It’s Time to Think Spring!

Belle by Topper's European Floral Design

Belle by Topper’s European Floral Design

March is here at last, which can only mean that it’s time to think spring! While most of the country enjoyed a relatively mild winter, it’s always nice to know warmer days are ahead and summer is just around the corner (and don’t forget to set your clocks forward next weekend – March 12).

But before we start thinking about summer, it’s time to celebrate spring and all of the wonderful imagery and rejuvenating energy it provides. In fact, one reason we love spring so much is that it’s nearly impossible to think about spring without thinking about flowers! From tulips to daffodils, and everything in between.

We may be a few weeks away from the “official” start of spring, but by this point, many of us are enjoying the blooming of the deciduous magnolias, cherries, and quince. Spring is a time for growth, new beginnings, and for many, a welcome reward for several months of being cooped up indoors.

Summer will be here before you know it, but don’t go digging out the flip-flops just yet. Right now it’s time to enjoy this sensational season – and all it has to offer.

St. Patrick’s Day

One sure sign that spring has sprung is the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day. No matter who you are, or where you’re from, we’re all a little green on March 17. This particular holiday holds different meanings for everyone, but many use it as an opportunity to get out and have some fun! Of course, one of our favorite things about St. Patrick’s Day is that it features the iconic shamrock!

Shamrocks are a symbol of Ireland and were said to have been used by St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. Interestingly, there is not a consensus over the exact botanical species of clover that is the “true” shamrock, but instead, the name is sort of a catch-all for a number of three-leaved clovers.

Sunshine by Topper's European Floral Design

Sunshine by Topper’s European Floral Design

Easter

Easter takes place this year on April 16, and what better way to mark the occasion than with an Easter lily? This hearty plant bears a number of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers and is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ that is celebrated during Easter. If traditional flowers are more your style, pastel-colored floral designs are also very popular during the Easter season.

May Day

One holiday that often gets overlooked is May Day. Celebrated each year on the first day of May, this holiday originates from an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and evolved into a secular celebration. Although fading in popularity, it used to be tradition to make “May baskets” full of flowers and sweets and leave them anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.

That’s not all…

There are so many more reasons to love spring and so many more reasons to shop for flowers – as if you needed a reason! Spring also ushers in prom season for many high school students as well as the start of wedding season and graduations. As the school year draws to a close, this is also the perfect time of year to thank teachers, coaches, school administrators and facility for all their hard work during the school year. Of course, flowers are an excellent way to do just that. Whatever the reason or occasion, Topper’s European Floral Design is here to help you find the perfect gift. Don’t forget to pick some out for yourself as well! Give us a call, or stop in today – we’re always happy to help.

International Women’s Day 2017 – Be Bold for Change

iwd-logo-portaitjpgInternational Women’s Day is a global celebration of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women that takes place on March 8. First observed in the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day is also a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to not only celebrate the achievements of women but also a chance to take action as an individual or organization to help raise visibility and awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity across the world.

Every person – women, men and non-binary people – can do their part in helping drive better outcomes for women by becoming responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender-inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186, so International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for ground-breaking action that can drive greater change for women.

What Can I Do?

  1. Running your own #BeBoldForChange International Women’s Day campaign is one of the most powerful ways you can influence how quickly gender parity is achieved. Decide which bold action you’d like to take – you can challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence, forge women’s advancement, celebrate women’s achievement, champion women’s education, or choose your own bold action. Ask your friends, coworkers, and colleagues to declare their bold action on the IWD website and use #BeBoldForChange selfies cards for social media amplification. You can also embed the #BeBoldForChange widget on your own website and call for others to declare their bold action.
  2. Host a #BeBoldForChange IWD event. Invite speakers to articulate and explain that exact moment when they themselves took bold action to help improve or develop an aspect of their own livelihood, career or business – or that of another woman’s or women’s status overall. You can also host a proactive discussion, build a “Bold Actions” wall and ask your audience to declare bold action via their phones.
  3. Share your support through social media by downloading and printing the #BeBoldForChange selfie card. Co-branding is encouraged and you can promote your support for bold action on any social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Youtube.

