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Exotic Flowers in Boston

A Holiday Letter To Our Clients

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Dec 01, 2021

santa claus roslindale

" ... compared to the past, American consumption is getting both increasingly expensive and, well, decreasingly nice.” - Helaine Olen

Season's Greetings,
Dear friends,
Higher prices, staff shortages, supply shortages, traffic, and long lines at stores have added even more stress on all of us.
Our Christmas trees arrived yesterday. Our order was shorted 23% and of course, our costs increased. It seems like every order is shorted on supply and increased on price, and our staff is as lean as it has ever been. Luckily, we work smart. Decades of experience give us an edge to work smarter and keep our prices reasonable.
If you know us, onward and upward is a mission. This year, we have made a huge effort and investment in our holiday displays. You deserve a break and giving this little urban oasis back to the community is the least we can do for those who do so much for us. If you believe in magic, stop by. The explosion of color and holiday decor is sure to bring a smile to a rushed season.

with respect and gratitude,
Rick Canale



Tags: Roslindale Florist, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas

Sonny Canale Celebrates 64th Year As Owner Operator of Exotic Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Jul 12, 2021


On Monday, July 12th: Arnold 'Sonny' Canale will have been the owner and operator of Lombardi Florist for 64 years. An amazing testament to the talent, work ethic, and care for clients. As we tell clients every day, Sonny must be doing something right.

On July 12th, 1957 - Arnold 'Sonny' Canale purchased Lombardi Florist & Nurserymen at 599 American Legion Highway in Roslindale. Sonny had worked there for years as a designer, grower, salesman, delivery driver, and floor sweeper.

Sonny's mantra since that day has been 'never hire anyone who cannot sweep the floor.' That work ethic has remained in place at Exotic Flowers for 64 years.

Sonny remains at the top of the Exotic Flowers hierarchy. He works seven days on the property. So clients can rest easy knowing that the boss tends to every detail. 

In 64 years - he's sold more than five million roses, one million carnations, more than one million deliveries, grown thousands of poinsettias and outdoor plants, and has designed a million floral arrangements. He has operated five locations, supported dozens of charities, and employed hundreds. Three Best of Boston awards, a World Series florist, a PGA Championship florist, FTD Top 1000, Top 500, Top 250, Top 100, and Top 10. Teleflora Top 50. Floral Management Marketer of the Year, RedBook Circle of Excellence. The numbers are not only staggering but humbling.

Stop by the shop on July 12 and say hi. 

609 American Legion Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131



Tags: Roslindale Florist, Lombardi Florist, Sonny Canale

Lombardi Florist Has Been in Roslindale for a Long Time

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Apr 14, 2020

Lombardi Florist in Roslindale

We have been a family owned and operated business since my mother's parents immigrated from Ponza, Italy in the early 1900's. We have remained in the same location as Russo's Florist at 609 American Legion Highway in Roslindale. My grandfather began by planting pansies to sell to those going to the local cemeteries. 

What you may not know was Lombardi, the Florist was across the street at 599 American Legion Highway on the opposite corner. My father worked for Syl Lombardi as a kid and bought Lombardi's in 1957. In 1959, he married my mother Marie and merged the two florists into one location at 609 American Legion. Lombardi was and remains one of the busiest florists in Boston. He kept the Lombardi name and 63 years later, my parents still work at the shop every day. (ed. note; Olympia Flowers was the busiest florist at the time and remains in the same family today,).

Recently, a client, friend and former employee was given the above receipt. It shows a list of transactions from 1953. A brides bouquet for $15, a maid of honor for $6, a corsage for $5 (clients still ask for that price today!) and a center piece for $3.

While the prices may amaze all of us, what might amaze you more is clients still come in asking for bouquets for $15-$20. So when we're quick to say 'it's not 1953,' we're not kidding.

One of the greenhouses mentioned on that receipt is still standing and in operation. Right now it is filled with geraniums and ready to bring beauty into your homes. 

Family owned, operated and still going.

Rick Canale, Your 3rd generation Boston Florist

Tags: Roslindale Florist, Lombardi Florist, Sonny Canale

Where Have All The Roslindale Flower Shops Gone ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Oct 16, 2018

In the past couple of years, Boston residents may have noticed a change in the local florist landscape. Roslindale's Square Dandelions Flower Shop closed over a year ago and both Louie the Florist and Calisi's Flowerland have closed their doors as we.

