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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Spring Flowers to Add to Your Spring Cleaning

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 06, 2018

It’s finally SPRING and part of this season’s chores are dusting the cobwebs from darkened corners to get ready for a brighter season ahead.  For many of us, our chores consist of washing floors, cleaning drapery, changing up the linens and other tedious tasks that are reminders of more temperate temperatures soon to arrive in our near future. It’s a whole new section of the calendar most New Englanders have waited six months to enjoy so it’s no wonder why we put forth so much effort in the upcoming weeks.  While we often become overwhelmed with the daunting jobs that we’ve waited a whole year to resume, there are a few ways to make the process more enjoyable-especially for you!


If you are a lover of flowers but need an excuse to indulge in the cost, then look no further…  Adding a fresh bouquet of flowers to your home as you spring clean can bump up your efforts to create a more beautifully, smelling home.  While we associate the springtime with ideas of newness, freshness and vitality, we can also use these motifs to showcase within bouquets and centerpieces.  Blossoms native to the Boston area during this time period are perfect reflections of this sentiment and will look incredible as a showcase piece once your cleaning is done.  Need a few recommendations for New England spring cleaning bouquets? Here are examples of the best blooms to reward yourself with!

crocuses.jpg

Crisp and White Blooms

The shade of white is often associated with cleanliness and rebirth which makes it one of the most popular hues for colors during April and May.  There is an abundance of white flowers that grow natively around these parts that contain breathtaking smells promised to infuse your entire home.  Lily of the Valley, Snowdrops, Crocus and white hyacinth are among my top four varieties to place in every freshly, polished room.

hyacinth.jpg

Fragrantly Fresh

Once we put away the Windex and Pledge bottles, often we look for something to mask or diffuse the chemical smell.  One way to accomplish this is to place a vase of strongly scented blooms to disguise leftover fumes until they have vanished from the house.  Suggestions for this include any type of aromatic rose, grape hyacinth, fringe tree branches and freesia. If you are wondering what other species might be available from other countries, ask your local florist for a possible request for purchase.


Colorfully Inspiring

Sometimes we get excited to see new bursts of color during the spring months and lucky for us, we have a ton of options to choose from!  Mix hyacinth with ranunculus, sweet pea and tulips for a striking arrangement or opt for a single massive bouquet of green hellebores! Spring is all about giving light to color so don’t be afraid to sprinkle a little rainbow of shading into your arrangement.  

Tags: April, Spring, Hyacinth, daffodils

Spring Flowers and Their Scents

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 02, 2018

New Englander’s love the idea of no more snow, no more shoveling and no more layering clothing with a dozen wool pullovers to keep warm.  If you live around these parts, you probably agree that although the first snowfall can be a beautiful sight to behold, the daydreaming of warm beaches usually follows quickly.  That’s why the first blooms of the fresh spring season are an exciting event in the northeast and are often looked upon as a sign of better things to come. Who doesn’t love the blankets of crocus, daffodils and hyacinth sweeping across our backyard lawns and the beautiful addition of bright color that replaces the dismal ice we’ve lived with for months.  It’s a welcome change to look forward to each spring although there are a few of us who can be bothered by a select portion of their properties…

hyacinth.jpg

Flowers can be troubling for those afflicted with allergies, particularly when it comes to the scent.  While many varieties have less ability to produce a strong smell, others produce a fragrance that is quite pungent and can be annoying to some.  If you belong to this group who ducks for cover every time blooming season arrives but still would like to enjoy the beauty of flowers, you might want to take a look at this list which separates the stinky species from the less assuming.  No one has to go without a cheerful bouquet of seasonal bloomers as long as we recognize the species set that will be less bothersome to their health issues.




