Flowers * Weddings *Events

God's Garden Treasures' blog about Flowers

Flower arrangements – on delivery, should they look stunning in pictures OR last longer in the home? September 5, 2012

While editing our website today,  I updated the text on a couple of arrangements where our picture is featured instead of floral photos we were provided by the website provider. Here is the text that accompanied:  “Bright colors bring smiles, creativity brings the ‘Wow’ factor, and the long-lasting flowers make a lasting impression as they are surprised each day at the changing design. Designed with lasting impact in mind, this arrangement is typically delivered with the lilies mostly in the bud stage, so the recipient has the delight of watching the blooms open at their home or office!”

While updating our website, I realized this is a perfect blog post. Short, to the point, and yet sharing our perspective and the way we think about flowers, and the dilemma we face sometimes with flower pictures online.

Lily Surprise Floral Arrangement

Lily Surprise Floral Arrangement

Why is this even an issue? (Or what do you mean it won’t look exactly like the picture?)

This is an issue with Lily arrangements, and Asiatic and Oriental Lilies particularly. They are cut with the buds fully closed, and they open nicely once they are given a fresh cut.  We want our clients to enjoy the flowers as long as possible, so sometimes they are sent out to the home with just a few open blooms, or mostly closed blooms, like the bouquet at right.

Asiatic Lily and Roses in whites and pinks

Asiatic Lily and Roses in whites and pinks

Many floral pictures show the lilies almost all fully open, like the picture at left.

This makes the bouquet look awesome in the pictures, and yet, with the blooms mostly open, the bouquet will not last as long, losing up to 50-70% of the time of enjoyment in the home.

So which do you prefer?

And we realize the preference may depend on the occasion. For a floral arrangement going to a celebration of life service, or a party, you want the open lilies and other flowers because of the visual impact at the event. When the flowers are going to the home, to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion, there is more flexibility.

We’d like to know – do you think about this when you see a bouquet online where the flowers are all completely open?


Confusion about sympathy flowers August 23, 2012

Recently friends of mine lost their Mom/Grandma, and I experienced the confusion first-hand that many feel when encountering ‘in lieu of flowers’ in the announcement of the memorial service.

I just read a great blog post that put in words what I was struggling to even understand.

In ‘Quiet Ambassadors of Love’, Jennifer Sparks quotes a note from a funeral director’s wife:
“Quiet ambassadors of love, flowers, yes, flowers. As a funeral director’s wife I have had the honor of standing by others in times of loss and grief. When confusion and pain run so deep, words are intrusive and unwelcome. When hearts are too full for anything except flowers. They stand in their place and tell those who are left, we love them. We are thinking about

Glorious Green Celebration

To celebrate the life of a vibrant person, or someone who is a gardener, or who loves the color green and is artistic and creative, an arrangement like this can really bless all those who experience it!

them right at this moment in time. We care deeply.”


So how do you decide to move forward to express care when a charity donation is requested?

If you know the family well, you might call to share condolences, share your desire to send something to the service, and ask if it would be ok to do both.

Many times the ‘in lieu of flowers’ is added in the midst of grief without the opportunity to reflect on how soothing to the heart the flowers may be. On the other hand some people feel strongly and have deep convictions.

The funeral director’s wife goes on to say, “Can you see? Can you hear? Ambassadors of a Godly sort sent from hearts of love to hurting people everywhere…even at the end of our journey, letting the living know how much we care. The flowers are in memory, but they are for the living! So send flowers as often as you are able and know they will reflect your love and care, especially to a funeral home. The saddest thing I have ever witnessed is a funeral without so much as a tiny bud vase whispering ‘someone cares.’”

And Jennifer goes on to say, “I share Bobbie’s sentiments wholeheartedly. Not because I work for the floral industry but because I have experienced and seen the power of flowers at the lowest points in people’s lives. They do bring comfort to the heart of remembrance, they do add warmth to an otherwise cold and somber environment, and they do provide a beautiful diversion to focus on at a time when words are few.

