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Floral Light Reflectors

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

As the days get darker, many of us suffer from light deficiency and yearn for the days when the sun stayed out until late evening.  Depression sets in and the coldness of winter blankets New Englanders, turning us into grievers for the warmer weather before.  It’s a real problem if you live in this region.  I know it certainly is for me so I try finding ways of supplementing the depletion of brightness by incorporating substitutions of light and illumination.  Sometimes I buy a new lamp or a set of aromatic candles that I know will promote a sense of joy and delight.  These seem like arbitrary notions but in all honestly, they work okay.  Besides, we all yearn for some sort of comfort until the spring arrives again, don’t we?  

isuzie_winter.jpg

Recently, I came across an interesting article that introduced a contemporary opinion about the development of serotonin in our blood levels (the stuff that makes us happy), which can actually be heightened by particular varieties of flowers!  They may be your everyday garden blooms but research shows a unique trait that can be quite useful to those who suffer from winter woes.  Is it their color or texture that wards off the grimmer months of the calendar?  Not at all…

It’s the perception that they all reflect light.

How is this possible you might be wondering?  It is a scientific fact that the petals of some blossoms are translucent enough to reflect beams of light.  By acquiring floral pieces integrated with specific varieties, there is a greater likelihood that those who endure seasonal light deprivation will find ease to their symptoms!  Sounds strange I know but truthfully, the theory makes sense when you combine this idea with other floral characteristics.  For instance, pleasant aromas are proven to increase happy cells (serotonin) in a person as well as an eye-appealing visual stimulation.  Flowers already possess these assets so why not elongate beneficial properties to include light?  

If you’re not convinced by this phenomenon quite yet, take a peek at these stunners that are now being utilized in health facilities around the Boston area.  

tulips_in_boston.jpe

You might think that any species that grows in a shade of white will work but tulips happen to be the best!  Part of the reason is behind their color of course, but the texture of the petals is what really seals the deal.  Try putting a few stems in a glass vase by the window and watch the spectrum of light lift your mood to sweeter places.

Garden Lace has been utilized in Japanese culture for centuries as a strong producer of positive energy.  Tinted in soft pink with a yellow center, the petals remind one of tissue paper because of their delicate weight and surface.  If you can’t find this variety, opt for a peony with similar hues since they are similar to one another’s physical characteristics.  

Tags: Snow, Tulips, January, winter

The Meaning of the Tulip

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 14, 2016

Two Tulips


You walked past

the speed of life hit me

Like two tulips touching

because the wind blew

in a certain direction

with a certain strength


By

Tark Wain

tulips_in_boston.jpg

Tulips are a favorite of many because they are grown in a variety of different colors and are easily attainable throughout the year.  These bulb flowers are one of the most popular items bought from nurseries and are usually the first bloom to rise during the early spring.  Lucky for tulip lovers, there are hundreds of thousands of different varieties so there’s a pretty good chance that you can find whatever shade, texture or size that appeals to you.


Most people don’t know that tulips have an extensive past and are not as modern as they may have previously believed.  The initial recordings of its existence began during the Ottoman Empire where troops named the bloom after society’s cultural wardrobe.  The original word used to describe the tulip was “tolipend” which directly translates into “turbans”.  Wild fields of tulips apparently grew in abundance during this time making it a common bloom for people to pick.  It wasn’t until much later when they were given as gifts to the Netherlands who made them into a major cash crop and exported them around the world.  Once the tulip hit Europe the era of “tulip-mania” began where the flower became a fashionable icon for countries such as England, Holland and particularly France.  Many famous painters chose to use the bloom as the focal point for their art and can be seen today hanging in prestigious locations including castles, museums and political hubs.  


The meaning of the tulip is vast and depends solely on the color of the head.  If the tulip is red, then its meaning can be associated with love, loyalty or death.  If it is white, then it could mean birth, virginity or loneliness.  When the color is yellow, then it can mean infatuation or just a happy and cheery representation.


If you are thinking of gifting this flower to a friend or loved one, please research the exact symbolic meaning before buying tulips since your intended gesture may be misread.  When in doubt, pink tulips are the best choice since they are beautiful in presentation and can be interpreted with joyous and beautiful thoughts.

