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When is a Christmas Tree JUST TOO BIG!

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 17, 2016

So, I’m writing this blog topic because it seems to be a seasonal issue that comes up in my household a lot.  Whether you reside in an apartment, condo, cottage or mansion, the size of the tree you select for the holidays should really be suitable for the space that you live in.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because many people become a bit overly exuberant when the time of trimming comes upon us, which can sometimes affect our selection process.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the crisp clean scent of pine wafting through the house for a couple of weeks and hanging heirloom ornaments that have been cherished over the years but isn’t the height and diameter of our Christmas stage a factor to consider?  With minimal space, you’ve got to be realistic and opt for trees that will ACCENTUATE not ARROGATE your living space.  I get it-you love the yuletide season and finding the biggest, baddest tree in the lot has become an activity you look forward to but you’ve got get real.  That sucker is going to be in a living room, dining room, sitting room or wherever for a good chunk of the month and finding the right size is imperative to continuing the household’s routine functionality.  Dragging home a whopper that is seven times the build of the dinky corner you’re planning to set it up in can only lead to disorganization, tipping accidents, dry out and even fires.  You don’t have to be Clark Griswold to celebrate the holiday in style by mowing down a fir that a cathedral couldn’t even host!  Think about where you’re really putting the thing and then browse your options from there.  You should also be thinking about the comfort of both you and OTHERS who you’ll be sharing the holidays with since someone’s going to be cleaning up a whole lot of needles for the next month.  

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If you’re not sure what the right size tree is, ask one of the guys that are working the lot because they have a pretty good idea when it comes to Christmas tree etiquette.  If you want, print this out and take it along with you to help make your decision easier and wiser!


My first apartment wasn’t huge but I always had a perfectly trimmed tree that fit beautifully in my living room.  This ½ pint adorable pine is all you need to dress your place up for the holidays!



If you are lucky to live in a warm cottage, you might want to think about this size since it is completely reflective of the charm of your home.  Not to big, not too little but          just right!




If you live here- GO FOR IT!  Go check out the monster trees that could only probably fit in the entrance of a mall and light that sucker up!

Tags: Traditions, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

Trimming the Christmas Tree with Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 14, 2016

Snowflakes are beginning to fall throughout New England and we are making our plans for our holiday décor!   We’ll be hanging wreathes, boughs and lighting throughout our homes in the hopes that these festive additions will bring joy to our family and friends.  For Boston florists, they’re making their lists as we speak to prepare for customers who wish to spread the spirit with decadent blooms.  Poinsettias, pine ribbing and myrtle garland always make the top of the list but this year, we’re seeing an interesting trend emerge…

 

A plentiful variety of orchids are being featured in designer magazines where their customary implant within urns and vases are extending into other areas of Christmas grooming.  While the tropical flowers still remain as a substantial part of December centerpieces, they’re also being used as trimming for the tree!  If you think about it, this is a clever idea for several reasons including their impressive longevity when placed in water tubes and the wide spectrum of color available from most species.  You may have seen flowers such as roses and baby’s breadth hung from balsam boughs in previous years but this new implementation of fancy fleurs is sure to turn heads and outlast past varieties. Flower lovers have always adored the idea of pruning with their favorite blooms but are often disappointed by the cost and maintenance.  If fussy flowers are chosen as ornaments, the upkeep to maintain a lively looking display for the duration of Christmas may prove extremely difficult. 

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photo credit via Cheyenne Tozzi's Instagram Page 

That’s why orchids are the solution to this problem and can be enjoyed long after the season if cared for properly.  Here’s a list of favorites that are sure-fire winners for vase and tree trimming this holiday season.    

 

Cypripedium

Not only are these orchids strong and resilient against heat and cold, but they are also grown in the perfect hues for Christmas-chartreuse green and white. The heads make them noticeable among other ornaments as well and provide an interesting conversational piece for guests. 

 

 Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis are one of the most popular orchids around the world and due to its impressive beauty, there’s little argument as to why.  A single head is large enough to be placed in the tree alone or you can choose large branches to drape across the branches.  White remains the most requested color, although this species also comes in shades of pink, yellow and peach.  If you really want to get creative, inquire from your florist options for dyed heads. 

