Saturday, 13 December 2014

deck that hall vers 1.1

what's in, what's low and what's almost finished...

Just a quick note: we have a v-e-r-y limited quantity of fresh mistletoe in the store, and when it is gone... it is gone.
Also this will be the last weekend to reserve and pick up our beautiful BC cedar or mixed branch garland - sold by the foot so you can purchase exactly what you need!
We still have a good supply of paperwhite bulbs in various stages of bloom, amaryllis (potted and bare bulb), some beautiful Christmas cactus (the all-white ones are gorgeous), as well as lemon cypress trees and topiaries, fresh lavender 'trees', white helleborus... oh, the list goes on...
See you in the shop!

Friday, 28 November 2014

its time to deck that hall

the i fiori deck your hall check list:

lush cedar boughs - check

elegant white pine boughs - check

seeded and baby eucalyptus - check

velvety magnolia branches - check

lemon scented wee cypress trees - check

stylish heleborus - check

natural rose hip branches - check
crimson dogwood branches - check
fragrant paperwhite bulbs - check
showy amaryllis bulbs - check
...and even more in the shop to make your home wintery and wonderful.

This weekend we have a nice selection of custom wreaths to choose from, every one is different, and I'm sure that one of them will be just right!
See you in the shop...

Friday, 14 November 2014

i fiori celebrates it's 3rd year!

The holiday season is quietly arriving at i fiori.
I have a hard time with windows filled with twinkling Christmas trees and sparkly bits in November, but the reality is that there are some things we have to think about in advance.
Like branches and berries for easing your home into winter, and starting paperwhite and amaryllis bulbs to help your mind forget that the temperatures are dipping below zero!

simple but showy amaryllis

a simple and stunning display of paperwhites :: it doesn't have to be complicated

Bulbs are in the shop now, as are branches and berries and lots of ideas. And in the next week or so the baby cypress trees, norfolk pines, helebores, wreaths and garlands will all take their place in the store.

i fiori celebrates our 3 years this november art crawl

And my pants would be on fire if I didn't say how happy and astonished I am to be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of i fiori.
Thank you thank you thank you to my customers, my clients, my friends and family. Nothing happens in isolation (nothing good, anyway), and I am constantly challenged and inspired by all of you.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

meet me at Gage Park

late fall in Gage Park
Today started with a walk to Gage Park to see the Mum Show. Such a fabulous, crisp November morning and Gage Park was the perfect place to be. This jewel in our city's crown was established in 1918 to 'beautify' the eastern entrance to the city of Hamilton. Nestled against the escarpment, this morning some trees were bare, some still hanging on to their leaves, some roses in the rose garden looked absolutely content with little nip of frost. This is one of my very favourite places in Hamilton (truthfully... in the whole country!).
As usual the display of mums for the 2014  Hamilton Fall Garden & Mum Show was impressive.

so perfect
so 'showy'

And the walk through the Tropical Greenhouse was a nice contrast to the weather outside.
the view from under a leaf - a very large leaf

In this city it seems that we are only 5 minutes in any direction from the bay and the waterfront, from the forests and the escarpment, from great trails and killer stairs, from bike paths and bike lanes (yay), from calming greenhouses and public gardens. We are lucky indeed.

I 'heart' Ward 3.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

there will be justice

"...they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing, and  the second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time."

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

I hope and pray that what we remember and what we talk about is the energy and enthusiasm that this young man had in his life; that we look to our troops and realize that they are willing to be in harm's way - for our sake - at any and every turn; that the distorted agenda and cowardly evil of a few individuals does not eclipse the security that our armed forces and police work every day to protect and uphold.  

And, I hope and pray that there will be no paradise, no 72 dark-eyed maidens... only justice.

Friday, 10 October 2014

fall workshops!

Finally! the i fiori fall and winter workshop schedule is set, and starting to fill up.
Please go to the 'workshop & events' page for detailed information on content, time and cost.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

giving thanks

The most magical time of year - leaves turning colour, crisp evening air and even crisper apples at the farmers markets - at i fiori we are so ready for autumn with branches and seed pods and flowers in rich saturated colours!
This week we also have fresh thyme and sage in the shop - perfect for adding to roasted root vegetables or including in your turkey stuffing.
aphelandra - zebra plant

hare's foot fern
Since we are all beginning to spend more time inside, there are lots of new plants & ferns to choose from - the natural air cleaners!

