Friday, September 15, 2017

Jewish High Holy Days

September marks the arrival of the two highest holy days, Rosh Hashanah (starting at sundown September 20th) and Yom Kippur (beginning at sundown September 29th).   Rosh Hashanah is the day that marks the beginning of the universe.    Yom Kippur is the highest holy day, also known as the 'day of atonement'.  Both holidays involve beautiful rituals and plenty of good food.  And of course, anywhere that a festive meal is served, flowers and/or fruit only serve to make the remembrance more enjoyable.

Great ideas for Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur gifts:
* An all white centerpiece for the dining table.  Traditionally, white linens and china grace the holiday tables and an all-white arrangement would be a wonderful finishing touch.
* A festive entry table arrangement in fall colors, done centerpiece style to incorporate pomegranates or apples as part of the design.  These two fruits are an important part of the holidays.  (This choice would be better suited for Rosh Hashanah, but not for Yom Kippur which is a much more reserved holiday)
* A fruit basket, including apples and/or pomegranates, or an all-apple basket with honey.

Things to avoid:
* General gourmet gift baskets--it is against Kashrut law to allow meat (as in sausages) and dairy (as in cheese or milk chocolates) to be in the same proximity.
* Non-kosher wines
* Blue and white flowers--these are the colors of Hannukah.  (White flowers are fine, as are autumn colored flowers to reflect the season.)

When placing an order for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, please advise your CSR that it is for one of the High Holy Days, or if placing online, note this in the Special Instructions area of the order form.  For Rosh Hashanah, all items must be delivered by sundown on September 20th.  For Yom Kippur, gifts must be delivered between September 22nd to September 29th (excluding Saturday, the Sabbath) and it must arrive before sundown on the 29th.

If you have any questions regarding gifts for Rash Hoshanah or Yom Kippur, contact us at 480-948-1130.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Don't Forget Nana and Pop! Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 10th!

Some of you may be thinking, "Oh, good grief, not another 'Hallmark Holiday'" (term used by those who are certain greeting card manufacturers make up holidays just to sell greeting cards.  Since there are seven BILLION greeting cards sold annually in the US alone, the card companies really don't need to make up fake holidays!)  However, Grandparents Day is nothing new.  In fact, it has been a legally recognized holiday in the US since 1978.  In a calendar full of special recognition days, Grandparents Day stands out as one that is severely under-celebrated.  I mean, it's Grandma!  And Grandpa!  Surely they deserve a bit of pomp and circumstance.  After all, there's a National Cheese Doodle Day (May 5th), a Garfield The Cat Day (June 19th) and International Yada Yada Yada Day (July 23rd, for those lovers of Seinfeld).  Two days we can all really get behind fall in November--the 2nd is Men Make Dinner Day and the 4th is Use Your Common Sense Day.  And what about December 6th, National Read A Book Day, which is followed on the 7th by National Buy A Book Day.  If the creators of the last two days had utilized the Common Sense Day, they'd know that perhaps they should BUY the book first, then READ it.

However--GRANDPARENTS DAY--what a wonderful reason to celebrate. Whether you are fortunate enough to still have both grandparents, or you want recognize that special person who has shouldered the grandparent job alone, this is a perfect way to make a fuss over people who generally prefer to fuss over others. 

Great Ideas for Grandparents Day:
*If you are miles apart, CALL THEM! But before you reach out, write a list to refer back to.  Make note of the reasons your grandparents mean so much to you.  Perhaps Grandma always made you a new dress for the first day of school.  Maybe Grandpa taught you how to fish.  Were they your regular after-school caregivers?  Did they offer up their home to your family during times of transition? Or did they become your parents when your own were not able?  Let them know. Tell them now, while they are still around to hear this and be blessed by it.

* Give your time.  Offer to do yardwork, painting, little chores around the house.  Drive them to doctor appointments, on shopping excursions, to their favorite restaurant for lunch.  As people age, it gets harder to do the things they used to take for granted.  However, older folks are generally prideful of their independence and simply will not ask for help, no matter how much they need it.  Grandparents Day gives you a reason to help without making your loved ones feel as if they are a bother.

* Take them somewhere they wouldn't normally a museum, the zoo, the Botanical Garden, to see a concert, to visit any one of the many cultural goings-on in metro Phoenix on any given weekend.  This gives them a chance to get dressed up, get out of the house and see something new.  Not to mention, they'll be enjoying your company while doing so.

*  Just talk.  We're all in such a hurry, with our kids and our jobs and spouses and busy, busy lives that sometimes, we lose sight of the things that should be most important.  Just listen to the stories the older generations have to tell. You'll be glad you did.

* And of course, send them something to let them know you are thinking of them. How often do your grandparents get a gift 'just because'?  It's exciting for them to hear that knock on the door and open it to see someone standing there, holding flowers or a nice green plant or a fresh basket of fruit!  Check out our website for great ideas for Grandparents Day gifts!

