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My Secret Place Among The Roses

Growing up can be tough. Though I was blessed to have an amazing childhood, there are many emotions you cannot live without experiencing. The bittersweet hurt of a crush on a boy who does not feel the same can seem like the end of the world to a young girl. Luckily, I had a hiding place where I could really find the truth I was looking for: truth by the ole’ “he loves me; he loves me not” game.

Stopping to Smell the Roses…

Red RosesMy mom worked hard on her roses in the backyard, so to really know the truth about my 7 th grade love, I had to be sneaky. I would walk outside in my backyard. So what did I do? I would venture to my Secret Place in my own backyard, using an arbor in the back corner. It was decorated with mom’s prize roses, and sat right beside the roof. After finding a spot where my hands could get a good grip (without thorns), I could pull myself up on top of the arbor.

The best view of the sunset was just over the trees, and I was almost there. There, I would gather as many petals my hands could hold and I would begin my climb quietly onto the roof. My mother was always a stickler to my climbing routines; being caught was not an option. As I reached the peak, I could slow down. I had reached my destination.

A Whole New World

My Secret Place might have been on the rooftop of my house in small-town Lonoke, Arkansas, but from the view of  the peak, I was in another world. I was Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind.” I was Elizabeth in “Pride and Prejudice.” Most importantly I was a rebel without a cause. I would spend hours on the peak watching the sun slowly make its way down the sky for the night. Those were times I did not need music. I could create it in my head, humming while rubbing rose petals between my thumb and index finger repeating “he loves me; he loves me not” until the results came out to my liking.

Before the sun fell to darkness, I would slowly make my way down the roof. Giving the rose petals one more squeeze, I would release them with all the left-over stress of middle school, and head for the door.

My Secret Place Today

Several years down the road, I was graduating, my parents were moving to Dallas, TX and my house would be put up for sale. Of all the memories I have from growing up in that house the one thing I miss the most is my mother’s prize roses, and the lessons they taught me. I should not be picking apart flowers, but receiving them instead. The wait was well worth the love I have now.

Are there flowers that remind you of home? Recreate old memories by planting them, buying them for yourself or sending to a friend. Memories can last a lifetime; it just takes someone or something to rekindle the spark.

This Father’s Day, I’m Sending Dad Flowers

Always A Daddy's GirlThe scent of roses at a fresh market or at the table of a nice restaurant sends me back to Valentine’s Day in third grade when I received my first bouquet of roses. Psychologists believe that specific words can evoke certain emotions in the reader. A simple word like “smile” can make one think of a sunny day in the park. I believe flowers can do the same. Red roses remind me of my first hand delivered bouquet of flowers.

Always Daddy’s Little Girl

The bouquet was given to me by the most important man in my life, my father. Dad was a pilot for Children’s Hospital when I was younger. His usual mornings started at 5:30am, when I was long asleep in my bed in the next room. On this particular morning I heard the blow dryer, part of my mom’s usual morning beauty routine, and the coffee maker’s sizzling drops. To my disappointment, I did not hear Dad come in and say goodbye.

Mom woke me up with her usual perky singing of the “Green Acres Theme Song.” I asked for my usual five more minutes, but that day Mom quickly flicked on the overhead light. She jumped out of the doorway to reveal my Daddy holding a bouquet of twelve beautiful roses. I can still feel my cheeks cramping from the delighted smile.

Roses for Father's Day“I will always be your Valentine…”

He knelt beside my bed and whispered in my ear, “I will always be your Valentine. No matter who walks into or out of your life; remember that.” After eleven years, Dad still sends me a bouquet of a dozen roses each year. The sight of a bouquet takes me back to that morning.

This Father’s Day, I’m sending Dad flowers.

It’s your turn to start a new tradition in your family. Deliver your next memory with the help of your local florist.

An Extra Special Valentine’s Day Delivery

Story of Eternal RomanceIf this tender story of love and romance doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, I don’t know what will.

“My sweet husband, John, and I were married for 46 years. Each Valentine’s Day, he’d send me the most beautiful flowers containing  a note with five simple words, ‘My love for you grows.’ Four children, 46 bouquets and a lifetime of love were his legacy to me when he passed away two years ago.

“On my first Valentine’s Day alone, 10 months after I lost him, I was shocked to receive a gorgeous bouquet addressed to me… from John. Angry and heartbroken, I called the florist to say there had been a mistake. The florist replied, ‘No ma’am, it’s not a mistake. Before he passed away, your husband prepaid for many years and asked us to guarantee that you’d continue getting bouquets every Valentine’s Day.’ With my heart in my throat, I hung up the phone and read the attached card. It said, ‘My love for you is eternal.’

