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Exotic Flowers in Boston

What Flowers to Order for Every Occasion

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 04, 2018

Flowers are one of the top five gifts to send for all occasions, being beaten only by Hallmark cards statistically speaking.  Baskets, bouquets, centerpieces and even single stemmed blooms have always been the go-to for making a thoughtful gesture in both good times and bad.  No matter what the events is such as birthdays, holidays, wedding or funerals- local florists are always prepared to extend your thoughtfulness with a gorgeous selection of fresh blossoms.  While designers are always happy to steer you towards the appropriate mix of variety, there is a generalized system for ordering these flowers although customers can definitely bend the rules.  If you don’t know the person’s favorite variety, color or style, here are some tips that may help you navigate these waters. Remember, this is a broad outline for the best flowers to give for each occasion so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and select the species that appeals to you most!

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Birthday: A special birthday present for her is always a beautiful bouquet so you really can’t go wrong when selecting the variety mix.  If you know her favorite blooms, then great but if you don’t, pink roses, purple lilac or green cymbidium orchids will do the trick!


Mother’s Day:  Pink roses are another big hit on Mother’s Day but you can also substitute them for ranunculus, sweet pea or peonies.  Blush and coral work best for this holiday but there’s a wide spectrum of shades to choose from.


Valentine’s Day: You can’t get away with not giving a nod to red roses on Valentine’s Day but mix bouquets of lavender, hot pink and green seem to become more and more popular each year.  Red is clearly the theme tint for V-Day but it’s okay to stray away with some variation.


Funerals: This can be a difficult venue to book flowers for but keep in mind, the family will appreciate your thought no matter what you send.  Staples for funerals usually include white lilies, white callas, white Phalaenopsis and white roses but again, color is not taboo for funeral pieces.  Gifting a basket of bright flowers can sometimes really pick up the mood for those who attend the services such as pink peonies, sunflowers or blue delphinium.


Get Well Soon: “Get Well Soon” bouquets are typically mixes of soothing shades, textures and aromas.  Even though one may believe that bright yellow is cheerful, the tint can actually cause anxiety, particularly for those who are on the mend.  Instead, ask for tones of light blue, peach, blush or coral. If you are set on yellow, go for a lighter shade that won’t attract so much attention.


New Baby: This is an easy one… Blue for boy and pink for girls!  Don’t make it any harder than it has to be…


Graduation: This is an occasion where you want your flowers to stand out so go for jewel tones that “pop” with color.  If this is a high school graduation, do your homework and find out where the student will be attending college.  Look up what the colors for the university are and then design your bouquet accordingly.

Tags: Flowers, About Flowers, Gifts

Peony Power

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 25, 2018

One of the top leading floral species in the industry during the spring season is the peony.  If you are familiar with the breed, no doubt you are not surprised since this variety has withstood decades upon decades of competition from similar grown varieties.  A peony’s smell, appearance and ability to take one’s breath away when mixed in a bouquet are all the factors responsible for the puffy bloom’s success. Flower shops across the country depend on this beauty’s availability once April rolls around and almost immediately becomes the primary pick chosen for high end arrangements.  It isn’t every day that one flower can appeal to both traditional and contemporary genres, plus have the flexibility to be used in everything from Mother’s Day bouquets to wedding work. Yes, the peony is an impressive species that has become just as synonymous with spring as the blue jays returning from the fall and if you would like to learn more about its impressive traits, all you have to do is look at the facts:

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Millions of Colors to Choose From

The peony is grown in thousands of different shades by top growers and local farmers

who harvest the perennial to appease local florists, supermarkets and nurseries.  From pink to dark red, this flower has a majestic gem-like quality when it comes to color, which is why wedding planners are constantly suggesting peonies to couples about to walk down the aisle.


        Some of the top breeds include:


        Coral Charm (Coral/Orange)

  Sarah Bernhardt (Soft Pink)

  Diane James (Buttery Pink/Rose)

  Pink Double Dandy (Pink)

  Festiva Maxima (White with Red Flecks)


Peonies are Garden Ready

Many people in the New England area like to harvest their own crops of hearty peonies.  Manifesting in a bush-form, these root systems are easily grown in most soil types typical to this region and are dependable as an annual perennial even when the winter has been particularly cruel.  The stems resemble tree branches so the sturdiness of the plant makes the blooms stable as they grow larger and larger, preventing the weight from causing snapping. Perfect to grow and cut for your own home, peonies also make excellent landscaping options to plant around your property.