Our friends at Generations United invite you to #DoSomethingGrand in honor of #GrandparentsDay (Sept. 10). They’ve put together a host of ways you can get involved. Find out how at

Friday, August 4, 2017

Back To School

Most Valley kids return to classes this month, and some parents think it's the most wonderful time of the year!  Just think of how quiet the house will much work you'll actually be able to get done without someone yelling, "MOM!!"  Go ahead, take a deep breath.  Aaaaah--oh, wait, those poor teachers!  As the herds arrive en masse, we really need to let our favorite teachers know how much she/he is appreciated.  A sweet fun bouquet for the desk is a wonderful 'welcome back!' gift.  Succulents are still trending and are so easy to care for, with so many varieties! A fruit basket would be nice, too, especially if there was a bright shiny red apple on the top. Here are some ideas we can even deliver for you!

Here are a few great card messages for teachers and other school employees:

To a brand new teacher...funniest if he or she is a grade school teacher:
"Congratulations on making it into the 3rd Grade!"

To a long time teacher...
"Welcome back to another school year!  One day down, 179 more to go!!

Slight sarcasm for the teacher with a good sense of humor:
"I know you are really excited to be back to school.  I'm sure it was getting pretty boring at home.  You know, sleeping in and enjoying life and all that stuff..."

To express enthusiasm:
"May every teacher become a mentor, may every classmate become a friend, may every lesson teach and enrich.  Here's to the best school year ever!"

To cheer any teacher:
"It's the first day of school and you've already earned four A's....You're Astounding, Amazing, Awesome and Astonishing!"

And don't forget mom, she's held it all together with the kids bouncing off the walls for the past three months.  In fact, we've found the perfect card message to go with her Thank You flowers:
"If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers."

Sunflower: Bright and Sunny, But That's Not All

The sunflower is one of the most requested blooms by our customers. Once considered a fall flower, it is now generally available to us year-round, with supplies most plentiful from late July through late November.

*The sunflower is Kansas's state flower.  However, it is considered a weed by many farmers there, as it grows so fast and spreads so prolifically.

*The scientific term for the sunflower is Helianthus, with 'helios' meaning sun and 'anthus' meaning plant.

*There are about 70 known species.  Fun Fact: All but three of the 70 species are native to North America.

*Russia and Argentina grow the most sunflowers for floral and foodstuff production.

*The largest field of sunflowers is located in Tuscany, Italy.

*While most grow anywhere from three to nine feet tall, the tallest sunflower ever was produced in the Netherlands, at a whopping TEN FEET tall!

*The width of most sunflowers falls between five to twelve inches, so could you just imagine what the world's record 32" looked like?  It was grown in British Columbia.

*Sunflowers love the sun, but they are also huge water consumers.  When found in the wild, they are easy to spot near watery areas such as creeks, riverbeds, and the like.

*While growing, sunflowers raise their heads to track the sun, however once mature, most will face east.

*If you are a Leo (born July 23rd through August 22nd) the sunflower is your sign's flower

Sunflowers are a wonderful 'face' flower, as we florists like to call it.  A face flower is simply the focal flower, the star of the show, and few blooms do it with such panache as this big, bright yellow beauty.  Quite versatile, it can be it can be mixed with several other colors and textures to create a beautiful bouquet, but it looks even more stunning when the entire bouquet is of sunflowers.  Favorite greenery (other than good old salal, of course) is spiral eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, and gravalia.  Accent flowers that play nicely with sunflowers include solidago or Viking daisies (which look like tiny little sunflowers!) In nature, yellow's favorite contrasting color is purple--just try pairing with bright purple statice and you'll see what we mean!

And just why are we lauding the humble sunflower?  Why, it's the Cactus Flower Fresh Ten special of the month!  That's right, until August 31st, stop in at any one of out locations in the metro Phoenix area and pick up ten stems for just ten bucks.  Shop now.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dear Old Dad...

Father's Day in the United States was not really observed until the early 20th century when it was added as a counterpart to the popular Mother's Day celebration.  It is now observed in over 40 countries worldwide.  While most celebrations fall on the third Sunday in June, many countries have their version of Father's Day.  It seems as if there are as many days to celebrate dad as there are types of fathers.
12-pack of local craft beer delivered with a beautiful green plant! $59.99

And speaking of the many different kinds of dads, Cactus Flowers has the perfect gift for the special man in your life!

Is he a health nut?  If your dad is no couch potato and watches what he eats, perhaps he'd enjoy the HEALTHY GOURMET BASKET TF158-3.

Or has your father never met a snack he did not like?  SNACK ATTACK CFE429 hits all points-sweet, salty, crunchy, munchy and then some!