“Research shows that flowers increase feelings of compassion, and people feel less depressed, anxious and agitated in their presence. Such compelling research shows flowers can play a critical role in the bereavement process.”

I appreciate so much people who put in words what I am having trouble articulating, and more deeply so when the emotions are so deep, tangled, and uncomfortable. Thank you, Jennifer!


Patriotic Sympathy Spray for the Service

When celebrating the life of a military veteran, a patriotic theme in a creative way can celebrate their life and service in style.

Another option is to give a charity gift and include a note about that in your card sent with the flowers, whether to the service, or to the family at their home. Some will wait to send the flowers to the home for a week or so, knowing that the grief doesn’t end when extended family go home, and wanting to communicate care and love over time.

More thoughts about sympathy flowers


Fun, creative birthday gift! March 14, 2012


What fun it is to make someone’s day, and even more fun to do it with friends!

In preparing a group gift for Rena, our business mentor, inspiration and friend’s birthday, Georganne and Mary Glen picked out beach-themes gifts from Frances, the Modern Boutique with Vintage Charm. They sent me this picture via text:


And I created this floral arrangement from textures inspired by the gardens near California beaches, and colors inspired by the gifts:


And Rena was delighted and thrilled!


And delicious cupcakes were enjoyed by all, from Urban Cookies.

To utilize our creativity for your next flower gift, start here, then call, text, or email us your inspiration ideas.


Musings on Sympathy Flowers: Flowers speak in the silence where words cannot go December 2, 2011

Jennifer Sparks shares, “Having worked for the floral industry for almost 20 years, I’ve talked with many family, friends, and acquaintances who question the practicality of sympathy flowers or are confused by the ‘in lieu of flowers’ phrase often seen in death notices and obituaries. Having been to my share of funerals I have seen first hand the healing nature of flowers during a time when words cannot express. But a recent correspondence from Bobbie Nelson, a funeral director’s wife, sums it up so beautifully I have to  share her thoughts:

Island Memories Sympathy Flowers

Celebrate a Love of the Warm Tropics at a Memorial Service

I recently received an e-mail saying “How many flowers end up at the funeral home and how many flowers did the dead person enjoy while they were alive?” This got me to think about both industries, florists and funeral homes.  Quiet ambassadors of love, flowers, yes, flowers. As a funeral director’s wife I have had the honor of standing by others in times of loss and grief. When confusion and pain run so deep, words are intrusive and unwelcome. When hearts are too full for anything except flowers. They stand in their place and tell those who are left, we love them. We are thinking about them right at this moment in time. We care deeply.

God’s beautiful bouquets send thoughtfulness, reassurance, strength, filling the air with His special perfume and color. ‘How thoughtful’ the loved ones say as they read the flower cards, kindness of friends and family shining through. ‘Oh, this is from Aunt Jenny. She can’t travel now but she sent flowers.’

Can you see? Can you hear? Ambassadors of a Godly sort sent from hearts of love to hurting people everywhere…even at the end of our journey, letting the living know how much we care. The flowers are in memory, but they are for the living! So send flowers as often as you are able and know they will reflect your love and care, especially to a funeral home. The saddest thing I have ever witnessed is a funeral without so much as a tiny bud vase whispering ‘someone cares.’ “

I agree with Jennifer and Bobbie, and truly believe that the service is a real celebration of the person’s life, love and what they contributed to family and friends. So in addition to offering warmth and support, the flowers can reflect the unique qualities, interests, life work, or hobbies.For example, we have created memorial service arrangements with a golf theme

Asian-inspired Spring Sympathy bouquet, Sympathy Flowers, Hydrangea, Chinese Ceramic Vase

Celebrate an Asian heritage and a love of spring flowers with a specialty vase and a custom floral design

for an avid golfer on behalf of a friend who cared, and at another time, we inserted the message from family members in the form of a crossword tucked into the flowers for a woman who loved crosswords. And for a sports fan, lovingly created standing sprays styled in a mirror image in therms of the shape, and each one was the color of one of his teams (Phillies and Eagles).  Tributes such as these often really capture who they were and celebrate it! The options are endless.

