" ... compared to the past, American consumption is getting both increasingly expensive and, well, decreasingly nice.” - Helaine Olen
Season's Greetings, Dear friends, Higher prices, staff shortages, supply shortages, traffic, and long lines at stores have added even more stress on all of us. Our Christmas trees arrived yesterday. Our order was shorted 23% and of course, our costs increased. It seems like every order is shorted on supply and increased on price, and our staff is as lean as it has ever been. Luckily, we work smart. Decades of experience give us an edge to work smarter and keep our prices reasonable. If you know us, onward and upward is a mission. This year, we have made a huge effort and investment in our holiday displays. You deserve a break and giving this little urban oasis back to the community is the least we can do for those who do so much for us. If you believe in magic, stop by. The explosion of color and holiday decor is sure to bring a smile to a rushed season.
This season, what's old is new again. Rustic reds, burlap and copper accents, vintage trucks and lots of evergreen pine create a very merry vintage motif.
This season, we are reminded of what endures. This is our 89th Christmas as a family owned florist. We have endured. We are thankful for our traditions and thankful for you, our clients.
In partnership with Teleflora, we are proud to offer this Quaint Christmas Bouquet. This vintage container celebrates and honors all those who have purchased Christmas Trees from us.
Capture the quaint charm of a country Christmas with this vintage-inspired metal cube, arranged with lush holiday roses, fresh winter greens and festive decorations!
This vintage-inspired bouquet features red roses, white spray roses, red miniature carnations, white waxflower, flat cedar, noble fir, and oregonia. Delivered in a Merry Vintage Christmas Cube. Celebrate the timeless magic of Christmas with this vintage-inspired metal cube, bursting with charming holiday blooms!
It’s time to hang those wreaths, plug in some lights and get that wrapping paper ready because the holiday season is finally here! If you are already writing down your list of to-do’s, you might want to make sure choosing a Christmas tree is one of your top priorities. What would the holiday season be without the fresh scent of pine wafting through the house and the sparkling of ornaments draped on each bough? You simply cannot do Christmas without the “piece de resistance”! Now, not every tree is the same in the lot so you’re going to want to go shopping with a bit of insight on the varieties available and the differences between them as well. A tree is never just a tree in this business and you’ll need to bring your holiday savviness when you set off on this mission. Here are a few facts to consider as you browse the selection.
Possible Species You May See in New England:
Blue SpruceGreen Spruce
Balsam Fir Fraser Fir
White PineNoble Fir
Listed above are probable species you might catch site of when selecting your tree. With careful study, you’ll notice that these trees all vary in size, width, shade and texture. It all depends on the family’s (or decorators) preference when it comes to opting for one or the other. Be on the lookout for these specific features which will help you to navigate the path to your dream tree!
Blue Spruce-Pretty tree with an oblong shape that has a pointy top which is perfect for hanging a glowing star.
Balsam Fir- The number 1 choice for Bostonians is the balsam because it has a long-lasting lifespan and a pungent aroma that holds for the season.
White Pine- One of the largest species to grow in the forest; for those who like a “showy” Christmas display, this one’s for you!
Green Spruce-Although these are beauties, they possess wicked sharp needles and the branches are loaded with them… Be careful if you have little ones at home.
Fraser Fir- This tree has a great shape for Christmas decorating because the body is a uniform pyramid and the branches twist upwards to prevent ornaments from sliding down.
Noble Fir- These guys can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes but they are stunning for the holiday occasion due to their soft leafage and strong branches. They are rare around these parts since they thrive on warmer Washington and California temperatures.
