Celebrate the 4th of July with Mancuso’s Florist

It’s time for Independence Day, and for many, that means a long weekend full of fun activities like picnics, parades, and fireworks to celebrate the 241st anniversary of our nation’s independence from the British Empire.

It’s a day to celebrate our freedom and reflect on the history of the country we call home. It’s also a perfect time for flowers!

Whether you’re looking for a gift for the host of your barbeque or trying to find the perfect way to decorate your 4th of July party, we have you covered in red, white and blue.

One of our most popular items this time of year is our Patriotic Basket. This festive delight is sure to turn heads at your holiday gathering.

Patriotic Basket by Mancuso’s Florist

It’s not the 4th of July without the fireworks, and it’s certainly not a proper celebration unless food is involved. Leave the grilling to someone else this year while you sit back and enjoy the festivities knowing that your America’s Basket – chock full of cookies – from Mancuso’s Florist is the hit of the party.

Speaking of food, did you know that about 155 million hot dogs are consumed each year on the 4th of July? That’s enough to stretch from Washington D.C. to L.A. five times! Last year, 70 of those hot dogs were consumed in just 10 minutes by competitive eater Joey Chestnut at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest which is held every year in Coney Island, New York.

Here are a few other interesting facts you may not have known about Independence Day

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies. The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest was South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge, 26, and the oldest delegate was 70-year-old Benjamin Franklin. The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.
  • Benjamin Franklin was displeased that the bald eagle was chosen as the national bird – his choice was the turkey. In a letter to his daughter, Sarah Bache in 1784, he said of the bald eagle, “He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly.” He claimed that the turkey was “a bird of courage” and was far “more respectable” than the “lazy” bald eagle.
  • America’s Basket by Mancuso’s Florist

    In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today the population of the U.S.A. is 326 million.

  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee wastes little time in getting their celebration underway. The Annual Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade steps off each year at 12:01 a.m. This year’s parade is the 42nd annual installment and is expected to draw an estimated 80,000 spectators.
  • Due to concerns about cracking the iconic Liberty Bell, it has not been rung since 1846. Instead, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times each year on Independence Day.
  • Over 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July according to The American Pyrotechnics Association.
  • The United States isn’t alone in celebrating their independence on July 4th. Both the Philippines and Rwanda also celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”

From our family at Mancuso’s to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy 4th of July! Give us a call today to help get your party started off right.

When You Think Father’s Day, Think Mancuso’s Florist

Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday, June 18, and we’re here to help you find the perfect gift for dad. Of course, everyone loves flowers, but if they aren’t exactly dad’s idea of the perfect Father’s Day gift, we have many other wonderful options that he is sure to enjoy!

Surf & Turf Dinner by Mancuso’s Florist, Inc.

Mancuso’s has an incredible selection of unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else! No matter what dad’s interests – football, baseball, golf, hunting, tailgating, or even cigars – we have a gift basket for every activity that will make his day one to remember!

Does dad like to eat? Treat him to a gourmet basket filled with his favorite treats, or a fruit basket if he wants to keep it healthy. But Father’s Day only comes once a year, so why not go all out with our Surf & Turf Dinner, complete with live Maine lobsters? For dessert, we also have a selection of delicious chocolate brownies.

If you would like to go with a more traditional gift, we offer a wide variety of long-lasting plants that are easy to care for and look beautiful in the home or the office. Terrariums also make a splendid gift and are easy to care for – yes, we have those too!

Mancuso’s King of the Road

If flowers are more dad’s style, there are many terrific options that dad will love. Sunflowers and tropical flowers like birds of paradise and anthuriums are popular choices for Father’s Day. To make your gift extra special, you can have it designed inside your choice of a ’65 Ford Mustang, Jeep Wrangler, or ’48 Ford pickup keepsake container.

No matter what dad’s style, we can help you make this year’s Father’s Day unforgettable with a gift that he is sure to love! We can even send his gift out of town so he can enjoy it no matter where he’s located. Stop by to see our selection or order online. Happy Father’s Day!

