Join Durocher Florist as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8

We love celebrating holidays here at Durocher Florist and one of our favorites is International Women’s Day which takes place every year on March 8. Although it doesn’t quite share the same notoriety as many of the other holidays, its significance and message are certainly no less important.

The observance of International Women’s Day dates back to the early 1900s, but the global holiday’s growth in popularity over the past decade has helped it evolve into a worldwide celebration of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. IWD is not country, group or organization specific and belongs to all groups collectively.

Amazing Grace Bouquet by Durocher Florist

Unlike many other holidays where the same traditions are celebrated year-after-year, International Women’s Day features a new theme each year to highlight an important issue and raise awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity across the world.

This year’s theme is #PressforProgress which spotlights gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely over the next 200 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.

This year’s observance 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.

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!

Fantastic Flowers: Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisies are bright and cheerful flowers with an irresistible charm. Not only can these daisy-like flowers be found in a variety of sizes that grow up to seven inches wide, they are also available in almost every natural color of the rainbow – except blue.

Symbolic of innocence, purity, and cheerfulness, a handful of Gerbera daisies creates an instant centerpiece or bouquet, but they really shine when paired with other flowers for added texture, fragrance and height – which is why they are the fifth the most popular cut flower behind only roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and tulips.

Happy Day Bouquet by Durocher Florist

But their unmistakable beauty isn’t the only reason for their popularity. Gerbera daisies are also one of the longest lasting cut flowers and their year-round availability and affordable price makes them even more attractive. They also provide added health benefits by discharging oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins at night. In fact, some people place Gerberas next to their beds to enjoy better sleep.

For those of us intimidated by color theory, Gerbera daisies eliminate the guesswork! Their beautiful, large blooms crowd hundreds of petals onto each stem, creating a living color wheel of contrasting shades in unexpected combinations. From the classic mix of chocolate, cream and pink, to the spring freshness of grass, blush and ivory, or the dramatic impact of ebony, saffron and crimson there’s a Gerbera Daisy for everyone.

Originally from South Africa where some native species still grow wild, Gerbera daisies were first discovered in 1880 by a Scotsman named Robert Jameson operating a gold mine in Transvaal.

Also known as African Daisies or Transvaal Daisies, these stunning flowers understandably captured the imagination of plant collectors and breeders who found ways to create the exciting colors and long, sturdy, cut flower stems we know today.

With as many meanings as there are colors, Gerbera daisies have become a way to express a range of emotions.

• Red expresses love
• Pink conveys admiration and gratitude
• Bright orange represents warmth and happiness
• Yellow denotes cheerfulness
• White symbolizes purity and innocence

Care tips

  • When selecting Gerbera daisies, look for round heads and unblemished petals and make sure the stems are long and straight. To keep those stems standing tall, it’s important to keep them away from bright light because, like sunflowers, Gerbera daisies turn their heads towards the source of light.
  • Gerbera daisy stems also have a tendency to get blocked which can cause them to wilt prematurely. To prevent this from happening, be sure to change their water daily, or better yet, re-cut the stems under warm water to help the flower uptake water. They are also sensitive to fluoride so it might be a good idea to use bottled or filtered water if you tap water is fluorinated.

Although it may sound complicated, a little care goes a long way so it isn’t unusual for Gerbera daisies to last up to 14 days in a vase.

Did You Know?

Despite their South African origin, Gerbera daisies were named after German botanist Trauggott Gerber, hence the reason for always capitalizing the name Gerbera – it’s a proper noun!

Durocher Florist is your source for gorgeous Gerbera daisies! Give us a call or check out some of our fantastic designs featuring the incredible Gerbera daisy. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, we will be happy to design something special just for you.

Get Ready for a Fun-Filled Summer with Durocher Florist

Memorial Day is here at last, and that means the unofficial start of summer! As the school year winds down and the temperature rises, summertime is the perfect time for flowers and your friends at Durocher Florist are here to help make your summer one of the brightest and most beautiful yet!

