Top Flower Picks for Hot Summer Weddings
The summer of 2012 was a scorcher in Southwestern Ontario. As a florist, I’m always in tune to the season, what’s available, and which flowers have staying power for weddings and events. Most brides begin choosing their flowers in winter or early spring, when the heat and humidity of July and August are a distant memory. Many varieties of flowers, both locally grown and imported are available year-round, but not all stand up to the hottest days.
Here are some of my top picks for heat-busting blooms;
Orchids, especially cymbidium are excellent choices for bouquets and corsages. They are often removed from their stems and wired into designs, and are one of the best performers in hot temps. White orchids are popular for modern classic bouquets, but shades of burgundy, green, yellow, and rust are right at home in garden-style and rustic bouquets. Smaller Mokara orchids in pink, yellow or orange last well, and are great additions to fun, mixed bouquets, or several can be bound together for a stunning mono-bouquet.
Callas. The large white flute shaped calla was long a favourite for arm bouquets and tall arrangements, but “mini” varieties have taken over, and are hugely popular both as a cut flower, and as a wedding flower. They are often used solo in bouquets for a clean, modern look, but also add interest to garden bouquets as well. Deep eggplant and two-toned ivory and purple varieties are wonderful with many purple themes, while mango and rust shades add drama to late summer and fall bouquets.
Roses. Whether the classic tea rose, or the current star on the wedding scene, garden roses, either are great choices for summer. The newest varieties offer sturdy stems, and a gorgeous array of colours to suite any colour palette. Spray roses, which have several smaller blooms on a stem, come in wonderful colours, and when combined with larger roses, add a garden feel to bouquets.
Seasonal, locally grown flowers; Of course! Southwestern Ontario is blessed with tons of beautiful flowers that are at their peak from late July until early frost. Dahlias, zinnias,sunflowers, everlastings such as globe and hanging amaranthus, and hens and chicks are just some of the heat busters that new favourites for summer bouquets
Some blooms to avoid;
Tulips, freesia, iris, and lilies are my top flowers to avoid in the heat Bulb flowers are at their peak in spring, and although they are readily available in summer, they struggle in hot conditions. Lilies fare the best, but if they are stressed, they will quickly wilt. The large petals of lilies also break or bruise easily, and may be best suited to arrangements rather than bouquets.
In general, flowers that have few petals, should be used with care, as flaws, wilting and missing petals are quite obvious. You want perfection for pictures! Flowers with many petals, such as roses, and hydrangeas (yes, hydrangeas!), when properly conditioned, and are at their peak, are great choices because of their density. Even when they begin to feel a bit of stress, it will take much longer before it is noticeable.
There is no way to absolutely guarantee how flowers will hold up in extreme heat. Keeping them out of direct sun, and in air conditioning as much as possible will be a big help to them, as will misting throughout the day (especially hydrangeas).
When talking with your florist, give them your dream list of flowers, then let them guide you along for perfect blooms on your wedding day.
Sale Windows 7 Ultimate
Buy Windows 7 Ultimate
Cheap Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 7 Ultimate
Sale Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection
Sale Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection
Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection
Buy Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus
Discount Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus
Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus
There's a new Floral Boutique in Town
There’s a new boutique, and it’s mine! Flourish Eco Floral Boutique. I’ve been known as an eco-florist for the past seven years, while operating from a home studio, and I’ve embraced the challenges of those practices moving forward into a retail setting.
The location I chose is in the the heart of Downtown Kitchener. I’ve always thought my shop would be in a small space, in the centre of town. I chose Kitchener because I remember what it was like when there were flower shops,(at one point, 6 on the stretch between Water St. and Market Square) clothing stores, coffee shops and movie theatres, and wanted to be a part of the rebirth of a vibrant, hip community. Each day, I’m treated to enthusiastic people, who either live close to downtown, or who work nearby, who stop in and express their joy at having yet another new place to visit, and that another area is being rejuvenated.
I want the boutique to reflect a strong sense of community as well. Besides the flowers, chosen from suppliers who share a commitment to the environment, as well as a social responsibility to the communities where the flowers are grown, both here in Ontario, and around the world, I want the gift items that fill the store to reflect a sense of community too. There’s a whimsical line of greeting cards, from a fantastic company in Winnipeg, who recycle paper from local companies, then infuse the card stock with seeds, creating pretty plantable cards, fun wine glass tags and whimsical confetti. The warm scent of bees wax is in the air, thanks to the wonderful candles from Your Time Boutique, a Kitchener company that makes a range of beautiful, high-quality tapers, pillars and tea lights. We’ll be playing host to works by various local artists, and we’ve kicked off with the bold work of well-known Kitchener artist Jennifer Gough, of Minds Eye Studio Art
I’m so fortunate to share the space with the fabulous PJ from nomnom treats, who creates tasty cookies, perfectly branded with event and corporate logos. There is always a fresh supply of Flourish cookies on my counter, so stop in say, hi, take home a treat, and sign the 8 x 9 foot guest book! Oh, and of course check out the beautiful blooms and Flourish creations!