Does your dad like sitting down with a cold brew to watch the game?  Surprise! Cactus Flowers now delivers microbrewed beer six packs of Huss Brewing's Magic in the Ivy, Scottsdale Blonde or Koffee Klatsch or Papago Brewery's Orange Blossom. Our new BEER GARDEN is sure to put a smile on his face!

Or is your father a bit more high-browed, the Renaissance type man who would rather drink a sophisticated glass of wine with dinner?  If that's the case, Cactus Flower also now delivers wine from several Arizona wineries including Javelina Leap (Cornville, AZ ) and Caduceus Winery (Jerome, AZ) or Sand Reckoner in Willcox. Check our Wine & Beer section under local delivery options!

If your pops is a more business-oriented gent, perhaps he'd like a nice green plant for his office.  Or our GARDEN OF ZEN CFE369 is a nice desk-topper of easy-to-care-for succulent plants, which are quite trendy.

And you know what, some men aren't ashamed to receive flowers.  In fact, most of the time our delivery drivers report back that gentlemen are absolutely thrilled to receive flowers as a gift, simple because it is so unexpected!  Of course, you wouldn't want to send him a pink fluffy ball of cuteness, but something more unusual in masculine colors would certainly fit the bill.  ALOHA BEAUTIFUL CFE299 or BONFIRE CFE452 are great floral gifts for dad.

Please visit our website and check out the Father's Day category, or call us at any one of our five locations for great ideas!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What's New for Mother's Day 2017

*Exciting things are going on at Cactus Flower this season!  We're seeing fantastic flowers in colors that range from soft pastels to bold bright hues and everything in between.  If Mom loves tulips, be sure to get in on the end of the season flowers....they are usually gone by mid May and we won't see them again until late November.  Lilacs and peonies, which have a very limited availability of perhaps 2 or 3 weeks out of the year, are now being offered by some of our growers.  And roses, roses and more roses...they are absolutely gorgeous this time of year in shades of white, soft pink, bold oranges, bright yellows, romantic red and many unusual colors in between!

* Check out our new local Mother's Day offerings...Happy Mom is chock full of bold gerbera daisies, Exotic Mom is an elegant and unusual tropical display, Superhero is a mix of wonderful colors and textures.  No matter what type of mom you've got, we've certainly got a bouquet to match.

*Lucky bamboo! While we receive requests for bamboo year-round, it's available in good quantities now.  Traditionally sold in groupings of three, which is thought to bring happiness, long life and wealth to the recipient.  It is also a common gift for housewarmings!

*Beer and wine are now available for pick up or delivery out of our Scottsdale location!  That's right, you can now request beer or wine added to your order. . . flowers AND wine?  You'll certainly be mom's favorite this year!   Craft beers are locally brewed  at Papago or Huss Breweries, with quirky names such as 'Scottsdale Blonde' or 'Magic in the Ivy'.  The wines offered take the adventurous drinker to all points of Arizona.  Several Javelina Leap wines from red rock country Sedona are available, as is a fantastic wine from Caduceus Cellers in the 'ghost town' Jerome.  Dos Cabezas winery is based in Sonoita, located in far southern Arizona, and Willcox's Sand Reckoner winery is located in the southeastern area of the state. Try one or try them all!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What To Say on Mother's Day

With the range of floral gifts available at Cactus Flower, finding the perfect gift for mom is easy.  The hard part comes when you get to the card message.  How is it possible to say just what mom means to you in 30 words or less?

To assist, we've selected some of the sweetest and funniest card messages we've seen over the years for your Mother's Day gift:

*  May all the love you give to others come back to you on this special day.

*  It takes a strong person to make a strong person.

*  For all you do and all you are, we love you.

*  Thanks for giving me the best things in life: Your time, your care, and your love.

*  Because of you, I am me.

*  Life doesn't come with a manual.  It comes with a mother.

*  Always my mother, forever my friend.

*  Mom, I know it’s hard for you on Mother’s hide the fact that I’m your favorite :-)

*  God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.
~ Jewish proverb

*  I want to thank you, Mother, for your patience-your encouragement-your strength-your generosity-your unswerving love and for those six little words that helped me through so many trying times-“Because I said so, that’s why."

*  A good mother lets her kids lick the beaters.  A great mother turns off the mixer first.

*  Thank you for giving me life.  And for not taking it back during my teenage years...

*  Silence is golden.  Unless you have kids.  Then silence is suspicious.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Prom Flowers 101

The minutia that accompanies an average prom is mind-boggling.  There's the clothes, the shoes, the accessories, how to wear your hair, what color of nail polish...the list goes on and on.  And somewhere on that list is one of the most confusing of all things prom-related: selecting the corsage and boutonniere!

