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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Tips to Transform Your Garden into a Great Outdoor Space

Posted by Jenny Holt on Fri, May 18, 2018

Is your garden looking a bit neglected after the winter? Maybe you’ve piled surplus stuff from inside the home to make some extra space? Whatever your reason, it’s time to think about transforming it into a fabulous outdoor space and growing plants from seeds before spring arrives. Giving your garden a spruce-up will not only make it a beautiful and relaxing space to hang out for family and friends, but it can also be rewarding feeling once all the work is done. Here are a few ideas for you to try.

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Make it comfortable

Inject a bit of personality into your outdoor space through repainting your fencing, buying or re-purposing garden furniture and decluttering broken or useless junk lying around. Try and think about maximizing the space to make it more comfortable for everyone to enjoy, and that includes making a pet-friendly garden if you have animals. If you want privacy, consider planting tall, evergreen trees which will also provide shade on hot, summer days.

Create a grassy space

Lawn care takes a lot of work to get the lush greenness you want to relax on but it’s not the same if you have to sit on concrete paving stone! Plus, it’s a great space for children to play on. If you’ve already got a lawn, look out for any patches or signs of unhealthiness that have appeared but if you don’t have grassy area then maybe it’s time to consider planted grass seeds. Either way, depending on the size of your space, the chances are you’ll need a handheld spreader for a small space or review broadcast and drop style spreaders for larger areas as they'll allow the area to be covered in a few passes.

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Add color

Who doesn’t like the stunning colors of nature’s flowers growing in a garden? Admittedly, it takes a bit of effort to start off but once established you’ll be able to enjoy their beauty in the months to come. There are many ways to brighten up your garden, even on a budget and you should choose different types of species, for example, exotic flowers, edible flowers, annual, etc, to mix it up. It’s important to make sure they’re watered well and receive the right amount of shade or sun they desire and you can either plant from seed or buy in pots from a gardening center.

Whatever you decide to incorporate or add into your garden, it will be a reflection of your style and tastes so makes for a perfect escape in the good weather.

Tags: Gardening, Outdoor Living, Garden

Trellis Flower Designs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 16, 2018

The weather is finally looking up around here, which means it’s time we filled up our leaf bags, mulch the yard and do a little planning for a spring season of landscaping!  Many people see this process as a chore but for me- I look forward to the task each year and actually become excited with the possibilities of new plantings I’ve been dreaming of all winter long…. There’s nothing better than gazing at your green thumb efforts once the summer appears so right now is the moment to kick up your gardening to-do’s in high gear!  One area that’s a nice place to start is choosing the seeds you would like to feature in your pots, raised beds or lawn props. Might I suggest focusing on the species of blooms you would like to watch blossom up your trellis? Archway trellises are some of the most beautiful places to harvest vine plants that will slowly creep up the sides to make a stunning veil of buds.  I myself, have a couple I can’t wait to see covered in strands of brightly colored flowers. If you are in need of a bit of research before you plant around your trellis, here are some of the best varieties that do particularly well in this area of the garden.

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Morning Glories: Morning Glories are pretty much a staple flower when matching a bloom to an archway trellis.  They exist in a variety of cheery hues and can survive with little fuss from the gardener. Just take a pack of seeds and pour near the base of the structure and they’ll do their own thing throughout the entire summer!

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photo via http://handydad.tv/diy-trellis-in-a-weekend

Clematis:  These are another great choice and will not disappoint those who want to quickly cover their trellis with wild looking blossoms!  Another species growing in many different colors, clematis will return each year in the spring although it will die once the heat appears in July and August.


Ivy Sweet Pea: This particular variety of sweet pea is capable of growing in a cabled vine that is simply gorgeous when scaling poles, arbors and trellises. They are extremely delicate in appearance but manage to take their curly leaves and tiny buds to great lengths if allowed.  


Wisteria: Wisteria is very popular in the United States and is able to last for generations if grown in temperate areas with shelter from severe ice.  These heads will drop in cone-like shapes and create beautiful overhangs for people to walk underneath as well as provide a pleasant aroma to the air.  

Tags: Gardening, Garden, Gardens

Flower Apps for Flower Lovers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Our phones have become our lifelines these days, holding millions of bits of information that we believe we require each day.  Just by the swipe of your finger, you can access worlds of data leading you everywhere from weather reports and sports stats to bank accounts and social media updates.  The cell has really become a major (if primary) source of communication for most of us and thanks to technology, we can find answers to any imaginable question with the proper programming.  Another bonus to owning one of these handy gadgets is that users can input their devices beyond basic functions and personalize them to create a unique carrier for hobbies and interests.  Are you a beach goer who enjoys frequent trips to the shore but is concerned about arriving only at high tide?  Guess what?  There’s an app for that.  Do you enjoy meditation or a quick session of yoga when you have a few minutes to spare? Guess what?  There’s an app for that, too.  No matter where your interests lie, you can be sure there’s a specialized program out there just waiting to be downloaded onto your phone-even if you happen to be a flower lover like me.

