Dec 29

Flowers for the New Year

Ready for the new year?  If you’re planning on having guests over for dinner or just to hang out and ring in 2011, you’re probably thinking about decorations.  Well, flowers, of course, should be a part of your New Year’s décor. 

What kind of flowers should you use?  Well, traditionally people go with white flowers such as white roses, daisies, or orchids.  Sometimes people throw in a splash of color, usually red, but you can really use any flowers you want.  Some people still have very nice looking Christmas arrangements and reuse them.  Others go with arrangements designed for winter.  It really doesn’t matter what flowers you choose as long as they match the rest of your New Year’s decorations.

What about vases?  Traditionally, silver or clear vases seem to be the favorite, but again, anything goes if it fits with everything else.  Some winter or holiday arrangements have special containers that look like wrapped presents, glass ornaments, or a snowman’s face.  These can add a bit of fun to your table.

New Year’s flowers seem to mean different things to different people.  Just remember to put in your order with your florist now so that you have your flowers for the 31st.

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Dec 21

Ready for the Holidays?

Christmas is just about here…are you ready for the holidays?  If you’re wondering if you are, here’s a quick checklist.

Do you have all of your gifts bought?  If not, there’s still time to hit the mall.  However, ordering online may no longer be an option unless you want to pay for overnight shipping.

Have you sent out your Christmas cards?  Time is rapidly running out to do this and have the recipient receive your card before Christmas.

Is your house ready for company?  While you may not be ready to start cleaning yet (that probably should wait until the day before so the house doesn’t get messy again), you can make certain you have all of your decorations up and a plan for cleaning.  You can also pick out holiday music if you want to have some playing during your meal. 

Do you have the menu planned out if you’re hosting a dinner?  Do you have the food bought?  It’s important to know what you have on hand and what you need to buy so that you don’t start cooking and realize you’ve forgotten something.  Also be sure to let your friends and family know if they need to bring something now so they have time to prepare it.

Have you ordered your holiday flowers yet?  If not, there’s still time! 

That’s about it—if you can check off all of these items, you may just be ready for the holidays!

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Dec 16

Decorate with Candles

Many people like decorating with candles.  They use them as centerpieces on their tables, put them on shelves or end tables, and even sit some on their bathroom counters and light them while relaxing in the bath.  Here are some ideas on how to use candles in your home.

Some enjoy using candles that come in pretty jars or have unique shapes.  These people mainly buy candles for their visual appeal—sometimes they don’t even light them.  One way they use candles is to put them on the table as part of a centerpiece.  They might have long tapers centered in a flower arrangement, for example.  Others may put candles on a bookshelf as a way of breaking up the visual monotony of books.  For those who live in college dorm rooms, this may be the only way of using candles; many dorms do not allow candles to be burnt because it can be a fire hazard.

Others primarily buy candles for their scent.  For them, the visual look isn’t quite as important.  If you’re going to actually light your candles, you’ll find that you have to be careful about where you sit them.  You don’t want to light candles near books, for example, so that’s a concern.  You also have to be careful about wax dripping on things, especially if your candle is not in a jar or other container. 

One of the great things about candles is that they come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents.  This means it should be fairly easy to find candles that fit your specific decorating needs.  Whether you want a large, round candle, several tall, thin tapers, or even a novelty candle shaped like a pumpkin or a Buddha, you’ll be able to find one somewhere.  This is one of the reasons why decorating with candles is so popular.  It’s very easy to blend them into your decorating scheme, and you get the added bonus of bringing in fresh scents as well.

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Dec 14

Save the Vases!

We all love getting flowers, but we also know that flowers eventually wilt and must be thrown away or dried.  It’s sad when we decide that our flowers have reached the end of their lives, but just because you get rid of them doesn’t mean that you’re losing everything—don’t forget to save the vases!

Vases can be used for a number of different things.  The most obvious, of course, is to use them for other arrangements.  You can cut your own flowers to put in them or pick up a bouquet from a florist that matches the vase.  Either way, you can use a vase over and over.

But vases can be used for more than just flowers.  Some designer vases such as those that are shaped like a pumpkin or a Christmas tree ornament can be put out as decorates by themselves without any flowers in them.  Others can double as candle holders if you don’t mind getting wax in your vase.  If you have kids, you can use tall, thin vases for art projects.  Let kids fill them with colorful sand, for example, and then stop up the top (via a stopper or even by melting wax over it). 

Vases are often very beautiful, so why get rid of them?  Even if you don’t have a use for them, others might.  If you have a lot of vases that are simply taking up room in a cabinet, ask your friends and family members if they would like one.  If you still have a lot after this, you can donate them to your church or take them to a second-hand store.  No matter what you do with them, someone somewhere will get use out of your vases.

