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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!


Hyacinth photo via

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

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.


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!


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

What Does A Late Spring Mean For Your Garden?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Jun 13, 2017

Right about now, you’re noticing that things are starting to warm up a bit outside after a very long-too long cold season.  Yes, sadly New Englanders have had to wait well beyond the typical arrival date of spring due to a lingering winter, making us all wonder if we’ll be skipping the outdoor months altogether.  Some may even be a tad bit pessimistic about how long they’ll be able to enjoy their favorite activities, particularly those who are green thumb enthusiasts.  Since the northeastern state’s gardening season is fleeting already, I understand how important it is to get out there digging as soon as you can.  To say that the fifty-degree temperatures we experienced in April, May and June provided a substantial setback is an understatement but believe me when I say there’s still hope.

 suzie canale.jpg

By doing a little tweaking of your usual planting strategy, you can still harvest a gorgeous garden filled with beautiful flowers and delicious veggies.  Species that have fast germination periods are wonderful choices to rely heavily upon instead of putting all your prayers into slow growing plants.  For vegetables, try picking out seeds such as snap peas, lettuce and green beans- they’ll shoot right up after only a few days of temperate weather plus they usually prefer the cooler weather anyhow.  If you’re a stickler about planting only seeds instead of purchasing ready 6-pack trays from greenhouses, you may want to rethink your philosophy this year.  Even though it’s a lot more fun and cost effective to grow your own, plants like tomatoes and eggplant won't have any shot at all unless you started them indoors around the time of March.


Something else to think about since we are definitely seeing a pattern of later spring arrivals is the possibility of investing in raised beds.  Plants growing in above ground containment will likely have a warmer soil temperature, which will boost their growth earlier than what is planted straight in the ground.  If you’re worried about cost, you can build your own simply by using slats of wood that can be nailed together in either square or rectangular shapes.   Perennials in particular adore this type of growing atmosphere and typically will come back closer to their regular schedule.  

Tags: Gardening, New England, Spring, Vegetable Garden

Graduation Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, May 30, 2017

Tis’ the season for graduations in Boston and we couldn’t be prouder of all seniors who are moving up and out into the world!  Whether you’re becoming a high school or college grad, there’s bound to be tons of celebrations surrounding your accomplishments in the academic world.  No doubt, family and friends will be gathered to witness the big moment when your name is called and you receive the diploma that will guide you towards the next chapters of your lives!  With all the festivities soon arriving, parties will be in full swing hosting yummy buffet dishes, live entertainment and hopefully a stunning presentation of floral décor.  Haven’t gotten that far yet in your planning yet?  No problem!  Here’s a great list of options and ideas to get the graduation motif wheels turning!  Pay close attention to the difference in styles recommended per age gap as well, since florists have already designed a unique set of creative floral menus specific for each.


School Graduates

High School graduates need a little something different compared to college students because they are just taking their first big leap of living on their own at a college or university.  For this segment, try either incorporating their new school’s mascot colors in flowers placed in bud vases or arrange quick and easy blooms such as wildflowers or garden perennials.  Daisies are one of the most popular species as well as gerberas, zinnias’ and sunflowers to be used for high school graduation parties and bouquets.  Cute accessories like adding a key to a mason job also sends the perfect message for them to go out into the world and find the key to their own success!


Tags: Traditions, Graduation Flowers, Spring

Spring Flower Trends

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 08, 2017

I don’t know if you know this but with each changing season, it brings a whole new floral palette of design, color and contrast.  Living in a busy hub such as Boston, you can only imagine the diverse transformation our florists make once the calendar flips back to the springtime months of the year.  I for one am thrilled for the fresh rejuvenation of different species and varieties being used in bouquets and vase work.  It’s not that the hardy species we live with in the colder months such as roses, gerberas and hydrangea aren’t nice but I’m sure you agree with me it’s time for something different.  


In the past, pastels have owned April, May and June as the top requested style in everything from cash and carry out to wedding bridal jobs.  It’s pretty easy to figure out why since ranunculus, sweet pea and hyacinth are among the top natively cultivated varieties as well as the highest imported from countries around the world.  Their delicate and soft presence does mirror the slight increase of temperature and the rebirth of nature re-growing again but I’ve got to tell you…the theme is getting a little old.


Just by taking a look around us, we can matriculate our own unique vision of flowers in springtime.  Bulb plants are naturally popping up from the ground such as red tulips, yellow daffodils, blue crocus and purple grape hyacinth (my fave).  We don’t have to get complicated by our selection if we merely become aware of what is on hand already!  Grab a pair of clippers and take a walk through your yard noticing all of the new generation the earth is accomplishing.  If you have a perennial garden, you might have access to a whole other trough of goodies such as delphinium, poppies, clematis and alliums.  All of these different kinds of blooms might not exactly match perfectly at first glance but when you combine them all together, you’ll be amazed by the outcome.  Designs do not always have to match so get a little wild and try making your own springtime bouquet based on the gifts that Mother Nature has already given us here in New England.  Be bright, be bold and GO FOR IT!