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photo via growit app

Florists and flower enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that geniuses around the world have been successful in inventing several different apps made especially for us which decipher, label and distinguish flora and fauna specimens.  You don’t have to carry a huge manual around anymore when you’ve come across a blossom you don’t know which family species it belongs to.  Heck no!  Now with a tap of your finger and a snap of a picture, you can find out all sorts of information about any flower or plant that exists.  Since there are several to choose from, you can browse this list and find the one that perfectly fits your taste to help grow and nourish your knowledge.   Designing ideas, centerpiece palette advice and details about where varieties are grown can all be passed down to you in thirty seconds or less.  Don’t be worried about extensive costs to set these up because you’ll be happy to know that all of them are free!  


Flower Apps


  1. Garden Flowers Plant ID 6. What’s That Flower
  2. Garden Guide 7. Ask it to Flowers
  3. Leaf Snap 8. Parrot Flower Power
  4. Fungitron 9. Flower House
  5. GrowIt!           10. Flower Garden Free

Tags: Gardening, Photography, Garden, Apps

Fall Flower Garden Clippings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 06, 2017


Fall is here but there are still some remnants of our summer gardening efforts thriving in our flowerbeds.  Although many of our favorites have gone to sleep for the season, you might be lucky to find a few late bloomers poking their heads out of the ground.  Many people give up taking care of their gardens when September rolls around, foregoing the watering, feeding any other important tasks but I assure you this is a mistake.  There are abundant amounts of species that enjoy the crisper weather and will stay healthy for you all the way up until the first frost.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could steal the last remaining warmer days on your deck gazing at a garden, which is blooming well into October?  Trust me- It can be done!  All it takes is a little pre-planning when planting particular varieties and you could also have a plethora of flowers right at your fingertips!  Especially if you are a clipper like me who loves to snip a few stems for indoor arrangements- you might want to check the below list.  

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Picking types of blooms that will do well for you during the last end of summer to the beginning of fall are usually on the heartier side, which are resilient against a nip but also perfect for transportation from soil to water.  


Excellent options include:


  1. Hydrangea
  2. Coleus
  3. Sunflowers
  4. Nasturtiums
  5. Mums
  6. Asters
  7. Sedum
  8. Scented Geraniums
  9. Millet
  10. Catmint

Not only will these look gorgeous in your homes, but the price is affordable and you’ll actually be doing your garden a favor.  Trimming back species extends the longevity of a plant as well as stimulate new shoots of growth.  Simple yet elegant, this style will compliment any décor as well as remind you of how wonderful a gift of a garden truly is…

Tags: Autumn, Fall, September, Garden, DIY

Holding Onto Our Summer Flower Beds

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 25, 2017

We are well into August now and I hate to tell you- but our flowerbeds are coming to an end for another year.  It’s sad, I know to see such a beautiful miracle of colorful blooms meet their demise when it seems like we’ve only just started to enjoy the warmer weather.  I personally get a little down when the new season shows signs of ascending down upon us and grow weary of the days ahead where my green thumb’s work will be buried underneath mounds of snow.  Yes, yes there’s always next year to look forward to but still- if you’re like me, the whole presumption can feel a bit depressing…

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It is for this unavoidable truth that I make sure to bask in the last weeks of summer gardening with feverish tenacity in the hopes that these memories might just carry me through yet another stormy New England winter.  Even though we can see the tall stalks of hollyhocks begin to bend and the heads of gigantic sunflowers withering their heads, we can still take it upon ourselves to do some last minute snipping, caring and tending for our beautiful flowers.  The generation of gorgeous blooms is a talent that shouldn’t be taken lightly so why should our determination to preserve these triumphants not be weighed as equally?  Just by completing a few final floral tasks, we cannot only savor the sweet success of the gardens we’ve created but also encourage next year’s harvest to be one that flourishes healthily.  Take a moment to see if you’ve made sure your garden remains in good hands for the colder temperatures and don’t forget to snap a couple of final pictures to last you until next April!


  1. Clean out all debris surrounding the plants to make spring-cleaning a little easier next April.  You’ll thank me later…
  2. If you have pine needles nearby, sprinkle some at the base of the plants.  If we have a frigid winter, your flowers will thank you for the extra blanket.
  3. Remove shoot perennials that have sprung from the master source to avoid unwanted spreading that might choke other root systems.
  4. Make a vase of cut flowers that are still blooming.  You might as well make a bouquet for yourself!

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, winter, August, Garden

Deadly Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 31, 2017

We’re always talking about the beauty of flowers but what if we took a second to analyze some of the deadliest flowers in the world?  Still stunning in their appearance, toxic blooms can be found growing all over our globe, just waiting to claim their next victim…  If you’re a person who likes to pick their own bouquets while walking in the woods, a little helpful information on the subject might really come in handy.  Even if your mother always taught you to never put anything near your mouth, particularly when it comes to treasures found in the forest, this list of highly poisonous plants can still infect a person just by the mere touch of their petals or stems.  If you were planning to hike this summer, it would be wise to steer clear of these deadly flowers to avoid harmful contact that might cause infection or even death.

