Goodbye April Showers – Hello May Flowers!

While the lingering effects from a long, cold winter are finally starting to make way for a long overdue springtime, it still comes as a surprise to most of us that May is here already – but we couldn’t be happier, because April showers always bring May flowers!

May is the perfect time to celebrate with flowers – all month long! In fact, the very first day of the month is May Day – a celebration of spring that is traditionally celebrated by giving “May baskets” made up of flowers or sweets – or a combination of the two – that is usually left anonymously on the doorsteps of neighbors.

To many, this may seem like a strange way to celebrate a holiday, especially considering that the givers of May baskets would usually ring the doorbell and run away – leaving the recipient to open the door and find nothing but a basket of flowers!

In some communities, leaving a May basket at someone’s door was an excellent opportunity to express romantic interest because tradition called for the recipient to give chase and attempt to steal a kiss from the person who hung the basket. In other parts of the country, however, it was considered a disgrace if the flower giver was caught by the recipient.

May Day isn’t nearly as popular in this country as it was a century ago, and today the concept seems quaint and dated to many people in this era of text messages and Snapchat, but this throwback to simpler times is still an official holiday in 66 countries around the world.

While no longer as common in the United States, May Day celebrations still take place in some regions of the country. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day, which is a day to celebrate the culture of the island and Native Hawaiians.

Mother’s Day

Of course, the most obvious occasion for giving flowers during the month of May is Mother’s Day. This year we celebrate mom on Sunday, May 13.

Classic Elegance by Topper’s European Floral Design

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year when it comes to flowers, greeting cards, phone calls and restaurant reservations – and with good reason. It’s often hard to find appropriate ways to express gratitude to someone so important and dear to us as our mothers, but nearly everyone loves flowers!

For florists, Mother’s Day is one of our busiest times of the year, and also one of our favorites. Unlike many of the other holidays were certain colors or types of flowers tend to dominate, (like red roses on Valentine’s Day) Mother’s Day typically offers more freedom to design something special and truly unique – that mom is sure to love!

Here at Topper’s European Floral Design, we’ve been planning for this special day since the end of Valentine’s Day, and we’re ready to help you find something perfect for your mom. We are featuring new designs especially for this season as well as some old favorites, and of course, we can always custom-design something especially for you so that you can truly give your mom a one-of-a-kind gift this Mother’s Day.

But That’s Not All…

Between Mother’s Day, May Day, and flowers popping up everywhere we turn, May is truly the month of flowers, but there are many more ways to celebrate with flowers this month.

Memorial Day is just around the corner – this year it falls on Monday, May 28. Traditionally observed as a day to honor those who have died in military service, this holiday also marks the unofficial start of summer. If you are attending a picnic or observance on Memorial Day, flowers are always an appropriate way to show gratitude and appreciation.

May is also the time for graduations for many students across the country, as well an excellent chance for a gift to say “thanks” to all those teachers and educators who worked so hard throughout the year.

Whatever your reason, say it with flowers this May with the help of your friends at Topper’s European Floral Design. No matter the occasion, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift. Give us a call or come in and see us for all your floral needs – and we hope your May is beautiful and bright!

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Springtime Means Tulip Time!

Sometimes it feels like winter will never end, but every year around this time we’re inevitably rewarded with the wonders of spring. Of course, one of the most telling signs of spring – and one of our favorites – is the arrival of tulips!

Despite their brief blooming period, which ranges from a few days to just over a week, tulips are the world’s third most popular flower – trailing only roses and chrysanthemums. With their nearly perfect symmetry made up of elegant lines and rich vibrant colors, it’s no wonder why these beautiful flowers are so popular.

Native to central Asia, and later introduced to Turkey, tulips quickly became an important part of the Turkish culture and remain Turkey’s national flower.

Their popularity really took off around 1560, however, when the flowers were introduced to the Netherlands and were so prized there that they caused the entire economy to collapse. During the height of during that era, a single tulip bulb was worth more than ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman – making them more valuable than most houses.

True Love Tulips by Topper’s European Floral Design

Today, the Dutch still lead the world in tulip production by growing and producing around three billion tulips each year, although the prices have dropped significantly since then.

As a member of the lily family, tulips are classified as herbaceous perennials, although their bulbs differ from other species in that they are living plants that house self-contained nutrients. When the bulb grows into the flower, the original bulb will disappear, and a clone bulb will form in its place.

Tulips have three petals and three sepals, which are almost the same size and shape as the petals making them appear to have six to a bulb. They can also be found in nearly every color of the rainbow with red being the most popular. Streaking tulips boast two colors instead of one solid color. This unique combination was originally the result of a viral infection, although in modern times this unusual coloring is a deliberate result of breeding.

No matter which color you choose, tulips are an intriguing flower with a rich history – and a terrific choice when sending flowers in the spring. Their extremely vibrant colors make a statement and they also look great in centerpieces for your home or office environment.

