The Top Anniversary Gifts for your Husband

No one can know what the best gift for your husband is as well as you do. However, after many years together – and many anniversaries spent trying to wow your other half – you might now be a little short on ideas.

That’s normal! However, there are still many ideas you have not tried yet. You only need a little inspiration to get those ideas to come to mind! Find a list of inspirations for this year’s romantic gifts for him below – and make this anniversary even more memorable than any other!

A Couple’s Experience

When you think about personalized gifts for your anniversary, the first thing that comes to mind is experiences! Everybody – including your husband – has something they have always wanted to do, but they could not spend time and money on – which gives you the perfect idea for a gift! Whether this experience is skydiving a cooking class or a couple’s dance lessons, you can get your husband booked in for the next slot available.

For this, you won’t need to spend time hopping from one shop to another, and you can be sure to add that wow factor. The best part is that you can change the experience and keep re-using this gift for many years to come – always with the same effect!

Flowers

Anniversary flowers have always been the ideal present for your other half. They can be given on their own or accompanying another present – but they are ideal for conveying that message that can be hard to express with words.

An anniversary bouquet is a beautiful way to remind your husband of the love you have for him, as well as the loyalty, devotion, commitment, and affection you have always wanted to express.

When gifting anniversary flowers, seasonality, and personal preferences might play an important role in the choice. Speaking to an expert florist can help you decide on the best varieties – and you can get your anniversary bouquet delivered right on your doorstep!

Gift Baskets

Unsure about what gift your husband would like this year? Get him everything he would like! Gift baskets are an easy way to make a person happy, especially if you fill them with all of their favorite foods, ingredients, delicacies, and candies.

Just make sure you add a bottle of wine to share when he decides to open his gift basket! Just like in the case of anniversary flowers, you won’t need to spend time shopping and searching for the right present. You can compose the gift basket online and get it delivered right to your doorstep.

A Chess Set

Anniversary gifts are made to be enjoyed together! Opting for a board game or high-quality chess set is the best way to have something to do in your free evenings together – especially as winter approaches! Chess sets are not particularly expensive and can be entirely customizable – something that gives you all the advantages you need for a perfect gift.

Personalized Desk

Desk – personalized with your husband’s initials will get him to be the coolest one in the office! While you might not want to talk about work on your anniversary, you can get him this present for him to enjoy afterward and remember about a nice evening spent with you while at work.

A Wallet

Does your husband always look for a wallet, and they never seem to work just right? This is the perfect occasion to find exactly the one for him. Make sure it has plenty of space for cards, cash, and ID cards, but don’t overlook security. Another important aspect, it will be stored in your husband’s pants pocket – so make sure it is thin enough not to feel bulky.

A Watch

For a stylish, more exclusive present, opt for a watch. Today, you can find techy models that will assist your other half when enjoying time running or working out. Or, if he is a bit of a workaholic, a smartwatch can help him streamline all his tasks. Alternatively, if he is all about style, a classic, elegant watch will do the trick!

A Throw Blanket

The winter season is getting closer, and there has never been a better time to enjoy time together under a blanket, watching your favorite TV series. Make it easier for him and invest in the throw blanket of his dreams.

A Backpack

If your husband loves adventures, he will love a well-designed backpack. Even if he has been putting up with an old duffel for years, it might be time to upgrade to a stylish, spacious backpack that can be with him when riding to the office as well as when he decided to take a 2-day, off-grid camping trip.

Our team of florists and gift specialists at Lamps Flower Shop serves our local Rock Island, IL community to assist you and your loved ones in finding the perfect gifts! Whether you decide on our beautiful flower arrangements or bouquets or a quick gift from our shop, we are sure that you and your loved ones will enjoy.

Traditional Christmas Flowers and their Meaning

Christmas is coming, so we all need to get into the spirit. After a pretty torrid and boring 2020, we need to pick ourselves up and celebrate in the best way we possibly can. If you love Christmas, then you’re going to be in the right frame of mind leading up to the big day, and you’ll be able to kick your feet up knowing everything is blissful.

When it comes to the preparation side of things, you’re obviously going to cover a lot of different bases and make sure everyone is satisfied. You’ll get the gifts, the food, and the plans all ready for everyone. Something that a lot of people like to work on are the flowers and the floral designs around the house. Christmas brings out a lot of different things, but some of the plants associated are gorgeous and can really change the mood of a place for the better! Let’s quickly run through some traditional Christmas flowers, their meanings, and how best to handle them.

What Are Some Of The Typical Christmas Flowers?

Some of the most beautiful flower arrangements are formulated around Christmas time. Winter and Christmas allow us to bring out some marvelous collections. Some of the typical Christmas flowers are the Poinsettia (literally known as the Christmas plant), the Amaryllis, holly, Christmas cactus, and, of course, mistletoe!

What Do These Flowers Represent?

They’re not just around to look pretty and supplement the environment – they have meanings behind them, and they have real intrinsic value. Decorating them or giving them to a loved one allows you to explain yourself without speaking. Here are what these flowers represent.

Amaryllis:

The Amaryllis tends to represent determination, beauty and love. The final meaning on the list is obviously perfect for this time of year. Amaryllis is a Greek female name that means ‘sparkle’, which is wonderfully apt for the Christmas time.

Christmas Cactus:

Also known as the Schlumbergera, the Christmas cactus doesn’t really have a traditional or official meaning attached to it. Many people like to use the longevity of the plant as a foundation for meaning. Perhaps the age it can live to could represent loyalty or resilience.

Poinsettia

Poinsettias have had a few meanings over the years. They were once considered to be a symbol of purity by past civilizations. They are now seen as a symbol of good cheer and success. They are said to bring wishes of celebration.

Mistletoe:

This kind of goes without saying, but the mistletoe will obviously have somewhat of a romantic representation due to the acts taken place underneath. There is a deeper, more somber meaning behind it in many communities, but we’ll choose the more positive idea as Christmas is a time for happiness.

Holly:

Holly was once a symbol of fertility and eternal life – it was thought to contain magical powers. Christians have, in this day and age, adopted the holly tree as a symbol for Christmas. The sharp leaves symbolize the thorns worn by Christ, and the berries represent Christ’s blood.

What Is The Meaning Of Gifting Such Flowers?