For children in school, summer begins the moment the final bell rings on the last day of class. In fact, rock star Alice Cooper, who penned the infamous – and controversial – 1972 hit “School’s Out” likened the feeling of the last three minutes of the last day of school to the rush of waking up to a house filled with presents on Christmas morning.

No matter how old we are, we can all look back and reminisce about the exciting prospect of an entire summer filled with fun activities and few responsibilities – oh, to be young again!

Even if summertime looks a little different than it did when we were children, it doesn’t have to be any less exciting. In fact, we still manage to pack quite a few events into the warm days and long evenings of June, July, and August.

No matter how you decide to spend your summer, don’t forget the flowers! The summer season is full of opportunities for sending flowers – you surely know someone with a birthday or anniversary in June, July or August, right? If not, consider one of these special occasions:

Memorial Day

For many, summer starts off on a somber tone as we take this special day to remember the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom. Many choose to mark the occasion by visiting a cemetery or grave site of a loved one to pay their respects, and flowers are always an appropriate way to memorialize. There are no rules when it comes to which flowers to use as a memorial – some choose traditional flowers in red or white as a nod to the American flag but choosing specific flowers or colors that had special meaning to the deceased adds a nice personal touch. If you’re unsure what is appropriate – or have no idea which flowers to choose, we’re just a phone call away and our designers are experts in helping you find a fitting tribute.

End of the school year

Many schools traditionally take the last few days of the year as an opportunity to thank teachers, aides, assistants, coaches, administrators and parents for the important roles they played throughout the school year. Although this is certainly not an obligation – nor is it expected – gift cards and flowers are always appreciated by those who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to help educate America’s youth. Even if you don’t have kids in school, but know someone who works there, a big, bold, beautiful bouquet of flowers is an excellent way of congratulating them on a job well done.

Weddings

Summer season is wedding season, and weddings are all about flowers! While you won’t have to bring any flowers to the ceremony itself (we’ve got that covered), you’ll have plenty of opportunities for giving the gift of flowers for receptions and showers. Don’t forget the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom – they love flowers too! Of course, we also have a fine selection of gifts in-store that are perfect for this particular occasion.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 17 this year, and believe it or not, Durocher Florist is your one-stop shop for all your Father’s Day gifts. Be sure to check out our selection of gift items to find something truly unique for dad. It’s okay if he isn’t exactly a “flower kind of guy,” because we have other options. If you’re in a bind and just don’t know what to get, let us know and we can help you find something special for him.

Independence Day

The Fourth of July is a mid-summer treat for all Americans! Like Memorial Day, this holiday takes on a patriotic tone, but instead of a day of reembrace, Independence Day is a day of celebration! With so many municipalities hosting parades, cookouts, and fireworks shows, there are sure to be some fun activities in your area. Perhaps you were invited to a picnic or cookout on the 4th, and what better way to show your appreciation to the host than a beautiful patriotic bouquet to help liven up the party? As the holiday nears, we will feature a special selection of red, white and blue flowers that will be the hit of any Independence Day celebration.

Labor Day

Labor Day may seem far away, but you know how fast summers seem to go! This 3-day weekend signifies the end of summer for many, but it’s still one last chance to get outside and go for a swim, ride a bike, watch a sunset, or just simply spend some time outside enjoying the marvels of nature. For many, this holiday is a salute to the working men and women of this country and a well-deserved day of rest. It’s also one last chance to enjoy some time with friends and family before the kids head back to school. No matter how you choose to celebrate Labor Day – do it with flowers!

From our family here at Durocher Florist to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy summer! Please give us a call or stop by and visit anytime you’re in the area – we’re here to help keep your celebrations bold and beautiful, all summer long.

Celebrate Easter and Passover at Durocher Florist

Did you know that Easter is the fourth biggest floral holiday of the year? It may not get the recognition of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Christmas/Hanukkah, but flowers and plants have long played an important role in Easter and Passover observances and are synonymous with the holidays in both home decorations and as gifts.

