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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Rosemary Infused Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 06, 2018

If you’re a decent florist, you know how to use a multitude of different materials to keep things fresh looking on a daily basis.  Arrangements need a “change over” just like any other product line in order to maintain a steady sales track for a continuous customer flow.  No one likes to see the same thing over and over again and if pieces consistently only showcase blooms such as carnations, lilies and carnations, you’re risking the threat of boring clientele.  As the flower industry is well known as one which is incredibly difficult to flourish- let alone survive within, this is an issue professionals should take seriously.

rosemary and flowers 

The question is…  How do we design arrangements that are dependable for a good four to seven days after purchase while still becoming a presentation that is impressive for display?  

One way florists are implementing a summertime makeover is by using a variety of plants that reflect both of these requirements.  Any guesses as to what they might be?

HERBS!  Yes, herbs are becoming more and more useful in floral design due to their interesting texture and beautiful color.  Depending on what variety is available, we are able to manifest exciting visual presentations while still satisfying a reasonable life expectancy for the finished product being sent out.  One type of herb that is really make head waves is rosemary, which just happens to be one of New England’s favorite seasonal plants to view both in the garden and inside homes.

When we look at the reasons why rosemary might be the answer to our prayers in terms of reviving our bouquet production, these characteristics might put things into perspective:

  1. The strength of stem is sturdy in both bouquets and centerpieces.
    1. This herb has an impressive longevity as a cut flower.
      1. As long as the water is changed, the aroma is another alluring feature rosemary offers.
      2. The dark green needles mix well with a multitude of different colors especially sunflowers, delphinium and nasturtiums.  

 

Tags: Rosemary, herbs, Summer

Repurposed Summer Flower Vases

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jul 05, 2018

I’ve written a lot of blogs in the past about summer flowers that make amazing indoor arrangements.  It is after all, my favorite time of year when it is incredibly easy to spot stunning bloomers for both indoor and outdoor purposes.  Maybe your thing is sunflowers or roses? Perhaps a heaping pile of blue/green hydrangea or pink perfection peonies? Whichever way your floral boat floats, summer in New England is one of the best places in the word to design pieces compiled of beautiful wildflowers.  If you are like me and love to put their green thumb to use during this season, you may have already constructed flower beds with your preference of chosen varieties. If this is the case, you’ve already probably begun clipping some of the earlier favorites such as sweet pea, helioborus or bachelor buttons that seem to be cultivated everywhere.  Have you made arrangements for your dining room, living room, bathroom or bedroom already? I can attest that I sure I have!

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Once you’ve been bitten by this bug to design your own floral displays, we come to an important question of what we will display them in?  You might have a particular vase you like to use or maybe you don’t care as long as the container doesn’t leak. In these cases, you should arrange your bouquets in whatever you’d like but if you’re looking to find ways to expand your vase collection, I just may have some tips that can come in handy…

 

Unlike popular belief that floral containers have to be vases, many top designers have looked outside the traditional vessels and gone for some unique ideas that are fun and attractive.  Sometimes by choosing something that is a little different, we can create a fantastically original piece no one has ever thought of before! Search places in your house such as the attic and basement first.  These are the most likely areas where you’ll strike “JACKPOT!” for unexpected cool flower holders. Often, we forget about the old jars we were saving for that big canning project or an antique water-tight tin where we used to keep our pencils handy.  These are only two examples of what you may already have that make incredible containers for your wildflower clippings. Other suggestions might include:

Coffee Tin Containers

Soup Containers

Pots and Ceramics

China Sets

Tea Cups

Old Milk Bottles (Glass)

Scotch/Jim Bean Bottles

Wine Bottles

Water Bottles (Glass)

Beer Bottles (Glass)

 

These are merely a few ideas to get you going but go on the hunt yourself and see what turns up!  You might just be surprised by the treasures you find…

Tags: Summer, Vases, Sunflowers

Summer Flowers That Make Great Indoor Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Jul 03, 2018

Everything around us is up and blooming here in New England with beautiful foliage and flowers popping up from the green ground!  Whether we are growing our own summer beds or just enjoying someone else’s landscaping efforts, Bostonians are stopping often during their daily busy routines to embrace the beauty of summertime blossoms and the significant appeal they add to the view.  Personally, I love to check out what everyone else is cultivating in their yards, particularly varieties of blossoms that can be easily cut and transferred in to the home. Making your own arrangements during this time of year can be both rewarding and therapeutic, making it a popular past time for many.  Of course, there are certain blooms that are better for use in this hobby that browsers should be aware of when browsing the selection. Zinnias, hydrangeas and roses are some of the more dependable species but if you don’t see these where you live, there are plenty more to choose from. Be on the lookout for wild sweet pea, lavender, catmint, peonies, sunflowers, sedum, nasturtiums and yarrow if you don’t have issues with serious allergies.  Types that may be difficult to remove along with possibly shortening their lifespan are poppies, morning glories, scabiosa and lantana so be aware of what makes a great clipping as opposed to a bad.

budget flowers

photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Once you spot something you like that will withstand the procedure, grab a good pair of sharp clipping shears and snip the stem at the base.  If it is attached to a larger limb, be sure not damage the existing plant so that another offshoot will grow in to replace the one you took. Small samples of flowers are perfectly okay to use in indoor arrangements but taking the base plant can end up killing the entire thing, allowing no growth to return at all.


