August Birth Flower: Gladiolus (U.S.) or Poppy (U.K.)

Gladiolus

Gladiolus has been dubbed the flower of the Gladiators.   It represents strength of character, sincerity, generosity.  In the Victorian age with its secret language of flowers it was said to represent “love at first sight”. Gladiolus derives its name from the latin word for sword and is sometimes called the sword lily.  As a member of the iris family it contains about 260 species.   Only about 10 are native to Europe the rest are native to southern Africa.  The species vary from very small to the spectacular giant flower spikes you see in floral designs. The flower stalk of the Gladiolus contains an extended row of trumpet-shaped, fragrant flowers, all of which face in one direction. Their colors include pink to reddish or light purple with white, contrasting markings, or white to cream or orange to red.

 

Poppy

All species of poppies are attractive and most are cultivated as ornamental plants.   In Europe the poppy is a common weed and found in many locales including Flanders, the setting for the famous poem by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae “In Flanders Fields”.  However, A few species are cultivated as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It produces opium, opiates, poppy seeds and poppy seed oil.

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death.  Sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy.  In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.  Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep.

In the United Kingdom poppies are traditionally worn on lapels each November in remembrance of those who died serving their country (symbol coming from Flanders Field).  In November 2010 the U.K.’s prime minister and his aides wore the poppies on their lapels during a visit to China nearly causing an international incident and damaging relations between the two countries.  The Chinese took offense because the poppy reminds the Chinese of the many Chinese who died at the hands of the English during the Opium wars fought in the 1800’s.  The Chinese insisted the Poppies be removed.  The Prime Minister informed the Chinese that poppies meant a great deal to them and the English people and refused to remove them.

Artificial poppies (called “Buddy Poppies”) are used by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a source of financial assistance to disabled veterans who assemble them.  VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans’ organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.   The minimal cost of Buddy Poppies to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans.

This scribe is brought to you by your friends at Starbright Floral Design… We are an enthusiastic bunch that spends our day making really cool compositions of flowers. Bright colors,  great designs and  amazing service to our clients is what we are all about.  Starbright is located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District in a second floor loft space.  We spend our days making flower arrangements that we send as gifts on behalf of our clients.  People call us for a bunch of reasons (1 800 520 8999)… Sometimes to say “sorry”, other times to wish someone well during an illness or to congratulate on one of life’s major milestones.  Sometimes people call us because the caught the romantic influenza and they think someone is super sexy! We even get some really shy customers that don’t know what to say on  the card and need lots of help!

For world-wide delivery of flowers, be sure  to visit our website at www.starflor.com.  We would love to hear from you!

To place  an order for amazing flowers online go to:  www.starbrightnyc.com

Our warmest regards,

 

The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps

Starbright Floral Design, 150 West 28th Street, New York City.

We are on the SECOND floor!

1 800 520  8999

www.starflor.com

 

 

Spin the color wheel! Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Colors

To be bold or subdued; bright or muted; classic or trendy… should the colors complement the venue or your complexions?  Does my mother have to wear a matching dress?  Invitations, bridesmaid dresses, table linens, vests and neckties and of course the flowers are just a sample of items affected by the color scheme a couple chooses for their wedding.  Since color can set the tone, it is best to choose wisely.  Through my years as a designer, I’ve seen some fun combinations.  Some color schemes have been more successful than others.  Over time, I’ve developed some dos and don’ts that I have shared with countless couples.  Although I contend that there are no rules when planning a wedding, I’m always willing to share my opinion on choosing a winning color combination. 

Don’t Go for Complements:

Most brides and grooms are familiar with the idea of complementary colors.  The three primary colors of red, blue and yellow are placed opposite their corresponding complementary color on the color wheel.  Blue is paired with orange, yellow with purple and red with green.  You will notice that the primary color is paired with the secondary color that is made by mixed the other two primaries.  This creates a bold and loud contrast between the colors.  These color combinations are often used for things like gas-station logos, or sports team uniforms.  The contrast between the colors catches the eye and forces the viewer to take notice.  When trying to use these colors together in floral design, it’s very difficult to fight off thoughts of the Mets or the Lakers.  Red and green together also bring their own unique challenge of constantly conjuring thoughts of Christmas for many of us.  For these reasons, I suggest trying to avoid using complementary colors as the basis for wedding décor. 