And... wait for it... a   s-a-l-e?

This Friday evening (October 10) between 7pm and 9pm during the October art crawl, i fiori is tidying up our inventory as we make room for the new season and new items. There are onesies and twosies of vases and pots looking for a home, and we will have a sale table featuring these items. Many will be half price or less!
And just so the new vases and pots don't feel left out - all regular priced ceramic and glass will be also be 15% off regular prices.

See you in the shop!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

september in the shop

Back to school, back to work, super crawl on the horizon, a fall workshop schedule coming this month, throw in a couple of weddings... what a busy month is our september!

So, it will come as a minor shock that the shop will be closed while I take a short vacation:
saturday september 6
sunday september 7
monday september 8
tuesday september 9

We will be open as usual wednesday september 10 from 11:30 - 6pm

Shop hours for september art crawl and super crawl:
art crawl friday september 12 :  11:30 - 10pm 
super crawl saturday september 13 : noon - 8pm
super crawl sunday september 14 : noon - 6pm

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

august shop hours

just a gentle reminder...

i fiori will be closed
sundays, mondays & tuesdays 
for the month of august

We will still be available for appointments, phone orders and deliveries 
as usual - 6 days a week.
call or text : 905-962-4750
or send a message with the details

(apparently only the shop is having a little summer break...)

And, coming this friday august 8 ... the big reveal of the tile project! 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

sunflowers :: green tea :: cactus :: shop hours in august

OK, how's this for a mixed bag of news...?

The dog days of summer in southern Ontario bring humidity, mosquitoes, thunder storms, incessant road work... yet all of this is forgiven with the arrival of the sunflowers!
For the next few weeks we will have a few buckets of these summer beauties available.
simple vase of sunflowers

And, after many, many requests and some real sleuthing, I have finally sourced a 
winter hardy cactus!

They bloom, they bear fruit (edible!) and best of all - they withstand being left outside in your garden through our winters.
The cactus are quite young at this point, and should be placed in the garden soon so that they can have time to establish themselves for the coming winter.

And, for something completely unrelated...
green tea plants at i fiori.

green tea ::  camellia sinensis

These are young vigorous plants which are happy indoors, (or can live outside during the summer and fall). 
Leaves can be harvested at any time, dried slightly and steeped into tea.

One method of making green tea from fresh leaves:
- pinch off a few leaves and steam-blanche them for 1-2 minutes, then cool them immediately under cold water
- the leaves will be soft and flexible, roll them loosely and place on an oven-proof tray 
- bake/dry them at a low temperature (225-250 F), stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until evenly dried
- cool and store in a sealed container, or steep 5 -6 leaves in boiling water and enjoy your all-natural, unprocessed green tea.

shop news in August

i fiori will be closed on sundays, mondays & tuesdays for the month of August.
We will still be available for phone orders and deliveries, or appointments - only the shop will be closed. 

And, coming soon... the big reveal of the tile project! Hopefully ready and installed for the August art crawl - I will keep you posted.

Friday, 13 June 2014

june art crawl - sip a mojito, smell the peonies and watch your little pixie grapes flourish

they're here....

the peonies are finally here!

It is Friday morning and I am off to Niagara to load up the bevmobile with buckets and buckets of fresh peonies. White, blush, pale pink, bi-colour, coral... I can't wait.

How ready are we for summer, father's day and the june art crawl? 
We have a good stock of the mojito mint, we have pixie grapes, we have a dizzying selection of new ferns (including some exquisite staghorns to choose from), terrariums and succulents abundant. 

And, of course, peonies to feed your soul.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

all about food... and drink!

What a crazy season this spring has been - many of our regular greenhouse crops finished earlier than expected but many more are just plain late.

But - we now have the first pixie grapes in the shop!
pixie grapes
These are fabulous plants that will be happy indoors - or you can place them on a balcony, or plant them in your garden.
A dwarf version of Pinot Meunier grape - it may not provide you with a crop large enough to stock your wine cellar... but you can eat the grapes, and they are a beautiful, robust little plants.

