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Flowers at Breakfast

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 13, 2018

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day where we gain most of our energy, preparing ourselves for the tasks ahead.  Florists are the first ones to agree with this philosophy although they make their own amendment to the belief by suggesting that breakfast should be served with more than just a side of eggs.  Yes, designers are inclined to advice their clients to accompany the first meal of the day with a fresh bouquet of flowers which can contribute specific essentials to maximize the success of a person’s day.  Just by setting a vase of perky daffodils in the center of your table while you munch on some toast can:


-Incrhospitality-resized-600ease one’s overall mood

-Adjust self-modulation for better interpersonal connections

-Increase serotonin levels

-Apply aromatherapy benefits

-Encourage relaxation and deflect anxiety

-Promote problem-solving skills at work and at home

-Generate an increase of creative thinking in the brain

-Help to facilitate an organic and natural start to your day


Wow!  That’s a lot of persuasive reasoning to include a bunch of your favorite florets into your morning rituals and luckily, I’ve found some perfect examples of blooms which pair perfectly with delicious breakfast menus.  Take a peek and see if these stunning blooming companions are what you’re looking for next time you sit down to eat a bagel. You’ll be amazed what the change can do for your health and happiness!

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Your Basic Eggs and Bacon

If you’re an easy going fellow who likes plain old eggs and bacon then matching this dish with another simple, yet satisfying flower bouquet such as daisies or gerberas is exactly what you need.  The scent will not interfere with the aroma of the food but the color will properly compliment the plate, making it even that more enjoyable to taste.


Waffles Loaded with Butter and Syrup

If this is your idea of the perfect plate to wake up to, then I know you’re into the richer things in life-stuff you can really sink your teeth into…  In this case, adding a bouquet of chocolate cosmos, burgundy scabiosa or plum calla lilies is what will appeal to your appetite! The intoxicating hues will melt right into the cuisine, accentuating the scrumptious texture while not interfering with the enjoyment of the plentiful stacks.


Pastry, Pastry and More Pastry


You’ve got a sweet tooth alright so we want to make sure that the flowers on your table will mirror this personality trait.  Stick with scented garden roses, lily of the valley or peonies to add to the tray or pastel ranunculus that have a delicate appeal similar to the baked goods.  Any spring smell will only make things better so don’t be afraid to venture out into more intoxicating scents. 

Tags: Flowers for Emotional Health, Health, Chef

Allergy Season Is Back

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 23, 2018

There’s very little not to love about New England’s spring season when skies become bluer, the air smells sweeter and the temperature rises to a comfortable 72 degrees.  In most cases, people around these parts are automatically put into better moods and seem to enjoy the days a bit more once the ice and snow melts away.  Yes, March, April, May and June offer a bright and happy chapter of the calendar with the exception of one tiny problem…ACHOOOOO!!!  Yes, those poor allergy sufferers out there might want an exemption from the spring season and if you’ve ever experienced any of the common symptoms, you’ll have every idea why.  While those with immunity towards environmental pollen might be ticking off the days until they can frolic freely outside once again, this might not be the case for others…  Chest pain, sneezing, headaches, watery eyes, wheezing and sore throats can be a total drag and leave those ailed in complete misery from now until summer rolls over.  

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Due to the extensive range of severity in reaction to new growth from trees, grass and flowers, thousands of Bostonians must stay vigilant of keeping their health on track so they don’t wind up in the hospital.  How do we keep those nasty allergies away?  One good start is to know exactly what specific type of species are the most threatening and then do whatever you can to avoid contact.  If you’re unsure of what to look out for, here’s a list of the most common flowers that might be a smart idea to leave out of your weekly order.  If you see something that you’ve always loved but realize it’s in your best interest to avoid, take a look at the right column where I’ve listed substitutions that will still give you your blooming fix.

Common Allergy Inducers 

Forsythia     

Chamomile                  

 Daisies                          

Sunflowers                    

Asters                     

Dahlias                     

Lilies                       

Jasmine                                        

Roses

If you're looking a less chemical soother than Clairitin, my husband swears by Simply Saline for his allergies. 







