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Holiday Planning: Easter

Posted on by BelleFiori

Can you believe this weekend is Easter?! This week’s warmer temperatures are finally feeling like spring, which makes us even more excited! Plus, holidays are just another reason for us to design custom floral arrangements and bouquets, so the celebration is always welcome!

Take a look at some of Belle Fiori’s Easter inspired centerpieces. We love creating florals our Southeastern Wisconsin clients can enjoy with friends and family. We’re also thrilled at how often we receive feedback about the ‘impressive’ designs.

If you’re looking for an arrangement this Easter, give our Milwaukee area shop a call at 414-272-2234!

Also, check out some fun facts about Easter flowers below!

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Easter Flowers

Lily

popular symbol of the Easter festival, the white lily is held as the traditional Easter Flower and represents love and hope. The single flower stem originating from a bulb represents the resurrection of Christ three days after his apparent death by crucifixion. Legend has it that white lilies were grown at the place where drops of blood fell from Jesus Christ’s body. Some Catholic nations regard white lilies as the symbol of the purity and divinity of Jesus Christ and dedicate them to his mother, Virgin Mary. This is the reason why churches are decorated with white lilies during Easter.

Gifting white lilies to someone during this time indicates that you are very happy to be acquainted with the recipient. Giving yellow lilies to a person represents your request or advice to him/her to “live for the moment”.

Daisy

The lovely daisies, much like white lilies, have a special significance for Easter celebrations. The sweet-smelling daisies symbolize purity and placidness – two qualities highlighted by the spirit of the occasion.

Azalea

A beautiful spring flower, the azalea is famous for its elegant color and appearance and forms a symbol of different emotions like temperance and passion. Gifting it to someone on Easter indicates you want the recipient to take good care of himself/herself for your sake.

Daffodil

The daffodil is regarded as one of the most popular Easter flowers and has a romantic connection. Gifting a bunch of daffodils mean you hold that person as the only true love in your life and regard him/her highly. It can also indicate your unrequited love for that person. In another way it can simply indicate your respect for the person and that you feel very happy to be with him/her.

Chrysanthemum

Generally, all flowers of this variety are said to be the symbols of cheerfulness except the yellow one which represents slighted love. The chrysanthemum as an Easter gift indicates that the recipient is precious for you and you wish him/her greater happiness in life. A white chrysanthemum represents truthfulness.

Tulips

The beautiful tulip flower is considered to be a messenger of passion and love. A favorite Easter flower for lovers, it is used to convey the feelings of the heart to a special someone. While the red tulip proclaims “I Love You”, tulips of any color mean “Our Love Is Perfect”. A varicolored assortment of tulips, generally given to a female lover, means “Your eyes are beautiful”. Giving a yellow tulip to someone means you are “hopelessly in love” with that person.

Hyacinth

Famous for its sweet fragrance, the hyacinth in general stands for “comeliness”. However, different colors of the flower have different implications. A purple hyacinth means “please forgive me” while a white one symbolizes the recipient is lovely or that you will pray for that person; a yellow hyacinth indicates jealousy whereas a pink or red hyacinth says “Let’s play!”

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Belle Fiori Special Feature: Art In Bloom

Posted on by BelleFiori

Happy spring from all of us at Belle Fiori!

One of the most attended Art Museum Events of Milwaukee is almost upon us and this year things will be a bit different due to the construction of the main galleries. “Beauty in Bloom: A Tribute to Fashion and Flowers” will replace the annual floral event “Art in Bloom” and will coincide with the current exhibition titled, Inspiring Beauty: 50 years of Ebony Fashion. This will be a new way for us to stretch our creative limits with a floral arrangement based around 1990’s coordinating cocktail ensemble!

Acclaimed New York designer, Katherine Feiner, will also debut her 2015 spring fashion line, alongside gowns and accessories that local artists and florist will create entirely out of blooms!! We can’t wait to get started on an all fresh floral dress and look forward to seeing what all of the other local talent comes up with too!

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For info about Beauty in Bloom: http://mam.org/bloom/

For Info about the Museum Exhibit: http://mam.org/inspiring-beauty/

Don’t forget to Check us out this year:

Beauty in Bloom Hours – March 26-29th

Beauty in Bloom Admission

And, in case you missed it here are some Belle Fiori’s past year floral submissions to tide you over…

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Belle Fiori Employee Feature: Meet Cecilia

Posted on by BelleFiori

I’m so proud of our exceptional staff at Belle Fiori. Coming to the shop everyday is a joy and a privilege when working side by side such wonderful people. Which is why we were excited to have added to our Milwaukee team this year by bringing on Belle Fiori’s first ever intern! Cecilia has been with us since January and will be sticking around until April when she graduates.

Meet Cecilia!