Mojito mint
This weekend we will be back in stock with the popular mojito mint.

mojito mint
 Perfect for (what else) cocktails, but also the ideal, pure mint suited for salads and cooking.
be ready for summer with this mojito recipe 


In an 8 to 10 ounce glass, combine 10-15 rinsed fresh mint leaves and 2 teaspoons superfine sugar.
With a muddler or a wooden spoon, coarsely crush mint leaves with sugar in the bottom of the glass.
- 4 to 5 tablespoons light rum
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Mix well.
Fill glass with ice cubes and top off with chilled soda water.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Makes 1 serving.

Friday, 9 May 2014

mother's day weekend

so what to do for Mother's day...?
i fiori has:
- herb planters

- succulent gardens & terrariums

- small garden jars (our regular customers will be familiar with these popular pieces...)
- we have 'wee' pots with mini violets and mini rosebushes (too cute, and perfect for a grandmother).
- of course, we also have custom selected and designed bouquets featuring Niagara's freshest flowers.
- you can put together a combination of Weirs Lane lavender products (culinary lavender buds, honey and essential oil is in stock!)
- don't get Bev started on the new ferns which arrived last Thursday - they are irresistible! The ultimate air cleaners, these ferns are grown in Canadian greenhouses, so will have a better that average chance of surviving and actually thriving in your home

- new Spanish Lavender topiaries and also 4" pots of the Spanish/stoechas lavender
- and an ever changing selection of unique vases, pots and gift ideas

Over the Mother;s Day weekend, the shop will be open:
Saturday : 11:30 - 5pm
Sunday : 10:30 - 4 pm

and hint-hint-hint... we also have gift certificates!

Monday, 28 April 2014

so much happening in downtown Hamilton

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say 'hi' at the Vintage Market on the weekend. It proved to be a wonderful place to find good homes for a lot of my vintage McCoy and Beauceware vases and pots, as well as 'introduce' the shop to some new people.
And now for some future event news(!)
I will be teamed up with Chris, from Cafe Oranje and Melanie, from MODify Your Closet, as well as other like-minded business owners, to have a table at the Village Station Bazaar this coming Sunday May 4th..

i fiori will be located in that iconic station structure, and we will have crazy-fresh herbs and plants and market bunches of simply the freshest flowers you can imagine. Come down to Ferguson Station on Sunday for a coffee, a mooch about, and to say hello...

Now for a serious thought or two.
For some time now Hamilton appears to be moving steadily forward in a really positive direction. Downtown is coming alive in a way that no wall of glass condo skyscrapers can compete with (hello, Toronto).
With one open-air market concept, one neighborhood festival, one gallery, one shop, one restaurant, one workspace, one bakery at a time we are populating our sidewalks and our downtown with people who want to be part of this phenomenon called the downtown core.
Oh, I'm happy to be living and working in Hamilton!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

shop hours for the Easter weekend

The shop will be open:
Thursday April 17 from 11:30 - 6
Good Friday April 18 from noon - 6
Saturday April 19 from 11:30 - 5

We will be closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - and returning Wednesday April 23.

We wish you a happy Passover, a happy Easter and hopefully a bit of spring weather!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

April workshops and potted ranunculus!

Just in this week - 4" pots of ranunculus-
benches filled with ranunculus in the greenhouse
Just a little switch-up from the usual potted spring bulbs, the ranunculus come in beautiful jewel tones and creamy whites. Every pot has 3 to five fluffy buds and should give you showy blooms for a week or two!

And check the Workshop page for details on Spring workshops.
- we have added a second Living Succulent Wreath workshop after the success of the first one, and this one is booking up just as quickly
- there is also a new Flower Crown workshop- ideal for weddings, proms or maybe to celebrate the coming of Spring?
If Spring decides to come?

Friday, 14 March 2014

what happens when we have a blizzard on James North...

McCartney and Son :: The sandwiches are legendary. The soups are inspired. The salads are fantastic... but I would sell my soul for the organic ice cream.
Soon... soon...