The next step is to immediately pace the summer bouquet in a clean container of warm (not hot!) water.  If the vase you are using is a bit dusty and you want to give it a quick rinse before designing your flowers, be sure not to use soap that will cling to the edges.  The cleanser can kill off your blooms quicker than anything, which can act like a poison to the stem. Depending on the varieties you’ve chosen, you may have to change the water frequently to avoid buildup of murky liquid-a not so pretty presentation for the flowers you’ve collected.  Place in a warm to cool area that does not exceed temperatures past 70 degrees and enjoy the blooms for as long as they last!

Tags: Sunflowers, Summer, July

Some Flowers Like It Hot

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 27, 2018


If you know a little about flowers, you’re well aware of the rules to follow if you want to make your centerpiece last:


  1. Clean Water
  2. Fresh Stem Cutting
  3. Quality Supplier
  4. Temperate Thermostat Conditions
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The last one is particularly important, especially if you’re trying to pick up the perfect vase of blooms for a friend.  Living here in New England, there is a wide skew of preference for setting indoor temperatures, depending on both your internal comfort as well as the time of year.  While many of us do just fine in our homes setting the heater on 65 degrees, others like things to be just a tad bit warmer at 70-75 degrees. Here’s where we head for some trouble…  If you know the person you are gifting flowers to is habituating in conditions similar to Florida, then we need to select varieties based on that factor. Certain species have absolutely no shot at surviving in homes with heat standards hovering towards the tropics and will prove quite disappointing fairly soon after receiving the bouquet.  Don’t think about calling your florist to complain either because some of the responsibility to maintain healthy blooms should fall on you. Expecting a bunch of tulips to preserve its beauty in a space with temperatures held in the 80’s in just plain ludicrous so you’ll want to do a little research before sending fleurs to a loved one in a hospital (they are notoriously sweltering hot) or to a neighbor who likes to walk around in t-shirts in the middle of the winter.  


Don’t lose hope though…  Lucky for florists (and you), we’ve found plenty of species that are both stunning to gift as well as tough against typically undesirable locations.  While roses may not be the best option in cases like these, you’ll be happy to know there are a slew of others that are just as attractive to present to a family member or friend.  Jot down the names that appeal to you and ask a local florist about availability the next time you want to send flowers to someone with warmer weather condition preferences.


Do Ask For:

Orchids: Especially Phalaenopsis and James Story

Cymbidiums: Green do particularly well in the heat as long as they are fresh

Birds of Paradise: Native to the rain forest

Ginger and Protea

Succulents


Do Not Ask For:

Lily of the Valley

Sweet Pea

Garden Roses

Peonies

Ranunculus

Tags: Tropical Flowers, Summer, Orchids

Still Trending This Summer - Succulents

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 18, 2018

If you’ve been following what’s trending in gardening news, you probably noticed that succulents are still one of the most requested plant species for at home gardens and summer events. These exotic and beautiful creatures have been implemented in everything from bridal centerpieces to patio potting, making them a popular purchase at local nurseries.  What exactly is the definition of a succulent? Succulent:  Succulent plants, also known as succulents, are plants that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. The word "succulent" comes from the Latin word “sucus”, meaning juice, or sap (According to Wikipedia).  If you have a backyard soiree to host over the next few months, succulents might very well be your best friend when it comes to table arrangements and decor.  For reasons of cost effectiveness, versatility in shape, interesting texture and readily availability, most greenhouse, nursery and florists are now stocking up on this particular inventory throughout the whole year.  If you haven’t already experimented with succulents within your flower beds or deck window boxes, I’ll give you another reason for enticement…

succulents

Succulents are amazing in the fact that they are grown in many, many shades of color.  It is possible to find species in tones of red, orange, yellow, green, pink and purple so no matter what your preferred palette might be, there’s sure to be a plant in this family that will certainly please.  

