“On the Fun Side of Flowers” – April Fools

Hi there! I am Nic, Senior Partner at Starbright Floral Design.  Sometimes I scribe on this page as The Official Florist.  That name came as a short version of “The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps” – a tag line that seems to have stuck pretty well over the years.

I have always been intrigued by the innocent fun that people have  with each other on April Fools Day.  I have followed the holiday with some interest over the years and I have been inspired by the fun that people and  companies have with each other on this one day when we invent the craziest things to say…

Why Google told us only a couple of days ago that they have developed an email program that works on hand signals.  Remember when Taco Bell convinced us that they bought the Liberty Bell (to help with the deficit) and they were renaming it? Or when Burger King told us all that they had created a Whopper specifically for the southpaw? The condiments were turned 180 degrees to accommodate left-handed people.  Sure.

We decided to have some fun this year and participate in the holiday (it is a holiday, right?).  A lot of planning went into what we were going to do.  Many nights of meetings, creative sessions and ideas were thrown around.  We were new at this “hoax thing” and we put a lot of man hours learning how to spoof.  Next year we think it will be easier.  We are Fool Experts now!

So “The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps” issued a press release late at night on the 31st of March (as a decoy) that basically stated that we funded research that was led by Dr. Aprilia Anoitou (Greek translation for April Fool) in which we were able to genetically engineer a rose so that it would behave like an oyster and produce pearls.   We were endorsed by a non-existent Dutch society that promotes flower buying.  To top it off Poisson D’Avril (French for April Fool) from a fictional tourism board in New York City endorsed this high-end rose as a gift for someone who clearly has everything.

I got congratulatory calls and emails from far away places.  Flower growers from Holland and importers from South America reached out to express their good wishes (the experts were dumfounded!).  A New York City radio personality wanted an interview (I declined) and several on-line publications carried the story.  Friends were even google-ing “The Pearl Rose” because they wanted to be in-the-know.  The spoof was supported by our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)

Most marketers would call this a marketing success.  I suppose it was.  We set out to have some fun and did we ever!  The planning, the execution, the fooling, having to answer emails and queries.  It was all about The Pearl Rose.  On most holidays we work ourselves to the point where  work is tyranny.  We never get to celebrate Mother’s Day, Valentine’s, Christmas or anything else.  So finally we have found a holiday on a day that we are not so busy and we can enjoy a day of fun with the rest of the world.  This too will be ruined when some floral industry consultant decides to create a holiday around people sending one another Foolish Flowers! For now we are relaxed and looking forward to April Fools 2012.

The Pearl Rose is history for now.  Maybe someday someone will be able to cross-breed oysters and roses and pearls will be come from roses. Until then life is normal and we can all go back to being true romantics by wooing our honeys with vases and vases of the most gorgeous long-stemmed roses…

It really was The Fun Side of Flowers!

Starbright Floral Design is located in “The Heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District”.  We deliver the most amazing blooms and the coolest floral compositions imaginable to anyone, anywhere  and at any time (except in the overnight hours and to uninhabited places, war zones and to merchant marine vessels while sailing the high seas).

Give  us a call at 800-520-8999 or better yet visit our website at www.starflor.com or our e-commerce portal (where you can buy really great flowers) at www.starbrightnyc.com.  Stop by and  meet us, give us a call or drop us a line.  Tell us you want a dozen pearl roses and we will all smile!

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




Amaryllis – Our Plant Care Series Continues

The Glorious Amaryllis
A bloom with ties to Greek Mythology...

Amaryllis-Beauty without the Beast of Burdensome Care

The Amaryllis, which features large, gorgeous trumpet-like flowers, is a popular gift come the wintertime.  Did you know the Greek mythological tale from which it gets its name?

Amaryllis was a shepherdess who loved a conceited shepherd. The shepherd, presumably a part-time botanist, said he would only love her if she created a flower.  Ingenuity being one of the many admirable qualities of Greeks, she stabbed herself in the heart in order to create a beautiful red blossom.