Tags: Flowers, Spring, Trends

Persephone The Goddess of Spring

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 01, 2017

 There’s nothing like a nice romantic tale to get one inspired about the changing of a season-especially when the story is about the Greek Goddess Persephone.  If you remember your high school English studies when reading Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, her name might resonate with you as the bringer of spring.  Of course, how she became the symbol for growth and rebirth is quite interesting if you’re not familiar with the lure, which entails abduction, war and love.  Since these are the three essential ingredients to any great romance fable, the story of Persephone is ideal for all those enticed by the magic of Greek legends.


Rosario Dawson as Persephone in Percy Jackson 

Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the Goddess of Grain and Agriculture, who was responsible for the nourishment of man through harvest as well as the cycle of life and death.  Diameter is often depicted as a strong female carrying a torch and a bundle of wheat while wearing a crown.  Persephone’s father was the superior God Zeus, the ruler of the sky and all of the Olympian Gods.  He is usually identified as having long curly hair, iron muscles but being an older man in his late fifties to sixties.  His idols are a scepter and thunderbolt and he is most commonly seen sitting on his massive thrown.

One day while Persephone was playing in a freshly grown field with her friends, she was stolen away by the underworld God Hades to become his wife.  When her mother, Diameter found out that her daughter had been abducted, she killed the earth’s harvest including flowers, plants and anything associated with agriculture.  When Zeus was informed about the kidnapping, he had to appease the Goddess’ concern and promised to rescue Persephone since nothing new would ever grow again until she was returned.  Unfortunately, when Olympus was told that she had already eaten the forbidden food of the underworld, a pomegranate, Zeus had to allow the girl to stay with Hades for a portion of the year of six months.  Although Persephone stays with her husband during the wintertime where the earth is cold and dark, she is promised to return to her mother each spring, which is marked by the blossoming of fruit, vegetation and a new beginning.

Tags: April, Spring, Mythology, May, Goddess, Persephone

April's Cool Weather Is Perfect for Pansies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Apr 15, 2017

Spring is finally here and so isn’t the frenzy for pansies!  Pansies are the number one flower sold from garden centers and florists this time of year, particularly here in Boston where the weather can still be temperamental.  It’s not uncommon for New England to have an intermittent rough patch of chillier weather during the months of March and April (and perhaps even a touch of S-N-O-W) so this variety is the perfect fit to withstand these conditions.  Even though the pansy looks pretty delicate, the bloom is considered a “toughie” in the flower world due to the fact that they can withstand temperatures anywhere above twenty-six degrees Fahrenheit.  That means unless the ground freezes, your pansies have a fair shot at surviving because of their natural hardiness found in their stem and root system. Very few other flowers can perform as well making this breed a highly attractive and highly demanded plant.


Another reason to invest in this species as your first springtime landscaping addition is their beautiful assortment of availability in color.  This blossom is readily sold in a spectrum of rainbow shades including straight and variegated tones.  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink-it’s all at your fingertips if you’re looking to match a certain shade to your home or simply desiring to create a potpourri assortment.  If you would like to browse some of the fancy flavors, here are a few to get you started!

Delta Pansies

Deltas are the most typical kind of pansy you’ll find in the northeast because they easily rebound off of difficult weather and also have the ability to overwinter in some regions.  These varieties also have a large face with over thirty colors and mixtures, which continue to grow year after year.  If you’re the impatient type, you’ll love Delta’s since they are the earliest bloomers out of any other subunit.  

Tags: Gardening, April, Spring, Pansies

What Is Your Opening Day Tradition ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Sun, Apr 02, 2017

From 1979 to 1987, I collected a lot of baseball cards. I ran to the corner store to see the first packs arrive or sat inside the store waiting for the stores to reload their inventory. Topps baseball cards always sold out and I could not never get enough of them. I devoured the statistics on the back. Did you know that Bill Buckner struck out only 26 times in 657 at bats in 1982? I did and still do. I still have many of these baseball cards and grab a handful almost daily and still read those stats. As long as my eyesight will allow, I always will.
Opening Day is here and I could not be happier. Baseball is on the television, the pc, the Pixel (never been an i-phone guy), the radio and in the air. It's likely that you are not as enamored with the game as myself, but baseball connects us.


Please celebrate Opening Day with me and open a pack of baseball cards. This is my Opening Day tradition and I am honored to share it with you.
see you at Fenway !

Rick Canale.jpg

Tags: Baseball, Traditions, Spring, Opening Day, topps

Climbing Flowers for Homes

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Mar 02, 2017

Spring is right around the corner and that means summer gardening is soon to follow!  During the months of March and April, it’s still too cold to begin harvesting in the backyard but it is the perfect time to start planning for materials and other necessities you’ll need.   On your list, be sure to write down shovels, mulch, soil, plant food and any other gardening tools you prefer to use during the outdoor season, particularly the seeds you’ll want to start as soon as the weather warms.   Seeds are a wonderful way not only to save money but to also preoccupy the time before the earth thaws to a comfortable temperature.  Select any blooms that tickle your fancy and give them an early boost by planting them indoors, inside containers set by a window.  This will benefit your garden if we have a late spring arrival as well as spark their longevity once it’s time to re-pot to the outdoors.


photo credit via Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

One area pre-started indoor seedlings can become extremely useful is when they are being implemented to scale the exterior of houses.  If you’re a fan of this landscaping style like I am, you’re probably already dreaming about the species of sensational blooms you intend to display.  Do you love Morning Glories or do you prefer purple clematis to scale your home’s architecture?  Believe it or not, there are millions of choices available to you and most are successful no matter what the material of your house is built out of.  So if you’re bored with simple side plots and window boxes as your main gardening project, take a look at these stunning species that make dynamic and romantic presentations when utilized as New England floral climbers.  

