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Flowers for Your Summer Cottage

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, May 25, 2018

The salty air is beginning to waft off our coastlines and people everywhere in New England are thrilled to be dreaming of near future visits to our gorgeous beaches.  For some Bostonians, they might even be lucky to own or rent a cottage on the Cape, Maine or Rhode Island in the next few months where they will enjoy the closeness in proximity to the ocean.  New England summers are a treat for us locals so we tend to accentuate the season as much as possible with barbecues, pool parties and evening get togethers on the porch. Foods such as shrimp, lobster and clams are a theme for these events but other areas of party planning are equally qualified for the same sort of inspiration-namely flower arrangements.


photo via

While we usually select blooms such as red berries and pine greenery for winter décor, summer time reflects a whole other field of wild blooms of a softer palette.  Mimicking the motif of a beach cottage, these varieties are softer in nature with hues of pale peaches, whites, creams and blues. Top designers around the city try their best to replicate the sensation of the sea and sand within their pieces so customers will take in the “feel” of the beach even if they are remaining within their city dwellings.  For me, this is my favorite time of year when blossoms represent a core attribute of peace and tranquility, especially when displayed near the oceanfront. If you are anticipating a love for summer flowers reminding you of past/present days spent on the seashore, check out these “can’t miss” bouquets that envelope the meaning of beach living in New England.


Stunning flowers to request or replicate on your own which convey a beachy feel are those that are light, airy and whimsical.  This may sound like a strange description but species such as delphinium, lace flower, ranunculus, garden roses and wisteria are perfect examples of what I’m talking about.  If you live by the shore, take special notice of any blooming shrubs such as hydrangea that love the salt air-they make great clipping for inserts in arrangements. Peonies are another excellent variety that goes cuckoo for a seaside habitat, particularly those that produce buds of sweet pink, cream and blush.  I also like a fresh vase of stems that have been gathered from around the yard in hues of deep blues and purples. If you’re planning a summer getaway to the ocean or just enjoy the notion of the idea, treat yourself to a cottage inspired arrangement which will keep you happy throughout the warmer season!

Tags: Hostess Flowers, Beach, June, Summer, July

Thanksgiving Floral Favors

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 15, 2017

Some of you will be hosting Thanksgiving Day dinners this November and are already busy planning the menu, decorations and seating arrangements hoping this will be one holiday not to forget!  The theme is “Giving Thanks”, where gatherings are representative how much you all mean to one another so it might be nice to send your guests home with a small token to remind them of this!  One example of a gift that is sure to be appreciated is a bud vase filled with seasonal flowers that you can either buy from a florist or make yourself.  There’s no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money or give up hours of time preparing these lively baubles because realistically, we’re all too busy with other holiday chores to add more.  You’ll be happy to know that these specimens displayed below can all be created as fast as 1-2-3 and won’t take up more than an hour of your time to design.  Choose the one you like most and surprise your friends and family with a take-home Thanksgiving treat.


photo credit via

Roses are a fantastic choice when deciding what varieties will work will within small arrangements because they stand alone perfectly by themselves, are available in a multitude of sizes and contain a sweet fragrance that will intoxicate the room.  Roses are also imported and grown within a thousand shades of color so you’ll have no trouble finding hues reflective of the New England autumn we’re known for. Think oranges, yellows and greens to mix together or order this presentation of a two-toned head such as the one featured in this picture.  Adding a bit of brown fabric to create a rustic feel is another great accessory and can be found by shredding scraps of burlap or similar material.  Make sure the container is simple like this glass jar so that there is no distraction from the blossoms and watch your guests melt with appreciation.

This is another great idea to brighten the moods of the people who will be sitting around your table this Thanksgiving!  Simple and seasonally authentic, ranunculus, rose hips and rosemary are stunning when arranged together and will definitely appeal to those who love herbs and garden growing.  Two out of three of these flowers can be dried as well leaving this memento the chance to remind others of happy times spent together long after the holiday is over. Remember to stick with a plain but elegant vase to showcase the design and leave at each table setting as a personal centerpiece for everyone who attends.  This design is also interchangeable with other flowers of the same tones so don’t be afraid to replace the rosemary with lavender, sage or other greenery if you have something special in mind.

