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Exotic Flowers in Boston

The First Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 23, 2015

New England is the absolute best place in the world to be when celebrating Thanksgiving!  Not only do we have the historical background such as Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, but we also have fabulous crisp and cool weather that is the perfect compliment for Turkey Day.  Bostonians have loads of decorative options available to dress up their homes and dining tables including a vast assortment of flowers that might well have been the same that the pilgrims placed on their tables!  

May Flower ?


photo credit:

So what do you think?  Did the pilgrims really have the creative touch to arrange a few bouquets for their first November feast in America?

Gooseberries ?

photo credit: wikipedia

I would have to agree they did!

Bittersweet Vine ?

photo credit: marbleheadconservancy,org

With so many natural flora and fauna growing wildly around them, why is it so far fetched that they too, might have chosen a centerpiece to accessorize their festive gathering?

Wheat ? Beach Roses ?

After some careful research, these are a few of the possibilities that the Massachusetts settlers could have used on Thanksgiving.  If any of you are history buffs and want to make your holiday as authentic as possible, try digging up one of these for your floral displays!

Tags: Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

Is it Too Early To Be Buying Our Christmas Decorations?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Nov 14, 2015

There’s been a lot of hubbub lately surrounding the issue of whether it is too early to be stocking up on Christmas fare when it’s only November.  Starbucks is the latest culprit who recently launched their “red cup” marketing ploy, which interestingly enough has attracted a large amount of controversial press.  Is it wrong to change all accessorized décor color to red and green?  Is it pushing things to be lighting up the trees with holiday bulbs?  Or how about this one- buying floral centerpieces designed to reflect the Yule Tide season?  Is it offensive or simply a show of our adoration for the merriest time of the year?  

photo credit: Flower Factor

Personally, my holiday spread is put up a couple of weeks into December and taken down one week after Christmas but that’s just me.  I understand that there are many people out there who want to grab every second they can out of the season and I admire you, I really do.  But you have to admit, there’s no doubt the ugly head of commercialism does play a part in the mass movement to put Santa Clauses in storefronts even before we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving.  Do we actually spend more when influenced by the merchandising of Frasier Firs standing in doorways and twinkling lights dangled across glass display cases?  Most advertising business experts agree that inarguable, we do.

photo credit: Flower Factor

So what does that mean for Boston florists who are beginning to bring in shipments of poinsettias, Christmas trees and wreaths?  I’d say it’s a pretty good prediction that there will be a solid sales base for the early bird shoppers who can't wait to stock up on seasonal festivities. If customers are eager for holiday pieces but are torn by the issue of the timing possibly being premature, offer them arrangements that include some identifiable props but still can be categorized as appropriate for fall.  By not overwhelming clientele with a complete switch to silver bells and frosted greenery, we can make the most of November and December by easing ourselves gently into the holiday season.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas, Holidays, Christmas Flowers, December

Thanksgiving Day Décor

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 06, 2015

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many of us are already planning our festivities including our dinner menu, guest list and of course, the floral centerpieces.  Flowers are an imperative addition to your holiday dining atmosphere (to a florist anyways) but there are other ways to decorate your home using materials naturally located in your house or items requiring very little cost.  Zipping up your abode with color, texture and interesting accessories matching the Thanksgiving Day theme will enhance your celebration with more than just a full belly.  Try these beautiful arts and crafts for your holiday gathering and quickly watch them become a part of your annual traditions.


                       If You’re Into the Natural Thing…

thanksgiving decor 

Photo credit: Flower Factor

We’re in New England people, so let’s use the gifts that Mother Nature has bestowed on us and tweak both our outdoor and indoor living spaces using these readily available props!  Pumpkins should be number 1 on your shopping list because there’s a ton of ways to use these perky little darlings plus they’re cheap.  Try lining your walkway with an assortment of different shaded legumes or simply grab a bail of hay and place a few gourds and pumpkins on top to make a seasonal display.  Smaller pumpkins are also great to put here and there on your dining room table as part of the setting.  A spectrum of red, yellow and orange fall leaves are wonderful for garnishing platters and pinecones are stunning for making candleholders or wreathes.