Celebrate Fall with a Flourish of Local Colour!
We’re doing it again! Another season, another fantastic promo! Last time, we celebrated the arrival of summer, and the bright colours bursting out of our Ontario greenhouses. This time around, as the temperatures cool, and the days shorten, we’re welcoming the arrival of Fall, with its rich colours and textures, and a new bounty from our local growers. We’re looking forward to spectacular offerings from local organic fields, as well as our fabulous conventional growers in Southern Ontario.
Oh, and Flourish has a little something to celebrate, too! We’ll be transforming from a studio to a boutique location in Downtown Kitchener. A new season, a new beginning. And we have something special to celebrate!
Once again, we are offering a spectacular array of locally grown flowers at a special, all inclusive price. A gorgeous bouquet, arranged and delivered for $75.00. We’re giving a $95.00 value for $75.00. Add colour to an office or home, or send to someone “just because”.
Place (and pay for!) your order by Monday, Septmeber 17th. On Friday, September 21st, we’ll deliver a gorgeous bouquet full of rich fall colours and texture, featuring burgundy amaranthus, orange lilies, golden helianthus, fall grasses, and foliage, to a home or business in the Kitchener Waterloo area. What a great way to celebrate the first day, and the first weekend, of Fall!
Place your order by September 17th to guarantee availability! Call us at 519 496 5996 or drop us a line email@example.com.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at our new location, 32 Ontario St., later this month!
The peony. The frilly, fragrant, elegant glamor queen, that has become THE fave flower of brides. And no wonder, it’s perfectly at home in almost any setting, be it the most elegant soiree, or the sweetest, casual vintage affair.
Locally grown peonies are at their peak for weddings in Kitchener Waterloo during mid June. Depending on the weather, they will sometimes appear late in May, or in cooler springs, will appear a little later, and can last through the first week of July. Beginning earlier in the spring, there are gorgeous are imported blooms from Italy or Holland. Planning a winter wedding? Yes, it’s possible to have peonies, from sent to us from Australia and New Zealand.
Cost is a concern for many brides who are getting married in the peony “off-season”, but given their size and visual impact, they are worth a little splurge. Equaling the size and cost of several smaller blooms. the effect of a few gorgeous peonies cannot be matched. A single open bloom floating in a lovely bowl makes for simple, yet attention-getting center piece.
Here are some of my favorite peony bouquets. Enjoy!
A charming bouquet of locally grown, organic peonies, lady’s mantle and ivy are combined for a casual, elegant bouquet. Photo by Sarah Huton
Pink peonies, freesia, and sweet William are perfect together for a June bride. Photo by Renaissance Studios
Peonies from New Zealand, cymbidium orchids, garden roses and stephanotis make for a dreamy December bouquet. Photo by David McCammon
Stunning coral peonies, cobra lilies, majolica spray roses, dusty miller, staghorn fern and lisianthus in a woodsy May centerpiece. Photo by Debra Eby
Choosing Fair Trade Flowers; A no-brainer.
Would you buy from a local store, say a grocer or clothier, if you knew that they mistreated their employees? Would you buy from a local company if you knew that were major polluters in your area? Okay, now maybe they’re not so local, and you can’t see the faces of the workers, or the effects of their company on the environment. What then? Do we need to ask questions about our flowers? After all, flowers bring us joy, beauty and enhance our well being, so why question them?
In 1988, Marta Rodriquez produced a documentary on the carnation industry, “Love, Women and Flowers”, exposing the working conditions and pesticide use on Colombian Farms. I first saw it in 1992, and it was heart wrenching to think that those that supply our beautiful blooms could be treated so badly, and that there was no regard for their well being. While the chemicals that were used on the farms were banned for use in Canada and the U.S., they were most likely produced here in the first place, then used without restraint by many unscrupulous farms. Even more alarming was the apathy I encountered from co-workers and peers in the flowers industry. Very few seemed to show much concern, or felt that there was nothing that could be done. Even corporations who had the power to affect buying practices, both on the florist and the consumer level, seemed to turn a deaf ear to the situation.