11 Fun Facts for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14, so the time is now to find something special for mom. Mancuso’s Florist can help you find the perfect gift! Give us a call, visit us at the shop, or check out the Mother’s Day section of our website to see our incredible collection of Mother’s Day flowers and gifts. Be sure to shop early in order to guarantee delivery on Mother’s Day if you’re ordering flowers to be delivered.

After you’re done shopping, enjoy these fun facts about Mother’s Day:

1. Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday in the world, behind only Christmas and Easter.

2. According to the Pew Research Center, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.

3. A research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, found that flowers affect human behavior and make people feel happier and more compassionate around fresh-cut blooms.

4. Approximately 65% of all greeting card sales occur in the last five days before Mother’s Day.

5. Women purchase 80% of all Mother’s Day cards.

6. In what was formerly Yugoslavia, children would tie up their mother on Mother’s Day. The only way she could be freed would be to “pay” her children with candy and treats.

Radiant Lady by Mancuso’s Florist

7. Anna Jarvis is considered the founder of Mother’s Day in the United States. She quit her job to focus full-time on persuading politicians, business executives and civic leaders into making the holiday official. On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day thanks to the persistence of Jarvis. Jarvis never married nor had children of her own.

8. Around one-quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year are purchased for Mother’s Day.

9. Many of the trademark sweaters that Mr. Rogers wore on his television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, were knitted by his real mother.

10. Mother’s Day was intended to be a day to honor mothers individually and not collectively, thus the reason for the apostrophe before the “s” – making it singular possessive instead of plural possessive.

11. Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant industry with 62% of Americans dining out.

The Easter Lily Capital of the World

It’s likely you’ve never heard of Smith River, California, but odds are that’s where your Easter Lily was grown. This fertile land – located in the far northwest corner of California – is home to less than 900 residents, but produces about 95% of the world’s Easter lily bulbs – making it the Easter Lily Capital of the World.

With towering redwood trees to the east and the sparkling Pacific Ocean to the west, this gorgeous river valley – comprised of about 600 acres – is considered the most ideal spot on Earth for growing Easter lily bulbs due to its nearly perfect growing climate and soil condition.

In fact, only five Easter Lily bulb farms – owned by four families – produce up to 14 million bulbs each year. So how did this small strip of coastal land become such a dominant force in the production of Easter Lilies?

Easter Lily by Mancuso’s Florist

It all began in 1919 when a man named Louis Houghton introduced some hybrid lily bulbs to the south coast of Oregon and planted the seeds – so to speak – of what would become the Easter Lily Capital of the World. Prior to 1941, nearly all of the Easter lilies plants in North America were imported from Japan, but WWII changed that when Americans found themselves cut off from their beloved white lilies.

By 1945, Houghton’s crop had taken off and there were around 1,200 growers producing bulbs all along the Pacific Coast. That number would steadily drop as growers found the bulbs difficult to grow commercially.

It takes at least three years to grow the bulb to commercial size, and each year the bulbs must be dug up and sorted by hand – then either shipped to the greenhouse or replanted for another year.

Unlike other crops that are planted, left to grow, and harvested later, Easter Lily bulbs must be planted, harvested and shipped within a span of three months. That means in order to force the bulbs to bloom in time for Easter, they require 40 days of a forced artificial winter by refrigeration followed by a brief growing period in a high-temperature greenhouse.

The growing schedule is crucial since the value of the bulbs drops considerably even one day past Easter. To complicate matters, Easter doesn’t fall on the same day every year and can vary by as much as five weeks, so timing is everything.

With Easter only days away, this magnificent plant is available now. Give us a call or stop by and pick one out for your Easter celebration or check out our selection of Easter flowers.

Are you considering an Easter lily this year? Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your beautiful new plant.

  • If your Easter lily came with a decorative plastic, foil or paper wrapper, remove that as soon as possible in order to prevent the lily from becoming waterlogged.
  • When choosing a “home” for your lily makes sure to choose a location away from drafts and drying heat sources.
  • Water your plant if the surface feels dry, but be careful not to over-water. Easter lilies require a medium moisture level and should never stand in water for any length of time.
  • Potted Easter lilies kept indoors need bright, indirect natural light but, too much exposure to sunlight can cause burning issues.
  • Remove the yellow anthers from the center of each flower to prolong the life of the blossoms.
  • Easter lilies can be planted outside in a sunny location after the flowers have withered away.
  • If you plant your Easter lily outside, cover the roots with mulch to help keep them shaded.
  • Once planted outside, the lily should be watered freely during the active growth period and be kept moist during the winter.

