Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ottawa Man Leaves British Town $3.75M to Spend on Flowers

Scenic Sidmouth, England.
Photo via user Johanning on Wikipedia
At Bloomex, we always love stories involving Canadians and flowers. So imagine our surprise today when stumbling across this gem, which is a bit sad, but also pretty delightful.

Keith Owen,  an Ottawa resident, always had a fondness for the small village of Sidmouth, England, between Plymouth and Portsmouth on the English Channel. Owen was born in England but emigrated in 1976, becoming very successful in the financial industry,

So when Owen, divorced and without any children of his own, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he donated the money he had saved for his retirement -- which he planned to spend it in Sidmouth, naturally -- to the local civic association.

The story is making headlines around the world. Here's the New York Daily News on this bittersweet story:
Keith Owen, a former Ottawa
resident, left
£2.3M ($3.75M CDN) to
Sidmouth, England. 

Owen was very clear that the money he left should remain invested and its $180,000 annual interest used to beautify the town.


There's no doubt the British seaside town left a lasting impression on him.

The divorced man had no children and died five years ago. But the money is only trickling through now due to strict inheritance laws for expats.

The Mirror reports that the first wave of planting — worth a staggering $260,000 — will take place in October.

Daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses will be spread over 50 sites.

For a small seaside town with a population of 15,000, it's probably as grand a gesture as one could make. Owen's legacy will likely ensure that it is a beautiful spot to visit for many years to come.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Celebrate National Sorry Day on August 28 with Bloomex.

Ottawa – As Canadians, we tend to be known around the world for a few things: hockey, maple syrup, our beautiful landscapes, and of course, our politeness.

But as good Canadians, we’re also not against poking a little fun at ourselves. And as Canada’s largest florist, we at Bloomex felt our inclination for apologizing should be celebrated. With that in mind, we put our heads together to think about how we could do that. The result?

Announcing the newest Canadian national holiday: 
National Sorry Day.

Maybe it’s a co-worker, a family member, an old flame that didn’t work out, or a buddy that you bailed on last night. But whoever it is you need to apologize to (and let's face it, there's always someone), there’s no better time than this Wednesday. That’s because is offering amazing savings on Wednesday in celebration of the first annual National Sorry Day.

So be sure to join us this Wednesday, Aug. 28 at for National Sorry Day and let's celebrate this storied, historic holiday in style. We will not accept your apology if you do not.

(Just kidding. Sorry.)

Check out the savings here!

About Bloomex: Established in 2006, is Canada’s largest florist. The company ships flowers directly to consumers from its distribution centres in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and from its headquarters in Ottawa.

More (maybe possibly definitely not true) facts about National Sorry Day:
  • The day is named after General Immanuel Sorry, a legendary Canadian, who in 1867 in Kingston, accidently bumped in to fellow resident Noah Werries.The two men then introduced themselves to each other and a holiday was suddenly born, 146 years later. 
  • Every National Sorry Day, millions of Canadians pay their respects to the holiday by gathering at revolving doors for hours on end, insisting that each other go ahead first. Then they all bump into each other at once. This sets up the traditional Wednesday Mass (apology.)
  • Historical carols for this storied holiday include classic songs penned in the 1700s, give or take, like “All Apologies” by Nirvana and “Miss Jackson” by Outkast.
  • Vincent van Gogh was once commissioned to do a painting for Sorry Day called “The Sorry Night” but somewhere along the line, the translation got mixed up. As he was not a Canadian, he never did apologize.
  • Even when us Canadians do silly things like lose data on 500,000 of our citizens or, like, chug 8 beers and swim to Detroit, we always make sure to apologize. And after that, all is forgiven. Always.
  • The official board game of National Sorry Day is the board game “Sorry.” Obviously. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Top 10 Bouquets to Keep that Summer Feeling Alive

Gorgeous Gerberas.

Before you know it, Labour Day will be gone and done, the kids will be heading back to school, and the leaves will be changing colour. 

Yep, though it may not quite feel like it yet, summer’s almost gone. Fear not though, it’s easy to keep that summer feeling alive with some of these amazing bouquets from Bloomex. Whether buying them yourself or sending to a friend or loved one, these bright arrangements will certainly be appreciated.

 Gorgeous Gerberas ON SALE - $24.95 - Our popular Gorgeous Gerbera Bouquet is bright and colourful, an echo of summer sunshine that will warm up your fall days. Features 6 large beautiful assorted colour gerbera daisies with filler greens.

