Still Shopping? It’s Not Too Late to Find the Perfect Gift at Durocher Florist

Cardinals in the Snow by Durocher Florist

Christmas is days away – that’s great news for many of us, but it also means that those who put off their Christmas shopping until the last minute are beginning to panic. Many online retailers can no longer guarantee delivery in time for Christmas and the mall is going to be a madhouse this weekend – who wants to deal with that?

Fortunately, there is a better option because your friends at Durocher Florist are here to help you cross the remaining names off your list. We’re full of terrific ideas if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for and we have so many wonderful options to choose from that you’ll have no problem selecting the perfect gifts no matter who you’re shopping for.

Whether you prefer a timeless classic like a festive poinsettia plant or something with a bit more flair like a beautiful hand-designed holiday floral arrangement or Christmas centerpiece, you’re in good hands with Durocher Florist.

Joyful and Triumphant Centerpiece by Durocher Florist

It’s not too late to have your order hand-delivered by Christmas or you can always stop by and choose from our large selection of holiday flowers and plants. We also feature a fantastic variety of holiday gifts and décor that is sure to please anyone on your list! We’re also a great source for unique stocking stuffers and gifts for teachers, mail carriers, party hosts, co-workers, hair stylists, and more. Leave the last-minute shopping to the amateurs by trusting one of our professional designers to create the perfect one-of-a-kind gift. Give us a call today to check out what we have in store for you this holiday season!

Order online or by phone at (413) 785-5148, or better yet, stop by to see us and discover all the wonderful surprises in store that we don’t have on the website! We will be open and delivering all weekend and also Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas from your friends at Durocher Florist!

Celebrate National Poinsettia Day with Durocher Florist

National Poinsettia Day is Wednesday, December 12 and Durocher Florist is here to help you celebrate the iconic red holiday plant that has become an unmistakable symbol of the season.

At first glance, it’s easy to admire the pretty Poinsettia and its bright crimson and green foliage but digging a little deeper into why the Poinsettia became such an important holiday symbol brings a much deeper appreciation for this phenomenal plant.

Poinsettia Plant from Durocher Florist

According to a Mexican legend, a poor child who could not afford a gift for Christ on Christmas Eve was told that even the most humble gift, if given with love, would suffice in God’s eyes. The child carefully picked some weeds from the side of a road and brought them to church as an offering to make God happy. As soon as the child entered the church, the weeds bloomed into beautiful red and green flowers and the congregation was sure they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. From that day on, Poinsettias were known as ‘Flores de Noche Buena,’ or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night.’

In the United States, we typically associate the poinsettia with Christmas so dedicating December 12 as National Poinsettia Day seems like a natural fit – except the timing of the observance is merely a coincidence. In fact, the United States has observed this official day since the mid-1800s in honor of the passing of the first American ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, and the plant he introduced to the U.S.

In 1828, Poinsett discovered the plant with vivid red leaves by the side of a road in Mexico and sent some cuttings home to his residence in South Carolina. Initially, many botanists dismissed the Poinsettia as a weed, but Poinsett’s work with the plant caused it to eventually gain acceptance as a holiday plant.

The holiday season is always a special time in the floral industry, and the star of the show is, of course, the venerable Poinsettia plant. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Poinsettias are the highest selling potted flowering plant in America and account for nearly one-quarter of sales of all flowering potted plants throughout the entire year.

Here are some things you might not have known about the Poinsettia:

  • Poinsettias are native to southern Mexico and have been used in religious ceremonies and to decorate churches there for centuries as the red color is a symbol of purity.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not poisonous to people or pets, although the plant has been known to cause stomach irritation and discomfort if ingested. The danger to pets and children comes from the choking hazard of the fibrous parts of the plant and not the toxicity.
  • Although every state in the U.S. grows Poinsettias commercially; for much of the past 100 years, the Ecke Ranch in California has grown over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and accounted for about 50% of the Poinsettias sold worldwide.
  • The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it was named after a person.
  • The Poinsettia had its own college football bowl game. The Poinsettia Bowl debuted in San Diego in 1952 and originally served as the military services championship game for four years before being resurrected from 2005 to 2016.
  • In the wild, Poinsettias have been known to grow over 12 feet tall.
  • Roughly three-quarters of all Poinsettias sold in the United States are red, but they also appear in white, pink, salmon, apricot, yellow and multi-colored marbled or speckled varieties. Overall, there are more than 100 known Poinsettia varieties with new ones appearing every year.