If You Have Kids…

photo credit:

If you have kids than its time to put them to work!  Easy peasy tracing crafts such as drawing their hands and coloring them in to look like a turkey is one way to get art up on your walls ASAP.  Another fun thing for the tots to do is make a turkey body using anything from clay, Styrofoam, Play Doh or even paper and have them cut out feathers with different colored construction paper.  Make all of your guests fill a strip out stating what they are thankful for most this holiday and have them place them back into the turkey using toothpicks.  Put in the center of the table and Voila you have your perfect centerpiece!


If You’re A Clever Art Lover…

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If you love the idea of decorating but you like to keep things simple and uncluttered, you’re going to adore these fancy yet delicate little add-ins you can whip up for your home this Thanksgiving!  For dinner labels, I suggest you get some inexpensive pots and paint them with chalk paint ,which you can find at any hardware store.  Give them a coat of black and then with regular paint, outline a band around the middle and a gold square to become a buckle.  Grab some chalk, and write your guests names to place at their seats.  Now they won't only have a delicious meal to dine on but they can take home their own pilgrims hats as a party favor!  

Tags: Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

Fall Décor for Your New England Front Door

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Sep 29, 2015

We’re New Englanders so it’s pretty safe to say that we are really into the seasonal changes, particularly autumn.  We admire everything from the leaves changing color to the acorns piling up on the ground because they are all beautiful signs from Mother Nature that fall has arrived.  For those who like to decorate, these natural gifts from the outdoors are often utilized in accessorizing our homes such as back patios, doorsteps and walkways.  One area that appears to be a strong focus for Boston home designers are the pieces used as props for our front doors.  

Why is that such a desired display feature?  

photo credit:

The entryways to our homes are the first impressions we give to visitors that can have a direct effect on their mood or state of mind for the duration of their stay.  If we give friends and families a presentation that encourages an elated or comfortable feeling, than some believe that their visit will reflect these positive emotions.  

Sound silly to you?  

Photo credit:

Well, have a look at these top autumn looks for New England front doors and see if your state of mind is automatically improved!  All of these designs are easy to construct on your own and lucky for us Bostonians, the materials are readily available as well.  If you’re not sure that your artistic capabilities are up to the challenge, visit your local flower shop that will be glad create the perfect piece for you’re home.  Happy decorating!

Tags: Halloween Decorating, Autumn, Fall, Holiday Decor, Outdoor Living

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 30, 2015

Easter is a celebration that entails several dimensions and traditions.  For those who observe this holiday, customs include religious rituals, family gatherings and special feastings that bring loved ones together.  For some, the anticipation of dyeing Easter eggs is also part of the excitement, particularly for those who have young children.  Over generations, there have been several strategies and techniques that have been passed down claiming to be the best way to create these festive decorations.  Even the process of readying the eggs has become debatable on whether pricking a whole at each end and blowing out the yolk or otherwise keeping the contents and simply boiling them before crafting.  What to color the eggs with is also a complicated choice because of the extensive products that you can purchase in stores or otherwise making your own dye concoction using kitchen ready ingredients.  Easter egg dyeing is serious business and one can feel overwhelmed when deciding just how to go about it.  After careful research, I’ve found some effective and efficient ways to color your eggs that will leave even the Easter Bunny speechless!

 egg-dyeing-app-d107182egg-basics0414_vert                                     photo credit: Emily Kate Roemer via 

 Although millions of eggs are dyed each year in totality with food coloring, there’s nothing that says you can’t decorate using plain acrylic paints.  Not only will they be bright in color but kids and adults can put their own original touch within design and shading that a store bought brand wont allow you to do.  Patterns of stripes, polka dots and elaborate pictures are just a few of the possibilities when using crafting paints and will also encourage the little artist in you and your family.  One tip to keep in mind, water or oil based paints will not give the desired results that you’re looking for so be sure to have the right variety. 


