What a difference a design makes

Yesterday was our main winter formal for Nitro High School.  It was a busy week of helping clients to choose their designs, obtaining special products and creating special live art for the young people to wear to their event.   During the whirlwind of pick up time, we had a lady who stopped by, upset and distraught over the winter formal flowers that she received from another flower shop.  She said that she had asked for something modern in design and this is what she received:

corsagex1Because of her reaction to this design, she was obviously upset with the outcome of the design.  While others may think it is fine, she was not happy with it at all.  She didn’t think it looked modern in any way.

I took it completely apart and started with the base.  I created a wrist band that looked modern instead of using the old elastic wrist band which, in my opinion, looks like the elastic band from underwear!  LOL  But I digress….  I then made a new ribbon treatment using the two colors the girl was wearing which was ivory and black.  I attached the black rose she had wanted and embellished it with a rhinestone pin and a few rhinestone accents on the leaves.  The customer loved it and so did I .

New improved wrist corsage

Part of being a top shelf designer is to continually take design classes anytime you can to improve design ability as well as being educated in new techniques and trends.  This is what makes our flower shop separate from others.  We have the only designer in the entire state of WV that is a Certified Floral Designers by the American Institute of Floral Designers.  The proof is in the photos as well as in the design. :)


Wedding season is heating up with new trends/looks

Wedding season is starting to spring into action and we are seeing a change in what brides are looking for to enhance their special day.

The days of  hand tied round bouquets of roses have been replaced with a contemporary vintage style of  mixed flowers such as garden roses, peonies, spray sweetheart roses with jewels, feathers and other ornamental accents. 

You can even see this trend with the new styles of prom gowns and accessories for 2011.  At English Rose in Southridge, they have a selection of shoes, hand bags, and hair accessories all enhanced with the same funky style that  we are seeing in the bridal industry.

Recently, English Rose requested that we create some new bouquets for their displays which we were honored to have been asked.  We created a wonderful design of beautiful soft white feathers accented with loads of jewels and ribbons created in an acrylic bouquet holder which looks like crystal.  This bouquet would be perfect for the modern bride.

For the prom goer or even for a bridesmaid, we created a bouquet that includes peacock feathers with turquoise and purple silk flower accents as well as other matching enhancements.  

Additionally, we also designed a bouquet that will go perfectly with a leopard print dress that includes soft cream feathers with chocolate brown silk flowers and jewelry accents.  

You can see these designs by visiting our facebook page at www.facebook.com/crosslanesfloral or stop by English Rose. 

Whether your style is vintage, modern, traditional, or somewhere in between, we can create the perfect bouquet, wrist corsage, or body flowers to fit your style.  Stop by our shop for ideas to enhance your perfect look. 

Bouquet of white feathers


Boronia by any other name would smell as sweet!

Boronia, pronounced (bo·ro·ni·a [ bə rṓnee ə] ), has approximately 95 different species, all but one originated from Australia. Boronia is a bushy evergreen shrub that can reach heights to six feet, each shrub has an abundance of fragrant flowers. The flowers are small cup-shaped blossoms that are clustered on the stems with very soft leaves that resemble pine needles. Boronia has a very strong complex floral base undertone with sweet melon and fruit notes.

The Brown Boronia (Boronia megastigma) is intensely fragrant (like Freesia and Osmanthus) and is used in Australian floral arrangements for its intense aroma. Brown Boronia is produced and used almost exclusively in Australia.


The primary flower produced for both domestic & export is Boronia heterophylla which has fairly long stems of vibrant pink flowers and are more attractive than B. megastigma (brown boronia) yet still possesses excellent  fragrance. B. heterophylla is cultivated in both south-east and southwest Australia for the cut flower trade.

Legend of the boronia suggests that in difficult situations or when a challenging issue is faced, the Boronia essence is able to offer solace. It is said to calm the mind when plagued with repetition of persistent thoughts. It will assist you to gain more clarity to resolve situations. With a calm mind, there is a greater possibility for you to make right decisions from a place of peace and clarity. Additionally, boronia essence may be useful for people who are obsessive or compulsive about things or activities in their lives.


So, perhaps you don’t have obsessive compulsive thoughts nor need peace and clarity, but you love great smelling fresh flowers.  If that’s the case, and you have never had boronia before, be sure to treat yourself to a bunch before it is out of season.  Boronia obtained in a fresh cut flower has a short season of only 6-8 weeks depending on the weather.  Therefore, try it before it’s gone as it won’t be available until spring 2011!


Tulips are springtime fun

The tulip (pronounced too-lip) was originally a wild flower that grew in Central Asia.  Flowers within the description of ‘tulip’ are any various plants belonging to the genus Tulipa, of the lily family.  Tulips generally have lance shaped leaves and large showy bell shaped flowers in a large variety of colors.  Tulips are indigenous to mountainous areas and need a period of cool dormancy to re-bloom.  They are typically planted in the fall, in well-drained soil, in preparation for spring blooming.

