Back to School – A Perfect Time for Flowers!

Back to school. Decorative kids round emblem poster. Flat. Vector illustrationIt’s that time of year once again – summer vacations are winding down and school is back in session (or will be very soon). Whether you’re excited about this time or year or are already missing the hustle and bustle of summer activities, it’s an excellent opportunity to start anew. It’s a special time of year with a clean slate or new memories to be made and new friendships to formed, so why not take the time to celebrate the occasion – and what better way to celebrate than with flowers?

No matter what you role you play in the start of a new school year, there are plenty of opportunities to spread some cheer with some fresh flowers or plants. Here are a few ideas:

Apples are so cliché

Why does nearly every illustration of a classroom depict a big, juicy apple on top of the teacher’s desk? It may be a nice gesture in theory, but in reality, it pales in comparison to a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Even better would be a lovely green plant that would last the entire year.

Great Gerberas by George Thomas Florist

Great Gerberas by George Thomas Florist

It takes a village

Most people immediately think of teachers when they think of school, but it takes a finely tuned machine comprised of dozens (or even hundreds) of people to make a school run smoothly. From bus drivers to librarians and administrators to custodians – and everyone in between; there are many behind-the-scenes areas where people spend their time. Why not make these spaces special with some pretty petals?

Empty nest? Fill it with flowers

With kids back at school, the house is probably a lot quieter this time of year – which makes this an excellent reason to treat mom and dad to some beautiful flowers. They’ll appreciate the gesture and it’s a nice way of saying thanks for all their time spent on summer activities. Conversely, if you have older students leaving home for school, what better way to warm up their dorm or apartment with beautiful flowers and plants?

Whatever the reason, flowers are the perfect way to make someone’s day a little brighter. George Thomas Florist can help you find the perfect gift for any occasion, whether it’s school-related, a birthday or anniversary, or just something out of the blue. Give us a call today – we’ll take care of the rest.

Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants

Persian cat and Yorkshire TerrierWe all love fresh flowers and plants for the beauty they provide and their wonderful aromas that fill our homes. Unfortunately, our pets don’t enjoy flowers the same way we do. Dogs and cats have a natural curiosity and tend to investigate anything new by smelling or tasting. Their inquisitive nature is often adorable, but can sometimes lead to trouble – especially for active pets that have a tendency to eat everything they see. It’s up to us to protect them by knowing which varieties of flowers are safe for pets and identifying which ones can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. While many plants will cause nothing more severe than mild digestive upset should they be ingested by pets, some can cause more serious health issues.

Non-toxic choices
Roses are always a safe choice when it comes to choosing flowers for a home with pets. Once their thorns are removed, they are usually harmless to most animals. Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons, and alstroemerias are also safe to have around pets, as are orchids and ferns.

Flowers that may be harmful
According to the ASPCA, Lilies (specifically Lilium and Hemerocallis) are considered to be the most dangerous flowers for pets, particularly for cats, and should be avoided if the pets will be left alone with them. Tulips, baby’s breath, birds of paradise, hyacinths, stargazers, carnations, and daisies can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested.

Alternative options
When sending a bouquet or plant as a gift to a pet owner, it’s always best to seek out a “pet-friendly” bouquet.

There are several options to consider when sending flowers to a pet-friendly household. Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) can be substituted for other lilies in bouquets, and ferns can be used in place of baby’s breath when accompanying roses or other flowers.

A common organic solution can also be used to deter pets from getting too close to potentially harmful flowers. A mixture of ten drops of citrus essential oil, one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be sprayed over the flowers and plants, and should repel even the most curious pets.

In most cases, pets and flowers can safely co-exist in the same house by taking a few simple precautions. Below are lists of some of the most common “pet-friendly” flowers and also of flowers that are known to be toxic. For a more comprehensive list, visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants, or contact us for more information.

