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Easter Flowers: 2018

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 21, 2018


I know it’s hard to believe but Easter is right around the corner and due to show soon on Sunday, April 1st.  Many of those who celebrate the holiday look upon the festivities with not only a religious perspective but a seasonal perspective as well.  Easter is commonly celebrated either at the end of March or the beginning of April, marking the return of the springtime season. We get excited about the prospect of warmer weather, melted snow and the arrival of our beloved blooms that have been sleeping all winter, making Easter flowers something we truly look forward to sitting on our tables.  Boston florists take this into account when planning their design work for this special Sunday event and rely heavily on the theme of rebirth and renewal. With so many gorgeous varieties to choose from, you can count on local flower shops to have an extravaganza of options readily available to pick out. Whether you’re hosting a large holiday party or a quiet celebration at home, a fresh bouquet of spring flowers is exactly what you need to get everyone into the spirit.  

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photo via aboutflowers.com

Eggs are optional…

Very often, we see Easter arrangements advertised with a stuffed bunny stuck in the middle or foam glitter eggs glued to a stick as part of the presentation.  For one portion of the floral clientele, this look is just what they want but for others-less accessories goes a long way. I myself feel like simplicity is the way to go with floral arrangements and believe that if you’re using the best varieties, the flowers chosen should do most of the work.  What this means is if a designer selects the best quality of blooms to create with, chances are the piece will be stunning on its own without having to add any “bling” to dress it up. This advice rings true for holiday arrangements, too. For example, bunching together a clump of grape hyacinth, ranunculus and sweet pea into a single bouquet is a wonderful mixture that perfectly reflects the Easter holiday.  There’s no need to insert anything else into the vase when you have a showcase of beauty already created. Another idea is to simply place three to four bunches of ten stem bunch tulips in a glass bubble bowl, which is beautiful just on its own. If you really want to top off the centerpiece with a bit more accessory, delicately place a few white eggs at the base so that they won’t detract from the flowers.

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photo via aboutflowers.com

Easter plants will always be a favorite for many….


It’s true.  Easter plants such as lilies and tulips will always remain one of the top purchased items for gifts during the Easter season.  Why? Because they are easily handled, affordable in price and so pretty to look at long after the holiday has gone by. If this is one of your yearly traditions already, be sure to remove the tin foil that may be placed around the base of the plant.  Although it is sold for more decorative affect, the material can often destroy the leaves, affect water distribution and compromise the soil.

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holidays, Holiday Decor

Decorating Christmas Wreaths

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 09, 2017

As you’ve probably noticed, streets are slowly being filled with lit up homes dressed in garland and other festive décor that lets everyone know it’s their favorite time of year.  For decorators and floral designers, it’s the busiest time of the year where they put their creative thinking to the test to manifest stunning holiday pieces that will encourage the holiday spirit.  From trees to pine roping, experts are hard at work accommodating their customers tastes and needs to produce beautiful reminders that Christmas has indeed arrived.  One area of particular interest is the demand for personalized hanging door wreaths which are an increase of demand.  In past years, trends have shown an absence of interest in this item but in 2017, wreaths look to be making a gigantic comeback.

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One reason why they are returning to so many Christmas lists is the fact that this symbol encompasses the true meaning of the season, which embraces unity, love and the centrality of togetherness.  The circular shape of the ornament is the expression of eternity where there is no end, just the continuation of interwoven branches that signify the bonds between family.  The significance of the wreath dates back to centuries ago where people made their own decorations using material they had available and replicated formations of icons they found of importance. The circular shape being one that held the most importance during celebrations-particularly Christmas.


Although you see many wreaths made out of pine, there are many different types sold in tree lots, flower shops or ones you can whip up on your own.  You can use a variety of materials to create breathtaking décor to be placed on your door and several can be found for little to no cost at all.  Here are some of my favorite branches and foliage which are fabulous for this type of project:

Leather Leaf

Eucalyptus

Pussy Willow

Grape Vine

Privet Berries

Ruscus

Boxwood

Evergreen

Dried Flowers and Herbs


Depending on what you have chosen for greenery, you can add ornaments to the piece by using a hot glue gun to secure the items.  Ribbons, pine cones and small charms make wonderful additions to holiday wreathes or you can forgo further design to allow a natural style for you to enjoy.

