Posts Tagged ‘EAST OF ELIZA’

Happy Monday everyone!

It’s finally winter here in Toronto and with the end of the One of a Kind Show, you know that there’s only 19 more days until Christmas. Eeek!  So my list is out and the first thing I need to do is decorate my house.  I asked Nicola to help me out and here is a DIY for one of her amazing winter urns.  Cheers!

Now is the time to create a beautiful outdoor urn or pot, this way you will get to enjoy it before and after Christmas. Remember, to create this look you will need to put quite a few elements in, otherwise once that first heavy snowfall comes it will just droop from the weight and fall apart.

If your pot is sitting outside and is already frozen, you could try putting it in a heated garage for a couple of days or if it isn’t too heavy bring it inside to thaw out.

What you will need:



2 bunches of dogwood

2 bunches of pine

1 bunch of variegated oregonia

1 bunch of magnolia

3 large pine cones

2 bunches of birch stars

Garden clippers


Here are a few simple steps to follow.

  • First fill your urn with soil, tightly packed.
  • Lay all your elements out so that you can see exactly what you have to play with.

  • Start with your sticks if this is going to be your focal point, and place them at an angle that pleases you.

  • Secondly cut your pine as this is going to act as your trailing element, and place it around the edge of the urn.

  • Don’t waste any pieces as they can all go into your urn to use as your stabilizer – they won’t be seen once everything else goes in.
  • Next add your variegated oregonia – this will be placed in an upright position as your next layered level.

  • Next are the magnolia branches which I have left nice and long so they sit above the oregonia.

  • Make sure as you are placing each of the elements that you are pushing them into the soil firmly so that they stay in position.
  • After that you can place your birch stars in a nice group to one side and your wired pine cones on the other side.
  • To wire your cones so they are secure, wrap gardeners wire around the thicker end of the cone, and anchor it to one of the branches.

With all my leftover pieces I was able to create a small piece that hangs by my front door. There are so many lovely elements that you can use, but if you are doing this for the first time, try to keep it simple and have a plan before you start or it might seem a little overwhelming. Or start with a nice basket that hangs on your fence, you can fill it with winter greens, moss and faux berries.

Drop by East of Eliza for all of the pieces you’ll need.  We have a whole garden full of Christmas greens, outdoor decorations and wreaths and we can help guide you with everything you need to know on how to make one of these urns yourself.

Nicola Bishop



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I’ve been following Reed Russell for over 20 years in the Beach.  As a florist, there really is no other that I’ve come across, who is as passionate about what she does. To say that Reed takes floral design to another level is an understatement.  She not only has an incredible gift as a florist and is in my opinion, an artist, but she cares deeply about the happiness and satisfaction of the people that are her loyal customers.

I remember a beautiful arrangement that Reed made for a friend who had a new baby.  It was a gorgeous arrangement of blue, purple and white flowers which I don’t remember exactly what type, but what I do remember is that my friend called me to find out where I had it made because it lasted for 3 weeks!  That’s the quality you are guaranteed at East of Eliza.  Reed hand picks all of her flowers and plants.  None of that, bouquets wilting after 2 days, stuff.

As a perfectionist, Reed trains her staff to be as knowledgeable and demanding of themselves as she does of herself and this shows with the roster of clients she has gathered, i.e. The Governor General, the film industry – The Time Travelers Wife, various corporate and residential clients as well. Educating customers is key to the East of Eliza staff and it’s very common for customers to come into the shop for advice. In Reed’s own words,”nothing makes me happier than to turn a customer into a gardener”.

Walking into East of Eliza is like walking into a cornucopia of floral delights. Besides the beautiful selection of cut flowers, East of Eliza makes spectacular Four-Season Urns.  If you’ve seen any while out in the Beach area; they were probably made by Reed and her staff.  And the beautiful wreaths she had this year for Christmas were to die for. East of Eliza, also has a wonderful garden centre, called “The Secret Garden” where you will find the most unique annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, herbs and more.

East of Eliza is open all year round.  Not only will you find the best quality and most beautiful flowers and plants, but you will also find reasonable and competitive prices!

Now’s the time to plan your garden.  So what are you waiting for?  East of Eliza is working on a website, but in the meantime give Reed a call now or stop by for a chat!

East of Eliza is located at 1960 Gerrard St. E. (at Woodbine Ave) •416-691-8038


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Flower Power – Dahlias

Dahlia flowers are beloved for their vibrant colours and bold shapes. They are grown in many gardens and allotments all over the city, and make an appearance in flower stores at this time of year. There are many ways to use dahlias from gift giving to wedding corsages, bouquets, boutonnières, and centrepieces or in your own home.

I recently came across dinner plate dahlias for the first time, and like the name says they are the size of dinner plates, and unbelievably beautiful. Needless to say the one bloom is sufficient on it’s own in a vase, or if you have a very large vase you could stagger the cutting length and have a few on show.

Dahlias were first discovered by tribes in Central Mexico around 1550 and rediscovered by a man named Andreas Dahl, who named these flowers Dahlias. Popularity increased in the 1800s and thousands of varieties were documented. At first dahlia tubers were used as food crop to supplement potatoes but later it was decided they were more suited for decoration rather than food.

Gardeners new to growing dahlia flowers can experiment.  If you have no luck with one variety then try another, especially if they are grown as annuals. Although they are grown as annuals, the bulbs can be dug up shortly after the first frost, dried out for a couple of days and stored away and then replanted in the spring time.

Weddings with dahlias are growing more popular, and last weekend at the store, we put together some lovely centerpieces for a wedding.  Here are the photos we took:

Nicola Bishop works at East of Eliza


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