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What Are Your Valentine’s Day Plans This 14th?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 12, 2018

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If you belong as part of a happy couple, I hope you are all aware that this Wednesday is Valentine’s Day.  You know what that means, right?  It’s time to get ready to celebrate the holiday of love with that special someone and to make sure this year is a memorable one-you’ll need to get crackin’ on those plans!  Why is it important to stay on top of your V-Day game and not breeze on by it like it’s no big deal? Because the sentiment you leave behind on Valentine’s is quite often the lasting impression that follows you for the rest of the year.  If you’re really into your significant other, you don’t want to jinx the relationship, do you?  Of course not!  If you’re not sure how to navigate the tricky waters of romance, here are a few tips that will help you communicate to your girlfriend/boyfriend how much they mean to you.  Make sure you don’t procrastinate any longer and get ready to jump into the warmth and fuzziness of Valentine’s Day!

 

V-Day Check List:

 

Don’t assume she/he isn’t looking for any recognition as your special sweetheart.  Everyone wants to feel loved, especially on February 14th.  However simple your gesture may be, it’s an important one to make so if nothing else-gift a card that says, “I Love You”.  If you want to go the extra mile, hand make the card or write a poem.  These are guaranteed to become keepsakes for many years to come.

 

If they have a sweet tooth, candy makes a great present!  Pick up some hand dipped chocolate strawberries or try picking up a box of Dove, Ferrero Rocher or my favorite- Russell Stover who makes one of the best assorted chocolate mix truffles on the market.  You can even swing for a higher end variety such as GODIVA who also makes a rich and tasty treat!

 

While some give the thought of jewelry as a token of their love, you may be looking for something a little less expensive and a bit less intense for your relationship (although Valentine’s Day is an excellent time to get engaged).  As said above, handcrafted items are the best gift and you don’t have to be an artist to create them.  Easy-peasy ideas include making a collage of all the special things you feel about that person (include trips, experiences and photos of the two of you), cook a special meal that they love (read on if this sparks your interest) or better yet- make your own jewelry such as a beaded necklace or bracelet they can wear to always remind them of you!

 

Back to the food part I mentioned earlier…  Restaurants in Boston can get over booked fast and may not be in your budget this month.  If this is the case, then take a good look at a family cookbook where you can dig up a delicious dish just right for the occasion.  They’ll appreciate the effort and the time it took to make your Valentine’s Day special.

 

Last but certainly not least-don’t forget to order your FLOWERS!  A rose for your rose is a sure fire win every February 14th!

 

Tags: Valentine's Flowers, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day Flowers 2018

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 09, 2018

Another February is upon us and florists everywhere are hoping to make this year’s Valentine’s Day a memorable one for all the couples out there celebrating.  February 14th is the largest flower holiday in the industry so designers are working their tails off trying to come up with trendy bouquets and arrangements while still supplying the traditional favorites we annually look forward to.  Boston continues to be one of the leading cities for setting the floral pace around the country and 2018 looks to be yet another year where Boston experts won’t disappoint.  Whether you’re looking for an interesting centerpiece with a nouvelle style or hoping to purchase the good-old-reliable dozens of roses, florists will have you covered with a stunning array of Valentine’s Day flower picks.  Not sure yet what you want to gift your lovey this 14th?  Check out these popular assortments of multi-colored fleurs which are sure to appropriately express the sentiment in your heart.

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Say it with PINK!

If you’re not ready yet to go all the way admitting you’ve fallen in love, there’s a second type of selection you might want to try.  Pink is a beautiful shade which not only gives a solid expression of “like” but also mixes well with many different hues of petals.  Pink is the perfect choice for a new interest in your life or for younger couples (perhaps in middle school/high school) who seek a more innocent gesture.  Pink Valentine’s Day flowers are also ideal to express friendships or thoughtfulness towards a family member (a son to a mother for example).  Pretty varieties grown in this shade appropriate for this style would be gerbera daisies, orchids and of course, the infamous rose.


