The Most Popular Valentine’s Day Flowers and What They Mean

flower meaningsTime certainly flies, and that colloquialism doesn’t only apply to the times when we’re having a good time. Before we know it, Valentine’s Day will be here. Our team of experienced Breen’s Florist floral designers want to make sure that you are able to get the most beautiful flowers of your choice for that special loved one in your life.

Dating back to the Victorian Era when the Language of Flowers began to evolve, different types of flowers have varying significance, as do their respective colors.

One flower is universally associated with Valentine’s Day. Florists all over the country sell more roses than any other flower for this romantic holiday. Red roses are the ultimate symbol of passion. We believe that our spectacular one-of-a-kind exclusive Twilight Signature Roses are the ideal flower to share with someone when you want to express your love.

Lilies are another popular variety of flower to give someone as a gift for Valentine’s Day. If you want to tell someone that you feel like they treat you like royalty, or that you think they’re regal, then give them a gift that’s Simply Stunning. Calla lilies are associated with regality and royalty, and this arrangement of callas that are nestled on a bed of hydrangeas is as elegant as it is special.

If you are going to ask someone to marry you, and you want to declare your passion for them on the grandest possible scale, then our Monet arrangement is as over-the-top as you can get. Red roses convey feelings of passionate love while stargazer lilies suggest ambitiousness.

When you want to go all out on Valentine’s Day and send the epitome of luxury and refinement, you want to choose orchids because those are two of the sentiments they express. They are also associated with beauty, love, luxury, strength, refinement and thoughtfulness. The gift of orchids suggests that you want to seduce the recipient.

Valentine’s Day is all about expressions of love and fondness. During the Victorian Era, people were reluctant to express passionate feelings verbally. This led to the creation of the Language of Flowers, which is just as relevant today as it was back then. Don’t put off thinking about your Valentine’s Day gifts. Let us help you choose a floral arrangement or customize one that will convey everything you hope to express through flowers.

Breen’s Florist Holiday Centerpieces 2015

holiday centerpiecesHave you started to prepare your indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces for the Texas-size holiday meals we’ll all be enjoying soon? As the holidays draw closer every day, it’s time to start preparing your meal and gathering spaces for the many guests you’ll be entertaining throughout the holiday season. We know how eager Texans and Houstonians, in particular, are when it comes to welcoming people into their homes. You can count on Breen’s Florist to help you choose or customize the ideal holiday centerpieces for all of your meal and entertainment areas.

 

We want to make things easier for you, so if you’re looking for inspiration regarding holiday centerpieces, you’re in luck. We’re going to showcase some of our favorites in this holiday blog. Feel free to use our ideas as you decorate the dining and gathering areas of your home for the holidays.

Bring a taste of snow and the feeling of a cold winter to your table, but with a twist. Our Snowflake Centerpiece gives your Houston home a taste of a winter up north. The centerpiece is designed around a glittering snowflake and an assortment of pure white and very light green flowers. We add texture and contrast with traditional Christmas greens.

 

If you’re the type of person who likes softer colors, or you want to buck tradition, we’ve got the perfect centerpiece for your holiday dining table. Our Holiday Spectacle arrangement is positively gorgeous. Your guests will ooh and aah when they see this unusual combination of pink, pale green and lavender-colored flowers, including orchids, roses and peonies, and chrysanthemums. We add shiny silver ornament balls and silver curly ribbon. This exquisitely elegant and unusual arrangement is sure to be the talk of your holiday table.

 

If you really want to be different, we’ve got a delightful centerpiece for you. Give your holiday table an infusion of tropical exoticism with our Orchid Festivities Centerpiece. This unusual arrangement uses Cymbidium orchids and a mesh decorative ornament accent. We’ve added some shiny green leaves and holiday greenery to make it a festive-looking holiday-inspired centerpiece.

 

Don’t wait to get your holiday centerpieces. Call us or come in to talk about choosing the best centerpieces for your holiday decorating scheme. You can also place your order online.

 

Breens Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guideBefore Thanksgiving Day is even over, many stores will open their doors early for their annual Black Friday sales. We’ve seen the madness on local and national newscasts. It’s hard to believe that consumers and retailers will go to such lengths to cash in on or make a sale. That’s not how we like to spend our Thanksgiving, and we doubt our customers enjoy that frenzy either. It takes all the joy out of everything that’s so wonderful about the holiday season.