“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,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength. Do you part this year to make a difference; think globally and act locally!

Did You Forget Valentine’s Day?

Oh no – Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday! As the last few hours before Valentine’s Day quickly tick off the clock, now is the time when even the most hard-core procrastinators start to panic. If you still haven’t found that perfect gift, or if you simply forgot (it happens), no worries! You still have some outstanding options left, as long as you know where to look.

Valentines Magic by Topper's European Floral Design

Valentines Magic by Topper’s European Floral Design

Ordering a gift online and having it shipped is just too risky of an option this late in the game. Even with costly expedited shipping fees, there is still some lingering doubt that the correct item will be sent to the correct place at the right time. With so little time left and so little room for error, this option will probably end up being even more stressful than figuring out what to get in the first place.

Your best option now is to find someone who can help – and find them fast! Time may no longer be on your side, but luckily you have friends in the business who are happy to assist you with finding the perfect gifts – and they’re only a phone call away. Want something more than just flowers? Topper’s European Floral Design has you covered with balloons, teddy bears, chocolates, wine, champagne, and so much more!

Cupid's Arrow by Topper's European Floral Design

Cupid’s Arrow by Topper’s European Floral Design

Best of all, after you make that phone call you can rest assured, knowing that the perfect gift is already on its way to being carefully created, packaged and hand-delivered to your valentine in time for Valentine’s Day.

Our customer service representatives here at Topper’s European Floral Design are experts on last-minute gift ideas. Their “Yes We Can” commitment not only makes for a stress-free Valentine’s Day shopping experience but also makes you look like a hero in the eyes of your valentine for being so thoughtful and creative. It will be our little secret that you waited until the last minute!

Pictured here are a few of our most popular choices.

Do Roses Cost More on Valentine’s Day?

Is it true that roses cost more in early February than they do the rest of the year? The short answer is yes, but not just for consumers. Many people are led to believe that flower retailers artificially raise prices to stick it to desperate consumers, when if fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

toppersYes, roses cost more this time of year, but they also cost more for the florist, and the wholesaler, all the way down to the grower. The main reason is that the incredible demand for long-stem red roses on a single day puts a tremendous strain on the entire industry, and that affects everyone involved in the complex process of bringing fresh flowers to your door on Valentine’s Day.

In order for growers to meet the annual demand for red roses, they must time the growth of their flowers. This is accomplished by altering the rose plants’ growth cycle to optimize the harvest for February 14. By doing so, the growers must interrupt everyday production for several weeks in order to produce a bumper crop at precisely the right time. Unfortunately, the cost of stopping everyday production comes at a price, and that gets passed on down the line.

Is that the only reason?

That’s one reason for the price increase, but many additional factors come into play before the flowers reach the consumers. For starters, the unusually large harvest of roses can swell up to three times the normal volume that is typical for other times of the year. Since roses are processed manually, this necessitates hiring temporary laborers to help harvest and package the roses. Once the roses are ready to be shipped, importers are not only forced to pay more for the extra needed cargo space, but also for the extra trucks and drivers necessary to handle the extra volume.

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the years for florists, but our preparation for this holiday begins weeks – if not months – in advance. In order to meet demand, we must hire additional help, work longer hours, and rent additional delivery vans in order to make sure all the orders are delivered on or before the 14th.

Nobody likes to see the annual price spike for roses, but unfortunately, it’s an unavoidable result of supply and demand. With an increasingly crowded marketplace dominated by online-only flower shippers, the profit margins for local florists are razor thin compared to many other times of the year.

So, what’s the good news?

The good news is that we work very hard at Topper’s European Floral Design to keep costs low and prices competitive while never sacrificing quality or service for our customers. We understand the importance of this holiday to our customers and their loved ones and always do our best to exceed their expectations.

Whether it’s a dozen red roses or something else you had in mind for your sweetheart, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift. Remember, the earlier you order, the better! Do yourself a favor by not waiting until the last minute when items are picked over and delivery times are full. Make this Valentine’s Day one they’ll never forget, with the help of your friends at Topper’s European Floral Design.