Remember: Easter lily plants are highly toxic to cats.

International Women’s Day 2017 – Be Bold for Change

IWD-logo-portaitjpgInternational Women’s Day is a global celebration of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women that takes place on March 8. First observed in the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day is also a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to not only celebrate the achievements of women but also a chance to take action as an individual or organization to help raise visibility and awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity across the world.

Every person – women, men and non-binary people – can do their part in helping drive better outcomes for women by becoming responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender-inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186, so International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for ground-breaking action that can drive greater change for women.

What Can I Do?

  1. Running your own #BeBoldForChange International Women’s Day campaign is one of the most powerful ways you can influence how quickly gender parity is achieved. Decide which bold action you’d like to take – you can challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence, forge women’s advancement, celebrate women’s achievement, champion women’s education, or choose your own bold action. Ask your friends, coworkers, and colleagues to declare their bold action on the IWD website and use #BeBoldForChange selfies cards for social media amplification. You can also embed the #BeBoldForChange widget on your own website and call for others to declare their bold action.
  2. Host a #BeBoldForChange IWD event. Invite speakers to articulate and explain that exact moment when they themselves took bold action to help improve or develop an aspect of their own livelihood, career or business – or that of another woman’s or women’s status overall. You can also host a proactive discussion, build a “Bold Actions” wall and ask your audience to declare bold action via their phones.
  3. Share your support through social media by downloading and printing the #BeBoldForChange selfie card. Co-branding is encouraged and you can promote your support for bold action on any social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Youtube.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength. Do you part this year to make a difference; think globally and act locally!

Did You Forget Valentine’s Day?

Oh no – Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday! As the last few hours before Valentine’s Day quickly tick off the clock, now is the time when even the most hard-core procrastinators start to panic. If you still haven’t found that perfect gift, or if you simply forgot (it happens), no worries! You still have some outstanding options left, as long as you know where to look.

Love's Passion Bouquet by Mancuso's Florist

Love’s Passion Bouquet by Mancuso’s Florist

Ordering a gift online and having it shipped is just too risky of an option this late in the game. Even with costly expedited shipping fees, there is still some lingering doubt that the correct item will be sent to the correct place at the right time. With so little time left, and so little room for error, this option will probably end up being even more stressful than figuring out what to get in the first place.

Your best option now is to find someone who can help – and find them fast! Time may no longer be on your side, but luckily you have friends in the business who are happy to assist you with finding the perfect gifts – and they’re only a phone call away. Want something more than just flowers? Mancuso’s Florist has you covered with balloons, teddy bears, chocolates, wine, champagne, and so much more!

Valentine Orchids by Mancuso's Florist

Valentine Orchids by Mancuso’s Florist

Best of all, after you make that phone call you can rest assured, knowing that the perfect gift is already on its way to being carefully created, packaged and hand-delivered to your valentine in time for Valentine’s Day.

Our customer service representatives here at Mancuso’s Florist are experts on last-minute gift ideas. Their “Yes We Can” commitment not only makes for a stress-free Valentine’s Day shopping experience, but also makes you look like a hero in the eyes of your valentine for being so thoughtful and creative. It will be our little secret that you waited until the last minute!

Pictured here are a few of our most popular choices.

Do Roses Cost More on Valentine’s Day?

Is it true that roses cost more in early February than they do the rest of the year? The short answer is yes, but not just for consumers. Many people are led to believe that flower retailers artificially raise prices to stick it to desperate consumers, when if fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

mancusosYes, roses cost more this time of year, but they also cost more for the florist, and the wholesaler, all the way down to the grower. The main reason is that the incredible demand for long-stem red roses on a single day puts a tremendous strain on the entire industry, and that affects everyone involved in the complex process of bringing fresh flowers to your door on Valentine’s Day.