Custom Made Easter Basket from Durocher Florist

When choosing a floral gift for Easter, it’s important to keep in mind not only who it’s for, but also what it will be used for. Flowers are always appropriate for mothers, grandmothers, and other close relatives or loved ones. Of course, Easter baskets full of chocolates, Peeps, and other springtime treats are always a favorite for kids of all ages!

They also make excellent gifts for church or social groups as well as for co-workers or the staff of your child’s school or day care center and are certainly a perfect gift to take along if you have been invited to an Easter dinner or other Easter celebration.

Lilies are popular symbols of Easter as they represent love, hope, and resurrection. White lilies are especially symbolic during Easter as they signify purity and divinity. Daisies, azaleas, daffodils, chrysanthemums, hyacinths, and tulips are also popular Easter flowers.

Celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 1, with a traditional Easter lily plant, or with a beautiful bouquet of fresh seasonal flowers from Durocher Florist.

Did you know?

  • Egg dyes for Easter were once made from flower petals. Other natural items like tree bark, onion peels, and juices were also used to color eggs.
  • The first story of a rabbit (later named the “Easter Bunny”) hiding eggs in a garden was published in 1680.
  • Easter takes place on a Sunday, after the 40-day period called Lent. Lent is referred to as a time of fasting, but most participants focus more on giving up one significant indulgence.
  • Holy Week is celebrated during the week leading up to Easter. It begins on Palm Sunday, continues to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then finally, Easter Sunday.
  • The 140th annual “White House Easter Egg Roll” is scheduled for Monday, April 2. This event has been celebrated by the Presidents of the United States and their families since 1878.

Passover

Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most commonly observed Jewish holidays. It begins annually on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. This year it begins at sundown on Friday, March 30, and lasts through Saturday, April 7.

Passover is a celebration of the Israelites’ being freed from slavery in Egypt. It is also observed as a celebration of spring, of birth, and of rebirth, and of taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world. The first night of Passover includes a special ritual dinner called Seder.

Flowers make excellent gifts for Passover. Traditional spring-blooming flowers are used to celebrate the holiday. Sunflowers, Gerbera daisies, roses, lilies, irises, and tulips are all excellent choices for this holiday season. Durocher Florist offers a nice assortment of centerpieces and fresh floral designs that make excellent gifts for this celebration.

Bringing Back Brown

Smiles for Miles by Durocher Florist

Every season brings with it a new “hot” color pallet that dictates everything from high fashion to floral designs. Certain decades are even defined by the colors that were popular during that particular era.

We have to reach way back to the 1970s to truly find the roots of this season’s hottest color resurgence, and while many people may try to forget some of the gaudy looks of the disco era, it’s about time that we embrace brown once again.

After falling from its place of prominence in the 70s, brown’s popularity has been slow to recover, which can only mean that this earthy tone is long overdue for a comeback, especially now that autumn is upon us. After years of disrespect, the color brown is back in a big way this fall.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the resurgence of the color brown is because it is decidedly anti-tech. In fact, it’s nearly polar opposite of the whites, greys, silvers and neon hues that are increasingly popular in today’s digital world. While most technology is designed to get your attention, brown is more comfortable existing in the background – blending in and often hiding in plain sight.

In color psychology, the color brown represents quality, honesty, hard work and reliability while also reflecting a feeling of calmness and comfort. Brown is trustworthy, loyal and dependable in a realistic and practical way. It’s not a flashy color, that much is for sure, but the rugged, natural color takes a certain confidence to pull off.

Brown isn’t often used as the primary color in most floral applications – in fact, it is one of the least preferred colors of the western world – but it is a very important contrast color, especially when paired with the oranges and yellows of traditional fall designs. Best of all, it acts as a soothing presence to help us deal with the stresses of modern life – something we can probably all use a little more of in our lives!