Brief list of “pet-friendly” flowers and plants:
– African daisy
– African violet.
– Alyssum
– Bachelor’s buttons
– Celosia
– Common Snapdragon
– Easter Daisy
– Orchids
– Peruvian lily
– Brazilian lily
– Rose

Toxic to both cats and dogs are:
– Tulips
– Azalea
– Bird of Paradise
– Aloe
– Begonias
– Baby’s Breath
– Amaryllis.
– Easter and stargazer lilies can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by cats

Keep an Eye out Around Town for a Lonely Bouquet

The Lonely Bouquet by George Thomas Florist

The Lonely Bouquet by George Thomas Florist

We could all use an extra smile and some extra joy in our lives. Since beautiful flowers are a great way to brighten someone’s day, the Lonely Bouquet program from George Thomas Florist is the perfect way to spread some of that joy out into the community.

The concept behind the Lonely Bouquet is simple:

1) Purchase a specially designated bouquet of beautiful flowers from George Thomas here

2) Leave the arrangement behind somewhere around town for a lucky random person to take home!

It really is that simple! You never know what kind of an impact that random acts of kindness can have on friends, neighbors and even total strangers.

gt1gt2The specially designated Lonely Bouquets from George Thomas are tagged with special “Take Me” cards letting the unsuspecting recipients know that the bouquets are indeed intended for them from the heart of an anonymous sender.  On the tag will be instructions for them to share their bouquet on social media if they choose.

You can leave the flowers anywhere you choose; a bus stop, a hospital waiting room, an assisted living home…the possibilities are endless. If you can’t decide where to leave the Lonely Bouquet, or don’t wish to do it yourself, we’ll gladly hide it somewhere around town for you.

By participating in this special program, you’re not only making someone else’s day a little bit brighter, but we’re pretty sure you’ll feel good too. The Lonely Bouquet is also a fun activity you can do with kids to teach them the importance of giving back and introducing them to the concept of “paying it forward.”

Join us in making Indianapolis a brighter place, by putting a smile on someone’s face!

Celebrate Your Patriotic Pride with George Thomas Florist

America the Beautiful by George Thomas Florist

America the Beautiful by George Thomas Florist

Independence Day is Monday, but celebrations are taking place all weekend long! We’re here to help you decorate your party with patriotic pride!

Call us to discuss what we can do for you to help make this year’s celebration one to remember. We have a beautiful selection of 4th of July favorites in red, white, and blue, or we can design something extra special that you’re sure to love!

Are you hosting your own 4th of July party this year? Let George Thomas Florist help you with all of your holiday flowers and decorations.

Independence by George Thomas Florist

Independence by George Thomas Florist

If you’re attending a picnic, party, or gathering, we also have a wide selection of plants, gifts and fresh floral designs that make lovely gifts for the host. Surprise them with something unexpected – after all, holidays are for making memories!

Give us a call today at 317-353-9161, or visit the 4th of July section of our website to see our selection.

-Have a safe and happy 4th, from your friends at George Thomas Florist

Run for the Roses

June is finally here, which not only marks the official start of summer but it also means National Rose Month!

Colorful, fragrant, and graceful, it’s no wonder roses hold a special allure for romantics, artists, and designers alike. In fact, roses are overwhelmingly the world’s undisputed favorite flower with over 85% of people calling it their top choice.

100 Premium Roses Vased from George Thomas Florist

100 Premium Roses from George Thomas Florist

Rose blooms span nearly the full-color spectrum from delicate shades of soft pastels to bold confident hues in solid, striped or variegated petals. From the purest white to the darkest red, plus pink, yellow, orange, mauve, russet (and many shades in between), roses coordinate with any setting. Their fragrance will fill a room with classic rose, citrus, sweet, or spicy notes, and their durability allows them to adapt well to nearly any weather environment.

It’s not surprising that roses have accumulated deep symbolism and a devoted following. They are America’s national flower, as well as the state flower of Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota, and the District of Columbia. They’re June’s birth flower and the 15th and 50th wedding anniversary flower. New Year’s Day celebrates them with a parade and college football bowl game in Pasadena, California.

