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Message From Forest Hills Cemetery

Posted by Exotic Flowers on Wed, Sep 02, 2020


Hi Rick,

photo of bronze by Fern Cunningham

Fern Cunningham-Terry was buried at Forest Hills yesterday.  She was a local sculptor and we have one of her beautiful bronze pieces on our grounds.  Many times, people leave flowers in the arms of this particular sculpture, (The Sentinel).  Of course we had to do the same for her family on the day of her burial.  Attached is a picture of a stunning spray of baby pink roses you father sold me and it looks perfect.  The family was very touched.  Thank you for you and your family’s assistance in reaching people’s hearts when words aren’t enough.





Tags: Cemetery Flowers, Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain

What Flowers Should I Bring to the Cemetery ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 10, 2014

There are flowers for all occasions.  Some are happy, some are sad and some are given with the intent of remembrance.  During these times when we select pieces to honor those we have lost, many look for blooms, which reflect memories of their spirit, hoping to feel once again connected to those who are gone.  Memorial urns, cascades and plants are placed to signify our love and admiration at the sites of their burial for this reason.  We seek to select arrangements that will not only signify our emotion but also withstand the natural outdoor elements that are accustomed to cemeteries and graveyards.  How do we choose remembrance arrangements that are beautiful but will hold up for an elongated time outside?  Here are a few popular floral ideas that will satisfy both the demands of eye appeal and longevity for your loved ones memorial sites.


Long lasting flowers are some of the more popular choices for this type of occasion.  While no blossom is immune to death, there are varieties that will outlive some of the more delicate picks.  Lilies for example, are excellent because of the boldness of their flower’s head and their ability to last for longer than a week depending on the freshness of the stems.  Special species in the lily family, which make great solutions for memorial vases, are Asiatic lilies, known to be grown in bright colors as well as possess strong chutes enabling a longer length of service and calla lilies that boast an elegant white cone shaped face.  


Another type of flower high in demand by funeral specializing florists are in the tropical family with options of birds of paradise, ginger and dendrobium orchids.  Highly branded as strong and almost indestructible (again, make sure you are purchasing the products from a reputable wholesaler with high quality and fresh inventory), their durability and exotic presentation keep this variety on the most wanted list for this type of floral work.  Tropicals are easily mixed with one another and look favorably with other tropical greens including bamboo and hosta leaves.  Don’t be intimidated by a slight increase in cost, their beauty and perpetual ability to outlast other common stems of roses and carnations will leave funeral goers in awe of the design work.


You can’t talk about the options of memorial flowers without mentioning the use of silk flowers within this segment of the flower business.  Un-beloved by all, they do offer the indestructible feature of not being alive and the fact that contemporary manufacturers have made silks a lot more attractive and life like.  Varieties that have ranked among the higher desired for funeral pieces are oncidium, pussy willow and forsythia branches.  If you’re not a huge fan of this material, there is no law stopping designers from intertwining real flowers with the fake.  Peonies, iris and chrysanthemums can add an authentic appeal to urns when paired with quality silk accessories.  Onlookers will love the depth of color and be none the wiser that the piece contains faux stems of flowers. 

Whether you visit Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston to visit E.E. Cummings' grave  or Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park to visit Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's grave, make sure you bring flowers.


Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Suzie lives in Westwood, MA with her family. She works at the Westwood Public Library, has published four children's books and is the founder of the Women's Lockerroom Foundation.


Tags: Cemetery Flowers, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Funeral Flowers

Remembering Memorial Day in Boston Cemeteries with Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, May 19, 2014

Boston Cemetery FlowersIn Flanders Fields by Col. John McCrae, WWI Veteran

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Mattapan Grave FlowersThe First Official Memorial Day
May 30, 1868

Do you celebrate Memorial Day? In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day. He declared it to be "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land."

In 2014, we often celebrate Memorial Day with cookouts and baseball games. As a local florist in Boston, Exotic Flowers and Lombardi Florist on American Legion Highway are surrounded by cemeteries; Saint Michael's Cemetery, Forest Hills Cemetery, Mount Hope Cemetery, Mount Calvary Cemetery, New Calvary Cemetery, Oak Lawn Cemetery. Fresh flowers and live blooming plants are an ideal way to show your deceased loved ones how much you miss you them.

