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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Nancy Reagan Left a White Orchid for Barbara Bush

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jan 05, 2017


the above photo and below text appeared on The New York TImes archives page on Instagram 1/5/2017

nytarchivesBefore he left the Oval Office to attend the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan took one last look at his desk. @jrlopeznyc — a retired staff photographer who now works as a freelance picture editor for @nytimes — captured this scene on January 20, 1989. He was one of about a dozen photographers in the room that day. “Unlike other situations, we were not being held back or put in a certain area in the Oval,” @jrlopeznyc recalls. He decided to wait near the desk, but he remembers watching @whitehouse photographer @petesouza take photos from a 12-foot ladder. The next day, @nytimes published this photo and described the president and first lady's departure. “Mr. Reagan put out both hands to touch the desk as though to hold it in his memory," we reported. Meanwhile, Nancy Reagan spent the morning searching the @whitehouse, making sure she’d packed everything. In an empty drawer, she left a note for Barbara Bush, along with a small white orchid. — @kermac, @nytimes social photo editor #inauguration #regram


Tags: President, Character, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers, Orchids

Election Day Bouquets for 2016

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jul 28, 2016

Trump ? Hillary ? Can't decide. We understand. This is hard, maybe beautiful flowers can sway you. We now have an Election Day Category on our webiste for the decided and undecided. No matter where your heart is, make sure you vote. Every vote counts. 


The Trump and Hillary bouquets are available in the Boston area only. Each bouquet arrives with a sticker to show support for that candidate. Priced modestly at $64.95, these bouquets are too fun to pass up. Sorry, no Jill Stein or Gary Johnson yet. We're working on it. 



Tags: President, Election Day, Presidental Flowers, Patriotic Flowers, Trump, Clinton

What are the best flowers to use for Oktoberfest ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Sep 23, 2014

oktoberfest flowers resized 600
photo credit. 1800flowers
When we hear about Oktoberfest, we think about beer. What we neglect to mention is that Oktoberfest is a tradition. At Exotic Flowers in Boston, our slogan remains as 'start your own tradition,'. As Americans, our heritages have been watered down. Cultural traditions have often been forgotten. Traditions also create memories and good times shared amongst friends and relatives. Ask the folks at St. Pauli Girl Beer, you do not have to be German to celebrate Oktoberfest. st pauli girl oktoberfest resized 600Oktoberfest is not only a celebration of copious tankards of beer, but also an abundance of foods like bratwurst, sauerkraut, dumplings, schnitzel and various mustards.  Bratwurst3 resized 600 As Americans we are fortunate to indulge in delicacies from various cultures. Who cares if your ancestors were not German ? Oktoberfest is a chance to celebrate and start your own traditions. What celebration is not complete without fresh flowers to adorn the table and your New England home ?
The golden hues of mustard, the bronzed bratwurst and pickled cabbage can all be enhanced with amazing floral and plants. The colors of the fall season are a perfect complement for the menu.  Bronze mums, burgundy calla lilies, free spirit roses and yellow orchids all lend to the illumination of your home for the party. 
Even the White House when entertaining German heads of state made a point of incorporating these hues into the tablescape. obama german flowers resized 600 Note how the yellow oncidium orchids, green trick dianthus, and green heleborus illuminate the dinner setting for this illustrious event. Remember, if heads of the world have flowers on their dinner tables, then you should too.

Tags: White House Florist, Traditions, Germany, Oktoberfest, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers, Obama

Did You Know the White House Has Its Own Florist ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jul 03, 2014

Florist at the White House

Flower arrangements have been a part of the White House's decor since the early days of the White House. In 1815, President James Monroe even purchased gilt bronze vases for the White House to feature flowers. By the mid 1830's, greenhouses were constructed on the west side of the White House. These greenhouses, like many others constructed at that time, enabled the year-round availability of plants and cut flowers.

Greenhouse at the White House

In 1902, the White House removed the greenhouses so that the White House could become larger. The White House then began to get flowers from neighboring government greenhouses. The administrations realized their importance in not only setting, but also their importance of conveying warmth and prestige. As air travel became prevalent in the United States, the White House began to procure flowers from Florida and California. First Lady Eisenhower even received pink carnations from Colorado.