If you received an Amaryllis plant at any time this fall or winter,  its blooms have probably been open for a few weeks.  Generally they will bloom from 7-10 weeks.  To prolong the life of the bloom, keep the plant in a shaded cool room (65 F).   Keeping a blooming amaryllis in a bright room is not the best environment.  Sunlight and excessive warmth will cause the bloom to wither.  The plant loves moisture so keep the soil wet, but not over-watered.

With proper care, this gift is a gift that will keep on giving.  The bulb will flower again for years to come and each time it will bring a sense of excitement and accomplishment.  Regardless of the variety, from various shades of red, white, salmon, and pink, these flowers deserve the limited effort necessary to bring them back to bloom.  Of all flowering bulbs (tulips, hyacinth, etc), amaryllis is the easiest to bring to bloom over and over again.

After-Bloom Care

After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, unlike those box of chocolates, this gift can be brought back to enjoy again.  After flowering, cut the old flowers from the stem just in back of the bloom, removing the green ‘lump’ in back of the blossom, and the thin stem connecting the bloom to the main flower stem.  When the stem starts to sag and turn yellow, cut it back to the top of the bulb.

Continue to water and fertilize as with any plant all summer, or for at least 5-6 months, allowing the leaves to fully develop and grow. When the leaves begin to yellow, which normally occurs in the early fall, cut the leaves back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb.

Put the potted amaryllis in a cool (55 degrees F), dimly-lit place such as a cellar for 6-8 weeks.   If storing in a refrigerator, do not store amaryllis with apples.  The apples give off ethylene gasses which will sterilize the bulbs and prevent future blooms.
After 6 weeks you should water the potted bulb ONCE thoroughly, from top and bottom of the pot and place in a normal indoor temperature.  Do not water regularly until new green growth appears at the top of the neck. If the soil dries out before that time, water no more than once per week.  Excessive watering will rot the bulb and prevent its bloom.   Typically the bulbs will re-bloom in 8 weeks.

Repeat these instructions and enjoy the amaryllis year after year…

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”



Flowers… The “Feel Good” Medicine

Bright Colors and Sunshine
Blooms make us all happy!

Flowers make people happy and bring out smiles. Are you skeptical?  Try it! Go to a local florist (Starbright Floral Design), call one (800.520.8999) or visit a floral website (www.starflor.com) and send someone something small and stylish.  Sit back and wait for a reaction.

As I have stated in earlier columns, the best reason ever to send flowers is “just because”. Sure there are the standard occasions (birthdays maternity and the like) but those are almost expected (predictable I would say). It is the spontaneity of the moment that brightens a day.  Flowers pack thunder in the world of positive feelings and emotions.   Flowers on someone’s desk in the middle of the day (when it is a total surprise) is emotional firepower.

Think about this: You say to someone “have a good day” and more often than not they will say “thanks, I’ll try”. Then you think to yourself: “No I mean it! I want you to have a good day”. So off you are to your florist outlet and you send flowers. An hour later they arrive with an appropriately witty card. Question: how hard does that person have to try to have a good day after they see the bright colors, the vibrant varieties and the fragrance that brings them to life?  Chances are that you did not just cause that person to have a good day, but more like a great week!

For the next seven days (or so), the person sees your flowers first thing in the morning or a soon as they arrive in the office and all they do is think of you. They think of the great friend that gifted them a smile!  Imagine your friend ever so carefully changing the water every day, cutting the bottom of the stems and taking care of YOUR flowers!  Why do they do this?  They want the flowers to live longer, the feeling to last.

What’s more, you feel good too.  The real bonus is how it made you feel.  When we do something nice for someone else, we invariably feel good too.  It is impossible to receive a smile and not smile back. When someone flat-out says “you made my day” or “you sure turned this one around for me”, you will defy gravity.  You will walk on air. Your confidence will rise and you will feel like you can do anything.  You are a champ.

Practicing random acts of kindness is something we all like to do. Finding the right random act is always the challenge. So whether it is your mom, your lover, a friend, your work subordinate (or boss) or even a client; find the right words for the card and let the flowers do the rest.