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Wreaths, Holiday Decor, Holiday Roping

Fresh Cut  #ChristmasTrees for 2017

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Dec 05, 2017

It’s time to hang those wreaths, plug in some lights and get that wrapping paper ready because the holiday season is finally here!  If you are already writing down your list of to-do’s, you might want to make sure choosing a Christmas tree is one of your top priorities.  What would the holiday season be without the fresh scent of pine wafting through the house and the sparkling of ornaments draped on each bough?  You simply cannot do Christmas without the “piece de resistance”!  Now, not every tree is the same in the lot so you’re going to want to go shopping with a bit of insight on the varieties available and the differences between them as well.  A tree is never just a tree in this business and you’ll need to bring your holiday savviness when you set off on this mission.  Here are a few facts to consider as you browse the selection.

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Possible Species You May See in New England:


Blue Spruce Green Spruce


Balsam Fir Fraser Fir


White Pine Noble Fir


Listed above are probable species you might catch site of when selecting your tree.  With careful study, you’ll notice that these trees all vary in size, width, shade and texture.  It all depends on the family’s (or decorators) preference when it comes to opting for one or the other.  Be on the lookout for these specific features which will help you to navigate the path to your dream tree!


Blue Spruce-Pretty tree with an oblong shape that has a pointy top which is perfect for hanging a glowing star.


Balsam Fir- The number 1 choice for Bostonians is the balsam because it has a long-lasting lifespan and a pungent aroma that holds for the season.


White Pine- One of the largest species to grow in the forest; for those who like a “showy” Christmas display, this one’s for you!


Green Spruce-Although these are beauties, they possess wicked sharp needles and the branches are loaded with them… Be careful if you have little ones at home.

Fraser Fir- This tree has a great shape for Christmas decorating because the body is a uniform pyramid and the branches twist upwards to prevent ornaments from sliding down.

 

Noble Fir- These guys can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes but they are stunning for the holiday occasion due to their soft leafage and strong branches.  They are rare around these parts since they thrive on warmer Washington and California temperatures.



 

Tags: Christmas, Trees, Christmas Trees, Holiday Decor

Champagne is In for Christmas Heavy Metal

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 01, 2017


When we think of Christmas, often shades traditionally associated with the season come to mind.  Red, green and white are the go-to palette for most florists and interior decorators who are given the job to transform homes into a festive place to have warm gatherings with friends and families.  While it’s safe to say that these three shades have no plans of ever going anywhere, I was pleasantly surprised to find that metal tints are making their way to center stage to close out 2017 and WOW do they bring a wonderful sense of style!  Gold, silver and bronze may have always been applied in small doses throughout holiday decorating but this year, they become more than just your basic accessory...  

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Refreshingly, one color that top designers are convinced will be a hit during December celebrations is champagne.  Most people might wonder what this exactly means since there is sometimes a controversy over what the exact tint champagne actually is.  According to the dictionary, the metallic sheen is referred to as, “a name given for various very pale tints of yellowish-orange that are close to beige. The color's name is derived from the typical color of the beverage Champagne.” If you’re still confused, one way to navigate these tricky waters is to rely heavily on blossoms of peach, blush pink and cream.  Excellent species that will work to your favor are soft garden roses (which grow in both of these colors), as well as stock, ranunculus and even certain types of Asiatic lilies.  You can mix any combination of these together or use one specific variety to feature in your arrangements.    


Another idea to keep in mind is to create the effect by using props such as holiday baubles, jewelry, ornaments, lights and other trinkets luminescent of the champagne color.  By using props, you can add to the theme by placing white or cream blossoms in the center or incorporate pretty tea lights to set off the right glow.  In this picture, we can see that the designers relied heavily on this notion by arranging faux stems of spray painted gold poinsettias and silver/pink balls to the side of the container.  This makes a gorgeous centerpiece and will live long past New Year’s if you’re planning a second holiday party.  If you think you can pull it off, combine these two theories by mixing together stems of blush and cream roses with glittered ornaments surrounded by a bed of pine.  This piece won’t only impress people with the champagne effect but will also show how much effort you’ve put in to following the latest yuletide seasonal trends.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Trends

Holiday Amaryllis Trends

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 29, 2017


The holidays are a busy season for florists all over the city who are looking to improve past floral themes with fresh new designs each year.  While red and white roses are pretty much a staple through the month of December, certain varieties often pop up in popularity which freshen a traditional presentation into a contemporary arrangement.  In recent years, species such as freesia, phalaenopsis, privet berries and green frilly gerbera have graced the pages of industry magazines focusing on promoting a serene, effortless style.  Luckily, 2017 promises not to disappoint.  Instead of previous mixes of compact arrangements most commonly associated with the “globe” shape, technique is switching to a more architecture look using branches, berries and other lengthier stems that will bring more dynamic to the table.  One variety which is said to be the true highlight in most holiday centerpieces this year is the amaryllis.

