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Cool Plant Designs for Outdoors

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

Gardens are made to be enjoyed, to provide food from our vegetables, to produce stems of beautiful blossoms for our homes and to satisfy our green thumbs as our beloved hobby.  For many Bostonians, the design and shape of the beds is imperative to expressing our gardening personalities along with their contents of various plantings.  It is in the nature of those true gardeners who design every last nook and cranny from their flowerpots to window boxes in order to manifest the most spectacular display for the summer season.  There will be hanging baskets, vine curled trellises and exploding foliage sprouting from every inch of soil available and just in case we find another ingenious innovation that might look splendid within our gardening efforts, we save room for that too…

Trending this year is a new way to architect plant appearances and honestly, it’s a pretty cool change from your typical straight as an arrow plantings.  By using diagrams constructed by our regions most talented horticulturalists, we are able to now manipulate the pathway of shoots, tendrils and leaf formations to create art for our gardens!  Not only will the contemporary techniques update your flower and vegetable beds but they will also inspire others to join in the fun!  Sometimes children and spouses are reluctant to participate in backyard toiling but I guarantee, these ideas will get everybody up and excited about getting their hands in the dirt!

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Stunning Reading Nook


Constructed from

growing stems of

Myrtle structured

to form a hut.

   Recycled Shoe Rack For Lettuce


            Talk about your clever ways to go

                      green and saving space!

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   Child’s Shopping Basket of Greens


   Inspire the little ones with this

   shopping cart reused for growing

   cabbage, basil and peppers.  Line

   the inside with moss and watch

   the basket literally fill with veggies!

    Wheel of Herbs


   So fun for a pretty backyard piece!

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, Garden Show, outdoors, Outdoor Living, Vegetable Garden

Cool Foods That Yield Plants

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

I saw this in a book recently and couldn’t believe my eyes when the author listed an extensive list of fruits and vegetables that actually could be used to re-grow food!  We have all done the potato experiment in science class as kids but I honestly didn’t realize that the possibilities are numerous.  Did you know that there is produce available in your super market that if prepared correctly will actually grow into a tree that you can plant in your backyard?  Or how about a vegetable that can reproduce multiple bearings of veggies just by placing it within the correct environment?  It’s true and they’re the perfect projects that you can set up for your kids to teach them a thing or two about cultivation, agriculture and preserving our natural resources.  Although there are many, here were my favorites that I couldn’t wait to try out on my own!


Avocados avocado-heart-400x400

You’ll want to keep the pit of an eaten avocado and wash it thoroughly.  Prick toothpicks through the heart and immerse a little under one half of the seed in warm water.  Be careful not to place the cup in a brightly lit window and wait for the fruit to root three inches.  Once the plant leaves begin to grow, you can repot in soil and watch your new avocado tree grow!





                          photo credit:

You can’t get any easier than this when trying to replicate a one unit of food into several.  In fact, you don’t even need water or soil in the beginning because the onion will sprout its own green shoot once it begins to age.  You can simply drop the entire head with the greens protruding upward though the soil and be amazed how fast your old onion blooms into an impressive plant!




                     photo credit:


Although it’s true that most varieties of apples need pollination, there are a few exceptions.  Simply core the seeds from types such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Braeburn and place in a fertilized pot near a well-lit window.  Water every other day and watch the sprout begin to rise.  When the stem is strong enough to withstand the outdoor elements, you can plant it in your backyard.  It may not produce a ton of fruit as a natural pollinating species, but you will be amazed at your new apple tree, which can be grown just about anywhere!

Tags: Gardening, Garden Show, Vegetable Garden

Top Ways to Spend Your Tax Returns to Improve Backyards

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 10, 2015

Are your pockets bulging from your recent IRS tax returns?  Is it burning a whole through your wallets?  Are you wondering what to do with this windfall of cash? Unfortunately, that trip to the Keys or shopping spree to the mall might have to hold off until next year…


For homeowners, many of us suffered a pretty hefty handling of damage from this winter’s blizzards and need to do a ton of clean up and repairs to get things back to where they used to be.  Gardens and landscaping particularly took a hard hit destroying sheds, pool coverings and recent shrubbery plantings.


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 It’s not as depressing as it sounds, I promise.  Purchasing supplies that will rebuild your surrounding property will not only increase its value but also provide a visually appealing oasis for you and your family to enjoy during the summer months. 