 

Tags: Spring, Health, Allergies

Can Flowers Make You Less Hungry

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 12, 2018

Come on… Admit it…


Who out there DOESN’T put on a few pounds during the holiday season?  The cookies, pies, desserts, roasts, casseroles and buttery goodness- who can resist?  The deliciousness that extends across our tables during the yuletide month is a joyous treat to dine on with family and friends but once January rolls around, you’re well aware of the damage it may have caused to your waistlines.  Are those pants feeling a bit snug once the advent calendar has been put away?  Well, have no fear!  A healthier you is just around the corner with a little exercise, low calorie menu and awareness for smaller proportions.  Believe it or not, there’s also a few tips local florists might be able to supply customers with such as a bountiful bouquet of blooms that might actually decrease your yearning to clean out the kitchen cabinets.  Temptation can be a hairy monster to deal with when attempting to pull off a couple of pounds but luckily, there are flowers said to curtail an over brooding appetite and replace it with soothing vibes of happiness and relaxation.  By adding a few stems of flowers with powers to hook your senses with fragrance, eye appeal and texture, you’ll be well on your way to tightening up that bod in time for bikini season!  Try requesting these species from a talented designer and see if these blooming effects work on you!

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Red Roses

Red roses aren’t just for Valentine’s Day!  Study shows that people surrounded by the color red while dining are more likely than not to eat less than a person surrounded by blue or white.  Some experts believe the reason lies with a human being’s natural inherency to associate red with danger or harm.  Even poison labels typically use the shades red and black to signify the product is harmful so it’s no wonder why we may shy away from the color while ingesting food.  The scent of the rose helps as well depending on the variety.  The stronger the sweetness of the aroma, the less likely it is for you to go for that second helping of dessert!

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photo via finegardening.com

Nicotiana

Before you get all in a tizzy- I don’t mean to imply everyone should start smoking if they want to shave off a couple of notches on the old belt.  What I mean by “Nicotiana” is actually the beautiful plant that produces white blooms and grows pretty, soft green foliage.  The smell of the sepals reminds most of the herb pepper, which is typically labeled an unappetizing scent.  Try placing a few pots of this on your patio and see if the effects of Nicotiana aids in decreasing your spoonsful of pasta next spaghetti night. You’ll also like the fact that this species is relatively cheap in cost unlike a package of cigarettes can run you.


Green Calla Lilies

Green Callas are another great breed of flowers to try adding to your home because they remind one to generally add fruits and veggies to their plates every day.  The shade of green is also a solid choice to purchase for plates as well because “going green” extends to healthy eating habits, specifically food grown from the earth.  The curve of the bloom is another excellent distraction for binge eaters because the shape symbolizes fullness and completeness.

Tags: Flowers for Emotional Health, Health, About Flowers, exercise, Roses

Baking Recipes with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Sep 25, 2017

There is a considerable amount of benefits that come from consuming flowers that I bet you didn’t know about…  For starters, they add an interesting taste, texture and decadent quality to recipes that can change the entire “feel” of a meal without becoming overbearing in flavor.  This concept may not be completely foreign to most since many of us already cook with plants such as flowers and veggies which have useful blooms to add to our kitchen.  Violets and squash are examples of this and have several delicious qualities that turn an ordinary dish into magic.  Even if you’re a meat and potato type of a person- I can guarantee there is a recipe here that is perfect for you.  Read up on the qualities of these earthy flowers and see what entices your palate.

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photo credit via thenerdyfarmwife.com

Violets

You wouldn’t think it but these little purple wildflowers are more than a pretty ground cover.  Violets have several purposes due to its rich color, scent and yes- even taste.  There are hundreds of recipes that utilize this bloom’s properties to make delicious dishes, particularly those that lay on the sweeter side.  Desserts are the perfect place to show off this spring blossom’s attributes such as in cakes, pastries and drinks.  One idea that really interested me was a recipe that I came across written by “the nerdy farmwife” which was a violet jelly.  Not only did she market the beauty of this concoction impeccably but it also made my mouth water for some jam and biscuits immediately.  Easy as 1-2-3 instructions as well as sensational photographs taken, jelly fans might want to pop on over to this site to see how you can make your own violet infused jelly!