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One of the reasons that keeps this flower around during the Christmas season is because of the multitude of styles you can use to create beautiful bouquets and arrangements.  Featured in this photo is an excellent example of how the amaryllis can be cleverly positioned as a stunning centerpiece.  Choose a tall, slender glass vase for the container and simply place the bunch inside with two inches of water at the bottom.  You’ll only need about five to seven stems to replicate this design and you’ll be pleased to see how long it lasts!


 

Tags: Amaryllis, Holiday Decor, Christmas, Christmas Flowers

Styling in Silver Follows Champagne Trend

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Nov 28, 2017

Alert!  Alert!  There has been another fashion trend flowing towards the floral industry this holiday season naming silver as decorator’s top choice for accessory material.  Designing experts have revealed that following in the footsteps of the metallic vogue, silver is the newest sensation to sweep seasonal décor and we couldn’t be happier about the news.  Professionals are loving this idea because not only does it make a dazzling display when applied properly, silver has the tendency to make holiday presentations appear crisp, majestic and glamorously ornamental.  It’s a real change from previous years when we’ve been dependent on boring, dull shades that have been on the downtrend for decades.  By instead using silver mixed with white, we can illuminate pieces in a naturalistic manner allowing designers to use a “less is more” approach when making flower bouquets, wreaths and garland for clients. You may have noticed that major retail outlets have already jumped on board since aisle upon aisle is lined with silvery baubles which are being scooped up by our pros.  If you like this idea but are interested in surveying the availability of flowers dressed in silver- you may be surprised to learn that creative geniuses behind the bench are brainstorming exciting answers to this puzzle… Think spray paint, glitter and acrylics when imagining how to replicate this look and here are a few ideas to go those artistic wheels turning.

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Silver Bells

The easiest way to make an infusion of silver within your holiday decorating is to pick up packages of inexpensive silver bells you might find at a Christmas Tree Shop, Walmart or Target.  You can add the ornaments throughout a low-lying centerpiece or glue them to the base of the arrangement making a pretty base for the flowers to reflect off of.  If you are planning on using the bells as a part of the floral design, attach the ornaments to six inch picks using a glue gun and place within the assortment.  If you want to try matching the shade of featured species, request a bunch of eucalyptus, Artemisia or dusty miller.  All of these varieties will look amazing in contrast to this particular motif and expel the feeling of joy we emulate during the season.  


Never Underestimate the Power of Spray Paint…


I don’t know about you but I’m a huge fan of spray paint because it’s a really simple way to quickly change the shade of any solid object and that flowers are no exception. While some of the softer species might have trouble with this process, others have no problem absorbing a coat of paint and quite often will last longer with this system of preservation.  Foliage such as ruscus, leather leaf, bear grass and willow branches are excellent examples of greenery which will work well spray painted as well as poppy pods (hens and chickens).  Make sure you have an area that is well ventilated to complete this project and have fun sprucing up your home in silver this holiday season.

Tags: Christmas Flowers, Holiday Decor, Christmas Ornaments, Christmas Wreaths

How to Deck the Halls “Bad Moms 2” Style

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 24, 2017

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If you’re a mom, you might have already seen the movie, “Bad Moms 2” where our favorite off tilt mommies are at in again with their shenanigans.  It’s definitely a decent sequel to the first which continues the storyline to include their mothers on the train wreck to parenthood.  Yes, the film is pretty funny but being a previous florist and decorator, I couldn’t help not to notice the beautiful staging used to create Christmas displays within the homes.  Throughout the flick, there is a constant battle between mother and daughter to solve the question of who does it better when sprucing up for a Christmas holiday-the root of the plot’s conflict.  While one depends on a traditional look of a simple lights, homemade cookies and a stolen tree from Foot Locker, the style is vehemently opposed by dear mom who prefers to kick things way up into an affluent ordeal.  Think crystal, matching wrapping paper, blue tinsel and a musical display of “Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Yep-this one was a little over the top for even me but it was really interesting how the set designers contrasted the two different styles while keeping them both stunning for visual appeal.  Which Bad Mom are you?   Take a look at the trends to see which yuletide decorating fashion suits you!