These thoughts are brought to you by Starbright Floral Design. We are located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District and we specialize in turning average days into great ones! Yes, we are in the mood altering business. We send flowers everywhere and to everyone.

Starbright will deliver bright, happy and smile-bringing flowers anywhere in New York City, anywhere in the USA or even worldwide. We invite you to visit our website (www.starflor.com), give us a call (1.800.520.8999) or visit us at (150 West 28th Street). We would love to meet you and help shock someone special!

Hope you have a great day!


The Official Florist

Starbright Floral Design is the most reviewed and highest rated florist on Citysearch.com.

Website: www.starflor.com

E-Commerce Portal: www.starbrightnyc.com


150 West 28th Street, Studio 201

New York City

Getting Married? Mistakes to Avoid With Your Flowers…

So you decided to get married? Congratulations!  Your special day is coming!  It is truly a big day for you, your partner, your family and your partner’s family!  A big congratulations to you all…

Tom and I were talking and in casual conversation the subject turned to what some of  the more common mistakes are that brides make when planning their wedding.  Well in his own words, some of the pitfalls… Read On!

Meet the Starbright Team!

In my humble opinion, the most common mistake couples make in regards to their wedding flowers is listing too much to other people’s opinions.  A wedding celebration should ultimately be a reflection of the couple and THEIR tastes, not a conglomeration of their friends and family’s style.

I often find myself repeating the mantra, “It’s your day, it’s about you two!”  Brides are commonly overly concerned with what their guest’s opinions may be and often fear being judged for making certain bold choices.   If your friends are critical and negative in regards to the choices you’ve made, are they really friends worth having?

Selecting décor that is opposition to the colors or architecture of the venue is another error that is common.  Don’t fight it!  Go with it!  It will always look better if you chose a color scheme that works within the room’s existing décor.  If you don’t have the budget to drape the room completely and create a blank slate, you will always have a more harmonious design scheme if you complement the surroundings.

You will spend less of your budget if you are not trying to distract from or cover over the undesired elements of the room’s trappings.

Here in New York City we have many venues with incredible views.  If your venue has stunning skyline or river views, why distract your quests with overly complicated, tall centerpieces?

Generally, you’ve paid a pretty penny for the view!  Why take away from that?!  I would suggest doing a lower centerpiece so that your guests’ eyes go toward that stunning vista.  Perhaps it would be better to create a composite style of arrangement with multiple vases that echo the skyline your quests will be spend the evening admiring.

A little bit about Starbright Floral Design… Starbright is a full-service florist that offers a wide array of services to its clientele.  We are located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District (on 28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue).  We serve the general public, our corporate clientele and the Manhattan Hospitality and Special Events Industry all from one central location. Delivery of Flowers, Plants and all types of gifts is available from our store at 150 West 28th Street, by phone at 800.520.8999 or by visiting our website at www.starflor.com.  We hope to see you soon!

We LOVE the Newest Member of the Starbright Family!

Every year in January, Tom Sebenius (our Creative Director) takes a sabbatical to go to his home state of California to work decorating floats for the Rose Bowl Parade.  This past January there was a professor and some students from BYU that were a part of the creative team in Pasadena as well.  Through good old fashioned networking, Tom heard about Jaime Garrett (A BYU – Idaho) who was just dying to find an internship in a high impact florist and would just be thrilled with a New York City experience in the Summer of 2010.

After a few back and forth emails, Jaime packed her bags from Idaho and headed East for the summer.  She has been  with us for about six weeks now, taking in the New York City experience and having the time of her life in our store.  All I can say is that I truly hope that she is enjoying her time with us and getting as much out of this experience as we are by having met her.  Jaime is an amazing, dedicated and super dynamic person that will truly be missed when she heads back to school at the end of her internship.

They say that a worthwhile life is a life that you spend positively touching the lives of others.  Jaime has touched us all with  her smile, her positive outlook and her attention to detail.  A true pro in the making.  JAIME:  You have made lifelong friends at Starbright!

