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Exotic Flowers in Boston

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

How to Say Thank You with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 20, 2018

We’ve all been taught at a very young age that saying our “thank you’s” is one of the most important manners we can ever learn.  The idea is drilled into us over and over again along with a multitude of different ways we can express our gratitude. For some of us, it’s a personal speech, while others prefer to write a touching letter or perhaps the gesture of sending a thoughtful gift.  For those who love to shower loved ones with beautiful blooms, sending a floral bouquet to express appreciation is a wonderful deed to get in the habit of doing. Not only will a fresh vase of blossoms brighten their day but the act can also communicate a deep sentiment unlike other options you may have tried in the past.  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the bank with overly expensive arrangements or purchase enormous centerpieces to get your point across. Nope- you can make a clear and concise “thank you” statement just by selecting an affordable mix of springtime flowers. If you have a special someone who you’d like to express recognition for making a difference in your life, check out these sensational styles that your local florist is bound to already showcase.

tiger lilies

It’s a well-known fact that roses go with just about everything, which makes this species the perfect choice to praise someone with.  Pink, orange and yellow hued varieties are the most popular when fulfilling this type of order but you can request just about any shade you want and they’re promised to be a hit.  Just watch out when sending red roses since this can certainly come across as a mixed message.

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Sunflowers are one of the top requested blooms for cheering someone up, apologizing and yes-sending a big thank you for something wonderfully done.  Sunflowers are now available pretty much year-round making them an easy choice, plus they are likely to survive a bit longer than other comparable varieties.  Pair with yellow roses, freesia and mimosa for a stunning bouquet or simply send a single package of a ten-stem bouquet. Both will knock the socks of their recipients!


Lilies are a frequently sold variety for this type of purchase because of their showy presence and overall like-ability with customers.  Pink lilies are a wonderful shade to say “thank you” as well as Asiatic breeds such as orange and yellow. Although white lilies are often associated with death and funerals, there’s no rule against swapping their meaning to show your sentiment of gratitude.  

Tags: Thank You, Language of Flowers, Sunflowers, Lilies

Flowers in a Box - Trend or Foe

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 29, 2017

As you might suspect, most florists fulfill orders by sending mixed bouquets and other carefully arranged floral pieces, which have been designed to present a professional appeal.  For the most part, this used to be the preferred way of doing things where artistically constructed flowers were sold in vases as a finished product and ready for presentation as soon as they’re delivered.  Traditionally, this is the way the retail aspect of the industry has operated for centuries although recently, Bostonians have been making a request that is leading florists towards unchartered waters.  Interestingly enough, clientele are asking to arrange their own varieties of bouquets, nosegays and other blooming treats instead of designers doing it for them.  Where most flower shops have always done the mass creating single handedly, more and more people are begging to give floral styling a try for themselves.

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While designing your own flowers has made the supermarkets the floral powerhouse they are. Why would you ever gift someone flowers that need assembly. It's like buying the ingredients to a great meal and asking them to cook it themselves.

Of course, if you are gifting yourself and who doesn;t like to treat themselves. Flowers are the perfect treat and arranging them gets your creativity going. 

We recommned tulips, roses, hydangeas, sunflowers, hyacinth, peonies and gerbera daisies as easy to work with while your beautifying your space. 

Tags: DIY, Flowers for Emotional Health, Hydrangeas, Sunflowers, Peonies, Flower Arrangements, Floral Design

Sunflower Picking in Massachusetts

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 08, 2016

I’ve always had a sweet spot for sunflowers in the summertime and clearly I’m not alone judging from the beautiful pictures I always see while scrolling down social media feeds.  Maybe it’s their happy faces or maybe it’s their colorful warm glow of yellow that triggers pleasant thoughts from onlookers.  For me, a sunflower’s simple elegance as it towers above all other flowers growing from the earth is what has kept this bloom my one my seasonal favorites.  

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The funny thing about sunflowers is that although they can be easily grown by seeds in a variety of different soil conditions, they are commonly threatened by wildlife such as chipmunks, rabbits and worst of all, woodchucks!  I have my own battles brewing in the yard against pests that bend the sunflowers stems until it snaps, allowing them easy access to the plant’s leaves.  Yes, you can attempt to stake the stalks but even that’s no sure fire way to ward of those horrible rodents from ruining your gardening efforts.  This year, I decided that I would try to out-seed the demand by growing three times the amount of sunflowers that I have in the past.  Right now, I have around ten sunflowers out of thirty looking hopeful but you never know when their number is up when it comes to critters.  After all, they have to eat too, right?

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So the better answer to enjoying these stunning summer blossom is to locate farms that professionally grow them, allowing you to not only view the sunflower fields but to also take a few stems home for yourself!  Typically, these are called flower-cutting farms where you bring or borrow a pair of clippers, tote a bucket and clip from their crops cultivated especially for this activity.  Make sure you ask what their rules are before cutting since many of these operations take the care of their harvest very seriously and what to ensure a long season of beauty for all.  


