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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Two Short Story Murder Mysteries for Halloween

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Oct 07, 2015

As we inch closer and closer to the spookiest time of year, New Englanders are beginning to get in the mood for scary costumes, carved pumpkins and other fun entities that tie in with the theme of October.  For me, I love twisting my creative writing around stories that revolve around mystery and mayhem, a pretty big change from my genre of children’s fantasy poetry.  As a native Bostonian, I particularly enjoy developing storylines that use the stunning picturesque images that are synonymous with autumn in New England.  If you’re a mystery book reader, you’ll know what I’m getting at because there’s no shortage of these titles.  Why is it that the industry doesn’t become over saturated with “who done it’s” based on this area?  The reason is because they’re rich with colorful detail and authentic spooky charm!  We are invested more when we read something that connects us to a story having relatable aspects such as background, characters or familiar settings. Just take a look at Stephen King who has successfully seduced his fans by cleverly by incorporating many distinguishing features of Maine within his thrillers.  


New England is a place full of mysterious potential and possesses a long history of fascinating folklore, some true and some made up.  Plots can be manufactured from actual facts or completely concocted from our imaginations.  Recently, I’ve written two short stories that are based on people, places and things that are identifiable with the cultural aspects of New England.  Take a peek if you’re looking for a little fright this season!


A Deadly Game of Jigsaw

Beth has just lost her job as a Manhattan columnist and has no choice but to return to the home of her grandmother, Lily, where she spent her summers as a child.

Becoming re-accustomed to the pace of the quaint New England town proves difficult at first until an ancient puzzle piece is found in her room. Scripted in Latin with the word “Letum” meaning death, the plot thickens when an intruder breaks into the mansion, assaulting Lily and leaving behind another peculiar clue. With time running out, the women begin their hunt to track down the person behind the mystery and be the first to win at the deadly game of jigsaw.


A Flower To Die By


It’s Valentine’s Day once again in the city of Boston and florists are gearing up for a busy holiday that is until the owner of Delicately Yours Flower Shop, Reuben Crench, is found dead in the ice chest.  As the case unravels, the victim is discovered to have ingested a large amount of digitalis, ironically traced to his own shipment of flowers.  Detective Mike Hinkley has his work cut out for him with a long list of suspects including disgruntled employees, a competing local floral business, an angry wholesaler and a cheating husband. Will he be able to find the killer in time to save Valentine’s Day?                                     

Download it free here.

Tags: Author, Books, Suzie Canale, Libraries

Indoor Winter Gardening in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Oct 03, 2014


by Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Westwood Garden

The colder temperatures are slowly but surely creeping in and many New Englanders are becoming anxious about the demise of their hard worked summer gardens.  Although Mother Nature’s reclaims our green thumb’s efforts during the colder months of the year, there are ways to enjoy some of our hardier favorites year round by learning the techniques of indoor plant weathering.  While it is true that not every growth can be repotted and stored until the thaw of spring arrives, there are some varieties, which make perfect candidates for building an indoor winterized garden. Unfortunately, due to this region’s inclement drop in temperature, not every garden favorite will be strong enough to make the transition from your Boston back yard, so before taking your trowel to begin digging, keep these tips in mind to make sure you are choosing the right species. By keeping your eyes peeled for these hardier varieties, you’ll have a fighting chance of keeping some of your favorite greenhouse treasures year round.  

Westwood Herb garden


Many herb plants are wonderful for re-planting once the autumn frosts have begun.   Types such as parsley, sage and particularly rosemary are easily transitioned from the garden to a sunny windowsill and require very little maintenance with the exception of a once a week watering and pruning when stems become spindly and brittle.  Basil is a highly desired herb for transfer but often has disappointing results since the plant prefers warm temperatures and a significant amount of light to thrive.  Commonly, the plants will stay the same size when brought inside until replanted back into their natural environment so the constant need for larger planting containers is rarely an issue.  When removing the roots from the outside soil, make sure you dig far enough down to get the entire system (or as much as possible) to avoid damaging the plant and causing a stressful transfer.  Once safely inside, locate a sunny area with little drafting.  An icy spot can cause an instant droop within the petals and a shorter likelihood of survival.


Several people desire a flowering plant to enjoy within their Boston home once their gardens have gone to sleep for the winter.   Truthfully, it’s a difficult order to fill but not impossible if you choose the right selection.  Scented and unscented geraniums make excellent candidates and seem to thrive both indoors and outdoors if properly cared for.  Be mindful of areas with a lot of sunlight for placement, a weekly watering schedule and the occasional task of removing dead leaves and unhealthy stems.  Plant food should also be put into the mix every few weeks to ensure an adequate amount of nutrients.  Another flowering possibility is marigolds, which seems to also transition easily from one place to the next.  More durable than some of your other garden varieties, these pretty little blooms will provide a cheerful burst of color and appealing scent with little maintenance required.  Winter is just around the corner, so pick out your favorites and start building an indoor garden that will keep you entertained until the warmth of the summer returns once again.

