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How amazing it has been to watch athletes from around the globe compete in the Rio 2016 Summer Games! The talent, drive, determination, and years of hard work that went into their preparation to get to that point was inspiring, and they deserve to be recognized. As millions of people around the world watched the Olympics, however, they noticed there was something missing from the medal ceremonies in the presentation of gold, silver and bronze to the winning athletes — the presentation of flower bouquets.

2016 Olympics

The floral industry, in particular, took note because we understand the power of flowers. It’s not even about the pretty pictures (although flowers sure have enhanced the ambiance of past medal ceremonies). It’s about the meaning of flowers in recognizing the hard work and achievements of the athletes. Let’s think about this…

What has always been a symbol of great theatrical performance or artistic recital? Flowers.

What has long been a congratulatory gesture for someone getting a job promotion or reaching a particular milestone? Flowers.

What is one of the best ways to say “job well done” after someone has worked really hard to achieve a goal, for themselves, for their company, or for their country? Flowers.

2012 Olympics

And flowers have always been a part of the recognition of Olympic athletes, until now.

The reason flowers are the universal gesture to recognize great achievements is because they convey emotion like nothing else. In fact, flowers are scientifically proven to create instant delight and happiness, which is why they are almost always part of celebrations and major life milestones (think birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, new babies, the list goes on and on). Beyond that, the presence of flowers is also scientifically proven to chase away anxiety and worry, and boost energy and enthusiasm. With many athletes competing in multiple events, it is likely they could use the positive well-being effect that flowers produce, as they prepare for their next competition. Read More

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Transparency - Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral DesignersOne of my favorite annual events is the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) Symposium. Held in mid-summer, it is a chance for florists, floral designers, and flower lovers from around the world to gather and share. This year, Orange County, California, was the destination. Just imagine, five days of flower-filled inspiration with 1,000 of your favorite flower loving friends. The AIFD Symposium 2016 was a true floral paradise.

As I attend the workshops and presentations, and study the displays, I look for commonalities and speculate on the coming floral design trends. This year did not disappoint. Turning to my magic crystal ball to forecast the trends for 2017, I’ll be watching for transparency in design, longer cascading bridal bouquets, lush arrangements and dramatic flower walls.

Stacey Carlton, AIFD, and Shawn Foley, CFD, presented an amazing program, Couture Collective. Throughout the presentation, they spotlighted the impact of transparency on design. Personally, I loved the photo opportunity presented by their Plexiglas backdrop. Or, should we call this a “front drop”? Either way, I love their creative touch in the world of floral design. Read More

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Books in Bloom

by Stephen Rittner on August 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Books-In-Bloom---LibraryI have written about Art In Bloom, an event that started at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in the mid ’70s. The concept is to create floral arrangements to interpret museum art, and place them next to each other.

The overall effect of art and flowers together create a mixed media piece of visual art. The linkage of color, symbolism and style attracts attention and stimulates discussion. Art in Bloom events have spread to museums throughout the continent.

If flowers can be linked with works of art in museums, then why not couple flowers with books? This cool idea is showing up in libraries throughout the country.

Recently the Public Library of Brookline in Brookline, Massachusetts hosted a “Books In Bloom” event with the Brookline and Chestnut Hill Garden Clubs. The results were wonderful.

Like Art in Bloom, Books in Bloom places floral designs next to the books they complement.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" interpreted in flowers

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” interpreted in flowers

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Family Fun with Herbs

by Ardith Beveridge on August 4, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Herbs-Photo-Courtesy-Koehler-&-DrammCut herbs are at their peak outdoors in the summer and early autumn.

Make plans with your kids to visit your local flower market to learn more about herbs. You and your family will be delighted, amazed and intrigued to see the large variety available. You’ll recognize many herbs right away. They are the ones that are most often used in cooking, such as dill, coriander, mint and lavender.

Try saying the names of herbs out loud. Do you immediately taste, see, feel and smell it with pleasure? Isn’t it interesting how easy it is to recall their fragrances and textures?

What herbs do your kids like on their pizza or other food? Tell them about the plant. Bring herbs home and look up uses for them in your food. There are wonderful recipes online. For the grownups, try Mint Mojitos.

In addition to enhancing our food and beverages, herbs have other uses. One of my personal favorite ways to use herbs is cutting a few fragrant stems, placing them in a charming small vase for display beside the bed or in the bathroom, or a work desk. Did you know your florist knows how to use herbs in floral arrangements, and can create a special gift for you to send to a loved one? Read More

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How to Say Thank You this Summer

by Carol Caggiano on July 28, 2016 at 10:02 am

Make Any Day SpecialThere is something about summer that causes our social lives to “bloom.” Maybe it’s that we are outside more to connect with neighbors and those around us, or possibly that we have some time off from work, school or other commitments, which then gives us the opportunity to travel, visit friends and family, or maybe they come to visit us. Picnics and barbeques are the norm, and the “living is easy” and fun.

Summer also represents the space between adventures. The end of the school year starts summer and the beginning of a new school year ends it. Work often slows down during the summer months giving everyone a little break before things ramp up in the fall. Camp, vacation and other special activities pop up during this season, which is no wonder why we all look forward to it so much.

No matter what our plans are for summer, there are always people that make this time of year special and remarkable. Your favorite teacher or coach, a graduate, a host or hostess, all play a part in our summer experience. Or what about those great neighbors or friends that take care of our pets, water our plants, bring in the mail, watch our kids or any number of tasks that make it possible for us to do what we do? Read More