Thursday, 26 December 2013

see you january 7th, 2014

It has been a hectic holiday season, filled with the usual hustle and bustle, and punctuated this year with lots of snow and ice. In spite of the challenges, we still managed to be together, to laugh and commiserate, to eat and drink and appreciate one another.

I would like to thank all of my customers, friends and family for your patronage and support this past year, and for helping to make this little flower shop on James Street North so very special.

So now, I will be taking a few days to rest and plan the course for 2014.  
i fiori will be closed until january 7.

Have a safe and happy new year, and see you in january!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like...

Well, you know the song, and it is looking wintery and woody and natural in i fiori, not to mention the combined scents of lemon cypress, norfolk pine trees, armloads of eucalyptus and BC cedar boughs, paperwhites in bloom and lavender. This is truly my favourite time of year (once I get past the chapped hands and heaps of twigs and cuttings on the floor)

The holiday season is in full roar, and every week, every trip to the greenhouses brings something new and yummy.

stunning amaryllis and ilex berries

Tomorrow the hellebores arrive en masse. Grown in Ontario - they are fabulous through the winter in your house, and then you can transfer them outdoors in the spring. (just try doing that with a poinsettia...)

luscious white hellebores

And next week, new anthuriums and orchids will arrive,

potted anthuriums

For small gifts, to give or keep for yourself,  we always have a wide selection of succulents and airplants. Almost irresistible in small hanging terrariums... or artfully arranged in what could double as a candleholder...

Give the gift of l-i-v-e flowers and plants

We have paperwhite bulbs ready for you to force - or you can purchase them already started,

paperwhites for that tease of spring

New this year are crocus and muscari bulb kits - they contain everything you need to start growing these fabulous flowers indoors.
The amaryllis bulbs are available individually, or in a gift-pack kits. Amaryllis could be the ultimate feel-good flower at this time of year - huge blooms, long lasting, dead simple to grow... what is not to like? They are in the shop in red, white, pink and red/white bicolour and pink/white bicolour.

And thanks to the number of requests, I was able to get more of the Micro-salad Grow Kits and the Sprout Grow Kits - certified organic and ready to plant in cute little boxes!

And don't forget Weirs Lane Lavender products - already done up in gift packs (how clever).

I promise to post more often, time just disappeared in November with the last of the weddings and the workshops. Speaking of which - the holiday workshops were great fun - I will be posting some photos, and now I am organizing the upcoming spring workshops (also makes a great gift...hint hint).

And what does the fiorista want for Christmas? Another day in the week, another 2 hours of sleep smuggled somehow into every night, a dry capp in my travel mug from Mulberry every day, and every bouquet that walks out the door.
Happy December!

Friday, 8 November 2013

and now we are two...

Today, the November art crawl, marks the second anniversary of i fiori
A lot has changed in the shop in these past 2 years, but not the focus on locally grown flowers and plants, and the passion for quality.
Thank you to the customers, clients, neighbouring businesses, flower farmers, greenhouse owners, and suppliers that have made the concept of my little shop a reality.
You all make every day something I look forward to.

So enough with the mushy stuff!

This week we received the first taste of winter (in a good way)

  • amaryllis bulbs and bulk kits
  • muscari and crocus bulb kits
  • sprout and microsalad kits
  • paperwhite bulbs
  • lemon cypress
  • norfolk pines
  • lots and lots of rosehip branches

Come in to the shop and see the changes we've made in 2 years - new lighting, more hands-on supplies for those of you who love to create your own planters and flowers arrangements, a roster of new evening workshops, and, as always, simply the freshest flowers and the most perfect plants you can imagine.

And how does a florist celebrate a anniversary on art crawl night?
There will be chocolate.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

slight change to workshop dates!

The workshops are proving to be popular! I am really all looking forward to them - but we hit a bit of a scheduling snag with our workshop space, so we have had to change the dates (primarily to the following Thursdays).
Have a look at the Workshop & Events page for more information - and as a heads-up... the wreath workshop is filling up quickly...

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Thanksgiving weekend, art crawl & workshops!

Who can believe that it is already October, already Thanksgiving and that I have finally posted the winter workshop selection?