Say hello to spring with some tulips from Topper’s European Floral Design. We have many different options for every different occasion including one of our most popular designs, the True Love Tulips. Call us today or order online to enjoy this wonderful springtime treat.

Did You Know?

  • There are more than 150 different species of tulips with over 3,000 different varieties known to exist.
  • Tulip petals are edible and can be used as a substitute for onions in many recipes, although many people find their taste extremely unpleasant.
  • Tulips continue to grow up to one extra inch after they’re cut.
  • Tulips will bend and twist to grow towards light – even in a vase.
  • By 1636, tulips were traded on exchanges in Dutch cities. The skyrocketing prices caused many people to become suddenly rich or lose fortunes overnight.
  • In the Netherlands, tulips represent the briefness of life, but in Turkish culture, they’re a symbol of paradise on earth and have achieved a nearly-divine status.
  • Tulips have a short lifespan that typically only lasts for 3-7 days.
  • A sap released by daffodils cause tulips to wilt if the two flowers are arranged together.
  • Paul McCartney and Fats Domino are among a list of people who have had tulips named after them.

Pantone’s color of the year for 2018 is Ultra Violet

Image: Pantone

As a nod to inventiveness and imagination – with a little tribute to Prince mixed in for good measure – Pantone has chosen Ultra Violet as color of the year for 2018.

Ultra Violet (18-3838) is a deep, rich blue-based purple that, according to Pantone, communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking. Pantone goes on to describe their pick of the provocative purple shade as a tribute to the unknown

This year’s color selection is a stark contrast to the past four years which have consisted of softer and more muted colors such as Greenery in 2017, the duo of Rose Quartz and the light blue Serenity in 2016, along with the wine-colored Marsala of 2015. Prior to that, Pantone used a lighter shade of purple in 2014 with their selection of Radiant Orchid.

Amsterdam by Topper’s European Floral Design

The bold purple may be a curious choice for some, but a closer look reveals that the opposing colors that make up Ultra Violet – red and blue – are largely symbolic of the polarizing American political climate of 2017 along with the hope that we can become more unified in 2018.

Aside from the political overtones, Ultra Violet is just a fun color that comes at a time when we could all use a little more fun in our lives. The dynamic shade of Purple also fits perfectly in the floral industry since it can be such an eye-catching accent color.

Lilacs, sage, clematis, and allium are close matches for Ultra Violet, but there are other options as well. Carnations, Lily of the Nile, anemones, hyacinth, chrysanthemums, hydrangea, and orchids can also be closely matched to Ultra Violet, as can a multitude of other varieties.

Now is your chance to jump on this new trend in its infancy. Your friends at Topper’s European Floral Design are ready to help you select the perfect bouquet featuring 2018’s hottest color – Ultra Violet. Only time will tell if this year’s color of the year is prophecy, but even if not, it’s still a fun shade to use.

Image: Pantone

How Did Poppies Become the Symbol of Veterans Day?

Honoring service members has been a hot-button issue in our country as of late. No matter what your political stance is on the topic, we can surely all agree that those who served this great country deserve to be recognized, and Veterans Day, on Friday, November 10, is an opportunity to do just that.

Veterans Day, which is observed annually on November 11 (or on Friday, November 10 if the 11th falls on a Saturday – as is the case this year), is often confused with the more widely-recognized Memorial Day, but there is a distinct difference between the two holidays.

Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military, while Veterans Day is meant to honor the service of all U.S. military veterans. So, technically, thanking a living vet for their service on Memorial Day is missing the intended meaning of the holiday. Obviously, there isn’t a “wrong” time to thank a veteran, but if you’re going to pick a day to do so, Veterans Day is it!

Just how did this holiday get its start? It all started back in 1926 when the U.S. Congress adopted a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for an observance of November 11 – notable because World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

It took 12 years for a Congressional Act to officially make the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday. Originally known as Armistice Day in the United States, the name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.

Poppies

Like many other holidays, Veterans Day has a direct tie to the floral industry with poppies being symbolic of the observance. Many poppy wreaths are laid at war memorials and small artificial poppies are worn on clothing to commemorate this patriotic holiday.

Inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” in which the opening lines refer to poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the soil from soldiers’ graves in the Flanders region of Belgium, these small red flowers were adopted by the National American Legion as their official symbol of remembrance in 1920.

The Royal British Legion soon after adopted the poppy as their symbol, as did veterans’ groups in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as a host of other countries.

Although they are closely related, the poppies used for Veterans Day (as well as Memorial Day) are not the same species as the opium poppy which is grown as a field crop to produce opium and poppy seeds. Opium poppies were once prohibited in the United States under the Opium Poppy Control Act of 1942, however, the law has since been repealed and the law of poppy cultivation in the U.S. is now somewhat vague and remains controversial.

