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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

Bear Themed Floral Christmas Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 13, 2017

If you’re one for cuddling and canoodling around the fire, you’ll absolutely adore the new “Bear Themed Floral Extravaganza” many Boston florists are defining their holiday line with. Teddy bears are EVERYWHERE this Christmas, from stuffed animals being propped within centerpieces to bear designed containers showcase seasonal blooms.  These cute creatures are popping up in every inch of creative space that has designers quick on their feet to come up with new and interesting ideas to further market this trend.  Both children and adults can revel in the sweet popularity of teddy bears this December and if you’re looking for thoughts on how to create your own this season, here are some fun arts and crafts using flowers that will keep the whole family busy through Christmas.

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This is an expert level project but if you have the tenacity to try it- Go for it!  You’ll need a wedge of oasis that’s been carved into the shape of a bear and a bunch of small button pom-pom daisies.  Once the material has been formed, cut the flowers about 1 ½ inches long and stick the stem into the pre-soaked oasis.  Be careful not to put too many in one spot or leave holes in the back. Once the bear is complete, you can either put him in the middle of an arrangement or place him inside of a cup or bowl depending on the size.  Tie a red ribbon around his neck and you have a beautiful gift for someone special!


If the oasis teddy bear seems a bit too challenging, then here’s a great option that is easy-peasy to make.  Browse the shelves of discount stores such as Job Lot or Christmas Tree Shops since they almost always have a collection of teddy bear coffee mugs available for sale.  Once you’ve found the one that you prefer, take it home and fill it with seasonal blooms such as pine, red berries and red/white roses.  These make excellent presents for children and teachers which can be made quickly at a minimum cost.  Plus-they’ll have the perfect cup to enjoy hot cocoa when the weather turns cold!

Sometimes we think about ways to use a prop in the most complicating ways when a simple answer is standing right in front of our noses!  Those stunning Christmas trees you just purchased are going to need lots of trimming with decorations so why not use teddy bears as this year’s theme?  Again, shop local discount outlets for low cost teddies and stick them here and there throughout the branches or string them to make ornaments.  The kids will love the cuddly presentation and the effort you made to bring joy to them this holiday!

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Teleflora, Holidays

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

Columbus Day Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 06, 2017

On Monday, October 9th, we will be celebrating Columbus Day, the celebration of Christopher Columbus who landed in the New World in 1492.  For many Bostonians who enjoy their history, families will be gathering in historical locations across the state such as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Others will be reading up on the momentous occasion and maybe even be attending a reenactment performed in several of our surrounding communities.  The activities available are endless and it’s a certainty that whatever type of Columbus Day information you’re looking for- Boston has it covered.  

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

History buffs aren’t the only ones getting into the spirit of things this October since many are attempting to bring their own authenticity of this time into their own floral studios.  While many parties will be hosted to mark this special event, florists are trying to find and design with blooms that were genuine to the times.  What does this mean?  Well, it’s safe to say that several species such as hybrid delphinium, phalaenopsis and calla lilies were probably not around in the New World of 1492.  That of course, does not mean that tables were not dressed with floral décor-it just means that the varieties which were obtainable were specific to the area.  What blossoms were they picking to showcase at their holiday meals?  Here’s a list of probable species we might have seen during this historic era.  


Wheat wasn’t only a necessity to survive, but it was also a beautiful plant that could be cut and put into vases.  Bunches could also be tied together and hung in doorways or on doors as a gesture for welcoming guests into their abodes.  The longevity of the stocks would have made them a cost-effective choice for décor plus the color was conveniently versatile with any furnishings present in the home.  Wheat is also a sign for “fertility”, “love” and “charity; three themes that were very important at this time.  


Tobacco was not only a huge cash crop but also a beautiful plant that bloomed pretty flowers during the late spring and summer months. Commonly referred to as “Nicotiana”, the stems could be cut and arranged for centerpieces that not only made a lovely display but also gave off a noticeable scent that may have been aromatic to homes.  Flowers range from a white to soft pink shade which would have “dressed” a special meal perfectly.


Wild Lace Flower was another stunning wildflower that graced the hillsides of the New World during the 1400’s.  Due to its ability to survive with little to no nourishment, lace flower was likely to have been cultivated in mass amounts across glens and meadows.  This variety was a favorite for children who could load up their baskets with stems of these dainty blossoms to bring home as a present to their mothers.  Their white (cream), flat headed bloom closely relates to the fabric for which it is named after and comes from the carrot family that grows similar foliage to the vegetable.  Today, lace flower is still a favorite for many who love the natural appearance of a floral arranging and can be readily ordered from your local florist today.  