Jennifer adds, in closing: “And as for ‘in lieu of flowers’ in an obituary? Unfortunately, that buzz phrase is often automatically inserted without much thought when a charity is designated. An alternative phrase could be simply, “The family requests memorial contributions be made to XYZ Organization.” The reality is, it is highly unlikely that the bereaved would want a funeral completely devoid of flowers. So if your heart desires to express your sympathy with flowers, send them. Flowers are a thoughtful way to honor a beautiful life and they provide visible emotional support during a difficult time.”

Another way to express support is to send the flowers to the home in the form of a dining centerpiece or coffee table arrangement that will express your concern as family and friends gather, or once visitors have left, leave a lasting embrace.

Please stay tuned and check back for more tips, ideas and inspirations to come.

Used with permission, SAF member – original post found here.

For discrete, thoughtful and personal assistance with your sympathy flower purchase, please call us!


Petals tip… sending flowers out of state – how we serve you! November 5, 2010

Celebrating special occasions when you are far away is one of the most challenging parts of living away from family and friends. And so many of us in Phoenix are from somewhere else. With the holidays coming up, our hearts turn to family and we want to reach out. For me, my heart aches when I want to just take my folks out for dinner, or go on a double date with my sister and our husbands. And then… she’s pregnant! Or my uncle has a milestone birthday during the week when it’s hard to travel. Or a cousin is having a challenging time. How can you ‘be there’ when you are miles away?

At these times, many people send flowers, because they bring a smile, warmth and a special care. And yet, there are the questions about which florist to use, and how to make sure they are handled well, and is the florist really local, or  will it be delivered in a box and left on a doorstep – what happens when they are not home??

We’ve had people ask us – ‘can you help me with flower deliveries to ___ (out-of-state)?’ and one even requested I blog about it, so here goes.

YES! We can help with floral deliveries anywhere. We offer the same helpful, customizing services that our local delivery customers get. We help you select something appropriate, and more than that, a gift that will really fit who they are and make them feel special. For example, if they live in a contemporary home, and love unique designs, we could suggest something like this:

High End Floral Gift

Modern Thanksgiving Bouquet with Calla Lilies

or if they have a huge thing for motorcycles, how about something with a Harley feel to it? Or maybe they are sports fans, and celebrating a big win with them would make them feel really special. Girly, upscale, or trendy, sleek modern, architectural, or french country. When the design reflects something of them, your loved one knows it was a special selection just for them.

Once we have gathered all the information from you, and clues about your recipient,  we send you one your way to your next meeting, meal or task.

Then we go to work for you. We take the time to call a local florist partner (or 3 or 5) until we find just the right one who will be thrilled to create and deliver your special arrangement. If there are several good options, we can call you back and let you know, or select the one that will work best for your budget and the desired effect.

And then a few hours after we place the order with the other florist, we follow-up and make sure that the order was transmitted properly and is well on it’s way.  It will be hand-delivered, guaranteed. You save time. Your loved one will be thrilled and feel so grateful! You will succeed in making them feel appreciated, celebrated and cared for.

In addition, with our floral concierge-level services, you don’t even have to have the complete address or phone number – we can look it up for you online and confirm it with you. We can look up obituaries to help identify the delivery dress for a sympathy arrangement to a memorial service, call the hospital to make sure they are in a room where they can receive flowers, or even arrange for special delivery times. And if you’re not sure when they’ll be in, we can arrange for a phone call to them, or leave it with a neighbor for them.

So when you miss family, or want to connect, and want it to mean more, let us help you bless them! You are ensured that a local florist delivers the flower by hand, and that they feel special, seeing the personal connection in the flowers, reflecting them.

Let us know any other questions along these lines or about other topics and we will be glad to fill you in.