 

James Story

This is another great option due to its coloring, which is deep red or crimson.  The florets are shaped as small stars that are delicately grown up a slender stem.  Designers are most likely to place James Story in water tubes and use along side other orchids that are white or brightly colored.   

Tags: Orchids, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

Dressing Up Your Doorsteps for the Holidays

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

It’s time again to make plans for your holiday décor since the season is now upon us!  As you’re reading this, you’ve probably begun to make a list for garland, wrapping paper and maybe even a tree but please keep in mind that there’s plenty to do outside of your home as well.  Did “Christmas Vacation” just flash across your head, remembering the efforts of Clark Griswold blacking out his neighborhood with an extravagant light display?  Although hysterically funny, I’ll reassure you that decorating the outside of your home doesn’t have to be this elaborate…

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By using a few easy tips, you’ll be able to create a beautiful holiday presentation without spending gobs of money or using up precious time that could be better spent with family.   By “Recycling, Refurbishing and Reapplying” certain items that you already own, you can transform your plain entryway into a gorgeous welcoming display for friends and family.  Many people believe they have to be “Martha Stewart” in order to achieve a “magazine cover” appeal but judging by this guideline, you clearly don’t.  Shake off your worries and roll up your sleeves because it’s time to get going on your outdoor holiday decoration!

 

Recycling

Check in the garage and attic for anything that can be used to hold either small or large arrangements.  Iron cast urns, ceramic pots and metal containers are fabulous for holding pine and other seasonal greenery.  Next, poke around for last year’s lights and take a few minutes to both untangle and plug in to see if they still work.  Typically, the previous winter’s bulbs are tossed out for convenience but you’ll be happy to save a few bucks reusing rather than spending unnecessary finances.   

 

Refurbishing

Sometimes we toss out certain objects because they become a little shabby, worn or rusted, particularly things used in the yard such as planters.  Instead of automatically discarding them, we should be thinking first if they can be fluffed and buffed for future purpose.  When setting up an outdoor holiday display, these items become treasures by simply giving them a good cleaning and applying a fresh new polish of paint.  Marble, cast iron and metal materials are fantastic for this process and will come out looking brand new when placed on the doorsteps stuffed with pretty foliage.  

 

Reapplication

I love naturally growing outdoor foliage and even though the flowers have disappeared until spring, there is plenty still available for the picking.  If you live near wooded or forested areas, simply clip a few smaller branches from nearby trees and combine together in an outdoor pot.  Make sure you are collecting from a variety of species and you’ll soon learn that you don’t have to be a floral designer to make stunning arrangement both in and outdoors!

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, December, Pottery

Ornamental Magic on a Budget

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

hristmas time is here and the bells are ringing, music is flowing and the decorations are being hung with care!  One of the biggest yuletide displays is the beloved Christmas tree, which is customarily decked out with shiny baubles and lights.  This presentation is the focus of the celebratory decor so it’s important to take pride in choosing themes, color palettes and textures.  


But wait a minute…  This can be EXPENSIVE!

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

Have you ever really done a good accounting check on how much ornaments, tinsel and lights can cost for only a single year?  Generally, tree accessories can be a fortune ranging anywhere from $5.00 to $50.00 for a single package.  Holiday companies have made a fortune over charging for personalized gifts and hanging tokens when realistically we’re only using them one day out of the whole year!  I mean come on!  How much is overspending when it comes to dressing up a tree?

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photo credit via http://www.bhg.com/

Through careful research, I’ve found some great ways to cut back on the elaborate ornament fees by just using a little imagination.  Make your tree gorgeous without having to tap into the kids college fund and show your guests you can still implement a look with style and taste!  Start checking in your closets, attics and basements because I guarantee- you’ll have everything you need if you do some prep work before hand.  Be sure to add both perishable and nonperishable items including dried fruits and antique relics that have been passed down for generations.  Select only materials that are small in size and durable enough to be featured on branches that might be whimsy.  This is a fun activity for the entire family so get together and raid the house for anything and everything that will make your tree uniquely spectacular!