Name: Cecilia Zea

Nickname: Ceci

Tell us a little bit about your self: I’m from Texas y’all!

Where do you go to school? Tarleton State University

What’s you major? Plant and Soil Science, with an emphasis in Horticulture

What sparked your interest in floral design? My floral design class in High School

When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be? A singer

What is your favorite thing about visiting Milwaukee? Seeing all the snow, this is the first time I’ve seen real snow.

What is your favorite flower? Orchids

If you could have 1 super power, what would it be? Super Strength

What would I find in your refrigerator at home? Ecuadorian food, arroz con lentejas, encebollada and ceviche

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Belle Fiori ‘Style Me Pretty’ Feature!

Posted on by BelleFiori

We’re so excited to be a part of another awesome wedding blog feature! Style Me Pretty, one of our favorite go-to sites for all things bridal, did an excellent feature on Chris and Christina’s elegant Milwaukee wedding. As always, our florists at Belle Fiori are humbled to have worked alongside many of Southeastern Wisconsin’s finest! Many thanks to the happy couple for allowing us to create their bouquets and arrangements!

Click here to view the full Little Black Book blog!

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From m three studioA classically beautiful day in absolutely every way – Christina and Chris had the sort of wedding day you see in movies. Perfect weather, a gorgeous dress, a fun and attentive wedding party, loving families on both sides full of joy, adorable littles running around, lush florals, a dramatic ballroom, and love, love, love everywhere. The perfection of it all can leave you dizzy like a good glass of champagne.

What I love most though are the small touches that they incorporated to make it all so personal – you have to really pay attention to see them. Well, the first one is hard to miss – they made sure their beloved pup got to join in on the fun for their bridal party pictures. Chris’ love for baseball was incorporated into the men’s dressing area (that’s vintage Milwaukee Braves memorabilia on the walls) and the guestbook and favors; baseballs for guests to sign and crackerjacks to take home. Chris’ last name is Beesley and his Mom has a long standing tradition of incorporating bees into her home decor and life moments. Christina intends to continue the tradition and made sure one appeared in their invitations, menu cards, on the guest welcome bags, and also gave each bridesmaid a gold bee charm bracelet. Christina’s mercury glass collection gave each dinner table an eclectic and personal touch. Their stationer got things rolling with a custom illustration of Milwaukee for their invitations.

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Photography: m three studio | Florist: Belle Fiori | Cake: The Cake Lady | Ceremony: St. Paul’s Church | Reception: Milwaukee Athletic Club | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy | Hair & Makeup: Neroli Salon & Spa | Band: North Coast Orchestra | Bride’s Gown: Allure | Men’s Suits: Vera Wang | Stationer: Tillie Designs

Spotlight on Erika Herman-In Case You Missed It!

Posted on by BelleFiori

Last week, Belle Fiori’s own Erika Herman was featured in a Vendor Spotlight for Mint an Lovely Studios. Of course, we’re always proud to call her one of our own, but it’s extra exciting when others appreciate the creativity of our Milwaukee area staff. Congrats to Erika for being recognized, and as always, feel free to stop by our shop if you’re in need of one of her beautiful floral arrangements!

Click here to see the whole Mint and Lovely blog feature!

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How did you start in floral design?

I started my floral career about six years ago at Belle Fiori. I had graduated MIAD with an Interior Architecture degree and was looking for something creative to tide me over until I found a job in my field. The owner, Emily, brought me in as a floral processer/sales associate, but the shop was growing rapidly and I started learning design shortly after. I think my background really helped me to catch on quickly and I totally fell in love with floral arranging! I am now the lead designer for the shop and on the verge of obsession with all things floral. I truly found my calling here! I am so grateful to Emily, for taking a chance on me!

What are some of your favorite blooms to use in arrangements?
Oh man, I have so many! I get really excited about seasonal blooms, especially from our local Wisconsin farmer, Windswept Acres. When they show up the whole shop goes crazy and you can probably hear us squealing with excitement from miles away. They harvest a wide variety of cool oddities like Pitcher Plants, Garlic Scapes, Foxglove, Allium, etc. and I try to incorporate them as much as possible. Aside from that, I find myself trying to put Ornamental Kale in just about everything! In early fall I love using colorful Zinnias and Dahlias. In late winter and spring I love mixing tulips and tropical flowers like Ginger, Birds of Paradise and Cymbidium Orchids. More than anything, I love flowers/botanicals with great texture. I am also very passionate about carnations, which are such an underdog in the floral world. They come in some truly spectacular colors naturally and can be just as romantic as a ruffled Victorian dress!