 

The chaotic frenzy surrounding holiday gift shopping motivated us to create our annual Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we have four categories: Holiday Gift Baskets, Winter Florals, Hanukkah Flowers, and Holiday Centerpieces.

 

Holiday & Christmas Gift Baskets

 

Whether you’re shopping for one of those “impossible-to-please” people on your list, or want a gift that’s large and fancy enough for the whole office gang to share, we’ve got you covered. Our Dreaming of a White Christmas Ultimate Gourmet Basket. This deluxe gift basket is chock full of every type of gourmet treat you can imagine. It includes smoked salmon, nuts, cheese crackers, many varieties of chocolate, almonds, pistachios, caramel flavored popcorn, hot cocoa mix and a tin full of white and dark chocolate delicacies.

 

Winter Florals

 

Given the temperate climate in Houston, why not embrace that in your holiday decor, or when you give someone a holiday gift? We think that our Angelical Moments arrangement is an exquisite design for any space. Give it to someone as a host or hostess gift, or take it to someone who is confined to a hospital or nursing home. The combination of gorgeous orchids and pure white roses is a lovely contrast against the hypericum berries, shiny silver balls, and green ornaments.

 

Hanukkah Flowers

 

This year, Hanukkah begins on December 16 and continues until sundown on Christmas Eve, December 24. Hanukkah doesn’t share the same festive red and green that are considered standard Christmas colors. You can still capture the feeling of this special winter holiday in the traditional blue and white that are widely used for Hanukkah decor and for floral arrangements. We think our Dior Blue arrangement is a gorgeous combination of white flowers, including roses and hydrangeas.

 

Holiday Centerpieces

If you’re looking for an elegant gift that’s sure to knock a recipient’s socks off, look no further than our Orchids and Roses arrangement. This magnificent display comes in a small cube vase. As its name implies, we’ve combined exotic orchids and velvety red roses with green hypericum berries and decorative green ornaments.

 

Don’t let your holiday shopping experience dampen your mood this holiday season. Shopping is supposed to be fun and rewarding. Let our floral designers here at Breen’s Florist help you choose the perfect floral gifts for those hard-to-shop-for recipients on your list.

 

 

Incorporating the Cornucopia Into Your Thanksgiving Dinner Tablescape

cornucopiaThe cornucopia – – “horn of plenty,” a symbol of food, abundance, the harvest, and Thanksgiving. It dates back to the 5th century B.C., where according to Greek mythology, the horn belonged to Almathea, the goat who became Zeus’ foster mother after his mother, Rhea, sent him to live in a hidden cave on Mount Ida to keep him safe from his father, Cronus. Cronus, for whatever reason, was convinced that Zeus would try to overthrow him when he grew up. To prevent that, Cronus decided to do away with his son.

The infant Zeus lived in a cave with Almathea, the goat that nursed him and raised him as her own child. One day when the two were playing together, Zeus accidentally broke Almathea’s horn. That turned her into a unicorn.

When Zeus was old enough to realize what had happened to Almathea, he was overcome with remorse. He returned the horn to her. No one knew that the horn had acquired magical powers. Whenever the person in whose possession it was wished for something, the horn would be replenished until it overflowed.

Cornucopia – As a Symbol of Thanksgiving

The cornucopia that has become a symbol of Thanksgiving is also a symbol of prosperity. The link to prosperity is evident in the range of names that are used to describe the cornucopia.

  • Horn of Almathea
  • Food of Worship
  • Horn of Plenty
  • Harvest Cone

cornucopia

In the context of food, the horn-shaped wicker basket that is a focal point of many Thanksgiving dinner tables is associated with abundance, prosperity, harvest time, and feasting. As the “horn of plenty,” it is filled with fruits, gourds, ornamental corn, nuts, flowers, and other decorative objects.

Our Fall Harvest Cornucopia has been redesigned for 2015. This year, it’s bigger and better than ever. We add sprigs of “harvest chic” dry wheat as an accent to an already stunning arrangement. We use burgundy-colored carnations, yellow daisy pompons, and red Asiatic lilies.

Thanksgiving falls on November 26 this year. Order your cornucopia from Breen’s Florist today. Bring a bit of history and tradition to your Texas-size Thanksgiving dinner table.

