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Daffodils Herald Spring in New England

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 28, 2018

As we slowly approach our New England spring season, there is much anticipation over the earth re-warming herself to produce a fresh crop of blooming bulbs.  It’s the sign we all await, which tells us Mother Nature is through with snow and ready to move on to the warmer months of the calendar. For many of us, the appearance of a bright and beautiful harvest is the highlight of March and April that reminds us of the theme surrounding rebirth and renewal.  If you’ve lived in the northeast for a while, you are already familiar with the process of watching the first flowers grow after the last thaw has occurred and perhaps have made your own bouquet to celebrate within your home. One of the most anticipated treasures to arrive is the cheerful daffodil which has become one of the most cherished spring signs we are mindful to look for.  Besides the obvious allure of the blooms’ color, there are many other reasons to admire the flower. Here are some more reasons to love the daffodil as our premier recognition of the spring season.



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photo credit via aboutflowers.com



  1. Daffodils were first traced back to Roman times but were never really considered a desired addition to a garden until farmers in England realized their superb beauty.  Once they adapted the bloom into their seasonal spring crop, other countries jumped on board, realizing their attractive properties.
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  1. photo credit via aboutflowers.com

 

  1. Daffodils are both a sign of good and bad luck depending on the context they are used in.  If you force a bulb to grow during the Chinese New Year, the household is blessed with the possibility of prosperity in the next coming year.  But if a single stem is ever gifted to another person, the gesture is tied to the possibility that a windfall of bad juju might be headed to the recipient.  Better to be safe than sorry so always present a bouquet to evade the omen.

  1. The daffodil is officially a part of the narcissus family which also includes the amaryllis even though the shape is closely associated with a trumpet.  

  1. The daffodil is the country of Wales official flower which is honored each spring as it sweeps across wild blooming countryside.  

  1. The sap of the daffodil stem is very important because it has the ability to poison other flowers if arranged immediately without soaking a full day beforehand.  On the flip side, there is also speculation that the sap may help positively treat certain patients afflicted with brain cancer.

Tags: Spring, March, About Flowers, daffodils

Saint Patrick’s Inspired Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 09, 2018

Who doesn’t love Saint Patrick’s Day-the one holiday of the year that everyone who wants to be is a lucky Irishman!  If you live here in Boston, it’s likely you’re looking forward to March 17th just like I am and you may even be getting ready to plan a get together with friends and family. This event has a long history of popularity within this city and is easily one of the biggest nights for celebration in the northeast region as well as Europe.

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photo via aboutflowers.com 

If you are hoping to pack in some people for a fun and festive evening of Irish tradition, you may want to get a jump on finding just the right items for décor.  You’ll need green streamers, a decadent spread of corn beef and cabbage and for the grand finale- a centerpiece worthy of even the feistiest of all leprechauns!  Yes, flowers are the perfect accessory to add when throwing a Saint Patty’s Day soiree and as luck would have it, florists have just what you’re looking for!  Stocking inventory with authentic, cheerful and affordable blooms, designers are ready to whip up arrangements that will set the tone of your party precisely the way you want.

Tags: St Patrick's Day Flowers, Traditions, March

The History of the Shamrock

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 02, 2018

March 17th is Saint Patrick’s Day and people all over this city are getting ready to show their Irish pride!  While there are sure to be events celebrated all over Boston with green beer free flowing everywhere, I think it’s important to take the time to acknowledge the history behind the four leaf clover.  As a floral professional, I can’t tell you how many requests we receive for potted plants of clover or specialized flower arrangements with hints of the greenery slipped here and there amongst the blooms.  Clovers are a huge part of the Saint Patty’s Day tradition so let’s do a little research to find out exactly why we go crazy over these tiny florets every March.  

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photo via Rittners School of Floral Design, Boston MA

The origin of the shamrock really does have interesting roots once you start digging since it was primarily used by Saint Patrick to introduce the religion of Christianity into Ireland.  He chose the sprig as a symbol of this faith because of the three leaves which he believed was a sign of the Holy Trinity.  Because its three leaf shape, it was also valuable due to the fact that the number “three” was held as an omen of good fortune even though we associate a 4-leaf clover as the one holding all the luck.  As time wore on, the cloves were actually seen for a brief period of time as meaning a sign of rebellion.  If you were caught wearing any evidence of the plant, you were immediately considered any enemy to the state.  This belief did not last long thankfully, and eventually returned as a sign of spring, luck and Irish pride.