2017 Floral Forecast

2017 has arrived, and this year is already shaping up to be a hot one in the floral industry. From exciting new color palettes to creative new textures, here are some trends to watch for this year.

greenery1Color My World

Pantone recently announced their pick for the 2017 ‘Color of the Year,’ and this year’s winner is one that ties in extremely well to the floral industry. In fact, the name itself – Greenery – is something that florists use every day!

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, the newly crowned Greenery is ‘nature’s neutral’ and is symbolic of new beginnings.

“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we year for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose,” Eiseman said.

Greenery is a very versatile color that is considered “trans-seasonal” and thus lends itself to many complementary floral color combinations, including last year’s co-colors of the year, Serenity, and Rose Quartz.

A Twist of Modern and Antiquity

Each fall, the Society of American Florists previews some trends in the floral industry that they think will be at the top of every fashion-forward list for the upcoming year. This time, SAF identified four trends to watch for in 2017.

  1. Photo by SAF

    Photo by SAF

    The French Connection – This trend is all about the beauty and romance that surrounds the French culture. Thoughts of cobblestone streets and quaint countryside cottages were the inspiration for this trend which features a color palette of reds with hints of chocolate, burnt orange, golden yellows, sage grey-greens, charcoal and muted pink. Featured flowers include multi-petaled blooms such as garden roses and peonies combined with textured berries in aged metallic pedestal containers and distressed ceramic vases.

  2. The Force of Nature – The focus of this trend is all about our love for nature and the connection we have within in our lives. Bright teals, ocean blues, and mossy greens, blend flawlessly with muted gray undertones in this nautical-inspired palette. Natural textures such as driftwood, sea glass and shells complete the trend with featured flowers including delphinium, hyacinth, veronica, and Nigella.
  3. Photo by SAF

    Photo by SAF

    Modern Wonders – This dynamic trend stresses simplicity. A blend of modern, sophisticated lines with furnishings from other cultures and metallic finishes; this trend unites young and old with a fresh new approach. Featured colors of this trend include plum red, lavender, taupe, gray and copper with floral selections including bold single blooms or uniquely shaped flowers like Protea, red ginger, cymbidium orchids and muted lavender rose shades.

  4. Into the Jungle – The final trend is an untamed, wild mix of jungle-inspired colors that excites the senses in a classic departure from more formal, muted palettes. Bright shades of orange, yellow and green mix with animal prints, hand-woven baskets, and hand-carved wooden vases, highlighted with tropical flowers and foliage including bamboo, moss, and cork.

Wedding Trends

In addition to the new trends in floral design, weddings also play an instrumental role in determining what’s hot and what’s not for the upcoming year. While each wedding is unique and the design choices are ultimately determined by the wedding party and their florists, certain trends signal a preview of what brides will be asking for in 2017.

Organic and natural is one of the top wedding trends for 2017, and loose, unstructured arrangements are becoming a popular choice for many of this year’s brides as many choose cascading bouquets that appear to flow like a floral waterfall.

Those with tastes leaning in the opposite direction may opt for a simple, more traditional round bouquet with bold eye-catching colors. Some brides may elect to take that simplicity a step further with bouquets consisting of only one to three flowers for a dynamic effect.

Of course, there are also the giant, oversized statement bouquets which have been popular in recent years. That trend has been strong for a while and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Whatever your style dictates, and however your tastes decide, consider giving some of this year’s floral trends a try, or better yet, start a trend of your own! We’re here to help you find the perfect bouquet for any occasion, and our design team will be happy to work with you to help make your world beautiful in 2017!

National Poinsettia Day – December 12

Dark red poinsettias, with dramatic lighting against a black backgroundToday is National Poinsettia Day. If you think this is just another one of those wacky observance days that seem to take place every single day of the year (yesterday was both National Mountain Day, and National Light a Candle Day) you’re in for a surprise. In fact, the United States has observed this official day since the mid-1800s in honor of the passing of the first American ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, and the plant he introduced to the U.S.