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photo credit via marthastewart.com

Squash Blossoms

Every year I grow zucchini in my garden and every year I gaze upon their beautiful yellow buds that are pretty enough to cut and place in a vase. Little did I know that they share a dual purpose because after some research, I found that these flowers could also be used in cooking.  From additions to salads to enticing Italian platters, squash blooms have been used forever in cuisine and can easily be adapted into any diet.  There are many different ways to prepare the blossoms such as frying, baking or stuffing, which makes them highly popular when sold at farm stands or on the rare occasion- grocery stores. Often you will see recipes calling for squash blooms when they are stuffed with cheese, the best being ricotta because of the pleasant compliment in taste they give one another.  Another incredible combo is with marinara sauce, making these the ideal ingredients to bake an earthy version of the classic pizza.  The taste is out of this world plus you’ll get the added benefit of dressing your pie with healthy veggies.  Try this version invented by Martha Stewart!

Tags: cooking, Chef, Lifestyle, Health, Violets

Why You Need a Yucca Plant in Your Living Room

Posted by Jenny Holt on Fri, Sep 15, 2017

The yucca plant originated in the hot dry areas of the Americas and the Caribbean. It is an incredibly resistant plant which can adapt to pretty much any climate; it is becoming more and more popular as a garden or indoor addition, thanks to the fact that it is easy to care for, beautiful and has various uses, such as being a powerful air cleaner. 

There are around 40 species of yucca and around 24 subspecies, so there are a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to choose from to display your plant and floral personality and style. 

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photo via ftd.com

Tips for Growing Your Yucca Indoors

A yucca plant inside can add a wonderful focal point to your living room or be part of an interesting indoor display. They are easily adaptable so they are perfect for displaying indoors as well as outdoors, although indoor yucca plants are usually smaller in size. As more than 40 species of yucca exist, coloration can vary greatly: they can range from the classic green to bluish with variegations of white, cream and yellow and delicate beautiful flowers.   

Yucca plant care is simple and straightforward; yuccas grow on large woody stems or canes do not require much attention. The ideal placement is in a sunny to partly shaded location; indirect light greatly helps leaf color, as full exposure to sunlight might cause browning tips or white spots on the leaves. 

Yucca plants, both indoors and outdoors, require little water and are actually drought tolerant to some extent. A light fertilization can help the plant grow when it is being grown in container, but it is not necessary for plants which are already established. Soil quality doesn't really matter but it should be heavy enough to maintain the plant upright and well-draining. Aim for a three to one mixture of sand and peat to grow yucca effectively in containers. 

The Many Uses of Yucca Plants

Yucca plants are not only a stylish indoor addition but also have many surprising uses. 

The yucca is one of the top-rated air cleaning plants which can remove toxins from the air, according to an important NASA study.

The yucca is also edible, especially certain species such as the banana yucca and the soapweed yucca, which produce succulent flowers and fruit. The roots are also edible; although they do not taste as good as the fruit and flowers, they are natural anti-inflammatories. 

Yuccas can help you with your washing and beauty routine as well. In fact, it is a key ingredient in natural shampoo and the Native Americans used the roots and trunk of the soaptree yucca (yucca elata) to make soap to wash hair and clothes. It can be quite easy, not to mention satisfying to make your own yucca soap at home! Yucca is also a wonderful skin salve, as it nurtures cuts and scrapes.

According to the Native Americans, a yucca symbolizes transmutation, protection and purification. With its many uses, beautiful flowers and stylish look, a yucca can be the perfect low maintenance addition to your living room. 

 

Tags: Plant Care, Plants, Health, Lifestyle

Plant, Animal, People

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Aug 16, 2017


There’s an old saying for those who are looking to create more balance in their life that caring for something should start in this order:


Plant-----------→ Animal ----------→ Human


The reason behind this strategy is to build the concept of responsibility by taking baby steps towards reaching your goal.  You may have heard of this approach in connection to AA, becoming a new parent or Sexaholics Anonymous but in general, this is very good advice for anyone who’s looking to enter a solid relationship with another individual.  

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photo via aboutflowers.com

If you believe that you may be on the “Plant” end of the diagram, there are excellent varieties you should be aware of to get you set up in this type of training but before I give you a list to go on, you might want to keep in mind these useful tips.


  1. Water- Just like people, plants have to be well hydrated in order to survive and flourish, making this the number 1 rule when you purchase your plant.  Be careful to read the instructions given to you by your florist or nursery since every species is different with their needs (Again… just like people).  If you feel you might fall in the forgetful realm when it comes to this task, you may want to start with a cactus, which needs very little and is drought tolerable.