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

Fresh Cut Flowers By The Numbers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 06, 2016

Math and statistical data formulas are useful tools if you are into flowers because these applications can tell you a lot about the probability of success rates when plantings varieties, how many seeds you’ll need to plant and many other useful situations.  For example, what is you wanted to know the probability of how many bulbs you would need to plant to ensure you had 5 healthy plants bloom in the spring?  Or what if you’re planning your wedding and need to know how many stems of a variety you can afford to stay safely within your budget?  Florists utilize their numerical skills everyday when they make decisions about ordering flowers and providing just the right inventory for their shops.  Careful research needs to be done with forecasting sales so that they not only please their clients but also maintain a healthy bottom line in the accounting books. Trust me… it’s not easy!  If you hold an interest for flowers and data driven facts, you might find these figures fascinating that pertain to the industry of growing, exporting and shipping.  

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Do you see any fact or figure that surprises you?


  • 80% of all flowers in the United States are imported from other countries around the world.
  • The estimated amount of roses bought by suppliers for Valentine’s Day is roughly 300 million stems.
  • The flower industry made approximately over 31 billion dollars in 2015, a 5 billion dollar increase from sales in 2011.
  • With over 784 growers nationwide, the Gerbera Daisy is one of the most popular flowers in the United States.
  • 144, 000, 000 stems of tulips are circulated annually from wholesalers, Holland being the largest market trader.
  • Close to 2 billion dollars are spent on flowers each Mother’s Day making it one of the busiest holidays for florists followed by Valentine’s Day.
  • Working farms growing flowers only account for about 1% of the US population.
  • 30% of the gross income for farming comes primarily from their export business.
  • Garden Plants are still the most popular in the US for purchase followed by cut flowers and houseplants.  

Garden Plants

46%

Cut Flowers

34%

House Plants

20%

Tags: Floral Indusrty, Tulips, Flowers, Valentines Day, Plants, Mothers Day

Simple As 1-2-3 Floral Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 29, 2016

I really love flowers.

So much so that it’s hard not to want fresh arrangements in every room of my home every day of the year but the problem is, this addiction can sometimes get pricey.   It’s true there are hundreds of affordable options available to people like me that won't break the bank such as spring tulips and bulbs of narcissus that seem to be sold everywhere but what if I’m looking for more?  There’s nothing like looking at a mixed bouquet or a mound of wild flowers to brighten up a dreary day so how can we incorporate blooms into our everyday life without going flat broke?  You’ll be pleased to know that after careful research and years of experimentation, I’ve come up with a set of tips that can lift you out of the flower drought while still staying on budget.  By referring to these guidelines, not only will you be able to enjoy this delightful vice without spending exorbitant amounts of cash but you’ll learn a thing or two about designing on your own!  It’s fun, fast and as easy as 1-2-3, plus your aura and home will glow from the presence of having frequently displayed flowers.

tulips_in_boston.jpe

Tips for the Addicted Flower Lover


  1.  Tulips sometimes get a bad wrap from flower snobs who consider them to be beneath other exotic varieties but in reality, they are truly stunning when bunched together in a mass and dropped into an attractive container.  

Species such as French Tulips or Parrot Tulips are drop dead gorgeous and are cultivated in a broad spectrum of color leaving the possibilities endless.   They’re also relatively inexpensive if you're attracted to some of the plainer breeds which still have a lifespan of at least a week if not longer.  Dutch tulips are ranked number one in the industry making their lifespan a few days longer than other competitors.  One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you cut tulip stems a little shorter than desired because they actually stretch in height as they soak up water.


  1.  If you have a garden, pull out the clippers and snag a few of the early spring arrivals that might be starting to pop up in your yard.  Plants and flowers such as forsythia, grape hyacinth and daffodils make perfect kitchen and bathroom arrangements and come in cheery tones of bright yellow or lavender/purple.  They won't cost you a thing plus you know that they’ll last being brought straight in from the garden.  I wouldn’t wait too long though since these flowers despise the heat and only last during the cool and wet days of early spring.

  1.  Did you know that you can grow flowers from seed all throughout the year?  That’s right!  All you need is a warm and sunny window to harvest your very favorite blooms and it won't matter a bit if there’s still snow on the ground.  Put away some packets from your summer stash and start growing your own whenever you feel like it!  