Tags: Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

Pairing Flowers with Red Wine

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 27, 2017

If you read the articleabout how to pair a white wine with a vase of flowers but aren’t really into chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or Riesling than you’re going to like this piece that turns the tables to red.  You and I both know you’re a different species altogether from the white wine drinkers and deserve an opposite approach when selecting your florals.  As white wine drinkers are often more casual in personality as well as easy going and fun loving-the reds tend to fold more seriously towards the intense side where they know what they want, when they want it.  Judging from this broad categorization, you can imagine that the blooms chosen for you will look quite different.  If you’re a merlot, cabernet or pinot noir consumer, check out this list of flowers especially tailored for you!



Merlot is a smooth operator in the wine world and tends to be on the heavier side in terms of its composition.  The color is almost always deep crimson which helps to make a sexy setting.  Due to its low tannins, merlot is quite popular and is often described as either having a cherry, chocolate or herbal flavor.  There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s when talking about merlot so the perfect flower to accompany a glass should be just as dramatic in nature.  Try placing a few stems of brown cymbidiums, black calla lilies or chocolate cosmos in a vase to really set the scene.



Cabernets are a lot of fun to variate within your palette because the taste can be completely dependent on where the grape was grown.  Since they are harvested in a multitude of regions, you are bound to receive an eclectic flavor.  Having more tannins than merlot, this wine can taste dry to sweet, bitter to dry and has been described anywhere from having a pepper taste to sweet wood sensation.  That’s quite an array of flavor, isn’t it?  Since cabs can take on many different forms, that means that pairing flowers can also be a bit easier, giving you a tad more wiggle room for your shopping.  If you want to stick with the red theme of things, how about picking up a bunch of red roses, red dahlias or red James Story orchids to maximize this delicious display of eye candy?

    Pinot Noir

This is a great wine to talk about because it’s really quite interesting…  Most popularly grown in Burgundy, France, this plant is actually a very fussy specimen to harvest.  Apparently, the stems and roots are very susceptible to the outer elements and prefers climates that are cooler with well-drained soil.  The shade of the wine is also interesting as well as opulent in color and resembles the jewel tone of a ruby.  Best matching florals are amaryllis, red poppies or red anthurium.

Tags: Wine, Hostess Flowers, Chef, cooking, Lifestyle

Three Things to Remember When Ordering Thanksgiving Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Nov 10, 2015

Ordering Thanksgiving flowers are one of the most overlooked tasks for those hosting holiday celebrations.  With all of the cooking, cleaning and preparing to think about, it’s no real shocker that it happens a lot.   Often the chore is left to the last minute giving the illusion that other issues such as selecting your menus, linens and guest lists are more important.  

Well they’re not.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know how disappointing the outcome is when you’re left with no other choice but to browse through the leftover section at Stop & Shop.   There’s just nothing more depressing than a dead bunch of mums and dried up roses, especially when they’re supposed to be decorations for Thanksgiving Day table.  So if you want to ensure a beautiful centerpiece for the festivities, here’s 3 tips that will help you get exactly what you wish for!

thanksgiving flowers 

photo credit: Flower Factor

  1.  Order in Advance and by that I mean at least two weeks ahead of time.

You might think that phoning your florist this early is silly but actually, it gives them the opportunity to spend more time getting a better understanding of your likes and dislikes.  If there is something unusual or rare in your bouquet that you are requesting, buyers will need that extra time to inform their wholesaler if it needs to be special ordered from somewhere else.  Remember, the earlier you call, the higher the likelihood of obtaining what you really want for your floral presentation.

thanksgiving hostess flowers 

Photo credit: Society of American Florists

  1.  Let the florists do their work and you do yours.

Let’s face it-preparing a Thanksgiving Day feast is hard work!  You’re pretty much hands on throughout the entire holiday so let the designers handle the heavy lifting when it comes to your floral creations.   By nailing this issue as job#1, you’ll be able to breath a sigh of relief knowing someone else is doing the work and not you!

thanksgiving centerpiece

3.  Coordination is the key.

Sometimes hosts are initially blocked when it comes to selecting their color palette of napkins, tablecloths and other dining accessories.  By ordering your flowers first, you can set the theme early, allowing you to match everything else to the varieties and texture the florist plans on using.  If you want to get a little “Martha Stewart”, you can even coordinate some of your menu to the blooms!  After all, pumpkin pie goes great with orange lilies, mango callas and peach amaryllis!  

