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2018 — Winter Tips & Tricks for the Holiday Season

Here are my tips & tricks for a festive, winter look:

1.   Use lots of seasonal pines, simply arranged in a pretty vase — or several vases down the table.  Accent the vases with lots of candles (votives, floating candles or enclosed pillar candles of various sizes).  You could also add other vases, such as cylinder vases, filled with bright, shiny ornaments.  This is a very festive look!

2.  The simple use of a vase of branches — whether natural branches, or gold or silver or snow-covered — reminds us of “a cold winters’ night”.  Again, dim the lights and use lots of candles.  If the budget permits, you could add some flowers, such as hydrangeas,  to the branches, with pine accents or other greens.

3.  Not every centerpiece needs to have flowers!  A beautiful box or cube filled with seasonal pine greenery, cones, sticks, berries and maybe ornamental kale can be the perfect addition to the table…..and likely will be a conversation starter at your holiday dinner party.

4.  Use little vases or jars down the table — again with lots of candles.  This spreads the focus down the entire table, and often will make your table seem longer or wider than it really is.

5.  Use what you have — and improvise if necessary!  Grab that evergreen wreath off the back door.  Place it in the middle of your table.  Add a few taller vases with candles or floating candles inside the middle ring.  Voila!!  Instant centerpiece!

6.  If you are using fresh pine in your house or on your table, please be sure to add water to the vase, or container daily.  Pine is a “heavy drinker”.  It needs lots of water to stay pliable.

7.  If you are using fresh pine, be sure to protect the heirloom linens.  Pine sap can stain, and is often sticky.  (Goo-Gone is a good sap remover.)

Hope this helps you!

Here are some of our favorite winter looks from our photo galleries:

Happy Holidays to all, if we can help you, please call!

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Arches & More

Brass Arch  –  Our Brass Arch is a flat arch, primarily used inside, because it needs a level surface to stand on.  We frequently will decorate it with flowers, as shown below, which are then removed when pictures are completed.  The flowers are then re-purposed into  a reception venue on a head table, cookie table or similar area.

Sometimes the arch is decorated with tulle and lights, which is perfect for a winter wedding!  The entire arch is often moved over to the reception area, and used behind the head table, or as a backdrop for photos during the reception.

 

Black Arch  —  Our Black Rod Iron arch is very sturdy, and can be used inside and outside.    A flower piece is made for the top  of the arch, which is removed after pictures, and transferred to the reception area.    We also have free-standing Shepherd’s hooks and lanterns, which can be used on an isle with flowers, mason jars with flowers, etc.

 

Hexagon Arch  The Hex Arch is our newest creation,   and one that is pretty outstanding!   This was the result of a picture presented to us by a Bride, who asked if we could do this.  We said Yes, and proceeded to make it happen.  The hardest part was making the pieces fit together in such a way that it could be transported in our trucks.

Again, flowers are added so  that they can be detached and re-purposed into the reception area.  This arch is sturdy and can be trimmed with fabric as well as flowers. Materials can be hung from the top on ribbons for a completely different type of look

hexagon arch

Candle Screens –   We own folding wrought iron candle screens, that can be rented for wedding ceremonies.  Each candle screen contains approximately 50 battery operated votive candles enclosed in glass cups.  When these are all turned on, the flickering glow of the candlelight is awesome!!  We most frequently use all four screens, for the most impressive impact.

 

 

All of this equipment is owned by Parkway Florist, and is available to you, our customer, if we are providing flowers for your event.  Equipment is available on a first come – first served basis.   We also have a supply of columns, glass vases and risers that are not pictured here.  Please contact us if you have questions.

 

The Eliza Bistro – A New Gem

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Technology Drive – Specifically 329 Technology Dr., is the new home of Hotel Indigo and The Eliza Bistro. Technology Dr. parallels Second Ave. and was the home of Jones and Laughlin Steel for many years.  This site has been reclaimed by many new and exciting companies, often as part of UPMC, Pitt, and CMU.  As we watched these companies move in, we wondered how many buildings would be built before a hotel or restaurant was built.

Surprise!! It has  happened!

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Hotel Indigo is an IHA affiliated property.  In an acknowledgement to the heritage from which it rose, the style of the hotel is very neat and industrial.  Over 100 sleeping rooms are available.  It also has a courtesy shuttle available for guest use daily.

The Eliza Bistro Restaurant is a wonderful entity just off the lobby.  The restaurant was named after the J & L Eliza Blast Furnace.  There are mill-related items on display here and in the lobby.

In addition to the restaurant, there is banquet space available, with outside patios on the first floor and the  5th floor rooftop.  All of the banquet and patio space, as well as the restaurant,  can accommodate rehearsal dinners, private parties, and other functions up to   approximately 100-120 guests.

What a neat surprise……. to visit a part of my past and witness the transformation that has taken place.  I urge you to try the Eliza Bistro and Hotel Indigo.  You will not be disappointed!

Santa’s Helpers Have Been Working Hard

The trees are trimmed, the poinsettias are watered, the bows are tied neatly, we are ready for Christmas in a flowers shop!

