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August Blog Spotlight: Blossom Flower Shops


 Blossom Flower Shops in White Plains, NY provides this month’s blog spotlight. They were founded in 1925 and became one of the first 100 florists in the United States to be computerized. They began in the Bronx, but after four generations of ownership have expanded beyond that one simple shop. Still, their expansion has been slow and planned so as to maintain personal interest in every order.

And here is the most recent excerpt from their blog:

Blossom Flower Shops – 3 Fun Facts About the August Flower, Gladiolus

Every month has a birthstone associated with it. The same applies for flowers. The birth flower associated with August is the Gladiolus. The botanical name is a nod to Roman Gladiators who fought with swords.

This stately, long, elegant stem is topped with multiple flower blooms. Because of the long, thick stems, the flower is also known as the “sword lily.” Legend has it that when someone gives a gift of a gladiolus, the giver is piercing the recipient’s heart with love.

Other Meanings

In flower language, (and yes, there is a language of flowers,) Gladiolus is considered the Flower of the Gladiators, and it symbolizes character strength, sincerity, and generosity. It also symbolizes “love at first sight.”

Gladiolus is Technically Not a Bulb

Many people mistakenly refer to Gladiolus as a bulb. Although it looks a lot like a bulb, it is actually a corm. Corms are solid objects. When you look at a corm, the exterior part of the solid mass doesn’t have any defining characteristics or layers. If you cut into it, you’ll see something that looks a lot like the inside of a potato – a hard piece of flesh.

Another important distinction between bulbs and corms is that the spring bulbs are planted during the fall, allowing enough time for bulbs to establish roots, which nourish the tiny embryo inside all winter. The National Gardening Association explains that a gladiolus corm isn’t winter hardy in zones that get colder than USDA hardiness zone 7.

Bigger Corms Produce Bigger Plants and More Flowers

If you want taller flower stems and larger flowers, then you need to look for larger corms. To figure out the size of a corm, simply measure the circumference. Gladiolus plants can grow to heights of anywhere between two and six feet, but the typical range is three to four feet. Most stems produce between 12 and 20 flowers, each of which is about the size of a fist.

Gladiolus Aren’t Hardy in Cold Zones

The familiar spring-blooming bulbs like tulips and daffodils and even irises are hardy in cold hardiness zones. Gladiolus bulbs won’t withstand cold winter temperatures, so in cold climates, they are either grown as annuals or lifted from the soil before the first freeze. They are planted in spring – after the danger of frost passes. It is important to loosen the soil to a depth of 15 inches before planting Gladiolus. Add at least four inches of compost or organic matter to the soil after tilling or digging, mixing it in thoroughly. Plant Gladiolus four inches deep, and space corms at least four to six inches apart.

Gladiolus are commonly used in cut flower arrangements. If you can’t find Gladiolus, you can get the bright summery colors in other summer arrangements like Summer Samba or Summer Sunflowers. Brighten any room in your home, or bring some summer cheer to a friend or loved one with summer flowers from Blossom Flower Shops.

I love that they are so focused on providing excellent information to not only potential customers, but anyone needing flower tips. And it’s not just this post. All of their posts are useful for flower lovers everywhere. I would like to see some photos tossed into the mix, but overall they do an excellent job. I most like that they update often. Well done!

What’s A Good Houseplant To Order Now In West Point, NY?

Ask The Plant Expert:

What houseplant is good to order this time of the year in West Point NY? I also need something not poisonous to babies and cats. -Cassandra

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

If you want a blooming plant, I would recommend the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) or Bromeliad (Guzmania lingulata major), which are both very safe for pets and children.

Christmas Cactus - Safe for pets and children.
Christmas Cactus
Bromeliad House Plant - Safe for children and pets

If you want a nice green plant, I would recommend a Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans).

[Read more…]

Slate Hill Florist Gets Involved With Local Blood Drive

Florists often have a large hand in the community. More than getting the name of the flower shop into the community, helping out is a great way to keep the community alive and active. Painted Petals Flower Shoppe knows the importance of staying involved in their Middletown New York community which is why they are helping with a local blood drive on June 16, 2009.

