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!

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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!

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Order Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is still a few weeks away, but the best time to order your flowers is right now! Since February 14 is one of the biggest floral holidays of the year, nearly every florist in the country is busy working overtime to prepare for the big day.

But no matter how many flowers are ordered and how many extra delivery drivers are hired, there is only so much time and product to go around, so waiting until the last minute is not a good idea if you want to avoid the headaches of picked-over coolers and limited delivery availability. Some shops even raise the price of roses in the week leading up to Valentines Day since those last-minute flowers cost more from the wholesaler. In other words, there are many advantages or ordering early and not procrastinating.

Alfa’s True Romance Bouquet with Red Roses

This special day means different things to different people, but above all else, it’s an opportunity to let those you love and care about know how much they mean to you. To many people, giving a great and meaningful gift on Valentine’s Day isn’t always easy – especially when they’re crunched for time and trying hard to fulfill expectations. On this day of love and romance, the last thing you want to do is disappoint someone who may have been expecting something else, so planning ahead can help alleviate some stress or disappointment.

The most important thing to remember when finding the perfect gift is to not to overthink it or try to do too much. Quality is more important than quantity, and the key here is finding something special and out of the ordinary, to help show the recipient you care enough to go the extra mile. That doesn’t mean you have to go all out and spend tons of money, but it’s easy to distinguish a thoughtful gift from one pieced together with whatever happened to be left in the store – you’re not fooling anybody!

Remember, if it seems too good to be true…it probably is!

Alfa’s Happy Harmony Bouquet

There are a lot of enticing offers out there. We’re bombarded with them daily – online, on the radio and especially on television. But don’t let the “incredibly low prices” fool you because they usually tack on extra fees and hidden charges that bring the total cost up to a comparable level with actual flower shops – except they simply ship a box of flowers that you have to assemble yourself. You might end up saving a few bucks by having flowers shipped in a box, but does that gift truly convey how you feel about the recipient? Does it show the thought and attention you put into choosing a special gift, or does it suggest that you panicked and scrambled at the last minute?

There are so many options out there for flowers this Valentine’s Day, but where you buy those flowers makes a big difference. Presentation and visual appeal are the little things that go a long way in making a good bunch of flowers look great.

Having an experienced professional florist by your side – one who personally designs and hand-delivers your flowers – guarantees an outstanding personalized gift for your Valentine, all while making you look good at the same time!

So don’t stress out this Valentine’s Day because Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help! Give us a call at (800) 524-8727 and leave it to us to create something special that is sure to exceed expectations this Valentines Day. Just remember to order early – you’ll be glad you did!

Living Coral is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019


What color will define your year in 2019?

The fine folks at Pantone have made their selection and have nominated “Living Coral” as their “Color of the Year” for 2019. They feel that this particular hue (PANTONE 16-1546) “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

How Sweet It Is by Alfa’s Flower & Wedding Shop is one of many designs featuring Living Coral – the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year

They go on to explain that, “Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”

For over 20 years, Pantone has selected a color of the year and that color has influenced product development and purchasing decisions across a variety of different industries including fashion, interior, and industrial design, home furnishings and most importantly, flowers!

While this vibrant, yet mellow, coral hue with a golden overtone isn’t as bold of a selection as last year’s deep purple Ultra Violet, it also isn’t as serious. In fact, it was chosen in part for its lighthearted symbolism with a nod to our innate need for optimism, joyful pursuits and playful expression which represent the fusion of modern life.

Pantone based Living Coral on the energizing aspects of the color as it is found in nature – and coral reefs in particular as their glorious, yet elusive displays beneath the sea provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.

In with the new

Tropical Punch Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Pantone puts a tremendous amount of thoughtful consideration into choosing their Color of the Year. They arrive at their decision by pouring over trend analysis and combing the globe in search of new color influences. Their decision is ultimately based on several different factors, but the end result is typically a good indication of the state of global and political climate and the emotions that many people are feeling at the time – if that feeling can be described as a color.

This year’s selection is all about optimism and the bright shining light that many people can use to start 2019 on the right note, but that doesn’t mean it has to represent your year. A fresh new year means a fresh new start and now is the perfect time to begin writing your own story – and choosing your own color – that will define your world in 2019.

