Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas at Edgewood

For those of you who can't make it in to see our holiday plants at the peak of their beauty, here are some photographs we took today. Enjoy this peek into our greenhouses at this very special time of year...

Monday, November 3, 2008

How to Get Your Phalaenopsis Orchid to Rebloom

One of the many questions we get from clients is how to get the phalaenopsis orchid to rebloom. Under ideal conditions, phalaenopsis orchids will bloom twice a year. In order for an orchid to rebloom, you must have a few things, good growing surroundings, the right conditions for reblooming and feeding during growth periods.
When growing orchids, you will want to create the best conditions for it. I understand the fact that you want the orchid to work on the decorative level in your home and I agree that you do not need to change your style to suit the needs of the plant. I will give you what I consider to be the best conditions. First, make sure the plant stays in a well-lit area, free from any cold or warm drafts with a light misting from a spray bottle for elevated humidity levels. Second, the plant should never sit in water. They like to be well-drainned and watered with room-temperature water thoroughly once a week, no more often than that. Most orchids are now grown in semi-transparent pots which allows light to get to the roots, which helps to simulate actual growning conditions.
To produce and flower "spike", the long branch which hold the blooms, is done again by trying to simulate actual growing conditions. Once your plant has rested after flowering, it needs two months where there is a temperature difference between the days and nights. Ideally, if the plant could be given a daytime temperature of 22C or 72'F and a nighttime temperature of 16C or 62'F for two months, it would help in the encouragement of a flower spike.
Another necessary element is feeding the orchid. Because it grows in an almost soil-less medium, it is necessary to feed weekly during their growing / non-flowering periods. It is best to use a flower fertilizer of 5-5-5, formulated specifically for orchids. Many times when this is not available I suggest using general plant fertilizer 20-20-20 and cut the concentration down to 25% ie: if it says use tablespoon of powder in 1 litre of water, put a quarter tablespoon in 1 litre of water. Please avoid feeding when plant is in bloom.
In future installments, I will discuss other subjects such as poinsettia care, how to get your amaryllis to rebloom(is it worth the trouble?) and houseplant care through the winter.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Grads, renovs and a new improved website.

And so we find ourselves at the end of June. Frazzled teenagers are scrambling about the city, getting ready for their grads, calling us and invariably sputtering "uhhh... I need a flower... for my date..." as their mothers coach them in the background. I kind of want to pet their sweaty little brows and tell them to chill out, because in seven years when they're old like me, they won't really remember too much about this supposed pivotal evening. I can't really remember too much about my grad, except that I thought it would be a great idea to dye my hair fire engine red. The adolescent mind is capable of such clear thinking and perspicacity.

Anyway, after the parade of graduates comes to an end, Edgewood calms down for the summer. Murray's got loads of renovations and improvements planned, which I'm sure he will blog about in the coming weeks. I can hear the gears in his head clicking away.

Speaking of renovations, our beloved website has undergone a transformation! Along with a change in layout and some additional features (some of which we're still figuring out...) we're all proud of the new look. Technology-wise, we've progressed in leaps and bounds over the past ten years. Check out the upgraded site now!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grand Prix Weekend is like Christmas in June.

Being a 20-something Montrealer, summertime in this fair city means dinner on the terrace, walks along the Lachine Canal and the St-Lawrence River, Sunday at the Tams, ice cream at Le Bilboquet... and Grand Prix weekend! The city is currently in a state of frenzy as we welcome leather pants-wearing, Ferrari-crashing Eurotrash from here and abroad (and if you don't think that there's such a thing as domestic Eurotrash, you've obviously never been to Montreal.) The Canadian Grand Prix, which officially takes place this Sunday, is the glammest, most over-the-top event in the country, and for a few days, we share our beautiful metropolis with hundreds of thousands of party people who have come down to enjoy fast cars and a fast lifestyle... which may or may not include fast women; it's been known to happen.

We at Edgewood are not immune to the feeling of excitement and joie-de-vivre that seems to be everywhere at this time of year. To celebrate the magnificent summer we're anticipating, we've stocked more outdoors plants than ever before. Our geraniums, begonias and dahlias are bursting with color, and we have an equally impressive assortment of hanging baskets and outdoor planters, which are ready to be brought home with virtually no prep involved! In cut flowers, early batches of peonies have arrived, as well as fragrant lily-of-the-valley - a special surprise for those who can catch it. Fresh flowers are a perfect complement to balconies, patios or outdoor rooms... and with gas at $1.45 a litre, leaving many of us housebound this summer, isn't it a good idea to splash out on the more affordable luxuries?

It's going to be a wonderful weekend, so come on down to enjoy the blooms of the season. And who knows, maybe we'll run into each other on Crescent. I'll be the one harassing the Michelin Man.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mother's Day! Gift Certificates! Hurrah!

