Poinsettia – The Flower of Christmas

Poinsettias are a popular favorite around Christmastime. Seeing red poinsettias with Poinsettia flowertheir pots wrapped in shiny green foil makes us feel festive at this time of year. But have you ever wondered how this distinctive plant became so closely connected with the Christmas season? Took a closer look at the poinsettia and its interesting history.

A Practical Plant

Poinsettias are native to Central America. These plants, called “cuetlaxochitl,” meaning “brilliant flower,” were used by ancient Aztecs to make purple dye for clothing and makeup. Also, the sap of a poinsettia was used to treat fevers.

A Mexican Treasure

In southern Mexico, poinsettias flower for a short amount of time in the winter. In 1828, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, visited southern Mexico and became enchanted with the poinsettias he saw there. He brought some of the plants back to his greenhouses in South Carolina, and he nurtured his poinsettias and shared them with friends as well as botanical gardens. These plants got their English name from Poinsett.

Poinsettias and Christmas

There are many connections between poinsettias and Christmas. For one, the poinsettia plant has a similar shape to the star of Bethlehem. Also, the plant is red and green, which are colors associated with Christmas.

Caring for Your Poinsettia

Do you want your poinsettia to last beyond Christmas? If so, there are some care tips to remember. For one, water your plant only when its soil is dry. Gently stick your finger about an inch down into the soil to make sure it’s dry before watering. Also, keep it in a cool room (about 55 degrees) in the evening so it will bloom longer. With the right care, you can even get your poinsettia to rebloom!poinsettia-2-787x399

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fascinating Facts About the Flower of Christmas

  • Along with using the poinsettia as medicine for fevers, the Aztecs believed the plant had magical properties like causing a baby to be born crosswise.
  • Poinsettias grow as shrubs in southern Mexico. They can sometimes grow up to 12 feet tall!
  • Poinsettias are the national emblem of Madagascar.
  • At least $200 million worth of poinsettias are sold each year during the Christmas season.
  • The red petals of a poinsettia are really its leaves, or bracts, while its small yellow bulbs are its flowers.
  • Though the bracts of a poinsettia are not deadly to people or animals, they can make you sick.

 

Your friends at George Thomas Florist will help you find the right Poinsettia and delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

Thanksgiving with Flowers

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for families and friends to get together, sharing lives,stories and food. Though the imagination often runs to a large, wooden table ladecornucopian with food, with perhaps a fireplace burning merrily in another room, Thanksgiving is actually celebrated in many ways. Whether it’s a feast filled with dozens of family members and friends, or a small table for two, it’s the spirit of the holiday that counts. And the right flower arrangements only add to that comfortable feeling.

Centerpieces

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George Thomas Florist is fantastic in designing the perfect centerpieces for your table. A sprawling, low cornucopia (or horn of plenty,) place in the center of your table, or on a sideboard, makes just the right holiday statement. The “plenty” can (and often does!) refer to food but, on this holiday, many times it often simply is a reminder of the blessings of friends and family. But perhaps you’d prefer something a little more imposing on your table, in which case our artistic fingers can create towering floral Thanksgiving edifices that draw every eye. And, of course, everything in between.

Host/Hostess Gifts

Wondering what to show up to a party with? A flower arrangement that suits the occasion makes a perfect gift! Not only do the bright colors and seasonal designs cheer sku4692789up the room for that day, they last for days as a reminder of your wonderful gift. If you don’t have time to get the flowers yourself, or if you are sending flowers to somewhere else, remember that we offer same day delivery and will deliver your gift on the day you specify.

Holiday Decor

Thanksgiving holiday decor is more than ribbons or garlands or pumpkins–flowers definitely have their place. In many regions, fall garden flowers can be scarce, but your local florist will still have an excellent selection available.  George Thomas Florist.com  makes sure that even during the busy holiday season, you can see not only what unique floral designs they have available, but what we can create just for you. Take advantage of this all during the holidays, looking through what we have to offer to spark your own imagination of what you’d like to see displayed on your holiday table.

Your friends 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 the details to make sure your flowers are delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

Why Do We Carve Pumpkins and Dress Up in Costumes at Halloween?

