Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Valentine's Day Messaging

Look at you go!  You thought ahead, figured out which arrangement you wanted to send to your significant other, got all the information together for the delivery. . . you've called or stopped by your local Cactus Flower and placed your order. I mean, you're scooting along at a steady speed. . . and then we ask, "What would you like to say on the card message?"  Skreeeech!  

Oh, the looks we get from this one simple question:  dumbfoundment, fear, agony, anxiety, queasiness, deer-in-the-headlights, confusion.  While some of these expressions have made us laugh out loud, we feel it's only fair to help you out a little bit.  Here are some of the best tried and true card messages we've heard over the years:

"I love you so much, I couldn't wait for Valentine's day."
"Couldn't wait for another day to say I love you."

"You take my breath away, today and every day."

"Cupid's aim is still pretty good."

"Sending all my love your way."

"I usually tell you that I love you a couple times a day.  Today, I'll make it a dozen!"

"If actions speak louder than words, this is my way of shouting."

"One rose for every year I've loved you."*
*Disclaimer: it is up to you to know how many years you've been together.  If you send 7 and you've been together 9, well...You'll have to explain either which two years you didn't love her, or how you weren't really paying attention to how long you've been together....

"With you, it's Valentine's Day is
365 days a year!"

"8-3-1.  8 letters.  3 words. 1 meaning."  (If they can't figure this one out, it's 'I love you'.)

Just quote one or two romantic lines from 'your' song.  The longer you've been together, the better this works, because she'll be impressed that you actually remembered!

Roses, Roses Everywhere!

When you 'say it with flowers' you really do communicate what you mean when it comes to roses.  In Victorian times, every flower had special meaning.  Irises signified valor and wisdom, snapdragons were for graciousness, callas meant beauty, orchids signified refinement, and so on.  While most of the secret language of flowers has faded away into obscurity, various colors of roses still hold their meanings much as they did over 100 years ago.

RED                 love
LIGHT PINK    grace and joy
DARK PINK    appreciation
YELLOW         friendship
WHITE             loyalty
PEACH            respect
LAVENDER    enchantment
ORANGE         fascination and desire

Colors mixed together have meanings as well.  Red and white together signifies unity. White and yellow together means 'peace and harmony'.  Yellow and red together indicates a celebration.

The number of roses given also have significance
1        love at first sight
6        infatuation
9        together forever
11        bad luck (is supposed to signify he sent you 11 and gave the best one to another!)
12        be mine
13        friends forever
18        sincerity
24        I'm yours
36        madly in love
48        genuine love
60        love has no boundaries
√Źn an online poll, most women prefer red roses for Valentine's Day, followed by pink, lavender, white and yellow.  So whether you are a traditionalist and opt for the red, or you love the big, bright colorful varied mixes, or you create your own bouquet based on the significances listed above (such as, 24 red and orange roses mixed together would say, "I love you, I desire you and I'm yours".  What woman wouldn't be wowed by that?) CactusFlowers can help pull off a Valentine's Day that will make a hero out of you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fresh Christmas Inspiration

It seems like nowadays, we start seeing Christmas items sneak into stores by the end of summer!  This certainly takes some of the joy out of the season.  If you're already burned out, here are a few ways to slowly bring Christmas into your home.

Poinsettias:     There's no other plant that is so immediately identifiable as Christmas.  Just by bringing one into the home or sending one to a friend, these gorgeous plants can bring the holidays indoors and get everyone in the mood.  Slide it into a vintage pot or unusual container to give it an even more unique look!

Tablescape:      Any sort of tray or mirror, with a few assorted candlesticks, several small vases with a single bloom in each one, and ornament balls of varying size and design is an almost effortless way to create a coffee-table focal point with items you likely have around the house!

Extra Christmas Greens:    If you buy a fresh tree, you'll probably have to trim a few branches off the bottom.  Don't toss them out! Use to layer your mantlescape, add greenery to flower arrangements, drape your banister, tuck into unexpected places such as drapery tie backs.  All of our Cactus Flower locations will sell mixed holiday greens by the pound.  If you put up an artificial tree, but love the smell of fresh pine, this is a perfect way to bring it into your home without the mess.

Fruit and flowers:   There's something about flowers and fruit mixed together that makes for a very festive display.  Ruby red pomegranates, bright green pears or mixed apples look wonderful when paired with white flowers.  Cluster a white bouquet in a small vase, then place in the center of a larger bowl.  Surround with fruit, allowing the flowers to pop up out of the center.

Cranberries are another fruit that goes well with floral. Best of all, they float in water.  Fill a vase 3/4 full of cranberries, add water to within a few inches of the top, fill with white flowers.  Gorgeous white hydrangea (on sale 5 stems for $10 at any one of our five locations during December!) or white oriental lilies look spectacular against the bright red berries!