What are some unique ways couples can incorporate florals into their wedding days besides just bouquets and boutonnieres?
There are so many aspects of the wedding day that could have floral elements, but the small personalized details are what really makes a wedding feel complete. A few of the bride’s favorite flowers in her hair or a floral crown is simple and gorgeous! Flowers for the chairs/pews during ceremony are a lovely way to lead the couple down the aisle and can be repurposed at the reception on cocktail, gift and card tables. A single bloom or stem of greenery/herbs on each plate is a small finishing touch that can make the guests feel extra special! Something really unique that we offer is a large customizable ribbon backdrop rental that can have a variety of floral swags, asymmetrical corner arrangements, or even hand threaded garlands to match the couple’s style and color palette. Use it for the ceremony or even as a photo-booth background! One of my favorite floral embellishments was a “boutonniere” for the collar of a couple’s pup who doubled as their ring bearer! It was so adorable!

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Belle Fiori Florals-Quality Flowers from a Quality Source

Posted on by BelleFiori

Many people ask what the difference is between buying fresh flowers from our store or at their local grocery store. At Belle Fiori we pride ourselves in knowing we only use the very best florist-quality flowers that are professionally designed and hand-delivered to the Milwaukee area. Flowers come to our store world-wide from places such as South America and Holland. 

One of the leading growers we receive flowers from at Belle Fiori is Esmeralda Farms located in various different regions of South America. Esmeralda Farms is committed to delivering the freshest and highest quality fresh cut flowers in the floral industry. They are a market leader in innovation, quality and consistency due to their state-of-the-art production methods and dedicated staff. The diverse growing regions in Central and South America where their farms are located enable them to take advantage of the different climatic conditions and soil compositions. Everyday, Esmeralda is working towards total biological control by using minimal quantities of pesticides in their farms. When chemicals are used excessively, an unattractive residue builds up on the leaf surface, reducing vase life, and can also be harmful to humans and pets. Esmeralda, however, uses 75% less pesticides than an average flower farm and only uses chemicals that are certified and approved for use by the EPA, FLP and Florverde. Esmeralda Farms recieved the International Silver Rose Award as Eco-certified grower of the year for their use of responsible and sustainable horticulture. 

Esmeralda Farms also takes different environmental initiatives through different programs such as Florverde and FlorEcuador. Florverde is an internationally recognized program created by the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters that betters the social and environmental conditions of the Colombian Flower Industry by continuously striving to achieve the highest standards at the farms and for its workers on multiple levels. FlorEcuador is the socio-environmental program of Expoflores, Ecuador’s National Association of Flower Producers and Exporters, which promotes social responsibility, improving work conditions of flower growers, seeks sustainable production with optimal resource and energy management, and increases the use of biological and alternative pesticides. 

We hope the next time you buy flowers, you choose Belle Fiori to ensure you are getting only the best premium fresh-cut flowers!
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Join Us at Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride-March 1st

Posted on by BelleFiori

Attention all you brides and grooms to be! Belle Fiori is gearing up for another of Milwaukee’s highly anticipated bridal shows. On March 1st, our florists, along with several of Southeastern Wisconsin’s finest wedding professionals will be on hand for Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride Wedding Show. Couples will have the opportunity to see the latest in bridal fashion, photography, catering, and much more!

Check out the details below, and by clicking here!

Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride

Sunday, March 1, 2015
11AM to 3PM
The Pfister Hotel
424 East Wisconsin Avenue
7th floor

“Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride Wedding Show has been making wedding dreams come true for eight years!  We would like to thank our wonderful group of wedding artisans and our show partners. They are what makes this show the premiere wedding experience in the state of Wisconsin. Southeastern Wisconsin’s most exclusive wedding artisans will inspire the planning of your special day. Join us for an afternoon of champagne, fabulous food, and the latest trends in wedding design.”

Ticket Price: $25 in advance, $35 at the door, plus tax

This year, you’ll also be able to participate in a bridal brunch with David Caruso of Dynamic Events!

Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride: Save the Date – March 1, 2015 from CAPTIVATE // ONE FINE DAY on Vimeo.

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Join Nationally Award-Winning Wedding Planner and Designer, David Caruso, for a special Wedding Brunch at 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM in The Rouge.  You don’t want to miss David’s dynamic presentation about wedding trends and how to make your wedding uniquely your own.  Seats are limited to this exclusive event so purchase upgraded tickets right away!

Belle Fiori Employee Feature-Meet Jo Ann!

Posted on by BelleFiori

This week more than ever, I have to give a big shout out to Belle Fiori’s entire staff, including those extra special helpers with us during Valentine’s day. It’s a crazy time, and I’m ever grateful for the dedication and incredible customer service our team displays when preparing and delivering your floral bouquets and arrangements throughout the Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin area. Roses or lilies, your design or ours, Belle Fiori’s florists love making your holiday a special one.

So, thank you to our staff this week and always, and say hello to this week’s employee feature, Jo Ann…

Name: Jo Ann Bishop

How long have you worked at Belle Fiori? Started mid-September 2014

What is your position? Administrative Assistant

When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be? Eleven, I think.