What an amazing story of eternal love. This Valentine’s Day, why not start your flower traditions? Your local florist would be happy to take care of you, this year and for the many more to come.

Valentine's Day Precious Purple Valentine's Day Flowers Valentines Day Flowers

I saw this photo being passed around the internet and had to share it with our readers. If you know what magazine (or what florist) this story came from, we would be happy to add the credit.

Every Person Has A Story, Let Us Tell Yours With Flowers

What’s your story? What are the biggest accomplishments in your life? You don’t have to be an astronaut to have a great story. It could be your faithful devotion to gardening, crafts or family. It could be your love of hobbies like scrapbooking, reading or climbing mountains. What story do you want to tell?

High StyleIf you’re having friends over, throwing a party, or just want a little pick-me-up for yourself, why not let your florist to tell the story through flowers? Most floral designers are very creative and would love the challenge of interpreting your story through color, flowers and accessories.

These custom arrangements don’t have to be over-the-top or huge, but the subtle, creative ways flowers are arranged can tell more of a story than you might expect.

Here are some examples:

Yoga Guru – A yoga teacher wants to have a very special class with her students. She asks her florist to create something to tell the story of yoga through flowers. The florist creates something like the arrangement to the right. The bamboo-like Equisetum adds an Eastern quality to this arrangement and the way it’s standing tall and used bent reminds viewers of the flexing yoga poses.

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Flower Names For A Memorial Garden

Ask The Expert: “We are planning a memory garden, and have been looking for planets with their names or there names in them. It doesn’t matter about perennial or not. We live in Waco, TX, and it gets very hot here in the summers will into the 100s. The names are Jacob or Jake

Flower Shop Network Expert Reply:

Jacobs Ladder PolemoniumWhat a wonderful idea to choose specific flowers based on the names of those you are memorializing. Here are a few suggestions:

  • A rose name Jacob’s Robe. It is a Weeks Rose climber with large multi-color (yellow & peach blushing pinky red) flowers good for full sun areas.
  • A type of Polemonium known as Jacob’s Ladder.  It is an upright blue flower good for shade or part sun areas.
  • Acalypha wilkesiana known as Jacob’s Coat which is a plant with coppery-green leaves.  It is hardy only in zone 10-11.
  • Asphodelus luteus known as Jacob’s Rods. It is a perennial hardy up to zone 6 with yellow blooms and likes full sun.

With thousands of flower species and cultivars available, it’s not too hard to find the names of a loved one or friend. Creating a memory garden is a very good way to remember and stay close to the memories of the departed. You might also choose flowers for your garden based on flower meanings that may be appropriate.

Florist Helps Couple Celebrate 65th Anniversary

This incredibly sweet story was shared with us by Maryjane’s Flowers & Gifts, Berlin NJ.

65th Wedding Anniversary Dance

Being a florist is a very fulfilling job because you get to help people celebrate the most important and special occasions in their life. That was just the case for Sandra Hooper of Maryjane’s Flowers & Gifts in Berlin NJ. She was asked to help a couple at an assisted living center celebrate their 65th (no, not a typo!) wedding anniversary.

Original Wedding Photo Wedding Portrait

Sandra was given a copy of their wedding portrait and was able to copy the original wedding bouquet almost exactly. What memories that must have stirred up!

Wedding Bouquet Remake Beautiful Bride With Vintage Replica Bouquet

Here you can see the beautiful bride and her wedding bouquet remake of the original. “She said it couldn’t have matched it better!!!”
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Florist Stories: First Day, 100 Roses & The Rolling Stones

This Florist Story was shared with us by Angelique, The FlowerGurl of Cottage Flowers & Gifts in Pasadena TX.

Red Roses

“It all started when I was a sophomore in high school. My Aunt used to run a floral shop in town. Back in the day, the shops use to close at 10:00 pm. My Parents use to make me go after school to the floral shop to keep my Aunt company so that she would not be there by herself. I would walk to the floral shop after school and listen to the radio and or TV, while at the same time doing my homework, and spending time with my Aunt. I would finish my homework and sit there just watching my Aunt do these amazing things with flowers. I would ask her, how in the heck can you come out with something like that from all that? I was intrigued by it all.