Do Go for A Bold Statement:

While complementary colors may be too bold a choice for most, it is a great idea to choose at least one bold color to inform the design.  Purple, fuchsia and orange seem to be the go-to colors these days for couples looking for a pop of color.  Vibrant and rich tones such as these can provide a warmth and personality to the occasion without detracting from the proceedings.  When choosing a bold pop, I suggest limiting the palette to just one bright tone.  This brings me to my next tip.

Do Go Green:

Green is your friend.  I frequently suggest adding lime green to the floral arrangements we make for weddings.  If a bride or groom favors a brilliant tone such as purple or orange, adding a touch of green into the mix tends to heighten and embolden the arrangements.  Green is a neutral color and is found in abundance in nature.  Green “goes” with everything!  (Although it’s good to keep in mind the challenges when pairing red and green, Jingle Bells…)  It’s soothing and calming qualities pair beautifully with the lush colors found in the floral world. 

Don’t Count out the Classic:

A white wedding seems to have become a less popular choice these days.  Perhaps with all the fantastic color options found both in fabrics and flowers, couples would rather have more fun with the color palette.  This is understandable, however white has been the traditional wedding color because it’s clean, pure, and simple and it allows for the couple to be the stars of the day.  There are also so many flowers available in white; it’s easy to make arrangements interesting by using different textures, shapes and scales.  This is another instance when lime green can be helpful.  It’s also a good idea to choose one color to add into the mix of white.  One of my favorite weddings used all white flowers with accents of huge and lush coral colored peonies.  Simple and chic, this color scheme still resonates with me all these years later.  It was unique and yet remains a classic and elegant choice.

Don’t Tempt the Humor Gods:

If you’ve never seen your color combination used at a wedding, there might be a reason.  Sometimes when a couple chooses to be unique, it can backfire.  I’ve had to explain to a bride and groom why yellow and brown is not a great choice for a color scheme.  Without going into the specifics of why, (think about it people, yellow and brown… really?) certain color combinations elicit subconscious responses or connotations.  It’s the same reason why yellow and black can be difficult to use together; taxi cabs and bumble bees!  Yellow and red always makes me think of Ronald McDonald and ketchup and mustard.  These are not thoughts I want to have at your wedding! 

Don’t Over Indulge:

No matter what colors are finally chosen, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everything has to be covered in these tones.  You don’t have to dye your Maltese puppy to match the bridesmaid’s dresses.  It will be just fine.  Choose key locations and items for the colors to be used.  You don’t want your guests to feel like they just stepped into a Pepto-Bismol bottle if your color happens to be pink.  Touches here and there will suffice.  Also, everything doesn’t have to be the exact same shade or hue.  I have learned to beware of the bride who carries the Pantone chip!  Relax! 

Do Listen to Our Advice but…:

We have seen it all… or close to it anyway.  Your vendors have been involved with hundreds of events and weddings.  Most of the time, our advice is free and is often given weather you ask or not.  We will tell you if your colors won’t work or if they should be rethought.  Although we can offer some sage wisdom, remember that it’s your day and your decision should be the final word.  You write the check so ultimately you must be happy with the colors you chose.  Maybe you are both huge Lakers fans.  So go for it!  Don’t let us get in your way. 

This scribe is brought to you by Tom Sebenius.  Tom is a longtime Starbright employee, team leader and Creative Director.  More brides have written online reviews about Tom’s work after their wedding than anyone in the industry that I know.  We are proud to have Tom on the Starbright team.  He is anal, demands a lot from me (I am his boss) and I put up with as much as a restauranteur puts up with from his Chef.  Truth be told, I know that at  the end of the day, Tom’s work is what built our brand and what has helped maintained our Gold Standard in customer service.  Tom will always do what is right for our client and knows that preserving our reputation is the most important function of all.

