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Christmas Flowers: Gifts, Tips And Decorations

Christmas Flower Arrangement

Red poinsettias, ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies, and the scent of fresh Christmas greens are the basis for many Christmas decorations.  Sure flowers make great decorations, but what about sending flowers as Christmas gifts?  Flowers are a fantastically appropriate gift for Christmas and other religious holidays. You won’t have to worry if they are the right size, shape, or color.  You can rest assured they won’t already have one.  Whether you use flowers for decorations or as a gift, now is the time to explore the world of Christmas flowers.

What Christmas Flowers Options Are Available?

At one time or another we’ve all sent a poinsettia to a loved one or friend for the Christmas holiday.  Although a quintessential Christmas plant, poinsettias are not the only Christmas flowers you can send.  Roses, mums, lilies, tulips and many other wonderful floral blooms are available at your local florist shop.  In fact, Christmas flowers run the gamut from traditional red roses to lime green “Fuji” mums as well as a host of plum and purple flowers.  Variety doesn’t stop with the flowers. Christmas arrangements can range from a traditional table centerpiece with candles and flowers to a contemporary arrangement with glitzy ornaments and flowers. Best of all, giving flowers as gifts during the Christmas holidays can make short work of buying presents for those hard-to-buy-for friends and loved ones.

Who Can I Send Flowers To At Christmas?

You can send flowers to anyone; your child’s teacher, your hairstylist, your uncle and aunt in TimBukTu. Sure, you could simply exchange cards, but why not add a bit of Christmas joy with some flowers? Do you have trouble finding an appropriate gift for your boss? Do you ponder with each item you look at “Is it appropriate?” or “Could it be misconstrued?” Flowers are the perfect solution—not too fancy, not too expensive, yet very thoughtful. Flowers eliminate all gift choice second guessing. The number one person to [Read more…]

Celebrating Sweetest Day

What Is Sweetest Day?

Looking for a reason to send a gift? How about Sweetest Day!  Never heard of it?  Well, it is the holiday that celebrates kindness and appreciation.  Sweetest Day is a fantastic way to show your appreciation for a special person, to remember those who are alone, or give back to the unsung heroes of your community.

Chocolate Hearts & CandyGifts are extra special when unexpected and given as a form of appreciation or simply just because. Those receiving a Sweetest Day gift are usually caught completely by surprise.  After all, no one expects a gift/treat on Sweetest Day like they do on Halloween, Christmas or even Valentine’s Day.  The element of surprise and sheer kindness in these gifts is what makes Sweetest Day so awesome.

The History Of Sweetest Day!

Celebrated on the third Saturday in October, Sweetest Day is a tradition that is often forgotten, but has a deep and chocolaty rich history.  The concept of this tradition began with a philanthropist and candy employee named Herbert Birch Kingston. Feeling the weight of  his good fortune and seeing the plight and misfortune of others, Mr. Kingston saw the need to brighten the lives of others.  Understanding the need all people have to feel appreciated, he wanted a day that recognized people simply for being people.  So drawing from his candy background, Mr. Kingston conceived the idea of a holiday that would give candy and small gifts to the underprivileged, shut-ins and [Read more…]

Dogs, Cats, Houseplants: Living Happily Together

Pets And Houseplants – Achieving Compatibility

African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)If you share your home with dogs or cats, keeping them safe and happy is often your primary concern. At the same time, having interior foliage really makes a house a home. Many houseplants actually improve air quality and create a healthy environment for you.

Although houseplants are pretty and help improve your life, they can sometimes pose a serious issue for your beloved pets. According of the Humane Society of the US there are 700 identified plants that have “toxic” qualities that can cause harmful side effects in animals. Does this mean you have to chose between living with your beloved pet or an awesome houseplant? NO! It doesn’t. By taking certain steps and knowing which houseplants are dangerous to your cat or dog, you can create a pet safe home that includes beautiful foliage.

Keeping Your Pets and Your Houseplants

Before you throw out all your houseplants for the sake of your kitten or puppy, take time to consider whether you’re dog or cat can live with your plants. Some dogs and cats never touch houseplants while others can’t leave them alone. You can still enjoy these plants, even ones potentially “toxic” to pets.

You can protect your pet by taking a few preventative steps. Place plants on stands or hang them out of your dog’s reach. This can work with cats as well. However with cats, the plant must be placed so that your kitty can’t climb up to or jump on to the hanging plant. Otherwise, all questionable plants will need to be placed in a room unavailable to the cat.

If you receive a new plant as a gift, take time to see if your pet is even interested in it. Most cats and dogs simply ignore houseplants and leave them alone. Kittens and puppies are a bit different. They are extremely curious and will chew or play with just about anything. If you have a puppy take time to train them to leave the houseplants alone. Spritzing them with water when they get near the plant is usually a sufficient deterrent. With kittens it’s a bit harder to train them; you may have to put the plants out of the kittens reach.