Durocher Florist is your one-stop-shop for the holidays! From Poinsettias to holiday flowers and gifts, we can help you deck the halls and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Stop by or give us a call today and be sure to check out the holiday section of our website here.

Decorate like a Pro This Holiday Season with Durocher Florist

Now that we’ve finished off all the turkey, it’s time to start decorating for the holidays. Whether you decorate like Clark Griswold or simply put up a tree and hang some stockings and call it good, a little planning and some careful attention to detail can go a long way in turning your home into a winter wonderland.

Choose with a theme

Before you begin decorating, the most important decision you’ll need to make is choosing a theme. You don’t have to be overly specific but focusing on one general theme will make your decorating easier and your outcome more cohesive.

When it comes to choosing a theme, it’s important to accentuate your home’s architectural features like fireplaces, windows, and staircases. Some people may choose to go all out and decorate everything in the house, but if you prefer to keep it simple, that’s okay too. Decorating even a few key focal points can make a very bold impression.

After you decide on a theme, the next step will be choosing a color palette. You don’t have to stick with the traditional red or green; you could opt instead for a more rustic look which is primarily white. Or, you could select a pink or blue theme – both of which can be very festive and original if they’re used consistently.

Whatever you choose, it’s wise to limit your base colors to one or two for optimal cohesiveness along with a complementary matching color. Gold, silver, white, and metallics, are all perfect for this task and will add an elegant holiday touch that draws all the elements together.

Start with the tree

Boxwood Tree by Durocher Florist

When trying to decide where to start decorating once you’ve picked a theme, the best place to start is with the tree. When the professionals decorate trees, they start by taking a step back and looking for holes. It’s possible to manipulate some of the branches to fill in the holes as long as it still looks natural when you’re finished.

Mesh ribbon takes up space and can fill in holes or strategically cover any unsightly areas. When adding ornaments, begin with solid colors and space things evenly before adding specialty ornaments or other decor.

Once the tree is complete it should inspire confidence in the rest of the decor falling into place. If your family tradition is to wait until later in the season to put up the tree, you can always start somewhere else and save the tree for last – just be sure to save enough space for the tree and all the presents that will find their way underneath.

If you do have some special packages that can’t wait for Santa, you can wrap them with paper or other fabrics to match the theme of the tree and the room. Newspaper makes an excellent wrap if you’re going for a more nostalgic or rustic theme. Don’t forget to top them with ribbons or bows to complete the look.

Tend to the table

Decorating your table with a festive holiday tablescape allows your creativity and personality to run wild with unlimited possibilities. Don’t be afraid to use live greenery, lights, and metallic elements according to your theme when decorating your table.

Buffet and side tables are great multifunctional pieces that can be adorned to match your theme. Large glass urns and hurricane vases are excellent all-season focal points that can be filled with different items depending on the holiday. Experiment with fabrics as well – quality textiles can have a dramatic effect and add an elegant look and feel.

Now it’s time to shine

After the tree and table are complete, the next area you’ll want to decorate is your home’s entrance. Welcome guests into your home by transforming it into a warm and inviting space decked with festive decor.

Royal Christmas Centerpiece by Durocher Florist

Lighted garland is a terrific way to adorn a banister and it also works well in making mantels, cabinets, and shelves pop. For a special touch, you can use natural greenery inside your home. Fresh evergreen smells exactly like the holidays should smell while magnolia leaves and eucalyptus are also good alternatives.