Coincidently, the red remembrance poppies aren’t free from controversy of their own. In fact, some anti-war groups view the remembrance poppy as a political symbol of war and conflict. The controversy has even spread to the sports world and particularly European soccer clubs where remembrance poppies are a common occurrence on team uniforms in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

Some groups have adopted white poppies as an alternative to, or an accompaniment to, red poppies as a way to symbolize peace without glamorizing war. Additionally, purple poppies are sometimes used in Britain to commemorate animals that have been victims of war.

Regardless of the controversies surrounding this little red flower, you’re probably going to see them “popping” up around town this week. When you do, remember to take a moment to give thanks to all the veterans who serve – or have served – our country.

Bringing Back Brown

Quiet Expressions by Topper’s European Floral Design

Every season brings with it a new “hot” color pallet that dictates everything from high fashion to floral designs. Certain decades are even defined by the colors that were popular during that particular era.

We have to reach way back to the 1970s to truly find the roots of this season’s hottest color resurgence, and while many people may try to forget some of the gaudy looks of the disco era, it’s about time that we embrace brown once again.

After falling from its place of prominence in the 70s, brown’s popularity has been slow to recover, which can only mean that this earthy tone is long overdue for a comeback, especially now that autumn is upon us. After years of disrespect, the color brown is back in a big way this fall.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the resurgence of the color brown is because it is decidedly anti-tech. In fact, it’s nearly polar opposite of the whites, greys, silvers and neon hues that are increasingly popular in today’s digital world. While most technology is designed to get your attention, brown is more comfortable existing in the background – blending in and often hiding in plain sight.

In color psychology, the color brown represents quality, honesty, hard work and reliability while also reflecting a feeling of calmness and comfort. Brown is trustworthy, loyal and dependable in a realistic and practical way. It’s not a flashy color, that much is for sure, but the rugged, natural color takes a certain confidence to pull off.

Brown isn’t often used as the primary color in most floral applications – in fact, it is one of the least preferred colors of the western world – but it is a very important contrast color, especially when paired with the oranges and yellows of traditional fall designs. Best of all, it acts as a soothing presence to help us deal with the stresses of modern life – something we can probably all use a little more of in our lives!

A Message From Your Friends at Topper’s European Floral Design

Dear Friends,

The term “family owned and operated,” has been tossed around over and over without much significance. But it still means something to us. Topper’s European Floral Design truly is a family-owned retail florist, and we take a lot of pride in that.

At Topper’s, we understand that when you place an order with us, you also place trust in our hands. We also know that in order to keep your business in the future, we must continue to earn your trust with expectations we will always strive to exceed.

It all starts with a guarantee, designed for you (our customers), that by accepting the request to fulfill your order, we will ensure that your gift or design will be created to value selected.

Because we are working with perishable products of nature, there may be circumstances when the exact product you order is out of stock, or perhaps our stock on hand may not be up to the quality standards that our family has established for Topper’s European Floral Design.

Should substitutions be necessary, we will use our very best judgment in order to see that the value and timeliness of your delivery is accomplished. If we believe for any reason that may not be possible, we will notify you immediately.

We understand there are many options when it comes to buying flowers and we also know when you see a deal that sounds “too good to be true,” beware, because it usually is – and that is why your trust is so important to us. We strive to make every gift and design from Topper’s one that we’re proud to put our name on and we refuse to compromise on the quality and value that you expect from us.

Thank you for trusting us to represent your good taste with a gift, and name you can trust!

– Your Friends at Topper’s European Floral Design

Need to send flowers to someone on Cat Island? Yes We Can!

Flowers are the international language and florists are the messenger. Did you know? You can count on Topper’s European Floral Design, your local florist here in Seattle can send flowers ANYWHERE in the world!

Sending flowers across town? That’s easy. How about, Cat Island, Japan?

A short ferry ride from Japan’s east coast, Tashirojima is a small island boasting a population of around 100 people. That doesn’t sound too unusual until you discover that the humans on the island are outnumbered 8-1 by feral cats!

Originally the cats were encouraged as the island produced silk and mice are a natural predator of silkworms. Local fishermen regarded them as good luck and the island even has a cat shrine, along with newly built cat-shaped cabins for tourists to stay in. It goes without saying that there are no dogs allowed.

Okay, sending flowers there might be a little tricky, but suddenly Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t seem so far away anymore – and we can definitely deliver flowers there!

The bottom line is that the best way to send flowers – whether in town or out of town – is to always think local! Topper’s European Floral Design is your connection to the world. Give us a real challenge and bring it on, we’re ready.

Did you know we are much more than just flowers? How about chocolate baskets or a seafood basket? If that’s starting to sound interesting then welcome to our industry, it’s fast, fun and exciting! With our Yes We Can attitude we can make it all happen for you; all you have to do is ask!

Why take chances with some out-of-town company you’ve never heard of when you can rest assured with an unconditional guarantee from a name you trust?

We specialize in beautiful florals imported from around the globe that we create and customize with your personalized message and deliver it wherever you desire. So next time an occasion arises and you want to send flowers or gifts, just give us a call and we’ll be ready to exceed your expectations – even if you want them delivered to Cat Island.