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Exotic Flowers from Portugal

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, May 05, 2017

Portugal is a beautiful European country bordering Spain on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.  The republic is known for it’s fine wine and dining as well as a culture rich in music and art.  While this warm weather spot is a major tourist destination for visitors worldwide, Portugal’s true hidden gem lies beyond the white powdered beaches…

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Due to a climate that benefits from warm temperatures and a wide range of desirable topography, vegetation is abundant across the area growing thousands of beautiful specimens year round.  One location, which is particularly successful within the horticulture industry is Madeira Natural Park that expands more than two thirds across Portugal.  Here you will find rare varieties of orchids as well as trees belonging to the Lauraceae family including laurel, bay and mahogany shrubs and moss.  Depending on which trail that you choose it is possible to explore several different zones where the flora and fauna changes accordingly.  Because the country is mixed between Mediterranean, Atlantic and European environment fluctuations, you never know what you may stumble upon making the adventure all the more worthwhile.

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If you’re interested in the types of flowers that are most prevalent in Portugal, you’ll be happy to know there is no shortage of stunning blooms in this neck of the woods.  The number one species representing Portugal as the official flower is “Lavender”, which is also popular in the United States.  The multi-purpose blooms not only grace the tables in vases and bouquets but also serve as medicinal tools and additives within makeup, tea and balms.  The tropical characteristics this country possesses also allows a healthy growth of varieties found in rainforests such as birds of paradise, orchids, proteas and calla lilies.  If you’re a wild flower lover like I am, you’ll also be pleased to know that because of the variations in soils, Portugal can also reap bountiful crops of sunflowers, morning glories and magnolias.  Having such a large assortment to choose from, Portuguese florists are well versed in designing an eclectic menu for customers for all sorts of tastes and preferences.  

Tags: Flowers Worldwide, Exotic Flowers, Worldwide Flowers, Orchids, Lavender

Wild About Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 05, 2017


My favorite blooms in the whole world are tropical orchids.  The color, structure, florets, foliage and scent are all attributes, which keep this variety of flora and fauna one of the most sought after flowers in the nation.  Unlike other species, orchids have a sort of funky presentation that illuminate a magical and care free spirit.  Many believe that people with out going, creative and imaginative personalities are immediately drawn to them because of their own unique individuality.  Orchids are also available in a hundreds of different flavors and can cost anywhere from a few dollars to thousands depending on the breed.  Over the last three decades, orchid collecting has become a fashionable pastime for botanists all over the world, where additions of rare varieties are said to be valued in the hundreds of thousands.  I figure you have to really like orchids to be willing to spend so much but if you’re looking to start a compilation that starts a little cheaper, why not check out these affordable species sold in greenhouses near you!

Phalaenopsis

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This variety is probably very familiar to people because it is sold everywhere including flower shops, nurseries and even grocery stores.  Phalaenopsis come in a wide variety of hues including white, pink and mixed.  If you have a sense of humor, you can even find them dyed in yellow, orange and blue.  Most of the time, you can find a pretty decent one for only $19.99 and you should be able to get at least four weeks of blooms out of it when watered properly.  

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Mokara

If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, you might want to invest in the Mokara Orchid since it is easy to care for and forgiving enough that it can withstand a bit of neglect.  Available in cut or plant form; they are easily mixed with other flowers or stunning all by themselves in a vase.  This species also is grown in a spectrum of color such as orange, yellow, pink, purple and red which is majestic in presentation.   

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Cymbidiums

Although cymbidiums can be a bit tricky to care for, they’re well worth the effort because these plants are stunning for any home or office to display.  Depending on the breed, cymbidiums can either be very inexpensive or very expensive.

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Orchid Plants

Nancy Reagan Left a White Orchid for Barbara Bush

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jan 05, 2017

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the above photo and below text appeared on The New York TImes archives page on Instagram 1/5/2017 https://www.instagram.com/nytarchives/

nytarchivesBefore he left the Oval Office to attend the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan took one last look at his desk. @jrlopeznyc — a retired staff photographer who now works as a freelance picture editor for @nytimes — captured this scene on January 20, 1989. He was one of about a dozen photographers in the room that day. “Unlike other situations, we were not being held back or put in a certain area in the Oval,” @jrlopeznyc recalls. He decided to wait near the desk, but he remembers watching @whitehouse photographer @petesouza take photos from a 12-foot ladder. The next day, @nytimes published this photo and described the president and first lady's departure. “Mr. Reagan put out both hands to touch the desk as though to hold it in his memory," we reported. Meanwhile, Nancy Reagan spent the morning searching the @whitehouse, making sure she’d packed everything. In an empty drawer, she left a note for Barbara Bush, along with a small white orchid. — @kermac, @nytimes social photo editor #inauguration #regram

 

Tags: President, Character, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers, Orchids

Hot New Flower Trends for 2017

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 30, 2016

Whenever a new year rolls around, you have to expect a whole new floral fad to go along with it!  Although 2016 focused on compact arrangements styled after European influence using soft and neutral colors, 2017 is showing signs of a completely different look for the future.  Architecturally inspired pieces are being scene photographed on the hottest industry covers and are likely to be the next big thing in flowers!  Sticks, branches, leaves and other minimalistic material are being sought to replace “bushier” blooms such as hydrangeas and asters.  Orchids such as cymbidiums are replacing these blossoms and changing the “smoothed out” style to a much brasher, funkier appeal. Think sleek, sharp and tightly groomed, florists are after this edgier method of combining stems and hopeful that Bostonians will take to the trend.  Pastels and even hues are also out and have been replaced by tones that acutely contrast one another in ways never seen before. A year ago, we would have thought these colors clashed but now experts can’t get enough of the fascinating demarcation.  We’re raising the bar for floral design in 2017 so take a peek at what’s going to be hot and what’s not!