Tags: Peonies, Flowers, garden flowers

Are You Really Getting A Deal Buying Super Market Flowers?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 17, 2018

It’s not current news that supermarkets have entered the trade of floral pedaling and plan to stay for the long haul.  Almost every Stop and Shop you visit has set up a flower counter where bunches of roses, pom-poms and gerberas are readily available to add quickly to your cart.  For many customers, this is a bonus during their experience of stocking up on Campbell’s soup and toilet paper because on the service it looks like a great deal, but is it?  Are you getting the quality of flowers you deserve and has the product been pre-conditioned before placed into buckets of water?  These are only a couple of questions professional florists have posed to grocery stores who compete to sell the same inventory as retail locations but is it really the same product to begin with?  By taking a look at some facts about the industry, we can get a better answer to the question, “Are you really getting a deal buying super market flowers?

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Well, let’s take a look at the benefits first and start with the obvious; “THEY’RE CHEAP!” In most cases, yes, bouquets bought at these food outlets will typically cost much less than those designed by a reputable florist.  The number #1 explanation is because they are using product of lesser quality so profit can be made at a much lesser price.  In some cases, the product is even being purchased “on spec” meaning whatever isn’t sold at the end of the day is returned and thrown out by the supplier. The other reason is due to the fact that arrangements created by designers working in flower shops have been trained with trade education as opposed to their competitor who might have a person behind the counter who has little to no knowledge about the floral biz.  When this happens, there is likely to be an inferiority regarding the item being sold on the shelves and god forbid you have a question about the blooms or how to care for them when they leave the store.  


So, you see, the benefits aren’t really benefits at all unless you want to focus on the convenience factor.  Yes, it will be easier to grab and go while snatching a carton of milk but don’t be surprised if you have buyers regret.  Statistics show, grocery bought flowers have half the life expectancy as a sample taken from an established florist and can even sometimes be damaged without the customer knowing.  Keep a keen eye on foliage that has been stripped to the head of the bloom which is another clear indicator the product is old.  Also, be weary of bruised and ripped petals that may be located towards the bottom of the stem.  Colored packaging material attempts to camouflage this problem, don’t be fooled!  Ask to always have the blooms you’ve chosen to be wrapped in front of you.  


Okay, it’s time to talk truth about what your florist can deliver which Stop and Shop can’t.  First off, professional florists have superior knowledge about everything having to do with flowers because this is the single area in which they specialize.  Ask them a question and I guarantee they’ll be able to find the answer quickly and efficiently.  Point #2, they want to keep you coming back for more so they’ll do whatever it takes to assure you consistent quality every time you step through their door.  Grocery store clientele tends to change considerably with a huge turnover when compared to flower shops who work hard to please their customer basis for years to come.  The last but not least final clue is that even though you might be spending more, you will notice the clear difference right away in the bundles you bring home which will increase your customer satisfaction in the long run.  The next time you are torn between the mega store cheap buy, think about these factors that will affect the outcome of your experience and choose to support local, small business florists instead.    

Tags: cheap flowers, Bouquets, Flowers

Short Floral Lifespans but Totally Worth It

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 17, 2017

I just recently wrote a blog about flowers that are the perfect purchase for longer living arrangements, highlighting species such as roses and aster which will live for longer periods of time compared to others.  While many people have this goal in mind when visiting their local flower shop, others (like me) are more driven to the uniqueness of a variety and will forgo longevity just to enjoy the flower for whatever time they have.  Economically, it’s probably not the way to go but if you’re bored buying the same old blooms like Alstromeria, Bells of Ireland and Asiatic lilies just because they’ll survive longer on your table, then you might want to try out these varieties that are totally worth the price.  Perhaps the exotic presentation is what appeals to you or the alluring scent that puts you at ease but whatever the characteristic is that you’re looking for-these blooms are almost promised to please.


Exotic Visual Presentation:


Long/Short Gloriosa

Gloriosa is a stunning tropical bloom that comes in shades of yellow, green and red but no matter what hue you choose, it’s bound to be an eye catcher.  They have a head shaped like a hand that extends petals from the center in beautiful arch patterns which resemble more of a sculpture than an ordinary flower. You don’t need many stems to pack a visual punch so keep these babies in mind for parties and weddings.

