Celebrate Summertime With Bold and Beautiful Tropical Flowers

With Memorial Day upon us, it’s time to dig out those flip-flops and start dreaming of the beach! But if a tropical vacation isn’t in your summertime plans, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop can help bring the tropics to you! Tropical flowers add bold color, magnificent height, and curious drama to any setting, and just scream ‘summertime’ the way no other flowers can! These large, exotic flowers effortlessly transform any home or office into a beautiful island oasis. In addition to being easy to care for, these gorgeous tropical flowers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Here are few of our favorites:

Bird of Paradise – These exotic flowers are also known as crane flowers and are native to South Africa. They symbolize freedom and magnificence. Inspired by their bright blue and orange flowers fanning from green bracts like a colorful bird in flight, they grow between three and five feet in height and typically have three to five “birds” inside each bract that bloom in succession.

Heliconia – These magnificent tropical flowers feature big vibrant bracts in pink, red, orange, or yellow, rising from sturdy towering stalks that can grow up to 20 feet tall. Native to Guyana, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, heliconias symbolize great returns. Unlike bird-of-paradise, heliconias have tiny hidden flowers that won’t emerge from the cut stems – their beauty is in color and silhouette of the dramatic bracts.

Ginger– Native to the Pacific Islands, Malaysia, and Taiwan, ornamental gingers have large cone-shaped blooms that symbolize strength and pride. Although they come in a variety of colors, the red ginger flower is the one most often associated with the tropics. Because of their fragrance and beauty, the ginger flower can often attract bees, butterflies, and a variety of wild birds.

Anthurium – With their large open heart-shaped face, anthuriums have come to symbolize hospitality and a deep romantic attraction. Originally from Columbia, they were brought to Hawaii in 1889 and have since become virtually synonymous with tropical islands. These lovely red flowers have a long vase life and thrive on the moisture and heat of a tropical environment. Although often seen in red with a bright yellow spadix, they’re also available in white, pink, peach, magenta, and green.

Protea – These flowers are named for Proteus, the Greek God who could change his form at will. Proteas are an extraordinary group of flowers originally found in Australia and South Africa. Proteas symbolize transformation, diversity, and courage, and are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors – from pin cushions to imperial crowns in white, yellow, orange, and rose to crimson, magenta, and burgundy.

Let Eastern Floral deliver a slice of paradise to you this summer! You can find these tropical delights in a variety of different designs, or we can create something special just for you! Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 or stop in to see us!

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Mother’s Day Around the World

In the United States, we celebrate Mom every May with flowers and gifts, and perhaps treat her to a meal at her favorite restaurant. Sure, Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world, but other countries have their own spin on Mom’s special day too. Here are few of the more interesting ways that mothers are celebrated across the globe.

Australia

Janet Heyden started the first Mother’s Day in Australia in 1924. She began the tradition by asking school children and businesses for gifts to cheer up lonely and forgotten mothers at the Newington State Home for Women. Chrysanthemums are traditionally thought of as Mother’s Day flowers in Australia since they are naturally in season during May and end in “mum,” an affectionate term for “mother” in Australia.

Belgium

Belgian children celebrate their mothers by making little presents at school to give to their mothers in the early morning of Mother’s Day. The father will typically buy croissants and other sweet pastries that are served to her while she is still in bed at the beginning of a day filled with pampering. While most of Belgium celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, many Belgians consider August 15 to be the classical Mother’s Day and view the May observance as one started strictly for commercial reasons.

Egypt

Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21 in Egypt to coincide with the first day of spring. It was first introduced by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943. The idea was largely either ignored or ridiculed at the time by Egyptian politicians, but it was eventually adopted in 1956. When Amin was arrested and accused of being an American spy in 1965, unsuccessful attempts were made to change the name of “Mother’s Day” to “Family Day” to prevent the observance of reminding people of its founder.

Ethiopia

Mother’s Day is a three-day long celebration in Ethiopia, where it is celebrated in mid-fall at the end of the rainy season with a feast called “Antrosht.” Children bring the ingredients making a traditional hash recipe. Girls bring butter, cheese, vegetables and spices while the boys contribute a bull or lamb. Unlike many places where mothers needn’t lift a finger on Mother’s Day, in Ethiopia, the mom prepares the hash. Afterward, mom and daughter put butter on their faces and chests as part of the celebration ritual.

