Window Shopping for Mom Has Never Been More Fun!

Are you still searching for the perfect gift for Mother’s Day? Now is the perfect time to get out for some fresh air and window shop like never before at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop!

All week long we will be featuring special items and Mother’s Day products in our windows at 7001 W. North Ave. (at the corner of 70th and W. North) in Milwaukee.

It’s just like shopping online with a much larger screen – but without having to wait days for delivery! In addition to flowers and plants, we have tons of giftware, outdoor metal art, boutique items and so much more!

We’re constantly changing the displays so every day will be a brand new experience! We invite you to come back often and check out all the new items, or perhaps discover something that you’ve never noticed before.

Our doors may be closed, but our windows are wide open and we can’t wait for you to see what’s inside!

Goodbye April Showers – Hello May Flowers!

Early 2020 will forever be remembered for terrible pandemic that has touched nearly every part of the globe. It has forced businesses to close and most people to isolate themselves for the greater good. Because of that, days often run together and the lines on the calendar separating the dates tend to blur and run together. If you haven’t checked lately, you probably wouldn’t even realize that May is here already – and we couldn’t be happier, because April showers always bring May flowers – especially this year!

In order to get the most bang for your buck this Mother’s Day, consider a “designer’s choice” arrangement and leave the rest up to us. We promise you’ll be happy with the result!

May is the perfect time to celebrate with flowers – all month long! In fact, the very first day of the month is May Day – a celebration of spring that is traditionally celebrated by giving “May baskets” made up of flowers or sweets – or a combination of the two – that is usually left anonymously on the doorsteps of neighbors.

To many, this may seem like a strange way to celebrate a holiday, especially considering that the givers of May baskets would usually ring the doorbell and run away – leaving the recipient to open the door and find nothing but a basket of flowers!

In some communities, leaving a May basket at someone’s door was an excellent opportunity to express romantic interest because tradition called for the recipient to give chase and attempt to steal a kiss from the person who hung the basket. In other parts of the country, however, it was considered a disgrace if the flower giver was caught by the recipient.

May Day isn’t nearly as popular in this country as it was a century ago, and today the concept seems quaint and dated to many people in this era of text messages and Snapchat, but this throwback to simpler times is still an official holiday in 66 countries around the world. But with the current state of the world and social distancing protocols in place – this trend just might make a comeback!

While no longer as common in the United States, May Day celebrations still take place in some regions of the country. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day, which is a day to celebrate the culture of the island and Native Hawaiians.

 

Mother’s Day

Of course, the most obvious occasion for giving flowers during the month of May is Mother’s Day. This year we celebrate mom on Sunday, May 10.

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year when it comes to flowers, greeting cards, phone calls and (most years) restaurant reservations – and with good reason. It’s often hard to find appropriate ways to express gratitude to someone so important and dear to us as our mothers, but nearly everyone loves flowers!

For florists, Mother’s Day is one of our busiest times of the year, and also one of our favorites. Unlike many of the other holidays were certain colors or types of flowers tend to dominate, (like red roses on Valentine’s Day) Mother’s Day typically offers more freedom to design something special and truly unique – that mom is sure to love!

Here at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, we’ve been planning for this special day since the end of Valentine’s Day, and we’re ready to help you find something perfect for your mom. This year’s celebration is going to look a bit different than in years past because the worldwide pandemic has limited the types of flowers available from our distributors, so we’re encouraging everyone to consider a “designer’s choice” open order. Not only will this allow you to receive the freshest flowers available, but it will also help to eliminate any disappointment when the finished product doesn’t quite match up with the picture online due to substitutions. The great news is that our designers LOVE to freedom to design something totally custom for you so that you can truly give your mom a one-of-a-kind gift this Mother’s Day. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

But that’s not all…

Between Mother’s Day, May Day, and flowers popping up everywhere we turn, May is truly the month of flowers, but there are many more ways to celebrate with flowers this month.

Memorial Day is just around the corner – this year it falls on Monday, May 25. Traditionally observed as a day to honor those who have died in military service, this holiday also marks the unofficial start of summer. If you are attending a picnic or observance on Memorial Day, flowers are always an appropriate way to show gratitude and appreciation.

May is also the time for graduations for many students across the country, as well an excellent chance for a gift to say “thanks” to all those teachers and educators who worked so hard throughout the year. Obviously those graduation parties will be scaled back or even virtual this time around, but flowers are still an excellent congratulatory gift that will be extra appreciated.