 

 

Infuse Your Home this Thanksgiving With Fall Warmth Through Colorful Floral Arrangements

thanksgivingOn November 26, the country will celebrate another Thanksgiving holiday. Even though Houston doesn’t get to enjoy the spectacular colors that are synonymous with fall and New England, the season is upon us, and in true Texas style, we celebrate Thanksgiving on a grand scale. After all, everything is bigger in Texas. Our floral design team here at Breen’s Florist is ready to help you bring the beauty of autumn into your home as you fill it with flowers in classic fall colors.

Thanksgiving as we know it began in 1620, along the Atlantic coast of England at Plymouth where 102 people boarded the Mayflower for their journey to the New World. The trip took 66-days, and the vessel veered far off course. They wound up on the easternmost tip of Cape Cod. Their intended destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, presumably where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

After spending a month of Cape Cod, everyone boarded the ship, and they crossed Massachusetts Bay, ending up at Plymouth Rock. They settled in the area around the historic Plimoth Plantation site. The new colonists stayed on the ship all winter. They weren’t able to build suitable accommodations because they didn’t have the tools or supplies. More importantly, however, they didn’t have enough food to keep everyone alive until they could forage, hunt, fish or plant food to provide the entire colony with sustenance.

Thanks to a chance meeting with an Abenaki Indian who spoke English, the settlers were introduced to Squanto, an English-speaking Indian who would teach them how to survive by explaining what wild plants were edible, what to avoid, how to fish, hunt and how and what to plant.

By the fall of 1621, they were able to harvest the food crops they had planted. The colony’s governor, William Bradford, decided that a celebratory feast was in order. He invited Squanto, members of the Wampanoag Indian tribe and their chief. Historians think of that memorable feast as the nation’s first Thanksgiving celebration.

In 1863, while the country was fighting the bloodiest war on American soil, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation, thereby creating the Thanksgiving holiday that is celebrated in November.

We believe that your home and your Thanksgiving dinner table ought to reflect the spirit of this holiday — a fall feast of Thanksgiving for the abundance of food, and the delight we take in celebrating with our loved ones. Embrace the warmth of the season and bring that earthiness into your home with fall floral arrangements and centerpieces.

Our Bountiful Bouquet is a tribute to the season in all its glory. We arrange Asiatic lilies, burgundy mini carnations, and butterscotch-colored daisy pompoms. We add preserved oak leaves and goldenrod for accent. The arrangement comes in a seasonal keepsake pumpkin.

 

The Peace Lily: The Perfect Plant Gift for World Peace Day

In 1997, a man by the name of Don Morris launched a World Peace Day campaign. It is now observed everywhere on November 17th. Morris is affectionately known as the “Peaceguy.” World Peace Day isn’t an official holiday or observance. The fact that it exists is due to the grassroots efforts of Morris. He envisioned this yearly event as an opportunity for each of us to make a commitment to work for peace, and to put our money where our mouths are. Our floral design team here at Breen’s Florist loves to help our customers customize one of our designs or choose the most personal plant or flower arrangement for any occasion.

 

Morris envisioned a show of solidarity for World Peace Day through automobile headlights. He thought that people should drive with their headlights on because the impact of however many headlights that were on throughout the world would be a strong indication of worldwide solidarity.

 

That isn’t the only way by which people are encouraged to celebrate in their communities. Not long after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy, Sue DiCicco launched a project she called “Armed with the Arts.” She wanted to teach children about learning to channel their creativity as an alternative to violence. Soon after that, a call from the United Nations International Peace Day NGO transformed her simple idea into a global project. For that, she came up with The Peace Crane Project.

 

She may not have been aware that a young girl had launched a project of her own in Japan in the 1950s as she battled Leukemia, the disease that was referred to as the A-Bomb disease. One of her school friends told her about a Japanese legend where people who were sick could recover if they made 1,000 origami paper cranes. Unfortunately, Sadako didn’t live long enough to make a thousand paper cranes. Today, people distribute paper cranes everywhere as a global initiative on World Peace Day.

 

We’re sure everyone we know has been unkind or judgmental at some time or another. World Peace Day is about making amends and being kind to people you may have hurt.