8432704619_a71ee4e4ae_z.jpg

artwork via aboutflowers.com

Stinky        VS    Less Stinky

Narcissus (←same family→   Daffodils

Hyacinth         Poppies

Lilac                Tulips

Clematis         Crocus

Stargazer Lilies       Hydrangea

Sweet Pea       Ranunculus

Lily of the Valley       Anemones

Tags: Spring, About Flowers, Hyacinth, Lilacs

New Spring Blooms For You

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 26, 2018

I know… I know… Winter in New England seems endless but really there is a bright spot of sunshine just around the corner.  For Bostonians, the spring season is a reminder of how beautiful the rebirth of the earth truly is and the importance of celebrating that miracle once the warmer climate arrives again.  For many of us, this time is an opportunity to get outside and plant our own miracles into our freshly thawed gardens with the hopes that very soon, we’ll see flowers rebloom in the months ahead.  The month of March might seem too early to get our trowels out of the shed but there’s no law against making a plan of what varieties may spark our green thumb interests.  As you know, spring species are very different from the hardier varieties that flourish during the summer and because of this, it’s important to think ahead so you’ll be ready for April, May and June crops.  Many gardeners will use catalogs or perhaps stop over at their local nursery to see what will be in stock as others rely solely on the breeds they’ve come to depend on year in and year out.  If you are looking to change things up a bit in your flower beds, here’s a list of both old and new spring blooming species that are already turning heads!

Floret_Hyacinth-Bean_Ruby-Moon_IMG_6802_768x.jpg

Hyacinth photo via https://shop.floretflowers.com/products/hyacinth-bean-ruby-moon

Ruby Moon: This is a wild take on the traditional hyacinth bulb because it is grown by seed and looks more like a vine than the typical cone shape you often see.  Pretty lavender flowers shoot out from the stem, which appears more branch-like than the thick base you are used to.

nimbus swetpea.jpg

Sweet Pea photo credit via https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Seeds-Sweet-Pea-Nimbus/dp/B06Y42PWK4

Nimbus: Sweet Peas have always been one of my favorite spring blooms and I can’t say that I’m partial to any particular color since they are all stunning.  I did find this new variety called “Nimbus” which just might change my mind and there’s good reason… This type of sweet pea is multi-colored with dark purple and white- a variegated dimension of the regular straight purple or white.  You can mix these with any other flowers you have growing or plant a patch to make a striking effect.


Scabiosa

Merlot Red:  Just like the name says; this scabiosa variety is very similar in shading to a glass of dark red wine and boy, is it spectacular!  You don’t often come across a breed like this in New England so if you happen to stumble upon it during your next greenhouse visit, grab them while you can!


Tulips

Copper Image: If you’re into peach, you’re going to love this new double pink variety that resembles closely to a garden rose.  These beauties are trending to be designers top pick in 2018 and there’s no doubt as to why…  Copper Image tulips are not only breathtaking to the eye but are also effective as a filler in sparse areas of your garden.

Tags: Spring, Hyacinth, Tulips, March

Beautiful Arrangements to Cozy Up to this Winter

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jan 06, 2018

Baby, it’s cold outside!  New England winter weather is a season of snow, ice and gusty winds that make us all want to find warm and comforting ways to take solace until the spring returns once again.  Perhaps your method is to light a fire or invest in a nice wool sweater- if you’re from these parts, it’s a guarantee you’re looking for anything to heat your body and mind up! One way to put the sizzle back in your life is by stimulating the senses such as sight and smell.  By surrounding yourself with pleasurable triggers that ignite these sensations, we can encourage inner happiness to fight off the freezing months.  One way to go about this task is to select particular types of flowers that are known to be excellent inducers of warm and fuzzy feelings.  For some it is their shading of petals and for other varieties, the scent is the beneficial element to create this magic spell.  If you’re having trouble with the wintery blues this season, try picking out one or more of these stunning blossoms to pick your spirits up and out of the cold.


For the Aroma


Freesia- Freesia is one of the best blooms to add to your home from December through February because the smell it fills a room with is absolutely unforgettable.  Not too sweet and not too strong, this incredible spring flower will waft you towards your Eden of heated sanctuary.

hyacinth.jpg

Hyacinth- Hyacinth is another great example of a bloom that has the magic power to elude you into thoughts of warmth and peace.  Available in a wide range of colors, you won’t have any problem finding these buds in your local flower shop this winter as well as other floral carriers in the area.


Narcissus - Paper Whites are one of my own favorites because you can either use them in arrangements as a cut stem or watch them grow from a single bulb.  The scent is pungent- I’ll warn you but if the smell appeals to your nose, they will probably become a frequent investment for many winters to come.