 

Here are a few of my favorite breeds:

Hens and Chicks

Panda Plant

Jade Plant

Pincushion Cactus

Crown of Thorns

 

Fun Facts About Succulents:

 

  1. They originate from arid, dry climates so they need little water to survive.
  2. Succulent jewelry making is becoming a big thing in the arts community including necklaces and bracelets.
  3. Overall, succulents are pest resistant so they won’t get “buggy” like other varieties.
  4. They will weather well indoors once winter arrives in New England.
  5. Cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti.  The “Christmas Cactus” is an example.

Tags: Succulents, Summer, Trends

Flowers for Your Summer Cottage

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, May 25, 2018

The salty air is beginning to waft off our coastlines and people everywhere in New England are thrilled to be dreaming of near future visits to our gorgeous beaches.  For some Bostonians, they might even be lucky to own or rent a cottage on the Cape, Maine or Rhode Island in the next few months where they will enjoy the closeness in proximity to the ocean.  New England summers are a treat for us locals so we tend to accentuate the season as much as possible with barbecues, pool parties and evening get togethers on the porch. Foods such as shrimp, lobster and clams are a theme for these events but other areas of party planning are equally qualified for the same sort of inspiration-namely flower arrangements.

beach_theme_flowers

photo via aboutflowers.com

While we usually select blooms such as red berries and pine greenery for winter décor, summer time reflects a whole other field of wild blooms of a softer palette.  Mimicking the motif of a beach cottage, these varieties are softer in nature with hues of pale peaches, whites, creams and blues. Top designers around the city try their best to replicate the sensation of the sea and sand within their pieces so customers will take in the “feel” of the beach even if they are remaining within their city dwellings.  For me, this is my favorite time of year when blossoms represent a core attribute of peace and tranquility, especially when displayed near the oceanfront. If you are anticipating a love for summer flowers reminding you of past/present days spent on the seashore, check out these “can’t miss” bouquets that envelope the meaning of beach living in New England.

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Stunning flowers to request or replicate on your own which convey a beachy feel are those that are light, airy and whimsical.  This may sound like a strange description but species such as delphinium, lace flower, ranunculus, garden roses and wisteria are perfect examples of what I’m talking about.  If you live by the shore, take special notice of any blooming shrubs such as hydrangea that love the salt air-they make great clipping for inserts in arrangements. Peonies are another excellent variety that goes cuckoo for a seaside habitat, particularly those that produce buds of sweet pink, cream and blush.  I also like a fresh vase of stems that have been gathered from around the yard in hues of deep blues and purples. If you’re planning a summer getaway to the ocean or just enjoy the notion of the idea, treat yourself to a cottage inspired arrangement which will keep you happy throughout the warmer season!

Tags: Summer, Beach, June, July, Hostess Flowers

Introducing the Indian Summer Bouquet

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Sep 14, 2017

indian summer.jpg

Featuring orchids and hydrangeas, Indian Summer lets us hold onto summer just a bit longer. 
Loaded with texture, this arrangement feeds our memories of summer as we head into fall.
Shown at $99.95, we also offer a modest version at $74.95 and a Premium uograde at $149.95
We can deliver this bouquet same day anywhere in the 617 area code and most of the 781. When you need a Boston flower delivery, we've been here for eighty eight years. Pick up is also available at our florist at 609 American Legion Highway in Roslindale.

Tags: September, Autumn, Summer, Fall, Trends, Floral Design, Flower Arrangements

Flowers for the Sea Lover

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 04, 2017

I love just about anything connected to the ocean including the sand, surf and all wildlife crawling about the shores.  It’s a place in my life where serenity is naturally cultivated by the sounds, scents and views saturating every inch of canvas making the seaside my number one destination for retreat.  I’m assuming I’m not alone and perhaps you feel the same way about your annual summer visits to the beach.   Being in New England, unfortunately our time spent there is fleeting due to the fact we only have a few months to enjoy it.  I know I can admit to having serious withdrawals once September rolls around since I know it’s not long before the warmth is replaced by the bitter realities of winter.  It’s hard to say goodbye to somewhere you love when you know it will be another nine months before it’s time to pull out the umbrella and towels once again…

beach_theme_flowers_boston-resized-600.jpg

If you’re like me and have experienced this depressing moment of truth, maybe I can give you a bit of advice on how to resurrect the blissful ocean ambiance until the new season calls upon us?  There are a lot of helpful tips including adding scented candles to your home, making sand terrariums, listening to wave recordings, or painting rooms in similar shades of blues and seafoam green.  All of these ideas are great suggestions and are bound to help you through the snowy months of the calendar but might I suggest another coping mechanism to get you over the chilly hump?  

beach_theme_flowers.jpg

photo via aboutflowers.com

Flowers make excellent props for setting a similar beach scene within the comfort of your own home and will also provide you with the perfect dose of aromatherapy to boot!  Yes, certain species of plants and blooms will give the suggestion to your brain that you can still experience the attributes of the shore while you’re still bundled up inside.  Check out this list of sandy shore flowers, which will enhance your mood and senses until you’re back in the ocean swimming again…