At Exotic Flowers, we are going to miss our colleagues. We are firm believers in the rising tide and feel that the more flower shops, the more awareness.

exotic flowers boston Thankfully, we are still here in celebrating our 88th year as a family owned and operated business in the same location. 609 American Legion Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131

Tags: Boston Flower Shop, Shop Local, Roslindale Florist

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

Have You Ever Seen Exotic Flowers in Boston in Action ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Oct 04, 2011

Fall Flowers in BostonIf you have been to Exotic Flowers in Boston on Mother's Day or Valentine's Day, you have seen the action, the crowds and only half the fun. Exotic Flowers occupies a corner lot at American Legion Highway and Canterbury Street in Roslindale. Our flower shop has been in this location for over seventy five years. 

When a client arrives and says that he has never been to our flower shop before, we are thrilled. A sales rep will immediately ask if you would like to see more of the under belly of Exotic Flowers in Boston. At the front of the store, a client will often find a wall of teddy bears along with a collection of artificial flowers designed for the cemeteries which surround our flower shop. Exotic Flowers is near St Michael's cemetery, Forest Hills cemetery, Mount Calvary, New Calvary, Mount Hope and Oak Lawn cemeteries. The front of the store also features Godiva Chocolates, greeting cards, balloons, dish gardens, bonsai trees, orchids and house plants. 

Boston FloristAs you travel deeper into our store, you will see a bank of cubicles where telephone sales are completed. We like action and enjoy the buzz and energy that ringing telephones create in a store. Sorry, there is no tranquility here. We are more akin to a busy restaurant. Behind our telecommunications sales outpost is our open floral design area. Clients are welcome to watch Boston's Premier Florists in action; kind of like an open kitchen. On the opposite side of floral design is a ten door floral display cooler loaded with more than forty floral arrangements, dozens of seasonal bouquets and more than 10,000 roses.

As you drop even deeper into the store, a fruit and gourmet room is in the rear. In this room Exotic Flowers creates hundreds of fruit, gourmet and junk food baskets that we deliver to Boston, Cambridge and the entire 617 and 781 area codes.

Take a left at our fruit/gourmet room and you head into an authentic glass topped greenhouse. This greenhouse also operates as a walk in refrigerator during Valentine's Day. After walking out the back door, you will see our growing greenhouse. During the fall, Exotic Flowers grows poinsettias. During the summer, we grow hardy mums. During the winter, the experienced growers at Exotic Flowers design mixed annual hanging baskets which beautify the streets, porches, gardens and backyards of Boston. 

Dorchester FlowersAs you make a loop around the rear of the greenhouses, you will land in the middle of our garden center. In December, you will be surrounded by evergreen wreaths, kissing balls and Christmas trees. During the spring and summer, more than three hundred hanging baskets are overhead. You will also notice two houses in the property. People do live in both houses. What could be better than living in a gated garden paradise ?

so next time to you stop at Exotic Flowers, ask us for a tour. You are a guest and we are at your disposal.

Tags: Mattapan Florist, Roslindale Florist, Lombardi Florist

Exotic Flowers in Boston Is Your Urban Garden Center

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Aug 19, 2011


Located at 609 American Legion Hwy in Roslindale, Exotic Flowers boasts a premier urban garden center. Exotic Flowers has remained at this spot for over seventy five years. Exotic Flowers remains in the middle of what we like to call 'flower mile,'. One block towards Hyde Park is City Farm floral as well as Maria's plant stand. At the intersection of Walk Hill St and American Legion Hwy are Walk Hill Florist, Calisi's Flowerland and Louie the Florist. These six urban garden centers have remained in business for over two centuries combined. While each venue provides their own flowers and plants, Exotic Flowers remains a destination floral and garden center.


Our Boston garden center offers annuals, perennials, potting soil, statuary and pottery. We also carry plant food and garden tools. Impatiens and geraniums are the best selling garden plants for our Boston inner city fans. Hanging planters featuring petunias, sweet potato vine and bacopa are our best seller overall.

Our prices are quite competitive as we grow a lot of our own plants in our two Roslindale greenhouses. We also grow hardy fall mums as well as poinsettias. These locally grown plants not only help the environment, but also keep money in the local economy as well. Many local shools, like the Haley School visit to see our operation in action and the students are given free plant lessons.


During the fall, our Boston garden center features mums, kale, asters, pumpkins and cornstalks. As December approaches, we transform the garden center in Roslindale into a winter wonderland replete with Santa Claus, twinkle lights, Christmas Trees and decorated evergreen wreaths.

December remains our most active month. Clients are encouraged to come in for free calendars and to see our greenhouses filled with vibrant red poinsettias.

The inner city of Boston offers so much to so many and Exotic Flowers is proud to be a mainstay in the Boston community.