Morning Glories

Morning Glories are fantastic garden climbers and reproduce shoots quickly once they get going.  Their beautiful blue heads are shaped like trumpets and open and close from sunrise to nightfall.  They are typically annuals although they drop seeds and will re-generate the following summer so be sure you have a large enough space for them to grow maturely.  


Clematis is usually a favorite of well-experienced gardeners because it is a colorful yet dependable plant to include in your flowerbeds.  Available in a wide array of hues, they are capable of climbing anywhere you train them to although they won’t multiply so they can live happily in a small area of land.

Nasturtium “Flame Thrower”

Nasturtiums are my number go-to when it comes to planting seeds because they are fiery in color and gorgeous when they begin to extend their tendrils, which clip onto whatever is closest.  Much like the Morning Glory, the heads are bell-like except the blooms stay open throughout the day.  

Trailing Sweet Pea

Another one of my beloved varieties is the Trailing Sweet Pea, which curls itself over other flowers it’s nearby with its delicate bending stems and foliage.  They are soft pedaled plants and will often disappear once the heat arrives from summer but they will make a massive impact on your gardening efforts from April to late June.

Tags: Gardening, Spring, Gardens, Nasturtiums, Gardner Museum

A Fashion World Filled with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 26, 2016

Flowers aren’t just used for display on your dining room tables-no sir.  These delicately bold gifts from Mother Nature are hitting the fashion world by storm, inspiring some of the most talented designers of the world to create spectacular frocks and accessories!  From daisies to roses, these striking blooms are headed straight for the runway, adorning exciting cutting edge presentations of fashion.  Not only are pant suits and dresses being accessorized with both faux and real blossoms but also scarves, hats, neckties and more!  If you’re a style lover who’s looking for an inspiring new look for 2016, search no further.  The conservative, sleek cuts are out and the gregarious flower fru-fru is in.  Move over Ms. Versace and Mr. Lagerfeld, there’s a fresh vogue turning heads in the fashion department bringing fun and flair to this year’s clothing racks.  Take a sneak peek at these innovative, provocative and glamorous tailored trends!

31360-Gown-Of-Flowers.jpg Gown of Flowers - photo credit:


Quoc Binh- Cosmos Pattern

photo credit:



Tags: Flowers, Fashion, Spring

Spring Inspired Salads

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 15, 2015

Things are starting to warm up out there and its that time again to find yummy vegetable and fruit dishes!  For some, it’s because bikini season is right around the corner but for me, I love the freshness and bright color that is seen in springtime meal options.  The yellows, greens and reds are just a few shades that are appearing more and more as the temperature rises.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts are all being created with a new rainbow flare that promises healthy and happy glow in Boston foodies.  One section of the menu is also heating up with promise- and that’s the salads!  There are now other options available to us “greens” lovers that step outside the winter boundaries of garden and Caesar salads.  Restaurants all around the city are showcasing their newest creations that envelop interesting and tasty ingredients that vamp up the classic salad plate.  Whether you’re someone who enjoys simplicity or someone who enjoys eating dangerously, here are a couple of favorites that grazed my palette with scrumptious perfection!


                         photo credit:

For the Fruit Lover

Salads infused with berries are growing to be one of the most requested dishes by patrons.  You might think the combination is strange but trust me when I say that strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and even blackberries drive a sensational sweetness when combined with spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and shaved carrots.  The best matches for dressings are wide in variation but I prefer balsamic vinegar with this type of salad because it intertwines the sweetness with a pinch of tart. 

Tree fruit also makes wonderful additions to salads, making them both tastier and healthier.  Clever chefs have incorporated apples, peaches and plums to romaine lettuce based salads, causing an incremented draw to these out-of-the-box options. 


                                              photo credit:

For the Vegetable Lover

I’m definitely situated in this department because I’ve been known to throw in a handful of chopped broccoli and cauliflower to my dinner salads.  The benefit from doing this is to charge up your vitamin intake while still keeping the meal low on calories.  If you want to get fancy, sample an Asparagus Farro Salad that has ingredients including spinach, cranberries, walnuts and Parmesan cheese.  Or how about throwing in some Lima, wax, green, red or black beans to infuse some extra protein?  Recipes I’ve tasted that were stupendous were Super Duper Bean Salad and Easy Pea Salad created by that have simple instructions on how to make your own.  Tear off a piece of pita bread and constructed a salad sandwich to really get decadent with salad dining!

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA




Tags: Chef, cooking, Spring

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