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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Basil Infused Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 30, 2018

YUM!  Who doesn’t love the intoxicating taste and scent of fresh basil?  Whether we’re talking about a smooth marinara sauce or as a dressing for marinated chicken, this herb is one of the most beloved spices in the Boston area…  But guess what? Food isn’t the only purpose for these vibrantly beautiful green leaves! Florists all over Massachusetts are taking advantage of basil’s popularity and working these plants right into their specialty of providing customers with stunning arrangements.  Particularly during these next few months, basil is noted as not only being a perfect reflection of the summer season but also “right for the pick’n” as a matter of speech. Farms, greenhouses and local nurseries are overwhelmed with clumps of fresh basil, which makes this variety a no brainer for designers.  If it’s nice to look at and readily available by suppliers, why not use this herb as a focus for this month’s fresh flower bouquet?

basil 

Using basil can be really simple for both designers and at-home hobbyists.  Select simple garden flowers such as cosmos, bachelor buttons, daisies or scabiosa and mix gently within a large bunch of basil.  All you need is a touch of color that will break up all of that green such as pink, white, blue or red (but any color will work) to create a stunning summer arrangement that will last a good five to six days with replenished water.  If you really want to complete the look, place in a water-soluble bowl or glass mason jar to give it that Homestyle look.

One of the best characteristics of basil is that the plant is grown in a variety of colors that pair well with just about any shade you can think of.  If the petals happen to be purple, then you are really in luck because the leaves will provide an extra “kick” to the arrangement. Try varieties such as dahlias, sunflowers and lantana to give the piece a real “pop” of color.  You’ll be amazed how easy it is to put together and the natural beauty that emanates once you are finished!

I know we’ve been talking a lot about flowers mixed with basil but how about going back to the plant’s “roots” so to speak?  Basil not only looks beautiful with summertime bloomers but also with veggies that might already be planted nearby. This style is sometimes referred to as the “salad bouquet” where plants such as tomatoes, squash, beans and kale replace the traditional blossoms for a total “green” presentation.  The colors that effervesce from these centerpieces is simply spellbinding while also reflecting the theme of fresh fruits and veggies.

Tags: basil, Flower Arrangements, garden flowers

Rejuvenating a Garden

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 13, 2018

Beginning a garden is a wonderful experience.  Tilling the soil, planting seeds, watering, loving and eventually- watching it grow can be one of the most magnificent experiences for a person.  There is a certain amount of affection and nurturing that flowers and vegetables need to be given in able to transform themselves into living, breathing ecosystems, which inevitably contribute a viable abundance of food and pleasure.  Wherever and whenever possible, gardens should be erected no matter what type of sun, soil or space is provided. By cultivating land into these magical, flourishing oases, life on earth would improve exponentially as we know it.

GARDEN CLEMATIS

So, what’s easier…  Starting your own garden or rejuvenating a new one?  The answer to this question is tricky. Depending on where you are and what is already provided for you, rejuvenating a piece of soil that’s once been used beforehand can be just as difficult as starting from scratch.  If the property is loaded with broken pots, planters and other unsightly growing apparatus, the space has to be cleared before you can even get a realistic vision of how you want to rebuild. That goes for old annuals that were never pulled from the ground before winterizing or perennials that don’t agree with your taste. Take day lilies for example… While they are a favorite to many, they can be toxic to beds due to the fact that they spread like wild fire and can take over plots quickly if they are not yanked and pulled back.  Again, it depends on what your taste is but pumping life back into a garden that has been abandoned can require some pretty heavy lifting. But I’ll tell you; if you have the time and patience, it’s worth the effort!


The truth is that any real gardener usually loves taking over an old and dwindling garden because:

  1. True farmers never let anything go to waste.
  2. The soil has been perused which means there is probably great nutrients in the ground, including the waste left by the previously planted plants.
  3. If there are any signs that perennials once existed, there is a chance they can be brought back to life so you might actually save money. If you have ever seen or read the movie/book, “The Secret Garden” you know what I’m talking about).
  4. You can continue someone else’s love affair with their garden-we growers are also hopeless romantics.
  5. Gardeners LOVE a good challenge!

What do you do if you have the opportunity and have no idea where to begin?  Here is a check list of all the things to be prepared for. You might be surprised how easy it is to get started!