In - Orchids continue to be the mainstay. Vandas, Miltonia, Cymbidiums and Phaelenopsis.

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In - Reds, blues and Greens for colors. Check out the new Black Pearl rose from Rosa Prima.

Out - round, mounded and compacted arrangements. It's about time this design style has died. While appreciated in its simplicity, skilled floral designers have grasped the importance of symmetry and framing each flower. 

Out - Blush Pinks, Cream and White-All Pastels. 2017 is all about colors and energy. If we can have an orange president. Expect lime greens, purples, deep reds and greens to pop the landscape. 

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Tags: Orchids, Flowers, Trends, 2017

Trimming the Christmas Tree with Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 14, 2016

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

 

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

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photo credit via Cheyenne Tozzi's Instagram Page 

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

 

Cypripedium

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

 

 Phalaenopsis

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

 

James Story

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

Tags: Orchids, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

Beautiful Flowers that Resemble Other Fascinating Images

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 01, 2016

It’s not enough when a beautiful blossom is striking in appearance on its own but when it resembles something else such as a butterfly or flying dove, that’s pretty incredible!  Recently my aunt sent me some stunning pictures of flowers that really look like other people, animals and artifacts that inspired me to share them with you.  While studying the photos, I learned a few important things about visual identifying and the undeniable relevance of certain plantings to living beings.  Not only are they an impressive optical illusion, but these photos also impress the brilliance with which Mother Nature has created within her environment.   I love the “Dancing Girls.  Which are your favorites?

Monkey face orchid

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photo credit via boredpanda.com

Dancing Girls Impatiens

Impatiens_bequaertii_8509.jpg photo credit via strangewonderfulthings.com

Flying Duck Orchids

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photo credit via earthporm.com

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photo credit via earthporm.com

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Orchid Plants, Flowers

Mother's Day Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 27, 2016


Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away and florists are preparing fast to amaze their customers with gorgeous bouquetsworthy for mom.  Right about now, new seasonal varieties are being packed and shipped into Boston by the thousands with the hopes that this year’s holiday will be a hit with lush and fragrant flowers.  Whether you are drawn to purple lilac that reflects an English flare or a more exotic appeal of tropical branches and orchids, designers are whipping up an incredible assortment of stunning arrangements.  Don’t wait too long, because Mother’s Day is on May 8th, so you’ll want to get your orders in ASAP to ensure availability and delivery confirmation.  It’s also wise to do your homework previous to picking up the phone and dialing your florist.   One option is to visit the websites of renowned and celebrated local businesses to get a good sense of market prices and product alternatives.  Decide what style and color you wish to purchase and reserve your floral extravaganzas today!


Top 2016 Mother’s day Arrangements

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Viburnum is a big hit during this holiday because the season is right and the flower head’s flattering green snowball appearance is hard not love!  You can buy this variety as a mixed bouquet when pared with roses, hydrangea and other yummy spring flowers or simply clump a mass of stems together for this eye-popping effect!


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You can’t go wrong with a pretty assortment of mom’s favorites and lucky for us, there’s an incredible palette of color to choose from!  Yellow, pink, green, orange and fuchsia mixes are extremely popular but soft blush tones are also often requested. Show stopping varieties such as peonies, lilac and ranunculus are so beautiful together- how can you go wrong?

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While I’m a big fan of garden blooms, I also really enjoy the power of tropical blooms and the presentation they make in my home.  Phaelenopsis orchids are one of my favorites and they come in a spectrum of white all the way to bright pink.  If you really want to knock mom off her feet this year, ask your florists about plant and cut stem options for these beauties.  They’ll be a bit pricier than other cut flower arrangements but the reaction you get will be worth every penny when you give them to her!

Tags: Mother's Day, Mother's Day Flowers, Flower Arrangements, Orchids, Mothers Day

The Most Expensive Flowers in the World

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 09, 2016

Did you know that flowers are considered one of the top ten luxury items bought in the United States?  We usually don’t consider a bouquet of roses to be expensive enough to be deemed “luxurious” but still, according to surveys, flowers continue to remain a popular purchase for dispensable income.  


Interesting isn’t it?


But what if I told you that there are real varieties of plant species that have been recorded as sold in the hundreds and even sometimes thousands?  There are virtually species in existence that are regarded as priceless specimens, which are heavily sought out after to be included in rare flower and orchid collections.  There is proof that on auction, a priceless plant can demand close to a million dollars from bidders. I don’t know about you but the most I think I’ve ever spent is a couple of hundred dollars on ranunculus, hydrangea and chocolate cosmos arrangements.  Never, have I come close to spending anywhere near to the price tags hanging from some of the world’s most expensive blooms.  Have you?