So, I’m writing this blog topic because it seems to be a seasonal issue that comes up in my household a lot. Whether you reside in an apartment, condo, cottage or mansion, the size of the tree you select for the holidays should really be suitable for the space that you live in. Why am I bringing this up? Because many people become a bit overly exuberant when the time of trimming comes upon us, which can sometimes affect our selection process. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the crisp clean scent of pine wafting through the house for a couple of weeks and hanging heirloom ornaments that have been cherished over the years but isn’t the height and diameter of our Christmas stage a factor to consider? With minimal space, you’ve got to be realistic and opt for trees that will ACCENTUATE not ARROGATE your living space. I get it-you love the yuletide season and finding the biggest, baddest tree in the lot has become an activity you look forward to but you’ve got get real. That sucker is going to be in a living room, dining room, sitting room or wherever for a good chunk of the month and finding the right size is imperative to continuing the household’s routine functionality. Dragging home a whopper that is seven times the build of the dinky corner you’re planning to set it up in can only lead to disorganization, tipping accidents, dry out and even fires. You don’t have to be Clark Griswold to celebrate the holiday in style by mowing down a fir that a cathedral couldn’t even host! Think about where you’re really putting the thing and then browse your options from there. You should also be thinking about the comfort of both you and OTHERS who you’ll be sharing the holidays with since someone’s going to be cleaning up a whole lot of needles for the next month.
If you’re not sure what the right size tree is, ask one of the guys that are working the lot because they have a pretty good idea when it comes to Christmas tree etiquette. If you want, print this out and take it along with you to help make your decision easier and wiser!
My first apartment wasn’t huge but I always had a perfectly trimmed tree that fit beautifully in my living room. This ½ pint adorable pine is all you need to dress your place up for the holidays!
If you are lucky to live in a warm cottage, you might want to think about this size since it is completely reflective of the charm of your home. Not to big, not too little but just right!
If you live here- GO FOR IT! Go check out the monster trees that could only probably fit in the entrance of a mall and light that sucker up!
Snowflakes are beginning to fall throughout New England and we are making our plans for our holiday décor! We’ll be hanging wreathes, boughs and lighting throughout our homes in the hopes that these festive additions will bring joy to our family and friends. For Boston florists, they’re making their lists as we speak to prepare for customers who wish to spread the spirit with decadent blooms. Poinsettias, pine ribbing and myrtle garland always make the top of the list but this year, we’re seeing an interesting trend emerge…
A plentiful variety of orchids are being featured in designer magazines where their customary implant within urns and vases are extending into other areas of Christmas grooming. While the tropical flowers still remain as a substantial part of December centerpieces, they’re also being used as trimming for the tree! If you think about it, this is a clever idea for several reasons including their impressive longevity when placed in water tubes and the wide spectrum of color available from most species. You may have seen flowers such as roses and baby’s breadth hung from balsam boughs in previous years but this new implementation of fancy fleurs is sure to turn heads and outlast past varieties. Flower lovers have always adored the idea of pruning with their favorite blooms but are often disappointed by the cost and maintenance. If fussy flowers are chosen as ornaments, the upkeep to maintain a lively looking display for the duration of Christmas may prove extremely difficult.
photo credit via Cheyenne Tozzi's Instagram Page
That’s why orchids are the solution to this problem and can be enjoyed long after the season if cared for properly. Here’s a list of favoritesthat are sure-fire winners for vase and tree trimming this holiday season.
Not only are these orchids strong and resilient against heat and cold, but they are also grownin the perfect huesfor Christmas-chartreuse green and white. The heads make them noticeable among other ornaments as well and provide an interesting conversational piece for guests.
Phalaenopsis are one of the most popular orchids around the world and due to its impressive beauty, there’s little argument as to why. A single head is large enough to be placed in the tree alone or you can choose large branches to drape across the branches. White remains the most requested color, although this species also comes in shades of pink, yellow and peach. If you really want to get creative, inquire from your florist options for dyed heads.
This is another great option due to its coloring, which is deep red or crimson. The florets are shaped as small stars that are delicately grown up a slender stem. Designers are most likely to place James Story in water tubes and use along side other orchids that are white or brightly colored.