Starbright Floral Design is located in  the Heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District in a second floor loft space.  We offer all the services that a traditional florist would except that our home  is not a store  front that you would walk on by.  Our focus has always been on providing the highest quality flowers (we import directly from really exotic places), amazing customer service and really cool designs.  When you have a free moment please visit our website at www.starflor.com where you will be able to gain a clearer perspective on our organization and the work that we do.  You may also call us at 800.520.8999 – we would love to hear from you! 

Warm regards,

The Official Florist

Starbright Floral Design – www.starflor.com

Located at 150 West 28th Street, Studio 201, New York City

(between 6th and 7th Avenues)

1.800.520.8999

Marriage Equality: (More) Cause for Celebration!

I know exactly what I want my wedding flowers to look like.  Considering that I have met with and executed the flowers for at least a hundred brides during my career as a floral designer, I’ve definitely had the opportunity to formulate my own ideas about my big day.  It was only until a couple of weeks ago that the fantasy was granted the chance to become a reality.  The New York State Assembly voted to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples, thus allowing the dreams of countless loving couples to finally come true.   No, I haven’t recently become engaged.  I will still have to be content with making other people’s boutonnières and centerpieces.  However, now my pool of potential brides and grooms will include a lot more grooms and grooms and brides and brides!  Talk about a reason to celebrate!

Many times I am asked what the differences are between a same-sex wedding and the standard wedding we have been accustomed to.  Truthfully, there isn’t a difference.  Of course, if two men are getting married, it is likely I will not need to make a bridal bouquet.  Other than that, the differences are hard to find.  The emotions, politics, logistics, and ultimately the flowers are practically the same.  Color schemes are agonized over, seating charts are adjusted and the merits of orchids and roses are debated by couples no matter their gender or sexual orientation.

It’s important as a wedding vendor to keep compassion and equanimity in mind when dealing with gay and lesbian couples.  This new marriage equality should inspire equal treatment and consideration across the board.  Most couples will be looking forward to meeting and speaking with a vendor who is as excited about the big day as the couple themselves.  Florists would be wise to be inspired by the joy and new sense of validation and empowerment that their same-sex couples will exhibit while planning their wedding ceremony and reception.  What a beautiful gift our care and enthusiasm will be for these formally disenfranchised pairs.

Of course I am totally biased on this subject.  Growing up, I would have never thought that gay marriage would be a reality.  That certainly never stopped me from contemplating what color peonies I would match with purple Dutch hydrangea for my centerpieces.  I’ve also been blessed with a loving boyfriend who I know wouldn’t judge me for wanting to hold a bridal bouquet if we were to ever get married one day.  (Do you know how many bridal bouquets I’ve made???!!!  I get to have one of my own!!!)  I’m lucky that I’ll never have to risk meeting with a vendor who would try to talk me out of what I want and what I’ve dreamed about for my wedding day.  I hope and pray that the same will be true for all the other gay and lesbian couples who wish to celebrate their union with their friends and families.  Best wishes, Mazel Tov and congratulations to us all.

This scribe is brought to you by Tom Sebenius.  Tom is Starbright Floral Design’s Creative Director and has a part of the Starbright team for most of the modern history of our company. Tom has made countless brides happy and has created some truly magical Starbright moments.  Tom is our most published contributor to floral industry publications and probably the most reviewed floral stylist on all the major online review sites.  We consistently earn five-star reviews on the likes of Citysearch mainly through Tom’s insistence on quality and attention to detail.  A proud member of our team and  a true artist.  Everyone  at Starbright is thrilled that we will one day witness Tom’s ceremony and cannot wait to see  what his creativity brings out on THAT special day! Stay tuned….

