Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring is Upon Us

By Jessi Rose - Stein Your Florist Co.

One of my favorite times of the year is finally here, Spring! I love Spring, for it brings us tons of beautiful flowers and gorgeous weather to enjoy them. With a warm breeze caressing the air and the sun in the sky, we can all spend more time outside in nature, before Summer’s hot temperatures drive us back indoors to our air conditioning. It is time to start forgetting the cold days of winter, and start warming up for Spring-time fun!

My most beloved Spring-time holiday is Easter, for all of the fun flowers that come with it. Lilies, daisies, azaleas, daffodils, chrysanthemums, tulips, and hyacinths… the list goes on and on. Though many of these flowers can be found at your local florist year round, they wait until the vernal days are upon us to being to show themselves in our backyards and public gardens. Their popularity peaks for Easter celebrations and we gather them from nature, bringing them into our homes. Centerpieces grace family dinner tables for holiday feasts and we decorate our houses with our favorites of these delicate blossoms to enhance Spring-time gatherings with loved ones. 

To extend the temporary beauty of Spring blooms I recommend starting a garden. While a cut flower’s life may be all too short, live plants growing and thriving will share their beauty much longer. Though this will require a bit more work than picking up a bunch of blooms from your local flower shop, the results will be lovely. One of my absolute favorite parts of Spring is seeing my garden come to life with white azaleas, red cosmos, pink begonia, yellow daffodils, purple hyacinths, orange gerbera daisies - a rainbow of blooms. There are endless possibilities when it comes to your personal garden, because you choose what flowers are grown. You can have an endless amount of flowers all through the season, and even through Summer. Take time to plan your garden well and you will be treated to lush blooms until the first frost.

Spring is a wonderful season when it comes to the beauty of the great outdoors. We watch Winter’s dreary trees transform into luscious verdant vegetation. Through the environment’s annual metamorphosis we are able to observe nature’s beauty as plants grow and blossom into the flowers we know and love. Before the, all too brief, days of Spring are taken over by the heat of Summer use this time to enjoy the floral bounty and the warm weather. Get outside as the sun glows longer, and the flowers grow bigger, and most of all just remember... to have a happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Save a Spider

Spiders. We get it, they’re creepy, they’re crawly, and a few are just downright dangerous, but they are also very beneficial to one of our favorite things… flowers and plants. Today (March 14th) is Save a Spider Day, so we are celebrating the wonderful symbiotic relationship between spiders and flowers.

There are lots of insects (by the way, spiders are not insects, they are arachnids) that are harmful to flowers and plants. The offenders include beetles, stink bugs, caterpillars, some ants, weevils, and grasshoppers to name a few. Some of these reprobates suck plant’s juices, leaving holes in leafs, others transmit diseases between plants, like mosaic and bacterial wilts, while insects like grasshoppers and caterpillars chew jagged holes in leaves and tatter the edges; in extreme cases they can wipe out entire gardens (or farm crops). Rather than dowsing your plants and flowers with harsh chemicals, why not employ your friendly neighborhood spider?

Spiders help rid our gardens and homes of these unpleasant petal munchers, feeding on them and not on our plants. Spiders are predatory and will eat pretty much any insect they catch, keeping our plants safe and infestation free. They have no interest in eating your plants, their webs will not harm your plants, and they want nothing to do with you (they don’t attack what they can’t eat unless threatened and they have terrible vision, they can’t even see you unless you’re within approximately one foot of them).
Also, in our opinion, lots of spiders are really cool looking, even pretty! And few things rival the beauty of flowers like a dew covered spider web in the morning.

All this praise for spiders we would like to point out that we are not fans of spider mites. Spider mites are mites, not spiders and are bad news for your plants, especially the two-spotted spider mite. They feed on plants, draining their juices, causing major damage and may even kill your plant. They are very small and can be carried by a light breeze, spreading easily from plant to plant, potentially decimating all the plants in your home, greenhouse, or garden. If you have spider mites you should isolate the affected plant as soon as possible. We found many good spider mite control methods here, at How to Get Rid of Stuff.

Not sold on spiders? If it eases your mind, only ~200 of the ~40,000 species of spiders actually have a bite that can cause health problems to humans… so chances are that the spider you save will be of the helpful variety, keeping your flowers and plants happy and healthy and causing you no harm. To save a spider capture it under a glass, slide a piece of paper over the opening and release your new friend outside in your garden. Happy Save A Spider Day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Go Green for Oxygen

Ivy plants for oxygen.
Succulents for oxygen.

