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Trends in Late Spring Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, May 28, 2018


You might be seeing a lot of hype lately over certain seasonal blooms we’re typically accustomed to in the northeast this time of year.  Unlike other plants and flowers that grow during the fall or summer, springtime varieties have a certain magical quality around them that their counterparts just seem to lack.  Maybe it’s because we’ve waited so long to see their arrival or maybe they presume a delicate presence among their soon to be followers like roses and sunflowers. Whatever the reason, when the May bulbs finally decide to poke their heads out of the newly thawed earth, New Englanders tend to swoon over their presence.  What’s not love, really? Spring blossoms are some of the most stunning species to ever sweep over our lawns and gardens, which also make perfect clippings to fill up our floral vases. If you are in need of adding this type of landscaping to your surrounding property, here are my favorite bulbs to plant every fall!

Fritillaria


This is honestly my most anticipated flower to watch out for every May because of its funky shape and cool coloring.  Appearing like an upside-down bell, fritillaria is often purple in color with speckled dots across the petals. Although there are different hues available for purchase, this variety grows traditionally in the Massachusetts area.  One thing to keep in mind though- fritillaria is happier growing in soil than cut for arrangements, which will considerably shorten the bloom’s lifespan.

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Peonies


Peonies are pretty standard for New England spring bulbs and luckily for us, they will last a bit longer than its seasonal competitors such as tulips and hyacinth.  This flower will bloom large, fluffy heads on a bush along with green foliage that stretches up and down the stem. Due to their popularity, peonies are the number #1 variety requested by spring Boston brides and continues to be cultivated in more and more colors to satisfy a growing selection.


Bearded Iris


These are probably the most majestic species out of any spring bulb due to its fierce appearance and striking array of color.  The bearded iris only blooms for a short time before the weather turns too hot but boy is it worth planting a few around the house to really make the yard “pop” for those few weeks in May and June.  Bearded Iris grows in shades of purple, pink, red, orange, yellow and even black so there’s a ton of options to choose from!

Tags: Peonies, Spring, May

The Dandelion Craze

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 27, 2018

In the world of flowers, we are constantly sorting different species into a multitude of categories for a variety of different reasons.  For starters, it helps the pros generalize the bloom’s properties as well as project its performance characteristics when deciding which flower will work the best in each alternating piece sent.  What this really means is that florists are constantly problem-solving issues like climate control, maintenance and availability of products for clients in an effort to keep customer satisfaction high and steady.  Years ago, we could almost generalize a template for commercial versus personal floral sales consumption, being able to pinpoint a list of suitable flowers for contrasting types.  As you can imagine, it started making things blatantly predictable and maybe even a bit boring, which are two reactions we look to ban in the floral industry.  Luckily, new trends are able to mix things up a bit where we find unlikely varieties of flora and fauna being utilized in unconventional ways.  Because of this, not only are designers able to give a fresh spin on traditional bouquets typically sold for cash and carry but we’re able to actually cut costs depending on the species.  An excellent example of this is the revived popularity of the dandelion.

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photo via https://www.amazon.com/Dandelion-Taraxacum-officinale-Seed-Needs/dp/B002TB2OIO

I know what you’re thinking… It seems crazy, right?  A dandelion is commonly looked upon as a mere weed in the midst of a garden but what happens when you relabel this little yellow bud as the central attraction to a beautiful centerpiece?  Not only are dandelion’s much cheaper in price (most of us could probably go pick a bunch right from our backyards) but they also arrange easily with a wide spectrum of flowers.  Once a mainstay in Roslindale Square, Dandelions Flowers is no longer next to Delfino's, but its legend lives on.

Tags: Spring, Trends, garden flowers

Spring Flowers to Add to Your Spring Cleaning

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 06, 2018

It’s finally SPRING and part of this season’s chores are dusting the cobwebs from darkened corners to get ready for a brighter season ahead.  For many of us, our chores consist of washing floors, cleaning drapery, changing up the linens and other tedious tasks that are reminders of more temperate temperatures soon to arrive in our near future. It’s a whole new section of the calendar most New Englanders have waited six months to enjoy so it’s no wonder why we put forth so much effort in the upcoming weeks.  While we often become overwhelmed with the daunting jobs that we’ve waited a whole year to resume, there are a few ways to make the process more enjoyable-especially for you!


If you are a lover of flowers but need an excuse to indulge in the cost, then look no further…  Adding a fresh bouquet of flowers to your home as you spring clean can bump up your efforts to create a more beautifully, smelling home.  While we associate the springtime with ideas of newness, freshness and vitality, we can also use these motifs to showcase within bouquets and centerpieces.  Blossoms native to the Boston area during this time period are perfect reflections of this sentiment and will look incredible as a showcase piece once your cleaning is done.  Need a few recommendations for New England spring cleaning bouquets? Here are examples of the best blooms to reward yourself with!