Don’t miss out on the hottest new trend for 2019: Living Coral! Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop has many designs featuring this intriguing color which works well as an accent or as the featured color. Give us a call today at 800-524-8727 and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect design for a birthday, anniversary, milestone or any other important event. Best of all, we offer same-day delivery anywhere in the U.S.A.

 

Toast Tremendous Teachers with a Thoughtful Treat

It’s that time of year once again! Back-to-school sales are happening everywhere, and teachers are busy preparing for the start of another school year.

With summer winding down, now is not only the perfect time to show your appreciation to those who have been taking care of your kids during the break, but also a fantastic opportunity to start the school year off right with a gift of flowers for the teachers, facility, coaches, and staff who will be enriching their lives over the next nine months.

To some, it may seem like the summer flew by too fast while others have been counting the days until the new school year begins. Regardless of how you feel about your kids going back to school, we hope your summer was filled with adventure and learning experiences that can’t be taught in schools. If there are any nannies, babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, camp counselors, clergy members or coaches who influenced your summer, flowers are always a perfect way to acknowledge and say thanks for their hard work and dedication.

Most of those people aren’t expecting gifts, so the gesture certainly isn’t necessary, but even a small token of your appreciation is a thoughtful way of showing gratitude that often means more to the recipient than the giver will ever realize.

Forget the apple

It’s 2018 – your teacher doesn’t want an apple unless it’s a phone or computer – so forget the fruit in favor of a beautiful bouquet of brightly-colored flowers instead. Flowers really are the perfect way to set the mood for the start of the school year while brightening up the classroom at the same time.

Cup of Thanks by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Teachers aren’t the only ones who enjoy flowers, however, so don’t forget bus drivers, teacher’s aides, facility members, crossing guards, and everyone else who makes the school a fun and inviting place to learn. Flowers are so wonderful at putting smiles on people’s faces, especially when they’re least expected. At Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, we specialize in helping you choose the perfect gift for everyone on your list – no matter how big or small of an impact they have on your children’s education.

If you have a friend or family member going away to college for the first time this fall, flowers are a fun and festive way to decorate dorm rooms and live plants are perfect picks if you’re looking for a longer-lasting gift. Most of the plants we carry are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of work, which is ideal for busy students who are always on the go.

Regardless of whether you’re sending flowers to thank someone for a job well done, congratulate someone for a notable accomplishment, wish someone good luck, or simply to make someone’s day, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help with all your back-to-school floral needs. If you don’t know exactly what you want to send, never fear – we’re here to help! Give us a call at (414) 475-7080, order online, or better yet – stop by the shop and look around – you never know what we may have in store for you!

Ready to Pop the Question? Don’t Forget the Flowers!

One of life’s most important decisions is deciding on the right partner and starting a new chapter together as a married couple. But before that can happen, someone has to pop the question!

If this is your situation then hopefully you’ve already identified the lucky person and more importantly – are reasonably sure that they will say “yes.” It also helps immensely to have the ring on hand for this occasion, but that isn’t always a deal-breaker.

Dancing in Roses bouquet by Alfa Flowers & Wedding

Now comes the fun part – formulating a plan that will be both memorable and romantic. Unless your fiancée-to-hopefully-be is a die-hard avid sports fan who loves the spotlight, you can go ahead and cross ‘proposing on the jumbotron of a large sports stadium’ off that list. Not only has that been done to death, but it typically isn’t anywhere near as romantic as both partners are hoping for – you can do better.

The best ideas are the original ones, and it helps if you can incorporate something special that you and your partner enjoy together. Here are five creative ways to help you make the moment special, but don’t be afraid to modify them to suit your style and whatever you do…DON’T forget the flowers, because if you do, we can’t guarantee results!

For the Beach Lover

For this one you will need an accomplice. Prior to your big question you will meet up with said accomplice and carve out a shallow heart in the sand, fill it with rose petals and have them stand by the heart to ensure its perfection. Let you partner-in-crime know to step away from the heart when they see you coming, and to be camera ready, that way you can just “happen upon” the heart and get that photo! Once you reach that heart with your fiancée-to-be have them stand inside it as you go down on one knee.