Oxygen. It is an element with the atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O on the periodic table. In its most stable and useful form two oxygen molecules join together to form dioxygen, O2. Uptake of dioxygen (which we all just commonly refer to as oxygen) from the air is essential to our respiration, to living! We like oxygen. We need oxygen. Let’s fill our homes and offices with awesome life giving oxygen. Let’s go green for oxygen!

Spider plants are very effective at
removing carbon monoxide from
the air.
We recently learned that the universal color for oxygen is green and, being florists totally in love with plants, we find it no coincidence that most plants are green too. We all remember learning about photosynthesis in school… plants take in carbon dioxide and water and turn it into sugars and oxygen. It’s perfect! We exhale carbon dioxide and breathe in oxygen, plants do the opposite. It’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship that we have, so it only makes sense that we surround ourselves with these wonderful creatures. Houseplants do more than just brighten up a room with color and living energy; along with being pleasing to the eye, they bring real health benefits to our bodies.
Spathiphyllums, commonly
known as peace lilies, are
great for removing carbon

Ficus tree, great for
removing formaldehyde.
Some houseplants, such as spider plants and spathiphyllums (peace lilies), are effective for removing carbon monoxide from indoor air. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that when inhaled may result in seizures, coma, or even death. Spathiphyllums are also the most popular house plant in the US. They give off more oxygen then any other houseplant, a winner in our book!
Other plants, like ficus and aloe vera are effective at removing formaldehyde often found in adhesives and furnishings from the air. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen… it causes cancer. Cancer sucks.
Aloe vera plant, removes
formaldehyde from the air.
Cattleya orchid for oxygen.

Not only do houseplants purify air, but complaints about headaches, stress, heart/circulation-symptoms and colds decrease when indoor plants are present, according to Dr. Leona Rogler. Not feeling so hot? Get a plant! Bring a touch of the outdoors in with beautiful verdant houseplants. They only require a small amount of care and can really liven up the home or workplace. Leafy or blooming, whichever plant you choose it will add a bright touch to any room and trade your unneeded carbon dioxide and toxins for wonderful oxygen. Take a deep breath and enjoy.

Go green for oxygen!

Monday, March 5, 2012

We're Ready for our Debut

Famous Philadelphia florist recreates International Flower Show for movie to preview Thursday, March 8, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012 For Immediate release - Press Release

Patrick Kelly of Stein Your Florist Co.
hands Mancation actress Danica McKellar
the custom designed bridal bouquet for the
It's been almost a year since cameras, trailers and a film crew took over the 125 year old Philadelphia florist known as Stein Your Florist Company in Northeast Philadelphia. Over the course of several days in late April and May of 2011, the corner of Princeton and Frankford Avenues resembled a Hollywood back lot, rather than the solid working class neighborhood that has been the home of Steins since 1948.

The purpose of all the excitement was to film scenes for the up-coming movie Mancation staring *NSync singer Joey Fatone, and Danica McKellar. McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper in the long-running TV show "The Wonder Years," plays a flower shop employee in the comedy set to have a test screening this Thursday, March 8th at the Trocadero Theatre – located at 10th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.

The script called for a scene that included a local flower shop, where the principle characters reunite, as well as a scene set at the international flower show.  Initially, the producers hoped to film the flower show scenes in and around Philadelphia’s International Flower Show hosted by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society in early March of 2011.  However, scheduling conflicts made this impossible. That’s when a small chalk board sign sparked an idea.

While filming the initial scene the producers noticed a hand written sign on an antique chalkboard that read; “Stein Your Florist… A Flower Show Every Day!”Pleased with the way the unusual 1940’s style landmark looked on film, the produces asked Patrick Kelly, owner of Steins, if he would consider recreating the flower show in his store. Built in the aftermath of WWII, the unique architectural features of the building include an indoor waterfall and fishpond as well as a two store greenhouse surrounding a traditional corner row home.