Obviously, each flower holds a different value and identity, but in gifting these flowers, you’ll be showing the recipients how much they mean to you. It would also allow you to let them know what you think of them – their meanings would align with their personalities and characteristics. For instance, handing over Christmas flowers would say to someone that they wish them nothing but success and happiness – especially at this time of year.

How Long Do Some Of These Flowers Live?

If you’re going to be investing in these plants, then you’ll probably want to know how long they’ll be able to last for. It’s good to know beforehand as then you’ll, of course, have the best chance of increasing the lifespan.

Amaryllis:

Amaryllis will live for around a month to six weeks long. That is if you keep the conditions perfect. The bulbs will be able to live for several years if you take care of them properly.

Christmas Cactus:

The Christmas cactus can live for a very long time if cared for properly. If everything goes well, it can live for around thirty years. If it has long nights starting from around October 1st, then it can bloom year after year. Cool nights can encourage it to bloom.

Poinsettia

When looking to create wonderful Christmas flower arrangements, you’re going to want to make sure you’re taking good care by keeping them away from direct heat. Also, be sure to keep them away from drafts. A nice, warm temperature should keep them healthy. If you do this, then you should be able to keep them for around six weeks.

Are These Flowers Dangerous In Any Way?

With regard to the Amaryllis, you’ll likely receive an upset stomach if the bulb is ingested. It has been listed as toxic to both cats and dogs. The Christmas cactus, however, is not poisonous in any way to humans, cats, or dogs. That doesn’t mean you should feed them the cacti, though, as it could leave them with cases of vomiting and diarrhea.

The Christmas flower does not have any seriously dangerous effects when eaten. Exposure to any parts will have very little effect. It could cause mild irritation, nausea or vomiting, however.

Interested in ordering some Christmas flowers to decorate your home this season? At Lamps Flower Shop serves the local Rock Island, IL community and offers beautiful fresh holiday flowers and arrangements!

Flowers to Plant in the Fall

Fall is a magical season that might not immediately conjure visions of a garden. However, there are plenty of beautiful flowers and plants that thrive and look nice in the months of pumpkin and cinnamon spice.

As the door begins to close on the warm summer season, a new door opens, and fall announces its arrival. All seasons are magical and bring something that’s needed by lifeforms everywhere, but fall is one of the most magical seasons.

Fall boasts golden hues as the tree’s leaves change color and flutter to the ground with the whims of the crisp, cool air. Chirping birds and squealing animals store up their food in preparation for winter, and the rest of us enjoy the change in weather and mood.

The summer flowers begin to thin out as autumn approaches, but this doesn’t mean your flowerbed has to be laid bare or parched. There are a plethora of beautiful and vibrant flowers that can withstand those chilly nights ahead.

We will look at some of the most sought-after fall flowers to plant this season to give your garden that beautiful and calming aura of autumn.

Flowers to Plant in the Fall Garden

Croton

Croton is a perennial plant with a lot of color variations. Its colorful foliage, in vibrant shades of yellow, red, orange, and purple, makes it stand out in your garden. Its succulent leaves retain an abundance of water.

In many ways, the croton is low maintenance as it doesn’t require a lot of pruning, trimming, or watering like other plants. The convenience doesn’t stop there. The croton possesses a lot of diversity. Whether it’s in your outdoor flower bed or your indoor garden, this container plant will not only thrive but will steal the show.

Celosia

Fall is all about vibrant colors. The colors are woven into the very tapestry that holds the season together. The celosia plant is a must-have in your bed of fall plants and flowers because it captures the mood of the fall.

Celosia, also known as cockscomb, is a flower with a flame-like design and several color variations. This flowering plant is durable, low maintenance, easy to care for and above all, stunning. Its vertical structure will give your garden the pizzazz it needs.

The color variations of this flower make it ideal for autumn. Celosia comes in bright yellow, scarlet red, deep burgundy, warm orange, pink and purple.

Aster

The aster is a beautiful flowering plant that can be grown both annually and perennially. This flower’s vibrant purple hue gives a much-needed contrast to your fall garden flowers. Aster is a cute little flowering plant the kids will enjoy playing with as the flowers are almost daisy-like in structure.

This plant also has color variations for its flowers. From purple and pink to white and blue, this plant will beautify your garden. Its vibrant colors make it irresistible to butterflies, and all great gardens need butterflies. Although the aster flower loves a lot of sunlight and water, it will be blooming until winter comes.

Helenium

Fall aggravates many allergies as the pollen in the air can trigger one’s sinuses and other allergic reactions. It helps to have a plant with hypoallergenic traits, and thankfully, helenium is one of those plants.

Helenium, also called Sneezeweed, is a native plant that is one of the best outside flowers to plant in fall. Natives used this flowering plant as a snuff ingredient. Your allergies won’t be triggered by helenium.

The vibrant hues of this plant make them highly sought after by butterflies. They come in multiple shades of gold, orange, red and brown and sometimes in a combination of two or more colors. This easy-to-care-for plant loves the sun.

Pansies

Pansies are excellent fall garden flowers because they have a variety of colors that are in sync with the fall theme. They are known to come in typically every shade of the rainbow, and they bloom heavily. This flowering plant is versatile as it can be grown in beds, baskets or other containers, and they’re ideal ground covers.

Pansies add character to the garden. As a bonus for planting the pansy in the fall, they can come back to bloom in the springtime again. This means you can have these beautiful flowers with their vibrant petals in your garden twice a year.

Ornamental Peppers

When you hear ‘pepper,’ you probably picture a spicy vegetable added to multiple cuisines for its hot and savory flavor. However, ornamental peppers are meant to be looked at and not eaten as food.

This plant is fall season-appropriate as it offers colorful yet fruits in festive shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple. These fruits that bloom come in diverse shapes and sizes too. It’s possible to have more than one type of ornamental flowers growing in your fall garden.

From the robust structure of the black pearl down to the dark look of chilly chili, ornamental peppers add flair to your fall garden.

Choosing the Best Flowers to Plant in the Fall

With the falling, golden-brown leaves and the blooming flowers all around, fall is a picturesque season. As this new fall season approaches, preparations to revamp your garden or flower bed should be in order.