During this Friday's Art Crawl, Good Shepherd will be selling these gourd candles in the Re-Create Space next to i fiori. There is a wonderful selection of shapes and sizes, the cost is $2. each and 100% of the proceeds will go to Good Shepherd.

If you are needing a centrepiece for your table or a little gift for the host or hostess, we will have bouquets and arrangements to choose from - or we can build something personal for you! The fridges are well stocked with the freshest flowers and greens from the peninsula. Also this week we have just received fresh lavender plants (in bud!), ornamental pepper plants in red, orange or purple, wonderfully aromatic eucalyptus plants and the always elegant flowering cyclamen.

English lavender

elegant cyclamen

ornamental peppers

potted eucalyptus
Don't forget to have a look at the workshop page - starting in November there are workshops for flower arranging and holiday/winter decorating. Space is limited, so please reserve in advance to avoid being disappointed.

See you in the shop!

Monday, 23 September 2013

thanks to you, 'Flowers for a Good Reason' was a success

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who stopped by i fiori on the Friday Art Crawl and on Saturday during Super Crawl.
It was a great event , the weather cooperated (how does that Tim manage to plan the weather, I ask...), new businesses on the street received a warm welcome, the crowds of people were in such good humour - but the very best part of all? We raised a couple hundred dollars for Good Shepherd Notre Dame House through the sale of our Flowers for a Good Reason. We were sold out by early afternoon on Saturday!
It makes me so proud to live in Hamilton.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

september & Super Crawl is finally here

The James Street North is more than buzzing, it is howling!

Super crawl is here and it promises to be a day and a half of fantastic weather, live music for every taste and art and design in the street, in the galleries and in the studios. This is the best of the best, Hamilton, and it is all ours!

We welcome new businesses like Burnt Tongue (look out boys - opening your doors on Super Crawl is like taking a shower in the Devil's Punchbowl after a hard rain...)

For the fall i fiori has a whole new assortment of terrariums and planters, the widest variety of succulents and cactus in the Hamilton area (and rumour has it in the GTA as well). And you know that with fall comes seed pods and fabulous grasses and branches and flowers in deep vibrant irresistable colours.

september 'flowers for a good reason' :: sunflowers

Watch the workshop and event space on the blog in the next couple days, or pick up the details in our flyer in the shop on the upcoming i fiori fall and winter workshops and demos!

And, like the last art crawl, we will have
'flowers for a good reason'.
Net proceeds will be donated to Good Shepherd. Rumour has it that for Super Crawl we will feature the sale of sunflowers and roses.

Super Crawl gives me the opportunity to design for the sake of designing, so come in and see what's new, come and be inspired, or just come in and say hi!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

the dog days of summer

Welcome to August and hopefully the last few days of sweltering hot summer weather.
The plants that seem to be the happiest in the past few weeks have been the succulents, and we have a lot to choose from in the shop.
Some of the most popular are the lithops, or 'living stones'.

collection of living stones

Their shape and size is actually a natural camouflage to keep them from being eaten by animals looking for a desert snack(!), but we love them for the interesting texture and style that they lend to terrariums and mixed planters.

The selection of succulents, living stones and cactus is expanding every week - come in and have a look!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

art crawl, garden tours and lazy crazy daisy summer days


The happy flower - synonymous with the sun, with long summer days, and simplicity.
This weekend on Friday (during Art Crawl) and on Saturday i fiori will have buckets of daisies for sale in the shop and the net proceeds from every daisy sold will go to support 2 charities:
Friday: Good Shepherd Food Bank
Saturday: Stephen Lewis Foundation / Blooms for Africa 

Drop in this weekend during the day or the crawl and pick up a daisy, or two, or maybe a big bunch
- they are $1 a stem and they will accomplish such big things!

And speaking of Blooms for Africa, i fiori is helping to sponsor the North End Garden Tour, and selling the passports / guide booklet.

Date: Friday July 19th & Saturday July 20th
Time: 6pm - 10pm
Cost: $20 per passport

This is a garden tour with a few twists: 
  • The tour leads you into some fabulous gardens in the north end of Hamilton in the evening (when most gardeners get to enjoy their own work!)
  • Each Passport entitles the holder to a 15% discount at some of the best restaurants in the north end on either or both days of the tour
  • ALL profits are donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation / Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign  

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Happy birthday Canada, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner

It is July 2 and the shop is closed for the day. Nothing serious or sad, just trying to catch up to it being July 2.
Now if we were all 9 years old this day would have taken forever to arrive, but in my world the days scoot by at a rate that is hard to keep up with.
So, to gradually ease myself into the second half of 2013, i fiori will be closed today.
See you Wednesday July 3rd!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

June is here!