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Traditional Daughter

You’re probably low key in nature and like to reuse ornaments from previous years over and over again to memorialize past Christmas’s ago.  Red, green and white are your go-to colors for palette and multi- hued lights with the big bulbs are favorites to load onto the tree and outside the home.  Other designer preferences that you adore are homemade crafts from the kids, fresh pine roping to hang in every corner of each room, newspaper for wrapping and cut-out white snowflakes you also cut out on your own.

 

Contemporary Grandma

You’re in this holiday season to make a big bang and to let every neighbor out there know- you own this holiday thing! There’s no way you’ll rely on the same ho-hum trinkets you’ve used in previous years because whatever is the hot trend seen in Times Square is what you’ll be replicating for family and friends.  Silver, gold and blue turn you on since red and white have been done to death and there will be no strings of tinsel that will make your tree appear unkept. You’ll also like roping made of faux material because those needles will make a mess when they drop and untidy the presentation you’ve worked so hard to propel.   Clear crystal glassware will be a necessity for dining as well as for lighting which will be strung in perfect ringlets across tree(s) and living space.  

White bulbs are all you’ll tolerate to keep things looking crisp and immaculate so don’t even think about flashing rainbow lights!

 

Best Case Scenario- The Compromise

Truth be told, both of these styles are really beautiful but when put together, the result will be even more gorgeous than expected.  Compromise by allowing some homemade personal touches accompanied with fashionable baubles that modernize the look.  Remember, the holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends so don’t waste every moment trying to perfect decorations that will only be taken down in the end.  

Tags: Christmas, Movies, Holiday Movies, Holiday Decor

The Old is New this Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

Each yuletide season, trends continue to change from everything to lighting, tree decorating and even celebratory cuisine.  As we prepare to take on the 2017 holiday whirlwinds, it’s fun to invest a little time in learning what’s hot on the menu for designers.  While many of us are not partial to hiring personal chefs and decorators to whisk are homes into a cheerful state, there’s no reason why we can’t take a peek to find out how to copy their taste on an affordable budget.  There’s no rule saying hosts must break the bank to recreate looks seen in magazines and lucky for us, this year’s theme relies heavily on the recycling of already owned items.


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Experts say that acclaimed designers are heavily relying on the idea that “Old” is the “New” when mapping out their selections for décor this Christmas and Hanukah.  Instead of purchasing contemporary lines of modernized props, they are hunting yard sales and online auctions for previously owned memorabilia which dates back to more than a few decades ago.  Trunks, basements and attics are also busy places where professional decorators are scavenging to find old boxes, milk containers and other reminders of years past.  Remember that ancient train set you stashed in the closet years ago?  Or maybe you just couldn’t let go of a teddy bear from your childhood?  Well, now’s the time to pull them out of retirement because these are the exact props designers are looking for!  Think small trucks, wooden toys, antique dolls and wool hats for possible accessories to place amongst poinsettia plants, Christmas trees (used as ornaments) and outdoor urns where they will turn a plain arrangement into a real conversational piece!  Don’t worry if they have chipped paint or missing parts since this will only add to their authentic appeal.  We’re going for a “traditional” appearance this year so make sure to select pieces that you have warm memories associated with.  


Once you’ve collected your things, now what do you do with them?  That’s a very good question…  Creating your own displays can be as easy as investing in some seasonal roping and strategically placing the trinkets within the beautiful the pine.  Hang on banisters and lay across the hearth to make a merry presentation for family and friends or attach to wreaths on the outside of your door.  If you are interested in applying this technique to your floral arrangements, you can use the same application process as long as the items are small enough not to distract from the blooms in the vase.  A little goes a long way with this style so don’t cramp containers which will make them look junky and less professionally done.