Here is a short version of Jaime’s experience at Starbright in her own words:

I am Jaime Garrett and I am a student at Brigham Young University Idaho. I am currently studying horticulture with a floral design emphasis. One requirement of a horticulture major is to do an internship. Ever since I learned that I would need to do an internship, I knew I wanted to intern in New York.  There was something about the city the never sleeps that always intrigued me.  So, when the time came for me to find an internship I made a list of different floral shops and began my hunt to find the right place for me. I found Starbright Floral Design through students and teachers from school who had worked with some of the Starbright team at the Pasadena Rose Parade. When Starbright said they were willing to take me on for the summer I could not have been more excited.

When I arrived in New York I was overwhelmed with the millions of people, the crazy taxi drivers and the very confusing subway system.  But, I was not going to let a little culture shock bring me down! I was ready to start work at Starbright. Things were definitely different and new to me when I first started working and I had a lot to learn.  I was excited to learn more and adapt to their style of design. Everything about they way the designed impressed me and made me want to learn more.

I have now been working at Starbright for a few weeks and am really enjoying myself. Some of the things I have had the great experience to be part of are; working on events and parties, working on site at hotels, and helping with wedding work. I have learned more than I could ever imagine and am still learning more each day. My time here is not done, and I am really grateful for that!

A few words  about Starbright Floral Design:

We are a premier New York City Florist (highest rated on Google and Citysearch) that specializes in décor (plant and cut flower) for corporate and institutional clientele.  Our plantings and floral is featured in many prominent New York City offices, hotels and restaurants throughout Manhattan (references are available).  We are permanent members of NYC & Company and HSMAI.  Our presence in the corporate community has been well documented since our inception in 1994.

Starbright is located in New York City’s Historic Flower District on 28th Street.  Our location enables us to provide outstanding service and prices while offering displays whose freshness is at its peak.

You may visit us online at www.starflor.com or call us at 800.520.8999

Starbright Goes to School… Kindergarten to be exact!

It is rare that you can have this much fun at work!  It is even more  rare when you can say that the work you do is this rewarding….  About a week ago a bunch of folks from the Starbright team, headed down the block in our neighborhood to a local school and spent some time with some really young farmers and gardeners.

School children at that young age can really change your  perspective  with the way they see  things and their eagerness to learn.  The questions they ask and the curiosities that they seek to satisfy.  For the rest of the school year they will watch their seedlings grow and their imagination will run wild.  Going to the farmer’s market will never  be the same for them, the plant that they will help mom water on their terrace, or the impatiens outside their building will have a whole new meaning.

Truth be told this experience  has a whole new meaning for us too.  Spending the day in the classroom enlightened our team on what the true rewards in life really are.  Our hats are off to their teachers who spend so much time and are  so dedicated to their daily lives.  Thank you for sharing such a moment with us.  We were enlightened and we learned more  than you can imagine!

About Starbright Floral Design – Starbright is a full service floral design studio and florist.  We server  the greater New York City community from our hub in the center of the historic flower district on 28th Street and 7th Avenue.  For more information on our organization and on the services that we provide, please visit our website at www.starflor.com or give us a call at 800-520-8999.  World wide delivery.  Amazing flowers, award winning designs and phenomenal reviews online.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday May the 9th is Mother’s Day.  While we stand ready to serve your every request and to send amazing flowers and gifts to every mom in Manhattan and the world over, we want to remind you to send your love and your gratitude in your own special way.  This Sunday, let the phones ring, the “I love you’s” flow, the embraces warm and plenty and the flowers bloom! Every mom is special, every Mom is an MVP and we love them all.

For amazing flowers, designs that leave moms all over gasping for air… Give us a call (800-520-8999)  or visit our website at www.starflor.com.  Starbright Floral Design is the most reviewed florist on the web and we even have a streak of over 65 five star reviews!  Worldwide delivery, based in Manhattan with our own store and incredible flowers.  We promise to make mom smile!

Mother's Day is Sunday May 9th.  Send Mom incredible flowers!
Every Mom is Special to Someone!

Write a Card and only THEN Send Flowers!