Halloween Magic by George Thomas Florist

We love to honor tradition by celebrating holidays, especially ones with seemingly absurd origins which bring about colorful characters like the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, Cupid, and Father Time.

We typically don’t delve too deep into why these particular characters show up, or how they got to be so popular in the first place, because it’s more fun just to go along with it than to question every little detail. But sometimes you just have to wonder why every October we let our kids dress up as pirates and princesses and take to the streets of the neighborhood searching for sugary treasure.

When left to the imagination, there aren’t many holidays that are more fun than Halloween. From carving pumpkins to trick-or-treating and haunted houses, Halloween has become a whimsical celebration of things that most people find scary or downright chilling any other time of the year.

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a tradition that began several hundred years ago in Ireland, but back in those days, they were carved from potatoes and turnips. It wasn’t until years later, after the Irish immigrated to the United States, that they discovered that pumpkins made for a much better medium due to their abundance in the new world, thus a new tradition was born.

Legend has it that the jack-o-lanterns were originally intended to frighten away the wandering soul of Stingy Jack, who was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity after tricking the devil and later finding out he wasn’t allowed into heaven or hell.

This also loosely explains why we dress up in costumes – to disguise ourselves from the souls wandering amongst us – including Stingy Jack!

Or perhaps it doesn’t.

According to Lisa Morton, author of “Trick or Treat: A history of Halloween,” dressing up as a way to scare off evil spirits is a common misconception about the holiday. Morton contends that people didn’t start dressing up until much later – as in the 1800s.

Cute & Creepy by George Thomas Florist

By that time, Halloween was known for pranks which were becoming more and more elaborate and dangerous. So much so that towns and cities were thinking about canceling Halloween because many felt that the pranks were getting out of hand.

That led to a gradual push from families, communities and civic organizations to change the nature of the holidays from pranks to the “trick or treat” traditions we know today.

Sadly, Morton’s version of buying off kids with treats and costumes is probably a bit closer to reality than the warding off evil spirits angle, but as with most holiday traditions, you never really know for sure!

Whatever the reason for dressing up and trick-or-treating, your friends at George Thomas Florist are here to get you in the mood for a spectacularly spooky Halloween! Make no bones about it, our ghoulish delights will make the wickedest witches green with envy, so stop by today – if you dare!

Simplifying Sympathy Flowers

Flowers are a wonderful way to communicate thoughts and feelings in times when words just aren’t enough. We love to send and receive them on joyous occasions such as birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, achievements and milestones.

But flowers also play a very important role in some of life’s most somber moments as well because of their ability to express sincere sympathy and lend support to those grieving over the lost a loved one when no words will do.

For many, ordering sympathy flowers can be a confusing and intimidating task, especially when you consider the circumstances, emotions, and responsibilities that you are suddenly forced to handle without much prior notice or time for planning. It can feel very intimidating, but your friends at George Thomas Florist are here to help guide you through the process and address any questions or concerns that you have in order to put your mind at ease.

Selecting the flowers

Garden of Serenity by George Thomas Florist

When deciding on sympathy or funeral flowers, the first thing to consider is your relationship with 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 best choice in this instance are flowers that reflect 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 to send flowers

Sincere Tribute by George Thomas Florist

Timing varies greatly depending upon several 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 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 any time 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.

Other things 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…

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

Your friends 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 the details to make sure your flowers are delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week with George Thomas Florist

September 17-21 is National Indoor Plant Week and your friends at George Thomas Florist are ready for this fun celebration that was established to promote and increase public awareness of the importance of live plants in interior spaces.

Beyond their alluring beauty – which enhances nearly every living space – green plants provide a multitude of health benefits that go far beyond the aesthetic for the people and pets who live amongst them.

Simply Elegant Spathiphyllum by George Thomas Florist

Plants work around the clock to clean the air by creating oxygen and removing carbon dioxide: which also helps to decrease stress, enhance mood and even improve sleep.

In addition to all the amazing health benefits that indoor plants provide, they are also little green powerhouses that work hard in improving their environment by increasing humidity, keeping temperatures down and reducing airborne dust levels in the home or office.