The change in seasons doesn’t mean you have to have a sad, barren garden. With this list of the most beautiful, butterfly-enticing, and seasonal-colored flowers, you can make your garden the envy of the neighborhood. The only decision left for you is to select your flower of choice and plant the one that fits all your needs.

For information on fall flowers or fall flower arrangements, contact our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving areas around Rock Island, IL.

How to Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Na-ma-stay grateful and stress free during the holidays, especially in the unprecedented year of 2020. With planning and prepping a safe Thanksgiving at the forefront of our minds, take comfort in these tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving.

The Stress of Hosting Thanksgiving in 2020

Why is Thanksgiving so stressful? Thanksgiving is the holiday where family, friends, and sometimes strangers gather to give gratitude. If you are struggling to cope with the thought of distant holidays, video calls to say “I love you” or a few empty seats at the dinner table because loved ones are still in quarantine, you are not alone.

The year 2020 has been unprecedented, to say the least. Although the holidays may look different this year, that doesn’t mean they have to be canceled, and gratitude should never stop. You may not be having a big family gathering this year. It may just be a quaint dinner in the solitude of your home. However, for those planning to host Thanksgiving per usual, just know everything is best served with a side of comfort and without all the extra stress.

Take comfort in these tips that we have gathered for how to make Thanksgiving less stressful. We all deserve a stress-free Thanksgiving after all.

Sanitize and Rejuvenate

Some say cleanliness is next to godliness. Others may say to stay six feet away regardless of the number of times you have sanitized. Regardless if you are planning on having one guest or ten this Thanksgiving, you have to be sure to clean and disinfect to avoid extra worry this Thanksgiving- before and after the holiday festivities.

Give yourself time. This is important in more ways than one. Take breaks. Take time to think and breathe a little extra. This year has been a lot to take in. There has been plenty of worry in the long days leading up to this moment.

Step away when you can, to get a coffee. Go for a walk. Sit on the couch to catch up on your favorite show, or simply, call a loved one for an overdue chat. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Be sure to rejuvenate during the holidays and don’t feel guilty about it.

The holidays should never be stressful, plan ahead to avoid stress as much as you can.

Plan Ahead.

Part of what makes any holiday stressful is the overwhelming pressure that comes with executing the dinner or celebration. This is especially applicable to Thanksgiving as the anticipation of the holiday is almost entirely focused on the quality of the food. You don’t want to disappoint.

There is the KEY to a stress-free Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving hosts pay close attention. Planning to host a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t start the day of or the night before the holiday. Start planning out Thanksgiving dinner at least two weeks in advance in order to keep stress on the down-low.

That does not mean you start cooking in advance. That two-week mark should be the target for narrowing down the number of guests, your grocery list, and a narrowed down schedule for how you will manage your time until the big day.

You can, however, start purchasing and planning out your cookware and tableware when it comes to stress-free Thanksgiving planning. The necessary quantity of each will be determined by how long your guest list is. Determine what it is that you have and purchase or borrow additional containers and cutlery where needed.

For a truly stress-free option, consider going disposable. The last thing you will feel like doing after cooking the Thanksgiving dinner is washing the dishes after everyone eats. Disposable dishware is also easy to purchase in advance and store with no issue. They can even be bought online and shipped to wherever you are hosting the dinner for an even more stress-free option.

Divide and Conquer.

Don’t take on everything by yourself. Anything you can delegate should be delegated. Much of what makes Thanksgiving stressful is the overwhelming feeling of tackling the dinner and the day on your own. There is no shame in dividing and conquering your Thanksgiving checklist to prevent stress.

There are certain aspects of Thanksgiving dinner that are best served hot. However, there is no shame in the premade game for Thanksgiving dishes. Everything except the turkey can be made the day before for an easier and less stressful holiday.

There is no unspoken rule that says the host must take on all the responsibilities. Thanksgiving potlucks have become popular, especially with Friendsgiving on the rise. If you are a chef who prefers to have the final say on the dishes, delegate some of the smaller items like ice, drinks, or even canned cranberry sauce (a Thanksgiving staple).

If you have a creative friend looking to help, consider making them responsible for setup, décor, and table settings. This is a fun yet time-consuming part of hosting during the holidays. Having this component delegated will help you drastically, and you won’t be causing them any extra stress, as this task will be fun and will help them to feel involved.

Take the Route Less Stressful

There is no shame in taking it easy during the holiday.

Frankly, it should be a priority. One key component to avoid fretting over when cooking for Thanksgiving is appetizers. Your guests are coming for the main dishes –the turkey, dressing/stuffing, sweet potato casserole, the works… If you are worried that dinner will not be complete by the time guests arrive, put out a vegetable tray, chips and dip, and some other simple finger foods for a stress-free Thanksgiving menu. In addition, have someone ready to give drinks to keep the conversation alive.

If you don’t have it in you to host Thanksgiving dinner this year, don’t do it. There is no magical answer as to how to get out of hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

Let someone else take on the responsibilities of hosting this year, so you can enjoy the holiday in a less stressful manner. If you are afraid of losing the ability to host, just know it doesn’t have to be permanent. You won’t have your (hosting) chair taken away from the table forever. This year, more than ever, it is crucial to take some time to rest in whatever manner seems right for you. Enjoy and appreciate the fun of hosting next year.

Take Time to Decompress.

The end of the year is normally busy for everyone. You leave one holiday and quickly enter the next. Retail stores start putting up Christmas décor months ahead. It can all start feeling a little overwhelming at times.

This is just another reason why taking time to decompress post-Thanksgiving is needed to avoid the extra stress- especially this year. Take a breather. You have time. Once Thanksgiving is over, don’t jump right into Christmas and New Year’s prep. Give yourself a couple of days. You will be happy you did.

Our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving areas around Rock Island, IL are here to connect family, homes, and gratitude this Thanksgiving and beyond. Send a flower arrangement to the loved one you can’t be with due to health restrictions. Send a floral centerpiece to the gracious host who will be inviting you in for holiday dinner or treat yourself and your home to something beautiful to brighten the mood, lift spirits, and reduce stress.

May your family be gracious. May your stomachs be full, and may your Thanksgiving be filled with beauty and love. Happy holidays to all!