In 1828, Poinsett discovered the plant with vivid red leaves by the side of a road in Mexico and sent some cuttings home to his residence in South Carolina. Initially, many botanists dismissed the Poinsettia as a weed, but Poinsett’s work with the plant caused it to eventually gain acceptance as a holiday plant.

The holiday season is always a special time in the floral industry, and the star of the show is, of course, the venerable Poinsettia plant. According to a 2013 US Department of Agriculture report, Poinsettias are the highest selling potted flowering plant in America and account for nearly one-quarter of sales of all flowering potted plants throughout the entire year.

So how did the Poinsettia plant end up associated with Christmas? According to Mexican legend, a poor child who could not afford a gift for Christ on Christmas Eve was told that a humble gift, if given with love, would suffice in God’s eyes. The child carefully picked some weeds from the side of a road and brought them to church as a gift to make God happy. As she entered the church, the weeds bloomed into beautiful red and green flowers and the congregation was sure they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. From that day on, Poinsettias were known as ‘Flores de Noche Buena,’ or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night.’

Here are some Poinsettia fun facts:

  • Poinsettias are native to southern Mexico and have been used in religious ceremonies and also to decorate churches there for centuries as the red color is a symbol of purity.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not poisonous to people or pets, although the plant has been known to cause stomach irritation and discomfort if ingested. The danger to pets and children comes from the choking hazard of the fibrous parts of the plant, and not the toxicity.
  • Although every state in the U.S. grows Poinsettias commercially; for much of the past 100 years, the Ecke Ranch in California has grown over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and accounted for about 50% of the Poinsettias sold worldwide.
  • The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it was named after a person.
  • The Poinsettia has its own college football bowl game. The Poinsettia Bowl debuted in San Diego in 1952 and originally served as the military services championship game for four years before being resurrected in 2005. This year’s matchup features BYU vs. Wyoming on December 21.
  • In the wild, Poinsettias have been known to grow over 12 feet tall.

Flowers Are the Best Way to Beat the Holiday Blues

Funny and cute little girl with Santa hat holding a big poinsettiaThe holidays are upon us, but this season of good tidings and merry wishes can also be the source of stress for many people. From shopping and decorating to making travel plans and remembering loved ones no longer with us, it isn’t hard for even the jolliest elf to get a touch of the holiday blues.

Not surprisingly, sending flowers is a perfect way to spread some holiday cheer to others who are feeling less than joyful. Studies have proven time and again that sending flowers not only provides cheer and happiness to the recipient, but also provide an emotional boost to the sender as well.

In fact, studies by Rutgers University found that flowers are a “powerful positive emotion inducer,” and they provide a Duchene or true smile when presented to recipients. The studies also found a variety of other immediate and long-term emotional health benefits from flowers including: “Emotional reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory.”

Your one-stop holiday shop

Here at Topper’s European Floral Design, we’re busy preparing for the holiday rush, but we’re never too busy to help you pick out the perfect gift for that special someone. Whether you’re shopping for a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, or just want to send a special treat to let someone know you care and that you’re thinking about them, we have the perfect gift ideas for every occasion.

Classic Christmas Wreath by Topper's European Floral Design

Classic Christmas Wreath by Topper’s European Floral Design

Remember to get your orders in early to avoid the rush. Not only will you get the best value and widest selection earlier in the season, but you’ll also be able to cross one more thing off your list and reduce your own stress levels a bit. Leave the last-minute shopping to the amateurs by trusting one of our professional designers to create the perfect one-of-a-kind gift.

Not sure exactly what you’re looking for? No worries, we here to help you spread your holiday cheer! The possibilities are practically endless this time of year and we have an incredible variety to choose from. Whether you prefer a timeless classic like a festive poinsettia plant or something with a bit more flair like a beautiful hand-designed holiday floral arrangement, you’re in good hands at Topper’s European Floral Design.

But that’s not all!

In addition to our incredible selection of fresh flowers and plants, we also feature a fantastic variety of holiday gifts and décor that is sure to please anyone on your list! Stop in today to check out what we have in store for you this holiday season!