Category Archives: Day-to-day

New Toys! (aka new product for Spring 2014 and Mother’s Day)

Confession time: I phoned my mom and yelled “Santa’s here! Santa’s here!” when the wholesale truck pulled up this morning.
Yes, I am a 35 year old woman with her own business and home.
In my defense, I am jacked up on coffee, and that’s probably the way it’s gonna be until May 12.

Sunday May 11 being Mother’s Day, you see.
This is the biggest day of the year for florists, matched only by Valentine’s Day.
But blah blah blah, what does this mean for you, dear reader and customer?

This means new stuff with which to treat yourself, send best wishes, or win the belt and title for World’s Most Awesome Kid
of the Year.

Little antique-look drawer planter boxes

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I had to buy these with plants in them. I plan to rip out what’s in there and add lavender, cuphea, calendula and other
botanical treasures- but my floral and plant wholesaler says to warn you all that the cold, dark spring is playing havoc
with the greenhouse growers. Our annuals may not be in full bloom for May 11. If that’s the case, I’ can add a few cut
flowers to any planters that aren’t showy enough. Once the sun kicks in, everything will blossom like crazy.

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And from left to right,
new burlap ribbon, chunky ‘natural’ textured planters, square tin planters/vases, 5″ ceramic pots with bark texture and
moss colouring, sweet green tinted ‘jardin’ mason jars, and a hanging grapevine globe with a little glass cylinder perfect
for a tiny hand tied bouquet.

Feel free to call, email, order online, or visit in person at one of our TWO pop up shop locations!
We will be at Lakeshore School, 2312 Princess St, from 9-5 on Sat May 10 and Sun May 11
and we are very excited to announce we will also have a table at the Queen’s University Club brunch from 10-2 on Sun May

popupshop poster md2014 700

Want to win Mother’s Day flowers for FREE?

Mother's Day giveaway 2014
Don’t miss our social media contest now through Monday- enter to win a hand tied bouquet for a special mother in your life,
as well as a $50 charitable donation in her name to the charity of her choice.
More details here.

Have a great weekend- hopefully everyone manages to catch a little sun in between the rain showers.
I will leave you with a photo of our quality control department, hard at work:

rigourous product test 700




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Winter Flower PSA


Today a customer told me to just leave some flowers at the garage door if the recipient wasn’t home. While this might be a perfectly fine thing to do this SATURDAY, she will not fly today, my friends.

I give a standard ‘make us your last stop/pick up flowers last/ warm the car up first’ lecture FREE with each winter pickup purchase.

You don’t want your flowers to get anywhere near frost or freezing temperature. The water inside the flowers’ cells will freeze, expand, damage/rupture  the cells, and turn your lovely bouquet or plant into mush.

Case study: One Christmas, my husband left a poinsettia in his car for three hours… and was disappointed to find a leafless Charlie-Brown-tree in the wrapper once he got it inside.

Case study dos: I was speaking to one of my wholesalers, and even their climate-controlled trucks and vans were struggling with the Arctic Vortex -40 last week. Some drivers had water freeze in buckets, others found that, despite protective wrapping/boxes, some flowers were damaged by cold during the short walk from truck to shop door.

I often have customers ask me if they should keep their flowers in the fridge at home, and when I was googling “how freezing damages flowers”, I actually found people asking how to freeze cut flowers so they last longer.

I think there might be some confusion because people see coolers in most flowers shops.

Although many florists in our bit of the world run a cooler all year long, the point is not to freeze, but to maintain a temperature of about 5-8 degrees C with the correct humidity. This slows bacteria growth and the ageing/dying process of the flower, without damaging or drying out plant tissues. (There are certain flowers, such as orchids, that don’t even handle those temperatures well, and are best stored around room temperature.)

Stop at the flower shop last, warm your car up first, and don’t stop for gas on the way home! We will probably wrap up your lovely gift in some paper for an extra layer of insulation – this is one time when those ugly grocery store triangular paper sleeves are really a good thing!

And now you know.  Be sure to check back in the summer for my ‘gun the A/C, don’t let them turn into steamed veggies’ lecture.

We aim to please, not to freeze, babies.

Happy Thursday!

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No more November

FRIDAY already?  As in, Friday, month-end, close to quitting time?

I’m not sure where the week went, to be completely honest.

Fun times here- I’m moving everything into my new basement studio space later on this weekend.  And Santa came early  in the form of a shipment from one of my suppliers. At busy holidays I have to break my ‘not buying things by the case’ rule, but I hope you’ll forgive me when you see the haul:


Birch pots, candles,  blingy-blingy ribbon, (and some more subtle stuff), ceramic pots, shallow-dishes-that-can-double-as-pretty-candle-holders-post-holiday, dried fruit and lovely natural elements …

Watch ye olde online shoppe as we add an item or two every day- especially on Dec 1, when we begin our 12 Days of Christmas sale!  Prepare to be bombarded with holiday flowers on the facebooks, twitter, and the Kingston Finest Values booklet. I’ll keep it as non-obnoxious as possible, promise 🙂

From Nov 30 until Dec 12, receive 10%off your holiday flower order (aka fleurs delivered or picked up  between now and Jan 1. )  Use the promo Code 12DAYS online, or just phone me… maybe sing a verse or two of the song.  You never know. I am a demanding woman and I demand entertainment! (Also, I prefer the Bob and Doug edition.)