Whatever your reason, say it with flowers this May with the help of your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop. No matter the occasion, we’re still here to help you find the perfect gift. Rest assured, our entire team – from designers to delivery drivers – are exceeding CDC guidelines for sanitation and safety to give you peace of mind knowing that you safely reach out and deliver a beautiful message to those you love and miss. Give us a call or come in and see us for all your floral needs – and we hope your May is beautiful and bright!

A note to our customers regarding COVID-19

We are closely monitoring all recommendations made by the CDC, as these are updated daily. Below are the adjustments we have made to ensure the well-being of our customers as well as our employees.

  • Our retail location at 7001 W North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53213 will continue operating at normal hours (8:30 a.m – 5:30 p.m Monday, Wednesday, and Friday / 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday / 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday / closed Sunday) until further notice. We have taken extra precautions to protect the health and safety of our staff and our customers with increased cleaning and sanitation schedules and will additionally offer curbside pickup for customers who choose not to go inside the store. Our website is open and operating and ready to take your orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are also providing FREE DELIVERY for on all orders until the end of the month!
  • To adhere to social distancing guidelines, our delivery team will leave gifts at the front door and follow up with an immediate phone call to notify the recipient. Please call us at (414) 475-7080 if you have a specific delivery request.
  • Some of our floral creations may require substitution if necessary. We hope you understand we are extremely limited with varieties due to supply chain limitations. We hope you will trust us to make the very best modifications as needed. Flowers are a gift of nature as no two are exactly alike. We will always do our best to follow the guidelines but keep in mind modifications will be necessary and considered as needed. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to attempt to exceed your expectations. Even during these difficult times.
  • Our goal at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is to convey thoughts through the beauty of fresh cut flowers and to “say it with flowers” at a time when it has never been more meaningful.

As always, we thank you for your continued support of Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop and other local businesses. We wish health and safety to you and all of your loved ones as we all come together to forge ahead. We are here for you and will keep you updated should any changes occur.

Looking for the Perfect Holiday Gift? Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop Has Your Answer!

Alfa’s Winter Glow

It’s beginning to a lot like Christmas here at Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop. We’re working hard to prepare for the holiday rush, but we’re never too busy to help you pick out the perfect gift for someone special on your list. Whether you’re shopping for a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, or just want to send a special treat, we have the perfect gift ideas for every occasion.

Hopefully, by now, you’ve crossed several names off your list, but chances are you still have at least one or two of those hard-to-buy-for people left. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, never fear – because we here to help you spread your holiday cheer! The possibilities are practically endless this time of year and we have an incredible variety to choose from. Whether you prefer a timeless classic like a festive poinsettia plant or something with a bit more flair like a beautiful hand-designed holiday floral arrangement, you’re in good hands at Alfa.

Alfa’s Fruit and Poinsettia Basket

Be sure to get your orders in early this year to avoid the rush. Not only will you get the best value and widest selection by not waiting until the last minute, but you’ll also be able to cross one more thing off your list and reduce your own stress levels a bit. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to have a beautiful gift hand-delivered by Alfa, we’re just a phone call away – or you can order online 24-hours a day. Are you sending the gift out of town? No problem! We can take care of that for you with the help of our network of associates located across the country.

In addition to our incredible selection of fresh flowers and plants, we also feature a fantastic variety of holiday gifts and decor that is sure to please anyone on your list! We’re also a great source for unique stocking stuffers and gifts for teachers, mail carriers, party hosts, co-workers, hair stylists, and more.

Leave the last-minute shopping to the amateurs this holiday season by trusting one of our professional designers to create the perfect one-of-a-kind gift. Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 to check out what we have in store for you this holiday season!

Chrysanthemums: The Ultimate Fall Flower

We often associate certain flowers with certain times of the year. Red roses, for example, are an iconic symbol of Valentine’s Day, and spring never really arrives until the tulips start popping up. Poinsettias usher in the holiday season while sunflowers remind us of lazy late-summer days.

Burst of Autumn from Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop features the wonderful Viking spray chrysanthemums

But when it comes to fall, chrysanthemums are the star of the season! With their brilliant colors and long-lasting nature, mums can brighten up any front porch or indoor space. Many people, however, do not realize the deep symbolism behind this favorite autumn icon.