Get Your Exotic On…

Knowing this look isn’t for everyone, I will not deny the segment out there searching for a floral design that expands outside traditional designing.   For some of us, a fresh and funky vibe is exactly what we need to let a special someone understand-we’re not the typical suitor.  If you think this might be you I’m talking about, keep reading… You don’t want to just hand over a bunch of pretty petals to the person who makes your heart beat, “THUMP, THUMP!”  Heck no!  You want to impress them with a piece that’s not your everyday ordinary arrangement.  In this case, try requesting designs with architectural significance such as branches or tall blooming varieties.  French tulips, cherry blossom, calla lilies and mokara orchids are excellent options as well as forsythia and amaryllis.

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You’re Traditional and that’s the Way You Want to Keep It-

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to keep things the same way they have always been.  After all, where would we be without the long stem red rose or the perfect red ranunculus?  These are the staples and very basis for floral design on Valentine’s Day and there’s no law being broken with wanting to celebrate that.  Hold it to mind that if this is the way you want to go, wonderful red varieties to add or replace the red rose include anemones, gerberas, james story orchids and “red sox” calla lilies.  If you’re sticking to what works best, have a conversation with your florist about which red rose species they’ll be using.  The specific name can make all the difference in the world.  

Tags: Valentine's Flowers, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

What to Do on Valentine’s Day in Case of Blizzard

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 08, 2017

If you’re a florist, you’re probably laughing already since you are well aware that Valentine’s Day blizzards are a probable occurrence if you’ve set up business in New England. Some of us believe that there is a long-standing curse against the flower industry where at some point we must have ticked off the “flower Gods” in some way or another to deserve this heinous punishment.  It is after all our Super Sunday so to speak-I mean seriously, why can’t the weather turn incremental on a holiday like Saint Patrick’s Day or Halloween?  

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photo credit via Boston Globe

Valentine’s Day means that we have one day to deliver the goods, a forty eight hour time frame to get the job done so a mess of powdery white stuff can really slow things up!  It’s not like we’re going to take the day off and go home or anything.  We’ll still be up at four in the morning, tackling last minute orders and sending out drivers onto the icy streets while they curse us under their breath.  It’s just the nature of the beast and because Valentine’s Day is the #1 flower holiday on the calendar, we must carry on and bite the brute of the New England winter.  


If you’re new to the industry, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do besides biting your nails while watching the weather channel the week before the big day.  Well, there is!  Take it from some of the old dogs that have been through many snow challenging Valentine’s Days who have learned a trick or two on how to keep your cool in the event of a nor’easter.  You can’t just lock up and try again next year-no way!  By using a little forecasting in your planning, you’ll be able to have a strategy that works for your business in the case of a snowed-out February 14th.  Here are some tips that industry old timers swear by and keep them from having a disappointing Valentine’s Day.

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Pre-Delivery

If you start seeing that scary swirl on the meteorologists map than you should always be prepared to deliver early.  Offer customers an incentive such as a rebate or coupon to purchase flowers for the preceding days instead of on February 14th.  By doing so, you’ll get a head start for delivery workers as well as excite patrons with a slight reduction in cost.  Don’t think for a second you’ll lose too much money because of the deflated holiday profit margins -it’s way better than being stuck with thousands of roses with no place to go!


Don’t Be Overly Zealous

For some of you who are just learning about the flower biz, you might get a little too eager when buying for your first Valentine’s Day.  If the weather has been choppy and there is a high likelihood of storming than play it safe and cut back your purchases from wholesalers.  You won’t get stuck with dead flowers and your suppliers won’t be knocking down your door holding expensive bills you can’t pay back in March.


If You Get Stuck

It happens to everyone at some point of their floral career where they blow a holiday and are left with a lot more product than anticipated.  Go easy on yourself.  This is an industry where learning and experience are everything so take notes on February 15th and record what went right and what went wrong.  Next year is bound to be more successful.