Arrangements in stockings:    Yes, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...but until Santa swings by to fill them up, they can look a little droopy and sad.  Make them joyous and bountiful by carefully placing a tall, slender bouquet inside the stocking.  Come into any one of our five locations every Friday afternoon to enjoy 50% off your wrapped bouquet.  Ask the designer to create the arrangement inside a plastic to-go bouquet holder which will keep the flowers on a water source without weighing the stocking down.  Flowers pop out of the top of the stocking, bringing a festive bit of color and a nice focal point.

Flowers in trees:     Early one December several years ago we had a customer order 20 packages of baby's breath...that's 200 stems!  She let us know that she had seen something in a magazine and just had to try it.  Her 10 foot tall tree was decked out in pink lights, and then stems of baby breath were tucked into the branches.  When she brought in pictures, we were all stunned by how beautiful something so simple could be.

Another way to use flowers in a tree is something we stole from the Victorian era.  Gather as many small bottles as you can--you can find true vintage ones at just about any antique store, or many of the craft stores have inexpensive reproductions.  Using a length of ribbon to match your tree decorations, tie a bow around the neck of the bottle.  Fill the bottle with water and insert a fresh flower such as a rose, carnation or daisy.  Affix an ornament hook into the back of the ribbon and hang from the tree. (Check water levels and blooms daily to replace as needed.)

Frozen florals:       This is a pretty and unusual way to keep liquor chilled at your holiday party. You'll need an empty 1/2 gallon waxed cardboard milk carton, an empty liquor bottle and fresh flowers, slices of citrus fruit, small springs of pine. Spray the outside of the empty liquor bottle with a non stick spray such as Pam, then place in the center of the empty carton.  Place flowers and fruit all around the bottle, stopping before you reach the narrow part of the bottle.  Slowly pour in water only up to the widest part of the bottle, then place the entire carton inside the freezer overnight.  To use, peel the carton from the ice, then run a bit of water where the bottle meets the ice.  This will loosen up the empty bottle--remove it and replace with the full bottle.  These look lovely on the bar--just be sure to place the block of ice on a tray that will collect water as it melts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Using Flowers in Your Thanksgiving Decor

Every bountiful table needs a gorgeous centerpiece to help make the occasion more festive.  Check out some options (link to our website Thanksgiving flowers) here.  For your table--traditional centerpieces (with or without candles), cornucopias chock full of flowers or short pave style vased arrangements look lovely.  Don't forget something nice and showy on your entry table to welcome guests, and a small but sweet bouquet in the guest bathroom will show that you pay attention to the details.

However, there are so-so-many other ways to bring fresh flowers into the festivities.  Think outside the vase for fall floral decor. . .

*Don't forget your front entry!  A nice big basket of mums or a pretty fall wreath can greet guests and fuel anticipation of what's waiting inside.

*Speaking of fall wreaths, it is perfectly fine to mix mediums. . . it's not illegal to combine silks, dried and fresh!  A nice silk floral wreath can only look prettier when sprigs of dried wheat or monkey pods are added.  To add a pop of color, tuck in a sprig of fresh flowers into a water tube, hiding the mechanics behind the wreath.

*A bit of fall daisies or red hypericum is a welcome surprise when tucked into a napkin ring.

*Sometimes, a little goes a long way.  A few antique bottles gathered on a mirror only need a bit of tall bittersweet or curley willow to become a focal point.

*Unusual containers can change a pretty bouquet into something spectacular.  Have a bouquet designed in a plain cylinder vase, then tuck that vase into an old bucket, Great-grandmother's cookie jar or canister, maple syrup pails, anything mismatched or old and vintage can be a great conversation starter.

* If you have a nice selection of vintage stemmed glasses a fun, quick and unusual way to use them is to create 'flowers under glass'.  Group three or five stems of varying types (wine glasses, brandy snifters, martini glasses, etc) on a large charger or mirror or flat tray.  Cut a single bloom to be placed under the glass.  Creates a very nice focal point for next to nothing.  (Flowers are not on a water source so be sure to choose blooms that don't fade too quickly.  Best bets would be dendrobium orchids, carnations, pompoms, buttons)

*Mantle tablescapes need just a pop of color.  Varying sizes of candles and candleholders with gourds, dried fall leaves and/or fresh fruits at their base look lovely, but up the ante a tiny bit but purchasing loose stems and water tubes.  Solidago, fall pom-poms, roses or hypericum add color and interest.  Simply cut the stem down to fit the water tube, then tuck the tube in behind a gourd or peeking out from under a leaf.  The flower will stay fresh for a day or two inside a water tube.

* Candles can add a gorgeous glow to any Thanksgiving table.  One fun alternative that uses just a few flowers but packs a nice visual wallop is to create a layered candleholder.  Start with a wide cylinder vase and layer in dried legumes such as yellow or brown lentils, green split peas, yellow dried corn kernels--even whole coffee beans add a nice deep brown color and a homey aroma.  Layer your drieds about halfway up your vase.  Using water tubes, cut small sprigs of daisy buttons or pompoms, carefully tucking them down into the drieds.  This will create a floral 'carpet' to rest a nice pillar candle.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates bounty (and even excess!) but small pops of color and unusual containers can surprise your guests and make your home warm and comforting.