Saying I Do to Fall Wedding Flowers

Fall is the season for cuddling by the fire, roasting marshmallows with the people you care about and enjoying festivities outside in the cool, crisp air. It is the season where falling in love is found in many capacities.

Choosing which season to say “I do” may be a different process for every couple. Does the traditional seasonal colors and flowers go with your wedding color scheme and aesthetic? That is just one of many important questions that should be answered by setting a date.

There are many positive aspects of having a fall wedding. The weather is a mild to medium temperature that allows us to recover from summer heat and mentally prepare for winter’s frost. Not only is the temperature ideal- the venue options are endless. Plus, wedding dress shopping is made easy as the weather could call for sleeves or even a sleeveless dress with an optional shawl.

If you are one of the blushing duos who choose to say “I do” in the fall, let us help make the planning process easier by breaking down what you need to know about choosing your fall wedding flowers.

Choosing Fall Wedding Flowers

Picking wedding flowers is like picking your pumpkin on a cool autumn day. You sort through your options to find what is right for you. The anticipated final product takes some thought and action for execution, and instead of finding your seasonal décor, you are finding your autumn wedding ceremony décor.

Pick Your Patch

To properly pick your wedding flowers, be willing to look through bunches. Take some time to find a local wedding florist that is right for you. Check each florist’s work samples to see if you like their work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, so you won’t regret your choice.

It is also a good idea to do a little homework ahead of time. You may already have some wedding Pinterest boards prepped and ready to share. Any extra info or visual you can share during the consultation will help your potential wedding florist understand what you are looking for.

Consultations give you and your potential wedding florist a feel for each other and the vision you have for your big day.

Once you come to an understanding of the style you long for and the overall look you want to accomplish for your wedding, it is important to consider these factors when finalizing your fall wedding flowers.

In-Season Fall Wedding Flowers

Yes, style is important when it comes to your wedding flowers, but in order to have wedding flowers that are looking their best, it is important to know what flowers are in season. This helps to ensure availability at the best quality.

For the eager duo looking to embrace all aspects of a fall wedding, fall colors should be on your mind. Oranges, reds and even deep purples may just be the recipe for the perfect fall flowers for the big day, but what are the best fall wedding flowers?

The good news- you have plenty of options. These options include the sophisticated Asiatic lily, roses, gerberas, calla lilies, alstroemeria, mums, dahlias and more. Your wedding florist should be able to give you options for what works best with your wedding’s style, what will meet your budget and what florals pair best together.

Foliage is also a very popular option for fall wedding flower designs. Talk with your florist about what foliage is available. Some beautiful options for filler flowers in the fall are waxflower, Limonium, hypericum and statice.

After you pick the colors and florals that meet your preference, it is important to discuss what design styles you like and the quantity you need with your wedding florist.

Fall Wedding Flower Designs for Your Big Day

Determine what types of wedding designs you two want and/or need for the big day, how many designs are needed and your overall budget for wedding florals. This is applicable to any wedding of any season.

Your flower recipe will remain consistent overall to ensure cohesion. If you have the details ready, your florist will be able to help you determine what you will need during the consultation.

Wedding and Bridal Bouquets

Bridal bouquets are one of the most detailed pieces of floral art at a wedding. Every other floral design will be a reflection or a complement to it. To properly say “I Do” to your fall wedding flowers, you’ll need to iron out the details of the bridal bouquet.

A bride carrying flowers on her wedding day dates to ancient times. One example comes from ancient Rome. Flower garlands were worn by brides, as it was symbolic of new beginnings and a hope of fertility.

The Victorian era was the turning point for wedding flowers. It was during this time that flowers evolved into the bridal bouquet. Each flower had a different meaning and was a tie to romantic love. The flowers the bride carried became “her flowers” for the rest of her life.

In today’s times, many of the older traditions have been forgotten. Choosing wedding flowers has become more about the beauty and style found from the colors, fragrance and final shape. It is the ultimate wedding day accessory, and it is a way for the bride to express her personality, her style and add the final complement to her gown.

Choosing a bridal bouquet is much more than having to determine the flower recipe. You’ll need to determine the style or the physical assembly that you prefer. Two options include the hand-tied bouquet or the cascade bouquet. Do you prepare a tighter design or a flowing piece? What you choose should accent your wedding dress.

It doesn’t stop there. What is a bridal bouquet without something to complement the groom too?

Boutonnieres and Corsages

The boutonniere is a small yet beautiful way to distinguish the important male figures at a wedding: fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, ring bearers, etc. It is typically very similar or composed of the same flower recipe as the bridal bouquet. It should accent the groom’s attire and match the bride’s bouquet too.

Bridesmaids have their own bouquets to carry with them down the aisle. They are usually a smaller version of the bride’s bouquet and accent both their dress and hers. As for the rest of the important female figures at the wedding, they are typically adorned with floral corsages or broaches. In the same way as the boutonniere, they are used to recognize the important women at the wedding.

Extra Petals

If you are a bride and groom who are looking to use some extra petals for your tables at the reception, as a sendoff after the wedding, for your flower girl or a DIY product as a wedding memento, be sure to communicate that with your wedding florist.

Your florist should be able to save some stems or repurpose some fallen petals for such reasons. To do so, they must know that it is a desire of yours. Discuss it during your consultation or as soon as possible, so monies, product and time can be factored in.

Centerpieces, Arches and Accessories

There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing wedding flowers and fall wedding decor. Your venue is going to be the biggest component. Convey the major wedding details like location and theme to your florists to ensure you get the adequate floral décor for your wedding day. Plus, wedding florists are tasked to be knowledgeable in the industry. They can help communicate any obstacles you may face and work toward a solution.

Talk with your florist about reusing your wedding bouquets into centerpieces for the reception and determine what additional designs will be needed. Floral arches are typically designated for the wedding ceremony. They can be as simplistic or as intricate as you would like but be sure to finalize the fall flowers you choose are available for the remaining wedding flowers for your big day.

Take comfort in the fact that some of the most mesmerizing wedding photos stem from the depth of the colors of an Autumn wedding ceremony and reception décor.

Fall Wedding Flowers: What’s the Difference?

Truly, the only major differences between fall wedding flowers compared to wedding flowers from any other season are the color, style and the blooms that are in-season. If you are knowledgeable about what it is that you want, your wedding florist will help connect the dots.