Summertime’s Sensational Sunflowers

Sunflowers are admired in floral arrangements for their warm and inviting beauty and are known to symbolize loyalty, adoration, and longevity. They are used in the floral industry to express feelings of happiness and energy, but the wondrous sunflower is so much more than just a pretty flower.

While admired for their simplistic beauty, sunflowers are also some of the world’s most versatile agricultural crops. In addition to the large daisy-like petals that add excitement and intrigue to fresh-cut floral arrangements, they are an excellent source of food and edible oil. Along with its nutritional seeds, sunflowers are commonly used for industrial applications such as biofuel and livestock feed.

Here are some fun facts that will make you take a second look the next time you see a sunflower:

• Sunflowers are primarily native to North America and were a common crop among Native Americans who not only used the ground seeds for food but also the flower for textile dyes and the stalks for kindling.
• Sunflowers are rugged flowers that are tolerant of both high and low temperatures making them easy to grow.

Here Comes the Sun by Durocher Florist

• Sunflowers can grow up to 16 feet in height and some varieties can produce over 2,000 seeds per flower.
• Among their many industrial applications, sunflowers are used to extract toxins from contaminated soil and were used to aid in the cleanup from the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters.
• There are over 70 different varieties of sunflowers in a wide range of sizes with petal colors ranging from vibrant yellow to deep oranges and browns.
• Sunflowers are among the fastest growing plants and can reach maturity and heights of 8 to 12 feet in 90-100 days.
• Sunflowers are often associated with renowned Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh who depicted the flowers in two series of still life paintings. One of those paintings was purchased for $53.9 million in 1987.

Be sure to take a closer look the next time you see one of these magnificently versatile flowers and consider including some of these cheerful favorites the next time you send flowers. Click here to check out Durocher Florist’s designs featuring the sensational sunflower.

Avoid These Common Pinterest Pitfalls When Choosing Your Wedding Flowers

In April, we discussed how to choose the perfect florist for your wedding. Now that you’ve found us, here are some common Pinterest pitfalls and how to avoid them when working with your florist!

If you recently changed your Facebook status to “engaged,” congratulations! We hope you have a florist in mind, but if not, we know a great one!

We absolutely love wedding flowers! For us, working with couples to set the tone for their big day is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. We think you’ll enjoy it too, but there are some important decisions to be made – that’s why it’s important that you and your florist are on the same page.

Pinterest is a fantastic resource for wedding inspiration, but people often make several key mistakes because it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the vast quantity of pictures they find online. In order to make your wedding flower experience as smooth as possible, we identified a few common Pinterest pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid.

1) Falling in love with everything – You might be starting off on the wrong foot by arriving at your consultation and showing the florist 3,000 wedding pins you like. In years past, most brides only had pictures of weddings from people they knew, or from a few bridal magazines.

Today, thanks to social media, we’re inundated with millions of professional wedding photographs and many of them make the flowers look amazing in all sorts of different settings. In reality, the same flowers that look picture-perfect in a photo of a beach wedding could look out of place if your wedding is in a church or a rustic rural venue.

A good strategy is having an idea or theme in mind and then showing a handful of favorites to your florist and letting them work their magic. They typically have a great eye for design and once you’re on the same page, it’s much easier to work out the details.

2) Not having an accurate budget – At this stage of wedding planning you should, at least, have a “ballpark” idea of how much of your wedding budget is allotted for decorations and flowers. It’s important to be realistic and accurate as possible to avoid major changes later on.

There are some incredibly cool ideas to be found on Pinterest, but it may not be feasible to include everything you want and still remain within your budget. Having an accurate budget goes a long way towards minimizing the stress of having to cut details that you really want.

Wedding florists are experts in making the venue as beautiful as possible, but they need to have a good idea of your budget in order to start their planning. In many cases, they’ve worked with your particular venue in the past, so they know what works and what doesn’t. They should be able to give you options, offer you alternatives, or give you advice on how to make the most of your allocated budget.