Here are some clues to help make ordering prom flowers a breeze:

* This year's buzzwords are 'co-ordinate' and 'compliment'.  Gone is the dreaded 'matchy-matchy' where a beautiful unusual color can cause extreme angst when trying to find anything that matches. One prom-goer found a spectacular ethereal dress in a minty-celery-ish green. Instead of fruitlessly searching for anything to match this unusual color perfectly, she instead opted for pink roses, off white ribbon and a bit of lavender waxflower.  Vintage perfection!

*Order early! To avoid disappointment, order in advance.  Some proms are so large and/or some weekends have so many proms that our locations can hit maximum circumstances, where we are actually unable to accept any more orders.  People who order ahead of time are at a distinct advantage to those who wait until the last minute!

*Some gals are like regimented sergeants and give their dates a long list of do's and don'ts for the corsage.  Others leave it totally to chance. If you know her dress color, we can help put together the perfect corsage by co-ordinating the flowers and ribbon.  Even if you don't know what she's wearing, we can create a beautiful corsage that is certain to please.  White roses and white, gold or irridescent ribbon blend beautifully with any outfit to make it look as if you've put a lot of thought into it!

*Arrange the pick up on the day of the dance.  Do not store flowers in the fridge!.  A refrigerator normally has lower temperatures (@37 degrees to a flower cooler's optimum 43 degrees) and higher humidity than a flower cooler.  Most importantly, refrigerators often contain raw fruits and vegetable that emit methane gas which can hasten the flower blooming wide open.

*Do not leave wearable flowers inside a warm vehicle.  If you're running errands, take it into every store with you, or make the corsage pick-up the last stop. Keeping flowers at a nice moderate temperature (65-75) until the dance will help keep them fresh.  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Easter is April 16th

Everyone knows when most holidays fall-- Valentine's day is February 14th, Saint Patrick's Day is March 17th.  Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May.  Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, Father's Day, the third Sunday in June.  Independence day is, of course, July 4th.  Labor Day, the first Monday in September.  Halloween, October 31st.  Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November, and Christmas is always on the 25th of December.

But what the heck is it about Easter?  It never seems to fall on the same day twice, and it can come as early as March 22 and as late as April 25th. This year it falls on April 16th.  But how is the date settled upon every year?  Actually it is based on the lunar calendar. . . Easter will always fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (first day of spring).  Um, it seems easier to buy a calendar to find out what day it falls on!

As always, our designers have put together a fun array of Easter gifts. No matter which day Easter falls on, it's a sure bet Cactus Flower Florists will have a great selection of gifts available. From corsages for mom or grandma to wear to Sunday services, to beautiful potted Easter lilies, for centerpieces for the holiday dinner table, to fun baskets for kids and everything in between, we've got you covered!

You can also join us for a Centerpiece class is you'd like expert instruction on making a custom arrangement. Class will be held April 13th at 5:30pm in our Scottsdale or Glendale location. Sign up here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Prom Trends 2017

It's not quite 'anything goes' for prom this year, but there are so many trendy styles and such a wide rainbow of colors that it seems as if there's truly a look for everyone.

First, the colors--blue is THE color for prom, with all shades from barely-there powder blue to a rich, dark navy blue and everything in between.  Color marketer Pantone offers up three hot versions of blue this year. 'Island Paradise' is a Miami Vice 1980s aqua, 'Niagara' is a darker blue-green aqua-ish shade and 'Lapis' is a beautiful blend between royal and navy blues.

White and black are perennial favorites for both guys and gals, and the nude look (skin tone dress with strategic heavy beading) may be a bit shocking to grandma, but it's been seen on runways and awards shows everywhere this season.  Other hot, hot, hot colors include 'Primrose' (bright mustardy-lemony yellow), 'Pale Dogwood' (a pretty blushy pinky-peachy shade), 'Hazelnut' (a nice everyday tan color), 'Flame' (a bright, clean orange), 'Pink Yarrow' (hot pink leaning toward watermelon) and 'Kale' (deep woodsy green). Floral prints are big for both sexes.  For the gents, it is a tone-on-tone print.  For the gals, the brighter, bigger and bolder the print, the better!

Dress styles seem to go one of three directions.  The two-piece crop top is the dress of the season.  Mermaid style (form fitting) dresses are very popular, and the big poofy princess style (close fitting bodice with a large, layered skirt) has made a comeback.  But then again, did it ever really go away?

For the guys, slim cut tuxes are seen everywhere.  Think 1960s beatnik, updated.  Jackets are trim, hip length, and pants are straight leg and tight.  Black and dark blue are popular this year, as are the aforementioned tone-on-tone, but large checks and plaids for the brave and bold are gaining in popularity.

No matter the clothes, don't forget the flowers!  Since the 1930s, promwear has been accented with corsages and boutonnieres.  Whether you'd like something sweet and demure or over-the-top glitz and glamour, CactusFlower Florists is here to help.

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.