Tags: Autumn, October Flowers, Holidays, Fall

Memorial Day Inspired Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, May 18, 2017


Memorial Day is a HUGE holiday for floral celebration!  If you’re a gardener, it’s the weekend you start grazing over the selection from your favorite nurseries and if you’re a designer, well then you might be clipping the last of the lilac bushes to make spring arrangements.  Whichever category you fit in, there’s a ton of fun things you can do to celebrate your passion for flowers.  For me, I probably can be sized up as belonging to both genres, especially when it comes to my love for planning and up keeping my own perennial garden.  The beds have to be filled with dirt, the weeds have to be pulled and the returning plants have to be groomed for a successful arrival into a new season.  It’s a lot of work, I know but I can tell you first hand, it’s worth the effort.  Did you know that gardening can improve several different facets of your life including:

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  1. Physical Health 
  2. Mental Health 
  3. Outside Social Relationships
  4. Intelligence               
  5. Behavioral Aspects          

Those are some pretty great reasons to foster a hobby for cultivating plants and flowers!


If you are interested in floral arranging, Memorial Day also has some great opportunities to flex your creative muscles since New England native species should be up and blooming.  Bulb plants such as grape hyacinth, tulips and fritillaries make excellent additions to bud vases and nosegays while forsythia and other flowering branches make striking centerpieces when gathered in clumps together.  If you don’t find any of these plants growing nearby in your yard, now is an excellent time to visit a greenhouse and begin planting some of your favorites for next year!  This holiday inspires fantastic sales brought to you by those in horticulture business so be sure to check out your local deals!  

Tags: Garden Center, Memorial Day, Holidays, Gardening, Gardening in Boston

An Easter and Passover Letter to our Clients

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Apr 12, 2017


Dear friends,
I love to read. I have two books I am reading at work, three books at home, an audio book in my car, a paperback in the glove box and I read at least three books to my son Lance every day.
Reading promotes tranquility and sharpens the mind. It transports you to wonderful places in history and your imagination. As a florist, my eyes widen when I read about the roles flowers play in history and fiction. Glenn Stout tells us in Fenway 1912, that pots of flowers greeted fans at the grand opening of Fenway Park in 1912. Vanessa Diffenbaugh's Language of Flowers tells a magical tale where the Easter Lily (Lilium Longiflorum) is a symbol of majesty.


Easter and Pass over are holdays filled with symbols and traditions. Flowers on the table are a tradition and these symbols leave us with memories to pass down from generation to generation.


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with respect and gratitude,
Your florist, Rick Canale

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Passion Flower, Holidays, Jewish Holidays

Saint Patrick's Day Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 13, 2017


In a couple of weeks, my favorite holiday of the year will be here; a day filled with celebration, joyous friendship and an awful lot of hope for LUCK!  Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th and although the festivities originated in Ireland to honor the death of Saint Patrick himself in AD 385–461, you don’t have to be Irish to scream “Erin Go Bragh!” when the occasion arises.  For many of us Bostonians who are fans of cabbage dinner, dancing a jig and finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we’re looking forward to this special day and are planning to whoop it up in some way or another.

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For college students, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll be filling the pubs to toast the holiday but for others who might enjoy a close get together; they’ll need to come up with a lively menu as well as decorations.  The food’s the simple part since you should be leaning towards traditional feasts of corn beef and root vegetables.  Accessories such as green and white streamers, faux pieces of gold and paper clovers to hang on the wall are also pretty s standard and available at local party store outlets.  The tricky part, on the other hand, will be the selection of flowers for your serving table and hosting area where guests will be entertained.  Don’t think for a second this is a minor detail that can be cut from the budget to save a buck because they’re actually extremely significant to Irish customary rituals associated with St. Patrick’s Day.  

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amrock is the national emblem and flower of this European country and it’s stunning foliage of leafy green hearts make it the perfect bloom to incorporate within arrangements.  Not only is the small bud delicately beautiful in appearance, but the 4-leaf clover also symbolizes hope, faith, love and luck.  You can utilize this fact by gifting guests with small pots of clover as party favors.  Other varieties that are perfect for your March soiree are Bells of Ireland, Green Goddess Callas and green roses, which are readily available during this time of year from florists.  You might want to also think “blue” as a possibility since this was the original color representing this annual celebration.  Species such as blue delphinium, bachelor buttons, scabiosa and iris are splendid options that will bring authenticity to your bouquets as well as add a brilliant and fun pop of color.   