3) Not being flexible or having unreal expectations – Pinterest is definitely a welcome addition to the wedding industry, and we certainly recommend that anyone planning a wedding use Pinterest during the initial stages to gather ideas, but remember that it should be thought of as a place for inspiration and not duplication.

Your wedding to be unique; it should tell your story and reflect your style and personalities without being a carbon copy of someone else’s ideas. Relying on Pinterest to plan every last detail will only lead to disappointment because there are just too many variables in play.

Many weddings are big productions that require multiple vendors working in unison to make sure everything comes together without a hitch. Often times couples dream big initially but are forced to sacrifice or cut back on certain aspects of their big day. Unless you have an unlimited budget (wouldn’t that be nice?) you might have to temper your expectations or modify some details. Don’t worry, it happens to almost everyone, and that’s why you hire experts.

Chances are, your wedding won’t look exactly like one you saw on Pinterest – but that’s a good thing. You never know; a year or two from now anxious couples may be looking at your wedding photos for inspiration of their own. The important thing is to make the day yours!

We know most people don’t have much experience when it comes to wedding flowers – it’s just not something you do every day – that’s why our goal is to make your wedding look fantastic! Give us a call at 413-785-5148 and we’ll help walk you through the process and set up a consultation.

Do Roses Cost More on Valentine’s Day?

s it true that roses cost more in early February than they do the rest of the year? The short answer is yes, but not just for consumers. Many people are led to believe that flower retailers artificially raise prices to stick it to desperate consumers, when if fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

durocherYes, roses cost more this time of year, but they also cost more for the florist, and the wholesaler, all the way down to the grower. The main reason is that the incredible demand for long-stem red roses on a single day puts a tremendous strain on the entire industry, and that affects everyone involved in the complex process of bringing fresh flowers to your door on Valentine’s Day.

In order for growers to meet the annual demand for red roses, they must time the growth of their flowers. This is accomplished by altering the rose plants’ growth cycle to optimize the harvest for February 14. By doing so, the growers must interrupt everyday production for several weeks in order to produce a bumper crop at precisely the right time. Unfortunately, the cost of stopping everyday production comes at a price, and that gets passed on down the line.

Is that the only reason?

That’s one reason for the price increase, but many additional factors come into play before the flowers reach the consumers. For starters, the unusually large harvest of roses can swell up to three times the normal volume that is typical for other times of the year. Since roses are processed manually, this necessitates hiring temporary laborers to help harvest and package the roses. Once the roses are ready to be shipped, importers are not only forced to pay more for the extra needed cargo space, but also for the extra trucks and drivers necessary to handle the extra volume.

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the years for florists, but our preparation for this holiday begins weeks – if not months – in advance. In order to meet demand, we must hire additional help, work longer hours, and rent additional delivery vans in order to make sure all the orders are delivered on or before the 14th.

Nobody likes to see the annual price spike for roses, but unfortunately, it’s an unavoidable result of supply and demand. With an increasingly crowded marketplace dominated by online-only flower shippers, the profit margins for local florists are razor thin compared to many other times of the year.

So, what’s the good news?

The good news is that we work very hard at Durocher Florist to keep costs low and prices competitive while never sacrificing quality or service for our customers. We understand the importance of this holiday to our customers and their loved ones and always do our best to exceed their expectations.

Whether it’s a dozen red roses or something else you had in mind for your sweetheart, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift. Remember, the earlier you order, the better! Do yourself a favor by not waiting until the last minute when items are picked over and delivery times are full. Make this Valentine’s Day one they’ll never forget, with the help of your friends at Durocher Florist.

Mother’s Day Around the World

Girl hiding greeting card for mother behind backIn 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.

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.

Golden Laughter Bouquet by Durocher Florist

Golden Laughter by Durocher Florist

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.

Garden Pitcher Bouquet by Durocher Florist

Garden Pitcher Bouquet by Durocher 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 Durocher Florist help you treat her to something special this year and make her day one that she won’t soon forget.