No matter how you decide to approach holiday decorating, remember that the best results will come when you let your personality shine through. Decide what would make you cozy and warm and what feels natural to you, then decorate based on that feeling. Keep it simple by mixing texture and color while keeping in mind that you can always add depth with layers. To add the finishing touch, dim the regular room lighting and let your holiday lighting shine through.

Now comes the best part, making new memories with loved ones this holiday season in your beautiful home surrounded by spectacular holiday décor and feelings of warm tidings and cheer!

Make Durocher Florist your one-stop-shop for the holidays! From flowers to gifts and decor, we have everything you need to make this holiday season one to remember. Stop by for a visit or shop online here. If you don’t see what you’re looking for or just can’t decide, give us a call at (800) 770-1965 and speak to one of Santa’s helpers who will be happy to assist you! Happy Holidays from Durocher Florist.

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

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.

Halloween Magic Bouquet by Durocher Florist

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.

Boo-tiful Bats by Durocher 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 Durocher 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!

Why Did Yankee Doodle Call His Hat Macaroni?

Independence Day is one of the most cherished and time-honored holidays in the United States. This federal holiday is an annual celebration of American independence from the British Empire and is commonly associated with parades, picnics, carnivals, and concerts during the day – topped off with majestic fireworks displays after sunset.

The firework shows are traditionally set to patriotic anthems including Yankee Doodle – a well-known American song that predates the American Revolution. We all know the tune, even if we don’t understand the lyrics. Why did Yankee Doodle go to town? Why did he call his hat “macaroni” after sticking a feather in it? And most importantly, how do such seemingly-nonsensical words play such a prominent role in our nation’s history?

“Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on pony.
He stuck a feather in his cap
And called it Macaroni.”

Before we find out why Yankee Doodle called his hat “macaroni,” we should probably back up and find out what the term “Yankee Doodle” means.

The term “Yankee” itself has several interrelated meanings depending on the context, however, all of them refer to people from the United States. Outside of the U.S., the term is used to refer to any American – including Southerners. Within the United States, however, the term is a derisive one which refers to all Northerners – especially ones from the Union side of the American Civil War. Some people go a step further and only view New Englanders as true “Yankees.”

The first appearance of the term “doodle” can be traced back to the early 17th century and is thought to be derived from the Low Saxon word “dudel,” which means “playing music badly,” or “Dodel, meaning “simpleton” or “fool.”

What Does That Have to do with Macaroni?

Today when we think of macaroni, we typically start salivating for the nostalgically-delicious childhood meal made of noodles and a cheese-like substance eaten from a box, but the macaroni in this instance refers to a fashionable man from the mid-18th century who spoke and dressed in an outlandish and epicene manner.

Patriotic Salute by Durocher Florist

But why macaroni? Because young upper-class British men returning from trips to Italy developed a taste for the pasta that was hardly known in England at the time and were said to belong to the Macaroni Club because of their insistence on referring to anything fashionable as “very macaroni.”

It’s all starting to come together now. When British surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh penned the lyrics, he was mocking Yankees by insinuating that they were low-class simpletons who lacked masculinity – as if simply putting a feather in one’s cap would make him sophisticated and noble.

That sure doesn’t sound patriotic, but the Yankees soon turned the tables by embracing the song as an anthem of defiance. Americans subsequently went a step further by adding additional verses mocking the British and shortly thereafter, the song went from being an insult to a source of national pride.

That was more than 200 years ago, and the song still stands as one of our nation’s most beloved and patriotic tunes. In fact, President John F. Kennedy once bought a pony for his daughter Caroline – and called it Macaroni.

If you’re heading out to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, or plan on hosting a celebration of your own – don’t forget the flowers! Durocher Florist is here to help you celebrate with a bang with a beautiful bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers – perfect for the 4th of July. Give us a call or stop in today to see what’s in store for you. If you find exactly what you’d like, we’ll make it for you! Have a safe and happy 4th from your friends at Durocher Florist.