Tags: Garden Center, Gardening, Roslindale Florist

Exotic Flowers in Boston & Roslindale - Our Core Values

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Nov 05, 2010

Fall Flowers from Boston's Premier Florist

Large corporations often speak of core values, mission statements, policies etc... Small businesses like Exotic Flowers in Boston and Lombardi Florist of Roslindale also have these agendas. Of course, we are a family florist and not quite so cold and callous about our policies. Although we have a written handbook, many of our of core values emanate from our family principles. Occasionally we like to remind our Exotic Flowers Boston staff of our policies in writing. In last week's paycheck, we reminded our staff what some of our core vales are:

  • Exotic Flowers sells the highest-quality flowers and plants available.
  • Our goal is to not only meet our customers expectations, but to exceed them.
  • As Boston's Premier Florist, all employees of Exotic Flowers realize the importance of sending and sharing our clients' emotions.
  • Our goals as a family owned Boston florist are to create financial stability through Referrals and Repeat Business.
  • The staff of Exotic Flowers and Lombardi Florist realize the importance of community, our neighbors and the cleanliness of our neighborhood.
  • Exotic Flowers strives to create and nurture relationships with our vendors.
  • The leadership at Exotic Flowers in Boston and Roslindale promotes the wellness of our staff and clients by touting the health benefits of flowers and plants.
  • Exotic Flowers believes in education and involvement. We believe in industry groups like SAF (Society of American Florists); social media groups like Facebook; and local groups such as Little League or the chamber of commerce.

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Roslindale Florist, Core Values

Garden Roses At Exotic Flowers in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Baronesse Garden Rose Boston FloristExotic Flowers, Boston's Premier Florist now has garden roses arrive every monday. These Nostalgic Roses have an old world feeling to them either by their cup and quartered shapes or their fruity or flowery fragrance. These are roses are grown in Colombia at Alexandra Farms. Alexandra Farms is a small, cozy, nostalgic garden rose farm located in the incredibly fertile savannah of Bogota, high in the Andes mountains of Colombia, where the weather is perfect for rose growing: warm days and cool nights. The garden roses are all hand cut, graded and hand packed.
Trust Exotic Flowers, your local Boston florist to continue bringing in the freshest flowers in Boston.

Tags: Garden Roses, New Flowers, Boston Florist, Roslindale Florist

Roslindale Florist Celebrates 53 years as Boston's Premier Florist

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Jul 26, 2010

Sonny & Rick CanaleJuly 12th, 1957 - 53 Years ago today --
Embarking upon his ambition to fulfill the American dream, Arnold "Sonny" Canale bought Lombardi Florist in 1957. He had been an employee there since 1943. Lombardi's had been a successful florist and nursery since the early 1900's. In 1959, Sonny married Marie "Russo" Canale and merged Lombardi's with her family's florist, Russo's Florist. Russo's Florist had been in business since the early 1900's when Marie's parents arrived from Ponza, Italy.

Foreseeing the changing economy in the coming millennium, Sonny adopted the name Exotic Flowers as its primary signature for doing business in 1993. In 1994 a satellite location was opened at 2 Dartmouth Street in Boston's South End. In 1995, in order to expand our services, we opened a full service floral shop and garden center on route 3A in Cohasset. In June 2001 our flagship store opened at the greenhouse at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Roslindale remains company headquarters. All phone calls, on line orders, and deliveries emanate from this location.

In 2007, Exotic Flowers partnered with the Boston Red Sox to be The Official Florist of the Boston Red Sox. Exotic Flowers was thrilled to be such a special part of their World Champion season. Our success with the team led to the development of our online memorabilia store, Exotic Flowers firmly believes in sports and their benefit to society. We have been the florist for the PGA Deutsche Bank Championship since its inception, and in 2010 partnered with the Women's Professional Soccer team - the Boston Breakers ( their official florist. Exotic Flowers and Lombardi Florist have also been proud to sponsor our local softball teams and reward our Little League Champions.

Exotic Flowers realizes we are a part of the community and continue to do our best by employing a strong business ethic and offering a beautfiul destination florist in Boston. One can always come in for free plant advice at any time.In 2009, Exotic Flowers closely worked with Fisher House Boston - who provides care for our wounded veterans and their families at the Veterans Hospital in West Roxbury, MA.

Exotic Flowers remains a family owned and operated Boston florist. Sonny and Marie work daily and their children all play integral roles in the future of the company. Lauren Canale Trifiro operates an online florist from Scituate. John Canale works part time and offers his experience and customer service skills for the benefit of the growth of Exotic Flowers. Rick Canale oversees the daily operations and ensures that Exotic Flowers remains Boston's Premier Florist.

Tags: Boston Florist, Exotic Flowers, Roslindale Florist

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