Mancation, starring Joey Fatone, Danica
McKellar, and Matt Kawczynski, will
have its first test screening on March 8,
2012 at The Trocadero.
With the location set, all that was left were the flowers. That’s when the staff at Stein Your Florist got to work. Rare orchids from the south pacific, tropical flora from South America as well as traditional blooms from Holland and Europe were among the thousands of flowers imported for the movie recreation.  Local growers were also included with vibrant lilies; corkscrew and fresh pussy willow sourced from farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “We’re an old school florist in the traditional sense” said Kelly.  “When Stein customers visit our shop they expect a wide variety of beautiful flowers every day.” Stein’s customers expect more, so we always have more to choose from and enjoy”   

Is it a coincidence that the arrival of the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show and the first Mancation test screen coincide? Probably, but it seems too apropos to the people at Steins. “The movie screening and the flower show in the same week, from our standpoint it’s just too perfect” Kelly said. Playing off this year’s theme, Hawaii Islands of Aloha, Steins has once again imported hundreds of orchids and other exotic flora to bring the flair of the tropics to their daily flower show. And as a traveling flower show, the employees attending this Thursday’s screening, several of which appear as extras in the film’s wedding scene, will each don a few exotic florets on their lapels, handbags or hair. Stein Your Florist Company is always ready for its close up.


About Stein Your Florist Company

Formed in 1887 in Philadelphia, PA, Stein Your Florist Co. built their business by providing the public with quality merchandise at a value beyond the industry's norm. We have been serving Philadelphia, NJ, and the world sharing with our customers the joy of birth, the celebration of life and, with compassion, the passing of loved ones. We practice a long tradition of professionalism and business ethics. With pleasure, our experienced and professional staff makes themselves available to help our customers with all their floral and gift giving needs. When visiting us online at www.steinyourflorist.com, calling 800-887-4013, or stopping in one of our shops, customers see why Stein Your Florist Co. has been a tradition for 125 years.

Flowers make the moment... Let us make a moment for you at Stein Your Florist Co., Philadelphia’s oldest and favorite florist.

If you’d like more information about this topic or our company please contact Janet Kelly at 800-887-4013 or at steinyourflorist@aol.com.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hooray for Hyacinths

Ah Spring! It is nearly upon us and with it comes (and goes) one of our favorite fragrant flowers, hyacinths. They began popping up around the shop in December, showing off their little trumpeting blooms and scenting the air with a heavenly old fashioned perfume. Sure, as a cut flower they aren't the easiest to work with... they're short and squatty and have a limited vase life (about 5-7 days), but who cares!?! They simply look too pretty and smell too wonderful to ignore them. Even better, they are a great bulb plant, adding to their longevity and enjoy-ability. Since they're typically only around until April (they prefer the cooler weather) we better enjoy them while we can!

Around our shops we dabble in both cut hyacinths and thousands of potted hyacinths. They are one of our most popular items at Easter time, enjoyed by all... well, almost all. There is a group of folks a bit more sensitive to hyacinth's strong scent and sappy blooms and bulbs, causing mild rashes and respiratory irritation. If that's you, please enjoy these beautiful blooms from afar only; everyone else, let's get up close and personal. 

Florets beginning to open.
When selecting hyacinths, choose flowers that have some of the bottom florets beginning to open, while the upper blooms are still closed. This will ensure that the entire stalk will bloom properly and that you don't have a bad bulb. The exception to this rule is when you want the maximum affect of the flower right away, say for instance a Spring party, then go for full bloom. Also look for stems with dark green foliage that stand firmly upright. 

Burgundy hyacinth.
Hyacinths come in many varieties and are typically available in colors like white, pink, lavender, blue and purple, but less common ones are available as well, such as hot pink and burgundy. We recommend sticking to the common varieties, they tend to be the best performers while the others can be more difficult to care for and not as long lasting. 

Basal plate.
To care for your cut hyacinths simply provide them with cool clear water. Do not let the flowers fall below the water's surface, as this could cause extra bacteria production, reducing the longevity of the blooms. A floral food formulated specifically for bulb plants may also add to their vase life; however, hyacinths do not show a particular affinity for it. If the basal plate (the spot at the bottom of the stem that looks as though it had roots) is present that's great, don't remove it, it will lengthen the life of your blooms! Unfortunately, many suppliers do not leave the basal plate intact, so if this is absent from your stem, simply give your flower a fresh cut under running water with a clean sharp knife, about one inch from the bottom, and place it directly into your container full of water. Keep your pretty flowers in a cool place away from sunlight, heat and drafts and enjoy. 

