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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Mountain Lodge Floral Design

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 21, 2018

Calling all ski lovers out there!  I bet you have been enjoying this snowy winter and hitting the slopes as much as possible… Am I right?  From the months of December through March, thousands of New Englanders race to places like Sugar Loaf and Wachusett to pass this chilly time of year with some fun on the peaks.  Exercise, entertainment and beautiful views keep skiing the top hobby for most Bostonians, with new families joining each year to learn the ropes.  If you’re one of these people, you know there’s nothing better than flying down a mountain at warp speed with the wind rushing through your hair as you take that next jump with maybe one exception…  Perhaps some down time in the lodge?

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photo credit: via aboutflowers.com

Experts in this industry know that a large percentage of customer satisfaction depends on the client’s comfort when they return from a day out in the snow.  Top architects and interior designers purposefully create areas that are warm and pleasing to the eye with the intention of refueling guests with luxury surroundings.  Crackling fireplaces, soft leather couches and a stained wood interior reflecting the natural beauty of the great outdoors are all a part of the floor plan owners look to present to increase winter vacation experiences.  The overall goal being to send visitors home in a relaxed mindset.


Of course, if we’re talking about how to set the stage for a stunning snow lair, we obviously can’t forget the impertinent role of accessorizing with flowers, right?  If you’ve ever stayed at any one of these ski resorts, I’m sure you’ve noticed there is almost always a floral centerpiece featured inside the lobby which reflects the sentiment of the location.  Often, these pieces utilize varieties mirroring the essence of the mountains such white astilbe, heather and flowering branches.  The idea is to design arrangements that appeal to all the senses while visually being free flowing.  Berries such as privet are great additions to this look as well as hypericum and bittersweet when the season allows.  Often, many assume that these flowers have to be “Christmasy” in color but red, white and green are not the only hues to choose from.   Beautiful mixes include white/gray/green, lavender/green/gray and blush/gray/white are a few color combos to put at the top of the list.  There can always be variations of these pairings but I like these the most when trying to reconstruct the efforts in my own home.  Yes, that’s right-there’s nothing stopping you from making your own mountain lodge ski piece even if you have no plans of hitting the slopes this year.  Just remember these tips and you’ll be able to whip up your own wintery bouquet!


-Select stems that are longer in length as opposed to short.

-Bend branches to make a waterfall-like shape rather than a compact format.  

-Choose varieties customary to mountain regions such as wildflowers, feathery foliage and leafy greenery.

-This is one time when you might want to forget roses and go for something more daisy oriented to create an authentic presentation.

Tags: winter, January, February, Decorating

Snowy Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 08, 2018

While some (like myself) choose to hide underneath layers of wool and fleece during the colder months of the season, others relish in the snowy months doing whatever they can to suspend the colder days of the calendar.  There is skiing, ice skating and snow shoeing to partake in the chilly outdoors while other indoor activities such as sewing, knitting or cooking appease to others.  For many of the creative types wandering around New England, they see yet another way to explore the beauty and enchantment our home as to offer by tapping into to their imaginations and diving in to their love of flowers.  If you find yourself in this category and adore this season’s blissfully, beautiful charm, why not design arrangements that are thematic of the snow and ice we are surrounded by (probably until next spring)? Truthfully, by using specific accents and a certain variety of blooms, you’ll be able to build gorgeous displays of winter inspired presentations.  Here are a few tips to get you going!

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Using white flowers may be an obvious step in the process but many times people aren’t aware of the large spectrum of species available to them when designing a piece representative of winter.  White cymbidiums, hyacinth, anemones and peonies are excellent substitutions for more boring options of mums and roses.  Implementing sparks of gray is also a great way to further push the motif like sprigs of lamb’s ear, silver brunia and pussy willow.  If done correctly, a mixture of these two-color tones is simply stunning and makes a perfect centerpiece for any holiday gathering.  When selecting a vase, keep in mind the look you are going for such as selecting a metallic container to inspire an “ice” appearance or a frosted bubble bowl to mimic snow.


Here’s another great example of using the natural beauty around us to turn an ordinary flower arrangement into a winterized bouquet.  Think white birch vases that are becoming very popular and can be bought in craft stores such as AC Moore and Michaels.  Adding hints of green can be a remarkable way to transform your piece into a tree-like model and if you really want to impress onlookers, add a few berries and pine to complete the conversion.  Eucalyptus is another great foliage to keep in mind for these arrangements as well as mimosa greenery.


One last piece of advice is to always add flavors of blooms that you prefer over what is seen on the cover of a magazine.  Many times, we get the false impression of what is available when we become sucked in by these professional images and regret not making our own rendition with what we have on hand.  Winter centerpieces can be made in a variety of ways and if you keep the color palette and texture in mind, whatever you come up with is assured to be absolutely stunning.  

