Mother’s Day Flowers and Gifts

No gift to your Mother can equal her gift to you – life

 Mother’s day, May 13th

Pink Potpourri Bouquet

Pink Potpourri Bouquet

The flower shop is gearing up for a busy week when so many sons, daughters, grandchildren, husbands and others turn to us to send flowers for Mother’s Day. A gift of flowers may seem like a cop out to some, but I can tell you in our experience, Moms LOVE getting flowers. I can’t count the times our delivery has brought tears to their eyes, especially from children who are far away.



Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age“ 

Pink Tulips in a vase

Pink Tulips in a Vase

 The most common comment we florists hear when people learn of our job is “ I always wanted to work in a flower shop”. Customers are always commenting to us what a wonderful work environment we have and how we must love being surrounded by flowers every day, and they’re right.

Flowers make you feel happy.

They look great, they smell great and they make people feel great. Like they say “take time to smell the flowers”.

Red Roses Cup and Saucer

Red Roses Cup and Saucer


Mothers hold their childrens hand for only a short while, but their hearts forever

Our flower shop, Helen Blakey Flowers, has lots of flower arrangements,spring bouquets, flowering plants and dish gardens and even fruit, gourmet and goody baskets in stock. Visit our website or give us a call and we’ll set you up with the perfect  gift delivery. Beat the rush and order for delivery on or before May 9 and save $10.00 on a minimum $50.00 purchase.

Promo code “MD2012″

“Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children”

Valentine’s Day Flowers

Happy Valentine’s Day

Sweet ThoughtsJust like people, flowers come in hundreds of shapes and sizes.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, carefully selecting the flower varieties and colours you send will result in a thoughtful customized gift your sweetheart will treasure. The first step is to consider your sweetheart’s preferences.

  • · What colours does she (or he) like? Men respond well to crisp and vivid colours such as reds, oranges or purple. Women tend to relish pastel tones of pinks, peaches and lavenders.
  • · Does she have any favourite flowers? What are his hobbies? Our expert designers at Helen Blakey Flowers can create arrangements that revolve around your sweetheart’s favourite hobby, sport or past time.

Ask yourself the message you wish to convey. Consult with us, your florist, we can explain the assortment of possibilities available. To get the best selection and ensure prompt delivery, call the week before Valentines Day. When you call, have the necessary information handy. Recipient’s name, full address, phone number, what you wish to send, your card message, and method of payment.

Field of RosesCelebrate Valentines Day All Weekend
With Valentine’s Day falling on a Tuesday this year, it is a perfect opportunity to celebrate all weekend long.

  • · Send flowers to your sweetheart at work on Friday Feb. 10th with a note saying “Looking forward to a romantic weekend” or “I couldn’t wait to say I love you.” She will be the first to receive Valentine’s Day flowers.
  • · Surprise your sweetheart by having flowers delivered to her at home on Saturday Feb. 11th.
  • · Send her flowers at work on Monday Feb.                                                                     13th with a note that says “I couldn’t wait                                                                        another day to tell you how much I love                                                                          you.” She will be amazed.

Happy in LoveValentine’s Day Colours
Red is a traditional Valentine’s Day colour. Other combinations also will WOW your sweetheart. Here are some popular colours and combinations for this Valentine’s Day.

  • Red, pinks and purple.
  • Hot pink, orange and lime.
  • Mixed purple shades accented with lime green.
  • Orange and red for a hot and spicy combination.
  • Hot pink, chartreuse green and orange sherbert tones are appealing to the young at heart.
  • Vibrant hot pinks.
  • Monochromatic (flowers all in the same colour family).

Send flowers to your Man

  •  Birds of Paradise paired with orange carnations and purple statice.
  • Tropical flowers with orange roses and a single red rose. Ask for them to be arranged in a contemporary vase with some bold foliage.
  • Plants such as Anthuriums, Bromelaids or other succulents.
  • Phalaenopsis Orchid plants.

Send flowers to your Mom

  • A lovely mix of blooms, such as lilies, alstromeria, roses and gerbs with beautiful foliages for texture and contrast.
  • For a “hip” mom, send something bright and spirited, such as orange or hot pink roses and tulips.
  • Flowers in her favourite colour.