For the Sight


Charm Peonies- Oooooohhhh, Charm Peonies are an A-Lister in many high-end flower shops and the reason lies in the truth that these remarkable blossoms are stunning enough to be left alone in a vase by themselves. The bushy outer layering of the petals looks like feathers and the deep red shading resonates with many as meaning passionate, intense and alluring behavior.  

PEONIES.jpg

Anemones- Anemones are another go-to during this time of year, offering a naturally cheerful vibe to any area where an arrangement is displayed.  Not only are the heads adorable in pretty shades of purple, red and white but the foliage is just as enticing due to its wild appearance.

Tags: winter, January, Hyacinth, Freesia, Anemone, Paper Whites

The Symbolic Meaning of the Hyacinth

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 09, 2017

"Innocent Hyacinth Tinted with Mint"

Innocent Hyacinth tinted with mint

Tingèd grey hinged on stem singed

With chestnut leaves flowing, to me a fair hint


Of off-centered carousing, black eyes perusing

Wares of all sorts and stocks of all shares

The leading on of a pleasure most gracefully enthusing…


By Guy Braddock

Mar 24, 2014


The hyacinth is probably the most famous blossom associated with the end of winter in New England and the beginning of a new spring season.  Although it is customarily tied to native Boston gardening, the hyacinth actually originated in western Asia and was eventually brought to Europe where their popularity expanded across the continents.  The bulbs are typically planted in the fall and are the first to arrive as soon as the temperatures begin to raise up into the low forty to fifty degree weather patterns.  They are quite popular in flower shops and nurseries because they are available in a wide array of colors including purple, pink, peach, white and even salmon.  The hyacinth is world renowned by the largest importers of the world and has maintained one of the top five spots for most exported flower for gifts within holidays such as Easter, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.  One of the reasons is due to their incredible scent that usually registers as a sweet infused aroma.  Its ability to outlast many of its other floral companions is another reason it keeps itself in high demand.  Many believe its sturdy shape and compacted bell-like heads acquires the asset of longevity for the plant.   The petals climb up a durable stem and form a tree-like formation with several flowers blossoming one on top of the other.  

hyacinth.jpg

Symbolically, the hyacinth is dated back to the Greeks, where both the gods, Apollo and Zephyrus pined after the god, “Hyacinth”.  When Zephyrus became jealous of his fierce competition from the handsome boy, he changed the course of the wind, causing a discus to hit Apollo and kill him.  Broken hearted, the god decided that flowering hyacinth would forever bloom wherever his lover’s blood had shed as a sign for remembrance.  This is why themes such as sorrow were originally tied to the bloom although constancy and discretion are also mentioned in reference to hyacinth.  


Through the years and cultivation of the species, the eclectic assortments of colors that are now grown have brought about a new way of categorizing the hyacinth’s meaning.  Refer to the chart below to see a chart of each color and what it means.


            Pink-Bashfulness/Happiness        Yellow- Jealousy          Purple-Sadness

            Blue- Sincerity     White-Purity

Tags: Hyacinth, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, Flowers as Symbols

After the Snowpocalypse - What Will Bloom First in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

So there’s still a lot of snow on the ground but things are starting to heat up around here in Boston!  Pretty soon, the gutters will stop leaking, the ice on the driveway will melt and our shovels will be put away until next winter but guess what else will be changing soon?  Our gardens!  Yes, my fellow New Englanders, I promise you there’s actually life in the works happening right below those last few feet of blanketed snow.  You may be looking out your window in disbelief, but it’s a fact that a snowy winter can actually be beneficial to our flower and vegetable beds.   This is because the snow acts as a warm cover and becomes its own watering system long after the fruit and blossoms have reaped their seasonal harvest.  Herb gardens can do particularly well within this case, benefiting varieties such as rosemary, sage and thyme.  New plantings of basil and some types of parsley can be expected, but all in all your herbs will thank old man winter for his snow fury.  So what should we expect to see bloom first in our backyards after the clean up has occurred?  Here are some beauties to look forward to until spring officially arrives…

 crocus in boston

Crocuses

Crocuses are probably the number one flower that appears first in most New England gardens.  Originating from the iris family, crocuses bloom from what are called “Corms”.  The ability for the heads to extend through colder weather and even snow make this a desirable plant for garden lovers as well as their beautiful colors that include purple, violet, yellow, white and even striped.  Another bonus of including crocus in your plantings is that they are very hard to kill and will spread and multiply over time. 