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Holiday Decor, Holiday Memories

Thanksgiving Floral Favors

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 15, 2017

Some of you will be hosting Thanksgiving Day dinners this November and are already busy planning the menu, decorations and seating arrangements hoping this will be one holiday not to forget!  The theme is “Giving Thanks”, where gatherings are representative how much you all mean to one another so it might be nice to send your guests home with a small token to remind them of this!  One example of a gift that is sure to be appreciated is a bud vase filled with seasonal flowers that you can either buy from a florist or make yourself.  There’s no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money or give up hours of time preparing these lively baubles because realistically, we’re all too busy with other holiday chores to add more.  You’ll be happy to know that these specimens displayed below can all be created as fast as 1-2-3 and won’t take up more than an hour of your time to design.  Choose the one you like most and surprise your friends and family with a take-home Thanksgiving treat.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Roses are a fantastic choice when deciding what varieties will work will within small arrangements because they stand alone perfectly by themselves, are available in a multitude of sizes and contain a sweet fragrance that will intoxicate the room.  Roses are also imported and grown within a thousand shades of color so you’ll have no trouble finding hues reflective of the New England autumn we’re known for. Think oranges, yellows and greens to mix together or order this presentation of a two-toned head such as the one featured in this picture.  Adding a bit of brown fabric to create a rustic feel is another great accessory and can be found by shredding scraps of burlap or similar material.  Make sure the container is simple like this glass jar so that there is no distraction from the blossoms and watch your guests melt with appreciation.


This is another great idea to brighten the moods of the people who will be sitting around your table this Thanksgiving!  Simple and seasonally authentic, ranunculus, rose hips and rosemary are stunning when arranged together and will definitely appeal to those who love herbs and garden growing.  Two out of three of these flowers can be dried as well leaving this memento the chance to remind others of happy times spent together long after the holiday is over. Remember to stick with a plain but elegant vase to showcase the design and leave at each table setting as a personal centerpiece for everyone who attends.  This design is also interchangeable with other flowers of the same tones so don’t be afraid to replace the rosemary with lavender, sage or other greenery if you have something special in mind.

Tags: November, Holidays, Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers, Holiday Decor

What Flowers Are the Best for Thanksgiving

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 06, 2017

The holiday season is upon us and first up is our favorite turkey time of the year- Thanksgiving Day!  As we get reading to shove the birds into the oven, iron our table linens and pick up that special case of wine we’ve been dying to try, we mustn’t forget the beautiful floral centerpieces we look forward to each year. This is the season where Boston florists can really show you what they’re made of so don’t wait too long to put in your request for a spectacularly designed vase stuffed with November’s top pick varieties.  Luscious, rich and decadently hued, you’re going to love these beauties which are sure to awe and stun your guests this Thanksgiving!

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photo credit via Flower Factor

Green, Gray and Cream…  It’s In.

That’s right!  The shades green, gray and cream are the highlights to this season’s floral splendor and surprisingly so, there are a ton of different blooms which will do the spectrum justice. Succulents are one plant that is a must-have that blends beautifully with softer shades and can create interesting texture in bouquets.  Traditionally we see a lot of red, orange and brown combinations so it’s refreshing when a twist occurs in the floral trend that brings an attractive look.  Gray might seem like a funny color to hope for in a vase but honestly, the shade works wonders when using lamb’s ear or spring pussy willow in combination with lighter tints of pink, white, peach or in this case- cream.  Roses are the obvious choice for the latter segment but you can also use hybrid delphinium, gerbera daisies, stock or hydrangea as supplements.  

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Red, Gold and Peach…  Perfect!

This is another design that’s certainly eye catching for dinner parties and adds a bit of mystery and depth to an evening’s presentation.  Red mango callas mixed with peach roses and seeded eucalyptus are too die for when placed together in a clear glass vase and will last long after the holiday meal has ended, giving hosts an extra bonus for all of their culinary efforts.  

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Flip the Red for a Shade of Pink!

If you’re a little sick and tired of the dark orange and red contrast within Thanksgiving arrangements than you will be happy to know that a few minor tweaks can change the whole presentation.  Swap out the deeper shades and replace them with blush pinks and peaches which will soften the ambiance of your gathering while still keeping in theme with the season.  Strategically place gourds around the base and you’ll have one heck of a conversational piece to talk about at dinner!

Tags: Thanksgiving, Holidays, Holiday Decor, Flower Arrangements

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