Splendid Spring ON SALE - $19.99 – Okay, technically this bouquet is called Splendid Spring, but we think it’s just dandy for summer.This lovely pastel arrangement feels bright and fresh, featuring a mix of fresh flowers such as pink spray roses and alstroemeria, yellow carnations and lavender cushion chrysanthemums.

Rainbow Gerbera Bouquet
Here's To You Bouquet
Rainbow GerberaBouquet - $34.95 – Nothing says summer like a gorgeous rainbow poking through a sun shower, and this bouquet is certainly reflective of the pure joy that denotes. Features an array of ten multi-coloured Gerbera Daisies.

Citrus Kissed - $39.95 – Like freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot sunny day, this bright and cheerful bouquet is a summer sensation.Dark orange, coral and orange roses, light yellow carnations, yellow button spray chrysanthemums and greens. It's a kiss of summer!

Sunshine Sunflowers
Here’s to You - $39.99 – Made up of brilliant yellow roses, red gerberas and miniature carnations and yellow button spray chrysanthemums,this gorgeous mix of bright colours is perfect for bringing a splash of colour into a gloomy, chilly fall day.

Sweetheart Bouquet - $44.95 – This elegant, vibrant display features the brightness of lilies and red roses that’s sure to add a bold dash of colour to any room.

Sunshine Sunflowers - $49.95 – “Sunshine came softly, through my window today...” It may be 40+ years since Donovan sang those words, but this bouquet will take you right back to those halcyon days.  

Sunshine & Sparkles
Celestial LiliesBouquet - $69.95 –Granted, the colours have a slightly autumn hue to them, but the tones are still so bright that they could just as easily suggest the colours of the hot sun rather than the changing leaves. Features an amazing 20 blooms of assorted Asiatic lilies complemented with 2 stems of white daisies.

Sprarkles and Smiles - $84.95 - An amazing array of 7 red gerberas, 2 yellow lilies, 2 orange lilies, 6 purple delphiniums, 4 yellow solidago presented with filler flowers and fresh greens. So many bright colours, perfect to bring a ray of light into any darkened room.

Blue and White Joy
Blue and White Joy - $84.95 - Bold and breathtaking, this arrangement features 12 amazing White Calla Lily blooms, complimented by 3 Delphinium stems.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Brand new flowers open house in Guelph

Now this is cool:

The University of Guelph (in Ontario) is known for its agriculture programs, and apparently you can add botany to that as well.

This Guelph Mercury article outlines some of the new types of flowers developed that the public was recently invited to come check out.

The article touches on a few of the highlights:

"Echinacea in salsa red or hot coral, petunias with tiny blooms that grow in a tidy mound, cosmos with a double bloom — these are a few of the eye-catchers on display at the trial garden open house Tuesday afternoon.

"This 'flash mob bluerific' petunia jumps out at me," said Rodger Tschanz, manager of the trial garden. "It's vigorous and stands up well to the weather. So many petunias have died because of the wet conditions early in the summer.""
It's cool that people keep developing new types of flowers, and the development of more weather-hardy varieties could be a very positive development for florists and hobbyists alike for protection from extreme weather events.

What do you think? Know anyone that's developed their own varieties, and does this sort of development excite you?

Read the rest of the Guelph Mercury article here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

5 Amazing Foods to Send for Under $50

If you’re familiar with Bloomex, you know that flowers are our “bread and butter,” so to speak. But in recent years, we’ve expanded our offerings significantly, and we now feature lots of great food items to send that are sure to put a smile on the face of the recipient.

Whether you’re sending to someone with a serious sweet-tooth, or someone who’d appreciate a savory surprise, check out some of these options, available for delivery at your convenience.
Perfect for film buffs and movie
lovers, try our gourmet popcorn

Gourmet Organic Popcorn ($19.95): Perfect for the movie-lover in your life, Bloomex’s gourmet popcorn comes in three delicious varieties: Buttery, White Cheese and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. Comes in a collectable, reusable can with a handle.

Deluxe Vanilla/Chocolate Cake ($49.99): Can’t be there for a family member or friends’ birthday celebrations? Imagine the surprise when they open the box and find a delicious, homemade chocolate or vanilla cake. But these aren’t limited to birthdays – personalize them for any occasion, and as Marie Antoinette (allegedly, and probably not actually) once said, “Let them eat cake!”