Tags: Floral Design, Flower Arrangements, Tulips, DIY

After the Snowpocalypse - What Will Bloom First in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

So there’s still a lot of snow on the ground but things are starting to heat up around here in Boston!  Pretty soon, the gutters will stop leaking, the ice on the driveway will melt and our shovels will be put away until next winter but guess what else will be changing soon?  Our gardens!  Yes, my fellow New Englanders, I promise you there’s actually life in the works happening right below those last few feet of blanketed snow.  You may be looking out your window in disbelief, but it’s a fact that a snowy winter can actually be beneficial to our flower and vegetable beds.   This is because the snow acts as a warm cover and becomes its own watering system long after the fruit and blossoms have reaped their seasonal harvest.  Herb gardens can do particularly well within this case, benefiting varieties such as rosemary, sage and thyme.  New plantings of basil and some types of parsley can be expected, but all in all your herbs will thank old man winter for his snow fury.  So what should we expect to see bloom first in our backyards after the clean up has occurred?  Here are some beauties to look forward to until spring officially arrives…

 crocus in boston

Crocuses

Crocuses are probably the number one flower that appears first in most New England gardens.  Originating from the iris family, crocuses bloom from what are called “Corms”.  The ability for the heads to extend through colder weather and even snow make this a desirable plant for garden lovers as well as their beautiful colors that include purple, violet, yellow, white and even striped.  Another bonus of including crocus in your plantings is that they are very hard to kill and will spread and multiply over time. 

 

Tulips

If you haven’t planted tulips in your yards quite yet, here are a few reasons to get you motivated.   Grown from a bulb, Boston soil is ideal for cultivation because they love cold winters and dry summers, which holds common to this area.  Native to southern Russia, these beauties are ultimately bred in almost every color imaginable including black, blue and multi-colored.  A tulip head can have one or double petals surrounding its center often resembling a stunning silk cocoon.  The perennials are perfect as edging for garden borders or placed in clumps to present a beautiful floral display. One thing to be mindful of if you live near a wooded forest area, deer absolutely love to eat this perennial and will chew the heads clean off if not guarded by a gate. 

 planting bulbs in boston

Hyacinth

Hyacinth is another spring season starter, arriving soon after the crocus and right before the tulips.  The plant is tied to Greek mythology believed to hold the blood of one of Apollo’s victims killed in battle. The shape of the hyacinth resembles a skinny beehive with several bell-like buds that run up and down the thick stem.  Available in shades of pink, white, lavender, yellow and dark blue, the flashy bulbed plants possess a sweet smell that will fragrant your home or garden.  Cuttings are remarkably durable so don’t forget to utilize hyacinth in spring bouquets and centerpieces! 

 Suzie Canale

Westwood MA

she had hundreds of bulbs to her home in Westwood every year.

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, Tulips, Hyacinth, bulbs

Popular January Flowers in New England

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 07, 2015

Brr, it’s cold out there but we still love our flowers!   During the chilly month of January, the blues might set in and a beautiful bouquet is just the thing to cheer us up.  Although there is a plethora of choices that Boston florists can offer you, there are certain blooms that are more appropriate for this time of year.  Reasons might include durability, availability and color shades which makes them popular and a wise selection when browsing window case coolers.  I realize we all have our favorites (mine is the chocolate cosmos, virtually impossible to find in January) but trust me, now isn’t the time to be stubborn.  Opting for flowers that are not seasonal can often lead to high costs and a premature lifespan of the plants.  Don’t worry, I’m sure one of these blossoming beauties will satisfy all of you Bostonians until the warmer temperatures roll around again. 

 

Paper Whites

paper_whites_boston

Paper Whites are a delicate variety related to the daffodil family.  Its simple but elegant appearance makes them a flexible fit for any décor or room style.  Paper Whites are gifted with the characteristic of a strong smell that is sweet and aromatic for your living space.  The stems are often sold in bulb form either already potted or organized in bags for their owner to maintain.  These are a great pick after the holidays because they are long lasting and affordable for every flower budget.  

 

Roses

roses_in_boston

You can never go wrong with roses for a couple of reasons.   For one, they come in a variety of colors that most florists carry daily within their shops.  Number two, roses come from a multitude of states and countries around the world, so they’re pretty accessible which is a good thing because low inventory means a higher price.  Another pro is that they are universal in appeal and if fresh, they can withstand a fair amount of time in a vase.  Places that are ideal for roses to be grown from are Holland, Ecuador and California.  That is until your own garden roses begin to bloom again!

 Tulips

tulips_in_boston

You might think that tulips are boring but in all honesty, they are remarkable in breed, size, color and affordability.  Available the most during the colder months (they hate the heat), tulips are carried by an extensive list of retailers because they are pre-sleeved and already set for merchandising.  This factor allows pricing to be relatively low, usually costing anywhere from $6.00 to $15.00 for 10 stems depending on the location of the store.  Their packaging makes them a great grab-on-the-go item and another bonus is that they are easy to care.  Something to keep in mind is that tulips stretch in length so if they are put in oasis, you might have to double trim their stems to keep the desired height of the centerpiece.

suzie_c Suzie & Ryan Canale, Newbury Street, Boston 2014

 

Tags: Boston Roses, Paper Whites, Tulips, January

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