Interestingly, there are many places that offer this fun and memorable chance to clip sunflowers and here are a few that I’ve found to be wonderful so far!


Tangerini’s Farm         Indian Head Farm                  Land’s Sake Farm

 Spring Street                232 Pleasant Street                90 Wellesley Street

 Millis, Ma                       Berlin, MA                               Weston, Ma

Tags: Suzie Canale, Sunflowers, Gardening, DIY, #EXFL

What Temperature is Too Hot for Flowers?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 18, 2016

I’m a summer girl at heart and although the heat isn’t a favorite for everyone, I have to admit it’s the time of year I look forward to the most.  A day of high eighties or even ninety is a welcomed atmosphere, causing the seedlings to burst open and vegetables to grow almost full size overnight.  But one thing that may not appreciate the scorching temperatures is the cut flowers sold by local Boston florists.  The overwhelming humidity can be just too much on the delicate petals, no matter how fresh they are or what air conditioned spot they’re going to be placed within.  Something as easy as transporting fragile blooms in warm weather can cause the heads to wilt and the foliage to shrivel up and die.  Just like the chilling temperatures we New Englanders experience during the wintertime, which can irritate floral presentation with issues surrounding freezing, the summer can be equally as tricky due to the opposite conditions.  


So does that mean we have to go without beautiful arrangements until the start of fall?  Heck no!  

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phot credit: Lisa Greene via aboutflowers.com

You’ll be pleased to know that there are varieties in existence that can sustain severe increases in the thermometer readings.  By requesting these species from florists, we can continue to enjoy blooms all the way through July and August.  So what are these magical specimens that can fight the blaze of the sun?  Take a look below and see which one of these fabulous floral varieties appeals to you!


Sunflowers

This is the number one species that you should be looking for if your planning on throwing an outdoor party within the next few weeks because they’re a strong fighter against drooping and petal dropping.  Their stalks are extremely durable and for some reason and can withstand long durations outside with minimal water.  If you are expecting to use these as cut flowers in vases, make sure to change the water frequently if the containers are clear because it often gets murky pretty quickly due to the plant’s milky substance.  

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photo credit: aboutflowers.com

Zinnias

Zinnias are an excellent option because they are available in a zillion different colors and can also live through long heat waves. They are particularly perfect for July weddings when made as boutonnières, flower girl baskets or even hair accessories for the bride or her bridesmaids.  They’ll add a pop of color and also hold their shape until long after the ceremony ends.

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photo credit: aboutflowers.com

Celosia

This heather-like plant is a great additive to outdoor mixed arrangements because their feather appearance exhumes the essence of summer but also will maintain its erect stature no matter how hot the day becomes.  You might find it to be a little pricey but celosia is well worth the investment and promises to not let customers down.

Tags: Flowers, Floral Design, Sunflowers, Celosia, Zinnias

Lucky Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 02, 2016

The month of March is the luckiest time of the year when we search for four leaf clovers, leprechauns and of course, their pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  It’s the season of adventure, the season of mystery, and most of all, the season to find trinkets that we believe can bring prosperity to anyone clever enough to find them.  The magic that surrounds the idea of certain items enhanced with good fortune is a popular belief found throughout many cultures although Bostonians typically celebrate this during Saint Patrick’s Day.  Although we may never retrieve a perfect shamrock or trace the whereabouts of an imp’s treasure, there are certainly other tokens that are believed to be symbolic of “luck” and are quite a bit easier to obtain.  


One suggestion is to do a little research on varieties of flora and fauna that have been known to precipitate a shower of good tidings to all those who plant or place them within their homes.  In case you’re cringing, I wasn’t talking about those familiar green carnations that seem to arrive at the beginning of every March.  No, fortunately there are several other plants and flowers that have been labeled as “luck” driven conduits.  Although not all of them are shaded in green, these species are not only a good omen in your garden but also breath taking to feature in a favorite vase or landscaped bed.  If you’re looking to make a change from the traditional symbols of Saint Patrick’s charms, take a look at these varieties that promise to please and might even send good fortune your way!

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Peace Lilies

The name of this flower is literally the characteristic it holds, which is the ability to enhance peace and a constant flow of positive energy whether they are in your garden, office or on your dining room table.  A Peace Lily’s creamy supple texture is translated into the flower’s nature to smooth out disagreements as well as raise comradely.  Not only are they stunning in appearance and easy to take care of, they are easily ordered from local florists in and around the city.  

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Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo is the next most popular flower next to green carnations sold in the month of March.  The reason is because not only are these stalks inexpensive and readily available, they are believed to attract the five core luck factors (wealth, love, happiness, health and spirituality) to those who place them in a vase in their home.  If the funky abstract stems and cool presentation interests you, be sure to buy the stalks in multiple packs.  The more stems you have bunched together, the stronger the ability of the plant to attract the five lucky attributes.