A vase of mixed spring flowers with the right message, says it all...

It is impossible to count the number of calls we get where someone asks us to prepare a bouquet for a business associate, a loved one, a  friend in need of a cheer and everything goes as planned, EXCEPT when we ask “and what would you like the card to say?”!

Dumbfounded by the thought of writing a card, our client will say something like: “I don’t know… Love, your husband Mark” (like the recipient is likely to have two husbands and the clarification by name will eliminate the confusion!  Or we get – “You do this all the time, write something for me!!”.   There are countless scenarios to the above vignettes that we encounter daily.

Dear Client:  It is the message on the card your inscription that makes the gift all the more memorable.  Even IF you are a terrible writer (I submit there is no such thing), you can still think of something clever to say.  The problem is that we don’t plan the card.  Flowers are a spur of the moment purchase or a MUST DO like Valentine’s or Mother’s Day and we place our order without putting thought into the card.  Yes the flowers will perish; but a well said card, a clever card, will be saved forever.  A well thought card will make the scent and the colors of your flowers last a lot longer in the person’s mind.  Years from now, you will get one of these: “Honey, I remember back about five years ago when you sent me those really special flowers when I was feeling down…”  She does not remember the flowers as much as she remembers your words that remind her of the flowers and the way they made her feel.

Your card can be something as simple as a date from the past that leaves the person wondering of the significance… until you tell them.  It can be cleaver humor like “I love you but I am going to beat you!” sent the day before a competitive tennis date.  Or if you are a hopeless romantic – go ahead and spill the beans.  Let your card say what spoken words cannot.

It is far better to send a small token gift of flowers with a meaningful and memorable card than it is to send a big “over the top” bouquet signed “your husband”!  So take some time think about your special moments, think about what is cleaver to say and then say it!  A card without flowers does not say as much.  Flowers with a mediocre card, will keep you out of the doghouse.  Flowers with a really special message that is in words that are yours, will tidy up the whole package in a really nice bow and make the occasion super special!  It is the stuff that heroes are made of.

All of us at Starbright will always stand ready to help you with your gift selection and even to help you write the card.  The more information you give us about what you want to say and the more thought you have put into the occasion, the more can help.  It is all about how enthusiastic the WOW or the Thank You are after the flowers get there and how long the mood lasts!

A bit about Starbright: We are a full service florist and floral delivery service.  We occupy a loft space in the wholesale flower district on 28th Street in Manhattan.  Within our own delivery area we create all our own arrangements by our master designers.  In other locales throughout the US, we have partnered with selected florists that stand by the same code that we have.  It has taken us fifteen years to build our list of partners and we stand by each and every one.  This gives us the ability to bring you custom made floral creations in Manhattan and beyond.  We can be reached at 800.520.8999 or on the web at www.starflor.com.

Citysearch selected us as the #1 florist in Manhattan for 2009 and The Knot recommends us as the top selected shop to have for your wedding in New York City.  What makes us particularly proud of these accolades is that we live and work in a town that has many really-really good florists!  Of course, our work is only as good as the next bouquet we send for YOU!  We hope to hear from you soon and we will help you write the card!).

Roses – Creativity, Style and Love

A Sphere of Black Magic Roses
A lavander phaleonopsis orchid plant
A clutch bouquet of miniature calla lillies

Tom S. is our Creative Director and the Arbiter of Style for Starbright.  Tom sees into the future and keeps our design styles ahead of the curve.  For Valentine’s Day 2010 he has some thoughts to share and has written the article below… Enjoy!

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, I stop to ponder Gertrude Stein’s famous quote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.”  During this time of year, our store is inundated with requests for red rose arrangements.  It is not atypical to have over 15,000 long stem red roses in our fridge during the week of Valentine’s Day.  While roses are gorgeous and will always remain a popular declaration of one’s love and devotion, I have to agree with Stein.  A rose really IS a rose.

