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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Keeping Your Pets Safe Around Flowers and Plants

We all love fresh flowers and plants for the beauty they provide and their incredible aromas that fill our homes. Unfortunately, our pets don’t enjoy flowers the same way we do. Dogs and cats have a natural curiosity and tend to investigate anything new by smelling or tasting. Their inquisitive nature is often adorable but can sometimes lead to trouble – especially for active pets that have a tendency to eat everything they see. It’s up to us to protect them by knowing which varieties of flowers are safe for pets and identifying which ones can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. While many plants will cause nothing more severe than mild digestive upset should they be ingested by pets, some can cause more serious health issues.

Non-toxic choices

Roses are always a safe choice when it comes to choosing flowers for a home with pets. Once their thorns are removed, they are usually harmless to most animals. Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons, and alstroemerias are also safe to have around pets, as are orchids and ferns.

Flowers that may be harmful

According to the ASPCA, Lilies (specifically Lilium and Hemerocallis) are considered to be the most dangerous flowers for pets, particularly for cats, and should be avoided if the pets will be left alone with them. Tulips, baby’s breath, birds of paradise, hyacinths, stargazers, carnations, and daisies can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested.

Alternative options

When sending a bouquet or plant as a gift to a pet owner, it’s always best to seek out a “pet-friendly” bouquet.

There are several options to consider when sending flowers to a pet-friendly household. Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) can be substituted for other lilies in bouquets, and ferns can be used in place of baby’s breath when accompanying roses or other flowers.

A common organic solution can also be used to deter pets from getting too close to potentially harmful flowers. A mixture of ten drops of citrus essential oil, one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be sprayed over the flowers and plants and should repel even the most curious pets.

In most cases, pets and flowers can safely co-exist in the same house by taking a few simple precautions. Below are lists of some of the most common “pet-friendly” flowers and also of flowers that are known to be toxic. Click here for a more comprehensive list, or contact us for more information.

Pet-friendly flowers and plants:

African daisy
African violet.
Alyssum
Bachelor’s buttons
Celosia
Common Snapdragon
Easter Daisy
Orchids
Peruvian lily
Brazilian lily
Rose

Pants that are considered toxic to both cats and dogs are:

Tulips
Azalea
Bird of Paradise
Aloe
Begonias
Baby’s Breath
Amaryllis.
Easter and stargazer lilies can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by cats

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!

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.