                                      photo credit:

If you’re looking to make some fancy eggs, try using this recipe to create marble eggs quickly and inexpensively.  Take 3 to 4 mugs and add 7 droplets of food coloring.  Add to each container 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.  Fill the rest with water until it is about ¾ full of liquid.  With a spoon, stir the contents to make a spinning whirlpool.  Carefully place the egg on the utensil and gently lower into the moving vessel.  Count to 10 and then remove to allow drying.  For this method, a hard-boiled egg works best because the lightness of an egg that has been hollowed out may crack up against the mug during the dyeing process. 


                                                  Photo Credit; Emily Kate Roemer via

This idea is my favorite so far…  Visit your local hardware store and buy a small canister of chalkboard paint.  Paint the eggs (again, this works best with hard-boiled eggs) and set aside on a paper towel to dry, touching up spots that may smudge in the process.  Find some regular chalk and let your family stencil their eggs anyway that comes to their imaginations. This is a wonderful tactic for small children because if they make a mistake and want to change it, all they have to do is erase and draw again. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Suzie will be coloring eggs this week with her two boys.

Tags: Traditions, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holiday Memories, #EXFL

Easter Lilies - a Fusion of Beauty and Tradition

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Easter Lilies


Easter will be celebrated in many different ways within the city of Boston this April.  Depending on a person’s depiction of the holiday, various methods and tools will be used such as decorating eggs, displaying Easter baskets, hunting for hidden chocolate treats, attending religious services or maybe even hosting a feast of a pineapple glazed ham.  Sure, it’s pretty likely that our children will be anticipating a visit from the big white bunny but what else do we use in our preparations during this time of year?  One custom that is popular in many homes this holiday is the Easter lily plant, which has it’s own fascinating explanation as to why its demand is so high.  I’ll bet you’ll be as surprised as I was to learn the different correlations that this bulbed beauty has tied to Easter and what makes this one of the highest produced greenhouse products next to the poinsettia, azalea and mum. 


First of all, the physical attribute of the Easter lily is reason enough to seek this as a centerpiece or gift.  The plant yields long tube-like heads that resemble a trumpet shape that stretches either flat out, down or slightly up.  Leaves are also sleek, growing in a deep green with a silky texture that runs straight across the plant from its base to the head.  Easter lilies were historically imported from Japan but began to decline during the 1940’s when cultivators from California and Oregon began improving growing systems in their greenhouses.  As technology developed, the bulb quickly became one of the U.S.’s highest demanded bulbs to remain shipped throughout the states and then exported across the globe.  The bulb is systematically planted in pots during the fall and forced to grow during the winter so that they would be ready for a March or April crop.  Because they could be harvested on domestic soil, the Easter lily has remained both easily supplied and economically reasonable in price.  These two factors encouraged people to buy the seasonal flower and use it annually during their celebrations. 


Other reasons that make the Easter lily popular is the meaning of the name, which means purity, birth and renewal-all thematic concepts of the Easter holiday.  Religious scripture believes that these particular lilies grew from the droplets of sweat that Jesus made during his last hours.  Flowers sprung to life from the perspiration symbolizing the rebirth of Christ, making the lily one of the highest regarded flowers in the Bible.  Catholic artwork emphasizes this connection with several paintings including one of the Virgin Mary surrounded by white lilies while pregnant and also featured at her tomb.   If you are planning on attending a service at your church, you can bet you’ll see several specimens of Easter Lilies both lining the aisles and perhaps even planted in a cross formation. 