Thankfully, about 8 years ago, I came across the Veriflora Label, a certified sustainable grown labeling program for flowers and plants. http://www.veriflora.com/ It ensures, through third party testing, fair labour practices, conservation of resources, ecosystem protection, as well as a high standard of quality. FLP (Flower Label Program), Floraverde and Max Havelaar are also labels having similar standards and test procedures. Unfortunately, awareness of the labels, at both the retail and consumer levels, still seems to be quite low. On holiday occasions, flowers get negative attention in the media, as interest groups point out the failings of the industry to deal with the on-going issues, but it seems few in the industry speak up and let consumers know that they have choices when they purchase flowers.
I market my studio as being “green”, or sustainable, which is what I prefer to call it. To me, sustainable has a more far-reaching meaning, and takes in more than just the typical reusing and recycling practices. When talking about Flourish, I always state that the sources of my flowers are very important, mentioning Veriflora certified imports, the support of locally grown products, and the use of organic blooms when seasonally available. People are generally quite interested, and surprised, both at finding out where flowers actually come from, and that there are often social and environmental concerns attached to something meant to bring joy and beauty. In Canada, Veriflora labelled flowers are fairly easy to come by, but are not promoted at the wholesale level, and therefore, usually slip by retailers and likewise, consumers with no notice. Locally grown blooms often suffer the same fate.
As more and more consumers begin to question the origins of their purchases, as well as the conditions in which they are produced, the floral industry needs to take initiative in addressing these concerns, preferably in a pro-active manner. 90% of all roses, 98% of carnations, and 95% of chrysanthemums sold in the US are imported from South America, with similar numbers in Canada. In Colombia alone, 60,000 workers, mostly women, are employed by Colombian flower farms, making up 25% of rural female employment there. To ensure the well-being of these workers, as well as the land that the farms occupy, we need to pay more attention to the sources of our flowers, and be willing to pay a higher premium.
Larger corporations, such as FTD and Walmart, have started to offer and promote Fair Trade certified flowers, but it should be a part of the focus for small retailers as well. My outlook is that many small businesses together equal the impact of one larger company, and have the power to affect change, beginning in their own community. The first steppingstone to becoming “eco-friendly” or “ green” is to ensure the sustainability of the products that we sell, and the rest of our practices should naturally follow, with the lives of our neighbours and the environment as our prime concern.
Suggested video on Fair Trade Flowers;
Dana & Kyle
Remember that cold, rainy spring? Southern Ontario had more than it’s share of March winds and April showers. Then one day, the sun came out. That was April 30th, Dana and Kyle’s wedding day. It was the perfect day for a country small town wedding; sun beaming, buds popping, birds a chirping. Hauser Hall in Heidelburg was the ideal setting, hosting both the ceremony and reception. With coordinating invites and menus beautifully crafted by Tracey from Little Details, and everything captured by the amazing Anne Edgar , the scene was pure loveliness.
Purple was the color of the day, with touches of spring green and cream. Dana chose an assortment of season flowers, including locally grown tulips, lisianthus, freesia and anemones, all at their peak of loveliness.
Shades of spring; anemones, velvety lisianthus, tulips, and wonderfully scented freesias nestled atop a bed of hydrangeas.
Frilly two-toned lisianthus and mauve freesias made up the bridesmaids’ bouquets, the colors working beautifully with the wedding stationary. and the rich purple of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
A handsome lineup, flanked by trumpet vases filled with hydrangeas, stocks, and towering delphinium.
Dana was wonderful to work with, and it was such a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful day.
"Greening up" wedding and event flowers
Flowers add so much to a celebration, from an intimate get-together, to a large formal wedding, to corporate launch party. They can also be a source of waste, and a producer of a large carbon footprint. With flowers coming from farms worldwide, as well as from our own back yard, making choices that reduce an event’s impact. yet keep it “eco-chic” can, at first, be daunting.
Beyond the flowers themselves, the choices about containers, arrangement styles and accent pieces can mean large amounts of chemicals, and waste headed to the landfill. A simple thought to keep in mind along the way is, where will piece this end up, a week, a month, or a year from now.
Here are some ideas to get started.
Choose locally grown or Fair Trade flowers
Favorite wedding flowers, such as roses, orchids and hydrangeas are almost always imported from other continents, and are grown under varying standards for labor and environmental practices. An informed florist will know which flowers require little or no pesticides, be familiar with countries having fair labor standards, and will use and promote flowers with Fair Trade, Eco-sensitive certification, such as Veriflora. Inquire which locally grown blooms are available, and whether there is access to those that are organically grown. Local greenhouses offer a good assortment of year-round flowers, as well as seasonal field crops that require less energy to grow.
