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Exotic Flowers in Boston

What Do You Collect?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Apr 20, 2020

When I was seven, my older brother brought home baseball cards. They came in packs with gum! Inside those little treasure chests, you might get Fred Lynn or Rick Burleson or the dreaded Bucky Dent. By the time I was fourteen, I had thousands of baseball cards. Like most kids, I put aside my collection for other pursuits.

As I have gotten older, I found those cards again. My mom did not throw them out. These cards bring me back in time. Each one is a little time capsule. As I try to refine my collection and make it more manageable, I still collect a few players like my friend Ted Lepcio and my childhood favorite, Carlton Fisk.

Carlton Fisk baseball cards

My wife Suzie collects many things too. She has a collection of antique buttons from her grandmother and antique books from her mom. She has collects hand blown glass vases. We visit the Delaware shore every summer. In Lewes, Suzie visits a boutique which sells hand blown glass vases. Each year bring a new color.

These vases are showcased in our home. With tulip season in full bloom, she carefully picks one off the shelf to frame the tulips. Each time she pulls down a vase, we are reminded of that vacation. 

vase collection

Collections have a way of grounding us and calming us down. They connect to other times and other places. Like Suzie's vases, my baseball cards each have a moment. 


Tags: Baseball, Books, Vases, Nostalgia

Repurposed Summer Flower Vases

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jul 05, 2018

I’ve written a lot of blogs in the past about summer flowers that make amazing indoor arrangements.  It is after all, my favorite time of year when it is incredibly easy to spot stunning bloomers for both indoor and outdoor purposes.  Maybe your thing is sunflowers or roses? Perhaps a heaping pile of blue/green hydrangea or pink perfection peonies? Whichever way your floral boat floats, summer in New England is one of the best places in the word to design pieces compiled of beautiful wildflowers.  If you are like me and love to put their green thumb to use during this season, you may have already constructed flower beds with your preference of chosen varieties. If this is the case, you’ve already probably begun clipping some of the earlier favorites such as sweet pea, helioborus or bachelor buttons that seem to be cultivated everywhere.  Have you made arrangements for your dining room, living room, bathroom or bedroom already? I can attest that I sure I have!


Once you’ve been bitten by this bug to design your own floral displays, we come to an important question of what we will display them in?  You might have a particular vase you like to use or maybe you don’t care as long as the container doesn’t leak. In these cases, you should arrange your bouquets in whatever you’d like but if you’re looking to find ways to expand your vase collection, I just may have some tips that can come in handy…


Unlike popular belief that floral containers have to be vases, many top designers have looked outside the traditional vessels and gone for some unique ideas that are fun and attractive.  Sometimes by choosing something that is a little different, we can create a fantastically original piece no one has ever thought of before! Search places in your house such as the attic and basement first.  These are the most likely areas where you’ll strike “JACKPOT!” for unexpected cool flower holders. Often, we forget about the old jars we were saving for that big canning project or an antique water-tight tin where we used to keep our pencils handy.  These are only two examples of what you may already have that make incredible containers for your wildflower clippings. Other suggestions might include:

Coffee Tin Containers

Soup Containers

Pots and Ceramics

China Sets

Tea Cups

Old Milk Bottles (Glass)

Scotch/Jim Bean Bottles

Wine Bottles

Water Bottles (Glass)

Beer Bottles (Glass)


These are merely a few ideas to get you going but go on the hunt yourself and see what turns up!  You might just be surprised by the treasures you find…

Tags: Vases, Summer, Sunflowers

Filling Your Springtime Bud Vases

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 13, 2015

Boston flower lovers adore filling anything that will hold water and a few stems of blossoms.  Typically, we think of larger pieces when designing floral arrangements believing that bigger is always better.  For me, it’s the smaller details that catch my eye and inspire new creations in and around my home.  One of my favorite flower displays is my springtime bud vase collection that I’ve gathered from hand me downs, family heirlooms, yard sales and wherever else I might spot a unique vessel.  The array of color and material are eclectic to say the least, which is the most beautiful characteristic that they possess.  Different sizes and different shapes when filled with the right flowers can sometimes make a bigger impact that an enormous centerpiece.  The trick is to select the right stems for the right budvase and place them in the right section of the room utilizing the interior décor and lighting.   Since Boston is finally beginning to show signs of spring, you’ll have no trouble finding stunning sprigs of life that will compliment this look.  Here are a few suggestions for designing smaller floral displays that I hope will help get you into the creative mood!

 cocktail party flowers boston

                                                photo credit: Flower Factor

Clean Your Vase Ware

Making sure that the budvases are thoroughly clean is one of the most important aspects of successfully displaying a smaller arrangement.  Smudges, dirt and grime can distract the eye line and create a messy and tattered look.  Giving the glassware a nice soaking in the sink or a good run through the dishwasher is imperative before arranging the flowers.  Use a gentle soap such as Dove and stay away from any cleaner that is strong and stringent.  If you have a piece that has an opening that’s too small to scrub with a sponge or even your finger, grab a Q-Tip because it works wonders. 


Pansies or Posies

Once everything is sparkling clean, the big decision lies within choosing the right flowers for the right budvase.  Luckily, we have some excellent options available to us now including lily of the valley, grape hyacinth and crocus.  Depending on the width of the mouth, only place a few sprigs within each to avoid overcrowding and breakage.  Boston florists can also be helpful because items such as gerbera daisies, roses and other imported varieties might also be delightful additions. 

 orchids boston

                                             photo credit: Flower Factor

Colorful Matching

The shading of the vase may seem to control what flower fits inside but don’t be afraid to design out of the box.  White does not always have to go with white and blue does not always have to go with blue.  Try to flip your color control and break away from traditional matching techniques.  The more we bend the rules when designing tiny bouquets, the more attractive it will become and the stronger the reaction to the piece.  Go out on a limb and pair red with green or purple with orange.  Place these beautiful specimens in a well-lit window and watch them wow anyone who passes by!


Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA 

Tags: Floral Design, DIY Brides, Flower Arrangements, Vases

Waterford Teams with Jeff Leatham for Cutting Edge Flower Vases

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Mar 19, 2015


                     photo credit:

Coming from twenty years within the wholesale flower business, I’ve seen my fair share of glassware where some of the most beautiful blooms have been cascaded for showcase.  After a while, you learn that the angling of a vase, the height, color and even the material from which it was made from all impact the overall presentation of the arrangement.  Factors such as the architectural difficulty, texture and design of the flowers are irrelevant if the bouquet is displayed in an uncomplimentary vase so its pretty important to study the mathematical aspect of selecting the proper glass line.   In the previous years, we have experienced the “less is more” trend where holders are often clear with uncomplicated lines of patterns.  Even the cobalt phase has finally passed, relieving us of electric blue bubble bowls and cylinders in many experts’ opinions only hid the beauty of flowers instead of flattering them.   Yes, we’ve moved away from these traditional floral formats and are now asking for more contemporary glassware styles that will widen our appeal to potential customers.  Jeff Leatham just might have found the answer within his cutting edge, Lego like invention named the “Tina Collection”.


                                                   photo credit;

Inspired by a building theme of connecting pieces as found in a Lego set, this young florist has found the answer to boring rose mounds and fragmented designing styles.  Constructed from crystal, Leatham of Waterford Fleurology has come up with a new way to display wedding, hotel or daily made arrangements by not changing the flowers but changing the vase.  The “Tina” collection encompasses a cutting edge reasoning that glassware does not have to be singular.  Particular items within the product line connect with one another allowing flowers to be built in innovative designs within varying shapes and heights.  Some members of the line also include a flip saucer where water can be held on both sides expanding the possibilities of utility even further to floating heads or candles.  No longer will we have to bare the one-dimensional fortitude of the square or rectangular vase.  Now we’ll be able to construct pieces that have up until now, only existed within our imaginations! 


Ok, the logistics sound cool but what do they actually look like?  The vases are colored in either a clear or black tint, which allows creators to switch back and forth within light to dark depths of spectrum.  Different varieties of flowers that have customarily not been appropriate to interweave will now “make sense” within this brilliant “out of the box” strategy that leaves traditional floral thinking in the dust.  Now designers will be challenged to stray from the uniform presentations that so many of us are used to and delve further into the possibilities of creativity!  It’s about time business owners will be able to expand their merchandise to include the drawing appeal of crystal and flowers…what could be better than that? 

Tags: Floral Design, Vases, Waterford, Jeff Leatham

Find the Perfect Holiday Vases in Your Home

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 14, 2014

vintage flower vase

Flower arranging can be a sensational way to add to your holiday decorating.  Bringing cheer, happiness and beauty to any home, a stunning plethora of blooms gives incredible accent to traditional festive pieces such as ornaments, wreathes and candles. Decadent in color, texture and exquisite scent, the right vase of flowers will enhance your seasonal settings without outdoing the more traditional essentials of table settings and of course, the turkey.  From dainty bud vases to massive urns and vessels, there is no denying the charm a bouquet of fresh flowers can bring to a home during this special time of year so don’t be afraid to get creative when searching.  Some of the most dazzling centerpieces are found within the least likely treasures hidden within our home.  Try these ideas to make the perfect floral epergne for your holiday enjoyment.

 root beer bottle vases

The best place to start your search is in your basement or attic.  You never know what kind of funky trinkets you may be able to morph into a vase.  Items such as pottery and glass servings make excellent choices since they show off the colors of the stems as well as eradicate an antique, “no fuss” appeal.  Patterned china is also a lovely option as well as ceramic, planting pots, mismatched coffee cups and even lanterns.  Don’t be afraid to really think outside of the box and try other possibilities such as small glass match holder containers, children’s teacups and maybe even old pantry sugar and flour jars.  All of these reflect the feeling of “home”, which is ideally what we look for in this type of “family” theme.   If you cant seem to find any of these in your own house, flea markets and yard sales are wonderful places to hunt for unique valuables where you can not only get a great deal but have the satisfaction of recreating something used into something new.

 unique flower vase

If this concept of making your own vase sounds enticing, you may want to keep in mind a few tips to ensure a successful centerpiece arrangement.  The most important factor is if the object holds water.  Before actually placing flowers within a holder, run water into it over the sink to be positive that it is drip free.  Other things to keep in mind are dyes that may be painted in inside or outside of the jar causing water to turn an undesired color and deciding beforehand if the material the vase is made up of will keep its form instead of disintegrating or decomposing (I’ve seen people try to use paper for vases-doesn’t work I assure you).  Whatever means you go about utilizing your own holiday vase, be certain that it is reflective of your individuality and taste because there is nothing more important than making your holiday special for you and your loved ones. 

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

all flower photos in this post courtesy of Flower Factor and

suzie_hearl Suzie Canale lives in Westwood, Mass her hobbies include, fitness, decor, reading and cooking. 

Tags: Floral Design, DIY Brides, Flower Arrangements, Vases

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