You better believe Santa has a lot on his plate for 2017, and of course he has lots of help to get it all done! We had the pleasure of visiting some of out favorite local Pittsburgh businesses to bring the spirit of Christmas alive this year.

In classic Pittsburgh tradition, we prepared for light up night by decking the halls at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto located in Pittsburgh’s scenic Mt. Washington neighborhood. We started at the hostess station and worked our way throughout the restaurant.

Monterey Bay Hostess Station.jpg

As guests ride the elevator up to the restaurant level, they experience the amazing scenic view of Pittsburgh’s downtown. Once they step off the elevator, they are greeted by Monterey Bay’s tastefully decorated Christmas tree. Trimmed with ornaments in hues of gold, champagne, ivory, copper, and brass, the tree coordinates with the rest of the restaurant’s decorations perfectly.

Monterey Bay Tree

Several fresh and artificial pine wreaths decorate the walls of Monterey Bay for an understated but festive look. Once the ambiance is set, the seats are filled, and the view of the city is in sight, you know you’re in for a treat. Be sure to visit this holiday season!

After Thanksgiving, we visited the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott, and we brought the holiday cheer with us! The most notable of our decorations greets you as you enter the hotel lobby. Our big tree takes many  crew members to assemble and decorate, but when its all done it,  makes quite an impression!  (Sometimes, we have audience participants to help us with decorating and caroling!)

Marriott Lobby Tree with gifts.jpg

This hotel is known for being a hub for business meetings, parties, gatherings, special events, and weddings. And for that reason, they need plenty of Christmas cheer for everyone. For guests enjoying lunch, dinner, or cocktails in their Runner Stone Mill House Restaurant, our silver tree brings a feeling of home to your “home away from home.” Marriott Restaurant Tree.jpg

If lounging is more your style, we’ve also added decorations to the shadow boxes that decorate the wall above the comfy lounge-style seating area.

Marriott Restaurant Shadow Boxes.jpg

For banquets, Christmas parties, winter weddings, and special events, we decorate several  Christmas trees that may be moved and  used to decorate any number of  ballrooms and areas  throughout the hotel.

For added festive touches, you might see a little of this and a little of that in all the right places. For those who spend the holidays away from home, it can be hard to get in the spirit, but that’s not the case if you’re staying at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott.

Marriott Grand FoyerMarriott Conference Center

We also brought the holiday to the offices of ProMinent Fluid Controls and Calgon Carbon Corporation.  We do our best to work  in the company’s colors each year.  As you can see, We Simply Love Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all……and hope you enjoy our team’s talents!

To see more of what we are up to this holiday season, and the rest of the year, check out our Facebook and Instagram pages!

It’s Homecoming Time!

Wow! Time flies!
Homecoming dances are beginning this weekend. We are so excited!

Pictured above are some of our best selections for corsages & boutonnieres. Almost all are available in different colors.

Please call us with your order!
(Do not attempt to place your order online, we need to walk you through the process.)

Homecoming orders are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Paying Tribute to our Heroes

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the end of the Korean War – July 27, 1953.

Providing a wreath for the Memorial was a task we were honored to assist with.

Approximately 30 people gathered this morning for a brief commemoration ceremony at the North Shore Korean War Memorial marking the anniversary of the end of what many call “the forgotten war.”

Korean War Memorial Flags

The Korean Conflict began in 1950 when 75,000 troops from North Korea invaded South Korea. The United States, along with a number of allies, including Russia, rushed to defend the people of South Korea. The mission of our brave servicemen  was “to protect and preserve freedom in Korea.”

In light of the recent aggressive actions of North Korea, we are reminded again that “freedom is hard earned, needs to be protected, and is not free.”

Korean War Memorial Sign

The Korean War Memorial, located on the North Shore between PNC Park and Heinz Field, near the river, was dedicated in 1999. It was built using 1.2 million dollars which was raised by volunteers with the Korean War Veterans of Western Pennsylvania.

Korean War Memorial Plaque

The Memorial is a beautiful tribute to our unsung heroes who fought to keep us and others safe and free.

What About the Men in Your Life? | Boutonnieres

A boutonniere is a flower that packs a punch! This often overlooked detail is the finishing touch for any groom or tuxedo wearer in general.   “Boutonniere”  comes from the french word for button hole, which is traditionally where the single flower or bud was worn.

Boutonnieres are a tradition that have lasted the test of time, and can still be seen today,  pinned to the left lapel of their wearers. Boutonnieres are an opportunity to tie into the flowers being worn or carried by a date or escort.

In the past, boutonnieres were worn more frequently,   but today are generally reserved for formal gatherings such as weddings, proms, homecomings, funerals, and formal ceremonies.  The flower itself was often a carnation and the most formal color was white; another classic choice was red.  Today, many colors and flowers are appropriate for use as boutonnieres and can be use to achieve many different looks.

Shown below are some of our favorite boutonnieres —   Parkway Florist Pittsburgh Boutonnieres Wedding Prom Homecoming.jpg

What is your favorite flower? Can we make something special for you?