Christmas is the season for time-honored traditions experienced with friends and family. We mark this special occasion by decorating with particular items in order to make our homes feel festive for ourselves and for those who visit. Twinkle lights, wreaths and trees are in high demand throughout Boston and are slowly appearing on doors and spotted within windows. Just by driving by a house lit up by tiny rainbow bulbs, many of us experience a feeling of uplift and immediate joy. Holiday décor plays a very strong influence upon creating the magic that the Yule Tide brings and the emotions that effervesce from these beautiful signs we associate with Christmas. Every year, families partake in seeking out these novelties but have you ever wondered where the traditional influence began? Find out what makes a balsam a Christmas tree and why a circle of garland eventually resulted into a holiday wreath. You may just be surprised how these icons earned their fame and resulted into our most cherished seasonal ornamentation!
Here’s an interesting fact: Did you know that Christmas trees are the only single variety of arbor grown in all 52 states? Yup- and that even includes Alaska and Hawaii! Balsam, spruce and fir species are the #1 cultivated species in the U.S. and that’s all because of our love for Christmas! Historically, there’s a ton of stories claiming the truth behind the Christmas tree but the one I like best is the tale about how the ancient people in the northern hemisphere celebrated the winter’s solstice, (the longest day of the year). They believed that the Sun God had cyclical levels of feeling well during the warmer season and weak during the cold. On December 21st, there would be a celebration for the Sun God because it was the end of her “ailing term” (the cold dark nights) and the beginning of her health once again (the return of heat and sunlight). The people would mark this occasion by using pine and evergreen boughs to hang in their homes as a gesture for an early spring arrival. They chose pine because it held its bright green color throughout the year. The early Vikings and Romans also implemented a similar ritual when they displayed Christmas trees as a sign of continued health and everlasting life.
As you can imagine, wreaths have been used as a symbol throughout time holding both a positive and negative implication. Depending on the culture, region and religion, this icon could be gifted as either a token of victory or hung as a sign of death. In “Christmasy” terms, the shape being a circle is typically tied with unity, everlasting love and “infinity” depictions, almost always recognized as a pleasant connotation. As you might see today different styles woven out of berries, twigs or branches, the wreath is traditionally made with pine bows because past civilizations sought after its unchanging green hue. If you’re Catholic, you might be interested in knowing that the wreath became associated with Christmas after the resurrection of Christ as it became used as a sign of eternal life.
The holiday season can be a wonderful time for most but for others, there’s a lot of stress and hard work involved. If you’re a local flower shop, you really understand this statement. Florists have to move a ton of product just to pay for the increase in overhead during the month of December due to heating, staff and wholesale product prices. For the larger floral operations, they have competition against supermarkets, truck stops and even buy-in-bulk stores like Cosco. There’s a constant price war and in the end-you’re lucky if you can break even. For the smaller flower shops who are struggling to sell their red amaryllis and rose arrangements, they too battle against lower quality look-a-likes sold by neighboring entities who can shove a few poinsettia plants in the window and call themselves a greenhouse. Plain and simple-it’s a tough time of year for these guys so they need to do everything they can to attract customers.
Thankfully, they’re doing a great job because business proprietors and employees have allowed themselves to think outside the box. With creative ideas that work to relax, enchant and excite potential patrons into choosing their store over the others, floral companies are effectively overcoming the saturation of the market during Christmas and are winning back the prestige of their seasonal décor as they should be. Here’s a few ways that are setting these guys apart from the rest!
Music is the Key
Music is the number #1 stimulator that encourages the emotion of happiness. Plug in those speakers and fire up Nat King Cole, Andy Williams or even “Alvin and the Chipmunks Holiday Sing Along” to alleviate tension and increase the spirit of the season! Both your customers and staff will thank you.
Something’s in the Oven
When you have something cooking in the oven, the scent works its way into our neuro-system releasing anxiety and frustration. When the food baking is something sweet, the effects are quadrupled. Offer a nice plate of Christmas cookies to all those who enter your store and make sure you have both gluten and sugar free options for those who prefer an alternative to sugar or have dietary restrictions.
The Wonder of a Flocking Machine
There’s nothing like watching a flocking machine do its magic on a tree farm! The buzzing sound coupled with the white flakes floating up in the air can make anyone smile so if you’re on the fence about making the investment-go for it!
