People want to know…

Christina Montemurro from Christina Montemurro Photography recently interviewed Tim and Jim for her blog, which features some of Pittsburgh’s best wedding vendors. The questions and answers give a “behind-the-scenes” peek at the wedding floral business. Check it out here.

Christina also featured beautiful photographs of our flowers!

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Renaissance Hotel Wedding Reception

Our featured wedding reception this weekend took place in the elegant Renaissance Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.  The bride chose alternating high and low centerpieces of white hydrangea, ivory roses, white daisy pomps and spray roses, accented with variegated pittosporum and seeded eucalyptus.

Tall centerpieceBubble Bowl Centerpiece Renaissance Hotel wedding reception flowersCarnation pomander balls of hot pink and burgundy were bursts of color in the otherwise all-white color palette.  They were featured on the head table and on the cocktail tables.

Carnation pomander ball

Renaissance Hotel wedding reception hall

Congratulations, Megan and Sam!

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Why send flowers?

We sometimes hear negative comments about the gift of flowers.  Some Society of American Florists flower deliverypeople mistakenly think that because flowers are not long lasting, they are not a good value.

Those same people are surprised when we tell them that the product we florists actually sell is not really flowers, but rather emotions and feelings.  Remember the old marketing slogan, “Say it with flowers?”  Well, your local florist uses flowers to convey all of life’s sentiments, from “I love you” to “I’m sorry” to “We grieve with you” to “I hope you are feeling better today.”

Flowers are a gift that speaks to the heart of the recipient.  Our friends at the Society of American Florists write of the excitement that accompanies any delivery of flowers…you don’t even have to be the actual recipient to be captivated by a beautiful gift of flowers!

When you give flowers, you give a gift of instant delight – you give a gift of joy and beauty and a memory that can last forever!

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Send flowers to Andy Warhol for his birthday…

Today would have been Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol’s 85th birthday.

To mark the occasion, the Andy Warhol Museum and EarthCam launched a collaborative project titled Figment, a live feed of Warhol’s grave site. This live feed, is viewable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, worldwide.

Andy Warhol grave siteClick here to view the live feed

Visitors to EarthCam’s website have the opportunity send Andy a gift of flowers or a soup can (from the Blumengarten, of course!) delivered to his grave site.  A portion of the proceeds from the orders will be donated to The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

Aside from the normal camera view on EarthCam’s website, there’s a “pop” view that displays the grave in Warhol-esque colors and another camera set up at St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church, where Andy was baptized. The cameras allow users to make screen captures and post images to Twitter and Facebook.

Andy Warhol died in 1987 when he was just 58.

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Two beautiful color palettes for wedding flowers…

Here are bouquets from recent weddings that highlight two beautiful color combinations: Bridesmaid bouquet

This elegant and contemporary pairing uses green flowers to highlight the traditional bridal white.  Our bridesmaid bouquet features two shades of green with mini hydrangea and kermit pomps, combined with white hydrangea and ivory spray roses.

BW-122 Wedding BouquetThis vibrant and contemporary color combination combines bold orange gerbera daisies, hot pink roses and lime green hypericum with variegated pittosporum.  A knockout!

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May wedding flowers

 Here are some photos from our wedding this past weekend:Bride's bouquetBride’s bouquet of peonies, lisianthus, roses, succulents, stock, seeded eucalyptus and assorted brooches.

Bridesmaid BouquetBridesmaid bouquet of hydrangea, freesia, roses, seeded eucalyptus and variegated pittosporum, tied with burlap ribbon.

Wedding centerpieceWedding centerpiece of hydrangea, roses, snapdragon, succulents and hypericum, at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory

Wedding pew cones with hydrangeaPaper pew cones with hydrangea

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Our secret to ordering the best flowers online…

Is choosing the prettiest photo on our website and clicking “order” the best way to purchase a floral gift?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Our website features lots of beautiful arrangements, and makes ordering flowers easy.  However, if it has a drawback, it’s that it can’t convey up-to-the-minute information.

Consider, for example, a pretty floral design that we have featured on our site.  A customer orders the arrangement online, but unfortunately, we just sold the last of the stargazer lilies featured in it.  Additionally, the photo shows tulips, but the tulips we received from our supplier this week were of poor quality, and had to be rejected.

Furthermore, from looking at our website you would have no way of knowing we have some amazing garden roses in stock, that we got a special buy this week on mini calla lilies, and that our white oriental lilies are fabulous today.