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Cut Phalaenopsis

If you buy the plant, phalaenopsis will generally last around a month but if you purchase stems that have already been cut, they can last less than a week.  Why bother?  Because they are nothing short of “grand” when arranged in tall glass vases and placed in the center of a room as a centerpiece.  Trust me, you won’t need any further décor.


Scabiosa

Another one of my favorites, scabiosa is a pretty, delicate summer bloom that comes in a variety of shades such as purple, blue, pink, white, cream and even red.  They have soft, fluffy heads that are mindful of warm days and look perfect mixed with other species or simply kept alone in a bunch.  They only last for about four to five days during certain times of the year but if you live close to a farm stand, they’ll probably have a consistent supply when harvest season arrives.


Aromatic Properties:


Chocolate Cosmos

Wow!  If you love the smell of chocolate than you’ll love these seasonal stunners that honestly will remind you of dessert!  The spring blossoms are usually dark in color, either in hues of deep brown and crimson, which make an exotic and sexy display.


Gardenia

This one is a classic that has survived the test of time and still remains one of the most requested items for weddings.  Having a lifespan of only two to three days, gardenias are breathtaking in both sight and aroma, which gives any event a classy, nostalgic feel.  

Tags: Flowers, Chocolate Cosmos, Orchids

Which Flowers Last the Longest ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 13, 2017


This question can be a major problem when deciding which kind of flowers to buy at your next trip to the florist… What species are going to last the longest?  Unfortunately, not even your most dedicated and informed florist can have the absolute answer to this commonly faced dilemma but we can give you some advice and tips to guide your decision.  In horticulture, there are certain species that are known to have more extensive properties of longevity over others.  Sometimes the reason lies behind the species durability and other times this depends on its freshness.  The point is, since the variables can be forever changing, it can be difficult to place your bet on what flower is going to outlive the rest.  Is it simply the luck of the draw when it comes time to placing your order?  Well, sometimes but by following these few pieces of advice, you’ll definitely increase your chances of taking home a “wick” package of blossoms.

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What to Ask:

You might have to play a little detective when browsing the floral inventory so make sure you follow these steps.  First of all, keep your eyes peeled for moldy green water or liquid that has a bit of a stagnant smell.  This is a sure-fire tip that the stems have been sitting in the bucket for over a week and you might want to keep looking.  If the liquid smells fresh, then your odds are better that the florist just unpacked them and put them in water.  Another thing to keep in mind is if the foliage has been already stripped close to the head of the flower.  This process is called “cleaning” the stem and can mean that the flowers are being re-primped to help move them out of the store.  The head of the bloom might still look good but it’s a safe bet that the leaves have been removed from shriveling or yellowing.  Also, be on the lookout for droopy or iridescent petals which can be a sign of age as well as missing parts of the head that may have dropped already.


Species to Keep an Eye Out for:

If your number 1 goal is to select the longest lasting flower in the shop and not necessarily a particular bloom you prefer, then there’s actually a list of species that typically survive longer than other inventory on display.  For example, chocolate cosmos (my favorite!) will simply not live as long as roses or hybrid delphinium compared to carnations.  Of course, there’s always influential factors that will elongate life spans such as whether or not it is native or if the product was bought from a pedigree supplier versus a lower grade wholesaler.  Yes, there are varying effects on flowers but if you stick to this list, you’re bound to have success with a healthy arrangement to enjoy in your home.


Blooms that are probable to withstand at least a week to ten days:

  1. Freesia
  2. Roses
  3. Bells of Ireland
  4. Chrysanthemums
  5. Asiatic Lilies
  6. Alstromeria
  7. Asters
  8. Gerbera Daisies
  9. Carnations
  10. Cymbidium Orchids

Tags: Flowers, Carnations, Roses, Orchids

The Benefits of Exposing Babies to Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Oct 02, 2017

f you’re a new parent, you’ve probably recently been bombarded with people offering their expertise on what your little one needs to grow up to be the best person they can be.  “You’ll need to take them to every storytime at the local library”, “You must only feed that child organic food” and “Learning baby sign language should be a top priority” may be just three of the hundreds of pieces of advice being thrown at you.  It can be overwhelming to say the very least and a bit confusing as to which suggestions hold water and which don’t.  

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According to several Boston’s florists, they also have their own point of view when it comes to child rearing and interestingly enough, protest a special set of floral tips that are said to be beneficial to children.  Just by regularly exposing babies and kids to blooms styled in arrangements or grown outside the home, they will be receiving crucial developmental and emotional influences supportive to their growth.  