What is your favorite season? I love the fall with the changing temperatures and crispness of the air.  It reminds me of back-to-school time and a re-organizing of a schedule of life after a more loosely paced summer.  

If you weren’t in the field of floral design, what would you be doing? Living in a villa in Italy and preparing and eating delicious, local food.  Surrounded by beautiful flowers, of course.  

What is your favorite part about living in Milwaukee? I recently moved to the Lower East Side and enjoy the convenience of walking to work, the theater, movies and Lake Michigan  One of my favorite things to do in the neighborhood is walk my dog along the lake and bask in the energy and ever changing colors of the water.

What would I find in your refrigerator at home? A staple in my refrigerator is cooked greens of various kinds, a pot of soup, hummus and almond butter.  And, an assortment of organic vegetables from our CSA at Tipi Produce. 

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Order Early for Valentine’s Day!

Posted on by BelleFiori

It’s almost here…Valentine’s Day! The national holiday which celebrates love is the perfect time to send your special someone an arrangement of beautiful flowers.

At Belle Fiori, we believe you shouldn’t feel limited to red roses. We encourage you to break the mold and consider one of our gorgeous, custom floral designs.

Why not surprise your sweetheart with a delivery at work on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday? The sweet gesture is sure to put a smile on their face and set the tone of romance for the weekend.

Before the orders come rushing in, call our Milwaukee area shop at 414.272.2234 to place your order for delivery. One of our floral experts will help determine a combination of florals your loved one will adore!

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Ask the Expert: Orchids

Posted on by BelleFiori

This week’s Ask the Expert feature focuses on one of the most common gifted plants around. Our florists at Belle Fiori are often asked about the care and maintenance of the delicate orchid, and we’re always happy to advise…

Nichole Asks:

Orchids….how do I get new blossoms? I put a few ice cubes in it each week, but no success after 1 1/2 years! Although the plant is growing, there are no flowers. What should I do? -Nichole S.

My Answer:

Different  varieties of orchids have different needs to re-bloom in a home.  The best starting point is to think of where and how the plant will grow in it’s native setting. I’m going to assume that you have a Phalaenopsis orchid, this is the most commonly available.

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The most common reason for any orchid not to bloom is insufficient light. Move your phalaenopsis plants to a window where they will receive strong, but indirect light.  Remember, in it’s natural setting, an orchid will have lots of light but could be underneath a bigger tropical tree for indirect light. I personally have good luck with a bay window in my kitchen. Try to get 2 of 4 directions for natural light, north & west or south & east, etc.. Also, “indirect” means soft, diffused, or filtered light, so avoid hot, direct sun or use a sheer curtain to act as a shade cloth.   You might also try lighting your plants with a fluorescent light fixture placed about 1-2 feet above the foliage, but this is challenging in a home.

The next reason to consider is nutrition.  Are you feeding your plant?  This can come in two different forms-potting soil or fertilizer.  If the plant is still in the original medium, a re-potting can help (sphagnum moss or bark chips are most common options).  Look for the same type of medium that your plant is currently in (several brands are readily available).  Carefully remove the plant from the original container and take this time to wash and scrub the container to remove any bacteria or mold spores.  Discard all of the original medium and fill the container half-full with new medium, then place the roots and plant in the pot. Finally, work more medium on top and between the roots to fill the pot and hold the plant in place.  This will take some wiggling, shimming and shaking to get around all those squiggly roots, but keep carefully working at it until the plant feels sturdy in the pot.  Give the new potting medium a thorough watering. After 30 minutes, drain away any standing water by slowly tipping the pot and pouring the extra out into the sink.  It will take a few weeks to see the effect, but this new soil is yummy to your plant.  Lastly, consider adding a fertilizer to your plant watering regimen. Following the directions for each brand is best as the proportions and potency vary.

I personally do not like the ice cube method for watering a tropical plant.  If you grew up in Hawaii would you want ice cubes on your feet? No way! The only benefit the ice cubes give, is to avoid over watering by only providing a few tablespoons of liquid when they melt. Try switching to a consistent measurement (4-8 oz. for a 5″ diameter pot/weekly) of tepid water.  If you plan to use fertilizer, use it every other watering. Too much fertilizer is like too much rich food and will upset your plant. In good ole’ Southeastern Wisconsin, we are challenged with limited daylight and often low humidity from dry homes in the winter.  You can expect a Phalaenopsis orchid to bloom once a year with the stem of blossoms often lasting almost three months from the first open bloom to the last.  A dormant time of low light will occur in November, December and January.  As the days get brighter and longer your orchids will be encouraged to send up a new stem and bloom.  Hopefully a few of these changes will show the fruits, …er blooms, of your labor.

Good luck!

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