With all the amazing claims about the benefits of indoor plants, it’s easy to be a bit skeptical and wonder if they really live up to the hype or if their benefits are born from legends and wives’ tales. The answer to that was confirmed by NASA after their research discovered that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours, which alone seems like reason enough to surround yourself with them as much as possible.

Which Plants are Right for Me?

Environmental scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton was heavily involved with the NASA studies on the benefits of plants and published his findings in a simple consumer-friendly book, “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office” in which he recommends the following plants in order of most effective to least in a typical home:

  1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
  2. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
  4. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)
  5. Deacaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena dermensis)
  6. English Ivy (Hedera helix) English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  7. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  8. Ficus “Alii” (Ficus macleilandii)
  9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)
  10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  11. Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)
  12. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  13. Kimberley Queen Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
  14. Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  15. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  16. Dracaena “Warneckei” (Dracaena dermensis)
  17. Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
  18. Red Emerald Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens)
  19. Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum)
  20. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia “Exotica Compacta”)
  21. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
  22. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
  23. Schefflera / Umbrella Plant (Schefflera arboricola)
  24. Wax Begonia (Begonia Semperflorens)
  25. Lacy Tree Philodendron (Philodendron selloum)
  26. Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Oxycardium)
  27. Snake plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata / laurentii)
  28. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia camilla)
  29. Elephant Ear Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum / tuxla)
  30. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
  31. King of Hearts (Homalomena wallisii)
  32. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura “Kerchoveann”)
  33. Dwarf Banana (Musa cavendishii)
  34. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi)
  35. Easter Cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri)
  36. Oakleaf Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia “Ellen Danika”)
  37. Lily Turk (Liriope spicata)
  38. Dendrobium Orchid (Dendrobium)
  39. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  40. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema crispum “Silver Queen”)
  41. Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)
  42. Croton (Codiaeum variegatum pictum)
  43. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
  44. Dwarf Azalea (Rhodedendron simsii “Compacta”)
  45. Peacock Plant (Calthea makoyana)
  46. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
  47. Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
  48. Urn Plant (Aechmea fasciata)
  49. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
  50. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

It’s important to remember that Dr. Wolverton’s book was published over 20 years ago so his list if focused on houseplants that were popular at the time. That also means that a lot of modern house plants weren’t included on the list.

Green Garden by George Thomas Florist

But, regardless of whether a particular plant is on this list, keep in mind that nearly every plant on the planet has air-cleaning abilities so the best plants for your home or office are really a matter of personal preference. It’s up to you to decide which ones give you pleasure and best fit your lifestyle. Some plants require more maintenance and care than others and some thrive better in particular environments.

If you’re looking for plants primary based on their health benefits, certain varieties excel more than others in particular duties. For example; orchids, snake plants, succulents, and bromeliads emit oxygen at night, making them an outstanding choice to have in the bedroom. Some plants are also more sensitive to direct sunlight and cold drafts, so it’s a good idea to take that into consideration as well.

If you are unsure of which plants you would like for your home or office, our experts here at George Thomas Florist will be happy to help you choose the plant that is perfect for you. Stop by and check out our selection of indoor plants and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you can’t decide on the perfect plant, pick up a few different varieties and see which ones you like best!

 

Toast Tremendous Teachers with a Thoughtful Treat

It’s that time of year once again! Back-to-school sales are happening everywhere, and teachers are busy preparing for the start of another school year.

The Gem by George Thomas Florist

With summer winding down, now is not only the perfect time to show your appreciation to those who have been taking care of your kids during the break, but also a fantastic opportunity to start the school year off right with a gift of flowers for the teachers, facility, coaches, and staff who will be enriching their lives over the next nine months.

To some, it may seem like the summer flew by too fast while others have been counting the days until the new school year begins. Regardless of how you feel about the kids going back to school, we hope your summer was filled with adventure and learning experiences that can’t be taught in schools. If there are any nannies, babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, camp counselors, clergy members or coaches who influenced your summer, flowers are always a perfect way to acknowledge and say thanks for their hard work and dedication.

Most of those people aren’t expecting gifts, so the gesture certainly isn’t necessary, but even a small token of your appreciation is a thoughtful way of showing gratitude that often means more to the recipient than the giver will ever realize.