If you haven’t bought an Easter lily for your celebration plans, visit your local florist to find a healthy selection of potted plants or even cut flowers that make excellent centerpieces.  Those lacking a green thumb will also love that these are pretty hard to kill, as they need only a little water to keep moist and a sunny space to sit. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holidays, Plants

Flower Arrangements for Passover

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Mar 24, 2015

Passover is a wonderful Jewish celebration where family and friends gather together to eat, laugh and be with one another.  Beginning and ending from eve to eve starting Friday, April 3rd to Saturday, April 11th, preparations are already being made for this holiday where music, food and even flowers are utilized to reflect Passover traditions.  Party planners suggest using color, texture and customary artifacts when planning your Seder table, which includes everything to the table linens to the lighting and settings.  Some even attempt to coordinate the dishes being served to the decorations seen throughout the home to present a “unified” feel to their event.  Floral pieces have customarily always been an integral part of this feast where styles range from sophisticated contemporary to authentic traditional.  Whether you’re looking to duplicate shades of delicacy within your vases or you simply want to accessorize the celebration with perfect blooms, here are some ideas that Boston florists are ready and able to make happen for you this Passover.

 passover flowers in sharon

                                          Photo Credit: Flower Factor

Selecting varieties that compliment your dinner menus have become a popular way to design the Seder table settings.  Since leavened flour and grains are left out of these recipes, fabulous courses such as Matzo Ball soup, Brisket, haroset and rich cakes for dessert are most popularly made to dine on.  Matching a few types of flowers to these delicious dishes not only enhances their desirability but also compliments the tones of glorious color that they possess.  For example, the rich red tint of a raspberry glaze atop of brisket can be paired well with an arrangement of burgundy roses or ruby red ranunculus. Baby artichokes are also seen quite often where you can request your florist to place real artichoke heads within your centerpieces or you can pick up a few of these veggies at your local supermarket and do this task yourself.  The flourless chocolate cake that is sometimes served at the end of the meal is even more decadent when placed next to a vase of white calla lilies giving the black and white appeal to the feast. 

 passover flowers in newton

                                               Photo Credit: Flower Factor

What if you’re not into the matchy matchy look and just want to celebrate the spirit of the season within your flower arrangements?  Well you’re in luck because Passover occurs exactly during the time of year when beautiful harvests of spring flowers are arrive once again.  There is no shortage of exquisite lilies, tulips, hyacinth and sweet peas that are promised to look stunning placed on the table.  You can also arrange clumps of blossoms by color or variety, making a dramatic but fuss free impact on guests as they dine.  Other suggestions are to use single stem bud vases with lily of the valley or create four to five smaller vases around the settings holding vibrant jewel tones such as delphinium, roses or daffodils. 


Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA


Tags: Passover Flowers, Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holiday Memories, #EXFL

Resurrect Your Tradition with Easter Flower Centerpieces

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 23, 2015

easter flowers for the table

                       photo credit: Flower Factor

In just a few weeks, it will be time for the bunny to arrive and you know what that means.  Time to put out your best china, decorate eggs, accessorize with pastels, pull out holiday recipes and most importantly order your Easter Sunday table centerpiece!  This year, Boston florists are offering a whole new array of choices perfect for April 5th’s festivities that not only will create the perfect setting for friends and families but also inspire a spring feeling that all New Englanders are craving after this winter.  Past Easter arrangements often were styled in a soft mixture of light pink, peach and baby yellow with sprigs of octoberweed or if not too expensive and available, lady’s mantle.  The French styled, rounded pieces were admittedly perfect for the season but lacked adventure and let’s face it- we all need a little pop of adventure these days.  Luckily, contemporary artists are coming up with some new options for us to enjoy with ideas encompassing a more vibrant palette.