  1. Sunlight-  Plants are living entities who need plenty of sunlight in order to create their own photosynthesis (food generation) so you’ll need to find a brightly lit area of your home to set your new friend up in front of.   Again, there can be a variation between different species but I can promise, there needs to be some kind of sun at least part of the day available to the plant if you’re hoping to ever continue to phase 2- an animal.  

  1. Love-  It might sound corny but plants need love just like humans do and the way to accomplish this is to follow both previous rules as well as add a little extra into the mix.  While the age-old theory claims that talking to plants will help them grow into epic proportions, some people prefer to sing to them instead.  While you may be reading this and thinking it’s silly, plants have been proven to positively react to human verbal contact and have been recorded to double in size compared to those spent in solitary.  If you need another reason to loosen up around your ficus, just remember that it’s great practice for starting a conversation once you get to step 3- a real human being.

  1. Suggested Plants- Fiddle Leaf Ficus Trees, spathiphyllum, ferns and cacti


YOU CAN DO IT!

Tags: Plant Care, Plants, Health, Care Tips

Perfect Petals for Pregnancy

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jun 30, 2017

If you are soon expecting a bouncing baby boy or girl, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed about what’s to come…  It is a time for joy but it can also be a little anxiety driven due to big changes soon to come.  For many women, they are well versed on how to take care of this situation during pregnancy and stock up well in advance with things that relieve their discomfort.  For some, lavender infused tea may due the trick and for others a soothing massage could be what gets the kinks out.  Comfort foods, soft clothing, long naps, a relaxing walk and fizzy bubble baths are just a few of the medicines many pregnant women utilize.  

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photo credit via http://www.karenscottreflexology.com

If you are a lover of flowers, you might want to consider a simple aromatherapy tactic that doctors and florists swear by.  No, you don’t have to drink elixirs filled with petals or swallow an all-natural pill with remnants of roots or leaves to make you feel better.  The answer is simple when looking to implement blossoms to ease expecting mom’s irritability, soreness and other common maladies related to pregnancy.  It is a proven fact that by selecting certain varieties of flowers to be placed inside the home, you can alleviate a multitude of symptoms just by having them near you.  Based on color and scent, floral designers can actually create perfect arrangements that will help mom feel happier and healthier.  If you are a soon-to-be who is having a difficult time adjusting to Mother Nature’s calling, try these helpful plant ideas to help you find a source of restful peace.


Color


If you are looking to select flowers based on their color, you might want to pick up a bunch or purple iris or yellow daffodils.  Science says that purple and yellow are instant triggers to encourage tranquility and serenity.  While it is commonplace to give pregnant women bouquets of either pink or blue in relation to the baby’s sex, experts insist the other options available might be a better choice.  




Scent


This is a tricky area because many expecting moms suffer from over sensitivity when it comes to their sniffers.  Stay away from strong scented species such as roses and lilies and opt for a softer smelling variety like sweet pea or ranunculus.  The last thing you want to do is make her even more nauseous than she already is so be sure to ask your florist for suggestions.

Tags: About Flowers, Health, Flowers for Emotional Health

What Are Healing Gardens

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, May 16, 2017

If you’ve ever visited one of our many impressive hospitals here in Boston, you may have noticed several have an area of the building, which facilitates an aura beyond what we traditionally recognize as “medicine”.   Healing gardens have become a popular asset to health care facilities around the country promoting the idea that green spaces can positively affect the outcome of a patient’s condition.  Typically located on rooftops of buildings, these areas often nourish lush plant life and flowers, offering visitors a chance to heal the body to relieve physical ailments.  These needs can be fostered through the spiritual, social, behavioral and psychological facets of an individual and have been known to be quite successful in boosting the overall positive energy in visitors.  

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Mass General Hospital Healing Garden - photo via C7A

Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.

Interestingly enough, health agents have gone beyond simply setting up pretty gardens to gaze upon and instead have come up with an entirely new division of alternative therapy, which surrounds itself around the importance of growing.  As defined by the American Horticulture Therapy Association, “Horticulture Therapy is the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic goals.”  This practice may be experienced in a “sensory garden”, an alternative type of plant system that is designed to specifically affect the senses of taste, touch, sound, sight and smell.  Often, water features such as small waterfalls or running riverbeds are added amongst plants specifically chosen for their texture and aroma.  

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The Stoneman Healing Garden photo via crja.com

Luckily, Boston is loaded with healing gardens that have been of great assistance to hospital patients for some time now.  Facilities such as the Dana Farber, Mass General Hospital  and the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden in Harvard, Massachusetts are some of the most stunning examples we cherish in our city.  