Call the expert staff at Helen Blakey Flowers to arrange for a stunning display of your affections for all the people you love!
Our direct phone number is (416) 291-2117.
Our secure website is
Order early to avoid disappointment.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan 23, 2012. Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is the brightest. Chinese New Year is the biggest annual event, where families will gather for a reunion dinner and friends will be visiting each other. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

For Chinese New Year celebrations, it is customary for Chinese families to have living blooms in the house, which symbolize rebirth and new growth. Highly prized flowers for the Chinese New Year are azalea, peony, water lily and narcissus. The Chinese believe that without flowers there would be no formation of any fruits, which in turn would negatively impact a family’s fortune. Therefore it is critical to incorporate flowers into your Chinese New Year decorations.

Breathing Fire into the New Year
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. 2012 is the year of the Water Dragon. Water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm and makes him more perceptive of others. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave and passionate.

Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. In North America, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families and found a sense of community through neighbourhood associations instead. Today many Chinese-American associations host banquets and other New Year events.

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art painted with birds, animal, flowers, zodiac signs and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon, which might stretch a hundred feet long, is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colourful beast through the streets.

The most prominent colours of the Chinese New Year are red and gold. Red
symbolizes happiness, while gold symbolizes wealth. Prior to the first day of
the Chinese New Year many families decorate their living rooms with vases
of pretty flowering blossoms, platters of oranges and tangerines and a candy
tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. Here at Helen Blakey Flowers
we have many flowers and plants to choose from to create the perfect
enviroment for Chinese New Year. Visit our secure website to view our beautiful selection.

We wish you, your friends and your family good luck
during this New Year, the Year of the Dragon.


The History of Holiday Traditions

So many times we have our traditions, especially around the holidays and we never think of why we have these customs. The Holiday Season is coming soon and we will begin to unpack our decorations. They are memorable. They are fragrant. They are beautiful. But why do we use them? What did they signify in days gone by?

Tradition of the Christmas wreath
We hang them on our front doors. They rest above the fireplace. We even find ways to hang them on the hood of our car. The wreath is one of the most popular of the holiday decorations next to the actual Christmas tree. The wreath is beautiful, but where on earth did the idea of evergreens twisted in a circle come from?

The history of the wreath actually goes back a few thousand years. Even before the Roman Empire, but it was during this great period that we began to take notice of them. If you were transported back in time don’t expect to see the same kind of wreaths we have today. Like everything else time changes it and it evolves to something that we know today.

In recognizing a victor of a war, a game or a political challenge it became common to place a wreath on the head. It was relatively small compared to our current Christmas wreaths, but they were to sit gently on the head. They could be made of gold or silver or even flowers and leaves. They gave honour to those who wore them.

Many cultures adopted this wreath and incorporated native pieces to them. It became a symbol of completeness. After all it was a circle that never ended. Over time it even came to represent eternity. The wreath is a common symbol. It is evident in many aspects of life: religious, governmental and romantic. It is almost an universal symbol. What it is made out of might be different but the symbolism is the same.

Tradition of the Christmas tree
In 16th century Germany fir trees were decorated both indoors and out with apples, roses, gilded candies and coloured paper. It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light, While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small tree inside his home.

The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848, featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. The tradition of the Christmas tree was brought to North America by the Pennsylvania Germans.

Tradition of Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy
Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter. The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers and used it as an antidote for poison, infertility and to ward off evil spirits. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace. Scandinavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of love and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe.
In northern Europe, Christmas occurred during the middle of winter when ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive away the evil spirits. Legend also has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed. Ivy was often brought indoors to freshen the air and brighten the mood during the long dreary winter.

Tradition of the Christmas stocking
According to legend, a kindly nobleman grew despondent over the death of his beloved wife and foolishly squandered his fortune. This left his three young daughters without dowries and thus facing a life of spinsterhood. The generous St. Nicholas, hearing of the girls plight set forth to help. Wishing to remain anonymous, he rode his white horse by the nobleman’s house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stockings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry.

Tradition of the Christmas card
A form of Christmas card began in England first when young boys practiced their writing skills by creating Christmas greetings for their parents. It is Sir Henry Cole, who is credited with creating the first real Christmas card. As the first director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Henry found himself to busy in the Christmas season of 1843 to compose individual greetings for his friends. He commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley for the illustration. The card featured three panels, with the center panel depicting a family enjoying Christmas festivities and the card was inscribed with the message “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

The variations of holiday traditions in North America equal the number of active cultures that have settled in the land. These cultural contributions were given a new lease of life by creative artists, authors, poets and songwriters. It was melded together by the power of secular and commercialized media in record companies, radio stations, television, cinemas and now the internet. There are lots of traditions that are practiced by a number of counties all over the world during the holiday season. These traditions can be as diverse as the culture and religious practices of each and every country.