Suzie Canale Suzie Canale is the Founder and President of The Women's Lockerroom Foundation, has written four children books, works at the Westwood Public Library and raises two sons.

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, Plant Care, Suzie Hearl Canale, Author, Suzie Canale

What Florists Can Learn from Maya Angelou

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jun 18, 2014

Maya Angelou Flowers
photo credits: all photos in this post come from 
Generation X has lost its poet. While baby boomers embraced Robert Frost, my generation embraced Maya Angelou (1928-2014). Poet, educator, author, activist, Dr Angelou was the voice for millions. 
While at Boston College (1989-1993), I was fortunate to see Maya Angelou speak. She packed St. Ignatius Church to the rafters. Her speech left me in a new mindset. She was powerful and pragmatic. Her simple words of walk away from the conversation have left a lifetime lesson.
maya angelou So why is Dr Angelou appearing in my blog as a mentor for florists ? Plain and simple: "... people will never forget how you made them feel,". This is what we do as florists, retailers and service industry professionals. If we want people to come back, we need to give them an amazing experience. We need to make them feel welcome and appreciated. 
Forget about business for a moment, isn't that what we should do as people ? 'It is nice to be nice,'.
maya angelou orchids

Tags: Poetry, Author, Boston College, Maya Angelou, Poet

Free Download: Murder Mystery, Short Story, "A Flower to Die By"

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Mar 26, 2014

A Flower to Die For

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we value the arts and literature. We are all about creating. Our mission is to enhance the lives of everyone who has any contact or interest in our florist.

"A Flower to Die By":

  • written by Boston Author, Suzie Canale
  • You will be on the edge of your seat to find the killer of this murder mystery.

At sixteen pages, you will be asking yourself why this is not a movie.

Suzie is not only our favorite author, but my wife as well.

Download Your free short story here.

Tags: Short Story, Murder Mystery, Boston Florist, Author, Suzie Canale

Boston's Favorite Children's Book Author Does It Again

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jun 28, 2013

children%27s book reviews resized 600

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are avid readers. We especially love children's books. We know that reading to children fostersSo be a lifetime love affair with books. Our favorite author, Suzie Canale is at it again. As a premier children's book author, Suzie has shared her amazing children's book with us.

Now Suzie is working with fellow authors Chad Pio and Greg Tetreault to bring a valuable review site on children's books. 'Three Lights in the Attic Book Review' hopes to provide parents with a little direction in choosing the best books for their children. The site is written with positive reviews and great suggestions. While the authors do accept many submissions, the review's " goal is to endorse some great reads we three authors have found along our way, while giving age-appropriate guidelines, topics discussed and full descriptions of the stories."

This summer you will be heading to your local bookstore to build your children's book library. Make sure that you check this review site for some great tips on some amazing children's books. And if you like the reviews, keep in mind that you can purchase any of the reviewers books from Exotic Flowers in Boston.


Tags: Author, Books, Childrens Book, Suzie Canale

A Halloween Poem by Boston Author Suzie Canale

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Oct 24, 2012

Halloween is finally here,
With costumes, masks and treats,
As children run from door to door,
Ghosts and witches fill the streets!
But don’t forget the best of all,
The symbol of this night,
Pumpkins carved both big and small,
Glowing their toothy smiles bright!
halloween flower delivery resized 600
What’s that you say? Where should you go?
To find your perfect pick?
Exotic Flowers has the best in town,
Just ask for Sonny, Marie or Rick!
So stop on by to choose your favorites
Of orange, white or green,
Then get your candy bags in hand,
And have a Happy Halloween!
- Suzie Canale

Tags: Halloween Flowers, Suzie Hearl Canale, Autumn, Poetry, Author

What Do Certain Flowers Mean ? Flowers and Their Meanings

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Oct 03, 2012

vanessa diffenbaugh resized 600 Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the author of "The Language of Flowers,". Her debut novel takes the reader on a journey with floral designer Victoria. Diffenbaugh even garnered much of her floral research in Cambridge at Brattle Square Florist in Cambridge. The protagonist Victoria creates her own floral dictionary that shows flowers and their meanings. This dictionary serves as a great sales for her growing florist business. 