Your potted hyacinths prefer a location similar to their cut flower counterparts, cool, no heat or drafts, but you should choose a place with bright indirect sunlight. They come planted in sandy soil to allow for adequate drainage (put a dish under it unless you want a mess on your hands) and should be watered every few days. Enjoy your pretty blooms while they last and afterward you can plant them in your garden and they may bloom next season (forced bulbs will often not reflower planted outdoors, but it's worth a shot) or just add them to your compost pile. 

Apollo & Hyacinthus
If you aren't already enamored with hyacinths, perhaps this love story will entreat you... The name hyacinth may be derived from Greek mythology, named for Hyacinthus, a young Spartan so beautiful that he was loved by both Zephyrus, the west wind, and the God Apollo. Zephyrus was so jealous of Hyacinthus' affections for Apollo that one day, when they were throwing the discus, Zephyrus caused Apollo's throw to veer off course and strike Hyacinthus in the head. Rather then allowing Hades to take him to the underworld, Apollo transformed him into beautiful flowers... perhaps hyacinths. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Totally Tangerine

Last wedding season, purple and pewter were all the rage. We were designing wedding bouquets in violets, eggplants, aubergines, and pretty much every shade of purple you can think of almost every weekend. Well this year's color trend is tangerine! Pantone announced its hot colors for 2012 and Tangerine Tango is number one. They say that it's a "bright and encouraging color" and we agree. Whether you choose tangerine dresses, flower, or both it will certainly pop and add an element of excitement to your day. We also love it for everyday wardrobe, it's cheerful and fun. And don't forget home decor; it's a great color to jazz up a room. This year we are in love with all things tangerine!

Several flowers are available in shades of tangerine, including lilies, roses, dahlias, gerbera daisies, marigolds, calla lilies, tulips and orchids. Most are available year round, while others, like marigolds and dahlias are more readily available in the Summer months. We've gathered some photos of some of our favorite uses of pretty petals in tangerine.

A tight clutch bouquet designed in bright tangerine roses and lilies are bold and beautiful. Carrying this bouquet against black makes it pop in a big way, making a wedding colorful and fun.

If tangerine is appealing to you, but a bit too bright, try cooling it down with turquoise. Roses, tulips, pin cushion protea, celosia, and mokara orchids are calmed by this pool-colored cube, creating a beautiful centerpiece.

Adding light greens to your tangerine has a very fresh feeling, especially with the floces of fresh fruit. This arrangement is perfect for a bar, card table or buffet.

Tangerine also pairs beautifully with hot pink. Just check out the pretty way it accents these chair covers!

Pinks lend a garden feel to this centerpiece. Garden style is another popular trend amongst brides, and for good reason. It is elegant without being stuffy, classy but casual. The pink tones down the intensity of all that orange.

Adding in light green keeps it very fresh and Springy looking as in these two bouquets.


We also like adding a bit of contrasting purpley-blue, like in this bouquet of roses and birds of paradise with touches of statice. The trailing bear grass draws the eye down the length of the gown.

Or throw some yellow into the mix for some extra fun. And it's perfect if you're going tropical! Even small touches of tangerine go a long way, grabbing attention. 

If you're more traditional, don't totally write off tangerine just yet. This bouquet of calla liliea, cymbidium orchids, stock flower and roses simply breathes traditional wedding elegance with its creamy ivories. With a mix like this you can be classic and customary while still being totally trendy!

While tangerine is a bit bright, it still works wonderfully for Fall weddings too. Adding other warm Autumn hues, like burgundies and cinnamons carry us right into October and November. We designed this bouquet in all roses with textural accents of hypericum berries, solidego and oak leaves to capture the season.

Accents of plum dahlias in this bouquet bring extra warmth and depth. And the copper wire nests the blooms beautifully.

Don't forget the groom! He'll look great in tangerine too. This fun polka dot tie is adorable! Roses are always a beautiful choice for his boutonniere, but we love the look of this dahlia.

Not getting married or throwing a party this year? That's ok, you can still enjoy tangerine too. We love these living rooms, bright, bold and saturated with tangerine. Add a little or a lot; go wild and paint the walls or just add a few throw pillows. It's always nice to redecorate and refresh your home. Add some tangerine to your wardrobe too. Add a silk tangerine scarf to compliment your blazer or a bold tangerine cardigan over an aqua colored cami. Tangerine is a fun color, so have fun with it.

Not ready to make the commitment to tangerine? Just pick up a few fresh blooms and take it for a spin, you won't be sorry.