Tags: Garden, Health, Flowers for Emotional Health, Boston

Using Flowers to Create Peace and Serenity

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 14, 2017

In this time, many of us are seeking signs of peace and tranquility due to the tumultuous conditions we view our world is in today.  Everyday life has seemed to also become far more stressful and hectic compared to only two decades ago, causing painful anxiety for millions of people.  Technology, inflation, over population and depleting environmental concerns are just a few of the reasons why we struggle to maintain a harmonious balance with others and ourselves.  For some, exercise is their chosen therapy and for others; perhaps meditation or sleep is what works to keep them above the surface of the water.  Whatever means you implement, it is a proven fact that these activities are beneficial for our mental being and is detrimental in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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One facet that is becoming more and more popular as we continue to seek our own Zen avenue, is the accumulation of specific species of plants that are known to effervesce the spirit of “peace”. From around the earth, different ethnicities, cultures and religions have collected these plants for centuries claiming they possess some sort of healing property to induce the feeling of relaxation. It isn’t unheard of to infuse teas with lavender petals or rose hips to encourage a particular sensation so why is it far fetched that just viewing a blossom can also change our mental state?  According to experts, if you place one of these blooms in front of you for at least a half hour to an hour a day, you can actually stimulate positive hormones throughout the human body.  Ideal placement would be on a dining room table, bedroom or a sitting area of the home that you spend a significant time within.  Check out these interesting varieties of flowers and see if you might enjoy the benefits of ocular floral hypnotherapy.

  • White Poppies
  • Lavender
  • Apple Blossoms
  • Olive Branches
  • Cat Tails

Tags: Peace, Flowers as Symbols, Flowers for Emotional Health, Health

Allergies and Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 22, 2017

At certain times of the year, allergies are at their worst here in New England and many suffer from ailments such as running nose, watery eyes, scratchy throats and other unpleasant woes. Pollen from flowers, the re-sprouting of grass and re-budding of trees are only a few of the sources that cause discomfort for those inflicted by allergic reactions.  I’m one of the lucky ones who aren’t affected in the slightest by seasonal changes that induce environmental changes having to do with flora and fauna.  

 

PHEW!  

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Photo credit: via www.bio.brandeis.edu

As florists, we should be aware of these common issues with our product and always ask customers if there are any issues they may have towards certain plants and flowers.  Roses can be a big one but many designers are unaware that several other typically used species can be problematic for sensitive customers.  No matter if the season is winter, fall, spring or summer, flower industry employees should be well educated in order to promote the health and happiness of our clientele.  After a little research, here’s what I found to avoid for those who fall within this category.  

 

Birch: I know this may not seem like a flower or plant (it’s a tree) but it’s used in abundance within holiday centerpieces and bouquets.  Birch grows in a beautiful white covering of bark but many people are allergic to this branching and can cause serious reactions just by touching the outer skin.  Try using pine as a substitution because it’s cheaper, festive and possesses a nice aromatic scent.

 

Goldenrod:  Man- unless you want to hang a sign on your door that says “Allergy Sufferers Beware”, you might want to nix the spring bloom during May and June.  It’s inexpensive and easy to find but the pollen that’s omitted from the stem and head is enough to put a person in the hospital if they’re sensitive.  Try using euphorbia or another pretty yellow product that has half the pollen and just as much impact on your arrangements.

 

Wisteria:  Wisteria is a tough one to say “no” to because its elegance can be such an asset to an event’s flower planning but if there’s a chance of making someone sick, you’re going to have to find a replacement.  Wisteria is one of the worst flowers for allergies although the delicate flowers and stunning stem formation want you to put it everywhere, especially in weddings.    The gorgeous white and purple blossoms can cause major reactions specifically a swelling of the throat to name one of he more serious effects.

 

Top Flowers to Avoid:  It’s really hard to scratch off some of these beautiful flowers from your buying list when considering allergic reactions but these are some of the more serious ones to look out for.  Mountain Thistle can bring about terrible irritation of the eyes if made contact with and a lily’s odor can make a person sneeze for hours.  Other species to be vigilant about are roses, zinnias, pansies, petunias, crocuses, columbine, verbena and geraniums.  

Tags: Flowers, Gardens, Health, Allergies

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