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Which Flowers Last the Longest ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 13, 2017

This question can be a major problem when deciding which kind of flowers to buy at your next trip to the florist… What species are going to last the longest?  Unfortunately, not even your most dedicated and informed florist can have the absolute answer to this commonly faced dilemma but we can give you some advice and tips to guide your decision.  In horticulture, there are certain species that are known to have more extensive properties of longevity over others.  Sometimes the reason lies behind the species durability and other times this depends on its freshness.  The point is, since the variables can be forever changing, it can be difficult to place your bet on what flower is going to outlive the rest.  Is it simply the luck of the draw when it comes time to placing your order?  Well, sometimes but by following these few pieces of advice, you’ll definitely increase your chances of taking home a “wick” package of blossoms.


What to Ask:

You might have to play a little detective when browsing the floral inventory so make sure you follow these steps.  First of all, keep your eyes peeled for moldy green water or liquid that has a bit of a stagnant smell.  This is a sure-fire tip that the stems have been sitting in the bucket for over a week and you might want to keep looking.  If the liquid smells fresh, then your odds are better that the florist just unpacked them and put them in water.  Another thing to keep in mind is if the foliage has been already stripped close to the head of the flower.  This process is called “cleaning” the stem and can mean that the flowers are being re-primped to help move them out of the store.  The head of the bloom might still look good but it’s a safe bet that the leaves have been removed from shriveling or yellowing.  Also, be on the lookout for droopy or iridescent petals which can be a sign of age as well as missing parts of the head that may have dropped already.

Species to Keep an Eye Out for:

If your number 1 goal is to select the longest lasting flower in the shop and not necessarily a particular bloom you prefer, then there’s actually a list of species that typically survive longer than other inventory on display.  For example, chocolate cosmos (my favorite!) will simply not live as long as roses or hybrid delphinium compared to carnations.  Of course, there’s always influential factors that will elongate life spans such as whether or not it is native or if the product was bought from a pedigree supplier versus a lower grade wholesaler.  Yes, there are varying effects on flowers but if you stick to this list, you’re bound to have success with a healthy arrangement to enjoy in your home.

Blooms that are probable to withstand at least a week to ten days:

  1. Freesia
  2. Roses
  3. Bells of Ireland
  4. Chrysanthemums
  5. Asiatic Lilies
  6. Alstromeria
  7. Asters
  8. Gerbera Daisies
  9. Carnations
  10. Cymbidium Orchids

Tags: Carnations, Orchids, Roses, Flowers

The Meaning of Carnations

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 11, 2016

Love is a Carnation

by Lori

Love is a carnation

So lovely, strong and rare

Brings so much bright temptation

To every look or stare…

carnations meaning

photo credit:

In the flower world, the carnation can seem like an uninteresting specimen when compared to other contemporary species such as orchids but to the general public, they’re noted as being quite special for their meaning.  Although the floral industry now harvests millions of different varieties of flora and fauna for flower lovers to choose from, this traditional blossom still remains a popular option for many different reasons.  Grown especially in Nice, France and the Italian Riviera, carnations make up a whopping 15% of total floral imports into the US even though they seem outdated.  The reason for this phenomenon could be directly related to the traditional symbolism placed on the carnation and the special characteristics it’s believed to hold.  

What does the carnation mean to you?

carnations symbolism

Interestingly enough, the carnation can symbolize ideas of freedom as well as heartbreak and passion.  When used in the context of patriotism, the original context dates back to the “Carnation Revolution” that took place in Portugal in 1974.  The significance of the flower comes from the fact that because so few people were killed after the war ended, people placed carnations inside soldier’s rifles and laid them on the ground as carpets.  

When the carnation is being used to symbolize love, the shade of the flower will be red and might not necessarily mean happiness but instead, breakup or disconnection.  Passion is a strong attribute for the carnation but depending on what shade is displayed, the meaning can change altogether.   

Carnations are lastly tied to the mythological Gods, particularly Dianthus, which is the second name for the blossom.  Several art pieces depicting the gods often have carnations featured in the paintings because of this.  

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

An Italian Florist in Boston on St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Mar 17, 2014

green carnations in boston resized 600 Growing up 100% Italian is quite rare in Boston. I would never trade my heritage for anything. But growing up in Boston also surrounds you with many Irish people and even more Irish customs. My mother, whose parents came from Italy, even cooks corned beef and cabbage every Saint Patrick's Day. This tradition has even carried over to my own family where my wife Suzie, who is part Irish, looks forward to my boiled dinner of corned beef, cabbage, turnip, potatoes, carrots and pearl onions.

New England Boiled Dinner resized 600 During Saint Patrick's week at my house, you will hear us reading the chidlren's book Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk or watching the Janeane Garofalo movie The Matchmaker on TV. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we often speak about tradition and creating your own memories. Saint Patrick's Day is an ideal holiday to start your own tradition. 

I have witnessed many clients at Exotic Flowers who celebrate St. Patrick's Day by buying green carnations in the Boston area. The green carnation reminds of the green shake from McDonalds. You only see them around Saint Patrick's Day. One client in Wellesley has been sending his wife 24 green carnations every year for more than twenty years, while a company on State Street in Boston has bought more than one hundred green carnations every year for the past ten years. They hand a green carnation to each one of their employees to celebrate the holiday. 

So crack open a Guinness, hand your loved one a green carnation and listen to the Irish Rovers belt out my favorite Irish tune, 'The Unicorn,'.

Tags: St Patrick's Day Flowers, Carnations, Traditions, Rick Canale

Where Can I Buy Carnations in Boston ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Jan 17, 2011

Carnations BostonBoston has a reputation for having some flower snobs. These snobs do not care for the most tradtional of all flowers, the carnation. People often ask if we use carnations at Exotic Flowers in Boston ? Yes, Exotic Flowers sells carnations. However, we only use carnations upon request. You might be surprised, but people do ask for carnations. Clients may not ask often, but the carnation has seen a resurgence in popularity in the past few years.

The traditional red, white and pink carnations remain passe, but new varieties like lime green, deep purple and lilac are popular and affordable. Carnations in BostonThis arrangement, 'Roman Holiday' is one of our features for Valentines Day and the arrangement highlights the colors of the holiday and showcases the trendy purple carnation.

The carnation remains affordable, usually $12-$15 per dozen. At Exotic Flowers headquarters, we carry about 600 stems on hand daily. Clients often arrive looking for a long lasting, inexpensive flower. Carnations are also versatile, fragrant and durable.

Carnation ArrangementThe carnation remains the flower of the month for January. Its scientific name, Dianthus Caryophyllus, is derived from the Greek-“dios” and “anthos”,  translation being “The Flowers of God”.  Carnations have been around for about two thousand years. 

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we pride ourselves as florists, neighbors and businessmen. An old time rep used to say 'you should love a third of your merchandise, a third of your merchandise should be your best sellers, and a third should be things you wouldn't be caught dead with.' We really do not care for red carnations, but we are businessmen and aim to meet all the floral needs of our Boston flower buyers.

Carnations in Style

Tags: Carnations, Boston Flowers, Affordable Flower Style

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