And June means many things: sleeping with the windows open, fresh Ontario asparagus, packing away your socks for the next few monhs, garlic scapes, mojito mint, and peonies.
We have buckets and buckets of fresh cut peonies in the shop this week. They are one of those flowers that have a season - which make them all the more special!

June peonies in the shop this week :: white, blush pink and hot pink!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

blumebox has arrived

I am often looking for a smarter way to transport flowers for you - especially when the recipient has a suitable or favourite vase already... but sometimes it is better to transport and deliver your order in water.

I have found a way to do this cost effectively with a very small ecological footprint...

blumebox ready to go!


i fiori now offers blumeboxes  at your request!

• Each vase is supplied complete with its own polybag liner.
• The polyethylene bag is fully recyclable.
• Vases have a 100% water based colour coating. Colours will not bleed or stain.
• Vases are packaged flat and pop open in just seconds.
• Vases can be reused up to 10 times.
• Vases are made from a minimum 80% Post Consumer waste material and are 100% recyclable.

Because your order is about the flowers - not the vase.

my monet blumebox


my monet blumebox

And for something irresistible (and just in time for mother's day!)
'my monet' is a smaller vase which includes the pop up cardboard vase, biodegradable liner and 4 crayons for the budding artist to decorate his or her vase just for mom, or nonna, or gramma, or baba...
You get the idea.

Friday, 19 April 2013

I love my job

Man, there are worse ways to make a living!

This is a peek into one of the greenhouses that I visited Friday morning on my regular swoop through the Niagara peninsula collecting plants and cut flowers for the shop.

Owned and operated by Leo and Lynne, the greenhouse has benches and benches of fabulous ranunculus ready this season.
It is almost impossible to select only a few to bring back to the store with me.

This is the back of the car- wall to wall Spanish lavender, English lavender, fabulous fresh cut parrot and regular tulips, ranunculus and fresh herbs.
It smelled even better than it looked!

Once I was back in the shop, I found a place for my morning treasures:

 the front window at i fiori
fresh herbs this weekend: arugula, silver thyme, curly parsley, Italian parsley and sage
lemon cypress topiaries, Spanish lavender, potted hyacinths and helleborus

NEW! Organic seed kits.
The kit includes planting medium, biodegradable pot and saucer, and organic seed collections.
- Edible Flowers: nasturtium, viola & chamomile
- French Garden: Lavender, thyme & marjoram

See you in the shop!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Tulips. The cure for winter.

80 km wind gusts.
Freezing rain.
Below 0 celsius.
April 12.

There is only one remedy in mid-April for a winter that won't go away.

Bring out the tulips.

In the shop, available by the armful, less expensive than a couple cups of coffee, and just waiting to make you smile...
Come in and taunt old-man-winter.

Friday, 15 March 2013

shamrocks and spring bulbs

That's enough.

We have all been suffering from a bit of winter fatigue. Oh sure, a bit of snow is pretty and this is Canada... but it is mid-March and time for Spring.

i fiori is bursting with spring bulbs ready to bloom! We have collections already potted up and ready to go, or you can select the tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and muscari to create your oun small haven of springtime.

And of course there are shamrocks.

green oxalis (shamrocks) with white flowers
We have potted shamrocks (oxalis, actually) to brighten up your home or workplace, and they will be equally happy outside when the weather warms up!
For a gorgeous contrast we also have the burgundy oxalis which feature delicate pale pink flowers.
Oh, Springtime.
Hurry up!

Monday, 4 March 2013

the collaboration

Today was the kind of magical day when a group of people come together with a solid purpose, a common goal and something very special unfolds.
Shot in 270 Sherman Street North in Hamilton, here are some preliminary photos of the day's work.
More to come!

The collaborators
Claire Dam: photographer ...
White Elephant : vintage dresses...
Aimee Carreen Stricker : make up and hair...
Breanna Stevenson : table styling :
Fehn Foss & Breanna Stevenson : models
i fiori : bouquets, hair and table flowers

spring is almost here...