Couple snaps of some bouquets that went out the door today- I try my best not to make the holiday birthday bouquets look too Christmassy…


Oh, and Mr. Bingley wishes to inform you that eating rose petals out of the compost bucket is now totally his jam.



Happy Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, happy No More Godawful Mustaches,  and a merry weekend to all!

Let me know what you think about improvements to the shop/site:

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Last of the summer whine…

The whiner would be me, housebound until possibly 9pm, waiting on Union Gas to make the warm water and warm air happen in my house. Don’t even ask.


The upside is that I’ve been making bright, summery bouquets all afternoon. Everyone wants purple and yellow and white and pink this week- it’s almost as if they know how much red/white/green/glitter is just around the corner.


Happy Friday, all!

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Studio closed this Friday

blog close notice

Please place your orders for Thursday and Saturday asap.
We’re off to Toronto on Friday to visit some wholesalers…and bring back a ford focus full of Christmas goodies.

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The Halloweenie

There’s a pointy-clawed, chompy-fanged monster in my house!

The night before a September wedding gig, I sweet talked my husband into taking me to the Humane Society . There was a photo on the adoption page of a little black kitten with the biggest ears you ever saw. His name was Mr. Bingley. And he needed a home.


At 6:30 the following morning, I was making boutonnieres and kitty was frantically tangling himself up in the top of our kitchen curtains. I wondered if there may have been some poor decision-making on my part.

Mr. Bingley has become quite the little bruiser since then. His ears don’t seem as comically big, and I can’t count as many of his ribs, but he would like to inform you that he is literally starving to death at all times. Please call the SPCA.

When he isn’t screaming at the cupboard where we keep his food, he enjoys standing up on his back legs to try and eat socks, sandwiches, and the strings of your hoodie. He plays fetch with gerbera straws and paper balls. His arch-nemesis is the red laser pointer. His interests include the toilet, the garbage, and- after investigating these items- sticking his paws in your face. His true purpose in life is to get into the flower studio and unspool all the ribbons.


Naptimes are 9:00 am to 11:00am and 2:00pm to 4:00 pm. Crazy Cat Time (aka ‘run and jump everywhere, claw and bite everything’) is 9:00pm through whenever you hope to go to bed and sleep.
He will frequently arch his back and do a meow-smile that makes him look exactly like a Halloween decoration. He will this zero times if there is a camera around.
Also not pictured- cuddle time when it’s especially cold or you’re having a bad day. I guess we’ll keep the little jackass around.


In other local news:

Doc says my wrist is good to go! Special thanks to Dr. Lau and the good folks in orthodpedics at Hotel Dieu. Hip hip hooray, let the physio begin…

Just in time to face down one of the greatest challenges on the florist calendar: the big December 2-4, the C-word itself. I’m not a Christmas in October kind of girl, but the more I work out my plans and designs, the more excited I am about the season.

Think Silver and Gold. And birch and moss and and lotus pods. Cinnamon sticks, orange clove pomanders, and cookies…pinecones and rosehips and painted branches…wreaths and swags and centerpieces, oh my. The whole studio smells of eucalyptus, pine, cloves, and cinnamon.


You’re welcome to order and talk Xmas any time. I’m ready for early holiday gifts and parties. There will be sneak peeks, but I’d like to hold off on major advertising and announcements until Nov 11 to show respect for our veterans.

Nov 12? Showtime! (Anyone remember that? From Beetlejuice? Anyone?)

Happy Halloween!


Filed under actually not flowers, Day-to-day, Good People, Holidays

0 days without a workplace injury

Actually, it didn’t happen on the job,

but I did manage to fall and crack a couple bones in my right hand the other week.

Fortunately, my ER-issue white plaster cast has come off, and I am rocking a high-tech velcro splint- the cracks are tiny, and I should be back to normal in a month or so. Still…guess who’s right-handed? This graceful ballerina right over here.


Fleurs haven’t been as much of a difficulty as writing cards and trying to do my hair- and typing! The week leading in to Thanksgiving was actually pretty productive,  I even  created one of my favourite pieces to date: a centrepiece of red hot chilli peppers, burgundy dahlias, yellow spray roses, rose hips, rosemary… and I couldn’t resist adding some sage! I just became too frustrated with two-finger chicken peck typing, and wasn’t up to photoshopping  and blog-posting .

So here’s a little show and tell…sorry for the photo quality…Hard to hold the old camera steady, and I’m a fairly poor photographer as-is 😛





PS. Happy belated Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for my family, friends, and clients who helped out: tying ribbon, writing cards, driving, and accepting a slower turnaround time on orders and invoicing.

PPS. Mr. Bingley wants you to know he is extremely helpful, too.
Keep eating those turkey and tofurkey sandwiches, my fellow Canadians… and a happy Thursday to all!

Yours sincerely,
Old Southpaw, aka Stumpy the one-armed bandit

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Filed under Day-to-day, Holidays