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photo via wikipedia.org

Monkshood

You need to be aware of this variety of flora because although it originally harvested naturally in parts of Western Europe, the monkshood is popularly cultivated in our region for perennial gardens and landscaping.  It’s no wonder why due to its attractive characteristics of long sleek stems and beautiful purple blooms, which grow up and down the stalk.  I’ll warn you though, the monkshoods allure ends there because any contact with the florets at a minimum, can erupt in a case of increased hypertension or numbness of the fingers.  If you are less lucky, ingestion leads to almost certain death.

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photo via wikipedia.org

Castor Oil Plant “The Palm of Christ”

This may be the most deadly flower in the world since every inch of the specimen is lethal.  Having shiny leaves and heads that are referred to as “ticks” the flower grows as a perennial in countries such as India from July through October.  Ingestion of any part of this plant’s anatomy will give you a one-way ticket to an early grave, although a unique benefit exists in the plant’s leaves- castor oil.  Castor oil is made from the plant extract where it is used to treat burns, cuts and other flesh injuries.  The plant is also referred to as “The Palm of Christ” due to its biblical ties of healing Jesus’ hands.

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photo via wikipedia.org

Poison Hemlock

This one is tricky because the flower resembles some of my favorites like Queen Anne’s Lace and other similar members of the parsley family.  Naturally, it grows along the roadsides of Washington and is indeed extremely harmful if eaten or touched.  There are a wide array of symptoms including dizziness, swollen glands and nausea, which can be contracted from all parts of the plant.  Stay clear of those grown in direct sunlight because they are the most lethal in toxicity.  

Tags: Gardening, Garden, wild flowers, About Flowers

Why I Have Sun Parasol Mandevillas at Home

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jul 25, 2017

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My favorite to plant to bring home is the Sun Parasol Mandevilla. These have deep green foliage and grow vine like. I have three of these planters at my garage, another two at my front door, two hangers, three upright ones by my pool, another on my deck and yet another at the back door.

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Aside from their striking beauty, these plants are so easy to care. They flower from May to November. They love the sun and they like to be on the dry side. Believe it or not, you can go away for the weekend and they do not die. Not many other deck plants can take that type of abuse. 

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These two urns at my front door have been encouraged to grow wild and use no trellis or bamboo stakes to train the vines. Available at our Roslindale location, we offer many sizes in white, crimson, pink and yellow.

 

Tags: Garden Center, Gardening in Boston, Westwood, Garden, Mandevilla

Not All Medicine Comes in a Pill - Video

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jun 28, 2017

Get outside and plant something.

Being outside with plants is good for your mind, body and soul.

Fresh air, exercise and an immeasurable feeling of being whole.

Tags: #EXFL, exercise, Outdoor Living, Garden, DIY, Lifestyle, Video Flower Commercial

How to Make a Hand Tied Bouquet

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jun 23, 2017

How often have you visited your local florist and been envious of the way they can whip up bouquets like there’s nothing to it?  So, you go home, snip a few blooms out of the garden and think you can make the identical replica no problem, right?  WRONG!  There is a skill associated with making hand held bouquets that requires an eye for color, taste and the ability to follow a process.  Yes, it’s true.  Anyone can learn if they have the patience and passion to work with flowers and you don’t need a horticultural degree to do it.  Let this guide lead you through the steps towards creating beautiful arrangements for your home and events without having them look disastrous.

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If you have a garden, particularly a perennial garden, you have a strong advantage from those who don’t because the product is waiting for you in your backyard.   If you don’t possess a green thumb, visit local farms that usually sell bundles of single variety blooms.  No matter what the temptation, stay out of your neighbor’s yard because it’s likely they won’t be pleased you’ve helped yourself to their hard earned harvested blossoms.  

 

When you’ve selected your stems, try to make choices that will allow you to make pretty contrasts between textures and colors.  Unless you’re using all of the same kind, mix spiky heads with wide faced petals and leafy foliage with simple greenery.  Do not overload the combination with too many things that just don’t go together.  If you want to play it safe, try arranging same shaded flowers instead of getting creative before you’re ready.  Learn the basics first.

 

Now that you’ve gathered all your flowers, it’s time to put them all together!  The trick to this is you want to slowly add stems to the bunch and turn the bouquet while you’re doing this.  That way, each side will balance allowing fewer holes and clumping.  Do not make it any bigger than what your hand can fit and tie a ribbon around the middle to finish it off.  Place in a vase or give as a gift to someone you love.  They’ll adore the thought and your floral efforts.

Tags: DIY Brides, Wedding Flowers, Garden, DIY, Bouquets

Is It the Dirt ? - Video

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jun 22, 2017

 

Is it the flowers ?

Is it the dirt ?

Is it the hard work ?

It's all that.

when you are working outside and dirt weaves through your hands, your endorphins get going. Step outside and make your life better.

 

 

.

Tags: Gardening, outdoors, Outdoor Living, Garden, DIY

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