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Front and center for the holidays

Festive centerpieces add the final touch to your holiday table

Posted: November 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Thanksgiving centerpieces from Steve’s Valencia Florist ranging from $40-$75.

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With Thanksgiving in the wings and Christmas coming on its heels, your home may already be taking on the appropriate seasonal décor in everything from dishes to table runners to candles and more. And, while all this will help move your spirits in the direction of “cheer,” there is nothing like the beauty and aroma of living floral arrangements to seal the deal.

With this in mind, we called on Jan Hanauer, co-owner, and Phil Nowakowski, floral designer, at Steve’s Valencia Florist.

Steve’s can provide you with a wide selection of attractive “pre-designed” holiday floral arrangements from FTD and Teleflora, which you can check out on the website and order online.

However, Hanauer recommends calling your order in or coming into the shop, as they can provide so many more options in customizing your centerpiece, and the personal communication will ensure you get exactly what you want.

“We like to talk to people,” she said. “We promote that they call us. That way there is no question.”

Additionally, phone or in-person orders eliminate the service charge that online purchases carry.

Anything goes
Hanauer said traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas color schemes are always popular, but these days anything goes.

“Any centerpiece can be done in any color scheme,” she said. “If your table is grape and cream, that’s what the centerpiece is. Everything is stylized to fit the customer’s needs.”

She said that people bring in napkins or plates that they want their arrangements to match and, sometimes, they bring in their own containers and Steve’s creates the flower arrangements in them.

Thanksgiving
“Most of the time, Thanksgiving arrangements are centerpieces for the dinner table or buffet table,” Hanauer said. And these really only need to last for a week to a week and a half.

Traditional, or typical, items found in such centerpieces include lilies, carnations, palm fronds, sunflowers, hydrangeas, roses and daisies, as well as greens.

You might also have mini-pumpkins, mini-gourds, seed pods, wheat stalks or cattails. And, of course, leaves in fall colors are always appropriate. Nontraditional items might include tulips or calla lilies.

Christmas
People send Christmas season flower arrangements all through December, Hanauer said. Consequently, these arrangements are generally longer-lasting than those intended for Thanksgiving. Typical items in a Christmas arrangement might include pine and cedar greenery, pompoms, carnations, cushions and roses — all of which are long-lasting. To this you might add pinecones, ribbon tufts, snow or a touch of glitter. Hanauer said non-traditional items would be “anything else.”

“Once you bring your Christmas arrangement into the home you have that wonderful pine smell — the instant ‘happy’ of Christmas,” Hanauer said.

She added that Steve’s offers a “really cool” sleigh arrangement from FTD. “And our little penguin arrangement is so cute. You can send that to somebody and make them smile.”

She explained that poinsettias are not found in arrangements because they come as plants, and don’t last as cut blooms. “We carry the top brand, Ecke Poinsettias,” she noted.

Care and placement
Hanauer said that, if you keep them watered, your Thanksgiving floral arrangements should last from late in the week before the holiday right through your celebration. You should also keep them in a cool location.

When it comes to Christmas arrangements, the greens of pine and cedar and such will last significantly longer. “They should last throughout the holiday season if you keep them watered,” she said. While the actual flowers will wilt over time, Hanauer said you just come in and buy replacements as needed.

It is a good idea to keep your arrangements away from your heater/air conditioning vents where hot or cold air  can blow on them.

You can also accessorize your centerpiece, Hanauer said. For Thanksgiving you can place extra fruit around it or flower heads. For Christmas it might be pine greenery or pinecones.

Fresh and fun
Steve’s has been in business for 37 years and knows how to serve your needs with the best products available.

“We deliver a very fresh product,” Hanauer said. “We go direct to the flower growers, and ours could be a couple days fresher than elsewhere.”

When you order your arrangements, you can come into the shop and pick them up, or Steve’s offers same-day delivery anywhere in the SCV for a $10 to $12 delivery charge. Steve’s will also deliver to outlying cities for a $15 to $20 delivery charge, including Pasadena, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and throughout Los Angeles.

Pre-designed Thanksgiving arrangements include cornucopias at $50, tall ceramic vase arrangements from $30 to $75, one-candle centerpieces at $30 and two-candle centerpieces from $45 to $60.

Predesigned Christmas offerings include wreaths ($66.99 and $79.99), a wide variety of centerpieces, sleigh bouquets ($50) and a whole lot more.

So, this year, consider a living floral centerpiece. As Nowakowski put it, the fragrance of living flower arrangements “adds the final touch to any holiday table.”

Steve’s can also provide gourmet baskets, chocolate baskets, champagne and fruit baskets and wine baskets. “We have a wine license so we can carry a full line of wines and champagnes,” Hanauer said. “And I have a book of just gourmet baskets that I do.”

Steve’s Valencia Florist is located at 23760 Lyons Ave., Newhall, CA 91321. Call (661) 287-3660 or visit the website at www.stevesvalenciaflorist.com.

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