Tags: Flower Deliveries in Snow, winter, Valentines Day, Blizzard, Snowmageddon, Florist

Around the World on Valentine’s Day

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 06, 2017

Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending flowers, chocolates and Hallmark cards filled with romantic gestures of intention.  Annually celebrated on February 14th, we see our stores and flower shops filled to the brim with red and pink decorations, cupid shooting arrows and other symbols relating to love between two people.  Since we’re used to this traditional presentation typical to most states in the USA, we sometimes don’t realize that other people across the globe carry out these festivities in a whole other manner.   Not everyone observes Valentine’s Day by dining in dimly lit restaurants, gifting their lovers with sensual bouquets of blossoms or satisfying their sweetheart’s “sweet tooth” with a box of sugary treats.  No, it’s a big world out there, encompassing hundreds of thousands of different customary practices -particularly when it comes to the holiday designated to “amore”.  Curious by this, I decided to research a few outside cultures and see how we match up!  Is perfume, lingerie and long stem roses all that’s needed for the rest of the world or is there a differentiation between the United States and other countries?  You’ll be surprised to read what I found out…   

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Photo credit via Jeff Leatham

Denmark

This is a country that loves to celebrate February 14th and has always had an overall strong appreciation for flowers.  While blooms are definitely apart of their romantic rituals, they opt instead to give their honeys pressed white snowdrops instead of fresh arrangements.  Cards are also exchanged but are referred to as “gaekkebrev” (a joking letter) that holds a funny poem instead of our typical use for sentimental varieties.  


Wales

Wales is a really interesting place to discover during Valentine’s Day as well because they have no use for roses or other generalized gifts during their holiday.  Celebrated on January 25th in retribution for their patron saint of love, the Welsh choose to give their mate a spoon made with beautiful designs that represent a feeling or trait.  Many become very valuable with age and are past down as family heirlooms throughout the generations, sometimes re-gifted as a token of luck during marriage celebrations.  


Philippines

This is a place that really understands romance at it’s highest!  While we focus on “stuff” to give our valentines, they utilize this special day with ceremony-MASS CEREMONY!  Thousands of couples gather together in areas such as community-based organizations, parks and even malls to recite their wedding vows.  Instead of walking down the aisle as a single couple, Philippine lovers prefer to say their “I do’s” in front of a multitude of others, truly sending out a message of love to all.  

Tags: Flowers Worldwide, FTD, Worldwide Flowers, Holidays, Valentines Day

Valentines Day Lingerie, Red Roses & Chocolates

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 03, 2017

What is the top gift for women on Valentines Day?  Is it a box of chocolates or a dozen red roses?  Those gifts are certainly popular but lingerie remains the top requested item for the holiday.  The reason is because lace and silk make a woman feel sexy, appealing and most importantly, wanted by her someone special.  Now this can sometimes become problematic for the shy guy unwilling to brave it alone through stores selling undergarments.  We have all seen that male customer enter Victoria Secrets with a hat pulled down over his eyes and that hilarious stutter when a sales person asks if she can help him find anything in particular.  It can be a rough task but knowing beforehand exactly what you want to purchase takes a whole lot of pressure off.  How are you supposed to know what she likes?  Research is the key and here are a few tips to get you started.

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                                       photo credits on this page Adriana Lima via Victoria's Secret

Color plays a huge impact when buying bras, underwear, teddies or nightgowns.  Certain shades reflect certain personalities and role-playing so take a little time to notice what her tastes and preferences are in the bedroom.  White can be a great choice which represents more of the “play hard to get” kind of girl but black might also be the way you want to go if she’s more of an exotic or serious partner.  Red works well for women who love playing the seductress and pink pairs well with the flirtatious type.  Yellow and blue are your safety picks when you’re not quite ready to choose a bedroom personality for her yet.  If you really want to indulge in the fantasy, buy her something in purple, which stands for passion and sexuality.

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Body types can determine the right style for your sweetheart so it’s another area that you need to pay close attention to.  Take notice what her best physical assets are (legs, back, use your imagination) and select outfits that show them off.  Silk slip nightgowns are really flattering on a full size woman as is a great bustier.   Bra and panty sets are perfect for a woman with height and for the slighter gal, a teddy combination with wrap is the right choice.  If she’s on the petite side, try a two-piece thong and push up bra made solely of lace.  Several lingerie companies suggest purchasing a robe to accompany the undergarments bought making this truly a romantic gift tailored specifically for your special someone. 

 So you’ve figured out a plan and now you need to know where to go.  Victorias Secret is the heavy hitter in this category and has several locations around the Boston area including Copley Place, Newbury Street, Legacy Place and Faneuil Hall.  If you want to try somewhere else, check out Intimacy, also in Copley Place, La Perla on Huntington Avenue, and Forty Winks in Cambridge.  All of these companies carry high-end , beautiful sleepwear that also promises to “wow” your girl this Valentines Day!