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Dec 07

Order Early for Christmas

It’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping.  In addition to the benefits of avoiding crowds and having all your shopping done well in advance of the holidays, one of the major reasons to start ordering your gifts early for Christmas is that you can be sure you get the products you want.  The same goes for ordering your Christmas flowers.  Flowers, especially traditionally Christmas flowers like poinsettias, are very popular and often sell out early.  

While poinsettias are the traditional Christmas flower, there are many other flowers that are popular for holiday decorating.  Red carnations, red roses, white chrysanthemums, and other red and white flowers are often used.  Many times, these flowers are accented with different greenery, creating an arrangement done in traditional Christmas colors.  Decorative vases and candles are also often used in these types of arrangements.

You certainly don’t want to find the perfect flower arrangement, go to order it, and find out that it’s out of stock.  Ordering early avoids this.  You’ll be guaranteed to receive a fresh bouquet of flowers just before Christmas that will look amazing on your table.

Here at Village Gardens, we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay outrageous delivery fees to get your flowers, no matter where you live.  That’s why we have our “same low delivery fee, next door or nationwide” policy.  No matter where you want your flowers delivered, it will be the same low price.  Sending flowers to your friend clear across the country won’t cost you any more than sending flowers to your neighbor.  If you want to send great looking flowers to your friends or relatives, no matter where they live, check out the amazing selection we have on our website or call our store.

Christmas Flowers  | Christmas Centerpieces  | Christmas Wreaths  | Christmas Poinsettias

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Dec 01

Overcome Winter Stress

The holiday season is here, and with it comes the beginnings of winter stress.  It seems like the colder months are almost always the most stressful, but it isn’t always due to the many major holidays that occur in this season.  Sometimes the weather is very stressful.  It can snow so much that you’re trapped in your home, or the roads can become incredibly icy and dangerous.  Then there’s the cold itself—it affects people in a number of ways, including making joints ache.  Seasonal Affective Disorder can also affect people in the winter because of the lack of sunlight.

So what can you do to overcome winter stress and have a happy holiday season?  Well, there are a number of things.  First of all, don’t let the holidays ruin the holidays for you.  That might sound a little odd and confusing, but think about it.  How many times do you get stressed over preparing the holiday meal, buying gifts for everyone, and decorating?  Why should the holidays cause so much stress when they’re supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness?  Don’t let the holidays get you down!  If shopping is stressful, try staying and home and shopping online so you don’t have to deal with the crowds.  Stressed over what to buy someone?  Remember it’s the thought, not the gift, that counts.  Many people are truly happy with gift cards to restaurants or stores.  It’s not a bad gift, and it shows that you care just as much as any other present. 

Cooking doesn’t have to be stressful, either.  One way of alleviating the stress here is to get others involved.  Have your children help set the table and prepare easy dishes.  Your spouse can help with the cooking.  You can also ask a few of your guests to come over early and help prepare the meal.  Many families enjoy working together to make their lovely holiday feast.

If the weather is the cause of your winter stress, there’s not a whole lot you can do to directly change it.  If you have the means, you can visit another, warmer location for the coldest months.  However, that’s not an option for most people.  Instead, prepare for the winter by purchasing an electric blanket for your bed.  You might also get a space heater for your office or bedroom.  These small heaters can really warm up an area and don’t cost nearly as much as turning up your thermostat does.  Another option is to purchase one of those “blankets with sleeves” like the Snuggie.  While some people make fun of them, they really can keep you warm during the winter!

The winter months may bring stress, but they also bring times of joy and happiness.  Good times with family during the holidays, playing in the snow, and looking at the beauty that winter brings are all things we can do to help relieve winter stress.

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Nov 29

Flowers for Hanukkah

Hanukkah, like many other holidays, often includes flowers as part of the decorations.  While most people immediately think of the menorah and the dreidel as symbols of this holiday, it’s not unusual for someone to have an arrangement of brightly colored flowers on the table for Hanukkah.  These bright flowers symbolize life and light, two of the main themes of Hanukkah.

However, buying or sending flowers for Hanukkah is a bit more difficult than it is for other holidays.  This is because Hanukkah is a moving holiday—it doesn’t always begin on the same day.  If you’re planning on getting an arrangement of fresh flowers for Hanukkah, be sure you know the date it begins on.  Order your arrangement several weeks in advance to make sure that the flowers you want are available and that the bouquet will be delivered on time.

Another thing to remember is that Hanukkah lasts for eight days so you need to pick flowers that will last for a good week or longer.  You don’t want your Hanukkah arrangement to start wilting before the celebration is over!