Forget the apple

It’s 2018 – your teacher doesn’t want an apple unless it’s a phone or computer – so forget the fruit in favor of a beautiful bouquet of brightly-colored flowers instead. Flowers really are the perfect way to set the mood for the start of the school year while brightening up the classroom at the same time.

Teachers aren’t the only ones who enjoy flowers, however, so don’t forget bus drivers, teacher’s aides, facility members, crossing guards, and everyone else who makes the school a fun and inviting place to learn. Flowers are so wonderful at putting smiles on people’s faces, especially when they’re least expected. At George Thomas Florist, we specialize in helping you choose the perfect gift for everyone on your list – no matter how big or small of an impact they have on your children’s education.

If you have a friend or family member going away to college for the first time this fall, flowers are a fun and festive way to decorate dorm rooms, and live plants are perfect picks if you’re looking for a longer-lasting gift. Most of the plants we carry are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of work, which is ideal for busy students who are always on the go.

Regardless of whether you’re sending flowers to thank someone for a job well done, congratulate someone for a notable accomplishment, wish someone good luck, or simply to make someone’s day, George Thomas Florist is here to help with all your back-to-school floral needs. If you don’t know exactly what you want to send, never fear – we’re here to help! Give us a call at (317) 353-9161, order online, or better yet – stop by the shop and look around – you never know what we may have in store for you!

Ready to Pop the Question? Don’t Forget the Flowers!

One of life’s most important decisions is deciding on the right partner and starting a new chapter together as a married couple. But before that can happen, someone has to pop the question!

If this is your situation then hopefully you’ve already identified the lucky person and more importantly – are reasonably sure that they will say “yes.” It also helps immensely to have the ring on hand for this occasion, but that isn’t always a deal-breaker.

Now comes the fun part – formulating a plan that will be both memorable and romantic. Unless your fiancée-to-hopefully-be is a die-hard avid sports fan who loves the spotlight, you can go ahead and cross ‘proposing on the jumbotron of a large sports stadium’ off that list. Not only has that been done to death, but it typically isn’t anywhere near as romantic as both partners are hoping for – you can do better.

The best ideas are the original ones, and it helps if you can incorporate something special that you and your partner enjoy together. Here are five creative ways to help you make the moment special, but don’t be afraid to modify them to suit your style and whatever you do…DON’T forget the flowers, because if you do, we can’t guarantee results!

For the Beach Lover

For this one, you will need an accomplice. Prior to your big question, you will meet up with said accomplice and carve out a shallow heart in the sand, fill it with rose petals and have them stand by the heart to ensure its perfection. Let you partner-in-crime know to step away from the heart when they see you coming, and to be camera ready, that way you can just “happen upon” the heart and get that photo! Once you reach that heart with your fiancée-to-be have them stand inside it as you go down on one knee.

For the Introvert

Leave a single long-stem rose on their pillow with the ring tucked inside the petals or strung on the steam with a love letter as to why you pick them. If your partner is shy or introverted they will likely appreciate the intimacy without the awkwardness of involving other people.

For the Adventurer

Take a dozen roses and attach memories to each one along with a clue as to where to find the next rose. Be waiting at the end with the last rose in hand. When they arrive, simply hand over the rose and propose.

For the Traditionalist

Make reservations at a favorite restaurant or pick out somewhere nice. There are fewer and fewer occasions to get dressed to the 9’s, but this is still one of them. Begin by sending flowers to them at work with a handwritten invitation to dinner. Prior to your arrival at the restaurant make sure the hostess knows that you plan to propose during dessert by having your server bring out champagne with your sweets. When the confusion sets in about why you ordered champagne, you’ll know the time is right.

For the Family

Boxed Roses – Hand Delivered by George Thomas Florist

If your fiancée-to-be is extremely close to their family, consider asking them to get involved by being your messengers. Give each one of them a rose with a hand-written love note to present to your sweetheart throughout the day. Then, arrange to meet in a special spot at the end of the day so you can present the last rose and the ultimate reason for your love.

We hope these ideas help make your upcoming proposal amazing! Good luck and make sure to order your flowers early. No matter if you need the rose petals, the single long stems or dozens of flowers in her favorite shade, George Thomas Florist is here to help! If all goes well, remember the number: (317) 353-9161 – we also do weddings!