If you’re still leery about exposing your pet to houseplants, select [Read more…]

Vegetables, Fruits & Flowers – A Winning Combination

Don’t Just Pick The Flowers! Use The Whole Garden!

Lemons & Flowers From Belvedere FlowersLooking for a unique way to add interest to a flower arrangements? Take a hint from Mother Nature by utilizing everything that grows in the garden to create unique and fun arrangements. Gardens contain a multitude of wonderful flowers as well as fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes we forget how noteworthy fruit and vegetables can be used as decorations, or as gifts in the form of  “floral arrangements”.  By marrying the items found in gardens with fresh cut flowers, you can create unique and fabulous designs. For example, try something as simple as roses and statice with green grapes draping over a container. The mixture of the roses with the grapes is less formal, but conveys a bit of garden whimsy.

What I enjoy about adding fruits or vegetables to flower designs is the ability to blend different textures, colors and smells into my table centerpieces.  I recently had a dinner party and was serving  Mexican food, lots of spicy Mexican food.  My florist designed a centerpiece using bright red cayenne chili peppers along with red roses, grapes and red apples.  The peppers, grapes and apples made the arrangement pop from the table.  Everyone commented on the wonderful idea of incorporating fruits and vegetables.

Taking  A Cue From The Farmers Market

Flower Arrangement with KaleOpen yourself up to new ideas and creations by thinking outside the standard florist cooler. Browse your local fruit stands or grocery centers for unconventional ideas to use in arrangements.  Fall is a great time to experiment with gourds.  Try using small gourds, both round and elongated styles, with oranges in a clear tall vase to hold fresh flowers.  You won’t need floral foam because your gourds and oranges do the trick.

Another fantastic garden option is kale, which comes in a variety of beautiful colors. The colorful ones are often referred to as flowering kale. All flowering kales are edible like the garden varieties, making it a superb item for use in fruit and flower arrangements.

Imagine joining a bright, white-colored flowering kale with the deep green of  broccoli florets and bright orange baby carrots all in an edible arrangement. This is a great way to treat your Mother on Mothers day with an edible gift you both can share.

Edible Flower Arrangements

Most of us have seen edible flowers, such as pansies used as wedding cakes decorations. In fact, edible flowers have been used in the catering industry for a very long time.  Just like fruits and vegetables, edible flowers can be used to add a special touch of beauty or uniqueness.

More and more florists are using veggies and fruits to spice up their arrangements and to add texture as well. Vegetables and fruits are becoming more common in floral designs. Often you see fruits and vegetables used in silk flower arrangements because the colors and textures work well with different types of flora.  The use of fresh fruits and vegetables is growing more common. Fresh fruit and vegetables offer you a wide variety to draw from for inspiration and work your creative magic.

Sure you can eat them…But mostly they are for admiring.

When using fruits and vegetables in arrangements, most often the idea is not to eat them but to enjoy the unique idea of fruits and vegetables as floral arrangements.  If you decide to use or send edible flowers with edible fruits and vegetables in an arrangement, be sure they are indeed edible. Some flowers are not edible or may have an unpleasant taste.  You can find charts that tell you which flowers are edible as well as their taste. I highly recommend checking charts. Just as I used flowering kale and broccoli with carrots for a Mother’s Day gift suggestion, some people may not be aware that flowering kale is edible. Be sure to insert a note that tells the receiver about the arrangement. That note should include care instructions and if the arrangement is for admiring, eating or both.

Fruit & Flowers Arrangement From Apple Blossoms Floral Design

Yes! You can make a “flower” arrangement by using fruit.

Fruit & Flowers By Kings Creek FlowersThese types of arrangements can be edible! Just wrap them in colorful cellophane to keep them moist prior to delivery.  Edible fruit arrangements are easy to make. They just take some time and some creativity, and cookie cutters to make some “fruit flowers”. Or you can do as I do. I have my local florist make them for me. Not all florists, will make these types of edible arrangements, but it’s worth a phone call to see if they will.

The art of flower design takes on a new perspective, a whole new pizazz when you add an element of fruit or vegetables.  Enhancing your arrangements by adding the unexpected, shows design flair, as well as creativity. Don’t be afraid of fruits and vegetables.  Maybe you don’t like to eat fruit or vegetables, but don’t deny yourself the beauty found in veggies or the brilliant colors found in fruits. Use them in a colorful fruit and flower arrangement.

I don’t like brussels sprouts but using them as a base to add some light green color with pink roses in a topiary style is one way I can enjoy brussels sprouts. So contact your local florist to get a dose of healthy fruits and vegetables in your flower arrangements, today.

A special thanks goes to Belvedere Flowers for the picture of their Fresh Lemonade arrangement. A special thanks to King Creek Flowers for the fruity reception centerpiece photo. A special thanks to Apple Blossoms Floral Design for the fruit and flower arrangement photo.