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Tags: January, winter, Snow, Paper Whites

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.

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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.  

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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

What’s New in Flowers for 2018

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 04, 2018


Happy New Year my fellow floral enthusiasts!  It’s a brand-new year and we have safely left 2017 behind us with the hopes that 2018 will definitely be an even better one for us all.  If you’re in the flower biz or just a major flower fan, you’re probably wondering what we can expect for upcoming trends.  I for one, am really excited about what the forecast foresees as the next popular line of design when it comes to arrangements for both weddings and events.  Although there are always the looks that stay with us due to their constant demand in the market, you’ll be pleased to know that expert designers are whipping up a fresh batch of gorgeous blooming expressions which will take 2018 to greater heights than ever before.  Realizing we all have our favorite bouquet combinations and color palettes, there’s still room to expand our taste to include some of these special new creations.  Check them out and see what appeals to you!

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Wedding Bells

If you are getting married this year, be on the lookout for the popular arrival of headwear wreaths.  This whimsical natural display appeals to both the environmentalist and the couple hoping to infuse an ethereal feel to the garments worn by flower girls, bridal maids and even the bride herself.  The theme is light and airy combined with an angelic touch that creates a stunning platform to say, “I do.”  Many of these wreaths are made from soft pedaled flowers such as ranunculus, sweet pea and tea roses but others can be constructed using pieces from eucalyptus and magnolia leaves which also work well.  As for bouquets, visionaries predict pink on pink on more pink so if this is your favorite hue- you’re really in luck this 2018.  If this seems a bit much, ask your florist to cut back the tone with hints of gray and white.  By mixing in these colors, you’ll decrease the “pop” of pink while presenting an elegant wedding style.

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Party, Party, Party!

When planning a party or other special event this upcoming year, keep in mind the newest tone to create a huge sensation-mauve.  You might be wondering where in the world you’ll be able to find this rare hue but funny enough, there is a list of species which are grown in this exact shade.  My favorites being lisianthus, ranunculus, drumstick allium and sweet pea, which appear almost as a cross between gray and purple.  Pair this with peach, gray, white or cream and you’ll have yourself a beautiful décor!  Just as we discussed previously in the wedding section of this post, don’t be surprised if the pink, pink, pink theme seeps into the realm of 2018 party planning.  Again, if this isn’t your cup of nuts, mix it up with the mauve to cut up the boldness of these arrangements.

Tags: January, winter, New Years Resolutions, New Years, About Flowers

Flowers Radiating the Feeling of Warmth

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Jan 02, 2018

Okay… Okay… Who out there is starting to wonder when the heck temperatures will rise again suitable for human existence?  Nine degrees?  Five degrees?  Negative 2 degrees?  I mean, seriously- are these weather conditions or points on a graph?  It’s no wonder why we’re all a bit cranky due to wrapping up under fourteen layers of fleece, wool and down comforting material.  Who wants to appear like the Abominable snowmen every day they show up to work or (god forbid) out on a date for dinner?  It’s almost embarrassing the outerwear we’re required to wear to deflect the nastiness of the frigid New England winter.  It’s a tough season with tough conditions so we need to do all we can do to push ourselves through to sunnier days ahead.

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By now if you’re a real local, you probably have a list of useful items and practices that help you trudge through the harsher days of the calendar.  Good book?  Delicious casserole recipe?  A wood burning fire?  These are all great ways to evade the ice and cold associated with this time of year but if you’re into flowers- I may have my own tip in mind for you!  It’s a fact that growing plants and flowers can lift up your mood so why is it so unbelievable they may be able to warm are thoughts too?  I dare you to disagree with the notion that placing comforting knickknacks around your home can actually decrease aches, pains, depression and anxiety based emotion.  Throughout time, people have been implementing their own personal touches of therapy when the snow outside keeps falling so it’s high time you tried a little botanical magic to include in your practices, too.  Here are a couple of the best blooms to brighten the forces of warmth and keep you nestled contently until the spring rolls around again!


Color

This is probably an obvious factor but it’s one to bare reminding if you don’t already know… Flowers that typically symbolize warmth usually tend to be grown in shades of red, orange and yellow.  Clearly-this is based on the association with fire but funny enough-the color combo works.  If you’re not into this scheme, data shows that blooms harvested in dark purple are efficient as well so search for plum hued blooms like calla lilies, ranunculus, and hyacinth.  


