Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In the shop: our winter window and a request for your VOTE!

Last week I spent a wonderful day with my talented staff, the lovely Vanessa and Angele, putting together our winter window.  A real meeting of minds and team effort, I am so happy with how it looks. The gorgeous paper flowers on the wreaths were painstakingly handmade from crepe paper by the girls, and I just love how we expanded on Angele's idea of having some sort of snow effect on the edges by using paper doilies. The display behind has all the shiny happy things we are loving this winter, including our succulent plants in mercury vases with colourful pom poms and cheerful little sleepy faced pots by local potter Janet Hinkle of Hinkleville Handmade.

I don't usually do "themed" displays, but this one has a special reason behind it- we are entered in our local BIA's Window Wanderland competition and we need your vote!


If you are reading this between 

December 1st and December 18th 2016 please visit

and vote for Periwinkle Flowers! 

The prize for the winning business is a transit shelter ad, which is something that would be so amazing for us, and there is also a draw for a winner among voters (for MPV Dollars, which you can spend anywhere in the neighborhood) but even if you aren't directly in our area, your vote still counts!

Thank you so much for your support!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In the shop: how much water to use water your succulents


Here's a quick little video short, showing you how much water I give a succulent plant when I water, something I get asked about all the time so thought I'd share here!

p.s. I know, I say "water" very oddly- I'm British born and raised but have spent enough time in Canada now that my accent is a weird mix of both worlds :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In the shop: Winter has arrived, but we aren't taking it too seriously.

Well, the snow arrived in Toronto this week, and we've officially switched our website over to our winter offerings. But just because it's winter doesn't mean we've gone all "white and pale" on you. If there is one thing we do well at Periwinkle it's colour, and with the darker days and gloomy skies our winter ideas are kicking the colour up to keep our hearts warm.

We're bringing in as much local product as we can, while filling in the gaps with some imported blooms such as our heirloom garden roses and many beautiful blossoms from the Dutch market.

Mixing winter greens with bright pinks, sunshiny yellows, happy reds and oranges makes us happy!

And of course, if we can put a happy colourful little pom pom or two ( or three) on it, the more the merrier!

You can take a look at all our winter ideas on the website, where you can also order on line for delivery in Toronto, or come by the shop to see what's in the flower fridge today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In the shop: Spiderplants

I remember spiderplants from childhood with fondness. Native to tropical and southern Africa Spider plants ( Latin name Chlorophytum comosum.) are efficient air cleaners, known to reduce levels of formaldehyde in homes. They are such an easy plant, as long as you have natural light. Shady spots won't do, but given a nice natural light, these pleasant plants will happily send out long tendrils with little baby plants at the ends.

As a child I would snip off these new plants and pop them on the top of a glass milk bottle (that should indicate how old I am- milk was delivered in glass bottles with foil tops, right to our doorstep!) filled with water, and watch with wonder as over a short space of just a week or two the small roots would grow. Pot the plant into a small container of lightly moist potting soil and it really is as easy as that. Keep lightly moist but not wet, especially if just potted on since those first roots grown in water will be getting replaced with a new set built for life in soil.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

In the shop: Our flowers are published in Mingle Magazine!

Super excited to finally have a copy of the fall/winter issue of Mingle magazine.  Our talented friend Lorrie Everitt has a seven page feature in there, giving all the pretty little details and gorgeous photos from the creative collaboration we were part of this past spring.


You can find a copy of this lovely magazine, filled to the brim with beautiful ideas for gatherings and parties of your own, at Indigo Books, Michael's Craft stores and Wholefoods.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A fall wedding

 This past weekend I put together flowers for one of my favourite weddings of the year.
The lovely couple included lots of DIY elements and really personalized every part of the day.
The bride carried a wild textural bouquet of fall blooms and greens.

 The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the same.

We didn't do any flowers for the ceremony which was held at at Greek Orthodox Church, instead the couple chose to use their floral budget on the reception space.

 Held in downtown Toronto, at Airship37, the reception had lots of character. As guests arrived they entered the unique warehouse style space and enjoyed a cocktail in the bar area. which we decorated lightly with some simple arrangements made in metallic tins. Each held a slightly sifferent selection of flowers and greens, all in the main colour theme of deep reds with  some soft peaches and pinks.

As guests moved along a small hallway they passed by this collection of tins set along a window ledge. This then opened into the main space filled with guest tables for the evening dinner.

I loved the concept we worked with for the table pieces. The bride and groom  had collected tins of various sizes which they spray painted a lovely copper colour. They used a wooden plank piece to create a charger for the  arrangements, which were lush and textured with roses, spray roses, dahlias, wax flower,cottinus greener, seeded eucalyptus and a succulent. Next to that we added a smaller tin with a simple cluster of either sedum or red hypericum berries, and this held the custom made laser cut wood table numbers.  A printed menu card was set next to the flowers, and each table had a rose gold coloured llama figurine, a nod to the story of how the couple met on a trip to Tibet.

Even the bar had a special personal touch!

This wedding had everything I love involved- a couple with a great sense of fun and creative spirit, a vintage inspired venue and an eclectic floral mix with colour and fun.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

In the shop:chicken wire and flower frogs

 I've been working on phasing out the use of floral foam at the shop and have been really enjoying the results from using alternative mechanics.

Developed in the 1950's, floral foam revolutionized the floral industry by introducing a product that holds water and supplies it to the cut flowers placed into it, allowing florists to use low or unusual shaped containers.

Unfortunately, however, the foam is made from a chemical mix that does not decompose, so is filling up our landfill sites, and somewhat more alarmingly the foam is believed to be carcinogenic.  The foam in its dry form ( which is how it is stored in a flower shop)  throws up large amounts of  chemical dust into the air and that toxic dust has been strongly associated with types of cancer, especially lung cancer.

So what is a florist to do, when the industry norm is a scary environmental and health issue? well, I've moved back to my floral training and returned to the oldschool mechanics of days gone by- chicken wire and flower frogs!

As you can see in the top photo, chicken wire gets easily folded and molded into a little "bubble" that goes into the vase.  Low vases can be tricky to work with, but using this chicken wire cage allows a designer to achieve a wonderful, loose and wide shape.  When you are designing for pieces that are going to be moved around, such as going out on delivery, mechanics need to keep everything stable and in the place you put it. (The other method florists often use with vases is to create a gird of clear tape across the mouth, but with a low vase this won't work- the stems will "flip" to the side and the stem end will not be in the water.)The photo above is of the finished vase, made with the chicken wire cage.

Another oldschool florist trick is to use a flower frog, the type I use in the shop most often is a pin frog. These are just genius.

A heavy metal set of vertical pins sits in the base of the container and you press the stems into the pins to keep them where you want them.

I find the shape and flow I can achieve with chicken wire and pin frogs is so much better than with foam, creatively it feels much more organic and artistically challenging, if that makes any sense at all!

There are also ceramic and metal flower frogs that are almost like little pots with holes in, many florists collect them as they come in so many amazing formats....I think I may have found a new obsession to collect myself!.