Remember Administrative Professionals Week – April 23-27

One of the most curious things about holidays is their tendency to evolve and change throughout the years. One of the most recent examples is Administrative Professionals’ Week which will take place this year from April 23-27.

The origin of this annual public holiday can be traced back to World War II, when a shortage of skilled administrative personnel in the United States led to the founding of the National Secretaries Association in 1942 to recognize the contributions of administrative personnel and to help attract workers to the administrative field.

In 1981, the National Secretaries Association changed their name to Professional Secretaries International, and then in 1989 to the International Association of Administrative Professionals. As the organization’s name evolved, so did the name of the holiday, which was changed from National Secretaries Week to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and then renamed Administrative Professional’s week in 2000 to encompass the wide-ranging job titles and responsibilities of administrative support staff in the modern era.

Today, the holiday services to honor all support staff that keep offices and workplaces running. While many of the intended honorees work “behind the scenes” to contribute to the success of their particular business or organization, the parameters of what qualifies as an “administrative professional” are largely undefined.

Although the roles and titles of administrative assistants can vary quite a bit depending on the industry, they’re typically the employees who wear many hats in order to keep the business up and running. This could be everything from maintenance staff to general laborers to office managers and executive assistants. Their roles are often not as externally visible to customers and shareholders, but it takes diligent work, meticulous organization and careful planning to keep the office environment running smoothly, so these administrative assistants are often the under-looked heroes who play an essential role in the overall success of their organization.

Does it last all week? Is it just one day?? What’s going on???

One of the more unique aspects of Administrative Professionals’ Week is that it actually lasts an entire week instead of just one day. There is, in fact, a single day that is dedicated to the holiday – in the United States and Canada, it is celebrated on the Wednesday of the last full week of April every year.

Write On! by Durocher Florist

So how did this one-day holiday morph into a week-long celebration? One of the more popular ways of acknowledging the contributions of Administrative Professionals is to take them out for lunch one day during the week. Therefore, the decision to extend the observance to a full week was made in order to space out the bookings at restaurants and eateries.

Buying lunch for administrative professionals is a terrific way of saying “thank you” to those employees who make your job easier and make you look better, but we know of another outstanding gift idea that is much more beautiful than a free lunch – and will certainly last longer!

Of course, we’re talking about flowers! Flowers make a perfect gift for Administrative Professionals Week and here at Durocher Florist, we have you covered with a special collection that we have assembled especially for this exciting occasion.

Click here to check out our selection and pick out that special gift for the employees who go above and beyond to keep the workplace running smoothly. If you don’t see exactly what you’d like, please give us a call and we can help you find the perfect gift.

Don’t miss this opportunity to say thanks to the people who work so hard to make your business a success!

Get Ready for St. Patrick’s Day with Bells of Ireland

Bells-of-Ireland

When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you think green. Obviously, shamrocks come to mind, as well as green carnations the occasional green roses, but when many people think of flowers for St. Patrick’s Day, they often overlook Bells of Ireland.

Bells of Ireland, sometimes known as shell flowers, are vertical green spires that are known to symbolize good luck. Despite their name, Bells of Ireland are not native to Ireland, and the green bells are not actually flowers, but the calyxes that surround the tiny flowers inside.

Native to Turkey and Syria, these green flowers are a member of the mint family and are sought after for their complex, but intricate beauty as well as their longevity. They are a very popular choice for St. Patrick’s Day bouquets and are also popular wedding flowers.

Bells of Ireland grow in stalks that can reach three feet tall and make an interesting conversation piece in any bouquet. They emit a pleasant fragrance and their curious design and gentle color make them very versatile in many different types of bouquets as they seem to complement a wide variety of different flowers.

