Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

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Summer is here, and a new season usually means general interior refreshing. For a quick and easy transformation, look to the beauty provided by Mother Nature. A plant, or two (or three) can transform a space and breathe new life to tired décor. Greenery, the Pantone Color of the Year, can be taken two ways; it’s a fabulous hue and it is also a term used for foliage plants. Coming in so many varieties, there is a plant perfect for every room of the house and every level of plant expertise.

For the plant novice, you want to be promised success. Look for a plant with flexible water and light needs. Most everyone can keep the trending succulent plants alive. You can set these on a table and forget about them. Occasionally add a bit of water. Mostly, you may have to add a light dusting to your housekeeping agenda to keep them pretty.

Succulent - Photo Courtesy Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Oregon, www.floraldesigninstitute.com; Plant décor by Michelle Headrick, Floral Design Institute, Inc.

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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

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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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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