Oh, if wishing could make it so...

Maybe all we needed was a couple of days of real hard-core winter to remind us of how easy we have had it for the past few years.

But Spring is very close, coaxed on by oxalis and cheery little primroses and all of the fresh herbs and flowers in the shop.

The Collaboration
Today the shop is closed, but we are at a photo shoot featuring vintage wedding dresses and bouquets from i fiori. When all of the elements are stitched together I will post these shots here and give you the links to all of the talented 'collaborators'.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

oh my, cupid is tired and cranky...

It seems that he is finished with the whole 'red rose' thing, and no one is listening.
Welcome to i fiori, the flower shop with some very different ideas. We have something for every budget and every Valentine. Yes, yes we have red roses, and baby's breath and common fern...
but this Valentine's Day you can do better than that.
Want to make a statement?
We have the i fiori 2013 signature bouquet with 18 exquisite pink roses, surrounded by sweet huck and sword fern-

i fiori 2013 bouquet with 18 stunning roses in shades of pink
 or what about a simple wicker heart vase with a few exquisite blooms-
we have interesting and creative vases -
a simple glass brick with room for 8 stems
5 bottles to hold perfect ranunculus
Why not select one of them and say I love you every month for a year. We will fill your vase for free this Valentine's Day when you purchase a gift certificate to 'fill-'er-up' every month with fresh flowers for the next year.
Or maybe use this opportunity to pamper yourself, or your favourite valentine?
bath salts, body heaven cream and essential oil
from Weir's Lane Lavender Farm - rose petals from i fiori
Draw a bath with lavender bath salts and essential oil, toss in some rose petals and afterward pamper your dry skin with Body Heaven Omega 3 and Hemp cream (the only thing missing is chocolate and prosecco... but I digress)
It comes down to a creative and caring way to realize that it is mid-February in Canada. With a valentine or not - we all need a little bit of pampering!

Monday, 4 February 2013

thinking outside the red-rose-box...or the box of red roses

It is that time of year... the time when the urge to send red roses to your sweetie is almost overwhelming.
Keep an eye on this site, or pop into the shop this Friday during the February art crawl to see how we can trump that red rose thing...
i fiori has wicker heart vases with fresh gerbera daisies and grasses,
elegant Venetian glass posy vases with ranunculus,
or what about our signature bouquet of heart-stopping shades-of-pink roses?
Come on, think outside the red-rose-box!
Oh, and Happy Valentines's day from i fiori...
every order made between Feb 1 and Feb 9,  
for delivery on (or around) Valentine's Day,
will be tax-free.
Cupid lives.
Psst - don't forget about the terrarium workshop this Saturday (Feb 9) at the Design Annex. Only a few spots remain, so contact the AGH to sign up!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

terrarium workshop saturday february 9

After many requests , we are conducting out first workshop!
With the invitation from the Art Gallery of Hamilton, i fiori will be conducting a terrarium workshop in February.

Date: Saturday February 9, 2013
Time: 10am to 12:30
Location: The Design Annex - 118 James Street North, Hamilton, L8R 2K7
Cost: AGH Members $45 | Non-Members $55

Register online, by fax or phone:

Terrariums are one of the most popular items in the shop, and this workshop is an easy, hands-on way to learn the basics of plant selection, care and finishing. Everything you need will be supplied: the glass containers, soil, your choice of plants and your choice of finishing moss and stone. You can even decide between creating one large terrarium - or a medium & small one (great for a gift!)

Sign up with the AGH, but don't wait too long - the workshop seems to be very popular...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

and a new year begins

I hope that everyone managed to find a moment or two of calm and peace over the past few weeks. It was a wonderful holiday season in the shop and a fantastic first year and I have you to thank.

After some serious rest, we are raring to go, and looking forward to 2013!

The shop hours are back to normal, more or less, this week...

i fiori will be closed on Wednesday January 9. My funny, smart, thoughtful brother-in-law has passed away after a long, difficult illness, and I will be at his funeral.

Friday January 11 is the first art crawl of the year. Hopefully the weather will be mild (!) i fiori will be open until 10 or so in the evening - we look forward to seeing you .