In order for growers to meet the annual demand for red roses, they must time the growth of their flowers. This is accomplished by altering the rose plants’ growth cycle to optimize the harvest for February 14. By doing so, the growers must interrupt everyday production for several weeks in order to produce a bumper crop at precisely the right time. Unfortunately, the cost of stopping everyday production comes at a price, and that gets passed on down the line.

Is that the only reason?

That’s one reason for the price increase, but many additional factors come into play before the flowers reach the consumers. For starters, the unusually large harvest of roses can swell up to three times the normal volume that is typical for other times of the year. Since roses are processed manually, this necessitates hiring temporary laborers to help harvest and package the roses. Once the roses are ready to be shipped, importers are not only forced to pay more for the extra needed cargo space, but also for the extra trucks and drivers necessary to handle the extra volume.

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the years for florists, but our preparation for this holiday begins weeks – if not months – in advance. In order to meet demand, we must hire additional help, work longer hours, and rent additional delivery vans in order to make sure all the orders are delivered on or before the 14th.

Nobody likes to see the annual price spike for roses, but unfortunately, it’s an unavoidable result of supply and demand. With an increasingly crowded marketplace dominated by online-only flower shippers, the profit margins for local florists are razor thin compared to many other times of the year.

So, what’s the good news?

The good news is that we work very hard at Mancuso’s Florist to keep costs low and prices competitive while never sacrificing quality or service for our customers. We understand the importance of this holiday to our customers and their loved ones and always do our best to exceed their expectations.

Whether it’s a dozen red roses or something else you had in mind for your sweetheart, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift. Remember, the earlier you order, the better! Do yourself a favor by not waiting until the last minute when items are picked over and delivery times are full. Make this Valentine’s Day one they’ll never forget, with the help of your friends at Mancuso’s Florist.

National Poinsettia Day – December 12

Dark red poinsettias, with dramatic lighting against a black backgroundToday is National Poinsettia Day. If you think this is just another one of those wacky observance days that seem to take place every single day of the year (yesterday was both National Mountain Day, and National Light a Candle Day) you’re in for a surprise. In fact, the United States has observed this official day since the mid-1800s in honor of the passing of the first American ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, and the plant he introduced to the U.S.

In 1828, Poinsett discovered the plant with vivid red leaves by the side of a road in Mexico and sent some cuttings home to his residence in South Carolina. Initially, many botanists dismissed the Poinsettia as a weed, but Poinsett’s work with the plant caused it to eventually gain acceptance as a holiday plant.

The holiday season is always a special time in the floral industry, and the star of the show is, of course, the venerable Poinsettia plant. According to a 2013 US Department of Agriculture report, Poinsettias are the highest selling potted flowering plant in America and account for nearly one-quarter of sales of all flowering potted plants throughout the entire year.

So how did the Poinsettia plant end up associated with Christmas? According to Mexican legend, a poor child who could not afford a gift for Christ on Christmas Eve was told that a humble gift, if given with love, would suffice in God’s eyes. The child carefully picked some weeds from the side of a road and brought them to church as a gift to make God happy. As she entered the church, the weeds bloomed into beautiful red and green flowers and the congregation was sure they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. From that day on, Poinsettias were known as ‘Flores de Noche Buena,’ or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night.’

Here are some Poinsettia fun facts:

  • Poinsettias are native to southern Mexico and have been used in religious ceremonies and also to decorate churches there for centuries as the red color is a symbol of purity.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not poisonous to people or pets, although the plant has been known to cause stomach irritation and discomfort if ingested. The danger to pets and children comes from the choking hazard of the fibrous parts of the plant, and not the toxicity.
  • Although every state in the U.S. grows Poinsettias commercially; for much of the past 100 years, the Ecke Ranch in California has grown over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and accounted for about 50% of the Poinsettias sold worldwide.
  • The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it was named after a person.
  • The Poinsettia has its own college football bowl game. The Poinsettia Bowl debuted in San Diego in 1952 and originally served as the military services championship game for four years before being resurrected in 2005. This year’s matchup features BYU vs. Wyoming on December 21.
  • In the wild, Poinsettias have been known to grow over 12 feet tall.