Some advantages include:

  1. Lower incidences of anxiety and depression.
  2. Increased talents found in creativity.
  3. A greater appreciation of all things that grow.
  4. A general promotion of health in all areas, specifically within sleeping and eating.
  5. An efficient tool for encouraging fine motor skill development.
  6. Increased development of the smell and tactile senses.

These are some great reasons to expose your children to the positive effects of flowers but now you’re going to need to know what are some ways to do it?  It’s a common question but you’ll find the answers are really quite simple.  Just by engaging in one or more of these activities, you’ll soon see the payoff blooms can add to your new family while also receiving some of the benefits yourself.  Check this list out to begin adding florals to your life today!


  1. Plant a garden in your backyard.  This is probably the most obvious but if you don’t have a green thumb don’t worry.  You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to cultivate a flower bed.  Just dig up a small patch of land and add seeds of seasonal bulbs that will sprout during the temperate times of the year.  Water and feed accordingly.
  2. Educate your children by browsing a local florist and ask an employee to tell you a few of the varieties they carry.  Kids can begin to recognize various species and perhaps take a fresh bouquet home with them after their lesson.  
  3. On the next rainy day, go to a flower shop and purchase some stems of your favorite species and let the kiddos arrange the blooms in vases.  You can teach them about the delicate nature of the plant while also allowing them to learn about color, size and texture.  

Tags: Kids, Mother's Day, Lifestyle, Flowers, Flowers for Emotional Health

American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Aug 09, 2017

If you’re into flowers and eating from farm to table, it might be a good idea to look into this interesting new event that allows you to dine in divine surroundings within blissful content.  This “green” way of eating amongst friends and family is making a serious impact on both the floral and restaurant world and it’s all due to the forum’s wild success found in the earliest stages.  With the intent to bring organic blooms and whole foods together, naturalists are calling this fabulous, contemporary feasting option the way to go in the next century.  Toxins, chemicals and other contaminants have been on the news for years as likely pollutants in our soils, which is why this idea shows serious merit and might just pave the way for all future social cuisine gatherings.

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photo credit via americangrownflowers.org

Why does this work so well?


One of the reasons is because of the expertise gifted by talented florists who couple texture, color and architecture of flowers to match the servings hosted on the plates.  By pairing a romantic contrast between blooms and menu offerings, guests not only receive a tasty dish of fresh and wholesome food but also get to experience the visual appeal of stunning arrangements.  Depending on where the event is being hosted, people will sit amongst a table of twenty to thirty people inside greenhouses or outside on patios in the area where their servings originate.  For those who enjoy local wine and beer, refreshments are also served in the same style to encourage sales of homegrown beverages as well.

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photo credit via americangrownflowers.org

What started this event?


Since a vast majority of flowers and food are now being shipped into the United States from outside countries, “Field to Vase Dinners” are working to re-focus demand on local farms and eateries such as those within Oregon, California and Texas.  By hosting these dinners in places where we cultivate our own goods, the hope is to re-infuse interest in eating and growing locally owned products.  Another important reason behind this movement is to encourage the health aspects of eating fresh foods.  Cooked by some of the best chefs in the country, guests have a chance to taste for themselves the deliciousness of eating meals harvested from straight out of the ground while gazing upon domestically cultivated blooms.  Not only does “American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour’s” make sure everyone’s bellies are full by the end of the event, gifts of flower bouquets are also presented at the end of the meal to make the experience even more special.  

Tags: America, USA, Patriotic Flowers, Flowers

The Magical Properties of Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 21, 2017

Flowers are capable of providing us with many benefits including aromatherapy, visual stimulation and beautiful décor to name just a few.  We enjoy the color, the shape and texture which we use as ornamental items in our houses, yards and even business offices to elevate our moods and general well being.  Florists will be the first ones to tell you the positive attributes of placing bouquets throughout living spaces and there is even evidence that doing so can elongate a person’s lifespan.  That’s pretty incredible, right?  But what if I was to tell you that certain flowers also possessed a bit of magic?  No really, I mean it!