Most of all, roses are an irresistible indulgence and an excellent way to express your true feelings. When you’re tongue-tied or can’t find the right words to express your feelings, there’s no better flower than roses to do the talking for you. Roses have long been used to send covert messages which are easily decoded if you know their secret language. From love at first site, friendship, or true love and new beginnings, appreciation, and congratulations, there is a color to symbolize your heartfelt sentiment.

Did you know there is a whole language around the color of roses?

Red – enduring love, romance
Lavender – love at first site, enchantment
Bright orange – passion, excitement, and fascination
Coral – desire and happiness
Yellow – friendship, gladness, delight
Light pink – happiness, joy, admiration
Deep pink – appreciation, thankfulness
White – innocence, purity, honor, reverence
Peach – appreciation, admiration, modesty

Here are 10 fun facts about roses that will give you an even greater appreciation of our favorite flower:

  1. There are over 100 species of roses.
  2. The first rose fossil was found in Florissant, Colorado and dated back to 35 million years ago.
  3. There is no such thing as a “black” rose. The closest to black is a rare breed called the Turkish Halfeti – a dark deep crimson that appears black to the eye.
  4. The term “thorns” is technically incorrect when referring to the sharp objects on the stems of roses. The correct term is “prickles.” Thorns have deeper roots in a plant’s stem whereas prickles attach at the surface.
  5. There is, however, a blue rose. Rose petals lack an enzyme that is necessary to create a blue pigment. For years, breeders have tried to cross different colored roses to create what seemed impossible. In 2009, however, with the help of genetic engineering, the world’s first blue rose was created.
  6. Sorbet Bouquet from George Thomas Florist

    Sorbet Bouquet from George Thomas Florist

    More than 54% of land in Ecuador is used to cultivate roses. Over 80% of the land of Zambia is cultivated with roses as well.

  7. Rose hips contain more vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable.
  8. George Washington was the first rose breeder in the United States. He named a variety after his mother, Mary.
  9. The tallest rose bush measured in at over 23 feet tall!
  10. Roses can live a long time. The oldest rose bush in the world is over 1,000 years old and is found covering the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim Germany.

Since it is National Rose Month, there’s no better time than now to send some fantastic roses to someone special in your life. Check out our website for some of our amazing designs that feature roses in a multitude of colors and styles.

At George Thomas Florist, we truly have something for everyone! If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, give us a call or stop in and talk to one of our designers and we’ll make something completely unique that you’re sure to love!

When Words Just Aren’t Enough…

Stunning Memorial Heart by George Thomas Florist

We often associate flowers with celebrations and happy occasions, but flowers also provide a way to express sympathy and lend support to those who have lost a loved one. Here are some tips on how to go about choosing right sympathy flowers, the best time to send them, and more:

What Should I Send?
The first thing to consider when choosing the proper sympathy or funeral arrangement is your relationship to the deceased. Traditionally, the immediate family selects a memorial wreath or casket spray for the service. Close family and friends often opt for personalized floral tributes that reflect the deceased’s personality, occupation, hobbies or passions. These flowers are typically displayed during the funeral service.

Other friends, relatives, and co-workers have many other options available including plants and simple floral baskets which can either be used for the service itself or sent to the home of the bereaved. The primary consideration should also be something that reflects the personality or relationship with the deceased as many modern funeral services focus on the celebration of life more so than mourning the passing.

When Should I Send It?
Timing varies greatly depending on a number of factors, but a good rule of thumb is to order funeral flowers at least 24 hours in advance of the funeral or memorial service, and even 48 hours for larger pieces like wreaths or sprays. Many funeral homes prefer to have the flowers in place several hours before the ceremony, so the earlier you order, the better. This also helps out the florist by reducing the number of deliveries they need to make.

Sympathy flowers that are intended for the family and not the service may be sent directly to the home. The timing of these deliveries isn’t particularly as important, so anytime after the service is over is appropriate.