Flowers Are the Best Way to Beat the Holiday Blues

Funny and cute little girl with Santa hat holding a big poinsettiaThe holidays are upon us, but this season of good tidings and merry wishes can also be the source of stress for many people. From shopping and decorating to making travel plans and remembering loved ones no longer with us, it isn’t hard for even the jolliest elf to get a touch of the holiday blues.

Not surprisingly, sending flowers is a perfect way to spread some holiday cheer to others who are feeling less than joyful. Studies have proven time and again that sending flowers not only provides cheer and happiness to the recipient, but also provide an emotional boost to the sender as well.

In fact, studies by Rutgers University found that flowers are a “powerful positive emotion inducer,” and they provide a Duchene or true smile when presented to recipients. The studies also found a variety of other immediate and long-term emotional health benefits from flowers including: “Emotional reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory.”

Your one-stop holiday shop

Here at Mancuso’s Florist, we’re busy preparing for the holiday rush, but we’re never too busy to help you pick out the perfect gift for that special someone. Whether you’re shopping for a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, or just want to send a special treat to let someone know you care and that you’re thinking about them, we have the perfect gift ideas for every occasion.

Snow Day Bouquet by Mancuso's Florist

Snow Day Bouquet by Mancuso’s Florist

Remember to get your orders in early to avoid the rush. Not only will you get the best value and widest selection earlier in the season, but you’ll also be able to cross one more thing off your list and reduce your own stress levels a bit. Leave the last-minute shopping to the amateurs by trusting one of our professional designers to create the perfect one-of-a-kind gift.

Not sure exactly what you’re looking for? No worries, 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 Mancuso’s Florist.

But that’s not all!

In addition to our incredible selection of fresh flowers and plants, we also feature a fantastic variety of holiday gifts and décor that is sure to please anyone on your list! Stop in today to check out what we have in store for you this holiday season!

Ready, Set…Shop!

Autumn Harvest Bowl

Autumn Harvest Bowl

Every year it seems as though the holiday shopping season starts earlier than the last. With the elections this time around to take up some of the attention – and more importantly, the good TV commercial spots, it was practically the middle of November until the full-fledged barrage of ‘all-things-holidays’ really got a foothold.

Now with Thanksgiving just a few days away, we’re staring straight into the biggest shopping weekend of the year! That’s right, as soon as the fork hits the plate after that last bite of pumpkin pie; it’s time to shop until you drop!

Some people love lining up in front of their favorite big box stores on Black Friday hoping to score the best bargains of the season, but those hard-core shopping tactics aren’t for everyone. Most people prefer a more leisurely pace while others want absolutely nothing to do with the entire ordeal and prefer to do all of their holiday shopping in their PJs from the comfort of their own couch.

Whichever method you prefer, now’s your chance to start that shopping that you always promise yourself you won’t put off until the last minute. So where to start? Right here at Mancuso’s Florist!

Thanksgiving

Time is running out fast, but it’s not too late to get those last-minute flowers for Thanksgiving. Are you hosting a big dinner for family and friends? If so, a beautiful fall-themed centerpiece is the perfect finishing touch for your table. If you were lucky enough to get invited to a dinner where someone else is doing the cooking, flowers make a terrific gift for the busy who will surely appreciate the gesture. Give us a call or stop in and let us help you find something truly special for this festive holiday.

Gingerbread Cookie Jar Bouquet

Gingerbread Cookie Jar Bouquet

Christmas

The key to successful Christmas shopping is finishing early. Imagine how many people you can cross off your list by ordering your Christmas flowers at the same time as your Thanksgiving flowers! You can reduce a great deal of stress with one phone call and have nearly all your shopping done before you even hear your first Christmas song on the radio!

Party Time

When formulating a plan for your holiday shopping list, you’ll, of course, want to include the usual friends and family members, but don’t forget about the other festivities and gatherings that usually take place before the end of the year. Office parties, classroom parties, sports banquets, church services and other social events all have a habit of popping up this time of year and they usually require some sort of gift. Fortunately, flowers are always appropriate and we can help you out here too. Give us a call and let us know what you need. From centerpieces and table dressings to gifts for the host or floral décor for any room, we have you covered and we’re here to help!

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Mancuso’s Florist!