Nepal

In Nepal, Mother’s Day is known as “Aama ko Mukh Herne Din” which means “day to see mother’s face.” Many Nepalese people honor their late mothers by making a traditional pilgrimage to the Mata Tirtha ponds in hopes of seeing their deceased mother’s face. Pilgrims believe they will bring peace to their mother’s souls by visiting that sacred place.

Taiwan

Mother’s Day in Taiwan is held on the second Sunday in May to coincide with Buddha’s birthday and the traditional “washing the Buddha” ceremony where devotees pour fragrant water over Buddha statues as a way of symbolizing a fresh start in life.

No matter how we choose to celebrate, the day is all about mom. Let Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop help you treat her to something special this year and make her day one that she won’t soon forget.

Know Your Flower Etiquette

We all know that flowers make wonderful gifts for a variety of different circumstances. It’s hard to go wrong with choosing flowers as a gift, but there are a few rules of etiquette that should be followed when giving flowers on certain occasions.

Choosing the right flowers

  • While there are no definitive rules about what kind of flowers to send, certain types or colors of flowers may be inappropriate depending on the circumstance. A dozen red roses typically suggest romance and may send an unintended message if you are giving them to a co-worker or casual acquaintance.
  • White or light yellow flowers are usually the best choices for sympathy flowers. You certainly will want to avoid bright colored flowers in most instances.
  • Bright colored flowers, however, are almost always appropriate for happy occasions or milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, or thank yous.
  • When thanking someone, choose their favorite flower or favorite color instead of the cheapest option, the extra effort on your part will be appreciated and it makes your gratitude appear more personal and genuine.

Timing is everything

  • Some hospitals prohibit flowers, so check to make sure they’re allowed if you are sending them there. The local florists should know which hospitals accept them, and which do not. If the recipient’s hospital visit is brief, consider sending them to the home after they are dismissed.
  • While many people prefer to send sympathy flowers directly to the funeral home, it is perfectly acceptable to send them to the family’s home afterward. It’s even okay to wait a week or two in order to let the family know you’re still thinking of them.
  • Birthdays, holidays and anniversary are obvious occasions for sending flowers, but giving flowers “out of the blue” or “on a whim” are more impactful, especially if the recipient is not expecting a gift.
  • If you are late hearing about an occasion, but still wish to send flowers, be sure to mention that to the recipient – otherwise, the timing may seem odd to them.

Consider the recipient

  • Size matters, so consider where the flowers are going and what will happen to them after they’re delivered. Designs that are too small may not send the appropriate message you wish to convey, but larger gifts may be intrusive in small offices or rooms – especially if they’re shared with other people.
    Putting yourself in the recipient’s shoes and asking yourself how you would feel receiving the gift should give you a good idea of what is appropriate.
  • Do some research when sending flowers to people from different cultures. Some cultures have stigmas against certain colors or flowers, and you don’t want to misconstrue your message or create an obligation to reciprocate.
  • Sending sympathy flowers If a family specifically asks for donations in “lieu of flowers” is a breach of etiquette, even if you mean well. In circumstances such as this, a fruit basket or other memorial item may be appropriate if you would still like to send a gift.

Flowers are such an excellent way to convey a personal sentiment, so it’s important to consider the message you are wishing to express. When in doubt, give us a call and let us know the circumstance and we’ll help you select the perfect gift!

Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop is your One-Stop Destination for Prom Flowers

Midnight Wanderings Boutonniere by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop

Prom season is one of our favorite times of year at Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop. We love working with excited (and sometimes nervous) students who may have never experienced buying flowers from a professional florist. We know that can be a daunting task for teenagers who may not know a lilac from a lily, but fortunately, we’re here to help!

Prom flowers can take many forms but usually consist of a corsage for the ladies and a boutonniere for the gentlemen. Traditionally, the colors and flowers used in the corsage and boutonniere were matched to the color of the prom dress; but like most rules, this one was made to be broken.

Modern corsages and boutonnieres are limited only by the imagination and the flowers available to the florist. However, it’s important to keep in mind that prom night is centered about dancing, so the flowers should not only be beautiful but functional enough to withstand an entire evening of festivities.

How do I know what to choose?