Tags: Flower Arrangements, Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers, November

How To Throw a Mother's Day Brunch

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sun, May 03, 2015

For many of us, we show our love for mom on Mother’s Day with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a sentimental Hallmark card or maybe even a gift certificate to her favorite spa.  These great gift ideas certainly rank high for holiday presents but the number one choice still holds at taking your special lady to brunch.  Boston has no shortage of fabulous restaurants with menus that include delicious cuisine fit for a queen but maybe you’re interested in another route?  What if what if we put a homespun feel towards this year’s festivities?  The truth is, brunches prepared by families at home are becoming more and more popular, resonating back to traditional Mother’s Day celebrations.  After conducting a few comparisons, I’ve got to tell you, there are a lot of benefits tied to this new trend.  For starters, there are no reservations to be made, no disappointment with ingredients or diet concerns, no traveling required and first and foremost, no excessive food charges that will skyrocket the bill.  Cooking your own feast for mom does however allow flexibility within dish selection, an open door to whomever you wish to invite and the opportunity to personalize the event with your mom’s favorite foods, decorations and flowers.    If you’re interested in hosting your own Mother’s Day brunch instead of dining in one of our city’s eateries, here’s a sure fire way to make all of your guests (and most importantly the guest of honor) enjoys this special day!


The Menu

Make the meal as simple or as sophisticated as your culinary skills will allow you to.  Croissants are a great way to start along with other pasties and muffins.  Recipes containing eggs are another smart beginning where you can make easy scrambled eggs or more elaborate dishes sumed106461_0111_how_ham_crepe_vertch as Martha Stewart’s Ham and Egg Crepe Squares.  Roasted meats such as ham or roast beef are also popular for an impromptu carving station.  Scalloped potatoes will also be a hit but if you’re looking for a lighter meal, spuds infused with olive oil and rosemary are a superb substitute with fewer calories.  Don’t forget the beverages, too making sure a tray of coffee, juices and tea are available for guests.  Mimosas should also be pre-made because it is after all Mother’s Day-she deserves it!  photo credit


The Setting

You’re going to want to dress things up a bit since it’s Mother’s Day so plan a trip to your local florist for a fresh bunch of peonies, garden roses, lisianthus, scabiosa or French tulips.  Arrange them in the center of the dining table8539981924_3ba30d42c4_m in one of her favorite antique vases or urns and she’ll appreciate the effort to make Mother’s Day even more special with spring blooms.  Linens don’t have to be fancy either just make sure they don’t distract from the centerpiece or the food being served.  Older serving trays are perfect for this look particularly platters resonating an English appeal.  Serve formally or buffet style but make sure you recruit some helpers to clean up afterwards because it’s mom’s day off!  Happy Mother’s Day!

photo credit: Flower Factor

Tags: Mother's Day, Party Flowers, Hostess Flowers, cooking, #EXFL, Mothers Day

Wine or Flowers ? What is the Perfect Hostess Gift at Thanksgiving ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Nov 25, 2013

Thanksgiving FlowersWhile In Europe, guests often bring flowers when visiting someone's home for dinner or an event. Guests in the United States, on the other hand often bring a bottle of wine.

Wine or Flowers for the Hostess

Why the difference ? Well of course the cultural habits of both societies has evolved over hundreds of years. In Europe, wine is a staple in most homes and does not carry the intrinsic value we perceive in the United States. In the United States, quality flowers and bouquets are not as readily available. 


Wine of course has many health benefits, but one bottle of wine is only good for 4-5 glasses. One beautiful cornucopia of flowers is good for 5-7 days and enlightens over 20 dinner guests.

Hostess Flowers"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul." - The Koran

This Thanksgiving, lift the spirits of your friends and family. Exotic Flowers in Roslindale will be open until 1pm for all your hostess gift needs.

Of course, if you are stuck on getting wine. Exotic Flowers in Roslindale does have a liquor license and sells wine. We will be featuring our holiday wine picks, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Remember, we are the local Boston florist who yearns to serve all your needs.

Tags: Wine, Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers

Exotic Flowers Top Five Red Wines for Thanksgiving

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Nov 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Wine Boston
Thanksgiving feasts can be decadent, simple, festive and joyous. All Thanksgiving meals should feature food, flowers and wine.
From Boston to Byfield or Roxbury to Rockland... Exotic Flowers Thanksgiving flowers are a tradition for families and restaurants in Boston. 
Most purists suggest white wine for Thanksgiving dinner, but I am a red wine drinker and I am sharing my top five red wines for Thanksgiving.
  • Simi Reserve Cabernet - full bodied with rich dark fruit. Ideal wine for a smaller intimate Thanksgiving dinner.
  • 337 Cabernet - the best bang for the buck on the list. A thoroughly enjoyable Cabernet can plenish the masses for only $13 per bottle.
  • Hitching Post Pinot Noir - made famous by the movie Sideways; this Pinot is full bodied and is ideal if you are going with a vibrant King Salmon for your dinner.
  • Kendall Jackson Summation - smoother than Cabernet and richer than Merlot with a nice Zinfandel bite; this varietal is an all star at under $15 per bottle. Fun wine and highly recommended for a dinner party.
  • Smith & Hook Cabernet; my new favorite Cab. Thanks my friends at The Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill
Five top notch red wines for Thanksgiving.
Of course don't forget the flowers. Flowers, food, wine, friends, family. Start your own tradition.

