Why I have a love/hate relationship with bridal magazines!

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Why I have a love/hate relationship with bridal magazines!

Did my title grab you? Well, it’s true. While I LOVE the beautiful flower photos in magazines (and Pinterest as well!) I sometimes hate the “suggestions” these article writers give to brides about flowers. Let me dispel some “fake” info on flowers, strictly from a florist’s perspective….

1. “In season” flowers. All flowers have a season that they naturally bloom in, peonies in June for instance. I buy from a worldwide marketplace meaning I can get most flowers all year. Seasonality only matters as to how great a particular flower will look. Peonies look best in June, they don’t look as great in September. Also, the cost doesn’t necessarily become cheaper when flowers are “in season”, because the demand for frequently- used wedding flowers is usually high which drives up cost.

2. The flowers you see are the flowers you will get. A perfect example. Ranunculus are gorgeous flowers but range in size from about the size of a quarter to about 4 inches across. Just because the glossy photo you see shows a huge blossom, doesn’t mean that’s the size the flower will be at all times of the year. Mother Nature does play a hand in this, certain cultivars are larger/smaller than others, then there are weather factors, etc!

3. I don’t want pesticides/chemicals used on my flowers. In an ideal world, pesticides/chemicals would not be necessary. Unfortunately, bugs love flowers as much as people do and if you are willing to have holes and nibbles in your wedding flowers as well as smaller, imperfect blossoms (remember, fertilizer can be chemical too!) it is possible to obtain organic flowers. The cost most times more than doubles for this option and often all floral varieties are not available. If a wildflower, unstructured look is what you are after, locally grown, farmers market flowers may be the way to go.

That’s my blog for today! Don’t be discouraged though. Most florists have access to several wholesale outlets and can suggest wonderful flowers to make your vision a reality!

Easy to Grow Houseplants

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

This week’s blog is about houseplants.  To be honest, Randy and Kate take care of the plants here at the shop and do a great job!  We try to sell only plants that regular folks have a fighting chance of keeping alive!  Houseplants not only beautify our living spaces, but also help to purify the air.  I always try to keep a pot of blooming plants in my house as well, hyacinths or tulips, or mums.  These are readily available and provide color and serve to remind us that spring is not far off!

Here are a few houseplants I thought might fit the bill for those of you needing a little green in your space!

 Peace LilyPeace Lily

This plant has a lovely white flower and dark green leaves.  It thrives in low humidity and low light and likes moist soil throughout.

Aloe VeraAloe Vera

This plant is great for a sunny indoor space….I keep mine in the kitchen as the “juice” in it’s leaves are helpful in soothing burns.  As it is a succulent, it prefers a drier soil, a warmer temperature (70 degrees or so) and bright sunlight.

Jade PlantJade Plant

A plant that seemingly lives FOREVER in the right conditions, this slow grower is also in the succulent category.  It has lush leaves and a rather exotic look.  It, like the Aloe, enjoys a drier soil and bright light and can tolerate normal room temperatures.

Spider PlantSpider Plant

Haven’t we all grown up with this robust houseplant? Still, it serves the purpose of “greening up” our living spaces with the added bonus of supplying baby plants to give our friends!!!  It works best as a hanging plant (need to leave room for those babies!) enjoys temperatures of 60-70 degrees, and prefers to be kept evenly moist.


My favorite houseplant by far.  This plant, named after the Greek word for “wandering” lives up to it’s name.  It can be easily trained onto a support or allowed to trail.  I often cut mine back when the stems get too long with no damage to the plant.  It likes to dry out between waterings and will thrive in a wide array of lighting conditions and likes normal room temperatures.

I hope Spring is just around the corner, but if not, getting a few houseplants to bridge the gap until it gets here may not be a bad idea!

Mary Ann


Silk Flowers vs. Fresh Flowers

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments


   The battle rages for many a bride as to whether to use silk flowers or fresh flowers for her wedding day. Both approaches have their merits and their drawbacks. On the plus side, silk flowers provide easy color matches and are a keepsake to have forever.  On the negative, silk has no fragrance and, while the idea of keeping  your bouquet forever seems romantic, silk often fades over time, and you will be storing it for years! Now for fresh flowers;  the pluses are the fresh scent and the natural beauty of the flowers, the negative is that the flowers do die and need to be tossed. 🙁

The answer? Combine a few silk blossoms among the fresh in your bouquet. Often I suggest this approach to brides who love peonies but not the expense they bring when off season.  Good silk peonies are virtually undistinguishable from live peonies and provide that great, full, lush look.  The same applies to lily of the valley and lilacs.  Tucked into your bouquet with fragrant roses, carnations, and other flowers, they will look wonderful.  The most important consideration is what is right for YOU.  If you do choose silk, spend the extra money to get quality silk flowers….cheap artificial flowers look just that….cheap and artificial.  As the focal point in many of your wedding photos, make sure the flowers look their best…..whichever type you choose!

Mary Ann



Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Just a reminder that North Country Flowers will be selling delicious chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day!! Remember to order early!!!

“Local” Flowers

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I get many questions from brides and others about using “local” flowers.  I am a gardener myself and love gathering flowers from my flower beds to use in bouquets for my table AT HOME. 

Garden flowers have their uses in informal centerpieces (think Bohemian-style) and are just the thing needed, and of course, I love to (and DO) support local pick your own farms when I can!

BUT, I almost NEVER use locally grown garden flowers in my formal wedding work, and for good reason. Garden flowers have been subject to huge changes in temperature (hot during the day, cooler at night) as well as being eaten by any number of insects, both factors that could make a beautiful bridal bouquet, well, not so beautiful.

Most flowers used in commercial settings are commercially grown in Ecuador, Holland, Canada, California, and South America.  There simply are not any large commercial growers nearby! Flowers from these commercial farms are grown under controlled conditions; the right temperature, soil, and free of insects.  When they arrive at the shop they are in prime condition ready to be included in fresh, vibrant designs….no wilting blossoms, no munched stems, ……perfect for each bride’s special day!!!

A once-in-a-lifetime day calls for only the best……

Mary Ann