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Adding a Green Plant To Your Home Office Is Better for Your Health

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, May 12, 2020

'Looking at green foliage can enhance creativity, increase calmness, lessen irritability, and restore mental energy. Researchers found that indoor plants prevent fatigue during demanding work.' Men's Health Magazine


Text below from Workplace Productivity Study:

Texas A&M: Flowers & Plants Promote Innovation, Ideas

In today’s economy, it is more important than ever for businesses to gain the competitive edge. Constant fluctuations in unemployment, productivity, consumer confidence and other major economic factors make it imperative for businesses to implement the right strategies to stay ahead of their competition.

According to business experts, the key to gaining the competitive edge in the modern economy is easy to understand – a happy, productive workforce. And, while sometimes the easiest notions can be the most difficult to achieve, a scientific study conducted at Texas A&M University finds that nature can hold the secret to business success. The research demonstrates that workers’ idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

“Our research shows that a change as simple as adding flowers and plants can be important in the most meaningful way to businesses in the modern economy,” said Dr. Roger Ulrich, lead researcher on the project. “People’s productivity, in the form of innovation and creative problem solving, improved – which in certain circumstances could mean the difference between mild and great business success.”

Research Findings: Overall and Men vs. Women

In an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments, or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments.

During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And, while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.

“We know the importance of learning, for example, how natural surroundings affect drivers, school children, and hospital patients,” said Ulrich, who has conducted extensive research on the effects of environments on psychological well-being, stress and health. “To businesses, it should be equally as important to understand what features can improve performance at work and make employees more productive.”



Researchers at Texas A&M University recruited 101 participants to take part in The Impact of Flowers and Plants on Workplace Productivity study. During the eight-month scientific study, participants took part in emotional, creativity and attentional demand protocols, in conditions that were carefully controlled, yet were similar to those in many office workplaces. Subjects were asked to perform a series of tasks in one of three environmental office conditions, selected at random: with fresh flowers and plants; with abstract sculpture; or with no embellishments at all. Throughout each session, subjects self-rated their moods four times, executed two creativity tasks and completed one attentional demand test. Researchers measured the number of ideas participants generated, their ideas’ originality and flexibility, and other responses, using data extracted from the tests, which included Torrance Tests of the Creative Thinking and Profile of Mood States.

The research lends weight to growing scientific evidence that flowers and plants, as well as other aspects of nature, have a beneficial impact on state of mind and emotions. The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Texas A&M University research team, bringing an expertise of flowers and plants to the project.

About the Researcher

The Impact of Flowers and Plants on Workplace Productivity Study was conducted by Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Center for Health Systems and Design, Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Dr. Ulrich is a professor of landscape architecture and is an internationally recognized expert on the influences of surroundings on human well-being and health. His interests concern applications of environment-behavior knowledge to healthcare buildings, landscape architecture and urban design.


Tags: Boston Greenhouse, SAF, Plants, Stress

Don't Waste Your Money on a Poinsettia from Home Depot

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Nov 26, 2016

Local Boston Greenhouse
Did you know that Exotic Flowers of Boston grows hundreds of our own poinsettias at the Lombardi Florist greenhouses in Roslindale. For years, we have witnessed the glut of Canadian grown poinsettias in Massachusetts. These Canadian poinsettias flood the marketplace in November with low price tags and even lower quality. Caveat emptor.
If you cannot make it to an experienced grower or nursery like Exotic Flowers or Lombardi Florist, here are some purchasing tips so that your poinsettias lives beyond Christmas.
poinsettia boston resized 600
Flowers: Poinsettias are leafy plants with dark green leaves. Many people believe these leaves are the flowers. They are incorrect. The real flowers are the tiny mostly yellow berrylike cyathia in the center of the leaf bract. The cyathia should be fully developed but unopened and displaying no pollen.
Colored Bracts: look for poinsettias with thoroughly colored bracts. You want a poinsettia that does not appear bruised or blemished. Droopy is bad. Avoid plants with 'burned' or dried out edges.
Leaves: Look for a poinsettia with plentiful dark green foliage all the way down to the stems. Avoid poinsettias with yellow or brown edged leaves.
Soil: Check for waterlogged soil. This could be a sign of root rot.
Pests and Diseases: If you see any type of pests or mold, avoid that plant.
white poinsettia boston resized 600
The United States recognizes Poinsettia Day every December 12th, which is also the day Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett died. Dr. Poinsett is was an American diplomat who introduced the poinsettia to the United States from its native Mexico. There is now even a College Football Bowl Game in San Diego every December to honor and promote the poinsettia, The Poinsettia Bowl.

Tags: Lombardi Florist, Boston Greenhouse, Poinsettia, Plant Care

Backyard Greenhouses

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, May 19, 2016

Backyard greenhouses are an interesting topic of discussion for those diehard garden lovers like me, specifically regarding the issue on whether purchasing their own is worth the investment.  Years ago, to own one of these dream set-ups cost tens of thousands of dollars but times have changed.  With technological advances within manufacturing, greenhouses are beginning to pop up in residential areas making the idea more plausible than it used to be in the past.  Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t by any means cheap but they are at least attainable without putting your house up for mortgage.


this awesome greenhouse is made of legos. 