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photo credit via http://stowandtellu.com/

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Kids, DIY, Christmas Ornaments, Crafts

Party Decor for #OpeningDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 01, 2016

Spring is finally here and that means opening day at Fenway Park is just around the corner!  Popcorn, cracker jacks, hot dogs, peanuts, foam fingers and baseball caps will be sold by the millions inside the park but Bostonians are also gearing up to make their own plans… Team spirit runs rampant during this time of year in Bean Town, where fans are throwing parties thematic after our love for the Boston Red Sox.  Everything from the color scheme to the menu can be manipulated to include clever accessories and entertaining display décor.  All you have to do is use a little imagination and think “Baseball”!  Monday, April 11th is the official date when Fenway will be reopened to play a little ball against the Baltimore Orioles so why not have a few friends over to enjoy the game?  Here are a few party planning ideas fabulous for opening day soiree!

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Menu

You’ve got to have a lot of finger foods if you’re having a fete mirrored after the cuisine served inside Fenway and the good news is that most of these dishes are really inexpensive to make.  Think pigs in a blanket, popcorn, sliders, chips, dips and pizza.  You can also have a little fun with veggie and fruit platters if you arrange the food to look like a baseball diamond or even an outfield.  Don’t forget the dessert either, because a quick batch of cupcakes decorated with the letter “R” in blue and red frosting are the perfect sweet treats to compliment game day!

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photo credit: ChalkandPatina via etsy.com

Decorations

This is really simple because right about now, every grocery store in Massachusetts is stocking up with paper and plastic Red Sox dishware and cups.  If you don’t want to pay the extra to have their logo printed across your plates, just pick up plain white, red and blue Dixie brand ware, which works just as well.  Another great idea is to gather some old mason jars and paint them completely white and then add the small detail of red lining, much like an actual baseball would have.  Place candles or lollipops inside and watch how easy dressing up your Red Sox part really is!


Party Games

If watching the game isn’t entertainment enough, then you’ll want to have some party games to fall back on if things get a little dull.  “Cups” is one that comes to mind for adults, but for younger audiences, playing ”Pin the Tail on the Opposing Team” is also a lot of fun (particularly if the Red Sox fall behind).  If you have your own baseball bat, “Balance the Bat” relay races are also a good idea to get people moving as well as an egg toss game to see who has the best catching hands!

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Party Flowers, Red Sox, Holiday Decor

Easter Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

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Flowers are an enormous tradition associated with the Easter holiday.  For some, it’s because of the religious attributes and for others it’s the seasonal celebration of spring.  Whichever attribute resonates with you most, it is true that more than have the homes in the Boston area will feature a floral arrangement during the next few days of festivities.  As some are purchased in order to brighten up their dining room tables while some are otherwise gifted from a loved one, Easter flowers are the most beautiful presentations that mark the warmer weather of the year!  As the temperatures begin to warm, a brighter and bolder color wheel of options is renewed giving us a breathtaking palette to work from.  With options such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, hydrangea and other little bulbed beauties that are finally available, florists are whipping up sensational treats for you to enjoy.  

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

What Do Your Christmas Lights Say About You ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 21, 2015

I bet it’s no surprise that certain colors that you naturally gravitate towards can tell a lot about your personality. People who like red tend to be passionate and creative while those who gravitate towards shades of indigo and purple tend to be attracted to mystery and adventure. If yellow is your thing, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re upbeat and highly sociable or green can mean that you love the outdoors and are a free spirit.  Color can depict several aspects of a human being and can be used in areas of therapy, occupational advances and even relationship building.

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But here’s something I bet you didn’t know…

 

Christmas lights can also reveal a substantial amount of information just by your selection in variety, shape and lighting hue!  Since the choices have grown quite a bit since the days of the traditional rainbow strings, decorators are allowed to express themselves better and please customers more efficiently.  The Christmas lighting companies are well aware of this trend and have included hundreds of different models to opt from so you might want to do your homework!  Whether it’s to illuminate your house or to wrap around the tree, Christmas lights are the new and popular method of conveying your family’s character!  

