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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

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— Photo Courtesy Brian Wheat, AAF, PFCI, of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado. http://www.lafayetteflorist.com/It seems like only yesterday it was early spring when you journeyed to the garden center to select your blooming treasures. With the anticipation of good weather on the horizon, you were all aflutter with excitement of a good growing season. You stood in marvel at the greenhouse, looking in at the sea of colors and textures that soon would be yours. You carefully selected the perfect pot, the best potting soil and the best looking bedding plants they had to offer. You were on your way to an epic spring display after a long winter. So, you got it all hauled home, got it all planted and placed in the perfect location to enjoy all summer long.

Things are looking great. A month goes by, and still everything looks pretty good. Then all of sudden one afternoon, you notice it. The shine has worn off; you need help. This is a common occurrence for all of us flower and plant lovers. Care and maintenance is essential. There are many reasons things deteriorate a bit, such as a lack of dead-heading or fertilizer, insect or disease issues, weather, or even the location needs changed.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your patio pots, hanging baskets and flower beds performing at their best all the way into the fall. Read More

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How Do I Know My Style?

by Ardith Beveridge on July 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

shutterstock_103453673-lowresWe begin to develop personal style in early childhood. As soon as we start showing signs of individuality, we demonstrate preferences for particular colors, patterns, design styles and flowers. Give ourselves some room to engage with those natural affinities, and our style further evolves. Since the time you began dressing yourself, you have begun to develop a sense of style, with color as your foundation. You have already mastered the basics.

Don’t worry if you are already past the point of really being aware when you first set out to identify your sense of style; just start where you are.

Set the stage for style success. What is your favorite color? Look in your closet at the colors you like to wear. Do you like glitter, casual or dressy clothes, or both? You do have a preference for one. Look around your house. What are the colors and style of your bedroom? What helps you feel peaceful? Is your kitchen painted with energetic colors and country decorative accents, or industrial? Look around your world and make note; your style is in front of you, you will learn how to identify it. Read More

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Bridal Bouquet … in a Clutch

by J. Robbin Yelverton on July 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Clutch Bouquet — Photo Courtesy Blumz by…JRDesigns in metro DetroitLike a Broadway show or fashion, bridal bouquet styles sometime end a run of popularity and then are “rediscovered” and enjoy a revival. Such is the case of the clutch bouquet.

A true clutch is an elongated bouquet that is carried on the arm, like you would an infant, or carried to the side clutched in the hand with the tip of the bouquet downward. Its name “clutch” implies that it is a gathering of casually arranged stems clutched or bound together with ribbon, twine or some other binding material.

However, in the world of Pinterest, and other social media platforms, the term “clutch bouquet” is being used to describe everything from a true clutch to what is more accurately called a nosegay or round hand-tied bouquet. These definitions are incorrect and could lead to a disappointed bride on her big day. On the other hand, the clutch bouquet can also, at times, be called a presentation, pageant, or arm bouquet.

The clutch bouquet is a casual, informal yet graceful bouquet that typically has a lot of movement as the materials are not tightly controlled. It is perfect for an afternoon ceremony, an outdoor garden setting or an intimate gathering of a friends and family. Read More

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Cool Flowers for Hot Summer Nights

by Leanne Kesler on July 5, 2016 at 6:43 am

Bohemian Centerpiece — Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, OregonIt’s time to take the party outside! The garden is blooming, the patio is warm and the sky is blue.

Nothing is easier than outdoor entertaining. Fire up the barbecue, fill a bucket with ice to keep the drinks cold and set the table for a casual feast. Freshly cut flowers from the garden casually dropped into a vase look fabulous in the evening light. At dusk, the candles come out to extend the evening just a little longer.

Entertaining at home is one of my favorite parts of the summer season. Stop by my house most any day of the week from June to September and you’ll find me relaxing with friends in the back yard.  Oh, what a wonderful fantasy. Read More