All Posts By Stephen Rittner

Thumbnail Photo

Valentine’s Day - Photo Courtesy The Rittners School of Floral Design, BostonThe origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to both ancient Roman and ancient Christian traditions. The holiday is associated with the Roman Lupercalia (a fertility festival) and to Christian Saint(s) who had romantic legends associated with that name.

Valentine’s Day is most often perceived as a celebration between lovers sending each other tokens of affection. While men buy mostly for romantic reasons, women use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show they care to mothers, friends, children, as well as their sweethearts. Women even treat themselves on Valentine’s Day.

Flowers, hearts and cupids are traditional symbols of love and affection. While the heart is an essential part of our circulatory system, it has long been associated with our emotions and has become symbolic of love and romance. Cupid, known through mythology as the god of love and desire, has come down to us as a chubby little cherub who likes to shoot arrows that inflame desire. Your florist can incorporate hearts and cupids into your Valentine’s Day gifts.   Read More

Thumbnail Photo

Christmas Fun with Red and Green Florals

by Stephen Rittner on December 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

Christmas Flowers - Photo Courtesy The Rittners School of Floral Design, BostonChristmas means many different things to many different people. For some, it represents the birth of Jesus. For others, it represents peace on earth and goodwill to one another. To others, it represents winter weather and sports, wonderful sales and lots of presents. Regardless of your beliefs, Christmas is celebrated worldwide. Let flowers express your favorite parts of the Christmas season.

I enjoy celebrating with the traditional Christmas colors of red and green. Flowers can be designed and displayed in so many joyous ways in reds and greens. Here are just a few examples, and your local florist has so many more. Visit their shop for expertise and a truly festive experience.

A floral arrangement with berries, vines and evergreen foliage evokes a natural Christmas feeling.  Read More

Thumbnail Photo

Flowers for Halloween

by Stephen Rittner on October 25, 2016 at 2:52 am

Halloween Flowers - — Photo Courtesy The Rittners School of Floral Design, BostonThe ancient Celts called it Samhain. It was believed that the dead and fairy folk could cross over into our world at that time. It was very scary in a world that lacked modern scientific sophistication. Halloween’s origins were obviously much more somber than our current celebration of the holiday.

Today’s Halloween is a festive time, where adults join the young in enjoying trick or treating, ghosts, spiders, witches and things that go bump in the night. Flowers can play a major role in creating an atmosphere and shaping space. There are so many fun ways to celebrate Halloween with flowers.

You can never go wrong with a witch. Hydrangea and berries bubble up in this delightful witch’s caldron. What a great conversation piece for an entry area, bay window or living room. Read More

Thumbnail Photo

Through the years, we have become accustomed to a wide range of florals not only for specific holidays but for the seasons as well. There are wonderful flowers, containers, colors and symbols that definitely say “Winter” or “Christmas” or “Springtime” or “Easter.” But what about those few weeks that border the change of holidays, the temporal boundaries between fall and winter, winter and spring, spring and summer, and summer and fall?

Certainly we can, and should, enjoy flowers at these times as well. And there are some wonderful botanicals and materials that we can enjoy during these transitional periods. We call these kinds of floral designing, “Trans-Seasonal” floral art.

Here is a great example of a summer/fall trans-seasonal arrangement. The mixture of dahlias, stocks, sunflowers, and lilies is visually interesting and appealing. Red Maple foliage adds to the mixture of textures and visual interest. And yes, those are garlic scapes. Don’t they add a cool effect to this trans-seasonal floral design?

Trans-Seasonal Floral Design - Summer into Fall — Photo Courtesy The Rittners School of Floral Design, Boston

Read More

Thumbnail Photo

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

Read More