At Exotic Flowers, we always suggest outdoor blooming plants like geraniums, marigolds and petunias. These plants require less care than other items and will often remain on the grave until Father's Day. If a local Boston cemetery allows planting, the Exotic Flowers staff will suggest planting your geranium so that your plant can flourish through the summer.

Fresh flowers for the graves are nice, but will often only last one day. Exotic Flowers in Boston carries disposable containers that stake into the ground. These aluminum can vases hold water and retail for only five dollars. Carnations are a great choice, because they even look alive when they are dead.

Memorial Day Flowers

Tags: Cemetery Flowers, Memorial Day, Flanders Field

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe - His Love Shown in Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jan 07, 2014

DiMaggio and Marilyn Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe remain one of the most famous couples in history. Eventhough their marriage lasted only nine months, DiMaggio and Monroe's relationship is legend. Joe's affection for Marilyn was always visible in many gestures. Seven years after their marriage, we can see evidence of his affection by this New York florist's receipt for two dozen roses. Forty years later this same order would be $200. I did try and see if Goldfarb Flowers of New York was still in business, but had no luck.marilyn monroe florist resized 600

DiMaggio who was known to be serious, private and reserved rarely let others know his many acts of kindness for Marilyn. Upon her tragic death, DiMaggio even tended to all the details of her funeral. At her funeral, Joe's affection was again shown with flowers, below is a picture of a funeral heart of roses for Marilyn.


One often hears that flowers say what words cannot. Joe DiMaggio was a man of few words, but his fans can see that he expressed himself with flowers.

After Marilyn's death, Joe also arranged for flowers to be put at her grave every week for more than twenty years. DiMaggio realized the importance of beautifying her grave with fresh flowers and the importance that flowers have in our lives.

Marilyn Monroe grave flowers

August 4th, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death. Marilyn Monroe remains a cultural icon and her fans continue to show their affection with fresh flowers at her grave. flowers at Marilyn grave resized 600

Fresh flowers at the cemetery remain the best way for us to keep in touch with our loved ones.

Tags: Cemetery Flowers, Baseball, Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, Funeral Flowers

Arlington National Cemetery Welcomes Flowers for Veterans

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Nov 11, 2013

During Veteran's Day we are reminded of our freedom and the many who have sacrificed their lives in defending that freedom. At Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, thousands of visitors show their respect for our veterans with flowers for their graves. Flowers at a gravesite not only show honor and respect but also show love for the one who has died. 
cemetery flowers veterans resized 600 Arlington National Cemetery even realizes the importance of having arranged flowers. They offer complimentary cemetery vases to insert your mixed flower bouquet into. Arlington National Cemetery is a visual masterpiece. Walking the grounds of the cemetery sends chills up your spine. Every American can say they have a loved one there, as these men and women have given us so much more than we could ever give them. Flowers at their gravesite is the least we can do.
Arlington National Cemetery even has a set of floral guidelines which exhibit how important they feel flowers are. 
  • Fresh cut flowers may be placed on gravesites at any time. Arlington National Cemetery provides portable cones for flowers that public may use. These cones can be found throughout the cemetery in centralized stone containers.
  • Artificial flowers may be placed on gravesites from October 10 through April 15.
  • The government does not assume any responsibility for damaged or missing flower arrangements.
  • Planting of flowers, shrubs, etc. is prohibited.
  • Potted plants are permitted during the period 7 days before and 7 days after Easter.
  • Wreaths are permitted during the holiday season (from 1 Dec until mid-January).
  • Floral items will be removed from the gravesites as soon as they become faded and unsightly.
  • Prohibited decorations include: statues, vigil lights, flags, glass objects of any nature, and any type of commemorative items and are not permitted on gravesites—except for U.S. flags placed on the gravesites by government employees for Memorial Day.
  • Floral items and other types of decorations are not to be secured to the headstone or marker.
  • Flowers may be placed at the bottom of a column at the niche wall or in the Columbarium.
Every Christmas since 1992, Arlington National Cemetery has been the recipient of 5000 donated Christmas wreaths for the graves there. 
Arlington Christmas Wreath  resized 600
Even if you cannot get to Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran's Day. There are thousands of veterans' graves in the Boston area where you can leave a stem or two of flowers to show your respect.

Tags: Cemetery Flowers, Patriot's Day, Veterans Day, Veterans, Patriot Day, Patriotic Flowers

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