Since the 17th century, tulips have been used in gardens for decoration as well as for medicinal use.  Tulips became so popular that people began using them as a trading product.  The demand for tulips became huge and their bulbs sold for extraordinary high prices.  Botanists started to hybridize the flower and created many new varieties in color, size and even shape.  Owning such a treasure as a hybrid gave one a sign of high status.  Having tulips in your home or garden was a way to impress, especially owning those with unusual petals such as the frilly or jagged edge tulips.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that bontanits discovered that the frilly petals and dramatic flames that gave the rare tulip its stunning look were, in fact, the symptoms of an infection by the mosaic virus!  The virus originated from a louse living on peaches and potatoes.  Once discovered, diseased varieties of tulips are no longer sold.  The tulips with the similar characteristics sold today are hybrids which are genetically stable and disease free.

If gardening is not your favorite pastime, you can always enjoy fresh cut tulips from your local florist.  Tulips love to be in fresh, clean water and require very little maintenance. You can extend the life of your fresh cut tulips by keeping away from direct sunlight and heat. During the night you should also try placing your fresh cut tulips in the coolest room in the house.  Doing so will help to prolong the life of your tulip arrangement.

Did you know that fresh cut tulips keep growing?  They can even gain an inch or more in height.  Tulips also grow toward the light which is why your arrangement may look different than when it was first purchased.  The spontaneous nature of tulips are a part of what makes them so popular. 

Spring is peak season for cut tulips. One cannot see a tulip without thinking about springtime which is why tulips are our March Special!  We will be receiving tulips flown in directly from Holland and ready for you to enjoy! 



Everything’s coming up roses

Roses are one of the most romantic flowers given as gifts throughout the year as well as Valentine’s Day.  From a deep burgundy Freedom rose to a snow white crisp Blizzard rose and all the colors in between, roses continue to be the number one choice of flower for Valentine’s Day.   To keep your roses lasting as long as possible, here are some helpful tips.

1.  When you first receive your roses, check the water level.  If you have received your roses professionally arranged, it is important that you keep the vase as full as possible.  With arranged roses, not all of them will have their stem at the bottom of the vase but rather will be staggered inside of the vase.   It is therefore important that each rose have a constant water source.  Fresher roses tend to drink alot of water so it is a great idea to check the level each and every day. 

2.  Keep your roses away from extreme heat or cold.  This means do not set your roses on the television set (TV’s conduct heat).  Do not set them near a vent or an outside door.  Also, do not set them in a window.  On sunny days, you would be surprised at how much heat will penetrate a window.


3.  In the event that you receive your roses in a box or wrapped in cellophane, every rose should have a water tube.  Have your vase full of water and ready prior to removing the tubes.  Always use fresh cold water.  Do not use warm water because warm water actually has air bubbles within itself and can cause your roses to die prematurely.  Carefully remove any leaves that might end up below the water line.  Foliage beneath the water line will increase bacteria in the water which will cause your roses to die prematurely.  Never completely remove thorns from roses.  This will scar the skin of the rose and can create air holes much like a drinking straw with holes in it.  Roses that have been completely de-thorned have a greater difficulty in drinking the necessary water needed to stay alive and, therefore, will decrease its life.


4. Once you have all your components ready to arrange your roses, be sure to use a clean knife.  Do not use regular scissors as they can pinch the rose stem closed which will inhibit the rose from drinking water.  Cut each rose on an angle and place it in the fresh water quickly.  Roses can create a film over the fresh cut which will also inhibit water absorbtion.


Professional florists will include a flower food packet with your roses (arranged or wrapped).  Be sure to follow the instructions on the packet.  Add the packet to fresh clean water.  Use that water to keep the vase full.


Most important, enjoy your fresh roses.  Marvel at how beautiful they are.  Take in their fragrance and celebrate the meaning of receiving a gift so exquisite that they could only be created by Mother Nature.


Will you be my Valentine?

Valentine’s Day has been a day to celebrate love for centuries.  Every year in February, beautiful fresh flowers, candy, and gifts are exchanged as a part of celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day.  Have you every wondered why we celebrate this holiday as well as who St. Valentine might be? The answer to this question is actually shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that February has long been considered a month of romance.

One legend story is that Valentine was a priest who served in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. Therefore, he outlawed marriage for any young man who might be a potential soldier. Valentine felt this law to be a great injustice and, therefore, performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Once discovered, Claudius ordered that Valentine be put to death.

According to another story, legend indicates that while in prison, Valentine fell in love with a young woman, perhaps his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before he was put to death, Valentine wrote a letter to this young lady, which he signed ‘From your Valentine’.

Although the actual truth behind the Valentine legends may never be known, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a loving, heroic and sympathetic soul. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

By the 17th century Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated.  It was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange tokens of affection and/or handwritten notes. In modern time, Valentine’s Day is still a fun day to celebrate all aspects of love and friendship.


The holidays are upon us

Before you knew it, we are in the midst of the holiday season.  We have just finished celebrating Thanksgiving and now Christmas shopping and decorating is in full force!  We have been visited by many local residents looking to add that special touch to their home.  