Like the rain that will soon be coming down on our fair island, we at Edgewood are getting pelted with holidays. First Easter, then Passover, then Administrative Professionals' Week and now Mother's Day on Sunday, May 11th. We're not complaining, though, since just as the rain strengthens the growing grass and ushers in a fruitful Spring, a series of successful holidays provides us with the income that cushions us during the leaner months of the year. I just had a Murray moment with that analogy. Sorry.

It's a lovely time to be at Edgewood, actually. For the past three weeks, our greenhouses have been crammed to the rafters with flowering plants of all kinds. Our fridges have also been overflowing with seasonal cut flowers like tulips, hydrangeas and Brenda's favorite, stock. She does love stock. The recent balmy weather has seen quite of few of the Edgewood faithful stopping by on their strolls around the neighborhood or pulling up in their cars. Here's a peek into what they've come to see:

So, Mother's Day. The Edgewood clan is fortunate to have many mothers amongst us, and they all have to work on May 11. We do, however, close at 1:00 on that day, so they can go home and be with their adoring families, as long as they do a thorough clean-up before leaving. But what is being a mother without having to clean up, right? Kind of goes hand-in-hand. We are also anticipating warm, sunny conditions on that weekend, so that we may celebrate our mothers in friendlier weather than we did Easter. Yeah, Easter was kind of gross.

And how will Edgewood be helping you celebrate Mother's Day? Our blooming plants, all at their peak of beauty, are pretty much a no-brainer, and can be kept outside to enjoy for months and months. We're also very happy to have finally made our gift certificates available for purchase on our website; those who can't decide on what to choose can give the gift of an Edgewood shopping spree.

So? Coming over?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Your friendly neighborhood florist urges you not to riot.

We here at Edgewood sometimes lament our awkward geographical placing in a largely residential area of Cote St. Luc. However, last night's hockey riot made us glad not to be situated on a downtown strip, as we would likely be sweeping up shards of broken glass right about now.

I don't understand. As a hockey fan myself, I have ventured downtown on a couple of occasions in the past few years to party with the masses as the Canadiens advanced to the second round of the playoffs. We all drove around, honked our horns and waved our flags, but it never, ever progressed beyond an immense block party. The vindictive turn that last night's celebrations took was shocking. If a first-round victory can incite this much violence and destruction in our city, what can we expect if the Habs win the Stanley Cup? It's a frightening thought.

Bottom line, friends, is don't riot. Seriously, it's not worth it. People all over North American think we're a city of thugs and yahoos... and honestly, after what's been reported, who could blame them? Let's make this a peaceful playoff season and put our collective passion for le Tricolore to positive use.

That being said, things here at Edgewood are nearly peaceful again after a hectic but successful Passover. We are now in the midst of Administrative Professionals' Week, which sends a busy buzz through the shop. Remember to thank the underlings or you may find yourself in the midst of another riot.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring has kind of sprung... I think.

It's hard not to get carried away by the promising weather we've been having. Temperatures over 10C, bright sun, melting snow, Montrealers out and about with the dogs and babies and baby dogs. I would like to think that it will last, but then I hear rumblings about snow for the weekend and, naturally, one gets a little nervous. It's been a bitterly rough winter, and we're all determined to move forward into this beautiful warm weather, with absolutely no setbacks!

Edgewood is bustling with activity at present, as we prepare for the upcoming Passover holiday. We've been receiving lots of great new products; from dishes to pots to a brand-new selection of plants, many items are already on the shelf, ready to be taken home and enjoyed. Our Phalaenopsis orchid display is one I take particular pride in - they look beautiful.

With this in mind, our holiday catalogue is now online in its entirety. This Spring, we're proud to offer vivacious new planters, sumptuous centerpieces and floral arrangements inspired by the charms of the garden. If we're going to have a wait just a bit longer for the real thing to sprout, the least we can do at Edgewood is offer you the next best thing. Check out the collection, and remember to order early for a timely Passover delivery.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A rainy Spring to all.

The weather report predicted that Montreal would get either snow or rain today, and we awoke to the latter. It's the lesser of two evils, I suppose...

Our Edgewood family is all back from a restful Easter holiday. It's not often that Easter and Passover are a month apart, but we enjoy those rare years where it occurs. Juggling coinciding holidays keeps us busy, but it can get tiring after awhile.

