What’s the perfect Valentine’s gift?

Linda LudwigFlower colors, Pittsburgh Florist, Roses, Valentine flowers, Valentine's Day

Hint:  It’s NOT the red rose!

Searching for THE perfect Valentine’s Day gift, most men assume that the red rose is the ONLY flower suitable for giving their sweetheart on the February 14 holiday.

Truth be told, florists sell a LOT of red roses for Valentine’s Day.  Somehow the floral industry has to come up with enough red roses to satisfy the extreme demand.  To that end, rose growers do all they can to push roses to bud at exactly the right time.  Sometimes roses might be harvested too early or stored too long, in order to have enough roses available to ship to florists for February 14.  The result is reduced red rose quality, along with higher wholesale and retail prices.

And what’s even crazier?  Women don’t necessarily prefer red roses!  We tell our male customers that most women would rather receive roses in one of the other gorgeous colors that are available, or that they prefer other flowers.  Modern day ladies want something a bit more unique, fun or personal than the ordinary dozen red roses!

RosesWhat other flowers?  Try tulips, which are in season this time of year, and which evoke a welcomed breath of spring.  Fragrant oriental lilies are a spectacular and lasting flower.  The younger generation likes gerbera daisies, which come in a variety of vibrant hues.

Valentine flowers

What’s the best floral Valentine’s Day gift?  If you prefer the traditional, we recommend a vase of one dozen roses in one of the fabulous non-red varieties we will be getting in for the holiday.  Or, we recommend a beautiful vase of assorted varieties of flowers, mixing a rainbow of colors and blooms to dazzle your Valentine.  We can blend some higher-priced flowers (like roses) with less-expensive ones, for a larger, fuller arrangement.  By leaving the details of your arrangement to the expertise of our floral designers, we can pick from the choicest of the day’s blooms, to give you more value for your dollar.

Some folks complain about flowers as a gift because they do not last.  But ask any woman, and you will discover that the memory of a floral gift lasts forever!  So don’t be bashful guys…your sweetheart would love a gift of flowers on February 14.  And we can work with any budget to make this Valentine’s Day one she will hold in her heart forever!

Wedding floral trends for 2013

Linda LudwigFlower colors, Pittsburgh Florist, Pittsburgh weddings, Wedding bouquets, Wedding flower trends, Wedding flowers, Wedding trends

Our wedding specialist, Sherry Holeczy, writes:

Weddings for spring and summer 2013 will have a fresh feel, and what’s more fresh than flowers?  There are a few themes trending that allow for flowers to play a major role in the ambiance of your wedding.

One of my favorite trends this year is the vintage, romantic feel that isn’t too fussy.  This is the perfect theme for a beautiful bouquet!  Imagine walking through a well-groomed garden of a great estate and gathering flowers as you stroll along.  Wedding bouquets for this theme should evoke that feeling, with natural, easy blooms of hydrangea, garden roses, spray roses and maybe a few peonies (if you’re lucky enough to get the timing just right.)  There may be some ivy creating a slight cascade.  To keep with the easy feeling, don’t be too concerned about the blooms matching perfectly with the dresses.  Pastels are in for 2013 weddings, and there are many shades of flowers that will complement a mint green or pale pink bridesmaid dress beautifully.  We are even seeing pastel floral patterned dresses!

Style Me Pretty gallery and inspiration

A closely related theme is inspired by the 1920’s (think Downton Abbey.)  This has a similar feel, but with a little more glamour and elegance.  This bouquet may be large and cascading with a more “put together” look.  Bridesmaids may carry small, simple nosegays using only one type of flower.  Carnations were a popular flower in the 1920’s, and are a great option to include in any bouquet.

Austin wedding blog

Another trend is graphic-printed bridesmaid dresses.  Think stripes, chevrons and polka dots, just to name a few!  These provide the perfect backdrop for bright, monochromatic bouquets.  Create a fun summer look by choosing a bright bouquet of all hot pink or orange flowers, against a navy and white striped dress.

Wedding Aces Orange Wedding Inspiration

Whether you are a bride or wedding guest, 2013 promises to be a year full of beautiful blooms!