Starbright Floral Design is located in the heart of New York City’s historic flower district in a second floor loft at 150 West 28th Street.  Our services include local, national and worldwide flower delivery as well as consultation and execution of social and corporate events.  To learn more about us and the type of work that we do, please visit our website at www.starflor.com.  You may also go directly to our online portal for ordering gifts at www.starbrightnyc.com or to our Event Gallery to see thousands of photographs from our recent work. You may also call us at 1.800.520.8999.  We are always thrilled to hear from you and to be of service in every way possible….

Our warmest regards,

The Official Florist of the City That Never Sleeps

Starbright Floral Design

 

Flowers: The Feel-Good Medicine Series. Part One: Color

Many theories have been put forth trying to explain the relationship (the cause and effect) between flowers and the blissful emotions they generate.  Today we begin a blog series that will take us on a journey through the therapeutic world of flowers in search of the answer to the question.  Why do flowers make us feel good?

Seeing flowers in every color is an uplifting experience!

COLOR:

The first theory of why flowers make us feel so good is rooted in the psychological effects of color.  Several ancient cultures (the Chinese, the Egyptians) believed they could heal ailments using color.  This is known as Chromo-therapy.  Still used in today’s holistic medicine, color has been shown to have  an impact on one’s mood…

Blue brings calmness and serenity.  There seems to be a mental association between night and the color blue.  Several municipalities have even seized on the theory and installed blue street lighting.  In 2000 Glasgow installed blue lighting to improve its landscape.  It was later reported that the crime rate was reduced in areas that had blue lighting!  In a similar effort to reduce agressive driving, Tokyo installed 152 blue lights on a stretch of highway in 2001.

Pink is associated with love and romance.  There is even a shade of pink called Drunk Tank Pink.  Click on this link to read all about this shade of pink!

Green is the color that symbolizes nature and the natural world.  Researchers have found that green can invoke feelings of good fortune, health and tranquility.

Red is a  bright, warm color that evokes strong emotions.  Red is often associated with love, warmth and comfort.  Red is also considered a strong, even angry color, that creates intense feelings, even excitement.  Consider the many ways that the color red is used in a phrase or colloquialism: red-neck, red-hot, red-handed, paint-the-town-red, seeing-red, the-red-eye.

Every color imaginable is represented by one flower or another. Although it is clear from study after study that color has an effect on people’s moods, these effects are not always positive.  What is certain is that any flower in any color will have a positive effect on those who receive and enjoy them.  It might be a bit of a leap to say that flowers of one particular color have a more positive  effect than flowers of another color.

The moral of the story?  Send someone flowers! If you know their favorite color, then that is great! If not, all the colors are beautiful and you can send those.  Flowers do make people happy and the bright vivid colors bring us joy and happiness.  They lift us up, the help our spirits rise and most of all they make us smile. Send someone flowers today and sit back and wait for the phone to ring.  The enthusiasm that comes through the telephone line will astound you!  What other research do you really need in order to prove  the point?  That loud over-the-top, super-giddy “thank youuuuuuuuuu!” is research enough!

No matter the reason, no matter the occasion, no matter the moment, all of us at Starbright Floral Design are standing by waiting to hear from you  and ready to help lift someone’s day.  We are the feel-good experts!  Helping people smile all over the world every day.  Starbright Floral Design (that is us) is  located in the heart of New York City (in the historic flower district) and because of our ties to hospitality in our great city we have been dubbed “The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps”.

You can visit our second floor loft at 150 West 28th Street (Studio 201), you can call us at 800.520.8999 or you can learn all about who we are by going to our website at www.starflor.com.  No matter where or how you reach out to us… We would love to be of service.

Happy Days to All!

The Official Florist.

Starbright Floral Design

www.starflor.com

To place an order on-line, visit the e-commerce portal of our site at: www.starbrightnyc.com

You can also find Starbright on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.

 

 

June’s Birth Flower: The Rose its history and secret language decoded

The Rose of June - Brought to you by Starbright Floral Design
The Birth Flower of June

The rose, June’s birth flower is rich in symbolism and myth.  Its image has been utilized  throughout history on such diverse topics as love, war, politics and beauty.