 

 

Tags: Chocolates, Adriana Lima, Valentines Day, Romance, Lingerie

Romantic Valentine’s Dinners at Home

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 27, 2017

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year so it may not be convenient for those who have to work early the next day to dine in a restaurant.  For those of you who are night owls, this won’t present a problem but for people like me whose schedules begin at daybreak, I’m planning on celebrating at home.  It doesn’t have to be another boring evening in front of the TV if you’re in a similar situation, heck no!  There are plenty of ways to spice up a Valentine’s Day festivity with your special someone without ever leaving the house!  Believe me, there are some benefits to this strategy such as not having to deal with traffic, saving money and most importantly having the flexibility to be as creative as you want.  There are plenty of ideas you can use to ensure a saucy evening with your honey and guarantee a holiday that neither of you will ever forget.  Try these few tricks of the trade and start preparing a night of unforgettable romance within the comfort of your own abode.

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photo credit via En Vogue

Set the Ambiance

Restaurants aren’t the only ones who know how to set the scene for an intimate ambiance!  Break out some votive candles and turn the lights down real low to recreate the stage in your living room, dining room or bedroom (no one’s judging you).  If you have a working fireplace, spark that baby up too because it’s a well-known fact that flames from the hearth inspire flames of the heart.


Cook a Decadent Meal

It’s pretty important that you devise a menu that will leave your lover wanting more.  Successful dishes that have been noted as aphrodisiacs are oysters, mussels, and other varieties of shellfish.  If you aren’t into these ocean treats, try red-hot chili peppers, which are said to trigger erotic hormones when ingested.  Be sure to also include a tray of fruits like bananas, strawberries and watermelon along side a bowl of melted chocolate or honey.  Let your sweetheart dip these delicious goodies in their choice of syrup and watch how quickly things heat up!

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photo credit via Victorias Secret

Get All Dolled Up

Whether you’re a man or a woman reading this, don’t forget that you are the main dish that’s being served up for the evening.  What I mean is, don’t get tempted by a comfortable pair of jeans or god forbid, your favorite sweatpants as the attire for your Valentine’s Day dinner.  You have the opportunity to wear whatever sexy thing you have hanging in the closet (think lingerie, cowboy boots, boas) and you might even be able to use that imagination of yours to come up with something wild.  You’re in the sanctity of your own home so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy!

Tags: cooking, Valentines Day, Romance, Lingerie

Valentine's Day Essentials in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 26, 2017

If you’re planning on celebrating with a special someone this February 14th, you’re going to have to do a little planning to make sure you have the essentials.  No matter what she says, she’ll be expecting something, some sort of hint that reveals how much you care so don’t blow it!  There’s no need to spend the entire contents of your wallet or try to pull a rabbit out of your hat to impress her if you strategize beforehand keeping in mind thoughtfulness and romance.  Focus on her individual qualities, likes/dislikes and personality and you should have a good feel of what your holiday gifting should be.  If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at this checklist to keep you on track and ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

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  1. Plan a special evening, whether it’s at her favorite restaurant or simply dining in at home.  If you are going to head out for the night, make sure to make your reservations well in advance (at least three weeks) because bistros, cafes and fine dining locations will all be frantic since it is the busiest day of the season for them.  

Top Five Boston Restaurants for Valentine’s Day:

a.) Mooo

b.) Sophia's Grotto

c.) Menton

d.) Delfino's

e.) Ruth's Chris

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     If you’re planning on staying in, be sure to buy your ingredients a couple of days in advance to avoid running out of the essentials because yes- you’ll be the one who does all of the cooking!  Pick up a bottle of wine and select a menu that you know she’ll flip over.  If you really           want to romance her, DO THE DISHES!