Lobster (2 for $44.95): Yes, lobster! Send fresh, flash frozen lobster from our maritime facility in Halifax to
Send lobster with Bloomex
straight from our Halifax
facility to anywhere in Canada.
anywhere in the country. You’ll definitely score points for creativity, and it’s a gift that the recipient will certainly remember.
Large Assorted Chocolates ($39.95): Mmmm…. Chocolate. This large box is an amazing mix of soft centers, cherry cordials, crisps, nuts and chews covered in specially blended chocolate. And at a full pound, it should keep the recipient busy for a while… or depending on how quickly addicted they get to the chocolates, maybe not!

Assorted Cookies ($19.95): Whether you’re in the doghouse or just want to express your appreciation, a full pound of assorted cookies should do the trick. Great tasting, free of preservatives, and really, who doesn’t enjoy the odd cookie or 12?

Friday, August 16, 2013

A tour of North America's "Rose Cities"

“The Rose City,” or some variation thereof, just sounds cool and inviting. Maybe a little too much, as there are likely at least a dozen places that lay claim to the name in the United States alone, and more in Canada. Let’s take a little tour of all of them, and please let us know if we’ve missed one in the comments below…

Portland, Oregon - The City of Roses OR Rose City: Probably the most well-known “Rose City,” the gorgeous hipster haven of Portland hosts an annual Rose Festival, has an NBA arena called The Rose Garden, and a womens soccer team named the Portland Thorns.

Little Rock, Arkansas - The City of Roses: A traditional nickname for Arkansas’ largest city, origins seemingly unknown.
Portland, Oregon is among many "Rose Cities"
in North America (image from here)

Chico, California - City of Roses: Also known as the City of Trees, or more notably, Ryan from the OC’s hometown. (oops, that's Chino. Classic mix-up.)

Pasadena, California - The City of Roses: Host of the annual Rose Bowl Parade and Rose Bowl college football game. We’ll allow it.

Pana, Illinois - City of Roses: Pana is a small city of about 5,500 in central Illinois, and came to be known as the City of Roses due to the high amount of greenhouses that set up in the area.

Madison, New Jersey - The Rose City: According to the New York Times, this city of about 15,000  was nicknamed the Rose City because of a 19th-century rose-growing industry started by wealthy residents drawn to Madison by its location on the Morris & Essex train line." Alright then.

Springfield, Ohio - Rose City or City of Roses: Since Springfield is the most common city and town name in the United States, one would imagine that having a nickname is kind of helpful in setting your Springfield apart from all the other Springfields. A quick search reveals little about how this state capital of Illinois came to get its nickname. Know the answer? Let us know in the comments, please!

Lancaster, Pennsylvania - The Red Rose City: Lancaster is home to about 60,000 residents and lies in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It got its nickname from the House of Lancaster in England, whose symbol was a red rose.

Chehalis, Washington - Rose City: This small city of about 7,300  is located about halfway between the two largest cities in the USA’s Pacific Northwest, Seattle and Portland. It adopted the “Rose City” nickname in 2000, and despite some rumblings of changing to the Friendly City a few years back, they decided to stick with what’s worked.

Lovell, Wyoming - The Rose Town of Wyoming/The Rose City: The town of Lovell has 2,360 residents, which basically qualifies it as a metropolis in the context of Wyoming. According to the town’s website “Dr. William Watts Horsley came to Lovell in the 1920's.  As one of the foremost authorities in the United States on roses, he found the climate in Lovell to be exceptional for growing this flower and began to create rose gardens.”
Norwich, Connecticut - Rose City or The Rose of New England: This city of about 40,000 has a large rose garden, and a newspaper called the Norwich Rose.

Camrose, Alberta - The Rose City: A stunning town in Alberta, Camrose earned its nickname due to the large number of wild roses that grow in the area.  

Welland, Ontario - The Rose City: Nestled in Ontario’s beautiful Niagara region, this blue-collar city of 50,000 has an official rose and a yearly Rose Festival.

Windsor, Ontario – the City of Roses: With about 300,000 residents and situated across the river from Detroit, Windsor is a hard-working city with a whimsical nickname. According to this page, “The “City of Roses” nickname arose …  quite simply because Windsorites are so fond of their rose beds. At one point there were so many rose beds planted and cultivated within the city limits… that the air itself carried a faint rose scent throughout the city.” Thanks to a provincial ban on pesticides, though, there are far less rose beds than there once were.

Say, in the mood to buy some roses after reading that? Check out the Rose Page at!