Tags: Wine, Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers

Begin Your Own Easter Tradition with Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

Easter Basket Boston

Dear friends,

The spring is the most exciting time of year at Exotic Flowers. We ready ourselves for Easter, Secretary's Day, Mother's Day, Proms, Graduations, and the garden. Our greenhouses are bursting with outdoor plants and our sales staff and designers are ramping up for an intense eight weeks.

This week celebrates Easter and Passover. I am sure you have noticed that these holidays no longer carry their previous stature. It is time to change that. It is time to start your own traditions and create your own memories. Our childhoods were so special because we have so many special memories. Start your holiday tradition today and make sure flowers are a part of it. Perhaps you could even take in an Easter movie this weekend. Hop is sure to please.

"The change of seasons in the spring is associated with new life, so bright new spring blossoms are especially meaningful at Easter. According to Christian beliefs, Easter also symbolizes the rebirth of Christ; lilies sprung up from Jesus’ blood drops, which make Easter lilies especially significant traditional flowers for religious celebrations." - BigAppleFlorist Blog

Easter Flowers BostonThis Easter, Exotic Flowers in both Roslindale will be open til 2pm and delivering. Exotic Flowers in Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston will be open from 11am-6pm. We will have hostess gifts, like Easter lilies, tulip plants, pansies, azaleas and abundance of fresh cut flowers.

Thank you for your loyalty. Thank you for your referrals. Thank you for spending your hard earned money at Exotic Flowers & Lombardi Florist.


Easter Flowers in Cambridge

Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Hostess Flowers

Your Hostess in Cape Cod Deserves a Thank You Gift of Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Aug 20, 2012

Boston Flower Delivery Did you go to the Cape, Ogunquit, or Newport this summer ? Did you stay with a friend, a friend of a friend or a relative ? Did they open their doors to you ? Feed you ? Let you sleep there ? Use their bathroom ? Provide you with fresh lines and towels ? Did you have a world class host ?

thank you flowers resized 600 How did you thank your host ? Did you bring wine ? Did you bring flowers ? Just because you made dinner and did the dishes, does not mean you really showed your appreciation. If you want to get asked back or even if you want to just do the right thing, make sure you send your hostess a fresh flower bouquet. What better way to say thank you than a dramatic and unexpected gift of flowers ?

So whether your vacation brought you to Nantucket or Newport, make sure that when you get back to Boston. Send thank you flowers to your hostess.

Tags: Hospitality, Thank You, Cape Cod, Newport, Maine, Hostess Flowers

Start Your Own Thanksgiving Tradition with Exotic Flowers in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Nov 21, 2011

cornucopia in boston resized 600

November, 2011

Dear friends,

I remember going to Mass at Sacred Heart in Roslindale every Sunday as a youth and during the service the priest would always remind us what to be thankful for. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are very thankful.  We appreciate being such a special part of your lives. Your birthdays, weddings, proms, and funerals give our jobs as florists meaning. You give us a huge responsibility. You entrust us to convey your emotions. We will never take that job lightly.

thanksgiving arrangement boston resized 600

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  My day starts with breakfast with my boys. I head into our flower shop in Roslindale at 730am. Yes we are open for walk in customers. What better hostess gift than flowers for the table ? We close about 2pm and I head with Suzie and the boys over to my mother in law Murphy's home in West Roxbury where I feast on turkey with all the trimmings.  After digesting this feast, I move onto my parents home for a spread of homemade ravioli, meatballs, sausage, lasagna and bracciole. Family, food, wine and flowers.

Thanksgiving is about spending time with family, friends and tradition. If you cannot be there, please call or even better send flowers.  Start your own tradition.

thanksgiving centerpiece boston resized 600

Thank you for loyalty. Thank you for your referrals. Thank you for spending your hard earned money at Exotic Flowers & Lombardi Florist.


Rick Canale

Tags: Traditions, Roslindale Florist, Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers

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