  1. Grab a card.  It’s the easiest and least expensive way to tell her you love her.   Hallmark isn’t just a multi-billion dollar company for nothing-they know their stuff!  Browse the stationary section of a CVS and read through the options to see whether a funny or lovey-dovey card is going to fit best for your relationship.  If you really want to get creative, find an old photograph of the two of you and glue it to a piece of construction paper folding it in half.  This is a sweet gesture of how your love has grown and will most likely remain in her keepsake box for years to come.
  2. Don’t be a bozo- ORDER FLOWERS!  Gift with a box of chocolates and you’ve just made her holiday!  Unsure of what variety to pick up?  Here are some options but keep in mind her favorite blooms and preference of color.  Again, don’t wait to the last minute to order a bouquet since this is like Super Bowl Sunday for Boston florists!
  1. Red Roses
  2. White Lilies
  3. Orchids
  4. Black Pearl Roses
  5. Mixed Floral Bouquet.

Tags: Restaurants, Boston Flower Delivery, Roses, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day, Black Pearl

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

The Significance of Flowers on #ValentinesDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Most of us associate Valentine’s Day with cards and roses, gifting these treats to those who are or would like to be in relationships.  Teddy bears, chocolates and fuzzy romantic packages are exchanged on the 14th to signify couple’s love for one another as well as those who seek to find companionship.  The tradition started back in the Roman times and is still celebrated today becoming one of the largest retail holidays during the year, particularly for Boston florists.  

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But what is the significance of February 14th in terms of historical importance?  You would be surprised to learn that there is a fascinating story, which is believed to be the real meaning behind Valentine’s Day (and that doesn’t include Cupid’s arrows or other mythical characters).  In fact, the ritual can be traced all the way back to 200 AD Rome when it was under the control of a brutal ruler named Claudius II.

 

Claudius II was a fierce emperor who believed that any romanticism, which encouraged his young and single soldiers, was only a distraction and curtailed the strength and brutality his army to become weakened.  So much so that he banned all future marriages for those who remained unwed and illegalized any other rites that could be seen as similar.  

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For Priest Valentine who had performed all of the matrimonial ceremonies for several years, this became an outrage.  Ignoring Claudius’ orders, he performed these ceremonies in hiding until one day he was caught and arrested.  During his incarceration, he met the jailor’s daughter who was blind (he later healed her sight) and fell in love.  Soon afterwards, the jailer’s family secretly converted to Christianity but was unfortunately captured by the emperor’s soldiers after learning of their treason and they too were sentenced to death. Although the tale has no happy ending (both lovers were executed by clubbing and decapitation), Valentine left a note to the jailer’s daughter before his death reading, “From Your Valentine”.  Later, Valentine became a Saint and was idolized as the patron of this holiday.

Thousands of years later, we still recognize February 14th as a time to express our feelings of adoration for one another and utilize Priest Valentine’s gesture by presenting cards, roses and other sweets to our loved ones.  



Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

Purple Is The New Red For #ValentinesDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 08, 2016

Valentine’s Day flowers have usually been associated with the colors red and pink. There’s nothing wrong with this but wouldn’t it be nice if we could shake things up a bit?  Don’t get me wrong, a bouquet filled with these two tints, which signify love and sweetness are very pretty and complimentary to one another but it would be fun to add a pop of color every now and then?  Really, why limit our selves to red roses and pink tulips when there are so many stunning varieties to choose from that are equally beautiful.  Thankfully, Boston florists are recognizing a need to switch up a few of the customary blossoms this February and go for a fresh array of product that will hopefully please and excite their customers.  

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One trend that is beginning to make headway is the replacement of rouge with lavender.  What’s pushing purple to be used more often than red?  There’s a good few reasons why… For one thing, orders that are created with traditional shades are twice as expensive as opting for a less seasonal color.  Purple roses can be significantly less expensive than a box of long stem red roses and in many cases will last longer, too.  A second reason why lavender is being seen more often in Valentine’s Day pieces is because the color is both sultry and sexy-two prominent themes we like to see in romantic arrangements.  The last reason is because there’s a lot more to choose from in this color giving patrons a broader spectrum to select from.  As found in other industries, it’s a simple case of supply and demand.  There’s less availability of an item when the need suddenly spikes causing the price to increase.

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So if your starting to change your mind about red versus purple flowers this holiday, you’ll be happy to know that designers are already lining up their carts with stunning flavors other than roses. Holding the desirable pigmentation, all are available through your local florist this Valentine’s Day so be sure to say it with flowers and say, “I Love You”.  



Tags: Valentine's Flowers, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

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