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Sunflowers

Not only are sunflowers one of my favorite blooms having strong round heads with color resembling sunshine, but they are also know to bring safety and protection to your family as well as nurture positivity within the home.  Other attributes to sunflowers include and increase of fertility, cultivation of new relationships and the ability to ward of those who are not truthful.

Tags: Flowers, Plants, Sunflowers, March

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

Hot Flower Fads for September

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 02, 2015

Hot Flower Fads for September!


The summer is gone but not forgotten for Boston florists trying their best to impress their customers with a new fall line!  Designers are bustling behind their workbenches constructing cool and crisp floral products that will reflect the fresh start of a beautiful New England autumn.  In the past, popular styles incorporated bright yellows mixed with burnt reds typically found in roses and freesia but this time around, there’s a whole different approach for centerpieces and vase display.  If you like romantic fall colors integrated with a cozy “home” feel, you’re in luck because that’s just where the trend is traveling!  Color palettes, texture, size and height are being brilliantly engineered to match the essence of the season, which generally is defined by a warm and friendly feel.  After all, it won’t be long before we are all hunkered down once again for the east coast winter weather.  So here’s our last hooray for an outdoorsy and cool style just right for a September in Boston.


Sunflower Sensation


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Red sunflowers are not only glamorous but they are also rich in color which means they can be combined with several different varieties of flowers including gerbera daisies, mums and particularly roses.  My taste is tints that easily blend and don’t force a hard contrast visually.  There’s nothing worse than a flat red up against a bold yellow or blue.  Variegated orange garden roses are stunning within this style as well as hypericum berries, hay and green amaranthus.  One word to the wise, stay away from “propped up” pieces that can look cheap and junky like added fake fruit or stuffed scarecrows.  A simple presentation with these flowers is all you’ll need to impress!





Dreamy Dahlias

 

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Dahlias are another flower that trickles over to fall from summer and boy, are they fabulous in centerpieces!  Bright and cheery yet country themed as well, these beauties look great with just about any pairing, especially black or green calla lilies.  Ask for these in bubble bowls or fill your own antique jars and vases to create a lacy feel for a luncheon or evening dinner party.  Wedding planners also utilized dahlias in table centerpieces as well as boutonnières and bouquets.  They look perfect in pictures and surprisingly have an extensive longevity.  

Tags: Flower Arrangements, Flowers, Sunflowers, September, Dahlias

The Most Popular Late Summer Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 24, 2015

Summer Loveliness


One of the most glorious aspects of summer are the beautiful blooms that reflect the very essence of the season.  Varieties tend to be fragrant, bright and silk textured making them high in demand for Boston party planners busy scheduling New England weddings and soirees. Centerpieces for these events often set the theme so it is of the utmost importance that the right texture, color and scent be utilized correctly.  Height and width of these pieces are also detrimental in pulling off the perfect summer look and consist in a wide array including low and dense designs to high and wispy.  Depending on the client, designers can materialize millions of different creations using the plants customary to the northeast region during this steamy fragment of the year.  From the Cape to the Vineyard, tourists and natives will be impressed by the efforts of some of Bean Town’s most stylish florists.  Here are some of my summer favorites that have graced the tables of fancy and not so fancy New England partygoers!


Simple Sunflowers

Sunflowers should be your number one consideration if you’re looking to put together something for August whether it is a casual gathering for barbecue or tea or formal cocktail party or matrimonial affair.  For one thing, they come in a variety of shades including brilliant yellow and sexy red.  You can even find some that have tones of greens where you can mix and match the different types to make a stunning yet natural allure.  Glass bubble bowls are just right to set off the cheery heads that wont distract with complicated shades and styles.  Hosts will also love the added bonus of affordability.  Remember, summer is about being easy going and fuss free so let your wallets take a vacation too!


Grandma’s Garden Roses


There is a short amount of time that we can enjoy New England’s native growth so take advantage of what we have to offer during the months of July and August.  My grandmother took extreme pride in her rose gardens, which only got more and more breath taking as the years rolled on.  Ask your florist for tea roses that not only reflect a sweet and dainty appeal, they also have an aroma that is sure to be a people pleaser.  There is no shortage of color selection either where you can pick deep shades of pink and red or soft tints of cream and baby yellow.  Another bonus of garden roses is that you don’t have to intermix them with several varieties of different flowers.  They are great on their own cut either low or high in large bunches.  


Lavender Loveliness


Lavender grows like weeds around the Boston area during the summertime and we are lucky because it is a fabulous plant to use either cut or in planters.  If you are having a luncheon for example, take a few sprigs and stick them inside the napkins for a nice added touch.  Boutonnières are another great way to show off this flowering herb and look lovely when paired with ivy geranium or nasturtiums (which by the way is another summer stunner).  Lavender can also be put in a vase by itself if they are arranged in large clumps with varying species.  Explore the English, French and ivy varieties that are available to you!

 

Tags: Garden Roses, herbs, Flowers, Summer, Sunflowers

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