Category Archives: Flowers

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

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

Elegant Beauty: A Closer Look at Orchids

Double Phalaenopsis Orchid from George Thomas Florist

Double Phalaenopsis Orchid from George Thomas Florist

Orchids are often identified as a symbol of refinement and innocence, and their allure is undeniable. Let’s take a closer look at these amazing and complex plants.

While orchids are fascinating to look at, their outward appearances barely scratch the surface of why these exotic beauties are like nothing else you’ll find in the plant world.

Orchids comprise the largest and most diverse family of flowering plants on Earth and boast over 25,000 different species along with nearly a quarter of a million hybrids – with more being discovered every day.

Most orchids are native to the tropics, but their incredible ability to adapt to nearly any environment means that they can be found anywhere in the world (except Antarctica) in almost every climate from the arctic tundra to the equatorial tropics and all points in between.

With so much variety in the different types of orchids, it’s no wonder why they’re a favorite among horticulturists and amateurs alike. Although some varieties of orchids can be difficult to grow, since there is such a wide variety of orchids to choose from, it’s easy to select an orchid that is suitable to thrive in the conditions you can provide. If you need help selecting a variety that is right for you, stop by and talk to one of our designers – we’re happy to help you find your perfect plant!

No matter if you’re an experienced green thumb or a novice who simply enjoys the elegant charm of orchids, these wonderful plants are sure to make you smile and appreciate the incredible beauty of nature. Stop by today and check out our selection of orchid plants; not only do they look great in every room in the home, but they make outstanding long-lasting gifts for any occasion. Be sure to keep them in mind for Administrative Professionals Week or Mother’s Day – both of which are coming up soon!

Here are 10 fun facts that you might not know about orchids:

  1. Vanilla is a member of the orchid family and vanilla beans are the only commercially grown orchid crop.
  2. Certain orchid species can live up to 100 years.
  3. Orchids have the smallest seeds in the world. They are so small that they appear to look like a speck of dust and can only be visible under a microscope.
  4. Some orchids have flowers that can last up to six months while other species only last for only a few hours.
  5. A fossilized bee dated 10 to 50 million years old showed ancient orchid pollen on its back, however, other fossilized evidence suggests that orchids have been in existence for around 100 million years or more.
  6. Similar to human faces, orchid flowers have bilateral symmetry, meaning they can be divided into matching halves by drawing a vertical line down the middle.
  7. Some species of orchids are parasitic and obtain their food from fungi living inside their roots.
  8. Depending on the species, orchids can be smaller than a dime, or they could weigh several hundred pounds.
  9. Due to their thick, heavy petals, orchid plants always grow upside down when mature.
  10. The first flowers on an orchid plant won’t appear until at least five to seven years after germination, so the orchid plants you buy in the flower shop are often a decade old.

The Marvelous Month of March

marchblogbannerThere’s something special about the month of March.

For many of us, March not only signifies the end of a bitterly long and cold winter. It serves as a warm (and welcoming) transition to spring, the season of growth and prosperity.

For sports fans, March signals the dawn of a new baseball season with the start of spring training, along with a thrilling end to “March Madness” and the college basketball season.

For outdoor enthusiasts, March offers a great chance to get outside of the house as local parks and green fields come to life with longer daylight hours and warm(er) temperatures.

For students (and teachers), March begins the official countdown to a much-deserved and well-earned “spring break.”

For gardeners and nature lovers, March signals a new growing season as we anxiously await Mother Nature’s’ first new sprouts to push their way up through the soil.

Essence of Spring by George Thomas Florist

Essence of Spring by George Thomas Florist

And who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s Day?! A whimsical day of celebration and parades – with a little luck thrown into the mix – always makes for a good day. That’s unless you forget to wear something green!

Simply put, March is a time for the senses to come alive.

It’s a time to bask in the bright, bold colors of spring and waft away at the unmistakably sweet aromas that only the current month can provide. March 2016 is busier than ever, with an early date for Easter on the calendar and the promise of a quick winter’s farewell from our beloved groundhogs. Whether your March came in quietly like a lamb, or it roared in like a lion, we hope you take the time to stop, take a deep breath, and smell the flowers!

If your blooms aren’t quite ready yet, or if you just want to get an early start by sharing some beautiful flowers with someone you love, George Thomas Florist has you covered. We’re just as excited about spring and can’t wait to help you pick out some of nature’s most delightful floral creations. Give us a call today, and we’ll be happy to help you find something special!

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The New “In” Colors for the New Year

Stargazers & Roses by George Thomas

Stargazers & Roses by George Thomas

Pantone, the authority on color, has unveiled an official “color of the year” for each of the past 16 years.