For more 1920’s style wedding inspiration, here’s a great blog post: http://www.weddingsbylilly.com/wedding-ideas-inspiration/1920s-themed-wedding-ideas/?fb_action_ids=10151238597744199%2C10151237322009199&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=feed_opengraph



The Colors of Christmas

Linda LudwigChristmas flowers, Flower colors, Pittsburgh Florist

Red and green are the traditional Christmas colors.  But a sparkling holiday display can be so much more!  Be sure to consider other hues when decorating your home, or giving floral gifts:

  • Flowers in chartreuse green shades blend beautifully with deep reds

  • Try combining pinks with winter evergreen foliage.  Light pink is fun with silver touches.  For drama, combine deep pinks with red-orange.
  • Red and burgundy create a warm, sophisticated look.  Accent any shade of red with gold or bronze.
  • Create a vision of a winter wonderland with an arrangement of all white flowers.  Accent with your blooms with silver or burnished gold.  Add a touch of chartreuse with green hypericum berries.

  • Combine flowers in shades of ivory, mellow gold and cream. Pearl garlands and jewels give these colors a romantic flair.
  • Make a bold, contemporary statement; Mix bright citrus colors of orange and lime green with hot pinks and teal shades.

If in doubt, ask our floral designers for advice on flower color combinations for a vibrant holiday display.

With thanks to the Society of American Florists for their floral tips!

More from Mary Katherine and Tom’s wedding

Linda LudwigCenterpieces, Pittsburgh Florist, Pittsburgh weddings, Wedding bouquets, Wedding centerpieces, Wedding flowers

Here are more photos from Mary Katherine and Tom’s beautiful winter wedding.  Photos courtesy of LeeAnn Marie Photography.

Bride’s bouquet of garden roses, with rosary attached

Bridesmaid bouquet

Wedding party

Reception centerpiece with roses, hydrangea, star of Bethlehem and hypericum

Poinsettia care

Linda LudwigPittsburgh Florist, Poinsettia care

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the glorious poinsettia plant!  These beauties are native to Mexico.  The showy colored parts of the poinsettia plant are not really the flowers, but are actually bracts or modified leaves.  The flowers are the small yellow buds in the center of the colorful bracts.  For the longest lasting poinsettia, choose a plant with little or no yellow pollen showing.

Thanks to the Society of American Florists and the University of Illinois for the following poinsettia info:

To keep your poinsettia blooming, keep it in indirect light, out of hot or cold drafts.  Water the plant thoroughly when the surface soil is dry to the touch, but do not allow it to sit in water.

Poinsettias are not poisonous! A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than a pound-and-a-quarter of Poinsettia leaves (500 to 600 leaves) to have any side effects.  The leaves are reportedly not very tasty, so it’s highly unlikely that kids or even pets would be able to eat that many!

Poinsettias are a member of the Euphorbiaceae family, and ooze a milky sap. Some people with latex allergies have had a skin reaction (most likely to the sap) after touching the leaves.  From personal experience, we know to be careful not to get the sap in your eyes.  Our Jim once ended up in the emergency room here in Pittsburgh with a scratched cornea after trimming a euphobia and then rubbing his eye!

People often ask us how to get a poinsettia to re-bloom.  You can do the following:

  • In spring, when the bracts fade, cut stems back to eight inches above the soil line.
  • Continue to water regularly.
  • Lightly fertilize with a good, balanced all-purpose fertilizer every three to four weeks.
  • When temperatures are warm, place the plant outdoors; first in indirect, then direct sunlight. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees throughout the summer.
  • July 4 (Independence Day): Cut back new growth stems. Repot if needed.
  • Early September (Labor Day): Move the plant inside. Provide six or more hours of direct light.
  • October 1 through mid-December: Confine the plant to complete darkness for 14 hours, giving it 10 hours of natural light daily. This will set the buds and cause bracts to color.

Or…you can follow the advice our Tim posted on facebook:

First you want to put the plant in a dark closet after it loses its color. Then each week lay a quarter on the soil of the pot. Keep this routine up until a couple of weeks before Christmas. Then you’ll have saved enough money to buy yourself a new poinsettia.

Purchase these beautiful and lasting Christmas plants early, and enjoy them all season long!