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photo via aboutflowers.com

Today, shamrocks are recognized all over the world and not just on our beloved Saint Patrick’s Day.  No matter what your religion or origin, millions of people search each year in the hopes of finding a four-leaf clover, although a three-leaf clover brings good tidings, too.  Standing for love, hope and faith (in the case when a fourth leaf is found-God), this tiny treasure is Mother Nature’s gift to the adventurous heart who seeks out the magic of the petals growing across green countryside.  If you do not have access to a blooming lea, supermarkets often carry pots of clover during the months of February through April at an inexpensive cost.  For those who enjoy growing their own, you’ll be happy to know that shamrocks (or otherwise known as Oxalis) are perennials which bloom every year as a ground cover.  Many of which are planted as a bulb, the best places to start your own crop are nearby garden edgings or rock formations.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, St Patrick's Day Flowers, Traditions, Saint Patricks Day, March

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!

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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.

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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: Tulips, Hyacinth, Spring, March

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

Mimosa Flower is a Symbol for International Women's Day March 8th

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Feb 22, 2017

mimosa in boston resized 600International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on March 8th. The Day traces its beginnings to the early 20th century as a result of the socialist movement. The holiday recognizes the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries. It is also a chance for us all to show women how much we respect them and appreciate them.

The holiday stirs more emotions in some countries than others.  The custom of giving the mimosa flower can be traced back to Italy around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and the mimosa's symbolism rivals that of a red rose on Valentine's day. 

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Mimosa's origin can be traced back to Australia. It arrived in Europe around 1820. The plant is quite invasive and should not be placed too close to other plants. Its blooms are often harvested for cut flowers, honey and oils for perfume. You may recognize the blossom at the premium cosmetic store, L'Occitane en Provence.

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Many clients from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy will often call or email to check on this fleeting flower's availability for March 8th. Mimosa has a lovely scent and Exotic Flowers in Boston will have Mimosa for sale on International Women's Day.


Tags: International Women's Day, Mimosa, Women's Day, Boston Florist, March

Early Seedling Starters

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 11, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m already getting the itch to start my indoor seedlings even though there’s still snow falling on the ground!  For many New Englanders, this is a common frustration since we know that planting too early in the spring season will not cultivate a healthy crop once it is transferred outdoors.  Plants like tomatoes, cucumbers and peas are perfectly ok but for other species, it can be a problem.  While the average time to begin this process is usually the middle of April, you’ll be glad to know that there are actually a few varieties of vegetables that will do just fine if not benefit from a March potting.  Usually, these types are typically those that take a prolonged period of time to get going, which is an important variable to learn about when selecting your seeds.  Since we must keep in mind the temperature constraints of our climate having such a short summer season compared to other southern states, veggies that take four to five months to mature with fruit almost have to be planted indoors way before the normal gardening season.  Fussy produce such as peppers, corn, cauliflower, celery, garlic, onions and eggplant can be challenging for Boston green thumbs so getting a jump on these before April will be helpful.

And why not?  It only takes a few basic things to get started!  

All you have to do is find a warm and sunny area of your home and set up camp!  Select your seeds from either a catalog or store and then grab an empty egg carton or potato chip container.  They might not seem like it but they are excellent for nurturing organic soil because both materials encourage growth and moisture.  Finding a radiator in close proximity will also give your seeds a nice little push as well since an added bit of heat can trick the seeds into thinking it’s summer.  Water as needed and let them do their own thing on their own time until the stems are at least two to three inches in height.  When they get that big, they are ready to be transplanted into your garden.  That is, if the earth has warmed enough to be adequate for growing.  If the ground is still frozen, you’ll have to wait a bit longer but don’t worry because the seedlings will do just fine inside.  

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Tags: Gardening, Seeds, Vegetable Garden, Garden Calendar, Garden, March

Flowers Inspired by March Madness

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 04, 2016

March Madness begins on March 15th with NCAA teams racing down the courts to become the number #1 college basketball team in the country!  While some of you will participate office pools and placing your wagers on hopeful winners, some fans will be showing their spirit in other ways as they anxiously await the beginning of one of the most exciting sporting tournaments of the year.  Have you made your plans on how you will be watching who makes it to the Final Four?

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photo credit via: valentine.gr

For those of you who are planning to watch the games while having a get together, choosing the perfect decorations to accessorize your March Madness party is a top priority!  Hang banners in the colors of your favorite teams, select party platters and bowls in the shape of half moon basketballs and you’ll need to devise a menu that compliments the occasion such as serving nachos organized as a basketball court, basketball cupcakes or veggie platters organized in a circle of orange carrots with green peppers to form the stitches.  

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photo credit: petalstreet.com

If you’re thinking about really going for a fantastic basketball bash, you’ll need flowers of course!  Many are weary towards designing pieces in reflection of this event and fret about complications or expense.  Not to worry!  Florists are way ahead of the game per usual and have already begun organizing innovative and fun floral ideas to match you March Madness soiree.  From basketball inspired vase ware to blooms resembling key features of the sport, you’ll be amazed by the brilliance of our very best Boston designers.  Here’s a sneak peek of some of the best March Madness bouquets available to you



Tags: Special Events Florist, Flowers, Basketball, March

Shades of Green Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Mar 03, 2016

The month of March is a special time of year for New Englanders because (if we’re lucky) spring is right around the corner.  It’s the season for rebirth when the soil turns soft and warm allowing new life to begin as the bitter coldness of winter slows ebbs away.  For Boston florists, this means it’s time to change up their product inventory with a fresh palette of color that mirrors this theme of growth and renewal.  Typically, you’ll find that there is a strong influence of peach, pink and lavender that infiltrates arrangements as well as flowers belonging to the pastel side of the spectrum.  What is interesting about the color transition is that more than half of the pieces designed include a heavy presence of green, which is otherwise infrequently utilized as often in other traditional design templates.  In the floral industry (and many others) the pigment green is symbolic towards expressing life and youth, a combination that we look forward to each year when March returns.

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Since we are quickly approaching spring in Boston, it’s important to begin planning our list of flowers that yield the shade of green so that we are suitably prepared for the exciting adaptation.  Do any blossoms come to mind?

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Be honest… Who of you instantly thought of green carnations?  Believe it or not, there are other options available to you besides the infamous Saint Patrick’s Day bloom.   There’s nothing wrong with being impartial to this variety but you should be made aware that several different species exist that develop in a beautiful array of brilliant to soft greens within their petals.  Here are a few of my favorites!

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

Lucky Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 02, 2016

The month of March is the luckiest time of the year when we search for four leaf clovers, leprechauns and of course, their pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  It’s the season of adventure, the season of mystery, and most of all, the season to find trinkets that we believe can bring prosperity to anyone clever enough to find them.  The magic that surrounds the idea of certain items enhanced with good fortune is a popular belief found throughout many cultures although Bostonians typically celebrate this during Saint Patrick’s Day.  Although we may never retrieve a perfect shamrock or trace the whereabouts of an imp’s treasure, there are certainly other tokens that are believed to be symbolic of “luck” and are quite a bit easier to obtain.  


One suggestion is to do a little research on varieties of flora and fauna that have been known to precipitate a shower of good tidings to all those who plant or place them within their homes.  In case you’re cringing, I wasn’t talking about those familiar green carnations that seem to arrive at the beginning of every March.  No, fortunately there are several other plants and flowers that have been labeled as “luck” driven conduits.  Although not all of them are shaded in green, these species are not only a good omen in your garden but also breath taking to feature in a favorite vase or landscaped bed.  If you’re looking to make a change from the traditional symbols of Saint Patrick’s charms, take a look at these varieties that promise to please and might even send good fortune your way!

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Peace Lilies

The name of this flower is literally the characteristic it holds, which is the ability to enhance peace and a constant flow of positive energy whether they are in your garden, office or on your dining room table.  A Peace Lily’s creamy supple texture is translated into the flower’s nature to smooth out disagreements as well as raise comradely.  Not only are they stunning in appearance and easy to take care of, they are easily ordered from local florists in and around the city.  

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Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo is the next most popular flower next to green carnations sold in the month of March.  The reason is because not only are these stalks inexpensive and readily available, they are believed to attract the five core luck factors (wealth, love, happiness, health and spirituality) to those who place them in a vase in their home.  If the funky abstract stems and cool presentation interests you, be sure to buy the stalks in multiple packs.  The more stems you have bunched together, the stronger the ability of the plant to attract the five lucky attributes.

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Sunflowers

Not only are sunflowers one of my favorite blooms having strong round heads with color resembling sunshine, but they are also know to bring safety and protection to your family as well as nurture positivity within the home.  Other attributes to sunflowers include and increase of fertility, cultivation of new relationships and the ability to ward of those who are not truthful.

Tags: Flowers, Plants, Sunflowers, March

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