This “color of the year” — often controversial and always talked about — has set trends in design for many different industries, from fashion to flowers, since 2000.

In 2016, however, Pantone couldn’t decide on a single color, so they chose two: Rose Quartz and Serenity. These ‘warm pink’ and ‘tranquil blue’ colors are a stark departure from the darker and more vibrant colors of the past few years, and that’s for a specific purpose.

While Pantone’s annual “color of the year” selection might not be an exact science, there is a great deal of thought and ideology that goes along with the symbolic color (or colors). Pantone says it selected these two particular colors to represent a sense of balance and peace, citing the fact we seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses.

PANTONE-Color-of-the-Year-2016-v5-1080x1920According to Pantone, the combination of Serenity and Rose Quartz also challenges traditional perceptions of color association and coincides with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity. They noted that a new generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged has opened our eyes to different approaches of color usage.

Pantone chose the pink and blue combination to shake up gender norms when it comes to design.

“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement.

While the soft color combination may bring baby showers to mind for many, the colors are sure to pop up soon in other areas of fashion and home décor — like floral design — where the pastel colors and watercolor hues have rapidly grown in popularity.

Beautiful Garden by George Thomas

Beautiful Garden by George Thomas

Pink and Blue – Not For You?

If you aren’t on board with Pantone’s color(s) of the year for 2016, never fear! You can still be on the cutting edge of fashion and design by simply choosing another source for your inspiration. For the past few years, paint giant Benjamin-Moore has selected their own colors unrelated to Pantone.

Their “color of the year” choice for 2016? “Simply White,” complete with the suggestion to “surrender to the complexity of white.”

Whether you buy into the Pantone selection, the Benjamin-Moore selection, or perhaps prefer your own personal “color of the year” choice, George Thomas Florist can help you find the perfect bouquet of flowers to help you start off the new year with a touch of beauty for your home or office! Give us a call at (317) 353-9161 or stop in to see what we have in store for 2016. Happy New Year from your friends at George Thomas!

Think Pink in October

iStock_000020263348_BlogOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and also to raise funds for research, prevention, treatment and cure. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against the disease.

The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. It was first used in connection with breast cancer awareness in 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. The pink ribbon was adopted as the official symbol the next year, in 1992.

Here are some facts about breast cancer and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

  • Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point.
  • Early screening is vital because 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.
  • A variety of events around the world are organized in October, including walks and runs, and the pink illumination of landmark buildings. The National Football League promotes breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink on and off the field.
  • Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
  • Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.
  • Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.

Discover the Incredible Mood Power of Flowers

Beautiful blonde girl among the wildflowers in summerEveryone knows that flowers make people happy and enhance people’s moods, but the mood power of flowers may be even greater than we realize. Science has proven time and again that flowers play a powerful role in our lives, but their positive effect on our mental health is nothing short of incredible.

A study conducted by Rutgers University found that every single one of its 150 test participants expressed happiness upon receiving even one flower. The reaction was universal throughout all age groups and included both men and women. The study confirmed the possibility that flowers may, in fact, affect brain chemistry.

Be Happy Bouquet with Roses by George Thomas

Studies show that besides making us happy, flowers are also proven to:
– fuel creativity and quick thinking
– make employees more productive
– help with stress reduction
– increase focus
– feed compassion
– lower blood pressure
– trigger memory
– boost energy levels

Giving is receiving

What really sets flowers apart from other gifts is that the act of giving may actually be more beneficial than receiving. A study by Texas A&M concluded that givers were perceived as caring, successful and emotionally intelligent people who possess the ability to not only express their own feelings but to take the time to understand the feelings of others.

Sweet as Sugar by George Thomas

Sweet as Sugar by George Thomas

Studies have also shown that a person can actually influence and change what others think of them in a significant way through the gifts they give, and perhaps no other gifts have the ability to evoke such positive feelings and perceptions as flowers.

Find the right mood

When a person sends flowers – or purchases them for their own enjoyment – the types of flowers they choose may play a significant role in enhancing a particular mood. Warm color flowers in reds, yellows and oranges boost energy and stimulate the brain, making people more alert and creative. On the other end of the spectrum, cool color flowers and plants in greens and blues tend to create a more soothing effect by slowing the production of stress hormones to aid in relaxation.

No matter what the occasion, flowers are indeed the perfect gift of happiness and positive vibes – they are a potent mood elevator and a natural source of pleasure. Call George Thomas today and let us help you experience for yourself – the incredible mood power of flowers.