Preparations are underway for Passover, the first of our two busiest holidays of the year. In the coming weeks, the Edgewood faithful can look forward to brand-new designs in centerpieces, arrangements and planters, reflecting the slow march towards spring and our collective desire for light and life in this winter-hardened city. Keep checking the website for updates, as we're always adding new things.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! Usually we celebrate Easter with some tulips , daffodils or crocuses starting to appear in gardens, but this year it looks as if we will have to wait a little longer and the only bulb plants we will see will be those in our spring planters. There is still much snow out there and it appears it, along with the cold weather, will be with us for awhile.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Daylight Saving Time

Well, Daylight Saving Time is in effect and it allowed us to wake up an hour earlier to see what Mother Nature had dealt us overnight. I am not sure how many centimeters fell, but it left us with quite a bit of shoveling to do. With two snowblowers out of commission, we will be left to remove the snow by hand. Overnight it was hard to sleep due to the half expectancy of a call from the alarm system that the power had gone out. This is always a possibility when we have the high winds we experienced last night. The generator then needs to get started and systems changed over in order to keep the furnaces going. I prepared myself by going over in my mind what had to be done. One thing is for sure that we are making up for snowfall this year what we lacked the two previous years. With eleven days to go until spring, I guess everyone is wondering when it will end.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hopefully spring is on the way

Ah..finally, the first of March and hopefully, although I am not superstitious, "In like a lion, out like a lamb" applies here. Again we have snow. It has been a long winter with record snowfalls and record complaints about the winter. I don't have to go on too long about this winter because everyone knows what I am talking about. We can now look forward to spring thaw and the promise of some colour. If we can't have the colour outside, let's bring some inside. Time to get out to Edgewood and pick up a pot of spring bulbs to give us a little hope and remind us of what is to come, put it on the window sill and pretend it is growing outside. Time also to start thinking about Easter and Passover and all the new ideas we have for flower centerpieces and arrangements. We will be working hard to offer some very interesting pieces for spring. Until next time...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

She wants that lovey-dovey, that kiss-kiss.

It's funny; most people claim they hate Valentine's Day and everything associated with it, but this most hallowed of Hallmark holidays generates billions of dollars in revenue year after year, so somebody must be lying. It isn't me. I love Valentine's Day. I think it's cute and harmless and honestly, given the kind of violent culture we're immersed in, it's a bit reassuring that there's a day devoted to the celebration of love. Too many of us neglect to tell our loved ones that we care about them... and even though yes, every day should technically be Valentine's Day, circumstances kind of make that impossible.

Even the timing of the holiday works in everyone's favor; the cold weather has lost its wintry lustre by February, and with everyone suddenly suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Valentine's Day comes as a welcome distraction for many. Everyone loves somebody, be it a spouse, a significant other, a relative, a child, a pet or a stuffed animal. Why hate on a holiday devoted to something so fundamental and good?

Okay, so the pressure to consume is harsh. But there shouldn't be a benchmark for gift-giving, only options for those who choose to give. As florists, we're just giving people a chance to make their loved ones happy on a fun holiday. I mean, I'm definitely not opposed to singing teddy bears or chocolates or even jewelry, but if you want to give a gift on Valentine's Day, why not opt for something created by nature to commemorate the most natural bond shared by human beings? Hmm? See, we make a good case.

The Valentine's Day collection is up on the website; go check it out. Order early for peace of mind - yours and ours. We sold out of roses last year and we may very well again. You can buy the arrangement pictured below for a mere $40.00 plus delivery. Why not do so now?

As for me, all I'm hoping for on Valentine's Day is Chinese takeout. Nothing says love like a) flowers (for you) and b) sesame beef in a carton (for me.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January is kind of ridiculous.

Well, here we are: first post of the New Year, however belated it may be. I have not kept up with the blog, mostly because there's absolutely nothing to say. January is a death month. Nothing happens. Sometimes I go home at night and I remember nothing of my day. I'm glad it's nearly over.

Murray was at the FTD conference and CGTA gift show in Toronto this past weekend, and returned full of ideas and motivation. It's encouraging. The market is changing in so many ways, and florists have to work harder than ever to remain competitive. The big-box stores are perceived to be such a threat, and in a way they are, but I firmly believe that retail florists are very much needed. Look at it this way: lots of people do their own renovations, but interior decorators and contractors are thriving because, let's face it, nothing beats professional work. So even though anybody can just pick up a crap bouquet at a grocery store, it can't hold a candle to a lush, expertly-arranged floral presentation. And furthermore, nothing beats an arrangement from Edgewood. But you knew that, right?

So Friday will bring February, and February will bring the first major holiday of 2008: Valentine's Day. We've been brainstorming in small ways through the January muck, and ideas are now starting to poke through. I hope to be able to take some sample photos over the next couple of days so that our website will be ready for your online purchases by the weekend. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, maybe I'll talk Murray into sharing his gift show experiences with everyone in cyberspace. Or not. He's kind of busy. We'll see.