Sunset Beauty Wristlet by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop

Ideally, the corsage and boutonniere should be purchased together to ensure the colors and styles match, but this isn’t a necessity as long as the florist has enough information from one of the parties. Some prom-goers even bring their dress or a swatch of fabric with them to help the florist get a better idea of what to design.

The first decision when choosing a corsage is: what kind? You may think that all corsages are the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It used to be tradition for the gentleman to pin the corsage to his date’s dress prior to departing for the evening. But prom dresses have evolved to feature spaghetti straps or even no straps, making the ceremonial pinning no longer practical. Instead, many ladies opt for the wrist corsage that can be worn like a piece of jewelry.

Options aren’t limited to the wrist, however, as modern corsages can be worn in other places, such as around the waist or in the hair. It behooves the gentleman to find out which style his date prefers since she will be the one wearing it all evening.

The ladies have it easier when choosing a boutonniere because there are fewer decisions to make. Since boutonnieres are traditionally pinned to the lapel of the tuxedo or suit jacket, the main decision is the color and types of flowers. Since those two elements are usually dependent upon the style of the corsage, it’s usually just a matter of trusting the florist to know what works best.

What kinds of flowers do I want?

Red Carpet Romance Corsage by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop

There are many different options when it comes to choosing the flowers for your corsage. Roses and spray roses are always a popular choice and can usually be matched well to the dress. Many people opt for carnations which are available in nearly every color imaginable, and some people prefer more bold options like orchids, lilies, succulents, and even birds of paradise.

While some people know exactly what they want, there are plenty of others who don’t even know where to begin when it comes to choosing flowers – that’s where we’re happy to help. In fact, most customers find they end up with the best result by simply giving us their dress color and letting our designers do their thing. We have years of experience with prom flowers and stay on top of the latest styles and trends. Depending on the budget, we can add special features such as jeweled beads, feathers, and lace to truly make each corsage one-of-a-kind.

Prom night is often one of the most important and memorable nights of a young person’s life and the memories from that special night can last a lifetime. We like to think of prom flowers as the icing on the cake, and we’re excited to help create that perfect look to fit every style.

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching as well as wedding season and other special events, the spring and summer seasons are a busy time, so we urge our customers to order their prom flowers as early as possible to ensure that their order is filled on time. Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 or better yet, stop in to see us!

Discover the Incredible Mood Power of Flowers

Everyone knows that flowers make people happy and enhance people’s moods, but the mood power of flowers may be even greater than we realize. Science has proven time and again that flowers play a powerful role in our lives, but their positive effect on our mental health is nothing short of incredible.

A study conducted by Rutgers University found that every single one of its 150 test participants expressed happiness upon receiving even one flower. The reaction was universal throughout all age groups and included both men and women. The study confirmed the possibility that flowers may, in fact, affect brain chemistry.

Studies show that besides making us happy, flowers are also proven to:

  • fuel creativity and quick thinking
  • make employees more productive
  • help with stress reduction
  • increase focus
  • feed compassion
  • lower blood pressure
  • trigger memory
  • boost energy levels

Giving is receiving

What really sets flowers apart from other gifts is that the act of giving may actually be more beneficial than receiving. A study by Texas A&M concluded that givers were perceived as caring, successful and emotionally intelligent people who possess the ability to not only express their own feelings but to take the time to understand the feelings of others.

Studies have also shown that a person can actually influence and change what others think of them in a significant way through the gifts they give, and perhaps no other gifts have the ability to evoke such positive feelings and perceptions as flowers.

Find the right mood

When a person sends flowers – or purchases them for their own enjoyment – the types of flowers they choose may play a significant role in enhancing a particular mood. Warm color flowers in reds, yellows, and oranges boost energy and stimulate the brain, making people more alert and creative. On the other end of the spectrum, cool color flowers and plants in greens and blues tend to create a more soothing effect by slowing the production of stress hormones to aid in relaxation.

No matter what the occasion, flowers are indeed the perfect gift of happiness and positive vibes – they are a potent mood elevator and a natural source of pleasure. Call Alfa Flowers today and let us help you experience for yourself – the incredible mood power of flowers.

Who was St. Patrick, and Why Do We Celebrate Him Every March?


It’s easy being green on St. Patrick’s Day, especially this year when we can enjoy an entire weekend filled with parades, provisions, and parties. It’s a fun holiday that doesn’t take itself too seriously and encourages us to let loose a little and celebrate.