For the Introvert

Leave a single long-stem rose on their pillow with the ring tucked inside the petals or strung on the steam with a love letter as to why you pick them.

For the Adventurer

Take a dozen roses and attach memories to each one along with a clue as to where to find the next rose. Be waiting at the end with the last rose in hand. When they arrive, simply hand over the rose and propose.

For the Traditionalist

Make reservations at a favorite restaurant or pick out somewhere nice. There are fewer and fewer occasions to get dressed to the 9’s, but this is still one of them. Begin by sending flowers to them at work with a handwritten invitation to dinner. Prior to your arrival at the restaurant make sure the hostess knows that you plan to propose during dessert by having your server bring out champagne with your sweets. When the confusion sets in about why you ordered champagne, you’ll know the time is right.

For the Family

If your fiancée-to-be is extremely close to their family, consider asking them to get involved by being your messengers. Give each one of them a rose with a hand-written love note to present to your sweetheart throughout the day. Then, arrange to meet in a special spot at the end of the day so you can present the last rose and the ultimate reason for your love.

We hope these ideas help make your upcoming proposal amazing! Good luck and make sure to order your flowers early. No matter if you need the rose petals, the single long stems or dozens of flowers in her favorite shade, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help! If all goes well, keep this number handy: (414) 475-7080 – it’s the number for our wedding shop!

Fantastic Flowers: Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisies are bright and cheerful flowers with an irresistible charm. Not only can these daisy-like flowers be found in a variety of sizes that grow up to seven inches wide, they are also available in almost every natural color of the rainbow – except blue.

Symbolic of innocence, purity, and cheerfulness, a handful of Gerbera daisies creates an instant centerpiece or bouquet, but they really shine when paired with other flowers for added texture, fragrance and height – which is why they are the fifth the most popular cut flower behind only roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and tulips.

Happiness Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

But their unmistakable beauty isn’t the only reason for their popularity. Gerbera daisies are also one of the longest lasting cut flowers and their year-round availability and affordable price makes them even more attractive. They also provide added health benefits by discharging oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins at night. In fact, some people place Gerberas next to their beds to enjoy better sleep.

For those of us intimidated by color theory, Gerbera daisies eliminate the guesswork! Their beautiful, large blooms crowd hundreds of petals onto each stem, creating a living color wheel of contrasting shades in unexpected combinations. From the classic mix of chocolate, cream and pink, to the spring freshness of grass, blush and ivory, or the dramatic impact of ebony, saffron and crimson there’s a Gerbera Daisy for everyone.

Originally from South Africa where some native species still grow wild, Gerbera daisies were first discovered in 1880 by a Scotsman named Robert Jameson operating a gold mine in Transvaal.

Also known as African Daisies or Transvaal Daisies, these stunning flowers understandably captured the imagination of plant collectors and breeders who found ways to create the exciting colors and long, sturdy, cut flower stems we know today.

With as many meanings as there are colors, Gerbera daisies have become a way to express a range of emotions:

• Red expresses love
• Pink conveys admiration and gratitude
• Bright orange represents warmth and happiness
• Yellow denotes cheerfulness
• White symbolizes purity and innocence

Care tips

  • When selecting Gerbera daisies, look for round heads and unblemished petals and make sure the stems are long and straight. To keep those stems standing tall, it’s important to keep them away from bright light because, like sunflowers, Gerbera daisies turn their heads towards the source of light.
  • Gerbera daisy stems also have a tendency to get blocked which can cause them to wilt prematurely. To prevent this from happening, be sure to change their water daily, or better yet, re-cut the stems under warm water to help the flower uptake water. They are also sensitive to fluoride so it might be a good idea to use bottled or filtered water if you tap water is fluorinated.

Although it may sound complicated, a little care goes a long way so it isn’t unusual for Gerbera daisies to last up to 14 days in a vase.

Did You Know?

Despite their South African origin, Gerbera daisies were named after German botanist Trauggott Gerber, hence the reason for always capitalizing the name Gerbera – it’s a proper noun!

Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is your source for gorgeous Gerbera daisies! Give us a call or check out some of our fantastic designs featuring the incredible Gerbera daisy. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, we will be happy to design something special just for you.