 Easter flowers

                   photo credit: Flower Factor

We’re switching the blushing pink for some hot fuchsia this time around and there’s not an inch of doubt about the positive impact the color trend will happily surprise flower lovers.  Traditionally the softer sides of this shade are used but why can’t we amp up the volume and give Easter celebrations the bright and fun splash that it deserves?  Fuchsia can be easily combined with other deeper tints such as plum purple, burgundy and tangerine orange so don’t be afraid to ask your Boston florist for something different than what you usually order.  If you still want to experience the delicate gesture of pastels in your pieces, request that your flowers include some of the traditional tints of cream and baby blue.   The bouquet will still showcase the exciting new style as well as expel the romantic feel that Easter blossoms are famous for. 

 easter centerpiece

                          photo credit: Flower Factor

Spring bulbs are more than just the daffodils popping up from a newly thawed lawn you know.  Boston designers are beginning to implement them in arrangements because they have a lot to offer including texture, architectural placement and color appeal.  Fabulous choices available may be lily of the valley, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, paper whites and fancy tulips.  Usually, they are forced open by growing them in a pot of soil in a warm area near light.  When ready, they are transplanted into a holiday box garden or simply cut and arranged with other spring blooms.  If they have been kept attached to the bulb, customers will enjoy the extra longevity of the plant and may even be repotted in the garden if the season is cooperative.  I recently tried this experiment and was able to force white daffodils by placing them in a cup of water allowing the roots to grow and a stem to sprout.  After a healthy unit matured, I placed the bulb with a grown flower in a container full of soil and used green moss to surround the base.  The presentation was not only inexpensive to make but offered a beautiful springtime time presentation. 

 Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holidays

Saint Patricks Day Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 09, 2015

So you might think that Saint Patrick’s Day is all about the corn beef cabbage, beer and wearing the color green but Bostonians are learning that the upcoming holiday has much more to offer in celebratory terms!  Historically, this date marks several themes including religious and regional pride for the Irish culture.  But did you know that March 17th also holds tremendous significance with the celebration of seasonal changes placing importance on the new growth that arrives with warmer weather?  It’s true and the proof dates back to centuries ago when part of the celebration included planting the first seedlings of spring.  Because of this, there is an increase of attention building on the agricultural industry for Saint Patrick’s Day and lucky for us, the heightened demand for fresh cut flowers.  Of course, the flowers that are requested aren’t just any spring blooms that we might be carrying in our coolers this month but ones of course that emulate the theme, tradition and of course, colors of Saint Patrick’s Day.  Now I can tell, you are rolling your eyes and thinking, “Not another year of dyed green carnations” although we are all knowledgeable of the fact that they are one of the biggest sellers in March.  No, you’ll be surprised that there is a greater opportunity for florists to widen their selection of flowers for holiday bouquets and centerpieces that are both creatively designed and contemporary.  Take a look at these popular blossoms and see if they fit your bill for a flower infused Saint Patrick’s Day.


Bells of Ireland

I love Bells of Ireland because of their dynamic shade of brilliant green and the name, which couldn’t get any better, for March 17th orders.  Appearing with a long spike with follicles resembling bells, these stems make design easy because of their durability, low cost and longevity when used in both fresh water vases and oasis.  Having the Latin name, Moluccella laevis, customers will be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful fragrance, which emanates the theme of freshness and springtime.  Bells of Ireland also hold multipurpose because they can be dried by hanging upside down or replanted in gardens once there is no danger of frost or frigid cold weather. 


            photo credit:

Green Calla Lilies

These have got to be the most stunning presentation a Boston florist can display within their shops for this Irish holiday.  Green calla lilies are both structurally interesting yet unique to most other varieties seen in our coolers during the month of March and require little fuss to design a fabulous floral piece.  My favorite species is the Green Goddess that towers majestically and is easily interwoven with other flowers or perfect all by itself for a profound impression.  They are available almost year round from farms in Ecuador and have become more and more affordable since growers production levels have increased.  You will love how easy these beauties will make your designing efforts as well as the silk smooth texture of their gorgeous petals. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

Tags: St Patrick's Day Flowers, Holiday Decor, Saint Patricks Day, Calla Lilies

Efficient Ornament and Christmas Tree Cleanup

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 27, 2014

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!

 Christmas tree disposal Boston

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_SUZIE Rick and Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA Christmas 2014

Suzie is incredibly organized and always has her Christmas down before the New Year.


Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Holidays

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