There is nothing better than the fragrant smells of winter greenery and fresh flowers to brighten up a home during this hectic time.  You can bring them home for yourself to enjoy or even send fragrant flowers as a Christmas or holiday gift.


In the event that you may have an artificial tree and miss the wonderful pine scent, we have many different types of pine and evergreen available by the bunch.  You can tuck a few sprigs into your tree or even place the entire bunch in a vase, pitcher, or basket with a liner.  Winter evergreen is a very long lasting product that is very affordable.


As a gift, you won’t need to worry if they are the right size, shape or color.  Many religions welcome flowers as an acceptible and appreciated gift including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even people who celebrate winter solstice.


There are a number of wonderful selections in the traditional colors of Christmas.  Whether you prefer the classic centerpiece of red carnations and white snowdrift poms or something more unique, such as casablanca lilies, red gerbera daisies, fuji mums, tulips etc. we can create an wonderful present that is artfully designed into the perfect gift.


Giving Thanks

The holiday of Thanksgiving is more than just a day of turkey, pumpkin pie and football.  It is also a day to share with family and friends, taking the time to enjoy each other’s company.  In many situations, you may find yourself invited to a family or friend’s home to share in the holiday festivities.


One of the most traditional items of the Thanksgiving table is a beautiful floral centerpiece, which is the perfect hostess gift.  Some might prefer a  centerpiece with candles and florals in vibrant colors of the fall season.  Others might prefer  a vase of deep burgundy calla lilies or even a cornucopia with  a multitude of items such as millet, permanent vegetables and more.


One thing is certain; flowers are always a welcome gift.  A gift that will last as many days as you have leftovers!   We invite you to browse our site or, better yet, stop by and see all the beautiful fall flowers we have in stock this Thanksgiving season.


Facebook is amazing

In a flower shop, something always needs to be done.  After the beautiful gifts and arrangements are created and in route, there are a million things to do like washing buckets, cleaning the cooler, etc.   Now in the modern world there is social media.  However, who has time for socializing when there are vases to be washed?  We do!


We have recently been working and updating our facebook page and are so delighted that we did.  It is really difficult to put into words how much we love hearing from our customers (called fans on facebook).  Who knew that something like a website could allow us to become more personal with our customers?


As our most important job is being a vessel of communication between two or more people, we often wonder about the outcome of life’s events that we become a part of when we deliver flowers.  We sometimes discuss past events and wonder what happened after the flowers were delivered.  Did she forgive him?  Was he embarrassed to receive a bear and balloons at work?  Did they live happily ever after?  Who did she chose?  Was he comforted knowing others were praying during his darkest hour?  Did they imagine that we said a prayer for comfort during this difficult time?  Did she find out that we wrote the card when he couldn’t find the right words to say?


As our facebook page becomes more popular we are anticipating a deeper relationship with our customers.  The better we know you, the more we can help you express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions through the art of flowers.  We are also excited to see your photos and hear the stories of what happened after the flowers were delivered. 


If you haven’t already become a fan of Cross Lanes Floral, we cordially invite you to visit our page on facebook today.  It is really easy to do.  Sign in your facebook account.  Go to the search box at the top right of the screen.  Type in Cross Lanes Floral.  Our page should appear and then you can “click” the box that says “become a fan”.  


Well, it’s time to go.  We have flowers to process and buckets to clean.  Oh and facebook to view as well!


Pat Harold

Cross Lanes Floral


CLF staff attends holiday design show

This past Sunday, we attended a holiday design show for local florists.  The guest speaker was Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI.  While Tom may not be famous to the general public, he is a superstar in the floral industry.  Tom has worked on major events such as a number of  Rose parade floats.  He has also served as the assistant floral director for the Academy Awards for the past several years.  He currently serves as the vice president for AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers).

I met Tom several years ago when he owned his own flower shop outside of Cincinnati.   He was hired by a large chain (where I was employed) to train their floral designers.   We would travel to Columbus twice a year to attend all day training seminars taught by Tom.  Some time later, he sold his shop in order to pursue other avenues in the floral industry such as those mentioned above.  

It was a real pleasure to attend a show so close by with other florists from around the state.   It is always fun to learn new techniques in the art of floral design.  It also gives us an opportunity to share ideas, tips and techniques with others in our field.

Tom demonstrates a design

Tom designed some wonderful transition pieces that successfully blends autumn with winter.  By mixing traditional evergreens (normally used in winter pieces) and the wonderful bold colors of fall, the two seasons are joined into a spectacular design.      


Christmas and holiday designs are generally created with traditional colors of white, red, and green.  However, by using more unique containers, updated  shades of holiday colors, and less traditional designs, a more modern, yet classic  look is created!   The wonderful smell of evergreen was always a constant, reminding you of holidays past and preparing you for the holidays yet to be experienced.

Beautiful holiday arrangement

Official blog of Cross Lanes Floral