For many years, the White House used flowers for their aura and impression.. much like traditional funeral work of our time. Jackie Kennedy's arrival to the White House made legendary changes to the White House's style. First Lady Kennedy drew much of her floral inspiration from 16th century Flemish floral and fruit still life paintings. Special White House tableware was now used as vessels for flowers instead of as shelf sitter. She established the first chief of floral design, Rusty Young who worked for both LBJ and Nixon as well.

Flowers at the White House Obama Style

Today, First Lady Obama has brought her own style to the White House. Michelle Obama prefers a more relaxed look which incorporates romantic blooms like roses, ranunculas, mosses, and shaggy ferns. President Obama, however prefers one simple floral arrangement in the Oval Office along with a simple bowl of red apples.

The current staff is headed up by Laura Dowling along with three staff members. Fresh flower arrangements are a feature in every White House event. Dowling and her staff plan months ahead for diplomatic ceremonies. Dowling is new to the position. She may not have as many stories to share as former Chief of Floral, Nancy Clarke (head florist for 30 years,).

President Ronald Reagan once stopped former White House chief florist Dottie Temple to ask about the then-very-fashionable curly willow branches she'd arranged in the Reagans' bedroom. "About those sticks on the mantel," Reagan said to Temple. "Is anything going to happen to them?" Temple says she got the message. "Yes, sir. I'm going to get rid of them as soon as possible," she said.

 "For the longest time, we used to keep a bowl of peach-colored roses on Bush Two's coffee table in the Oval Office," Clarke said. "We changed them to red and that lasted five minutes. We got a call that the president wants the peach roses back."

Tomorrow, July 4th is Independence Day. Read a copy of the Declaration of Independence. I will.

Tags: White House Florist, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers

Are The Presidential Inauguration Flowers Worth the Money ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jan 18, 2013

inaugural flowers 2013 resized 600
Members of all parties are debating whether or not the President should spend $100 million dollars on his inauguration. Of course he should. We live in the United States of America, our economy is driven by the purchasing of consumer goods and services. What better to way to show how to spend tax dollars than spending them on goods and services in America. We are a country of image. We believe in the best. We have an image to uphold and it should never be sacrficed.
obama inauguration flowers 2013
The above photo shows the flowers used in Obama's 2009 inaugural luncheon. Note the importance of flowers on the tables and also how understated and alluring the President's head table looks with three oblong flower arrangements linked together with fresh garland. Now, think about how weak and lacking these same tables would look without flowers. If you take the approach of cutting the budget on flowers, then you might as well cut the dry cleaning bill and attend the lunch in sweat pants. 
Inauguration flowers 2013For the 2013 inaugural luncheon, party planners have chosen orange flowers in silver cache pots. While guests are dining on American favorites like grilled bison and New England chowder, they will feel welcome and invigorated by the flowers on their tables. The flower colors and container were chosen to pick up the copper and bronze tones of Statuary Hall. The arrangements on the tables feature 'free spirit ' roses and ranunculas.

Tags: Party Flowers, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers, Politics, Party Planners, Obama

Exotic Flowers in Boston's View at The Democratic National Convention

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Sep 06, 2012

democrats playing cards resized 600
Charlotte, NC September 3rd thru 6th, 2012:
The Democratic National Committee will convene to nominate Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate as the next President of the United States. Every time a convention convenes like this, we are reminded of our Democratic Presidents and what they did and did not do for our country.
This convention reminds me and the staff at Exotic Flowers in Boston who some of our favorite Democratic Presidents were.
* Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837
andrew jackson resized 600The face of the second most bill in our currency, the $20 bill; Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson was tough as nails. He even fought in duels to the death. Jackson believed in small government and expanded the power of the presidency. Unlike many Presidents in history, Jackson was able to pay off the national debt, the only time in U.S. history this has been accomplished. 
* Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR 1933-1945
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FDR is most well known for getting the U.S. out of the the depression and helping bring peace to a war torn world. His leadership and radio chats brought stability to a world in turmoil.
* Bill Clinton 1993-2001
bill clinton resized 600
Who doesn't love Bill Clinton ? Endearing, friendly and we can empathize with all his indiscretions. Not many people would not liek to have a beer and barbecue with this former President.
* John F. Kennedy, JFK, 1961-1963
jfk resized 600
Boston area native, civil rights advocate, visionary, tough as nails leader. We long to have another.