In Chinese culture, this flowering herb symbolizes a life of ease and longevity. Together with the plum blossom, the orchid, and bamboo, chrysanthemums are renowned as one of the “Four Gentlemen” in Chinese and Eastern Asian art and are depicted in traditional ink and wash painting

The earliest illustrations of mums show them to be daisy-like flowers that are small and yellow in color. Today’s chrysanthemums can be quite showy and would probably not be recognized by ancient growers. Modern chrysanthemums can be daisy-like or decorative, like pompons or buttons. In addition to the traditional yellow color, mums can now also be found in a variety of whites, purples, and reds.

Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop’s Enchanted Harvest Bouquet features Viking spray chrysanthemums in an enchanted harvest pumpkin.

Around the 8th century A.D., the chrysanthemum appeared in Japan and was so admired that it was adopted as the crest and official seal of the emperor. The western world was not introduced to the mum until the 17th century and it first appeared in American horticulture in 1798 when Colonel John Stevens imported a variety called ‘Dark Purple’ from England.

Just as the season they represent, chrysanthemums are known for being hardy and strong while also presenting an unmistakable sense of beauty and intrigue. Consider including some mums when selecting flowers for Halloween.

Did You Know???

  • Despite their strong presence in the fall, chrysanthemums are tropical flowers that were originally grown in the Eurasian region.
  • In the Victorian language of flowers, yellow chrysanthemums are a gentle way to decline amorous advances and white mums encourage the recipient to tell the truth or to be honest.
  • The chrysanthemum is November’s birth flower. If you are born in November, the mum is symbolic of your soul’s many layers.
  • In Eastern meditative traditions, the chrysanthemum is used as a focus tool to activate the heart chakra.
  • Germans have white chrysanthemums in their homes on Christmas Eve as a symbol of Christ.
  • The name, chrysanthemum, is adapted from the Greek word, “chryos” which means gold (the original color) and “athos” meaning flower.
  • Some species of chrysanthemum flowers are boiled to make tea in parts of Asia. Likewise, a rice wine in Korea called gukhwaju is flavored with chrysanthemum flowers.
  • The chrysanthemum was recognized as the official flower of the city of Chicago by Mayor Richard J Daley in 1966.

Flowers are the perfect way to make someone’s day a little brighter and fall is the perfect time to share some beautiful chrysanthemums with someone special! Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop can help you find the perfect gift for any occasion, whether it’s school-related, a birthday or anniversary, or just something out of the blue. Order online 24 hours a day or give us a call at (414) 475-7080 and we’ll take care of the rest.

Summertime’s Sensational Sunflowers

Sunflowers are admired in floral arrangements for their warm and inviting beauty and are known to symbolize loyalty, adoration, and longevity. They are used in the floral industry to express feelings of happiness and energy, but the wondrous sunflower is so much more than just a pretty flower.

While admired for their simplistic beauty, sunflowers are also some of the world’s most versatile agricultural crops. In addition to the large daisy-like petals that add excitement and intrigue to fresh-cut floral arrangements, they are an excellent source of food and edible oil. Along with its nutritional seeds, sunflowers are commonly used for industrial applications such as biofuel and livestock feed.

Here are some fun facts that will make you take a second look the next time you see a sunflower:

  • Sunflowers are primarily native to North America and were a common crop among Native Americans who not only used the ground seeds for food but also the flower for textile dyes and the stalks for kindling.
  • Sunflowers are rugged flowers that are tolerant of both high and low temperatures making them easy to grow.
  • Belle of the Ball Bridal Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

    Sunflowers can grow up to 16 feet in height and some varieties can produce over 2,000 seeds per flower.

  • Among their many industrial applications, sunflowers are used to extract toxins from contaminated soil and were used to aid in the cleanup from the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters.
  • There are over 70 different varieties of sunflowers in a wide range of sizes with petal colors ranging from vibrant yellow to deep oranges and browns.
  • Sunflowers are among the fastest growing plants and can reach maturity and heights of 8 to 12 feet in 90-100 days.
  • Sunflowers are often associated with renowned Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh who depicted the flowers in two series of still life paintings. One of those paintings was purchased for $53.9 million in 1987.

Be sure to take a closer look the next time you see one of these magnificently versatile flowers and consider including some of these cheerful favorites the next time you send flowers. Click here to check out some of Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop’s designs featuring the sensational sunflower.