Keep it real
Flowers are naturally beautiful, but they are often dyed or spray painted to match a bridesmaid dress or corporate logo. Insisting that no dyes or aerosol products, such as leaf shine, spray paint, or adhesives are used will not only reduce chemicals, but will ensure the flowers may be composted.
Fresh flowers or plants are much better than artificial stems that are produced in overseas factories, often under poor working conditions. Even though they may be used again, they will ultimately end up in a land fill, and will not bio-degrade.
Choose bouquets styles that don’t need a plastic holder, and opt for ceremony and reception arrangements styles that do not require floral foam, the unfriendly spongy material used as water source in many floral arrangements. Lower arrangements or collections of small containers and candle holder are ideal. Many accents, such as colored lights, are one-time use, or require batteries that are discarded after one use.
Rent whenever possible
Many florists will rent vases for ceremony and reception arrangements, and the containers are often high quality, made of glass or ceramic and will be used several times over. Choose center piece styles that can be hand-tied, and guests can simply lift them out of the container to take home. Candle holders are usually available to rent as well.
Remember, taking even small steps towards a greener lifestyle can make a big difference, all the difference in the world.
Photos; organic peonies and veronica, Captured Soul Photography
Locally grown fall bounty, Two Tone Studios
Why I became an eco-florist
So I was cleaning out the studio. I mean CLEANING OUT THE STUDIO! All the precious I’ll-use-it sometime–can’t-bear-to part-with-stuff. A box of treasures for the thrift shop, a pail of dried materials for yard waste collection, additions to the Blue Box, and garbage. Too much garbage.
Hating all of the waste is what prompted me to choose an eco-friendly direction for Flourish. I was already using Fair trade/eco-conscious flowers, but that doesn’t mean that my business was green. Flowers that have some sort of certification are readily available, as are several locally grown varieties, and I have promoted the use of both types for several years. But there’s more to the flower business than the flowers themselves, and one day I realized that I could not follow the status quo of the flower industry.
That green sponge that flowers are arranged in? Floral foam, commonly called oasis, is laced with formaldehyde, and doesn’t bio-degrade. Those super shiny leaves? Sprayed with Leafshine, an aerosol concoction of kerosene and alcohol. These were the first things on the enemy list. While most florists would consider my measures unthinkable for their business, in my case, it has led to some creative, cost-effective measures. Yes, I’ve had the luxury of being able to spend time perfecting new design mechanics, but the challenges have helped to define my style. Oh, and the garbage, there’s less of it. After an event, not having to dispose of 20 – 30 pounds of wet floral foam is a blessing. As for the leaves, I have a simple way of shining them that doesn’t involve an aerosol, is quick, and usually gives a nicer result.
So what about all the garbage from the studio? It was a wonderful mix of discards from my pre-eco days. There were the bases of some wild and wacky arrangements for floral magazines and design shows, meant to show the latest in trends and new ideas. Structures made of sisal, wax, chicken wire, then spray painted (yes, spray paint), then cast aside into oblivion. Now headed to some sort of half-life at the land fill. Then there were all of the left-over artificial flowers and painted branches from various projects. Most were donated to a local thrift shop, but, let’s face it, they too will some day end up in the dump.
That pile of trash has caused me to revisit my green business model, and re-affirm my commitment. I don’t want another pile of pointless, needless stuff. As I shop at my suppliers, eying all of the new “toys” they come up for designers to use, it’s with a very critical eye. What’s it made of, where was it made, where will it end up? Flourish isn’t perfect yet, but this is a journey, and as the business grows, the green aspect will continue to grow with it.
What can you, as a consumer, do? Please continue to buy flowers, but think about each purchase. Skip the cute add-ons. Skip the special Valentine or Christmas container. Trust me, it won’t be very special a year from now. Ask how your arrangement will be constructed being sure to choose a design that doesn’t require floral foam. Go for a classic vase, one that will be useful for years to come. Insist that your flowers haven’t been dyed or spray painted, and that the greens haven’t be shined. Flowers themselves are beautiful. They don’t need our help. Let’s remember that.
Local flowers for Valentine's
Flourish has great local flowers for your Valentine!
Gerberas, tulips, lilies, daisies. Arranged in our new eco-friendly Blume Box, or chic glass vase. Of course, there are many other floral options, but we do like to promote what our neighbours in Niagara are growing!!
To place an order,for Kitchener -Waterloo or Cambridge, give us a call! 519.579.5103. Of course you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but to ensure prompt attention, a phone call is best.