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Top Five Red Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 05, 2017


We all have our favorite color.  In many cases, we’ll most likely try to surround ourselves with as much of this particular pigmentation as possible including within our home décor, clothing and even the car we choose to drive.  We even tend to select flowers in the shade we prefer often possessing a love for a particular variety based on our favorite color.  I know it sounds strange but next time you visit your local florist, pay attention to what you’re buying and I bet you’ll see I’m right!  Due to this phenomenon, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a list of blooms that fit into your individual spectrum making it easier for future floral purchases?  Since many professionals are doing just this within their shops, why now browse beforehand to ensure your next experience will be a successful one!  

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Photo credit via Jeff Leatham

What to look for if your favorite color is RED.


  1. Red Gerbera Daisies- These happy flowers are available almost anywhere and will likely survive for at least one week if purchased by a reputable florist.  Their heads are usually large in size and resemble a daisy having similar shaped petals.  
  2. Red Roses- You might think that red roses are boring but the truth is, they still remain the most popular species in the world. A true classic in the flower world, red roses now grow in a multitude of different shades such as a lighter orange/red to deep crimson.  Talk to your designer about what tint you want and I am confident they can point you in the right direction.
  3. Red Amaryllis- Typically associated with the Yuletide season, red amaryllis can either be purchased as a cut stem or as a bulb, which you can plant outside in the spring.  The flowering head is formed like a bell and has yellow seeded pollen prongs located in the center.  If you have no patience for quick blooming blossoms, then you’ll love the amaryllis because it’s known for its longevity. 
  4. Red Poppies- Now these are some of my favorites both inside and outside of the garden and have a special place in my yard each and every year.  This sexy variety is often associated with romance and passion, probably due to the beautiful silkiness of its petals as well as its funky curving of the stem.  If you’re growing them outside, be sure to sprinkle the seeds inside the pods at the end of the season so they’ll return to you again next year!
  5. Red Anthurium- This tropical stunner is another long living specimen, which is predominantly imported from warmer climates such as Africa and Singapore.  The beauty of this flower is in its waxy surface as well as its heart-shaped structure, which makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day or as a plant in your home.

Tags: About Flowers, Colors, Roses, Gerbera Daisies, Poppies

Poppies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jun 01, 2017


I don’t know what it is about poppies but they have always remained one of my favorite bloomers from my gardens ever since I was a child.  I supposed we all become a bit enchanted with them after our first viewing of “The Wizard of Oz” but for some reason, this variety stayed long with me after Dorothy returned to Kansas.  The beauty of color and shape coupled with its dramatic personality in any arrangement or centerpiece makes me a loyal fan of this New England perennial.  

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Even though the poppy is a short lived blossom during the early spring months of the calendar, I assure you the investment of including a specimen within your collection is well worth the price.  For starters, no matter what you have growing nearby, onlookers attention will consistently be brought to this particular species due to its silky petals contrasting with the poppy’s typical dark center.  Even before the variety opens, you’ll notice the cool casing that protects the head before its ready to appear which is edged with a funky green moss.  I honestly take just as much pride showcasing the bud since it creates an interesting texture compared to other flowers.  


Once the poppy blooms and is ready to return for hibernation, the petals fall off leaving and even better presentation behind called “hens and chickens”.  These flowers are almost always light green in shade and hard on the outer shell.  Sometimes they have nodules surrounding the base but almost always there is a circular pattern much like a star at the top.  You can either leave them be in the garden or take them inside to be used in a cut flower arrangement.  Just remember before the fall arrives to break open the pod and spread the seeds around for a fresh new crop next season!


Fun Facts About Poppies


  1. Poppies are so important to Canada that they are put on the backs of currency.

  1. Poppies are associated with World War I as a symbol of remembrance and          bloodshed.  

  1. Opium is a derivative of the flower, which can cause hallucinations.

Tags: Wizard of Oz, Poppies, Flanders Field, Perennials

My Favorite Perennials

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 22, 2017

There’s a lot to love about summer.  The warm weather, beaches, swimming in the ocean and eating out on the back deck may be what comes to mind for you, when thinking about the arrival of the new season.  For me, it’s the time when I can enjoy the fruits of my gardening labors as last year’s blooms resurface once again.  It’s an exciting experience to watch the return of beautiful plants and flowers replenish my raised beds, almost always promising to grow bigger and stronger than the year before.  Since New England encountered a winter of heavy snow, which kept the ground moist during the chillier months, it’s a pretty good sign this summer’s offering will be impressive.  So what are my most favorite perennials I’m most anticipating within May and June?  Here are my top picks and information on how to grow them.

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Oriental poppies are one of those species that looks impressive no matter where you plant them.  They arrive early in late April when the feathery foliage begins to unfurl and the stem begins to sprout.  You’re going to have to wait for the temps to warm a bit before you see the silky petals make an appearance but when they do, it’s sure to be quite an inspiring presentation.


Hollyhocks are also one of those varieties I can’t get enough of, and even though I’ve planted more than a few, I can’t help adding additions each and every year.  The puffy blooms are stunning in mixed beds and fun to watch spike to heights sometimes towering over five feet tall!  Hollyhocks love nutritious soil and full sunlight, so be sure to plant them in open areas and remember to feed them occasionally.  

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When I was in the wholesale biz, my favorite import was always some variety of hybrid delphiniums.  The majestic stocks of blue, sapphire, white, pink, peach and mauve made such an impact on flower displays, I had to stuff my garden with several plantings.  Similar to the hollyhock in appearance, delphinium also prefers lots of light and performs exceptionally well in crowded beds.  Be on the lookout though for bees since they are also a favorite of the stinging insect.

Tags: Perennials, Hollyhock, Delphinium, Poppies, Garden, Gardening

What Is The Meaning of a Poppy Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 15, 2016

Poppies, Poppies, Poppies….


Poppy, Oh Poppy!


Poppy, oh poppy abundant and flowing

across all the fields you're still constantly growing.

As your seeds blow and find their own bed,

they're reminding us of the most glorious dead.


Glorious in the contribution they made.

Glorious for the price that they paid.

Glorious for fighting for what they believed.


Christopher K Bayliss

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“Poppies….poppies….poppies will put you to sleep…” From the most evil movie character of all time, the Wicked Witch of the West, we all remember when we first were introduced to this seductively powerful flower.  The Wizard of Oz is certainly the most popular frame of reference when discussing the symbolism and meaning of the poppy but in actuality, the gorgeous blooms extends to other interesting sources as well.  


Poppies grow throughout the world but were cultivated in abundance within the Orient where opium is an attractive and lucrative trade.  The compounds made from the flower are highly regarded as healing medications including other derivatives such as morphine and codeine.  With the exception of the seeds, the entire plant contains poison of some type or another, which accounts for its reputation for meaning “death” and “sleep”.  With the few parts that are non-toxic, bakeries often decorate their goods with poppy seeds on top of breads, cookies and bagels.


On the flip side of the poppy representing negative attributes, the flower can also be looked upon as a sign of opulence.  The stunning large heads that can be grown in shades of either purple, pink, orange, yellow, white and most popularly, red, dynasties throughout time have included this bloom in many important ceremonies and rituals.  Be careful which color you choose though because their meaning differs with every change of hue.  For example, darker varieties are given to newly wed couples in Europe to encourage a passionate and deep love affair throughout the years while the white is directly associated with fatality.  

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Another significant tie that the poppy is associated with is remembering the dead, particularly when speaking with those who had fallen during World War I and II.  Poppies were used as a symbol of respect and memory for loved ones and stems were strewn at the base of graves and memorials.  

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

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