It is important, regardless of the season that you choose to hold your wedding, that you fall in love with your wedding flowers. For the brides choosing fall wedding flowers, follow these tips when planning your fall wedding with your florist.

Our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving areas around Rock Island, IL are here to help you pick the fall wedding flowers that are just right for your wedding. From the perfect bridal bouquet to fall wedding reception ideas, let us help make saying “I Do” to fall wedding flowers easy for you.

3 Steps for Decorating a Killer Halloween Party

The idea of hosting a dead Halloween party is haunting for some. Invite all ghouls and goblins to your lair with confidence by following these three steps for decorating a killer Halloween party.

Puns aside, Halloween is the holiday to let your inner child run wild with creativity and twisted style. It is all fun and games until a trick or treater calls you “lame” for attempting to decorate your space for the holiday. It’s a downer.

Sure, we get busy and decorating for Halloween may not be your main priority. However, with the limits set before us in 2020, any excuse to have a little fun and change up our day-to-day scenery (at home) is a project worth tackling.

These are far from grueling steps to making this year’s Halloween party one that your guests will never forget.

STEP 1: Determine the Fright of the Night

Step one involves determining the level of fright you will need to accomplish with your Halloween party décor for the night. Not all Halloween parties are held to scare the sanity out of you. Some are held as a fun way to gather with family and/or friends. Others are thrown to keep the kids from going door to door without sacrificing on the candy and fun.

Whether you are in it for the boos or booze, you still need to decide what it is that your Halloween party décor will consist of. Scare levels and the menu for the party will need to be adjusted according to the age range of your guests. Once that is determined, decorating for your Halloween party becomes a lot easier.

STEP 2: Understand the Spooky Dos and Don’ts

Does the idea of hosting a cheesy Halloween party give you the creeps? For those 21+ Halloween parties, the pressure to find the right Halloween party decoration ideas seem elevated to new heights.

There is something about Halloween that makes everyone -young and old- eager to be frightened, even if it is just a little. It is the anticipation of it the fright that makes the holiday unique. Just be careful to not overdo scare, because everyone’s level of anxiety and fear tolerance is different. Be sure to know your crowd.

Do dress up! It is a must for any Halloween party. Do decorate; Halloween is about creativity. Include everything from Halloween door decorations to Halloween yard decorations. Do go to other people’s Halloween parties and be willing to take on the work of hosting one at your home.

Don’t be the one to dress in something that is offensive and don’t let greed get in the way of having a good time this Halloween. Your Halloween yard decorations will contribute to the spirit of Halloween for young trick or treaters and the skulls and sugar skulls throughout your home will intrigue your Halloween party guests. Don’t limit the fun.

STEP 3: Set the Scene

When executing your desired level of fright for your Halloween party, it is important to set the scene both with the Halloween décor in your home and your outdoor Halloween decorations. In order to avoid missing something, be sure to investigate the well-trafficked areas at your Halloween party. They should be covered with critters and scary scenes- from fake bugs in the soap dispensers to creepy, dummy clowns hiding in unexpected places.

In order to determine these spaces, walk the perimeter of your space and determine where you want your guests to be gathering most- both inside and out.

A Bad Halloween Party – It’s a Crime.

If you are looking for a fun and creepy-ish Halloween décor style, set your house up like a crime scene. This Halloween party theme can start outside and make its way through the house. It is inspiring idea for those looking for how to decorate for a Halloween party inside their home or banish their guests to the haunted garage Halloween party. This theme is ideal for those wondering how to decorate their garage for a Halloween party.

Regardless of the type of Halloween party you are looking to host, it is only appropriate to have some fun with the season’s most iconic symbol- the pumpkin. Part of the fun of hosting a Halloween party is the prep. Decorate your pumpkin to complement your Halloween décor in a fun and festive way. It doesn’t have to be creepy to be festive.

Equally fun to utilize in Halloween décor that can be both creepy and fun is skulls and sugar skulls. Incorporate them in your outside Halloween décor and add them throughout the rest of your indoor Halloween décor, as they can be made up for a scary Halloween theme or down for an adorably creepy, laid-back Halloween style.

Hosting a Halloween party is a little throwback kind of fun. No matter your age, Halloween is an anticipated time of the year. What other day of the year allows you to dress up as your favorite characters from childhood without people batting an eye?

Halloween is an escape from reality- a freeing feeling. Of course, the most popular part of Halloween is ALL… THE…FREE… CANDY, so the scariest thing about a Halloween party would be the lack of. Don’t make that mistake.

Of course, our specialty is flowers. We wouldn’t recommend adding in dead flowers to your Halloween décor display, but we have just the floral recipes to whip up for an enchanting style. A potion of florals with Halloween icons and worn style can trap the eye and invoke the feelings of the night.

Our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving areas around Rock Island, IL are here to help make your Halloween décor as fun, spooky or creative as your heart desires. In order to host a killer Halloween party, you must love the holiday and the decor… to death.

What are Edible Flowers?

Too pretty to eat or pretty enough to eat- that is the question. Nature provides us more resources than we may realize. They can be found in the trees, from the water and even the flowers we so admire. For those looking to experience all that nature has to offer or are just looking to add a little flavor into your life or your diet, we have hand-picked what flowers are edible for you.

The history that proceeds the art of cooking and garnishing with flowers stems back to Roman times. Found in Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian and Victorian culture, edible flowers were a large part of cuisine during Queen Victoria’s reign. The first documented mention of edible flowers dates back to 140 B.C.

From rose-water to candies violets, flowers are used in a wide variety of ways. They aren’t just meant to accent your table and make it look pretty. They can be enjoyed as an accent to your dish. Some may come as a surprise while other flowers have equally appealing names to match their flavor.

Bean blossoms have a sweet, beany flavor like the name would suggest. Freshen things up with miniature pansies, as they have a mild wintergreen taste. Although the name may deceive you, banana flowers, also known as banana blossoms, have an artichoke-like flavor that makes a great addition to salads, and violets, roses, and lavender lend sweet flavors to both your healthy salads or decadent desserts.

Flowers: Pretty Treat You Can Eat

If you’re new to the edible flower fad, that’s okay. We have some great tips and tricks for those who are wanting to experiment with flowers in their life other than out in the garden.