 

One plant, in particular, is especially well suited to the theme of peace. That plant is called Spathiphyllum. It is commonly known as Peace Lily. This easy-to-grow houseplant adapts to most light conditions. It has dark green shiny leaves and white flower spikes. Extend an olive branch and show someone some kindness with a gift of a peace lily.

 

Using Pumpkin Planters to Create a Halloween Atmosphere in Your Home

halloweenIn places north of Houston, folks would refer to our warm October temperatures as “Indian Summer.” We may be in the peak of Autumn in other locations, but it’s hard to get into the Halloween spirit when you feel the warm Gulf breezes every time you go outside. Our Breen’s Florist team is feeling the Halloween spirit, and we want our Houston-area customers to feel psyched about the holiday, too.

 

Contrary to popular belief, Halloween isn’t a genuinely American holiday. It started in the British Isles with the Celtic Pagans. At the end of the yearly harvest, the Celts would hold an annual celebration in honor of the successful harvest and to ring in the new year. The Ancient Romans had their similar festival that honored the Goddess of trees and fruit, Pomona.

 

After Christianity had spread across Europe and into England, the Church went to great lengths to suppress Pagan observances and worship. Instead of banning the “illegal” activities, church leaders decided to appropriate them and incorporate them into their Christian traditions. According to the Catholic Church calendar, November 1st is always celebrated as the Feast of All Saints, otherwise known as All Saints Day. The day after that, November 2nd, is known as All Souls’ Day.

halloween

Pumpkin Spice

Since Samhain was celebrated before the Feast of All Saints, it made sense to take over that festival and turn it into a Christian observance for celebrating the day that honored all Christian saints. The name was changed to All Hallows’ Eve. Eventually, that name was shortened, and it came to be known as Halloween, the name we know it by today.

 

We hope you will welcome the harvest and celebrate it by decorating your home with traditional Halloween decorations. To celebrate Halloween, we’ve created two exclusive floral arrangements using real pumpkins for containers. We hope you’ll love them as much as we do and want to share them with your friends and family, or enjoy them in your home.

 

Welcome back our new and improved Pumpkin Spice” arrangement. Our most popular fall arrangement from last year is back with a twist. Each of our real pumpkins is filled with warm and sunny sunflowers, roses, Asiatic lilies and an abundance of fall goodness.

halloween

Pumpkin Patch

Spread the Halloween cheer among many people or enjoy this Breen’s exclusive all alone. Our “Pumpkin Patch” consists of three real miniature pumpkins, each of which is filled with a unique flower arrangement. These delightful little pumpkins will spice up your workplace or add some fall décor to your home.

 

Give Flowers for Grandparent’s Day

grandparents dayBreen’s Florist is excited about helping our customers honor their grandparents with flowers for Grandparent’s Day. Since 1978 after President Jimmy Carter signed the bill into law, the first Sunday after Labor Day is always observed as the National Grandparent’s Day. This year, we observe National Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, September 13.

Although the observance didn’t become official until 1978, the idea crusade to establish it began in 1970, thanks to the efforts of Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade (1917-2008.) Mrs. McQuade, a native of Fayette County, West Virginia, was the mother of 15 children, 43 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. McQuade had a great deal of compassion, and she had a deep understanding about the loneliness shut-ins and people who are confined to nursing homes face every day. Her husband, Joseph L. McQuade, was her chief supporter. Their sixty-year plus marriage produced 15 children, 43 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Mrs. McQuade also earned the support of local businesses, civic groups, churches, and one important politician: Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WVA.)

The efforts of these people prompted the West Virginia Governor, Arch Moore, to issue a proclamation announcing the state’s first observance of Grandparent’s Day in 1973. That year, Senator Randolph introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate that would create a National Grandparent’s Day if it passed in the senate and went on to the House of Representatives. Nothing happened – until 1978.

There are three goals for Grandparent’s Day:

1.Showing our grandparents how much we honor and revere them.

2.Providing grandparents with the opportunity to show their children’s children (their grandchildren,) how much they love them.

3.Helping children (mainly their grandchildren) understand how important the guidance, knowledge and strength they derive from grandparents is.

grandparents day

Zenful Orchid

Grandparent’s Day is a day on which we visit our grandparents. It’s always nice to bring a gift to show your grandparents how much you care about them, and how much you appreciate them. We have two suggestions that may help you come up with an arrangement of your own. We’re always willing to help you come up with a floral arrangement or create something for you.