 

The Myths

The first rose of record is said to be in ancient Greece.  The Gods had a tendency to find beauty in tragedy.  It was one of these tragic moments that created the rose.   Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, created the rose when her tears mixed with the blood of Adonis, her lover.  The Romans, not fearful of copying the Greeks like a Xerox machine, created their own legend of the rose’s creation.  According to Roman legend, there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe.  She was relentlessly pursued by suitors. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe sought refuge in the temple of Diana.  Diana was jealous of Rhodanthe and when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near Rhodanthe, she became furious. Diana’s rage led her to turn Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.    The rose’s appeal was farther reaching then just the west.  The Persians had their own tale of creation.  The Persian legend explains the creation of the red rose as well as the origin of the nightingale’s beautiful voice.  According to legend all roses were originally white and nightingales were ordinary birds who can only chirp.  One day the nightingale met a beautiful white rose and fell in love.   The nightingale’s love was so intense and his need to express his love so great that he was inspired to sing for the first time.  When the nightingale made his moves on the rose and pressed himself up against it the thorns pierced his heart, coloring the rose red.  If you are like me (Greek), clearly the Greek mythological tale is more appealing.  However, fossil evidence suggests that roses existed 35 million years ago, well before any of these myths suggest.

Symbolism

The rose’s symbolic value is not exclusive to England but was most widely used and popularized there.   The rose was first looked upon as a symbol of war.  A civil war that raged on from 1455-1487 between the House of York and the House of Lancaster.   The House of York adopted a white rose, the House of Lancaster was represented by a red rose. The war has been dubbed “The War of the Roses”.  The winner of this war, Tudor Henry VII (The Tudors), merged his Lancastrian rose with the rose of his York bride and thus the creation of the Tudor Rose, the Rose of England.

In later years the rose evolved into a form of language creating a secret means of communication between lovers.   In the mid 18th century the wife of the British ambassador in Constantinople described this language in her letters.  Largely due to the publication of her letters after her death, we have the code necessary to decipher the intricate language of roses.  For example if you want to ask your love interest “will you love me?”, send an open white rose.    Want to ask  “Don’t you love me any more?” , send an open yellow rose.      Want to say “I respect and look up to you” then send a bouquet of white roses.   Red roses signify  “forever I Love You”.  However a bouquet of red and white roses state “Together we are one and united”.  Want to declare your attraction to someone but don’t want to go as far as declaring your undying love, then purple roses are the way to go.  Colors alone aren’t enough to deliver the complex messages of love.  In combination with the colors, the number and degree of bloom of the roses have also been assigned meaning.  A dozen roses says  “Be Mine”.   Thirteen roses tells someone we’ll be friends forever.  Three dozen roses expresses “I’m head over heels in love!”.  Six dozen roses or more says “my love for you is limitless”.  In addition to its Victorian assigned message, this last one says “I’m a Starbright Gold club member”.

Regardless of its diverse assigned meanings, the one constant is the rose’s undeniable beauty.  The recipient of a beautiful arrangement of roses is always appreciative.

This and most scribes on this web log is brought to you by Starbright Floral Design.  We are a full-service florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District.  We deliver inspired floral compositions throughout Manhattan, all of New York City and everywhere beyond.  We invite you to visit our website at www.starflor.com.  Here you will be able to gain a broader perspective on our organization and on the work that we do.  You may CLICK HERE to visit our e-portal where  you may place an order for designer-inspired flower vases and arrangements, our orchids, plants and so much more.  We offer  same-day delivery to most parts of the United States.

We will be honored to be of service to you now and for a long time to come… Warm regards from all of us at Starbright, “The Official Florist of the City That  Never Sleeps”.

Flowers, Festivals and Celebrations – It is what we do!

Starbright Floral Design

150 West 28th Street – Studio 201, New York City

800.520.8999

www.starflor.com

 

Pre-Press Conference Release

A major announcement will be made by Starbright Floral Design at 7PM today.  The event will be covered by industry and fashion editors.  Press coverage  will be extensive.

