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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Animal Lovers Guideline to Safe Flowers for Your Home

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 05, 2018


Are you an animal lover who also adores flowers but are too afraid your puppy or kitty will likely be tempted to snack on potentially harmful plants and foliage?  Many times, people who have recently adopted a pet just believe it’s too risky to display centerpieces or house plants in their homes in fear of the possibility of ingesting poison.  Who can blame these responsible parents for making this decision when sometimes it’s unclear of what is safe and not for this type of décor? Thankfully, there are many resources available, which list helpful tips on risky plants and blooms to avoid exposure to your animals.  If you are curious about what some of those are, here is a list of a few botanicals that should be avoided:


Flowers: Many of these blooms cause diarrhea, vomiting and profuse drooling.  Kidney failure, soft tissue damage and several other serious medical issues, including death may occur if not seen by a veterinarian immediately.  


Azaleas Lily of the Valley

Tulips Monkshood

Hyacinth Morning Glories

Plants: Similar to harmful flowers, the results of ingestion from many of these plants will result in vomiting and diarrhea.  In some cases, hallucinations, organ deterioration and possible heart failure may also occur.  


Holly Juniper

Dieffenbachia Bitter Sweet

Palms Oleander


So, what are the safe flowers to showcase in your home that won’t hurt your cat or dog?   Try asking your local florist for varieties such as roses, bachelor buttons, jasmine and bamboo to dress up any room!

Tags: Pets, Garden, Lilies

Plants That Make a Cat Go Wild

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Mar 30, 2018

How many of you out there have a furry friend living at home who you would do absolutely anything to please?  “Cat People” are notorious for going to great lengths to pleasure their felines including buying them gourmet food, cashmere beds and even imported toys. Yes, the “cat craze” is one many of us experience as we welcome our favorite pets into our lives (myself included).  The companionship, laughs and an abundance of love given to us on their parts leave it no wonder why we make their happiness one of our top priorities.


Much like humans, cats have a propensity to become attracted to certain types of flora and fauna and for the most part, reap both physical and mental attributes just by being in their presence.  While it’s true we have to be cautious of exposing felines (or any animal for that matter) to dangerous specimens that might contain poison, there is a healthy list of plants and flowers that are encouraged by veterinarians to be a part of their everyday lives.  We’ve all heard that Catnip is preferred by many kitties and as long as the exposure is kept in moderation, they are enhanced by a natural “buzz”, which is nontoxic. Interestingly, Catnip is not the only plant that can affect a feline’s mental state in a positive manner as well as many others that can assist with proper digestion and other critical organ function.  If you have a kitty who you’re happy to oblige, take a look at this list of plants that can make your animal’s life even better than it already is now.

Sniff List

Dactylis Glomerata

Better known as “Cat Grass”, kitties love to brush their faces against the plant which soothes their nerves just by making contact.  It is also safe for them to ingest the blades of grass since they can actually help with a cat’s digestion of food. Don’t worry if they puke it up, it’s just nature’s way of cleaning out the bad to let in the good.  Also try Lemon Grass if Cat Grass is unavailable.


They say never to plant mint in the garden unless you want it to spread but your cat will thank you kindly if you provide a small patch for their entertainment.  Kitties love the smell of this plant and it’s not unusual to see them trying to hug bunches of leaves out of sheer pleasure.


There’s more to adore about this popular cooking spice now that both you and your cat can enjoy some mutual benefits!  The herb is jam packed with healthy vitamins such as Vitamin A and C and can increase immunity to infection and disease.

Tags: herbs, Pets, Cats

How to Care for Your Lawn and Your Cat

Posted by Jenny Holt on Mon, Apr 24, 2017

marnhe-du-plooy-1647.jpg photo credit via:

When you’re a gardening enthusiast, you might not think twice about what you use to maintain your garden and grow beautiful flowers. But if you’re also a pet owner, you need to take care, as the chemicals and pesticides used in some garden products can do real damage to your pets. These garden chemicals can case serious poisoning in house pets, particularly cats, but you can save your felines by changing a few small things.


To safeguard your pets while looking after your garden you must:

  1. Go Organic: Only use organic and natural lawn care.
  2. Water: Hydrate your garden correctly, so that it can stay healthy. Remember, neither too much, nor too little.
  3. Make A Mess: Though it can look untidy, if you leave the clippings in your garden it’ll end up a lot healthier in the long run.

To learn more about protecting your pets, take a look at this article to see how Lawn Care Products Harm Your Cat.