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, you don’t even have to wear green so long as you don’t mind some odd looks or an obligatory pinch. Best of all, you don’t even need to know a thing about St. Patrick, because he doesn’t even play a very important role in his own day!

Exotic Bells by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Sure, he was credited with driving all the snakes out of Ireland, but many historians downplay that claim anyway because apparently there weren’t any snakes there to begin with. So, who was this Irish saint, and why do we celebrate him half a world away by drinking green beer and chasing imaginary leprechauns around searching for their pot of gold?

For starters, he wasn’t even Irish! In fact, according to History.com, he was actually born in Britain and his family wasn’t particularly religious. His life did take an interesting turn in his teens, however when he was kidnapped and held captive by Irish raiders. While in captivity, he spent much of his time isolated from other people which led him to turn to spiritual thoughts for comfort and guidance and ultimately began his path towards sainthood.

Eventually, he escaped back to Britain but was sent back to Ireland on a mission after becoming ordained. His time there was reportedly rather unpleasant, and he was mostly forgotten after he died in 461 A.D. With those kinds of credentials, it’s no wonder why we have trouble understanding how he became the patron saint of Ireland, and thus, St. Patrick.

A Pinch of Green by Alfa Flower Shop

As with most tales from centuries ago, the story of St. Patrick has been fortified and romanticized through legends and folklore. It wasn’t until the early 20th century – over 2000 years after his death – that the celebrations of him started becoming more popular. Prior to that time, March 17 was unceremoniously observed with a large family feast and little more than a possible mention by the priests during church services.

St. Patrick’s Day as we know it today may have actually originated in Boston where a group of elite Irish men gathered in 1737 for a special meal dedicated to an unknown Irish saint. Soon after, New York began hosting parades with Irish-American soldiers to honor St. Patrick and the holiday grew from there.

In other words, the St. Patrick’s Day that we know and love was largely an American invention began by Irish-American immigrants after they came to the United States. Those new citizens wanted a way to celebrate their culture while also embracing their new life in America. As the years rolled by, the parades and celebrations got bigger and more visible and were adopted by more people.

Today, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day reaches far beyond its Irish-American roots and embraces people from all walks of life. As they say, “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your friends at Alfa Flower Shop. We’re ready to help you celebrate with our special section of St. Patrick’s Day flowers, plants, and gifts. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, simply give us a call at () and we will be happy to make a custom design for you!

Join Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop as we Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8

We love celebrating holidays here at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop and one of our favorites is International Women’s Day which takes place every year on March 8. Although it doesn’t quite share the same notoriety as many of the other holidays, its significance and message are certainly no less important.

The observance of International Women’s Day dates back to the early 1900s, but the global holiday’s growth in popularity over the past decade has helped it evolve into a worldwide celebration of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. IWD is not country, group, or organization specific and belongs to all groups collectively.

Radiant Reflections Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Unlike many other holidays where the same traditions are celebrated year-after-year, International Women’s Day features a new theme each year to highlight an important issue and raise awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity across the world.

This year’s theme is #PressforProgress which spotlights gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely over the next 200 years, so International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for ground-breaking action that can drive greater change for women and speed up the clock on gender parity.

This year’s observance is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women as well as a chance to take action to help raise visibility and awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity around the world. We can all do our part in helping drive better outcomes for women by becoming responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender-inclusive world.

World-renowned feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem once said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

How to get involved

  • Together we can all play a role in promoting women’s issues and rights, especially for women in developing countries. One of the easiest ways to get involved is by sharing the #PressforProgress hashtag on social media posts and encouraging your friends and followers to join in the festivities.
  • Purple is the official color for IWD, so simply wearing a purple shirt or ribbon is a great way to show your support.
  • There are numerous festivals and gatherings planned for IWD and you can check the International Women’s Day event page to see a full list of activities in your area.
  • Consider donating time or resources to women-focused charities or groups
  • Volunteer to set up your own IWD campaign. Materials and instructions can be found here.
  • Most importantly, just speak out and make your support known!

Even if you don’t want to get involved in organized IWD events, the day itself is still a great opportunity to celebrate a special woman in your life by acknowledging their hard work and sharing their stories. A small gift, like a beautiful bouquet, is always an appropriate way to show your gratitude and the smile is causes can make a big difference!