Whether you are a Havertown PA Florist, a Miami Florist, a Tampa florist or one of the fine florists across the U.S. and Canada, Flower Shop Network would love to see pictures of your fabulous arrangements.  You can send pictures to jadams@flowershopnetwork.com.

What A Guy Wants – Flowers Of Course!

Flowers For HimYou know there is song about what a girl wants, how about what a guy wants? Most men and women all want one thing – appreciation. Yes, it is that simple. Everyone wants to be appreciated.  But, how do we show appreciation to the men in our lives? With flowers of course! Think about how you love to receive flowers, the way they make you feel appreciated and loved.  Not to mention, research has demonstrated the mood boosting power of flowers for both men and women.  So, a bouquet of flowers will give him the same wonderful feeling you get from a special flower delivery.

How To Find The Right Gifts For Men

Finding the right gift for your guy doesn’t have to be difficult. It just takes a bit of thought as to what he might enjoy and an element of surprise. An unexpected gift such as flowers will surprise him and keep him thinking of you all day. As you know, flowers come in a plethora of varieties, colors, textures and fragrances. So, when deciding what to send, think about his favorite color, scent, hobby and other personality defining things. Then call your local florist and describe your guy and the flower ideas that you think he will like.  Not sure about what type of flowers to send? Don’t worry, your florist has a million ideas and they will be happy to create something perfect for your guy. In fact, florists have containers, colors and textures that have a masculine appeal.

Special Occasion Gifts For Men With A Twist

Looking for a gift for a special occasion such as Valentines Day or your anniversary? Send him a dozen roses in his favorite color.  If roses aren’t available in his favorite color, have the florist wrap them in paper or ribbons in that color.  For a special twist add an element of anticipation when sending flowers.  Before delivery remove three or four roses from the dozen with a note on the enclosure card that says “To my love, this is really a dozen, the ones missing are with a special surprise that will be waiting for you at home tonight.” The surprise at home is up to you; let your imagination go wild. I guarantee your man will feel very loved and appreciated as he anxiously awaits his evening surprise.

Flowers For Dad

Flowers For Dad

Gifts For Dad That Say “I Love You”

When distance keeps you from celebrating with dad in person, a special gift is needed to show him how much you love and miss him.  Sending dad flowers is great way to say “I love you” and “I’m thinking of you.”  Flowers will brighten his day adding to the special memories he has of you. Every time your dad walks by or looks at the flowers, he will be reminded that you are always thinking of him. Nothing is better than that feeling. It’s as near to a hug as you can give.

Gifts That Boost Morale

Is the man in your life having a work problem? One that a boost in problem solving energy might fix? A 2003 Texas A&M study found that flowers in the work place boosted a man’s creative problem solving skill (reading productivity) by 15%.  This is only one of the morale boosting benefits of flowers.

According to the Society of American Florist 60% of men surveyed said they enjoyed receiving flowers. Think about it 60% of men want you to send flowers to them. That means if you know 10 men, 6 of them want flowers. Maybe your boss,  your husband or boyfriend is one of the six.  It could even be your co-worker who covered for you during that long lunch break. I suspect the other 4 guys simply don’t know how good it feels to receive flowers or are afraid to admit they want flowers. So boost some morale and send flowers today to a guy you know.

Really? Send Him Flowers

Still apprehensive about sending a man flowers. There is no need to be. Sure it’s out of the ordinary and not at all expected. Those are the very reasons why you should send flowers. Giving flowers to men is great way to say “I love you,” “I’m sorry,” “Thanks,” as well as any other reason you can think including “just because”. Remember flowers will let him know that you are thinking of him.

Father Day FlowersFor the first timers, here are a few guidelines to follow. Men tend to like less elaborate flower arrangements. Stay more in line with linear arrangements and  nothing too “frilly” or delicate. Roses are an excellent choice, as well as carnations and daisies. Men enjoy tropical flowers like Bird of Paradise or flower arrangements with an outdoorsy feel.

This type of arrangement is a man pleaser with its a rectangular glass vases strong foliage (pittosporum and hosta leaves), peach lilies, bi-colored rust peach roses, gerberas and fantastic texture with blades of lily grass and dried lotus pods. This rich and intense arrangement speaks to men.

Still a bit shy about sending men flowers? Don’t be. However, you can always test the waters by sending a blooming plant. The most important thing to remember is that men, just like women, want that feeling of appreciation, love and that feel good feeling that somebody was thinking of them.

With the many types of flowers that a florist can use to make a fun, flirty or even a friendly arrangement for a man, you have a multitude of gift giving options and opportunities. There are so many reasons to send a man flowers: for his birthday, for fathers day or “just because.”  My personal favorite is the “just because.”  Why? Because it lets my husband know I’m thinking of him and it gets me something in return – an extra special hug and kiss from a very appreciative husband.  Remember flowers are a way to send a hug. So, contact your local florist and send flowers to your guy today.