Tags: Saint Patricks Day, Green Carnations, St Patrick's Day Flowers, Holidays, March

Around the World on Valentine’s Day

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 06, 2017

Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending flowers, chocolates and Hallmark cards filled with romantic gestures of intention.  Annually celebrated on February 14th, we see our stores and flower shops filled to the brim with red and pink decorations, cupid shooting arrows and other symbols relating to love between two people.  Since we’re used to this traditional presentation typical to most states in the USA, we sometimes don’t realize that other people across the globe carry out these festivities in a whole other manner.   Not everyone observes Valentine’s Day by dining in dimly lit restaurants, gifting their lovers with sensual bouquets of blossoms or satisfying their sweetheart’s “sweet tooth” with a box of sugary treats.  No, it’s a big world out there, encompassing hundreds of thousands of different customary practices -particularly when it comes to the holiday designated to “amore”.  Curious by this, I decided to research a few outside cultures and see how we match up!  Is perfume, lingerie and long stem roses all that’s needed for the rest of the world or is there a differentiation between the United States and other countries?  You’ll be surprised to read what I found out…   

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Photo credit via Jeff Leatham

Denmark

This is a country that loves to celebrate February 14th and has always had an overall strong appreciation for flowers.  While blooms are definitely apart of their romantic rituals, they opt instead to give their honeys pressed white snowdrops instead of fresh arrangements.  Cards are also exchanged but are referred to as “gaekkebrev” (a joking letter) that holds a funny poem instead of our typical use for sentimental varieties.  


Wales

Wales is a really interesting place to discover during Valentine’s Day as well because they have no use for roses or other generalized gifts during their holiday.  Celebrated on January 25th in retribution for their patron saint of love, the Welsh choose to give their mate a spoon made with beautiful designs that represent a feeling or trait.  Many become very valuable with age and are past down as family heirlooms throughout the generations, sometimes re-gifted as a token of luck during marriage celebrations.  


Philippines

This is a place that really understands romance at it’s highest!  While we focus on “stuff” to give our valentines, they utilize this special day with ceremony-MASS CEREMONY!  Thousands of couples gather together in areas such as community-based organizations, parks and even malls to recite their wedding vows.  Instead of walking down the aisle as a single couple, Philippine lovers prefer to say their “I do’s” in front of a multitude of others, truly sending out a message of love to all.  

Tags: Flowers Worldwide, Valentines Day, Worldwide Flowers, FTD, Holidays

Chinese New Year - The Year of the Rooster

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 23, 2017

Chinese New Year begins on Saturday, January 28th 2017 and guess what… It’s the year of the rooster!  That’s right- if you were born in the years 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017 than this is a blog you should pay close attention to and read.  


Before we go into the specifics about what this means for you, how about we start by talking about the history and traditions associated with the Chinese New Year.  Originally, the holiday started as a way of honoring past ancestors and deities but eventually adapted to include an opportunity to promote luck and wellness for families.  On the eve of the New Year, homes are thoroughly cleaned to ward off past dissenting auras and to welcome new and old friends, family and good spirits.  Doors are also wiped down as well as windows and decorations colored in red are added throughout all of the hinges and frames.   Once New Year’s Day arrives, it is customary to host a large meal consisting of traditional dishes to feast upon.  The gathering signifies “longevity”, “wealth” and general ‘good fortune” where many of the elders give money to younger generations in red paper envelopes.  The beauty of this occasion is the continual renewal of happiness and the hope that all ill- fortune can be swept away with the end of a year and new luck bestowed by a new one.

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So back to the “Rooster”… The rooster is the tenth sign in the Chinese zodiac or other wise known as the year of the “Cock” or “Chicken”.  Now there are a lot of great traits that roosters possess such as hardworking, social, amusing and active overall spirits.  With the good, there’s also the bad, which typically include being too outspoken, easily agitated and almost always overly confident.  With the culmination of these traits, many roosters are in fact talented and seek careers that often guide them to the stage such as acting or singing.  If they can stop bragging abut themselves constantly, they make pretty good friends as well since they are thought to be loyal and honest-sometimes too honest.  Proven lucky colors for this sign are gold, brown and red (feather colors) and favorable numbers include 5, 7 and 8.


Here’s what it get downs to in 2017 for “Roosters”…


I’m just going to put it to you short and sweet… it’s not looking to be the best year ahead for you.  The signs say that there will be a lot of ups and downs, wealth and woes when it comes to your personal and public life.  Right now, you want to play it v-e-r-y safe and make wise decisions that will be more protective of assets instead of aggressively acquiring more.  Forget that 10-1 stock tip your buddy just gave you and instead invest in clipping coupons.  There’s just too much risk when it comes to your financial affairs in 2017 so bunker down and wait for the storm to clear.  When it comes to your career, do yourself a favor and shut your trap.  Your mouth is going to be your worst enemy, so don’t give your boss an opinion if he/she doesn’t ask for it.  I’m afraid your love department is equally off kilter and if there’s been an inner nagging to dump the present lover, now’s the time to do it.  Things aren’t going to get any better anytime soon so onward and upward.


This may not sound like the best horoscope but hey-there’s always next year so hang in there!

Tags: Chinese New Year, New Years, January, winter, Holidays

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