Tags: Pets, Cats, Lawn Care, Organic

Remembering Your Pets In the Garden

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jul 27, 2015

I’ve always loved animals since I was young and never had a home that I didn’t share with a furry critter or two.  Cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, gerbils, frogs and whatever else you might venture to tame hold a special place in our hearts as we grow to love and care for them.  They are our friends, companions and most of all, part of our families.  That’s why its so hard when one of our pets leave us for the big animal kingdom in the sky leaving us to search for the perfect memorial gesture to say goodbye.   Grieving for their loss is often particularly sensitive to children who may be experiencing this sad feeling for the first time so its important to recognize the pet’s passing in a way that allows them to adjust and express how their feeling.

Last fall, we went through the loss of our fourteen year old Siamese cat named Ricky.  Being a particularly vocal and affectionate member of the household, his passing was hard for everyone, including my sons.   We thought about what we could do to remember the adorable feline and came up with an idea that not only would represent his spirit but also signify that he would always be a part of family.

Planting a tree is a wonderful way to honor a pet’s death and encourages children to understand what they’re feeling on the inside is normal and all part of the circle of life.  Often, if difficult emotions aren’t recognized, it’s possible for kids to reject the notion of getting a new pet because of their fear of feeling the mourning all over again.  Erecting a token in their memory allows kids to release their grief in a healthy way while encouraging the thought that the animal will always remain in their hearts.  

We decided that the best variety to plant for Ricky was a Japanese Weeping Willow Tree.  The leaves change a variety of colors during the year and flower with pretty blossoms in the springtime.  Everyday while walking up our sidewalk to the font door, we are reminded of how wonderful our kitty was and smile knowing that his spirit is still alive in our home.  


Tags: Gardening, Pets, Perennials, Trees, Shrubs

Honoring Pets with Flowers, Plants, Trees and Shrubs

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, May 02, 2015

Animals are true companions for many people and hold a dear place in our hearts.  We take care of them, watch them grow and receive their affection and attention when we need it the most.  Pets come in all shapes, sizes and breeds including cats, dogs, goldfish, parakeets, gerbils, hamsters, lizards, frogs and just about any creature that we can think of who walks or swims the earth.  We treat our fuzzy loved ones with the utmost care because we realize they are more than just an animal, they are our friends that truly solidify themselves in our households as one of the family.   Psychologists reason that it is important to include pets within our lives, particularly for children because they teach responsibility and fellowship.  One factor that is also said to hold positive learning influences for kids who have animals is the hard lesson of accepting life and death.  No one likes to see our beloved animals pass but there is significant research that shows losing a pet prepares the young in a healthier manner than a child who grows up in a pet-less environment.  


Several months ago, my family lost our Siamese cat that not only filled our home with warmth and humor, but also taught my two boys the feeling of mourning.  It was hard, tear-jerking and at the very least, sad but I still believe that this first experience of death allowed them to understand and process their feelings in a better way than if we had no furry loved ones at all.  The question came later as to how we should honor little Ricky so that he would still remain close to our family’s hearts.  After some time spent brainstorming, we came up with a way that not only honored the cat, but would reflect his true spirit in nature.


Ricky was an unusual breed who was half seal point and half chocolate point.  The two varieties were interesting in his genetic make-up giving him a head that resembled a seal from behind and a beautiful gray brown coloring that was seen throughout his silky fur.  We kept these two qualities in mind when we came up with an idea that would properly memorialize the cat in a way that would represent both his beauty and character.  Being a family who loves the outdoors, particularly backyard living, landscaping and gardening, we thought what better way to keep his memory alive than to plant a tree thematic of these attributes? 


You might be thinking you’re overdoing it but really, it’s a very sweet and environmentally protagonist approach to handling the bereavement of a pet who’s passed on.   During the selection process, our family had to keep in mind of the physical attributes of Ricky including his texture, shading and personality.  After mulling over ideas of cherry and magnolia plantings, we finally came to the perfect conclusion- a pussy willow tree.  The buds of the willow are incredibly similar to the smoothness of his coat and the gray chocolate tints that bless the blooms are also a beautiful match to his silky coat.  The pussy willow is eccentric (another trait of the cat) having a posture that hangs down and winds its branches in and on top one each other.  Standing with a slender trunk, the overhang bends down looking similar to an umbrella.  We felt that the dynamic architecture of the willow was a fabulous match to our out-of-the-box kitty who talked loudly whenever excited, danced in circles chasing his tale and possessed a royal appearance with his bright blue eyes and stunning fur coat.  If your bereaving the loss of a pet, you might want to plant a tree in his or her honor too!  You’ll be proud of the memory you’ve erected and feel blessed to watch it bloom every spring. 

 siamese_cat Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA 

Tags: Gardening, Gardening in Boston, #EXFL, Arbor Day, Pets

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