  1. Clear the area of all pottery remnants, collect left behind salvageable tools and collect any other clutter artifacts.  Put them to the side and do not throw anything out until you are sure you have your plan mapped out. You’ll be surprised how much of it you may end up using.
  2. Churn the soil with a tiller or hand-held shovel depending on how large the plot is. You want to get to know your garden and what type of earth you will be dealing with.  Certain crops grow better in certain areas over others and you’ll want to figure out the acidity, moisture and composition as soon as you can.
  3. Take it easy the first year and start simple.  Add a few of your favorite perennials, locate old plantings that might have a little life still in them and focus on seeds that won’t cost an exorbitant amount of money.  It takes a while to get to know your garden and building a plot to what you want it to become is worth the patience. It’s like any other relationship-it takes time to figure out and appreciate one another.

Happy Gardening!

Tags: Clematis, Gardens, Gardening, garden flowers

The Dandelion Craze

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 27, 2018

In the world of flowers, we are constantly sorting different species into a multitude of categories for a variety of different reasons.  For starters, it helps the pros generalize the bloom’s properties as well as project its performance characteristics when deciding which flower will work the best in each alternating piece sent.  What this really means is that florists are constantly problem-solving issues like climate control, maintenance and availability of products for clients in an effort to keep customer satisfaction high and steady.  Years ago, we could almost generalize a template for commercial versus personal floral sales consumption, being able to pinpoint a list of suitable flowers for contrasting types.  As you can imagine, it started making things blatantly predictable and maybe even a bit boring, which are two reactions we look to ban in the floral industry.  Luckily, new trends are able to mix things up a bit where we find unlikely varieties of flora and fauna being utilized in unconventional ways.  Because of this, not only are designers able to give a fresh spin on traditional bouquets typically sold for cash and carry but we’re able to actually cut costs depending on the species.  An excellent example of this is the revived popularity of the dandelion.

dandelions.jpg

photo via https://www.amazon.com/Dandelion-Taraxacum-officinale-Seed-Needs/dp/B002TB2OIO

I know what you’re thinking… It seems crazy, right?  A dandelion is commonly looked upon as a mere weed in the midst of a garden but what happens when you relabel this little yellow bud as the central attraction to a beautiful centerpiece?  Not only are dandelion’s much cheaper in price (most of us could probably go pick a bunch right from our backyards) but they also arrange easily with a wide spectrum of flowers.  Once a mainstay in Roslindale Square, Dandelions Flowers is no longer next to Delfino's, but its legend lives on.

Tags: Spring, garden flowers, Trends

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:

wedding_flowers_boston

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

Floral Centerpieces with Herbs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 11, 2018

As you may know, spring has had a slow start around here in the Boston area where snow banks are still noticeable even though winter is officially over.  For those of us who have fond remembrances of sprouts already greening our backyards at this time last year, the weather may be a bit depressing as we all steadily and patiently await its return.  While it may take a few more weeks to see hellebores bloom or a stock of delphinium to emerge, there are some species that are capable of defying the odds of Mother Nature… Not every New England perennial cowers away so easily, in fact you may have even spotted greenery popping up from the earth, clearly not being able to stall their regrowth any longer.  Which superhero variety of flora and fauna may I be referring to? The HERB family of course!




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photo credit via Flower Factor

Herbs are far and away my most favorite crop to harvest in raised beds and here are the five reasons why:


  1. For the most part, herbs are hardy, which make them able to take a beating when it comes to a rough northeast winter season.
  2. Herbs are multi-purposeful.  They can be used in cooking, aromatherapy therapy, and several other useful medicinal areas.
  3. Many varieties of herbs bloom florets that look stunning in mixed arrangements.
  4. You don’t have to possess a green thumb to grow herbs.  Many species are pretty simple to plant and easy to take care of.  
  5. When all else in your garden is still decayed from the frost, the herbs will always lift your spirits by sprouting in late March to early April.

As I begin to sift through the leftover remnants of fall and winter, I’m starting to see some greens lift from the ground, mainly chive, thyme, lavender and rosemary.  This makes me smile because the first thought that comes to mind is dreaming about the lush and vibrant bouquet I’ll be able to make in the upcoming weeks. By this time, I’ll be able to utilize the pleasant smells and textures the herbs offer as either the primary bloom or as a foliage to tie the piece together.  Not only will the pretty leaves and blossoming heads dress my entire home with an appealing centerpiece, but the aroma will provide a crisp scent of spring that we are all waiting anxiously for.

Tags: herbs, garden flowers, Flower Arrangements

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