From delicious drinks to desserts and savory dishes, flowers can be incorporated into all sorts of recipes. Flowers can be quite potent in recipes, so a little goes a long way. Get ready to learn something new, maybe one of these flowers will inspire the ingredients you choose.

Hibiscus:

Dried hibiscus is a popular treat and is often used as a garnish on desserts or in syrups in Mexico. Hibiscus tea is another very popular option. Fun fact-you are eating the underside of the hibiscus. This flower can be eaten fresh and its flavor is often compared to a cranberry.

Calendula:

These petals can be added to rice, poultry and salads. They are also ideal for adding color to a dish but be cautious if you are picking wildly grown ones, because calendula picked in a public area is likely being sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals that aren’t meant for ingesting.

Borage:

Cucumber like flavor- borage shouldn’t be dried. Rather, they are meant to be eaten fresh. They are ideal for salads or as a garnish in drinks. They are also commonly used in pastries and desserts too. Have fun with a little DIY and add them to ice cubes for a beautiful and easy summer drink.

Pansies:

To say they taste perfume-y may not appeal to your taste buds, but pansies can be used in everything from salads to punch and desserts. Are all pansies edible? In fact, pansies are one of the few flowers where you don’t have to stop at the petals. The stamen, pistil, and sepals can all be enjoyed too. They are also one of the many edible flowers for cakes.

Centaurea Cyanus:

Also known as the cornflower or bachelor’s button, centaurea cyanus are mostly decorative. They can be found in teas like Lady Grey, and these flowers are very easy to grow for a home gardener. They will even “self-seed.”

Coriander Flowers:

Also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley- most people know coriander as an herb and only eat the seeds or leaves. However, this is another plant that is entirely edible. They are great for savory dishes or snacks. Pair them with a cracker and some cream cheese and smoked salmon for a yummy snack.

Dianthus Petals:

Better Known as the carnation- you can only eat these flower’s petals. They are popularly used as decorations for cake. They can also be candied, steeped in wine and (for the 21 and over crowd) even infused in vodka. Use carnation petals in salad, as a garnish, or chopped up and added to baked goods. They are paired well with sweet or savory dishes.

Radish Blossoms:

Typically served in savory meat and seafood dishes, radish blossoms can be used in salads too. If you like radishes but don’t want to be overwhelmed by the potency that radishes sometimes have, take comfort in versatility and delicious ability to complement avocado toast.

Nasturtium:

Like mustard, Nasturtium are hard to grow, but it is well rewarding. It has a peppery flavor like watercress, and the pickled buds of this flower can be substituted for more expensive capers.

Although all these flowers are appreciated as delicious ingredients, it is important to know that you can’t just pick any flower and throw it into your cooking regime. Some flowers are delicious treats while others can leave you feeling unsettled.

Flowers: Looks That Can Kill

Okay, kill may be a strong word, but it got your attention. However, it is important to know that not all flowers are edible and if ingested, can leave you feeling unsettled. Some of your favorite blooms may be meant for your eyes and not your stomach.

Take the well-loved hydrangea flower as an example. Hydrangeas are meant to accent your home but not your dish. These beautiful flowers can be especially toxic to pets.

Flowers are a beautiful decoration to spruce up your home and your dinner plate. Many flowers that we encounter in everyday life are edible and can be a great addition to your recipes. Not all flowers you’re familiar with fall into the category of edible, so you need to make sure you do your own research before experimenting with any flower-related recipes.

Always be cautious with any new foods or new ingredients you incorporate into your diet. Flowers are beautiful and many are edible, but every person’s body may react different. It is important to be particularly careful if you suffer from asthma or allergies. Those suffering from these conditions should be mindful because they may have a negative reaction to digesting flowers and plants.

If you are interested in incorporating more flowers and natural products into your diet, here is a quick list of Poisonous, Non-Edible Flowers for reference.

If you are looking for some recipes to feed your floral appetite, these Flower Power! 30 Edible Flower Recipes are some colorful choices to consider.

Our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving areas around Rock Island, IL, are here to help you with your floral needs. If you try one of these flower-based recipes or find some that you find as satisfying as they are pretty, share them with us on social. Let’s share the joy of flowers with each other!

How to Preserve Flowers

Dried Preserved Red Roses

Apart from sympathy flowers, most flowers coincide with a happy occasion. There are flowers for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, weddings, other special occasions and of course, the flowers you get that are a complete surprise just because someone was thinking of you.

One of the arguments against flowers as a gift is that they are temporary. Cut flowers will die. It is inevitable. There are ways to extend how long they will last, but there is no way to make them last for years… or is there?

For those who want to create a lasting keepsake out of fresh flowers, we have several options for how to preserve those beautiful fresh flowers. Whether they are flowers from your garden or a beautiful bouquet that someone gifted to you, these preservation techniques help prevent you from having to throw them away.

Things to Consider

Before you start to preserve your flowers, it is a good idea to decide how you want them to look and how you plan to use them.

Before you Preserve

There are several different methods for preserving flowers. The state of your flowers will influence which preservation process you choose. Before you preserve, you will need to take an honest assessment of your flowers.

The best time to preserve flowers is when they are robust and in full bloom, so they can look beautiful in their preserved state. Look closely at your flowers. Analyze them as if you were a detective searching for clues. Are they hiding something? Have any petals fallen off? Has the flower turned brown or started to wilt? Is the stem limp? Do they have bad posture or a bad attitude?

It’s also a good idea to decide what you want to use your preserved flowers for before you select your preservation method, as different methods yield different results. Once you figure out that kind of keepsake you would like to create, it is time to dive right into the preservation process.

Before you get into this, there are some things you need to know. We don’t want to sugarcoat it, either. Treat your flowers like vampires. Keep them out of the sun. The sun will cause them to fade, so keep them away from any windows, sliding glass doors or other sources of natural light.

Not all flowers will be able to handle the preservation process. Even with the best care and the gentlest handling, some flowers may not withstand the process. In life, sometimes we must let things go.

However, with the right luck and knowledge, you should still have enough flowers for whatever way you want to use or display.

