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Celebrating Easter with Forsythia

by Shelby Shy on April 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

A popular trend this spring for décor is flowering branches. One of my favorites is the forsythia with its bright yellow flowers. Here are a few ways to use forsythia branches to welcome family and friends to your home this Easter and celebrate the spring season.

Forsythia  - Shirley's Flowers & Gifts, Inc., in Rogers, Ark.

Welcome guests with a wreath in spring colors. Here a few branches of forsythia artfully circle a curly willow wreath decorated with happy pops of pink spray roses, succulents, kale and yellow craspedia.

 Spring Wreath - Shirley's Flowers & Gifts, Inc., in Rogers, Ark.-NEW

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Making Seniors Smile

by Carol Caggiano on April 8, 2014 at 9:04 am

Nurturing-CroppedSome of my most treasured memories are of my grandparents. I was fortunate to have them nearby sharing so many great adventures over the years. Now I am a grandparent myself and still remember those days like they were yesterday. Am I really a “senior?” Who would have ever thought that would happen? We definitely see things differently when we are personally involved.

Lately I have had the opportunity to help some other seniors who are having difficulty.  One has serious health issues and another is struggling with her own mother who has dementia. Often just being a good listener is a big help, but I have found another way I can contribute, and that is to bring flowers. No matter how many times I visit, I still get such a thrill out of seeing faces literally light up when a bouquet of flowers comes into view. A big genuine smile is such a welcome sight from someone you know is having a hard time.

I know for sure that having flowers in my house makes me feel good. The reason for their magic? I do not know, but when there are not flowers on the table, the house just doesn’t feel the same. Although research gives us a hint: Rutgers University released the results of a behavioral study, which proved senior citizens who had flowers in their living spaces were happier, more social, and had better recent memory than those who did not have flowers. How wonderful is that? It’s a privilege to grow older but not without cost. Failing health, memory loss and reduced social interaction can all contribute to severe depression. When someone is depressed, nothing else works right, but if a lovely bouquet of flowers can bring joy and happiness, then that is surely easy “medicine” to prescribe. Read More

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Succulent Garden Corsage - Emily Gorg and Ardith Beveridge, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFARemember how special you felt the last time you wore a corsage? Maybe it was for prom or homecoming, a wedding, or maybe you wear them every year on Easter and Mother’s Day, or to celebrate your birthday. Wearing flowers have long been part of human history dating back to ancient civilizations in Greece, Egypt, Africa and South America. Flowers were worn to denote prominence, allegiances and ward of spirits. Nowadays, flowers are worn as fabulous accessories to express yourself and celebrate special occasions as well as the everyday.

With spring being the time of year when we’re thinking about new fashions and styles, Easter and Mother’sArdith-Fascinator-Pink-CROPPED Day, and prom and weddings, here are a few ways to add personal flowers to your wardrobe this season:


Kate Middleton and the Royals brought fascinators to the forefront of fashion. Consider a flirty pink fascinator for a bridal shower or prom.

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Spring Flowers = Spring Fashion

by Brian Wheat on March 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

Colorado State University Trial Garden — Photo Courtesy All-American SelectionsWith the new and fresh planting season, our thoughts turn to new explosions of color and resurrection. Marching into spring, Mother Nature delights us with bulbs’ noses emerging, buds swelling on branches and the occasional warm breeze. Oh yes, the spring flowers, they’re coming.



The flower world is a lot like the fashion world. Trends abound. There are new styles, new colors and new textures. What was old, is now revamped and new again.

Welby Gardens — Photo Courtesy All-American SelectionsWe are blessed in our flower world with hundreds, more likely thousands of new cultivars and varieties introduced every year. The Internet allows us to search out the newest plants for our unique locations, styles and tastes.  All-American Selections (AAS) is an independent, non-profit organization that tests new varieties and introduces only the best-proven garden performers as AAS Winners. Test and trial gardens from across the country are there to help the gardener get informed and earn trust of the AAS Winners. My favorite trial gardens, which I visit annually, are at Welby Gardens in Denver, and at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Petunia “African Sunset” — Photo Courtesy All-American SelectionsSo to wet your whistle for the gardening season, I’d like to introduce you to a few new flowers and a vegetable.

Petunia “African Sunset”-2014 AAS Winner! Wow! The shades of bright orange flowers cover the entire plant. A great color, it has it all: excellent mounding habit, strong stems, exceptional vigor, tons of flowers and humidity tolerant. It grows 7”-12” tall and spreads up to 20” wide in full sun with average to dry watering. Read More

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8 Tips for Your Wedding Budget

by Sharon McGukin on March 25, 2014 at 10:41 am

Consultation with your Wedding FloristYou’re planning your wedding, the day you’ve dreamed about for as long as you can remember. As you’re starting to plan the details, reality hits. How on earth will you pay for it? Remember, the ultimate goal of your wedding plan centers on hosting a well-orchestrated event that is memorable to you and your families, and enjoyable for your guests. Careful planning, attention to detail and disciplined prioritizing can help you to achieve this goal — even on a tight budget. Here are eight tips to help maximize your wedding budget.

1. Set a budget

Before shopping wedding sites and services, determine the amount you can afford to spend. Speak honestly with those who will contribute to covering the costs, such as bride and groom or parents. Determine together who will pay for what and decide on an amount that all agree not to exceed. Divide this amount equally into the categories of expense.  

For example:

  • Ceremony: facility, dress, flowers, etc.
  • Reception: food, flowers, linens, etc.
  • Services: director, photographer,  etc.

A wedding spreadsheet is great way to list projected expense and itemize costs. As you make purchases, write down every expenditure to keep an accurate accounting of costs.

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