

Goldenrod

Louisiana

Magnolia

Maine

White pine cone and tassel

Maryland

Black-eyed susan

Massachusetts

Mayflower

Michigan

Apple blossom

Minnesota

Pink and white lady's slipper

Mississippi

Magnolia

Missouri

Hawthorn

Montana

Bitterroot

Nebraska

Goldenrod

Nevada

Sagebrush

New Hampshire

Purple lilac

New Jersey

Violet

New Mexico

Yucca flower

New York

Rose

North Carolina

American Dogwood

North Dakota

Wild Prairie Rose

Ohio

Scarlet Carnation

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Rose

Oklahoma

(Floral Emblem)

Mistletoe

Oklahoma (Wildflower)

Indian Blanket

Oregon

Oregon grape

Pennsylvania

Mountain Laurel

Rhode Island

Violet

South Carolina

Yellow Jessamine

South Dakota

Pasque flower

Tennessee

Iris

Texas

Bluebonnet

Utah

Sego lily

Vermont

Red Clover

Virginia

American Dogwood

Washington

Coast Rhododendron

West Virginia

Rhododendron

Wisconsin

Wood Violet

Wyoming

Indian Paintbrush

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Florist Massachusetts, Flowers, Mayflower, United States

Beautiful Flowers that Resemble Other Fascinating Images

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 01, 2016

It’s not enough when a beautiful blossom is striking in appearance on its own but when it resembles something else such as a butterfly or flying dove, that’s pretty incredible!  Recently my aunt sent me some stunning pictures of flowers that really look like other people, animals and artifacts that inspired me to share them with you.  While studying the photos, I learned a few important things about visual identifying and the undeniable relevance of certain plantings to living beings.  Not only are they an impressive optical illusion, but these photos also impress the brilliance with which Mother Nature has created within her environment.   I love the “Dancing Girls.  Which are your favorites?

Monkey face orchid

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photo credit via boredpanda.com

Dancing Girls Impatiens

Impatiens_bequaertii_8509.jpg photo credit via strangewonderfulthings.com

Flying Duck Orchids

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photo credit via earthporm.com

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photo credit via earthporm.com

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Orchid Plants, Flowers

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

The Meaning and Symbolism of Hollyhock Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Aug 23, 2016

80's holiday


Hollyhocks, sandals with socks

Knickerbocker glories

Salty air, old caravans

Magical bedtime stories

Fish 'n' chips, sticks of rock

Climbing fragrant evergreens

Endless hikes, stunning views


By Shaded Lamp

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photo credit via: www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com

Hollyhocks are one of the first flowers from my garden that amazes me each year with their fluffy heads bursting with color and their massive heights that tower over everything else growing in the yard.  Beautifully shaped petals and mighty stalks that pull through the soil like mini tree trunks all make the hollyhock a favorite for most gardeners.  

They are simply stunning…

There’s no wonder why this plant is associated with a majestic orientation due to its superior floral presentation and impressive ability to flourish in several conflicting soil grades.  In truth, the hollyhock prefers impoverished earth to dig its roots into and will actually live a longer lifespan through the summer if the ground hasn’t been fertilized or treated.  

Another symbol that the flower represents is fertility and fruitfulness.  During the end of its life cycle when the leaves and stem begins to droop, the hollyhock produces a round disk that encompasses many different seeds so that it can reproduce.  The perennial’s ability to do this has made the plant an icon for fertility treatments offices, mothers support groups and can often be seen as the logo for baby clothing enterprises.  


Baby stores weren’t the only ones who used the appeal of the flower’s properties for their marketing purposes since the hollyhock was replicated over and over again in several famous Flemish oil paintings.  Art Nouveau artists also had fun featuring the flower in many contemporary décor products such as the fabric for curtains and even as printed wallpaper.  


A third meaning for the hollyhock is tied to ambition because of the overall strength of the plant to grow in an array of conditions and its powerful presence in landscaping scenery.  Quite often you can also see hollyhocks lining fences and gates because some believe that their statuesque appearance and tall lengths reflect the impression of protection and safety.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flowers, Flower Meanings, Hollyhock

The Symbolism of the Peony

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Aug 20, 2016

Silky smooth,

Tender veins,

Numerous petals

Smell sweet.


Beautiful.

Admired.

Peonies


By Allyson Walsh

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The peony is a beautiful flower that is known to be a traditionally well-respected bloom in early summer gardens.  Derived from the Latin name, “Paeonia”, it thrives during the spring season in stunning colors of pink, cream, burgundy, white, red and peach.  The flower grows in a bush-like form, which can grow to be the size of a large shrub if given nutrients and fertilizer.  The petals of the head are said to resemble soft silk, which is why they are often featured in silk paintings.  Although the peony is cultivated all around the world, China and Japan excel in harvesting this variety above all other countries.  One point of view claims this is because the two cultures honor the flower highly within religious, social and spiritual aspects.


One of the symbolic meanings of this flower is tied to royalty and honor, particularly in the Asian culture.  Peonies are often used in ceremonies as they represent the idea of wealth, luck and good fortune.  Centuries ago, Chinese medicine claimed that the blossoms contained medicinal properties which is why you can still see them growing in monastery gardens today.  Although it has never been proven what exactly peonies are capable of healing, there is still a strong belief behind the blossoms that they have natural curing benefits for stomach pains and exhaustion.  In Greek mythology, the peony is named after the doctor, “Peon” who cured Hades when he had fallen ill.  Legend says that he crushed the petals to make an herbal remedy sifted in tea for the God to drink.  

PEONIES IN BOSTON

Another symbolic meaning of the peony is “shyness” where a stem of the flower can be translated into “blushing girl”.  In French culture, there is even an expression that says, “as red as a peony”.  Other lure uses this symbolism to express embarrassment, which is referenced in several poems about nymphs and fairies covering their naked bodies with peony petals from prying eyes.  Myth says that it is extremely harmful to your karma to ever remove a rooted peony from your landscaping once it has been planted.


Universally, the peony stands for honoring your word, apologizing when you have wronged another and simplistic beauty found in a woman.  Specific variations can be found tied to the exact color of a bloom that extends from love to mourning.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Peonies, Flowers, Flower Meanings

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

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