Beach Flowers:


Beach Roses American Beach Grass Eastern Showy Aster


Rose Hips Beach Pea Columbine


Hydrangea Black Grass Lavender


Golden Rod Heather Beach Plum

Tags: Beach, Summer, About Flowers, Floral Design

Kids' Flower Bouquets

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 17, 2017

It’s summertime and parents all over New England are looking for fun activities to distract and entertain the kiddies for the next several months.  Hopefully encouraging them to play outside, there are so many wonderful things to do to pass the time, many of which you can find hidden in your own backyard.  If you have a child who particularly loves gardening, here’s an idea that might be perfect for you!  Do you have a bed of flowers and a few old masons jars lying around that need to be repurposed?  If you do, here is an excellent craft to teach your children while also bringing the beauty of summertime into your homes.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Kid-Friendly Directions for Making Arrangements


Materials:

Cutting Shears Masons Jars


Water Flowers


Green Thumb


Directions:

(Your child will need to be supervised during this activity.)

  1.  Take the cutting shears and snip off shoots that are bright in color of differentiating lengths.  Depending on the child’s age, you may want him or her to do their own cuttings so you’ll want to remind them of the plants they are allowed to snip and the ones they are not.  Excellent species to use for this type of arrangement are catmint, hydrangea, nasturtiums, campanula, yarrow, sunflowers, sedum, butterfly bush and lavender.  

  1.  Fill the masons jar with warm, temperate water (not cold) and set aside.

  1.  Once you have your floral clippings ready, place one at a time in the vase, fluctuating between colors and lengths to design an attractive an interesting piece.  Be sure to turn the jar as you add stems to avoid off balanced bouquets and clumping.  Try to only touch a flower once as well because the more times the petals are disturbed, the greater chance of bruising or breakage.

  1.  Once you have filled the vase, bring the piece inside and place on your table.  If you have more spare containers and an overflowing garden bed, create several others and gift to loved ones and neighbors.  

Tags: Bouquets, About Flowers, Kids, Crafts, Summer

Beachy Blooms

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Aug 18, 2016

The summer is coming to an end and hopefully you’ve enjoyed several fun filled days enjoying the warm activities that this time of year blesses New England with.  My favorite destination spot are the beaches on the north shore that never disappoint with their crystal clear waters and beautiful rocky landscape.  One feature that I particularly love is the stunning blooms that grace the seashore with tranquil color and sweetened fragrance.  Being a gardener myself, I have often tried to replicate this “beachy” scene within my own backyard, trying to use the same if not similar varieties accustomed to the ocean habitat.  Truthfully, it’s not easy because if you’re like me who lives inland with forestry surrounding their home, it can be difficult to succeed within our compromised growing conditions.  For one thing, our soil does not drain as well as sand so it’s imperative to find plants that can adapt to both potting environments.  The second factor is the lack of salt in the atmosphere, which beach flowers typically thrive on.  The third issue can be a lack in sunshine or direct light if your beds are hidden underneath branches or enlarged shrubbery.  Although this seems like a depressing abundance of obstacles, I assure you that there are some species of flowers that will do A-okay if you can tweak your gardening regime just a bit.  After some trial and error, I’ve found this list of successful bloomers that will bring the ocean essence to your backyard no matter where you live.

HYDRANGEA.jpg

Photo credit Lisa Greene via Flower Factor

Hydrangea

Hydrangea is one of those flowers that are always associated with the beach, particularly in shades of blue.  Like many of their seafaring friends, they adore the sodium (NaCl), which makes them bloom happily well into the fall season.  If you’ve visited Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll no this to be true hydrangeas can also be planted in other areas, too.  As long as the soil is soft and well watered, this bushy flower can flourish in yards or as part of a summer garden.  Hydrangeas also prefer a little bit of shaded area so for those of us whose backyards are overgrown with trees, that’s really no problem for this variety to survive within.

beach_theme_flowers.jpg

photo credit - Lizzie Borchers via Flower Factor 

Beach Grass

Beach Grass is a fairly prevalent shrub that grows along our coastline with little to no maintenance necessary.  I have planted several of these bushes on my property and with the exception of watering them during dry spells; they really require little effort on my part.  One tip to make them grow larger each year is to cut them at the base when October arrives to ensure a healthy return the next spring.   


Summer Asters

I love these little beauties because they represent a “wildflower” appeal that can be grown not only close to the seashore but also in meadows, forests and almost anywhere else you can think of.  If you have raised beds, then the soil will stay a bit warmer which they’ll thank you for during the colder winter months of the year.

Tags: Flowers, Summer, Beach, Hydrangeas, Floral Design

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