Methods of Preservation

Before you dry, resin, nuke or press, be sure to assess. The flowers and/or plants need to be dry, and only the supermodels of the bunch should be preserved.

Glycerin

Glycerin is amazing in that it can preserve the flowers with a life-like appearance. The glycerin solution, which is one part glycerin and two parts boiling water, replaces the water in the flower, and after the flowers and/or foliage have air-dried, the glycerin moves up the stem, walking the property as if it is a new homeowner. The flower or plant never dries out.

With this process, the plant or flowers stay nice and pliable. Negative aspects of this method involve costs and impermanence. The only negative aspect is that the colors can change. You can add food coloring or other dyes. As for the cost, it will be expensive and an additional cost of your time since it takes six weeks or more to set.

Freeze Drying

This one isn’t a DIY, but it does produce flowers with the same look and feel as they had when they were fresh. They even retain the scent!

Freeze drying requires a professional service. You can look online, or sometimes, your local florist might have a business relationship with a company. Freeze drying removes the moisture from the petals and gives you a lasting replica that looks identical but is fragile. This process can be expensive.

Air Drying

No need to find outside assistance for air drying, as anyone can do it. We all have access to air, or at least, we better or we will be worrying about preserving ourselves instead of flowers. That may be why it is the easiest way to preserve flowers. Simply remove the leaves, bind with twine or ribbon and hang the flowers upside down in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight.

This process can take weeks or months. Once they are dry, the flowers will be as brittle and breakable as Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the film “Unbreakable,” but they will have the same shape and scent as before. A quick spritz with hair spray or clear, floral spray may help strengthen them.

Pressing

Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? If you were a flower someone was trying to preserve, that weight might be the weight of a book. You have probably seen pressed flowers before.

Pressing makes the preserved flowers flat, so if you want to use them in artwork or display them in a frame, this is the way to go. If you have a thick, heavy book and quite a bit of patience, this technique is effortless and yields wonderful results.

It is best to remove the stems. Trim all the way to the flower head. Open your large book and cover the open pages with liner or wax paper. Open and close the book to crease the liner or wax paper. Place the bud in the middle of one of the pages flat on the paper and close the book.

The paper will absorb the moisture. You need to check on it about once a week because the paper may need to be replaced. After about a month has passed, you will have a lovely, dried bloom.

Microwaving

For those whose patience is a bit more limited, there is a kitchen appliance that may hold the key. Did you know your microwave can offer an accelerated version of the pressing method? When the radiation of the microwave heats up the flowers, the moisture escapes as vapor, which dries the blooms.

For supplies, all you need are two microwave-safe ceramic plates, coffee filters, your blooms and a microwave. Start with your plate then place your coffee filter on it. Set your flower on top, then add your other filter and plate face-up.

Like when you heat leftovers, start with a minute and check it. If the flowers need to be drier, replace the flowers and nuke it again until preferred dryness is attained.

Resin

If you want to preserve your flowers into a cool memento like a knick-knack or paperweight, resin is the best method. Think about it, just like fossilized remains, your flowers could be encased in resin, too.

Decide what mold shape you want because you won’t be able to change it later. Fill up the mold halfway with the epoxy resin, arrange the flowers in the mold and fill the rest of the mold with more resin. Once the resin dries, you can remove the mold. You now have a cool, fossilized flower to display.

These techniques are ways to transform your fresh-cut flowers, bouquets and arrangements into keepsakes that will last. It starts with beautiful blooms, so contact our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving areas around Rock Island, IL,to design a beautiful arrangement you will want to keep through the years.

How to Grow Snow-N-Summer

Snow-N-Summer Asiatic jasmine plants are prolific bloomers in the summer, and as the name suggests, the white flowers are abundant and as pristine as a fresh snowfall. The name is a bit misconstruing. These plants may be called Snow-N-Summer by itself or Asiatic jasmine on its own.

Snow-N-Summer Asiatic jasmine is a drought-tolerant, vine-like evergreen. Despite its name, it is not related to the common jasmine plant. This plant does come from Asia as the name suggests, and its origins are of Korea and Japan.

Why are we telling you about this plant? This fast-growing vine can cover an area of land with a thick covering consisting of vines with small, dark green leaves and gorgeous, fragrant white flowers that perfume the air. This plant can be grown in a multitude of ways and is not limited to groundcover, though that is an attractive use for it.

In some areas, Snow-N-Summer will thrive and maintain its beauty all year. It is salt-tolerant, mostly adaptable to different sun/shade combos and adaptable to any moist, well-drained soil. This plant can also tolerate dry conditions.

The most interesting part of this plant is that it is both easy to grow and extremely fickle about growing. It all depends on the environment in which it resides. In places where the conditions agree with it, Snow-N-Summer can grow to the point of becoming invasive. In places that have extremely hot and humid summers, this plant can struggle.

Uses for Snow-N-Summer

The Snow-N-Summer Asiatic jasmine plants are incredibly versatile. They can be used as borders, mass plantings and as ground cover on spots where it is difficult to get things to grow. When they are grown as ground cover, these plants form a beautiful carpet of flowers. This vine plant can grow up a trellis, up a tree, in a container, in a rock garden and even in your home as a houseplant.

Another positive attribute to this stunning plant is that once it is established, it does not require much maintenance. This makes it a great plant for people who want an impressive garden without the hard work and sweat. While tolerating many growing conditions, this plant suppresses weed growth and is deer and rabbit resistant. It also has very few weed, disease or pest problems. One important fact to note is that although this plant is a fantastic groundcover, it can’t handle much foot traffic or stomping.

Getting Started

Asiatic jasmine will not grow from seeds, so you will either need cuttings, seedlings or transplants. As a groundcover, you will likely want a lot of it. If you live in a very hot area, it is best to plant in the fall. In other areas, spring is a good time to plant.

You can often find flats of Asiatic jasmine plugs. Dig a hole a bit larger than the container, drop your plug into the hole, backfill and water. If you want a carpet of this plant, buy a lot and space them eight to ten inches apart. If you have more patience and/or less of a budget, you can purchase fewer plants and spaced further apart.

If planted further apart, these plants will take two growing seasons to fill in space.