 

Those practicing the art of spell work and other related mysteries beyond our world would tell you that there is indeed a relationship between true enchantment and blooms.  While not every petal you find can produce a mystical forth giving, there are those that can provide healing such as cleansing, peace and wisdom.  Still not buying this yet?  Take a peek at these flowers that have been known to work their magic beyond the human realm…

 

Black Eyed Susan’s for example are tied to being connected to those who have passed away.  For loved ones who are no longer with us, this summer perennial is said to be an inducer for mediumship.  It is said if you place them by your home you will increase your chances of calling loved ones who are now deceased into your dreams.   

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The Hollyhock is also an interesting plant to study since it’s said to bind you to your past lives.  Hollyhock is believed to accentuate the ability to remember who you were in terms of reincarnation where you may be able to “sense” certain previous relationships, skills and life journeys from long ago.

 

Lilies are something you might want to invest in if you are thinking about re-landscaping your yard because they are known to attract angels-yes angels!  In doing so, you are inspiring safety, peace and spiritual wellness to surround your home.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, About Flowers, Flowers, Hollyhock

Spring Flower Trends

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 08, 2017

I don’t know if you know this but with each changing season, it brings a whole new floral palette of design, color and contrast.  Living in a busy hub such as Boston, you can only imagine the diverse transformation our florists make once the calendar flips back to the springtime months of the year.  I for one am thrilled for the fresh rejuvenation of different species and varieties being used in bouquets and vase work.  It’s not that the hardy species we live with in the colder months such as roses, gerberas and hydrangea aren’t nice but I’m sure you agree with me it’s time for something different.  

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In the past, pastels have owned April, May and June as the top requested style in everything from cash and carry out to wedding bridal jobs.  It’s pretty easy to figure out why since ranunculus, sweet pea and hyacinth are among the top natively cultivated varieties as well as the highest imported from countries around the world.  Their delicate and soft presence does mirror the slight increase of temperature and the rebirth of nature re-growing again but I’ve got to tell you…the theme is getting a little old.

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Just by taking a look around us, we can matriculate our own unique vision of flowers in springtime.  Bulb plants are naturally popping up from the ground such as red tulips, yellow daffodils, blue crocus and purple grape hyacinth (my fave).  We don’t have to get complicated by our selection if we merely become aware of what is on hand already!  Grab a pair of clippers and take a walk through your yard noticing all of the new generation the earth is accomplishing.  If you have a perennial garden, you might have access to a whole other trough of goodies such as delphinium, poppies, clematis and alliums.  All of these different kinds of blooms might not exactly match perfectly at first glance but when you combine them all together, you’ll be amazed by the outcome.  Designs do not always have to match so get a little wild and try making your own springtime bouquet based on the gifts that Mother Nature has already given us here in New England.  Be bright, be bold and GO FOR IT!

Tags: Spring, Flowers, Trends

Beautiful Flowers of Africa

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 03, 2017

Africa is a breathtaking continent, rich in history and opulent in culture.  Along with their natural sustainability for art and music, Africa is also know for mega industry positions within banking, consumer goods, oil, gas and agriculture, which many people are unaware of.  Perhaps the reason why Africa doesn’t come to mind as a lush spot for farming and harvest might be because we think of the topography as being too arid or dry.  Unbeknown to the masses, Africa actually has areas where the land is lush and ideal for growing stunning blooms to be shipped all over the world!  In fact, product from this region is escalating in demand, skyrocketing this particular segment of their economy in recent years.  So what are the most desired African species the floral industry is seeking currently?  

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photo credit via http://fairweathers.co.uk

Agapanthus

Otherwise known as “The African Lily”, this variety has remained one of my favorites through the many years spent in the flower business due to its stunning color and playful architecture that makes any arrangement “pop”.  This bulb enjoys the warmth of Africa’s typical temperatures but does well when planted in pots as well.  Fortunately, the agapanthus is not accustomed to any major bug problems although this perennial will only bloom certain months of the year from June to July.  Also pay particular attention to the plant’s roots since it possesses a rhizome system.  


Gloriosa

Gloriosa is a member of the “Colchicaceae” family, which is also a bulb plant that flourishes in moist weather conditions but remains dormant during dry spells.  The lily is a “climber” and uses its tendrils to scale over the tops of other flowers, making it a beautiful accent to tropical gardens.  Although the colors are bright and decadent, the stems and roots are highly poisonous and at the very least can cause skin irritation to someone who is sensitive to plant toxins.  Interestingly enough, African medicine does include some gloriosa samples within certain tonics and elixirs that are said to have great healing powers.  

Tags: Africa, Flowers Worldwide, Worldwide Flowers, Flowers

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