In Lieu of Flowers
There is often some confusion when obituaries contain the phrase: “In Lieu of Flowers.” Contrary to popular belief, this terminology does not mean that the family does not want flowers. If that were the case, the phrase “please omit” would be used instead. It does, however, indicate that you have the option of making a donation instead of – or in addition to – sending flowers. Unless specifically stated, flowers are always an appropriate symbol of sympathy.

With Distinction by George Thomas Florist

With Distinction by George Thomas Florist

Other Factors to Consider
With so many different types of memorial services and so many other variables based on religion, cultural, or family preferences, understanding funeral etiquette is not always a simple task. At George Thomas Florist, we’re here to help you make an appropriate selection and choose a thoughtful gift when filling your funeral flower order.

When Words Just Aren’t Enough…
We at George Thomas Florist will help you find the right type of arrangement, and we are happy to offer guidance and suggestions if you’re unsure which style or design you wish to send. After you order, you can rest assured knowing that we will handle all of the details to make sure your flowers are delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

The most important thing to remember is that a gift of flowers can make a big difference for grieving family members and friends. It lets them know you are thinking of them during one of the most difficult times in their lives. It can often speak louder than words.

Sincerely,
George Thomas Florist

Mother’s Day Around the World

In the United States, we celebrate Mom every May with flowers and gifts, and perhaps treat her to a meal at her favorite restaurant. Sure, Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world, but other countries have their own spin on Mom’s special day too. Here are few of the more interesting ways that mothers are celebrated across the globe.

Dazzling Mom by George Thomas Florist

Dazzling Mom by George Thomas Florist

Australia
Janet Heyden started the first Mother’s Day in Australia in 1924. She began the tradition by asking school children and businesses for gifts to cheer up lonely and forgotten mothers at the Newington State Home for Women. Chrysanthemums are traditionally thought of as Mother’s Day flowers in Australia since they are naturally in season during May and end in “mum,” an affectionate term for “mother” in Australia.

Belgium
Belgian children celebrate their mothers by making little presents at school to give to their mothers in the early morning of Mother’s Day. The father will typically buy croissants and other sweet pastries that are served to her while she is still in bed at the beginning of a day filled with pampering. While most of Belgium celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, many Belgians consider August 15 to be the classical Mother’s Day and view the May observance as one started strictly for commercial reasons.

Egypt
Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21 in Egypt to coincide with the first day of spring. It was first introduced by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943. The idea was largely either ignored or ridiculed at the time by Egyptian politicians, but it was eventually adopted in 1956. When Amin was arrested and accused of being an American spy in 1965, unsuccessful attempts were made to change the name of “Mother’s Day” to “Family Day” to prevent the observance of reminding people of its founder.

In Love with Lime by George Thomas Florist

In Love with Lime by George Thomas Florist

Ethiopia
Mother’s Day is a three-day long celebration in Ethiopia, where it is celebrated in mid-fall at the end of the rainy season with a feast called “Antrosht.” Children bring the ingredients making a traditional hash recipe. Girls bring butter, cheese, vegetables and spices while the boys contribute a bull or lamb. Unlike many places where mothers needn’t lift a finger on Mother’s Day, in Ethiopia, the mom prepares the hash. Afterward, mom and daughter put butter on their faces and chests as part of the celebration ritual.

Nepal
In Nepal, Mother’s Day is known as “Aama ko Mukh Herne Din” which means “day to see mother’s face.” Many Nepalese people honor their late mothers by making a traditional pilgrimage to the Mata Tirtha ponds in hopes of seeing their deceased mother’s face. Pilgrims believe they will bring peace to their mother’s souls by visiting that sacred place.

Taiwan
Mother’s Day in Taiwan is held on the second Sunday in May to coincide with Buddha’s birthday and the traditional “washing the Buddha” ceremony where devotees pour fragrant water over Buddha statues as a way of symbolizing a fresh start in life.

No matter how we choose to celebrate, the day is all about mom. Let George Thomas Florist help you treat her to something special this year and make her day one that she won’t soon forget.