But where should you start?


The first thing you should do is to take a walk around your house and write down everything that looks like it needs to be replaced.  Include broken fences, rotted raised flowerbed wood, tree destruction, shrub decay and lawn tile breakage.  Once you’ve got everything listed, go through and mark the estimated cost for repair.  Choose one issue that is on the more expensive side and one that is less expensive.  That’s where you want to begin buying materials to fix these impairments.  If there is something that you know you just can’t wait to see new again, go ahead and put it as the top priority.  After all, it is your money!  


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Patio and lawn furniture is unfortunately one of the most commonly replaced summer products for New England homeowners.  Although they are supposed to be stored once the snowfall arrives, we sometimes get bogged down with other winter chores and preparations and simply forget to.  That’s why its so important to find places in your area that sell second hand tables and chairs for the outdoors so that you don’t have to spend a ton of your tax return replacing the originals.  If you don’t have any of these treasure troves located close by, seek out confinement or reparation stores that might carry these items at a bargain price.  You’ll love the retro feel and be pleasantly surprised as to the money you’ll save!


  photo credit:Flower Factor

Unfortunately, we’re all going to be replanting many of our favorite perennials this year due to the severity of the ice that Bostonians experienced but that doesn’t mean we have to blow our wad entirely!  There are plenty of deals for these blossoming beauties; you just have to find them.  Try visiting garden club sales where you can usually pick up stunning clippings from other people’s gardens at a low cost.  Lamb’s ear and lady’s mantle in particular are fabulous specimens to be on the lookout for.  Don’t forget to drop by local farm stands too because often, they carry samplings from their own harvests and sell them at cheaper prices than larger greenhouses.

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Suzie will be spending the spring at our Westwood home rehabilitating her garden.

Tags: Gardening, Garden Show, Outdoor Living, Spring, Yard Work

Step Into Spring at the Chestnut Hill Mall

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Mar 30, 2011

Step Into Spring

Dear friends, 

Spring has awakened at Exotic Flowers. Our greenhouses are bursting with pansies, lilies, geraniums and hundreds of annuals. Spring is an exciting time of year here. We are at our busiest in May, even busier than December. You will witness all kinds of innovations at Exotic Flowers. Every single one has you in mind. Let us know how we are doing.
In April, Exotic Flowers will be participating in Step Into Spring at the Chestnut Hill Mall. This annual show will also honor a most cherished guest. My wife Suzie has been asked to read her fabulous children's book, The Land of Chocolate Cosmos at the Children' s Spring Fling portion of the show on April 16th from 12-2pm. Please stop by and say hello.




Step Into Spring Annual Spring Garden & Flower Show
Spring Show In Chestnut Hill 
Spring will bloom early this year at the Mall at Chestnut Hill! Exotic Flowers will be participating in "Step into Spring" Annual Spring Garden & Flower Show!

Starting April 1st through May 15th, award winning landscape artists, horticulturists and master gardeners will share exquisite examples of richly planted gardens, stone sculptures and unique garden settings in common areas throughout the mall! See native floral & fauna and also some of the... most rare and unusual varieties. Examples of textures and blooming colors of the natural outdoors will be on view throughout both levels of the mall! Mark your calendars for both upcoming events:


Public Reading for The Land of Chocolate Cosmos
The Land of Chocolate Cosmos

 The Land of Chocolate Cosmos is the first book in the Green Series dedicated towards educating and empowering children to change the world's environmental concerns. Within the first tale, a community is distraught when their magical natural resource, the chocolate cosmos flower, is overused and abused. With the help of Coco, the people learn how to recultivate and preserve the cash crop, sustaining the sweet enchantment of chocolate that once enriched the town.

Come visit author Suzie Canale at the Children's Spring Fling" - Saturday, April 16th starting 12 noon to 2 pm at the Spring flower show at the Chestnut Hill Mall. She will be reading and signing her landmark children's book. 

We are coming up on two of the busiest weeks of the year at Exotic Flowers. Easter is April 24th. Administrative Professional's Day is Wednesday April 27th. Mother's Day is Sunday May 8th. Do not get shut out. Order early.




Rick Canale
Exotic Flowers
Family Owned & Operated

Tags: Land of Chocolate Cosmos, Flower Show, Garden Show

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