As Boston florists, we often get asked about flowers and their meanings. Below is "Victoria's Dictionary of Flowers," as written by author Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Abutilon (Abutilon) . . . Meditation
Acacia (Acacia) . . . Secret love
Acanthus (Acanthus) . . . Artifice
Agapanthus (Agapanthus) . . . Love
Allium (Allium) . . . Prosperity
Almond blossom (Amygdalus
communis) . . . Indiscretion
Aloe (Aloe vera) . . . Grief
Alstroemeria (Alstroemeria) . . .
Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) . . . Worth
beyond beauty
Amaranth (Amaranthus) . . .
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) . . . Pride
Anemone (Anemone) . . . Forsaken
Angelica (Angelica pachycarpa) . . .
Apple (Malus domestica) . . . Temptation
Apple blossom (Malus domestica) . . .Preference
Aster (Aster) . . . Patience
Azalea (Rhododendron) . . . Fragile and ephemeral passion
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) . . .
Everlasting love
Bachelor’s button (Centaurea cyanus) . . .
Single blessedness
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) . . . Hate
Bay leaf (Laurus nobilis) . . . I change but in death
Begonia (Begonia) . . . Caution
Bellflower (Campanula) . . . Gratitude
Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) . . .Good luck

Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) . . .Magnificence

Blackberry (Rubus) . . . Envy

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) . . . Justice

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) . . .Constancy
Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) . . . Passion
Bouvardia (Bouvardia) . . . Enthusiasm
Broom (Cytisus) . . . Humility
Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) . . .Ingratitude
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) . . . Profit
Cactus (Opuntia) . . . Ardent love
Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) . . .Modesty
Camellia (Camellia) . . . My destiny is in your hands
Candytuft (Iberis) . . . Indifference
Canterbury bells (Campanula medium) . . . Gratitude
Carnation, pink (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . I will never forget you
Carnation, red (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . My heart breaks
Carnation, striped (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . I cannot be with you
Carnation, white (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . Sweet and lovely
Carnation, yellow (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . Disdain
Celandine (Chelidonium majus) . . . Joys to come
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) . . .Energy in adversity
Cherry blossom (Prunus cerasus) . . .Impermanence
Chervil (Anthriscus) . . . Sincerity
Chestnuts (Castanea sativa) . . . Do me justice
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) . . . Frugality
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum) . . .Truth
Cinquefoil (Potentilla) . . . Beloved daughter
Clematis (Clematis) . . . Poverty
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) . . . I have loved you and you have not known it
Clover, white (Trifolium) . . . Think of me
Cockscomb (Celosia) . . . Affectation
Columbine (Aquilegia) . . . Desertion
Coreopsis (Coreopsis) . . . Always cheerful
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) . . .Hidden worth
Corn (Zea mays) . . . Riches
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) . . . Joy in love and life
Cowslip (Primula veris) . . . Pensiveness
Crab-apple blossom (Malus hupehensis) . . . Ill-tempered 

Cranberry (Vaccinium) . . . Cure for heartache

Crocus (Crocus) . . . Youthful gladness

Currant (Ribes) . . . Thy frown will kill me
Cyclamen (Cyclamen) . . . Timid hope
Cypress (Cupressus) . . . Mourning
Daffodil (Narcissus) . . . New beginnings
Dahlia (Dahlia) . . . Dignity
Daisy (Bellis) . . . Innocence
Daisy, Gerber (Gerbera) . . .Cheerfulness
Dandelion (Taraxacum) . . . Rustic oracle
Daphne (Daphne) . . . I would not have you otherwise
Daylily (Hemerocallis) . . . Coquetry
Delphinium (Delphinium) . . . Levity
Dianthus (Dianthus) . . . Make haste
Dittany (Dictamnus albus) . . .Childbirth
Dogwood (Cornus) . . . Love undiminished by adversity
Dragon plant (Dracaena) . . . You are near a snare
Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) . . .
Noble courage
Elder (Sambucus) . . . Compassion
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus) . . . Protection
Euphorbia (Euphorbia) . . . Persistence
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) . . .Inconstancy
Everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius) . . .Lasting pleasure
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) . . . Strength
Fern (Polypodiophyta) . . . Sincerity
Fern, maidenhair (Adiantum capillusveneris) . . . Secrecy
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) . . .Warmth
Fig (Ficus carica) . . . Argument
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) . . . I feel your kindness
Forget-me-not (Myosotis) . . . Forget me not
Forsythia (Forsythia) . . . Anticipation
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) . . .Insincerity
Freesia (Freesia) . . . Lasting friendship
Fuchsia (Fuchsia) . . . Humble love
Gardenia (Gardenia) . . . Refinement
Gentian (Gentiana) . . . Intrinsic worth
Geranium, oak-leaf (Pelargonium) . . .True friendship
Geranium, pencil-leaf (Pelargonium) . . .Ingenuity

