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iStock-482724248_Kostick Now that the Halloween pumpkins are put away and the mounds of candy are all but gone our thoughts turn to the last of the fall holidays — Thanksgiving. This almost forgotten holiday seems hidden beneath the throes of Christmas decorations, images of Santa and his reindeer and the non-stop sounds of “Deck the Halls” and “White Christmas” that blare through our car radios.

What’s wrong with taking a pause to give this season its rightful place in the holiday lineup? Why not slow our pace and take time to smell the turkey?

No doubt Thanksgiving is the official kick-off to the much larger celebrated Christmas, but without it, we’d miss the awkward yet memorable time spent with our families, football games, parades, Black Friday and pre-Black Friday sales and the food!

For those of us who host the Thanksgiving festivities, we are left to plan the menus, clean the house, prepare the fixings and decorate the house for this all too short season. That my friends is where your professional local florist comes in.

iStock-485780400_KostickSince first impressions are important, you’ll want to make sure your front door welcomes your guests with a display of autumn favorites such as mum plants, gourds and pumpkins, branches, vines and berries.

Because this season is pretty short, all these items can be found in fresh varieties that will brighten up your stoop until the first frost.

If you’d rather have something to display year after year, faux items that look as good if not better than the real thing can be found at your local florist as well.

Not sure where to start? Just ask anyone at the flower shop for ideas and they’ll happily point you in the right direction.  Read More

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Fall Happily for Sunflowers

by Katie Hendrick on November 1, 2017 at 4:27 am

‘Jua Maya’ Sunflower by Ball SAWith five consecutive appearances in the College World Series tournament and two national championships under their belt, members of the University of Florida softball team have serious athletic cred. But it’s their distinctive fashion statement  that  gets  fans  and  national pundits talking.

Since 2014, before every game, the women have attached sunflowers to their ponytails and braids in honor of Heather Braswell, the Gators’ biggest fan (and honorary teammate), who passed away from complications with brain cancer at age 17. Heather adored all things yellow and sunflowers, the women decided, symbolize uplifting feelings like hope and joy.  Read More

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Halloween inspires some fun floral arrangements and décor. Here are a few of my favorite Halloween floral designs this year:

Witch’s legs, a Halloween wine glass and purple flowers make this arrangement perfect for a wine lover.Halloween Flowers - Photo by Mandy Stansberry Photography, Floral design by Lenzee Bilke of Madeline’s Flowers in Edmond, Oklahoma

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Flowers Inspire Connection Nationwide

by Jennifer Sparks on October 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Let’s face it, there has been a lot of bad news lately, from natural disasters and devastation to tragic events that make people question their faith in humanity. The country needed a bright spot, and today – even though the weather forecast brought rain and clouds to many parts – the sun was shining in peoples’ hearts, thanks to a movement called Petal It Forward.

The concept? Floral industry members — from Maine to Florida, and California to Oregon to Alaska, and everywhere in between — took to the streets of their communities to randomly surprise people with flowers. Lucky flower recipients in more than 465 cities in all 50 states received two bouquets – one to keep, and one to share, with a loved one, colleague or even a complete stranger. This idea came from survey findings that show that while 80 percent of people say receiving flowers makes them happy, 88 percent say giving flowers makes them happy. So we wanted them to feel appreciated and loved, and to also experience what it feels like to create that delight for someone else. Happy smiles, joyful tears, and grateful hugs ensued and peoples’ days were turned around, feeling that true human connection that comes from a random gesture of kindness.

As an industry, we know the power of the product that we work with day in and day out, but that true power is actually scientifically proven. A study by Rutgers University shows that a gift of flowers creates instant delight and boosts moods. Another study from Harvard shows that the presence of flowers eases worry and anxiety, and makes people feel more compassionate towards others. This video embodies that beautifully.

Lots of #petalitforward stories have been shared on social media that illustrate the research, and this one from a flower recipient articulates the sentiment better than we could ever describe:

Despite all the stuff happening in the world lately, there is hope. Today, a friend and I were sitting outside Riverwalk Café and were approached by a woman who was giving away sunflowers as a gift for a movement titled #petalitforward. I’m grateful to be in a place where hope abounds and life flourishes. I’m grateful to have the capacity to show up in ways that are special and to give time. It’s a gift, and I’m even more grateful for the Giver. This is as good as it gets.

You can see more stories of peoples’ experiences here.

What can we learn from an effort like Petal It Forward? That it only takes a very small act of kindness to turn someone’s day around. Give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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Happiness Delivered

by Carol Caggiano on September 27, 2017 at 6:30 am

Rutgers University research shows flowers create instant delight and have a long-term positive effect on moods. We are in constant search of happiness. We want to be happy, and we want those around us to be happy too. Often, making others happy is how we achieve happiness for ourselves. There are lots of ways to create happiness, but one I know that works every time is sending someone flowers. Numerous Rutgers University studies on the subject each time concluding that flowers make people truly happy. Surprising someone with an unexpected delivery of flowers creates smiles all around both for the recipient and the sender.

I’ve worked with flowers my whole life and one question that always has a positive answer is when you ask someone if they remember the last time they were sent flowers. They always know. Sadly for some, that occasion was many years ago but they still remember it vividly. For that memory to be so easy to recall must mean that it was important, important to them. You’ll also notice that as they recall this memory they smile. Now that is Flower Power at its best.  Read More