Shane McCartney approached me many months ago with a challenge in his restaurant.
In its previous life, it was a fish pond in a fish market, but then it became simply a weird corner the restaurant. What to do? Fill it with Lego? Use it as a transformer battleground? All worthwhile options, but with the vision and trust of Shane, a fantasy succulent garden now graces the front corner of McCartney and Son.

I asked Shane to build a platform, or false bottom for me...

Then I taped in a vapour barrier to prepare it for soil. Once the substrate and soil were in place,  the real fun began!

A wild collection of sun-loving succulents - blooming, trailing and bringing life to a little corner on James North.

Thank you Shane - it doesn't get much more fun than this!

Monday, 3 March 2014

the Spring Tide Bulb Show at Gage Park

Perhaps Hamilton's best kept secret weapon for the spring fever that we are all longing for, the tropical greenhouse at Gage Park is one of my favourite places to forget about winter.

Free admission, free parking, on the bus line - just remember to bring a non-perishable donation for Hamilton Food Share - a small price to pay for the luxury of spring.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

the spring workshop schedule is here!

Tired of all the snow and ice?... The spring workshop schedule is ready! 
You can still be chipping the ice from your sidewalk - but this is the time to start planning to make that fabulous succulent wreath to hang on your fence, your door or decorate your balcony.

Maybe you are crazy for lavender - and who isn't? We are running a joint workshop with Weir's Lane that will show you how easy it is to work lavender into your home, or party or wedding.

Please see the Workshop Page of the website for more details.

Look for i fiori at the Hamilton Home Show - March 7-9, 2014. There will be an i fiori demo on succulents for indoor and outside planters held at 5pm on Saturday March 8, 2014 - and a featured centerpiece entered into the Home Show competition.
Oh, I couldn't resist the challenge and, as I love to say... 'Game On...'

Monday, 10 February 2014

no need to panic

Oh quit panicking... there is still lots of time to plan something for your valentine!

First things first... 
Cake and LoafWhite Elephant and i fiori have joined our (considerable) efforts to offer the ideal Valentines Day gift: yummy chocolates & treats, a sweet-heart necklace and gorgeous flowers.

delicate heart beads custom designed into a necklace
smoochy cookies and chocolates
a posy of ranunculus in tones of pinks to burgundies

But you have to book fast if you want to be sure to get in on this deal.
Contact to pre-book.

But, what else is in the shop?
This year's i fiori signature bouquet is a collection of romantic blush-toned roses with rosy seeded eucalyptus and feathery burgundy accents. As always, they will be beautifully wrapped .
the 2014 signature Valentine's bouquet from i fiori
We appreciate pre-booking on the signature bouquets so that they will be ready for you to pick-up or have delivered.

We have the popular wicker hearts again - young, fresh, simple and a vase that will say, 'I love you' all year 'round.
wicker hearts with your choice of gerbera daisies or ranunculus

A bit about DELIVERY for Valentines Day:
The cut-off for arranging delivery on Valentines Day is end of day on Wednesday February 12th. 
You can still order flowers to be picked-up all week long, but unfortunately we have to make sure that all of the deliveries can be met safely and on time, and we need to plan for that! Thanks for understanding.

And, Friday is the February/Valentine's Day Art Crawl - James Street North will be buzzing! It will be almost as good as springtime. Almost.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

farewell to january and hurry-up spring...

I know that I am not alone in saying farewell to January. It was dangerously cold, the wind was harsh and seemed unrelenting, and it forced me to do something that I generally reserve for the end of February...

Yes, the tulips, iris and primulas are in the shop now. If we ever needed a little shot of spring - this is the time!

Friday, 10 January 2014

the 2-day dry skin rescue!

Polar Vortex.
Or maybe... winter in Canada.

It boils down to chapped lips, chapped hands, dry itchy skin on your arms and legs, and there's probably plenty more to come.
One way to cope is to try to escape to a warmer climate, but in view of the mess at most of the airports in North America - this would be trading one problem for another.

So, this Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th  i fiori is offering a second, and better way to deal with January in Hamilton.

All Weirs Lane Lavender lotions, creams, lip balm and products will be 20% off .

This promotion is for  2 days only, and limited to the products on hand, so take advantage of the sale and be good to your skin!