If you or someone you know already have an area of Asiatic jasmine growing, you can take and transplant sections in other areas. If you decide to do this, make sure you use a sharp shovel and remove at least three inches of roots. Also, if you are cutting multiple sections, space out where you remove them from, so the Snow-N-Summer can quickly fill in those barren areas with new growth.

This plant tolerates lots of soil types, even rocky, clay soil if the soil types are well-draining. In soils with high organic content, it can grow aggressively and assertively.

If you wish to grow this vine from cuttings, you will need to grow it in a pot with good drainage indoors where it gets indirect light or outdoors in a shaded area. Roots take about a month to develop, and the plant can then be transplanted to small containers of potting soil.

In another three to four weeks, you will be ready to plant it in the ground. You can plant Snow-N-Summer in an area of full sun, part sun or full shade, just don’t plant it where people will trample it. This lovely plant will attract songbirds.

Maintenance

The only maintenance needed is pruning as this plant can expand beyond the desired borders in the right environment. Regular pruners can call for a big job if you have a large area of Snow-N-Summer growing, so you may need a string trimmer or even a lawnmower with sharp blades as a dull blade will result in jagged cuts.

New growth is pink that turns white, so if you trim it after it dumps its flowers and removes faded flowers and some foliage, this encourages that lovely new growth.

If you see leaves wilting, and there hasn’t been much rain, watering often perks them back up. if wilting with periods of rain, they may require more irrigation.

Problems

The only real problem that these plants encounter is leaf spot caused by a fungus called Cercospora. The good news is that unless you have a severe case of it, which is rare, Asiatic jasmine can typically overcome it without intervention. If the infection is overwhelming, a simple treatment with a fungicide is all this plant needs to bounce back.

The only other potential problem is root rot, so make sure the soil is well-draining. However, too much water, sun or fertilizer can turn it into an uncontrollable monster.

This is just an introduction to a plant we thought might be of interest to plant enthusiasts. We always like to share ideas about flowers, plants and the many ways they can be a part of our lives. If you would like to consider adding plants to your life, our florists at Lamps Flower Shop serving Rock Island, IL, would love to help you find the right plant or flower arrangement to fit your lifestyle.

Unique Gifts for Wedding Guests

There are many components that all fit together to create a memorable wedding. A wedding is essentially a celebration of the love two people have for one another. This love is so precious. It prompts a promise, a declaration to be made in front of the couple’s closest friends and relatives.

Those friends and family gathered as witnesses for the exchange of vows are important people. There is a reason they were chosen to be there with you on this important day, and there is a reason they chose to accept the invitation and take part in your celebration.

A wedding should be a memorable experience, so it makes sense to give your guests a keepsake to enjoy. The best wedding keepsakes tie the knot with the style, theme or color palette of your wedding. We assembled some ideas for gifts to say thanks in a small way to the people who were part of your big day.

How to Choose Gifts They Won’t Lose

Crows are notoriously attracted to shiny objects, but this is because the crow is a collector and very resourceful about finding uses for random objects. However, this is not the case with people. Most people aren’t going to hold onto something unless it is interesting, useful or enjoyable in some way.

Weddings have become more unique, often incorporating aspects of the couple’s individuality into elements of the décor, florals, cake, etc. The venue, mood and atmosphere of your wedding is a result of a choreographed dance involving the style, colors, florals, lighting and other elements of the environment and décor.

Keep these different things in mind as you select the wedding favors for your guests. These favors should blend in with these other elements and give your guests a reminder of your special day by being something unique, something that coincides with the two of you.

Treats to Drink or Eat

If you want to send your guests home with a treat that they can either eat or drink, the item should be something that reflects you as a couple, in a way that will make your friends and family smile knowingly. It should also be presented in a cute or meaningful way.

For instance, if you and your partner met at a winery or bar, tiny bottles of the corresponding beverage would be a cute way to commemorate that moment. To be funny and helpful, you could even include hangover cures like Advil, mouthwash, breath mints, sunglasses, small water bottles and Vitamin C.

If your first date was at a Mexican restaurant, hand out monogrammed jars of salsa as wedding favors with little bags of chips. For coffee drinkers, coffee is a great wedding favor, and there are many ways to artfully present it.

Any kind of food, spice, utensil, small kitchen tool like measuring cups, cocktail shakers, salt and pepper shakers, cups, bottle openers or even pizza cutters can be a wedding favor if it means something to the two of you.

Art is Smart

Maybe the two of you are art enthusiasts. A neat and memorable wedding souvenir is a piece created by you for your guests. There are mini easels and cavasses you can buy to express your artistic vision as a gift for your guests.

Another artistic gift would be an artistic photograph of the two of you in a custom frame. You could also make ornaments, snow globes or coasters to give to guests.

The presentation of your artistic piece and the colors should coincide with your wedding. For instance, if your wedding is more traditional and vintage, the piece of art or craft should also be that style. If your wedding is more modern, celebrate your guests with treats that are modern art masterpieces.

Plants to Celebrate Romance

Of course, plants have an important place on this list. We may be biased, but we feel there is no greater gift than one that celebrates a love and appreciation for nature. Also, plants can do double duty. Plants and flowers can decorate your reception, then go home with guests as gifts.

If you are having a bohemian or nature-inspired wedding, consider succulents. Trendy and versatile- succulents will provide interesting décor that you and your florist won’t have to fuss over too much, and these cuties can go home with guests for an easy-care plant they can keep as a reminder of your special day.

To make sure no one is left out of floral fun; you could give your guests mini floral bouquets tied in burlap with seed packets or bulbs attached that they could plant later. For outdoor enthusiasts who love camping, you could give guests small seedlings with care instructions that they can plant. They can be reminded of you as the seedling grows and stretches toward the sky over the years.

For beach weddings, fresh leis liven things up and are a beautiful wedding favor your guests are sure to love. They will add color to photos, as well.

For those who love to read, pressed floral bookmarks are a lovely gift. For those who enjoy pampering, there are fresh floral soaps. For a sweet floral treat, there are lollipops with flowers underneath their candy shells and lively flavors to match the physical beauty.

As you can see, and we admit we are biased in favor of flowers and plants, these are great gifts to give your wedding guests to thank them for being part of your big day. If you would like to discuss flower or plant options for your wedding or for your wedding favors, reach out to our florists at Forever Blooms in Lemon Grove, CA . We are here to help.