Luckily, we are prepared with other creative and unique options that should appeal to most couples.  Why limit yourself to a vase of red roses?  During the Valentine season, the price of roses can be shocking.  Our wholesale cost goes up, supplies of the best roses become scarce and customers can see that reflected in the price of a dozen roses.  Instead of roses, consider sending a lush, hand tied nosegay of eggplant colored calla lilies.  With their sculptural shape that has been eroticized by artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Robert Mapplethorpe, calla lilies should evoke a passionate response from any recipient.

Orchids are another option that will both delight and inspire.  The exotic shapes, textures and colors of the orchid speak to the tropical fantasies of many lovers.  During the winter months, wouldn’t it be wonderful to remind your loved one of your past trip to the islands?  Perhaps the flowers will help to promote a future trip.  One benefit of orchids that can not be overstated is their longevity.  While long stem roses typically last an average of five days, fresh cut orchids will remain lovely for up to two weeks.  An orchid plant can last months, and they are deceptively easy to care for.  For a masculine approach to the orchid, a floating cymbidium stem artfully arranged inside a glass cylinder is a very modern choice. This option is long lasting and costs about $25 less than a dozen roses.

If your other half is more traditional and may be disappointed if they don’t receive roses, let us become creative to come up with a special mixed arrangement.  Rather than the typical tall vase, try a tight and compact cube arrangement.  Not only will the flowers be easier to bring home, they will last longer!  Low and lush arrangements are a modern trend and appeal to most discerning costumers.  Hydrangea, tulips, and roses make a romantic mix certain to please even the most persnickety lover. Because the roses are being added to other flowers, the cost will be significantly less then a solo vase of roses.  While cost is often not the deciding factor when choosing a gift for someone special, in these times it is very nice to have some economical options.

As a floral designer, my opinion of roses may be negatively influenced by the scars and calluses I’ve acquired from years of Valentine’s Day thorns.  However, I have the unique opportunity to see the wide of variety of flowers available to customers during this romantic holiday.  While roses are certainly the star of the show, there are many flowers that are waiting in the wings for their moment to shine.  No matter what, when the flowers are sent with love, they transcend and aspire to more than Stein’s observation.  “A rose is a rose is a rose…” unless it comes from you!

About Starbright Floral Design: We are located in New York City in the heart of the historic flower district.  We are in a loft on the second floor of our building on 28th Street, right by Seventh Avenue.  We deliver to all of New York City ourselves (and beyond).  This holiday season we have some amazing Valentine’s styles for you to choose from.  Give us a call (800.520.8999), stop by (150 West 28th Street, Suite 201) or visit our website (www.starflor.com)

The USS New York (LPD 21) is Comming!

USS-NYOn the 5th of November we are proudly involved in the making of history at New York Harbor.

The USS New York is coming to town and is being commissioned on the West Side of Manhattan.  The newest ship of the United States Navy has its bow stern made of over seven tons of steel from the World Trade Center.  For all of us at Starbright Floral Design it is a very special moment.  We will see the the ship rise and sail the waters of the world from what once was.

This is a special time for all of us At Starbright.  On the 12th of September in 2001 we were at the Red Cross Relief Center in Lower Manhattan and we helped provide comfort to all the volunteers who worked at Ground Zero from the very first day.  Our work there ended during the December holiday season when we decorated all of the areas that were affected.  Together with the Port Authority we did everything we possibly could to bring seasonal spirit and joy early on.

We witnessed the steel leaving the site knowing that it was going far away and never to be seen again.  Now almost a decade  later,  the memory has come full circle and we are all very proud of what has become now of what was then.  Starbright Floral Design has been designated an official “Friend” of the USS New York Commissioning Committee and we will be providing the decor (balloons, flowers) for the festivities that will be taking place at the top floor of Seven World Trade on the 5th of November.

There are many interesting, fun and historical events that are taking place over a ten day period in New York City.  We highly recommend that you join the fun and be a part of this history making event.

To learn more about the USS New York and the calendar of events surrounding the commissioning of the ship, please visit the website at www.ussny.org.  It is really interesting.

To order great flowers, or to learn more about Starbright Floral Design, well we have a website too! www.starflor.com

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