Geranium, scarlet (Pelargonium) . . .Stupidity
Geranium, wild (Pelargonium) . . .Steadfast piety
Ginger (Zingiber) . . . Strength
Gladiolus (Gladiolus) . . . You pierce my heart
Goldenrod (Solidago) . . . Careful encouragement
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) . . .Abundance
Grass (Poaceae) . . . Submission

to be continued with H thru Z on another post. Stay tuned.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Dictionary, Author, Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Exotic Flowers in Boston Reviews The Language of Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

   Flowers meanings BostonThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was released in August, 2011. Since then, this novel has touched the hearts of florists, flower lovers, romantics and fiction fans. As a florist in Boston, many of my clients, colleagues and vendors have been asking me for months if I have read the novel. I am an avid reader and what better target market for the author than a florist in Boston who enjoys reading.

Upon the book's release, Diffenbaugh was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She even credits Cambridge florist, Brattle Square Florist in Harvard Square as being a valuable resource for the creation of the novel. Although the author is not a florist, she creates real life floral characters in Renata and Victoria as florists and Grant as a wholesale florist.

the meaning of flowers in bostonThe book which is now in papeback was a New York Times and Boston Globe best seller. The accolades and reviews continue to pour in for the first time author and this novel. What really grabbed me as a reader was the insight into the meanings of flowers. Often times as a florist, we get the question "what does that rose mean,"? The author gives the reader so many floral meanings that your head will spin. 

Victoria Jones, the protagonist, realizes what many other florists come to realize as well. Depending on which book you read, there are many flowers that have multiple meanings. This revelation forces Victoria to create her own floral dictionary. Florists throughout the world will realize that working with their own interpretations of the language of flowers will work best for their clients too. 

Here is a video of Vanessa Diffenbaugh sharing her personal commentary on her debut novel.

"The Language of Flowers" cane be purchases in local bookstores, like The Andover Bookstore.  

- Rick Canale







Tags: Author, Working in a Florist, Rose Symbolism, Books, Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Sad Goodbye to Summer - a Poem by Boston Author Suzie Canale

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Aug 30, 2012


As we sadly say goodbye to summer,

And close down our garden gates,

Rest assured, there’s much more soon to come,

A new season of blooms awaits!

 autumn flower delivery in boston

While the rosehips drop to reseed them selves

And the perennials return to slumber,

Make a visit to Exotic Flowers,

Who no florist can out number!


Floral displays of fall rich colors,

With a spectrum of red to gold,

Cabbages, mums and even aster pots

An exquisite site to behold.

 Fall Flowers in Boston


Fill your planters up right to the brim,

And don’t forget to keep in mind,

Pretty soon the leaves will drop from trees,

And the pumpkins aren’t far behind!

- Suzie Canale

Tags: Suzie Hearl Canale, Autumn, Fall, Poetry, Author

Exotic Flowers' Favorite Author at the Andover Bookstore September 8th

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Andover storefront061711 resized 600 At 1pm on Saturday, September 8th, 2012 - Exotic Flowers favorite author Suzie Canale will be signing and reading from her latest children's book, 'The Candy Roses of Cape Care,'. 

SUZIE CANALE: "The Candy Roses of Cape Care" (Andover)

Saturday, September 8, 2012 - 1:00pm

The Candy Roses of Cape Care is the third installment in The Beantown Tales: Green Series where a group of six cousins rally together to save a magical beach’s candy sprouting roses from extinction. Growing every sweet treat imaginable, from lollipops to gummy bears, the team must work fast to clean up their sandy shores before pollution threatens to halt the production of an enchanted potion produced by the sea. Keeping in theme with the prequels, The Land of Chocolate Cosmos and The Popcorn Hydrangea of Poppingtom, the author educates while empowering readers to make key changes within their communities. This book tantalizes tummies with yummy imagery nestled in fantastical worlds.

Suzie-CanaleSuzie Hearl Canale grew up in Andover and is a graduate of Salem State College. She began writing after a twenty-five year career in the wholesale floral industry in Boston, where she was inspired by flowers named after child-friendly foods. She developed The Beantown Tales, a series of books geared towards educating children to make positive changes within our society. Suzie’s books have received the 2011 Green Difference Book Award by the Massachusetts Green Schools Organization, as well as Honorable Mentions in the 2011 New England Book Festival, 2012 New York Book Festival, and the 2012 Hollywood Book Festival. Canale recently published "Walking Down the Cobblestone Aisles of Boston" in electronic form. As she continues her career writing career, she also keeps busy raising her two sons and volunteering for the Mass Bay American Red Cross chapter as a member of the Disaster Relief division.

Tags: Candy Roses, Chocolate Cosmos, Suzie Hearl Canale, Author, Childrens Book, Popcorn Hydrangea

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