Starbright Floral Design has funded horticultural research in varietal roses.  These varieties will be introduced at the press conference  and will be posted on this blog as a press release immediately afterwards.  Stay tuned for more details.

Roses will be available to our retail clients by tomorrow for purchase and to volume buyers for pre-Mother’s Day ordering.

Hope you  visit back late this evening for the exciting news….

These thoughts are brought to you by The Official Florist.

The Official Florist is the blogging arm of Starbright Floral Design.  We are a full-service corporate and retail florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District located at 150 West 28th Street (Studio 201).  To learn more about our organization and about the type of work that we do, please visit our website at www.starflor.com.

You may also order a gift by visiting our e-portal at www.starbrightnyc.com. Starbright is open seven days a week and we deliver flowers and other gifts in Manhattan and worldwide.  We invite you to give us a call or visit our website.

Thank you for visiting our blog.  Always “at your service”,

The Official Florist – Starbright Floral Design

“The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps”

t.800.520.8999

starflor.com

Bromeliad Plants: Matricide is Natural?

A Classic Bromeliad by Starbright
Aechmea fasciata
A Bromeliad Classic by Starbright
Guzmania Rana

Bromeliads are members of a plant family containing over 3000 species.  The most well known bromeliad is the pineapple.  People have been using bromeliads for thousands of years for food, shelter and ceremonies by civilizations such as Incas, Maya and Aztecs.  Europeans were introduced to the pineapple when Spanish conquistadors returned with the pineapple.  The image of the pineapple became so popular that it was adapted into European art, sculpture, furniture and architecture.

The most popular office and house plant varieties are Aechmea fasciata (Silver-Vase, Urn Plant) and Guzmania Rana.

In general they are ideal indoor plants requiring very little care.  The mother plant will generally only produce one bloom in its lifetime.  Once it blooms it will produce new plantlets called “pups”. These pups will feed on the “mother” plant until they are large enough to set roots of their own and survive as a separate plant. The mother has done her job and will die off.  The green, leafy top of a pineapple is in fact a pup that may be removed and planted to start a new plant.

It can take a few years for the plant to reach mature blooming size. Once the plant reaches maturity you can force the plant to flower by placing the plant in a clear plastic bag and throw a ripe apple inside the bag for 7 to 10 days. The ripe apple will give off ethylene gas and will help force the plant to flower.

1)      Sunlight: bright indirect sun.  Ideally placed around windows with blinds.

2)      Water: Keep the soil evenly moist.  Watering once to twice a week is sufficient. DO NOT USE A METAL WATERING CAN.  THE METAL IS TOXIC TO BROMELIADS AND WILL KILL THEM.

3)      Temperature: Indoor temperatures are perfect for Bromeliads.

Replanting the Pups: Once a pup reaches one-third the size of the mother plant gently tug and separate the two plants.  If the pup doesn’t pull away easily cut it where it attaches to the mother plant. Before potting your new plant, let the cut area dry out by letting it sit for a day (not in the sun). Using a mixture of peat moss and prelate pot up the bromeliad cutting into a small pot (do not over pot) and follow the instructions above. If all the potting and work sounds too much to handle ask Star bright about our Plant Care Services or do nothing and enjoy the plant as is.

These tips are brought to you by The Official Florist.  The Official Florist is the blogging arm of Starbright Floral Design.  We are a full-service corporate and retail florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District.  We are at 150 West 28th Street (Studio 201).  To learn more about our organization and about the type of work that we do, please  visit our website at www.starflor.com.  You may also order a gift by visiting our e-portal at www.starbrightnyc.com. Starbright is open seven days a week and we deliver flowers and other gifts in Manhattan and worldwide.  We invite you to give us a call or visit our website.

Thank you for visiting our blog.  Always “at your service”,

The Official Florist – Starbright Floral Design

“The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps”

t.800.520.8999

starflor.com