Light It Up
It doesn’t matter if the lights are rainbow-colored, blue, purple, white, red or silver- bulbs are a must when decorating your business for the season. The effect promotes a sense of ethereal and softness curtailing those moods that might be a bit brittle during the month of December.
Celebrate Like It's Family
Do you realize that the people who choose your shop to do businesses with during this season are also welcoming you into their holiday celebrations? Your entity has become a part of their family’s festivities just buy purchasing the perfect Christmas tree, poinsettia plant or pinecone centerpieces from you!
Where There’s a Santa- There’s a Way…
Grab a person who works for you and put them in a Santa Suit! They don’t have to look the part, but they do have to smile and say “ho, ho, ho!” You wont believe how excited the younger customers will be and what it does for your company’s environment as a whole.
Don’t Forget It’s Called the “Season of Giving”!
They don’t call it the “season of giving” for nothing, you know! Contact your local non-profits and donate a few vases and plants for elder and homeless dinners or even ask your local library if you can participate in a free flower arranging demonstration! You’ll feel great and you might even stir a little interest you way!
There’s only one thing left to buy for decoration and that could only be…The Christmas Tree!
It’s the most important display item of the holidays, the star of the show, the Pièce De Résistance! Selecting the perfect tree is a monumental decision, which can sometimes even decide the whole décor feel for your holidays! Do you like them furry, fragrant or with a particular green hue? With so many varieties to choose from such as the Noble, Balsam and Douglas fir, the selecting process can become a bit overwhelming! There are a multitude offactors that go into deciding what type of tree is right for your familyso you might need advice on where the best places are to go looking…
Lucky for Bostonians, we have many tree lots within our vicinity, which carry several different species along with affordable ornaments and lighting options. Depending on your budget and preference, you’ll surely be able to find the ideal specimen for your home to enjoy throughout the season!
We had a lovely time over December, hosting parties, serving delicious cuisine and opening up presents underneath the Christmas tree. It was magical, right? But how on earth do we even begin to cleanup the mess that’s accrued in our house during the holiday season? Honestly, it can be a tad bit overwhelming as to where to begin such a process! There’s the lights, ornaments, special dishware, linens, Santa Claus figurines, Nutcrackers, stockings, garland, wreathes and last but not least the tree to remove so how do we get it done? Don’t feel overwhelmed, there is an organized system for Christmas cleanups that will swiftly and safely get your home looking the way that it did pre-holiday season. So take a deep breadth, roll up your sleeves and get cracking!
The first thing that you should do is carefully remove the stand and all of the ornaments from the tree. Decide which can be stored and which should be disposed of if perishable (example: children’s cookie cutter ornaments or fruit based ornaments). Carefully wrap those that are delicate or highly breakable to avoid shattering and then place in a clearly marked box, “Tree Decorations”. Remove the lights off all branches and either throw away or wrap tightly for next year. Whether you are planning to toss the arbor into the forest or bag it for the town to collect, lights are non-biodegradable and need to be removed in a responsible manner. Boston Public Works will be collecting trees for composting from December 29, 2014 to January 9, 2015. If you leave it on the curb on your recycling day without placing it in a bag, they will handle it for you.
Once the tree is taken care of, it’s a piece of cake. Get your broom out and do a preliminary sweep of the area to get the bulk of the needles and then do the final pick up with a vacuum cleaner. It will cut down exploding bags full of pine and brooms are an energy efficient “green” method of cleaning. Next, pack away the left over Christmas nick-knacks in containers that have labels, you wont want to be blindly searching in the attic next December. Remove all other greenery including wreathes and garland by placing in an environmentally suitable location (again, with no non-biodegradable items attached) or contact the City of Boston for suggested trash sites. Once this has been accomplished, find all tablecloths, hand towels, napkins, table runners, Christmas dishware and any other washable fabric thematic after the holidays and do a thorough cleaning. After they are sparkling, store with the other decorations or in a moisture-free space where they can be used again for years to come. Last but not least, give yourself a pat on the back for a Christmas Cleanup well done!
Rick and Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA Christmas 2014
Suzie is incredibly organized and always has her Christmas down before the New Year.