Celebrate Summertime With Bold and Beautiful Tropical Flowers

With Memorial Day upon us, it’s time to dig out those flip-flops and start dreaming of the beach! But if a tropical vacation isn’t in your summertime plans, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop can help bring the tropics to you! Tropical flowers add bold color, magnificent height, and curious drama to any setting, and just scream ‘summertime’ the way no other flowers can! These large, exotic flowers effortlessly transform any home or office into a beautiful island oasis. In addition to being easy to care for, these gorgeous tropical flowers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Here are few of our favorites:

Bird of Paradise – These exotic flowers are also known as crane flowers and are native to South Africa. They symbolize freedom and magnificence. Inspired by their bright blue and orange flowers fanning from green bracts like a colorful bird in flight, they grow between three and five feet in height and typically have three to five “birds” inside each bract that bloom in succession.

Heliconia – These magnificent tropical flowers feature big vibrant bracts in pink, red, orange, or yellow, rising from sturdy towering stalks that can grow up to 20 feet tall. Native to Guyana, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, heliconias symbolize great returns. Unlike bird-of-paradise, heliconias have tiny hidden flowers that won’t emerge from the cut stems – their beauty is in color and silhouette of the dramatic bracts.

Ginger– Native to the Pacific Islands, Malaysia, and Taiwan, ornamental gingers have large cone-shaped blooms that symbolize strength and pride. Although they come in a variety of colors, the red ginger flower is the one most often associated with the tropics. Because of their fragrance and beauty, the ginger flower can often attract bees, butterflies, and a variety of wild birds.

Anthurium – With their large open heart-shaped face, anthuriums have come to symbolize hospitality and a deep romantic attraction. Originally from Columbia, they were brought to Hawaii in 1889 and have since become virtually synonymous with tropical islands. These lovely red flowers have a long vase life and thrive on the moisture and heat of a tropical environment. Although often seen in red with a bright yellow spadix, they’re also available in white, pink, peach, magenta, and green.

Protea – These flowers are named for Proteus, the Greek God who could change his form at will. Proteas are an extraordinary group of flowers originally found in Australia and South Africa. Proteas symbolize transformation, diversity, and courage, and are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors – from pin cushions to imperial crowns in white, yellow, orange, and rose to crimson, magenta, and burgundy.

Let Eastern Floral deliver a slice of paradise to you this summer! You can find these tropical delights in a variety of different designs, or we can create something special just for you! Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 or stop in to see us!

Keeping Your Pets Safe Around Flowers and Plants

We all love fresh flowers and plants for the beauty they provide and their incredible aromas that fill our homes. Unfortunately, our pets don’t enjoy flowers the same way we do. Dogs and cats have a natural curiosity and tend to investigate anything new by smelling or tasting. Their inquisitive nature is often adorable but can sometimes lead to trouble – especially for active pets that have a tendency to eat everything they see. It’s up to us to protect them by knowing which varieties of flowers are safe for pets and identifying which ones can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. While many plants will cause nothing more severe than mild digestive upset should they be ingested by pets, some can cause more serious health issues.

Non-toxic choices

Roses are always a safe choice when it comes to choosing flowers for a home with pets. Once their thorns are removed, they are usually harmless to most animals. Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons, and alstroemerias are also safe to have around pets, as are orchids and ferns.

Flowers that may be harmful

According to the ASPCA, Lilies (specifically Lilium and Hemerocallis) are considered to be the most dangerous flowers for pets, particularly for cats, and should be avoided if the pets will be left alone with them. Tulips, baby’s breath, birds of paradise, hyacinths, stargazers, carnations, and daisies can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested.

Alternative options

When sending a bouquet or plant as a gift to a pet owner, it’s always best to seek out a “pet-friendly” bouquet.

There are several options to consider when sending flowers to a pet-friendly household. Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) can be substituted for other lilies in bouquets, and ferns can be used in place of baby’s breath when accompanying roses or other flowers.

A common organic solution can also be used to deter pets from getting too close to potentially harmful flowers. A mixture of ten drops of citrus essential oil, one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be sprayed over the flowers and plants and should repel even the most curious pets.

In most cases, pets and flowers can safely co-exist in the same house by taking a few simple precautions. Below are lists of some of the most common “pet-friendly” flowers and also of flowers that are known to be toxic. Click here for a more comprehensive list, or contact us for more information.

Pet-friendly flowers and plants:

African daisy
African violet.
Alyssum
Bachelor’s buttons
Celosia
Common Snapdragon
Easter Daisy
Orchids
Peruvian lily
Brazilian lily
Rose

Pants that are considered toxic to both cats and dogs are:

Tulips
Azalea
Bird of Paradise
Aloe
Begonias
Baby’s Breath
Amaryllis.
Easter and stargazer lilies can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by cats

Living Coral is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019


What color will define your year in 2019?