Varieties that Look and Act Fantastic as Floral Warmth Givers:


Orange Mokara Orange Roses Yellow/Red Sunflowers

Red James Story Orchids Eggplant Lisianthus Purple Lilac

Red Amaryllis Plum Hydrangea Black Eyed Susans

Orange French Tulips Purple Anemones Yellow Marigolds

Red Amaranths Purple Sweet Pea Chocolate Cosmos

Tags: January, winter, About Flowers, Orchids, Tulips

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

Floral Light Reflectors

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

As the days get darker, many of us suffer from light deficiency and yearn for the days when the sun stayed out until late evening.  Depression sets in and the coldness of winter blankets New Englanders, turning us into grievers for the warmer weather before.  It’s a real problem if you live in this region.  I know it certainly is for me so I try finding ways of supplementing the depletion of brightness by incorporating substitutions of light and illumination.  Sometimes I buy a new lamp or a set of aromatic candles that I know will promote a sense of joy and delight.  These seem like arbitrary notions but in all honestly, they work okay.  Besides, we all yearn for some sort of comfort until the spring arrives again, don’t we?  

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Recently, I came across an interesting article that introduced a contemporary opinion about the development of serotonin in our blood levels (the stuff that makes us happy), which can actually be heightened by particular varieties of flowers!  They may be your everyday garden blooms but research shows a unique trait that can be quite useful to those who suffer from winter woes.  Is it their color or texture that wards off the grimmer months of the calendar?  Not at all…

It’s the perception that they all reflect light.

How is this possible you might be wondering?  It is a scientific fact that the petals of some blossoms are translucent enough to reflect beams of light.  By acquiring floral pieces integrated with specific varieties, there is a greater likelihood that those who endure seasonal light deprivation will find ease to their symptoms!  Sounds strange I know but truthfully, the theory makes sense when you combine this idea with other floral characteristics.  For instance, pleasant aromas are proven to increase happy cells (serotonin) in a person as well as an eye-appealing visual stimulation.  Flowers already possess these assets so why not elongate beneficial properties to include light?  

If you’re not convinced by this phenomenon quite yet, take a peek at these stunners that are now being utilized in health facilities around the Boston area.  

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You might think that any species that grows in a shade of white will work but tulips happen to be the best!  Part of the reason is behind their color of course, but the texture of the petals is what really seals the deal.  Try putting a few stems in a glass vase by the window and watch the spectrum of light lift your mood to sweeter places.

Garden Lace has been utilized in Japanese culture for centuries as a strong producer of positive energy.  Tinted in soft pink with a yellow center, the petals remind one of tissue paper because of their delicate weight and surface.  If you can’t find this variety, opt for a peony with similar hues since they are similar to one another’s physical characteristics.  

Tags: January, winter, Tulips, Snow

Where to go Skating in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

It’s one of Boston’s time honored traditions during the winter to slip on a pair of skates and glide across the city’s most romantic rinks.  While ice skating is a great source of exercise during the months when it’s a bit tricky to go swimming or running outdoors, many of us have engaged in this activity as a way to bond with our children, friends and even our love interests.  There are several reasons to adore this activity such as the sounds of the blade pushing evenly across the icy stage, the soothing rhythmic movement that relaxes our bodies and the excitement of completing each circular lap upon lap.  Yes, New Englanders have found great pleasure in this winter sport over the generations where the cost to participate is minimal and the need to be in perfect physical fitness is arbitrary.  This year, the popularity of ice skating is enormous due to the heighten accumulation of snow and the elongated seasonal attributes that have kept us wondering, “when will spring arrive?”  If you are curious to try this fantastic mood enhancer but have no idea where to begin, check out these top ice rinks located in and around the city.  You’ll be surprised of the extra boost of energy you will receive and be relieved once you have found your winter sport calling. While everyone is heading to city hall plaza, let the crowds die down and check out these historic hot spots. 

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Larz Anderson

25 Newton Street,

Brookline, MA 02445

This a wonderful place to visit because of all of the amenities this rink offers to the public.  Located in Brookline, patrons may purchase skates, have them sharpened, enjoy a treat from the snack bar and take a ride throughout the heated pavilion.  They also offer a special Sunday open skate for people in the community with disabilities where professional staff is on site for extra help.  

Skate Rental  $5.00

Entrance Fee Adults $8.00

Entrance Fee Children $5.00


Frog Pond Rink

The Boston Commons

Boston, MA

This is a lot of fun if you are looking to be smack dab in the middle of the city.  Located close to Beacon Hill and the red line, skaters can rent skates and grab a snack all while enjoying the beautiful setting of downtown Boston.  The Frog Pond Rink offers many “Bobby the Seal” skating aid for kids learning how to skate and flexible hours for the busy Bostonian.

