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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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!

Why Did Yankee Doodle Call His Hat Macaroni?

Independence Day is one of the most cherished and time-honored holidays in the United States. This federal holiday is an annual celebration of American independence from the British Empire and is commonly associated with parades, picnics, carnivals, and concerts during the day – topped off with majestic fireworks displays after sunset.

The firework shows are traditionally set to patriotic anthems including Yankee Doodle – a well-known American song that predates the American Revolution. We all know the tune, even if we don’t understand the lyrics. Why did Yankee Doodle go to town? Why did he call his hat “macaroni” after sticking a feather in it? And most importantly, how do such seemingly-nonsensical words play such a prominent role in our nation’s history?

“Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on pony.
He stuck a feather in his cap
And called it Macaroni.”

Before we find out why Yankee Doodle called his hat “macaroni,” we should probably back up and find out what the term “Yankee Doodle” means.

The term “Yankee” itself has several interrelated meanings depending on the context, however, all of them refer to people from the United States. Outside of the U.S., the term is used to refer to any American – including Southerners. Within the United States, however, the term is a derisive one which refers to all Northerners – especially ones from the Union side of the American Civil War. Some people go a step further and only view New Englanders as true “Yankees.”

The first appearance of the term “doodle” can be traced back to the early 17th century and is thought to be derived from the Low Saxon word “dudel,” which means “playing music badly,” or “Dodel, meaning “simpleton” or “fool.”

What Does That Have to do with Macaroni?

Today when we think of macaroni, we typically start salivating for the nostalgically-delicious childhood meal made of noodles and a cheese-like substance eaten from a box, but the macaroni in this instance refers to a fashionable man from the mid-18th century who spoke and dressed in an outlandish and epicene manner.

But why macaroni? Because young upper-class British men returning from trips to Italy developed a taste for the pasta that was hardly known in England at the time and were said to belong to the Macaroni Club because of their insistence on referring to anything fashionable as “very macaroni.”

America the Beautiful by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

It’s all starting to come together now. When British surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh penned the lyrics, he was mocking Yankees by insinuating that they were low-class simpletons who lacked masculinity – as if simply putting a feather in one’s cap would make him sophisticated and noble.

That sure doesn’t sound patriotic, but the Yankees soon turned the tables by embracing the song as an anthem of defiance. Americans subsequently went a step further by adding additional verses mocking the British and shortly thereafter, the song went from being an insult to a source of national pride.

That was more than 200 years ago, and the song still stands as one of our nation’s most beloved and patriotic tunes. In fact, President John F. Kennedy once bought a pony for his daughter Caroline – and called it Macaroni.

If you’re heading out to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, or plan on hosting a celebration of your own – don’t forget the flowers! Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help you celebrate with a bang with a beautiful bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers – perfect for the 4th of July. Give us a call or stop in today to see what’s in store for you. If you find exactly what you’d like, we’ll make it for you! Have a safe and happy 4th from your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop.