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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August Specials and Back to School!

Yes, it's only August, but for most kids, school starts back this week! It's always hard to get back into a rhythm after the fun, lazy days of summer. So if you have a friend or family member who could use a little Welcome Back pick-me-up, we have just the perfect thing! Click here.

And if you live in the Phoenix area, don't miss our August Fresh Ten: 10 Sunflowers for $10!

The sunflower is native to North America and was later brought to Europe. By the late 1800's, Russia had over 2 million acres of sunflowers mainly for oil production and consumption.  These beauties radiate happiness and we could all use a little more of that, don't you think?

In honor of National Friendship Day on August 7th, we're offering Free Delivery for a limited time. Simply enter code FRIEND at checkout!
Find a store.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Beautiful Way to Clean Your Air

Summer is here which means soon we'll be feeling cooped up in air-conditioned homes, offices, and automobiles. Not only can we get stir-crazy, but our indoor environments can seem stuffy after not having the windows open for four months.

Did you know that there is a beautiful and inexpensive way to rid toxins from your indoor air? The answer is simple and beautiful: Green Plants!

Plants not only add oxygen to the air, but help filter out toxins that can be found in your home or office. Some of the top purifying and easy to grow houseplants are:

Peace Lily
Spider Plant
Bamboo Palm
English Ivy

With new shipments arriving weekly, stop by one of our stores to see what we have in stock. These also make a thoughtful, healthful gift no matter the season. Take a peek at we offer here.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Prom Trends 2016

It's a busy time of year in the flower world. . .coming off the tails of Valentine's Day, we see Easter, Administrative Professional's Day (April 27th) and then the floral holiday to end all others, Mother's Day on May 8th.  From now until then, we're also seeing a bevy of brides tying the knot before it simply gets too hot. . . and every single weekend from now until the first weekend in May, IT'S PROM SEASON!!!

Colors for prom fashions this year run the gamut--nice neutrals, soft peaches and aquas as well as bright and bold turquoise and melon shades. Blue looks to be this year's color--royal blue, navy, turquoise and aqua are all popular. Another trend is neutral--champagne, taupe, silver or gold. Of course, tried and true black and white never go out of style--this season's white is not a bright pure hue but more of a romantic ivory shade.  The hot style is the two-piece dress, which has a cute little sleeveless top paired with a long, layered, flowing matching skirt.  Sequins and lace are being seen everywhere on the new prom styles for 2016.  

If your teenager is a guy, there are prom trends for him, as well.  Straightforward black is--as always--very popular, with a traditional white shirt, black bow tie, black suit.  Of course, if he and his date would like to 'co-ordinate' (new buzzword that replaces the dreaded 'matchy-matchy') his tie and cumberbund can be chosen in a color that goes with his date's dress. However, if black is boring to your teen, formal suits are showing up in greys, silvers and whites, with looser styling and a bit of sheen to the fabric.

No matter what your teens wear to prom, Cactus Flower Florists can help co-ordinate the look with pretty, petite wrist corsages and single rose boutonniers all the wayto wild, blinged-out designs and everything in between. Check out our on trend prom collection!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Valentine's Day Fun Facts

 1. The number of roses produced for Valentine's Day 2015 totalled 257 million stems! 

2. Those little conversation heart candies that kids love so much have a shelf life of five years. Wow.

3. Worldwide, one billion greeting cards were purchased last Valentine's Day.  (This card holiday is second only to Christmas, with about 2.6 billion sent world-wide each year.)

4. The first boxes of chocolate specifically created for Valentine's Day were by Cadbury Chocolates in 1868.  Yes, the same Cadbury who now is famous for their chocolate eggs at Easter!

5. Almost 25% of Americans buy fresh flowers for Valentine's Day.  Of those, 63% send roses and the remaining 37% send either mixed arrangements or plants.

Check out our exclusive collection
6. And the best fact of all?  Cactus Flower Florists has five locations to serve you for all your Valentine's Day floral needs.  Don't forget your sweetheart on Valentine's day! Our 5 locations are open on Sunday, February 14th, 9am-4pm.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year

The rare Monkey face Orchid!