Tags: President, JFK, Democrats, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers

Mitt Romney Gives a Shout Out for the Local Florist

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Aug 31, 2012

Mitt Romney Red RoseTampa, FL - August 30th, 2012: at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney recognized the local florist in his speech accepting the Republican nomination for President. 

“Mom and Dad were married 64 years, and if you wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local florist – because every day Dad gave Mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table . . ." - Mitt Romney

We often hear of romantic gestures of small notes, single flowers and special songs and poems. It is nice that local florists were given recognition on national television.

"Here's the bottom line right left conservative liberal whatever ....On a national stage in front of millions of people on National TV.... THE LOCAL FLORIST WAS PROMOTED... It's amazing what the power of flowers has, as described by Mitt Romney last night.
The message I'm sending is 'SUPPORT LOCAL INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES',." - Hal Conklin

Tags: President, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Presidental Flowers, Politics, Rose Symbolism, Roses

Exotic Flowers in Boston's View at The Republican National Convention

Posted by Rick Canale on Sun, Aug 26, 2012

Republicans Presidents playing poker
Tampa, FL; August 27th thru August 30th, 2012:
The Republican National Committee will convene to nominate Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate as the next President of the United States. Every time a convention convenes like this, we are reminded of our Republican Presidents and what they did and did not do for our country.
This convention reminds me and the staff at Exotic Flowers in Boston who some of our favorite Republican Presidents were.
  • Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower 1953-1961ike resized 600 peace keeper, international relations stalwart, ended the Korean War, created the Interstate Highway system, balanced the budget, maintained prosperity, drank gin and tonics, avid golfer and baseball fan and he even made his own bbq sauce.
  • Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt 1901-1909teddy roosevelt resized 600Trust buster, conservationist, man of character. Refused to let his infirmaties control his life. Even had the 'Teddy Bear' named after him.
  • Ronald Reagan 1981-1989: 
president reagan' Rawhide', 'Dutch' call him what you want. Reagan has been canonized and vilified. What remains is that he is still spoken highly of by many. He ended the cold war, restored our military and gave America back its pride.
 * Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865: 220px Abraham Lincoln November 1863 resized 600
 Perhaps the greatest President in the history of the United States. We are a better nation having been influenced by his leadership.

Tags: President, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers

George W. Bush, Lobster Popovers and Exotic Flowers in Boston ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jul 24, 2012

bush world seriesx large resized 600
On Monday July 23rd, 2012 Towne Stove and Spirits on Boylston Street in Boston hosted President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush for a private event.  Creating flowers for a Presidential event is really cool. Much of the planning for the event is kept secret for national security reasons. Even as an ex president, President Bush travels in a motorcade with high security.
Towne Stove is not only known for its high profile clientele, but great food in a high energy setting. If you have not checked it out, make sure you try the lobster popovers.
Working with the staff at Towne and the Bush team was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Bush team decided on fun summer colors to adorn the tables and cocktail areas and many guests and staff made sure to mention how spectacular the flowers were.
Exotic Flowers design for the president in boston 
No matter what your politics may be, designing flowers for the 43rd President of the United States is awesome. Presidents have always been associated with flowers. Did you know the White House has its own florist ?
This event reminds me of the movie The American President where the President (Michael Douglas) talked about how important it was to buy flowers himself, from the local flower shop  because it would mean more/be more sincere that way.
And next time you're having an event in Boston, ring up Towne. Ask for Terri and tell her Rick at Exotic Flowers sent you.

Tags: President, Towne, President Bush, Presidental Flowers, Presidents Like Flowers

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