The New York Blood Center of the Hudson Valley will host a blood drive from 3-7pm on June 16th at Deerpark Reformed Church in Port Jervis. Whether they signed up the church’s community open house (June 13th) or at the door, all donors will receive a flower compliments of Painted Petals Flower Shoppe in Slate Hill, New York.

The beauty and nature of flowers is inspiring. Its’ a reminder of life, fragility and the need to nurture. That’s exactly what blood donors are doing. They give of themselves to help someone who needs to be nurtured, who is fragile and who wants a fresh start at life. As a small reminder and a big thank-you, Painted Petals Flower Shoppe welcomes the opportunity to share flowers with the donors.

It doesn’t take much to participate actively in the community. To watch the community grow and thrive, that takes more work. Painted Petals Flower Shoppe may be just one flower shop, but they’re a huge part of what makes Middletown New York florists so special.

Did You Receive This Mothers Day Gift From A U.S. Soldier?

If you have someone serving overseas in the military, you know how much your heart skips a beat every time you receive a card, letter, e-mail or phone call. You also know the lonely pangs when these gestures don’t come. Being a military mom is one of the hardest roles to play.

Feeling the pain of military moms, MariEllyn Donnellan of A Dykstra Florist developed an idea to help deployed soldiers share a special moment with their moms for Mother’s Day. She decided to make it possible for soldiers from her town, Spring Valley New York, to send their mothers flowers. Each mom received a single rose. Many received their roses surrounded by baby’s breath inside a vase. A small American flag served as a patriotic reminder of the person serving overseas.

The response was amazing among local moms as well as other florists in New York state. Many New York state florists participated in the program which helped mothers across the state fall into appreciative tears at the simple but inexplicably significant gesture of everyone involved.

When it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, this is likely the best gift ever for many of these moms. As they pray for their children’s safety and safe return, they can rest at ease knowing that their children are thinking of them as well. Part of why it’s great to be an American is because of the good people who make it possible to connect mother and daughter/ mother and son on such important occasions. Many thanks to MariEllyn Donnellan and other florists who participated in this phenomenal surprise.

Are you one of the moms who received a rose for Mother’s Day from a New York florist? We would love to hear your story!

Flower Shop Network and the 2009 Northeast Floral Expo

This is our fourth year to participate in the Northeast Floral Expo. Pictured below you can see myself, my wife Loranne and Leslie Cox.

It’s like going to a reunion and seeing family you haven’t seen in a long time. It is something we look forward to every year. Some of the florists attending are from Connecticut.  Others are from surrounding states like Massachusetts, New York and Vermont.  The convention gives us a chance to talk to florists in person.  We gain a better perspective of what is happening in their region.  We often come back with great ideas on how we can better serve the floral industry.

Many of the florists I spoke to were reflecting on their past Valentine’s Day business. Although this year’s Valentine’s Day business wasn’t the best in recent history, the general consensus was it was better than expected.  Many florists shared their business philosophies with us.  Some were altering the way they do business. Others were investigating new ways to promote their business both online  and off.

In fact, Leslie had a great conversation with a new member, MariEllen owner of A Dykstra Florist in Spring Valley New York. They discussed several ways that MariEllen could promote her FSN Custom eCommerce Website. Among other things, they discussed how MariEllen should claim her Google Local Listing to make sure that her correct website address was displayed.

Loranne spoke to several florists who were combining their online marketing efforts with their offline marketing strategies.  Several florists who are using FSN’s Holiday email campaigns were also sending direct mail to customers.   They use the emails and direct mailers to remind customers about upcoming holidays and to direct them to the florist’s web site to make their purchases.  Many of these florists were happy to hear about the direct marketing templates (formerly direct mail templates) Flower Shop Network will offer to members starting next month.

Florists weren’t the only ones we had a chance to speak to at the Expo. We spoke to vendors as well. At the beginning of the Expo, many vendors were concerned about how the economy would affect attendance. When it was all said and done everyone agreed attendance was good and the show was a success.