The fine folks at Pantone have made their selection and have nominated “Living Coral” as their “Color of the Year” for 2019. They feel that this particular hue (PANTONE 16-1546) “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

How Sweet It Is by Alfa’s Flower & Wedding Shop is one of many designs featuring Living Coral – the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year

They go on to explain that, “Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”

For over 20 years, Pantone has selected a color of the year and that color has influenced product development and purchasing decisions across a variety of different industries including fashion, interior, and industrial design, home furnishings and most importantly, flowers!

While this vibrant, yet mellow, coral hue with a golden overtone isn’t as bold of a selection as last year’s deep purple Ultra Violet, it also isn’t as serious. In fact, it was chosen in part for its lighthearted symbolism with a nod to our innate need for optimism, joyful pursuits and playful expression which represent the fusion of modern life.

Pantone based Living Coral on the energizing aspects of the color as it is found in nature – and coral reefs in particular as their glorious, yet elusive displays beneath the sea provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.

In with the new

Tropical Punch Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Pantone puts a tremendous amount of thoughtful consideration into choosing their Color of the Year. They arrive at their decision by pouring over trend analysis and combing the globe in search of new color influences. Their decision is ultimately based on several different factors, but the end result is typically a good indication of the state of global and political climate and the emotions that many people are feeling at the time – if that feeling can be described as a color.

This year’s selection is all about optimism and the bright shining light that many people can use to start 2019 on the right note, but that doesn’t mean it has to represent your year. A fresh new year means a fresh new start and now is the perfect time to begin writing your own story – and choosing your own color – that will define your world in 2019.

Don’t miss out on the hottest new trend for 2019: Living Coral! Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop has many designs featuring this intriguing color which works well as an accent or as the featured color. Give us a call today at 800-524-8727 and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect design for a birthday, anniversary, milestone or any other important event. Best of all, we offer same-day delivery anywhere in the U.S.A.

 

Toast Tremendous Teachers with a Thoughtful Treat

It’s that time of year once again! Back-to-school sales are happening everywhere, and teachers are busy preparing for the start of another school year.

With summer winding down, now is not only the perfect time to show your appreciation to those who have been taking care of your kids during the break, but also a fantastic opportunity to start the school year off right with a gift of flowers for the teachers, facility, coaches, and staff who will be enriching their lives over the next nine months.

To some, it may seem like the summer flew by too fast while others have been counting the days until the new school year begins. Regardless of how you feel about your kids going back to school, we hope your summer was filled with adventure and learning experiences that can’t be taught in schools. If there are any nannies, babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, camp counselors, clergy members or coaches who influenced your summer, flowers are always a perfect way to acknowledge and say thanks for their hard work and dedication.

Most of those people aren’t expecting gifts, so the gesture certainly isn’t necessary, but even a small token of your appreciation is a thoughtful way of showing gratitude that often means more to the recipient than the giver will ever realize.

Forget the apple

It’s 2018 – your teacher doesn’t want an apple unless it’s a phone or computer – so forget the fruit in favor of a beautiful bouquet of brightly-colored flowers instead. Flowers really are the perfect way to set the mood for the start of the school year while brightening up the classroom at the same time.

Cup of Thanks by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Teachers aren’t the only ones who enjoy flowers, however, so don’t forget bus drivers, teacher’s aides, facility members, crossing guards, and everyone else who makes the school a fun and inviting place to learn. Flowers are so wonderful at putting smiles on people’s faces, especially when they’re least expected. At Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, we specialize in helping you choose the perfect gift for everyone on your list – no matter how big or small of an impact they have on your children’s education.

If you have a friend or family member going away to college for the first time this fall, flowers are a fun and festive way to decorate dorm rooms and live plants are perfect picks if you’re looking for a longer-lasting gift. Most of the plants we carry are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of work, which is ideal for busy students who are always on the go.

Regardless of whether you’re sending flowers to thank someone for a job well done, congratulate someone for a notable accomplishment, wish someone good luck, or simply to make someone’s day, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help with all your back-to-school floral needs. If you don’t know exactly what you want to send, never fear – we’re here to help! Give us a call at (414) 475-7080, order online, or better yet – stop by the shop and look around – you never know what we may have in store for you!