Fortunately, you have an easy option to take this into account when ordering on our website!  Order our “Glory of the Garden” arrangement, and your gift will be custom-designed from the choicest, freshest and best value of the flowers we currently have in stock.

Mixed flowers

In the “special instruction” box at check out you can tell us any additional information you’d like us to know.  For example:

  • What is the favorite color of the recipient?  Does the recipient have a favorite flower?
  • Where will the arrangement be displayed?  In the middle of a dining room table?  On a desk? On a side table?
  • Does the recipient favor sleek, contemporary designs, or are they more traditional?
  • Would the recipient prefer a design that is low and compact, or taller and more loosely arranged?
  • Would the recipient prefer a highly fragranced choice of flowers?  Or are strong fragrances a potential problem?

We are honored that so many of our customers tell us, “We trust you to create something beautiful – you always do!”

Thank you for the trust you, our customers, have placed in us!

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An Easter weekend wedding

Spring wedding bouquetsFor a wedding this Easter weekend, our bride chose bouquets containing assorted blooms in vibrant spring colors.

These bouquets are simple and budget-minded, but far from ordinary.  The bouquets contain carnations, mini carnations, daffodils, tulips, daisy pomps, cushion pomps, lisianthus, wax flower and solidago.

They are truly a vision of spring!

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What do flowers, tacos and twitter have in common?

Pittsburgh taco truck

Looking to bring a little lunchtime culinary excitement to this part of the Strip District, Tim invited the Pgh Taco Truck to set up shop in our back parking lot last week.

If the length of the line of those waiting for tacos was any indication, the experiment was a success.  The Pgh Taco truck has quite a following, aided by the power of Twitter to update fans on the current location of the truck.

Fueled and energized by some excellent tacos, the Blumengarten decided to enter the Twitter age @pghflorist!

If you follow us, Tim will post updates about specials, trends and coming events. (Maybe some visiting food trucks!)

We may be the first florist in Pittsburgh to use Twitter.  Follow us on Twitter and let us know what you think.

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How to be a smart consumer when ordering flowers online…

Do you know the secret to getting top quality, service and value when ordering flowers online?

Here’s the scoop on what you need to know to become a savvy floral consumer…

When it comes to the national online floral retailers, there are basically two types.  All floral websites display photos of beautifully designed floral arrangements.  But when you read the fine print on some sites, you’ll discover that the flowers are drop-shipped in a box from a central warehouse and are left on your doorstep, delivered by FedEx.  A vase may be provided, but it is an assemble-it-yourself gift that the recipient may or may not appreciate.  It is certainly not something suitable to send to a hospital or funeral home, or if you want to make a big impression.

Valentine's Week at FedEx

Valentine’s Week at FedEx

The other online floral retailers depend on the local florist to create and deliver their bouquets.  The nationals sometimes promise a product that might not even be available in the local flower shop.  Plus, the local florist is receiving only 73 cents on every dollar spent to fill your order to look like what is pictured on the national website.  With delivery costs and wire service fees that local florists pay, the local guys are most likely losing money on each order that they fill.

In addition, the national websites charge their customers unnecessary service fees that are not passed on to the local florists.  It is very profitable to be the big online presence, and very un-profitable to be the local florist actually arranging and delivering the flowers!

The result is the disappearance of the neighborhood flower shop, as more and more florists go out of business because they haven’t figured out that filling incoming orders from the big guys is actually hurting their bottom line.

What’s a smart consumer to do?

Rather than ordering from a national online floral service, do a Google search for a local florist in the city you are sending flowers.

BUT BEWARE!!!

Some of the big guys have created hundreds of doorway pages to their websites with individual city names, so that links to their site come up in any local search. They buy up local phone numbers and put up phony locations on Google Maps, so they appear to be a local florist.

When you find a company you think is a local florist — before you place an order online — phone them and tell them you’d like to pick up your flowers.   Ask for an address and directions to their store.  Only a true local florist will be able to do this!  A call center will not.

When you find a local florist, you’ve found someone you can work with to get the product and service you deserve.  Local florists are artists who will describe the freshest flowers available in their shops, fulfill unusual requests, and arrange for special or timed deliveries.  With no added middleman service charges, you will get more value for your dollar.  And you will be supporting Main Street America, sustaining those local businesses which are the lifeblood of our economy.

And now you are a savvy floral consumer!

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