Many people select Hanukkah flowers in the traditional blue and white color scheme of the holiday, but that’s not a requirement.  Others go with any brightly colored arrangement or decorate with their favorite flowers.

Some people like to use arrangements that feature candles since candles are such a huge part of Hanukkah.  Again, this isn’t something you have to do, but it can be nice to light the candles on your table centerpiece along with the menorah.

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Nov 22

Thanksgiving Flowers

Thanksgiving is almost here!  That means it’s time for pumpkin pie, turkey, and all those other great holiday treats.  However, before you start eating, you’ve got to be sure you’ve got everything you need for the holiday, and that includes a wonderful bouquet of Thanksgiving flowers to grace your table.

There are several different types of Thanksgiving arrangements, and the one that works best for your table depends on the size of the table, how much food you plan on serving, and on if you have other places to put your flowers during the meal.  If you have a small table or a lot of dishes, you’ll either need a small arrangement or you’ll need to move the arrangement off the table during dinner.  That might be a problem if you don’t have another place to put the flowers.

So once you’ve decided on a large or small arrangement, it’s time to look at containers.  You can select a traditional vase, a non-traditional vase (such as a square one), or no vase at all.  If you’re going for a large spread, you won’t necessarily have it in a vase.  It may come in a basket, for example.  One of the more traditional Thanksgiving arrangements is the cornucopia.  These horns can hold flowers, greenery, acorns, and much more.

Once you’ve got your container selected, pick out your flowers.  If you’re ordering a pre-made arrangement, this is done.  If you’re having one created, you will want to look at flowers in fall colors, like orange, yellow, and red.  Your florist can help you select great fall flowers that are fresh and in stock.

Now, what about accessories?  Some floral arrangements don’t need anything else, and some come with taper candles.  You can, however, add your own candles to the arrangement.  You might also want to put a few small gourds or pumpkins on the table.  Many places sell little pilgrim or turkey figurines that also look nice.

So there you go!  Your Thanksgiving flowers are all set!  If you haven’t ordered yours yet, there’s still time.  Just head over to the Village Gardens website and select one of our great arrangements.

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Nov 22

Don’t Forget the Thanksgiving Flowers

Preparing for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of work.  You’ve got to plan the menu, buy all the food, make certain you’ve got enough clean plates, silverware, and napkins for everyone, and, of course, clean and straighten your house.  That’s a lot!  During all of this, you may forget something: the Thanksgiving flowers!

However, don’t despair if you do realize you’ve forgotten a nice arrangement for your table.  Thanksgiving flowers are often available the week of Thanksgiving, but there are a few things you need to be aware of.  First, you may not be able to get the arrangement you want.  While all florists stock as many flowers as they can, the fact is that the most popular bouquets are going to go fast.  If you don’t have yours ordered in advance, you might not get it.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t always have to go with pre-made arrangements.  Take a look at what’s offered online and in the store, but don’t be afraid to ask the florist to swap out certain flowers or even to create a unique arrangement for you.  Just talk to them about what flowers you want.  In some cases, you may have to do something like this, especially if it’s last minute and there are few flowers left.

You don’t want to buy a Thanksgiving arrangement too early since it may not look its best for the holiday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it.  Once you’ve got your arrangement ordered, all you have to do is pick it up a day or two before the holiday.  Then you’re sure to have gorgeous Thanksgiving flowers on your table!

Need an arrangement?  Check out the amazing variety we have on the Village Gardens website.

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Nov 17

The Wonder of Flowers

There are many wonderful things in this world, but one of the most wondrous (at least to those of us in the floral industry) is the flower.  The wonder of flowers can make even the worst of days seem tolerable.  Flowers can create a bright, cheery atmosphere in a dark room, add a great scent to your home, and make a dull backyard into an enchanted garden. 

How can flowers accomplish all of this?  No one is quite sure.  There have been studies done that show that our sense of scent is very powerful in triggering memories.  It could be that smelling flowers takes us back, consciously or subconsciously, to a time when we were incredibly happy.  It’s also possible that seeing bright flowers has something to do with it.  Who wouldn’t be cheered up upon seeing gorgeous flowers on their dining room table or desk?

Then there’s the memory of who sent you the flowers or of working in your garden.  When you receive flowers from someone, you’re likely to think of them each time you see the arrangement.  This only adds to how wondrous the flowers are.  If you grew the flowers yourself, you might think of working outdoors and of planting the flowers. 

The wonder of flowers is a mystery, but the fact that one small plant can do so many things is amazing.  Next time you see a flower, stop and wonder at everything it can do.

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