What has made this possible?  

Well, for starters, the materials used to build them have fluctuated to include more options than using solely glass. With the introduction of heavy-duty plastics, tarps and Plexiglas, the costs to purchase and ship have dramatically decreased.  Sizing has also been altered, offering customers greenhouses that are small walk-ins to more substantial exteriors. Another factor that must be considered is the actual act of putting one of these suckers together, which used to be impossible without a team of engineers at your disposal.  Nowadays, instructions are not only clearer (while most include round the clock call in or email support) but the time constraints have lessened due to the convenience of click and lock beams that avoid troublesome bolts, nuts and screws.  The model that I just put up a few days ago even had a number printed on every piece so that I could easily follow along with the pictures featured in the manual.  


photo credit:

It’s a beautiful thing that anyone who wants to get a jump start on the growing season now has several options available to them without fearing that the construction will be impossible.  It’s not.  If you’re in the market to buy your very own greenhouse, take a look at the benefits of doing so plus a list of retailers (the list is growing) who are ready to ship today!

Benefits of Greenhouses

Energy Efficiency

Critter and Pest Controlled

Increase of time saving on grocery bills

Elongated seasonal gardening enjoyment

Frost and storm protection for plants

Manipulation of growing conditions for fussy species


Retail Greenhouse Suppliers

Home Depot, Poly-Tex, Inc., Sears, Uline, Florian Greenhouse,

Tags: Gardening, Lego Greenhouse, Boston Greenhouse, Suzie Canale, Outdoor Living, Greenhouse

2016 Boston Flower Show

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 18, 2016

Its that time again for all of New England's garden lovers to enjoy the world famous Boston Flower Show! Running through Sunday, March 20th, spectators will be left in awe at the presentations made by our cities most prominent designers.  This year’s theme, “Nurtured by Nature” promises to be a special one where all exhibits must reflect this idea throughout their entire display of flowers including props, containers and subject matter.  From divine intricate sets to scaled landscaping, this year’s show is already being named one of the best in its history!  You also won’t want to miss the judging for who wins best for creativity, complexity and originality, which has categories for both experts and beginners.  How exciting, there’s just no telling who will achieve solid gold thumb stature!


photo via:

And that’s not all…

Along with the stunning floral installments, there’s a whole bunch of other programs and events to take notice of as well.  There will be lectures from guest speakers who are industry leaders as well as demonstrations for those who want to learn the tricks of the trade.  If that’s not enough- bring your wallets and purses because the marketplace has a fantastic lineup of vendors selling beautiful accessories including hats, silks, baskets, jewelry and more!  It's quite an impressive line up so get ready for a fun filled four days enjoying the Boston Flower Show of Boston!

Things to Keep in Mind if Attending:

  1. Parking is limited although there is shuttle service available from nearby garages.  Parking on the grounds is competitive so arrive early!
  1.   Tickets are available for $20.00 per adult, $17.00 for seniors and only $10.00 for children.  Make a day out of touring the beautiful flowers arrangements and let spring inspire you!

  1.  The Address for the Boston Flower Show is:

The Seaport Hotel

200 Seaport Boulevard

Boston, MA 02210

Tags: Gardening in Boston, Boston Greenhouse, Flower Show, Boston

Mother's Day Greenhouses in Massachusetts

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 06, 2015

Looking at the calendar, I realized that Mother’s Day was soon approaching on May 10th and it was time to begin making plans for this year’s special day with mom!  Customarily we sit down beforehand and plan our annual route to one of our favorite places in the world, New England greenhouses!  The snow is just about gone around the yards and our flowerbeds can definitely be readied for plantings.  While April is the month to accomplish tasks of yard grooming, debris pick up and other landscaping chores, May is the month for the actual potting and replanting of the goodies being grown as we speak. Since the middle of Mother’s Day month hosts temperate night temperatures accommodating for successful spring growing, now’s the time to get shopping.  My mom and I know this green thumb standard inside and out and feel there is no other better way to celebrate Mother’s Day then picking out our first nursery beauties.  Whether you decide to visit the North Shore or South Shore farms and greenhouses, I can tell you throughout the years we’ve hit most of them and have found some gems.  Here are a few of our favorites that we would like to share with you this Mother’s Day!


North Shore                        mahoneys_garden_center                                           

Mahoney’s Garden Center

242 Cambridge Street

Winchester, MA 01890

Phone: (781) 729-5900


This operation has eight different locations across Massachusetts but I love the one located in Winchester, MA the most.  This family owned business covers everything including orchids, ground covering plants, perennials, annuals, tropical trees, ceramic pieces, patio furniture, vase ware and soil needs so it’s a real one stop shopping experience.  Other perks include ample parking, a rewards program and their own farm store with homegrown fruits, veggies and fresh baked goods.


South Shore                                     mothers_day_greenhouse

photo credit:

Kennedy’s Country Gardens

85 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy

Scituate, MA 02066



This was my flower haunt when I briefly lived in Scituate, MA that I really enjoyed.  What was great about this place was the assortment of product they had in a manageable area that allowed easy browsing and buying logistics.  They have a fabulous assortment of rose bushes as well as an adorable parrot located in their greenhouse who also greets customers as they enter and exit.  If you bring the kids, don’t forget to visit the Koi Pond where they can feed the fishes and enjoy the pretty view!

 Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 


Tags: Garden Center, Gardening, Boston Greenhouse, Holidays, #EXFL, Mothers Day

Where to Find Beautiful Flowers During the Coldest Time of the Year in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 14, 2015

If you’re anything like me, the winter season is seen as cold, dark and depressing and not just because of that white stuff falling from the sky.  There’s no gardens, no growth, no beauty, which perks up from the earth.  Yes, it only lasts for four or five months in New England but still, what’s a girl gotta do for a little flower fix?  It might sound bleak but in actuality, Bostonians do have a few resources at their fingertips when it comes to floral supplies.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you aren’t going to find summer blooms that have any longevity in their stems until June or July but there are other options out there if you are willing to be a bit flexible within your taste.  Here are a few options and locales that carry beautiful blossoms, particularly during the chillier months of the year.


If you're in Boston, look no further than Exotic Flowers in Roslindale. Their flagship operation is also their base of operations where thousands of flowers arrive daily from all over the world. If you're on the north side of route 128 then Wilson Farms in Lexington, MA, for one has a yearly display of stunning blooms that are native to this environment, many in fact that are grown by them.  Specialties include poinsettias, Christmas Roses and other bulb like plants that are being harvested within their greenhouses as we speak.  This local farming business also imports flowers such as roses and delphinium, which are durable enough to withstand some colder temperatures.  If their selection isn’t enough to entice you, trot on in to their bakery and fresh produce store that is open year round and filled to the brim with delicious choices for your dining pleasure.

 orchids in boston

                           photo credit:flower Factor/ 

   They say that you never have to look further than your own backyard for inspiration and in this case, they might be right!  Many of us live in areas where pine and berries grow, the ideal combination for a lovely seasonal centerpiece.  Scout out your perimeters and look for healthy spikes of life that can be easily cut and arranged in a vase.  Not sold on this yet?  How about the fact that most of these cuttings have little droppings during aging so it makes for an effortless cleanup once the times comes.  Plus, you can’t beat the price because everything that you place in the vase is yours and free.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match with floral options available in local stores.  You can always combine a bunch of roses with some clippings of fir or Frasier to make a beautiful centerpiece.  One word to the wise is be very careful of poisonous flora and fauna that may be present and could harm pets or small children if kept in their reach. 

 suzie_canale Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA

Suzie always has fresh flowers and plants in her Westwood home. Orchid plants are always present.

Tags: New England, Boston Greenhouse, Winter Rose

What Would Exotic Flowers in Boston do if it won Powerball ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Nov 28, 2012

MASS POWERBALL 20100203223156 320 240 resized 600 If Exotic Flowers in Boston wins the $550 million dollar jackpot in Powerball tonight, rest assured your December orders will be filled. Don't worry your Christmas traditions from Exotic Flowers will remain through 2012. 

After Christmas however, the staff at Exotic Flowers would be bringing more than beautiful flowers with a half a billion dollars. 

  • we would have to turn the current flower shop in Roslindale into a year round Boston Botanical Garden which would be free to the public and kept in trust for the flower lovers in Boston.
  • local Boston churches, charities and schools who have been so kind to Exotic Flowers over the years will be rewarded handsomely.
  • the staff at Exotic Flowers in Boston would be handsomely rewarded and go on much deserved vacation.
  • a concerted effort would be made to work with The Women's Locker Room Foundation in helping homeless women.
  • and of course there will be lots of free flowers and roses for all our Boston clients until we close the doors.
If you're playing Powerball, keep us in mind when you win. No celebration is complete without flowers.

Tags: Lottery, Powerball, Boston Florist, Boston Greenhouse

Gardening Tips for the beginning of June in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jun 05, 2012

  • Boston Garden Center
  • With the current rainy weather in Boston, now is a great time to do some weeding. Weeds come out of the ground a lot easier when they are hydrated. Drier weeds tend to grasp onto the ground making it much more difficult to pull out.
  • Incorporate easy care vegetable plants and herbs into your Boston landscape. Nestle your rosemary, thyme and beans amongst your day lilies. This combination gives you a nice textured garden while also bearing delicious additions to your meals. Plant some thyme along your walk way. Fragrant herbs are a great addition to roast chicken, are resilient against footsteps and many will return next spring, (perennials).
  • Boston Nursery
  • If you are stretched on time and enjoy flowers in your garden like most Bostonians, then seek out easy care annuals like coleus, impatiens and begonias. These easy care annuals provide instant color, just ask for regular watering and little maintenance. These annuals will bloom in your garden until late October.
  • If your tomato plants are now planted and outside, do not forget to stake them or even better put tomato cages on them now. You do not want to wait until they are too big.
  • Container gardens; probably the best investment you can make if you live and work in Boston. A mixed pot of annuals on your front steps not only increases your home's appearance but makes a huge difference for your neighbors as well.
  • Container gardening in Boston

Tags: Garden Center, Gardening, Boston Greenhouse

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