Skate Rental Adult $10.00

Skate Rental Kids $5.00

Locker Rental $2.00

Bobby the Skating Seal for Kids $10.00/hour

Entrance Fee 58 inches and over $5.00

Entrance Fee Under 58 inches FREE

Tags: winter, January, Frog Pond, Larz Anderson, Skating

Ways to Stay Sane During a New England Winter

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 16, 2017


If you’re shaking your head at all that white stuff that’s started to fall from the sky, you may be susceptible to what I refer to as “Winter Depressive Disorder”.  What is this you ask?  The term applies to those who struggle, suffer and strive bitterly through the colder months of the calendar making them irritable and sometimes downright nasty.  The ailment is considered quite common for many of those who live on the east coast and can fluctuate in intensity from mild to extreme measures based on the individual. Depression is nothing to mess with, especially when it comes to finding the right antidote to defuse the situation so if this sounds familiar, you need to get help fast.  “Winter Depressive Disorder” can be treated with a variety of different means and usually can be alleviated by enjoying a special activity, added exposure to light or simply making a few tweaks to your everyday diet.  


In the past, I’ve experienced similar effects of the malady and have since come up with a plan that helps to assuage some of the symptoms.  Irritation, exhaustion and plain old crabbiness can really put a damper on your personal health as well as your personal relationships.  Believing you can wait it out until the spring thaw arrives is just silly and even a little dangerous so if you’re open to learning a few tips they may just save you from another tough year in the cold.  Here’s my go-to list of special soothers that help sustain my sanity until the warmer months roll around once again-maybe they can assist you.

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Light

Light deprivation is the number one factor, which makes people petulant, depressed and moody.  Scientifically known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder, doctors believe that the inner circadian rhythm is disrupted during winter and the body is actually yearning for a longer connection to direct sunlight.  I fit perfectly within this category and try to make extra time for long walks in the morning- the time of day recommended by many experts.  Phototherapy is another option which means skin exposure to ultraviolet light on a regular bases.  You can either do this at home or receive treatment in a medical office.  


Diet

I know it’s the time of year where comfort foods are the main source of fuel but dishes saturated in butter, fat and oil can literally pull your immune system down to lower functioning levels.  Cookies and pies give an immediate satisfaction but hours later, you’re paying for it with a plummeting sugar levels that turns a “high” into a “low”.  Opt for fresh foods such as fish, veggies and ripe fruits that will make you feel healthier as well as trick your system into thinking that the season is warmer than it really is.  


Color

I know it sounds funny but many of us don’t realize that we wear darker colors in the winter than in the spring or summer.  If we can pair more pops of bright reds, blues, greens, yellows and purples into our attire, we’ll begin to feel happier just from the reinforcement of happier hues around us.  

Tags: winter, January, Health

Martin Luther King’s Peace Garden

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 11, 2016

On January 18th, 2016, we will celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a holiday dedicated to remembering his nonviolent peace movements in the quest for equality.  Observed to honor his birthday, (which really lies on January 15th ) President Ronald Reagan signed the bill making it an official holiday on November 2nd , 1983.  The country will hold several reenactments of the reverend’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream” as well as thousands of Americans gathering in the place where a piece of his memory is held dearly.  

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Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site honors King’s life work in spreading the idealism of peace throughout the country.  Along with precious artifacts and mementos of the hero’s lineage kept inside the museum, a second tribute marks the sanction, displaying a beautiful garden holding 185 varieties of roses at the visitor’s entrance.  The stunning presentation is one of the “International World Peace Rose Gardens” containing thousands of blossoms with eclectic colors and aromas.  Structured in a design similar to a starburst, the beds are planted entirely with roses, the United States official flower.  Landscaped in the month of March in 1992, the garden is visited by millions of people wanting to learn and pay homage to the man who spent his life crusading for a nonviolent world.  Dr King and his wife are also buried close by.

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The configuration of the design and the varieties that grow within King’s International World Peace Rose Garden hold specific significance.  The starburst shape was created to mirror his brilliance and ambition of unity throughout mankind.  The plush pink roses in the center are symbolic for his wife who continued her husband’s teachings for years after his death.  The red band of roses that swerves in and out of the circle represents African Americans and their contributions made to the world and the white blooms are banded around the ring to exemplify King’s similarity with Ghandi within their peace movements.   The splash of multi-shaded roses placed within clumps is reminiscent of the world filled with a beautiful array of different cultures and ethnicities.  The assortment of several tints and color tones also represents King’s vision that peace should run throughout the world for eternity.   The garden is said to be one of the most powerful displays created in Martin Luther King’s memory and remains the number one site to honor and remember him by.  



Tags: Martin Luther King Jr., Roses, January, MLK, Garden

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