*The two colors associated with the Chinese New Year are red and gold.  Gold, for fortune and prosperity, and red for joy, virtue, truth and sincerity.  Red is a favored color by the Chinese as it is also supposed scare away evil spirits and bad fortunes.  A vase of all red flowers with a shiny gold bow would be a welcome gift in any home or business celebrating the Chinese New Year.

*The number 8 is considered lucky, so perhaps an arrangement of eight red carnations or roses will really show your wishes of good luck for 2016!
The Year of the Monkey starts on February 8th, 2016.  People born in a monkey year are said to be clever, fun-loving and mischievous.  Chinese New Year is a happy time, celebrated by many for ushering out the old and bringing in the new.  This is a great time to give friends flowers and fruits to welcome the new year.  Here are some fun ideas:

* A fruit basket containing oranges and tangerines signifies abundant happiness.

* A beautiful orchid plant is a wonderful gift to those wanting to start or add to their family this year, as orchids signify fertility and abundance.

So quit monkeying around and wish everyone a happy Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

One Month Until Valentine's Day!

Here it comes. . . just when you were resting on your laurels over the great Christmas gift you gave to your sweetheart. . .it's Valentine's Day! Seriously, you've got exactly one month to get your ducks in a row for that day dedicated to lovers and sweeties everywhere.  To help you with your shopping, we've come up with a list of the top ten gifts for Valentine's Day:

10. Lingerie--wait! Stop right there.  Actually, in an online survey, 95% of women questioned said they DID NOT want lingerie.  I mean, think about it.  If you get too small a size, she's going to think you think she's fat.  If you get too large a size, she's going to think you think she's larger than she really is.  This is what we call a lose-lose situation.  No to the lingerie.

9. Champagne. . . but what if she doesn't imbibe?  What if the expensive brand you buy tastes horrible?  Then she'll think you're cheap.  No to the vino!

8. Fragrance.  Oooh, another sketchy gift. Fragrances are so personal that this is a gift fraught with ways to mess it up.  What you might like, she could think smells like bug spray.  If you buy what your mom wears, or--Heaven forbid--what an ex wore, she's going to be insulted.  No to the perfume!

7. Nice dinner out.  Why are you even considering this?  Do you have any idea how busy restaurants are on V-Day?  Nothing can spoil the mood faster than an hour wait to be seated in a noisy, crowded restaurant. No to dinner out!

6. A romantic getaway to Tahiti.  Oh, wow, this would be nice!  But it would also abscond with at least $6,000 of your hard-earned cash. Yikes! No to tropical paradise.

5. Jewelry.  This is sort of like lingerie and perfume combined.  So many ways to go wrong, very few ways to get it exactly right.  Does she like silver, gold or platinum?  Would she like something with her birthstone, or would she think that tacky?  Does she have a favorite stone, and if so, what is it? Does she already have a similar piece? And what about diamonds?  While they are a girl's best friend, women are pretty particular about the shape, size and cut, you know. Short of raiding her jewelry box for ideas, just say no to the jewelry.

4. Balloons.  Hey, now this is fun! A few mylar "I LOVE YOU" balloons with a couple latex in pink or red--this is a great way to show your feelings (and lets everyone in the office know, as well).

3. Plush.  How cute! A stuffed teddy bear to hug?  What a sweet idea!

2. Chocolates.  Wow, another spectacular idea.  Who doesn't like candy?

1. Flowers.  Holy crow, you're a genius! Flowers, indeed.  That's the best idea you've had all week.

And we know just where you can find balloons, cute stuffed animals, chocolates and--of course--flowers!  At Cactus Flower Florist.  And, just like we have for the past forty-three Valentine's Days, we'll help spread the love.  Best of all, we'll make you look like the Einstein of gift giving.  Now that's what we call a win-win. Since it falls on a Sunday this year, order for an early delivery to kick off a romantic weekend!