 

Tulips

If you haven’t planted tulips in your yards quite yet, here are a few reasons to get you motivated.   Grown from a bulb, Boston soil is ideal for cultivation because they love cold winters and dry summers, which holds common to this area.  Native to southern Russia, these beauties are ultimately bred in almost every color imaginable including black, blue and multi-colored.  A tulip head can have one or double petals surrounding its center often resembling a stunning silk cocoon.  The perennials are perfect as edging for garden borders or placed in clumps to present a beautiful floral display. One thing to be mindful of if you live near a wooded forest area, deer absolutely love to eat this perennial and will chew the heads clean off if not guarded by a gate. 

 planting bulbs in boston

Hyacinth

Hyacinth is another spring season starter, arriving soon after the crocus and right before the tulips.  The plant is tied to Greek mythology believed to hold the blood of one of Apollo’s victims killed in battle. The shape of the hyacinth resembles a skinny beehive with several bell-like buds that run up and down the thick stem.  Available in shades of pink, white, lavender, yellow and dark blue, the flashy bulbed plants possess a sweet smell that will fragrant your home or garden.  Cuttings are remarkably durable so don’t forget to utilize hyacinth in spring bouquets and centerpieces! 

 Suzie Canale

Westwood MA

she had hundreds of bulbs to her home in Westwood every year.

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, Tulips, Hyacinth, bulbs

Snow Inspired Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 18, 2015

The snow blitz of 2015 hit New England hard, covering our cars, houses and well, everything in site up to eighty-eight inches of snow in the Boston area.  We survived Juno but if you’re like me, you might need a little pick me up to help shoo away the winter blues.  One way to accomplish this is to fill our living space with as much inspired growth as possible, namely flowers.  I know I use flowers as a natural remedy for most woes but there is no denying the power of beauty and fragrance to boost our lowered moods and dispositions.  Although we are experiencing the bitterness of the cold, there’s a sort of beauty that emanates from the sparkles of white enwrapped around everything we see.  Tiny crystals of light reflected in the sunlight and the impression of blanketed softness expels itself from the perfectly mounded bands of puffed snow.  For me, it’s a tough time of year too (I’m really a summer girl at heart) but even I can’t deny the sheer magnificence of newly fallen flakes.  The way I see it, if I can see impressive color, texture and design outdoors, why can’t I copy that same feeling within designing winter inspired arrangements for my own home?  After a few trial and errors, this was what I found to be the most successful combinations for this theme.

 white_hydrangea

White hydrangea is the perfect variety for this type of floral display because it carries all of the appropriate characteristics to what we see happening outside.  Besides toned in pure shades of white, the soft-pedaled head also comes close in proximately to the way snow impacts itself on the ground.  By tucking in a few stems within a bubble bowl, we really don’t need to add too much more than perhaps a sprig or two of lady’s mantle or octoberweed.  Not only will you love the presentation of simplicity but you’ll also be pleasantly surprised as to how long this piece will last.  Let’s just hope the same doesn’t hold true for all of that white stuff outside our windows!

 bulbs

There’s a new trend rearing its head around Boston flower shops and I’ve actually tried this on my own so I assure you-I’m just as impressed with it as they are.  Bulbs are making a screaming comeback but are being grown and displayed in new ways.  For instance, white daffodils or paper whites can be used indoors by placing them on the tops of narrowed bud vases.  Fill the container with water high enough to reach the bottom of the bulb and watch the roots start to grow before your eyes.  Place in a well-lit area and pretty soon a shoot will begin to extend upwards.  I love using this as a bedside arrangement and adore how inexpensive yet fabulous this method is.  Before you go out and buy bulbs, check your cellars for previously unused packages of grape hyacinth, tulips or any other springtime favorite. Situating the vessel near a warm heater also helps to surge a speedy flower creation.

Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA

Suzie created the above arrangement of bulbs and hyacinth.

Tags: Paper White Bulbs, Floral Design, Hydrangeas, winter, Hyacinth

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