It is best to keep Bells of Ireland cool and away from sources of heat, but they do extremely well in areas that have lots of natural light but only minimal direct sun exposure. A tabletop or windowsill is a perfect spot for a bouquet containing Bells of Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day vase by Durocher Florist

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, Bells of Ireland are a perfect way to spread your Irish cheer, but why waste all that luck on one day? If you know anyone starting a new job, moving to a new home, or beginning a new endeavor, send a little bit of luck their way by choosing the remarkably wonderful Bells of Ireland.

At Durocher Florist, we have several different designs that feature Bells of Ireland. Our most popular is the St. Patrick’s Vase, which also contains a beautiful mix of green carnations, poms, daisies, and a festive ribbon for the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat! Your options don’t end there, however – we can also create a custom bouquet for you featuring Bells of Ireland. All you have to do is call and let us know what you’d like and our experienced designers can take it from there!

Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a worldwide celebration of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women that takes place annually on March 8. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress which spotlights gender parity.

IWD is not a new holiday – in fact, it was first observed in the early 1900’s. It has, however, grown in popularity over the past few years and is now celebrated and supported around the world by the United Nations, along with governments, industry leaders, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women’s networks, charities, non-profit organizations, and more.

IWD is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women as well as a chance to take action to help raise visibility and awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity around the world.

We can all do our part in helping drive better outcomes for women by becoming responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender-inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely for another 217 years, so International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for ground-breaking action that can drive greater change for women and speed up the clock on gender parity.

World-renowned feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem once said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

How to get involved

  • Together we can all play a role in promoting women’s issues and rights, especially for women in developing countries. One of the easiest ways to get involved is by sharing the #PressforProgress hashtag on social media posts and encouraging your friends and followers to join in the festivities.
  • Purple is the official color for IWD, so simply wearing a purple shirt or ribbon is a great way to show your support.
  • There are numerous festivals and gatherings planned for IWD and you can check the International Women’s Day event page to see a full list of activities in your area.
  • Consider donating time or resources to women-focused charities or groups
  • Volunteer to set up your own IWD campaign. Materials and instructions can be found here.
  • Most importantly, just speak out and make your support known!

Even if you don’t want to get involved in organized IWD events, the day itself is still a great opportunity to celebrate a special woman in your life by acknowledging their hard work and sharing their stories. A small gift, like a beautiful bouquet, is always an appropriate way to show your gratitude and the smile is causes can make a big difference!

Looking for the Perfect Holiday Gift? Durocher Florist Has Your Answer!

Vintage Sleigh Bouquet by Durocher Florist

It’s beginning to a lot like Christmas here at Durocher Florist. We’re working hard to prepare for the holiday rush, but we’re never too busy to help you pick out the perfect gift for someone special on your list. Whether you’re shopping for a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, or just want to send a special treat, we have the perfect gift ideas for every occasion.

Hopefully, by now, you’ve crossed several names off your list, but chances are you still have at least one or two of those hard-to-buy-for people left. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, never fear – because we here to help you spread your holiday cheer! The possibilities are practically endless this time of year and we have an incredible variety to choose from. Whether you prefer a timeless classic like a festive poinsettia plant or something with a bit more flair like a beautiful hand-designed holiday floral arrangement, you’re in good hands at Durocher Florist.

Boxwood Tree by Durocher Florist

Be sure to get your orders in early this year to avoid the rush. Not only will you get the best value and widest selection by not waiting until the last minute, but you’ll also be able to cross one more thing off your list and reduce your own stress levels a bit. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to have a beautiful gift hand-delivered by Durocher Florist, we’re just a phone call away – or you can order online 24-hours a day. Are you sending the gift out of town? No problem! We can take care of that for you with the help of our network of associates located across the country.

In addition to our incredible selection of fresh flowers and plants, we also feature a fantastic variety of holiday gifts and décor that is sure to please anyone on your list! We’re also a great source for unique stocking stuffers and gifts for teachers, mail carriers, party hosts, co-workers, hair stylists, and more. This year, leave the last-minute shopping to the amateurs by trusting one of our professional designers to create the perfect one-of-a-kind gift. Give us a call today to check out what we have in store for you this holiday season!