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Saffron Crocus

Many of us have some sort of variety of crocus pop up from our gardens during the early spring but if you happen to posses this particular breed, we’re talking big bucks because the average price is around $1300.00 per pound for the nectar!  The precious herb, saffron, is derived from the pretty deep purple flower, which is why it is considered so valuable.  Since it takes several blooms to collect enough saffron to be ground properly, the flower heads are worth even more to owner.

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The Juliet Rose

We all know that there are many different varieties of peach and pink roses but have you ever heard of a rose costing five million dollars to create?  Well, in this case, the Juliet Rose is one of a kind and has infamously been named as the most expensive rose in the entire world!  Now commercially cloned this rose was a pioneer in the wedding rose world.

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photo credit: higherlearning.com

Rothschild’s Orchid

I’m an orchid lover, through and through but this species, which has a unique green and red striped head with long thin petals extending from the middle, supersedes my budget.  Each plant costs around $5000.00 per unit and sometimes even more depending on the seller.  Because of its beauty and rarity, the plant has come close several times to becoming extinct from thieves and hoarders who didn’t take care of them properly.  Now it grows sparingly in Malaysia.

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Roses, Flowers

The Magical Health Benefits of Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 24, 2016

I bet you didn’t know this but orchids are known to do a lot more than just provide a stunning floral décor for plant enthusiasts.  Particularly in regions of Asia and Australia, some believe that they can also induce beneficial health aspects to patients facing Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease.  Dating back to hundreds of thousands of years ago, orchids have been used to alleviate symptoms as well as cure sickness in ailments that otherwise had limited alternative medicine for.  Across the world in a multitude of different cultures, medical professionals and horticulturalists have experimented with the use of this tropical species and have found some amazing possibilities that extend outside of the floral industry.

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Recently, I became extremely interested in learning more about their special properties after starting a new writing project based on this concept.  Can orchids really heal the ill?  Can they really fight disease or remedy sickness?  Well, judging from my research, there is a strong account of documented material, which reports this as a true statement.  While certain orchids are more beneficial than others, parts of the plants including their tubers, roots and petals have been utilized in elixirs that are then added to teas and powders.  Although modern medicine relies primarily on manufactured drug treatments to assist patients, there is a whole philosophy, which surrounds itself around a more “natural” philosophy.  Does this mean we should start eating the orchids we buy from our florists?  Heck no!  In most cases, these tropical beauties can be quite harmful and in some cases deadly so its best to either ask your doctor or visit a reputable health food store outlet.

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But if you’re curious about this area of science, here are a few of the most interesting orchids that I’ve found possessing medicinal healing properties.



Dendrobium Orchids

Strengthens Eyesight

Increases the Immune System Function

Alleviates Symptoms of Cancer

Ant-Inflammatory Properties

 

Cymbidium Orchids

Assists fertility in both Men and Women

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Vanda Orchids

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Reduces Fevers

Treats arthritis

Remedy for Bronchitis



Tags: Orchids, Orchid Plants, Flowers for Emotional Health

What Does Your Favorite Flower Say About You?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 18, 2015

I bet you didn’t know it but when you choose your favorite flower, you are really saying a lot about yourself!  Whether you fancy daisies or orchids, each variety reveals characteristics, traits and even personality types that are commonly associated with specific blooms.  It’s not science or anything but dating and employment sites are beginning to utilize this factor in order to make successful romantic matches and job placement decisions. The outcome has been quite beneficial urging us to ask the question, “What does my favorite flower say about me?”  I’ve got to admit, I had to find out if this new technique really did hold some truth behind it so this is what I found out…

Favorite Flower: Chocolate Cosmos

Color:  Brown to Burgundy- Rich Color Tone

Special Characteristic(s):  Smells Like Chocolate

Personality Type: Creative, Energetic, Ambitious, Seeks to be Different

photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Yup, I can definitely see the comparison!  

Now it’s your turn!  What does your favorite bloom reveal about you?


Favorite Flower:  Roses                                

Color: Red, Orange, Yellow, White, Pink       

Special Characteristic(s): Lovely Scent, Soft Petals      

Personality Type:  Sweet, Kind, Calm in Tricky Situations, Able to Stop and                                 Smell the Flowers Nonsense Attitude




photo credit: Flower Factor via Lisa Greene, floral designer

Favorite Flower: Sunflowers

Color: Yellow, Red, Brown, Orange

Special Characteristic(s): Popular Flower

Personality Type:  Stubborn, Showy, Social,  Intelligent, Hard Working

In a Wide Range of Crafts




photo credit: Flower Factor

Favorite Flower: Orchids 

Color: Green, White, Pink, Purple, Orange, Yellow, Burgundy

Special Characteristic(s):  Rare, Medicinal Uses 

Personality Type:  Likes to Stand Out, Exotic

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Roses, Sunflowers, Flower Meanings

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