 

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Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, December

Christmas Tree Lots in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Dec 03, 2015

The wreath is hung-check.

The outside lights are twinkling-check.

The holiday cards have been sent-check.

 

There’s only one thing left to buy for decoration and that could only be…The Christmas Tree!

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It’s the most important display item of the holidays, the star of the show, the Pièce De Résistance!  Selecting the perfect tree is a monumental decision, which can sometimes even decide the whole décor feel for your holidays!  Do you like them furry, fragrant or with a particular green hue?  With so many varieties to choose from such as the Noble, Balsam and Douglas fir, the selecting process can become a bit overwhelming!  There are a multitude of factors that go into deciding what type of tree is right for your family so you might need advice on where the best places are to go looking…

 

Lucky for Bostonians, we have many tree lots within our vicinity, which carry several different species along with affordable ornaments and lighting options.   Depending on your budget and preference, you’ll surely b  e able to find the ideal specimen for your home to enjoy throughout the season!

Smolak Farms

315 South Bradford St

North Andover, MA (617) 648-5759978-682-6332

 

Allandale Farm

259 Allandale Rd

Boston, MA

(617) 524-1531

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snow flocked trees at Exotic Flowers in Boston.

Exotic Flowers

609 American Legion Hwy

Roslindale MA 02131

617-247-2000

www.exoticflowers.com

 

Greenwood Tree Farm

96 Dudley Road,

Billerica, MA

978-667-5380

 

 

Tags: Boston, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas, December

Poinsettia Heaven

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 30, 2015

Pretty soon, we will be entering the season of poinsettias and this year you will be pleasantly surprised by the incredible varieties that will be available!  The plant otherwise known as the “Christmas Flower” has long been a true symbol of the yuletide holiday and is still ranked as one of the top items bought for gifts.  If you’re not familiar with the poinsettia, here are a few facts that you’ll enjoy learning, which make this plant so special.

Boston Poinsettias

Photo credit: flower factor

* A poinsettia’s leaves are bright in color and can be white, red, pink, red or peach.  New species are cultivated yearly so be sure to check with your florist about any new shades that may be soon available.  

Poinsettias in Boston

* The leaves are called “bracts” because they are tinted instead of simply being green.  The reason why the bracts are colored is to attract pollinators to the plant’s flower.

* Although the poinsettia looks like only a plant, there is a small bloom located in the middle of the plant bracts.  The bloom has a special name called “cyathia” which is where bees and other insects produce pollen.

* The poinsettia actually dislikes the cold weather even though it is primarily popular during the icier months of the year.  Originally, the plant was found in Mexico by a botanist named Joel Roberts Poinsett in the 1820’s.  With the specimen, he returned to his home in South Carolina and began to cultivate the plant.  

* and no the plant is not toxic to cats or people.

 

 



Tags: Poinsettia, Holiday Decor, Christmas, Holidays, December

The First Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 23, 2015

New England is the absolute best place in the world to be when celebrating Thanksgiving!  Not only do we have the historical background such as Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, but we also have fabulous crisp and cool weather that is the perfect compliment for Turkey Day.  Bostonians have loads of decorative options available to dress up their homes and dining tables including a vast assortment of flowers that might well have been the same that the pilgrims placed on their tables!  

May Flower ?

 

photo credit: history.com

So what do you think?  Did the pilgrims really have the creative touch to arrange a few bouquets for their first November feast in America?

Gooseberries ?

photo credit: wikipedia

I would have to agree they did!

Bittersweet Vine ?

photo credit: marbleheadconservancy,org

With so many natural flora and fauna growing wildly around them, why is it so far fetched that they too, might have chosen a centerpiece to accessorize their festive gathering?

Wheat ? Beach Roses ?

After some careful research, these are a few of the possibilities that the Massachusetts settlers could have used on Thanksgiving.  If any of you are history buffs and want to make your holiday as authentic as possible, try digging up one of these for your floral displays!



Tags: Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

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