Six Tips for Get Well Arrangements June 22, 2010

When someone is sick, or had surgery, and you can’t make it there to be with them, or want to reach out, flowers are often people’s choice. Here are some considerations that your florist should be thinking about already, and for you to keep in mind when you order the flowers ot be hand-delivered or pick them up:

1. Style Selection: Think about the person’s style and personality – are they more bubbly, cheery types or more soft, feminine in their style? Is he love sports or cars or cards, or is he more into design/architecture? Select an arrangement that will tell the person that you really thought of who they are when you select your flowers. When it reflects them, it’s even that much more special.


Long-lasting flowers for a Creative Woman or a Man who likes Architecture

Long-lasting flowers for a Creative Woman or a Man who likes Architecture

2. Designer-arranged: When ordering online, be careful that the delivery will be already pre-arranged and delivered for them to just enjoy. Someone who is not feeling well or recovering doesn’t want to have to unpack a box, try to arrange the flowers, etc.

3. Fragrance: Think about fragrance when selecting the flowers. During recovery from an illness or surgery, string fragrances can be disconcerting or even difficult for the person who wants to enjoy them.  If their favorite flower is highly fragrant, like stargazer lilies, ask for another flower that is very similar, like the star-shaped Asiatic lilies that have the same shape and yet are not fragrant. Then once they’ve recovered you can send another arrangement with the more fragrant flowers.

4. Size and shape considerations: When someone is in the hospital, horizontal space is at a premium, so ask for something that is only about 6-8″ wide.  Sometimes the staff or family will place an arrangement up high or on a shelf where a really, really tall arrangement doesn’t fit either. And in the hospital, or for someone who is recovering in bed, ask for a one-sided arrangement where all the flowers are facing forward instead of paying for flowers the person doesn’t get to see.


Sunflowers delivered to Tempe, AZ

Bright, Cheery Sunflowers in a one-sided arrangement

5. Watering: Ask for the arrangement to be created in a vessel (vase or ceramic or basket) with as large a water reservoir as possible, so that the recipient doesn’t have to think about adding water every day, unless they are at that place in their recovery where having something simple to nurture is a good thing!

6. The Why: Emotional connection and support: Remember, when you send flowers when someone is recovering, you are sending them love, concern and an uplifted frame of mind. A Rutgers University team did research on the emotional impact of flowers. They discovered that “Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.” For more details and the full study, click here. In our words, flowers are a ‘big box of happy’! And who doesn’t get better faster when they feel better emotionally?!

Click here to see the ‘Get Well’ section of our website


Flowers, Plants and Productivity in the Workplace June 16, 2010

So you’re committed to building a productive workplace, and happy employees is part of making that happen. What is the quickest, surest way to promote happiness among employees and clients in your workplace, and that works with men and women?

As you look at the picture below, notice what happens to how you feel and how your body and mind responds.

Cheery Sunflowers

How do you feel when you see this picture?

Have you ever noticed that when someone brings flowers into a room, everyone smiles when they look at them? We have an automatic reaction, before we even stop to think about it. According to behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, “nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health – flowers. The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed.” Flowers are a ‘big box of happy’! Flowers and plants are living, and they bring delight and a creative boost. And bright, bold colors bring energy and lift people’s moods.

The Society of American Florists reports: “in an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants, and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments, or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments.

“During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And, while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.”

At the University of Washington, a study was done about the effects of adding plants to windowless work areas. “When plants were added to this interior space, the participants were more productive (12% quicker reaction time on the computer task) and less stressed (systolic blood pressure readings lowered by one to four units). Immediately after completing the task, participants in the room with plants present reported feeling more attentive (an increase of 0.5 on a self-reported scale from one to five) than people in the room with no plants.”

Bring the beneficial impact of flowers and plants into the every day work life of your employees. This can be as simple as a few small vases, each with a single bloom, plants on desks and common areas, or a medium size flower arrangement in a common work area that people pass through. Workplaces can partner with a local florist to bring flowers to the workplace at the start of the week, stems for employees to have on their desks and arrangements with artistic style to greet clients as they first walk in the door. By bringing in this source of positive emotion, you shift the baseline of people’s emotions to the positive side automatically.

If you are ready to add productivity to your workplace, please email us at or call us at 480-603-7673.