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Crisp and White Blooms

The shade of white is often associated with cleanliness and rebirth which makes it one of the most popular hues for colors during April and May.  There is an abundance of white flowers that grow natively around these parts that contain breathtaking smells promised to infuse your entire home.  Lily of the Valley, Snowdrops, Crocus and white hyacinth are among my top four varieties to place in every freshly, polished room.

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Fragrantly Fresh

Once we put away the Windex and Pledge bottles, often we look for something to mask or diffuse the chemical smell.  One way to accomplish this is to place a vase of strongly scented blooms to disguise leftover fumes until they have vanished from the house.  Suggestions for this include any type of aromatic rose, grape hyacinth, fringe tree branches and freesia. If you are wondering what other species might be available from other countries, ask your local florist for a possible request for purchase.


Colorfully Inspiring

Sometimes we get excited to see new bursts of color during the spring months and lucky for us, we have a ton of options to choose from!  Mix hyacinth with ranunculus, sweet pea and tulips for a striking arrangement or opt for a single massive bouquet of green hellebores! Spring is all about giving light to color so don’t be afraid to sprinkle a little rainbow of shading into your arrangement.  

Tags: Hyacinth, April, Spring, daffodils

Spring Flowers and Their Scents

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 02, 2018

New Englander’s love the idea of no more snow, no more shoveling and no more layering clothing with a dozen wool pullovers to keep warm.  If you live around these parts, you probably agree that although the first snowfall can be a beautiful sight to behold, the daydreaming of warm beaches usually follows quickly.  That’s why the first blooms of the fresh spring season are an exciting event in the northeast and are often looked upon as a sign of better things to come. Who doesn’t love the blankets of crocus, daffodils and hyacinth sweeping across our backyard lawns and the beautiful addition of bright color that replaces the dismal ice we’ve lived with for months.  It’s a welcome change to look forward to each spring although there are a few of us who can be bothered by a select portion of their properties…

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Flowers can be troubling for those afflicted with allergies, particularly when it comes to the scent.  While many varieties have less ability to produce a strong smell, others produce a fragrance that is quite pungent and can be annoying to some.  If you belong to this group who ducks for cover every time blooming season arrives but still would like to enjoy the beauty of flowers, you might want to take a look at this list which separates the stinky species from the less assuming.  No one has to go without a cheerful bouquet of seasonal bloomers as long as we recognize the species set that will be less bothersome to their health issues.




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artwork via aboutflowers.com

Stinky        VS    Less Stinky

Narcissus (←same family→   Daffodils

Hyacinth         Poppies

Lilac                Tulips

Clematis         Crocus

Stargazer Lilies       Hydrangea

Sweet Pea       Ranunculus

Lily of the Valley       Anemones

Tags: Lilacs, Hyacinth, Spring, About Flowers

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

Allergy Season Is Back

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 23, 2018

There’s very little not to love about New England’s spring season when skies become bluer, the air smells sweeter and the temperature rises to a comfortable 72 degrees.  In most cases, people around these parts are automatically put into better moods and seem to enjoy the days a bit more once the ice and snow melts away.  Yes, March, April, May and June offer a bright and happy chapter of the calendar with the exception of one tiny problem…ACHOOOOO!!!  Yes, those poor allergy sufferers out there might want an exemption from the spring season and if you’ve ever experienced any of the common symptoms, you’ll have every idea why.  While those with immunity towards environmental pollen might be ticking off the days until they can frolic freely outside once again, this might not be the case for others…  Chest pain, sneezing, headaches, watery eyes, wheezing and sore throats can be a total drag and leave those ailed in complete misery from now until summer rolls over.  

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Due to the extensive range of severity in reaction to new growth from trees, grass and flowers, thousands of Bostonians must stay vigilant of keeping their health on track so they don’t wind up in the hospital.  How do we keep those nasty allergies away?  One good start is to know exactly what specific type of species are the most threatening and then do whatever you can to avoid contact.  If you’re unsure of what to look out for, here’s a list of the most common flowers that might be a smart idea to leave out of your weekly order.  If you see something that you’ve always loved but realize it’s in your best interest to avoid, take a look at the right column where I’ve listed substitutions that will still give you your blooming fix.

Common Allergy Inducers 

Forsythia     

Chamomile                  

 Daisies                          

Sunflowers                    

Asters                     

Dahlias                     

Lilies                       

Jasmine                                        

Roses

If you're looking a less chemical soother than Clairitin, my husband swears by Simply Saline for his allergies. 







 

Tags: Spring, Health, Allergies

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

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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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

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