Our Zenful Orchid is a super special arrangement of three orchids. It may look a bit minimalistic, but orchids are so beautiful and so delicate, you wouldn’t want anything to take the focus off of the three orchids in this container. Your grandparent will enjoy the orchids for a long time after Grandparent’s Day.

grandparents day

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose is a fun arrangement that consists of regular roses and spray roses in different shades of peach and pink. The flowers fill a cylinder vase that is lined with Hawaiian Ti leaves, creating an illusion that there is a striped pattern all around the circumference of the cylinder.

Flowers for Labor Day

labor dayWe may be in the throes of the “dog days of summer” here in Houston, but the calendar tells a different story. As we approach the third week of August, it’s hard not to think that in a few short weeks, we’ll be celebrating Labor Day. The Breen’s Florist team of floral designers wants to help Houstonians create a summery atmosphere for your Labor Day weekend festivities.

At the end of the 19th century, Labor Day celebrations were just beginning. Labor Day always falls on a Monday – and more specifically, on the first Monday of September. This year, we’re observing the holiday on September 7th.

As sad as it is to admit that Labor Day represents the end of summer, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that will stop a Texan from spending time at a barbecue. We’re not a bit shy about boasting that Texas and awesome barbecue are one in the same.

labor day

Labor Day became an official national holiday in 1894. Before President Grover Cleveland made the official proclamation, which he did after failing to end the railroad workers strike, the U.S. Congress passed legislation making the first Monday of September, an official holiday in the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. That act was passed on June 28, 1894. By that point, 23 other states had already enacted their own laws to observe Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

Although there are undoubtedly regional traditions for celebrating Labor Day, the most common things that people do is having outdoor gatherings, heading to the beach, watching or participating in parades, or attending sporting events – especially baseball. As long as the weather cooperates, it’s safe to say that Houstonians will spend their holiday weekend enjoying the fantastic summer temperatures in Houston while making barbecues a big part of that.

If you’re going to be celebrating outside, consider flowering plants as an alternative to cut flowers. By opting for a flowering plant like our Azalea Abundance, you won’t be fraught with anxiety because you’re worried that someone may accidentally bump into a vase and spill all the water.

4th of July Decorating Tips and Trends

4th of JulyThe fourth day of July each year marks Independence Day in the United States. On this day, Americans celebrate the 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence with which the United States officially proclaimed independence from Great Britain. Celebrants revel in the Fourth of July with fireworks displays, concerts, baseball, speeches, parades, carnivals, barbecues, and picnics. Any Fourth of July celebration is sure to be decked out in stars and stripes and the nation’s colors, red, white, and blue. The following are three fun ways to incorporate red, white, and blue into your Independence Day decorations.

4th of July

1. Food – Any great Fourth of July celebration should not be lacking good food and drinks. Amp up your celebration by incorporating red, white, blue, stars, and stripes into your meal plan. Freeze blue and red berries into ice cubes for a fun take on cold drinks and consider serving red punch. Treat guests to patriotic parfaits comprised of layered whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries. You can also have some fun in the kitchen ahead of time by preparing a flag pizza, using pepperoni to make red stripes and black olives to form the stars. For dessert, guests love holiday themed cupcakes decorated with star shaped sprinkles and blue frosting.

2. Festive Fun – Provide plenty of fun and safe activities if any children will be attending your celebration. Set up an outdoor crafting station for children to have fun making tissue paper sparklers, pin wheels, and construction paper wind socks. Provide plenty of glitter and sparkling paper to make sure their creations dazzle them as much as the fireworks after dark.

3. Decorations – Create a festive atmosphere by covering your party in patriotic spirit. Fill the air with helium balloons and edge serving tables with red, white, and blue banner swags. String crepe paper streamers from the backs of chairs, hang a festive wreath on the door, and floral arrangements featuring red and white carnations or roses with blue floral accents and flag picks make the perfect centerpieces for your tables.

4th of July

Whether you plan to host a large celebration or a quiet backyard barbecue with only your closest friends, our flower experts at Breen’s Florist can help you select the perfect floral arrangements to add a sophisticated splash of festivity to your centerpieces. We wish you a fun, safe, and happy Fourth of July!