Puttin’ On The Ritz

I knew nothing about flowers. I liked them, I loved receiving them, but what she could do out of nothing at all was beyond me. So needless to say I spent a lot of time with my Aunt and watched her do all these beautiful designs that I just had to try it one day. Well from just watching and observing all that time, I surprised myself. I could not believe, nor did my Aunt, I could actually wrap some flowers in pretty paper and make them look so pretty. Well from there I moved on to bigger things like dressing plants and greening her vases. I figured if having the concept of greening a vase was so easy, then I can take the next step of puttin on the ritz.

Well she walked me through it, and to my amazement, I did it again. I could actually design flowers in a manner that it sold within an hour. I was so pleased that it just made me want to try harder. My Aunt said that I had it in me all the time. Who knows, maybe I did? Her Boss liked what I did and hired me to start work the next day.

The First Day & All of It’s Surprises

I was so excited cause I got to run the shop all by myself. I had an interesting visitor that night. This hippie-looking guy walks in and wants to buy all the red roses we had on-hand. I called my Aunt right away and told her what the guy wanted. She told me to go ahead and give him a good price and let him buy what he wanted. He bought all 4 bunches (100) we had on hand. Before he left he handed me two tickets to the Rolling Stones concert that was taking place that same night. Oh to my surprise, he was one of the members of the band!

Memories I’ll Never Forget

So sad I was unable to attend the concert, but I still have the tickets as a souvenir. My Aunt has moved on, and so have I. She is and will always be my mentor. I am the owner/designer of my own Floral Shop and I have my Aunt to thank for showing me the knowledge. She is now retired and we call her the Retired Floral Critic. That she is, because every time I send her flowers through a wire service (she lives out of town) yep, she sure does call me, to let me know, yea or nea.

I have been in business for over 15 years, and still love it like I did the first time I laid my eyes on those beautiful blooms.”

– Angelique The FlowerGurl

Whether you are a florist or someone who just loves flowers, we want to hear your story. Use our Share Your Story page to submit yours today!

The Importance of Your Local Florist

Importance of Local Florists

A florist is so much more than a person who delivers flowers. They are stewards of life’s celebrations and most important occasions. Betsy Hall of Hall’s Flower Shop & Garden Center in Stone Mountain GA really says it best in this clip from the 2012 Great Lakes Expo interview with FSN’s Brock Atwill. Truly a must-see!

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In Loving Memory of Amaryllis

Amaryllis | Hippeastrum

Today’s exceptional post was shared with us by Olivia Nicholas, a writer and a busy mom. She is always happy to share her passion for life and experiences through her work.

I’ve never been sure what made me remember Grandmother’s amaryllis obsession when autumn first began to turn the leaves this year. It could have been a flash of scarlet fabric seen from the corner of my eye, or maybe a stately bell-shaped flower struggling to carry on its existence despite the slow creep of cold weather. Whatever the case, I found myself driving to the local greenhouse one day instead of going directly home as I usually did after work. The clerk was very helpful, directing me to the perennial bulb section and setting me up with flower pots, soil, and everything else necessary to cultivate and continue my grandmother’s flower legacy. Excited, I got to work as soon as I got home.

The feel of the amaryllis bulbs in my hand and the rich smell of potting soil evoked even more memories of planting flowers at my grandparents’ home. Like my grandmother herself, amaryllis is a winter beauty, as dainty and gorgeous as it is tough and hardy; both thrive in cold weather and wilt in the heat. In my mind, the two of them had always been synonymous, especially since my grandmother was also called Amaryllis.

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Get Out, Get Inspired! Visit Your Local Botanic Garden

If you need a boost of creativity this summer, get out to your local botanic garden. If you’re a florist, or just a flower-lover, there are huge benefits to visiting gardens FULL of summer beauty.

Inspiration At Botanical GardensGet In The Mood For Summer – The gardens will definitely put you in the right mood for the season. The vivid colors of the flowers and the incredible variety you will see will certainly set you on a course for inspiration.

Be Impressed – At a botanic garden, you will see dozens, if not hundreds of unique flowers, plants and trees that you probably have never even heard of before. The surprise is, they are actually growing in your area! (It’s always astonishing to me to see just what’s possible in my area with a little love and some hard work.)

Keep Track of Creativity – Most botanic gardens divide their grounds into several themed smaller gardens, such as butterfly gardens, four seasons gardens, Japanese gardens, etc. These can be very inspirational. Carry a journal along with your camera to keep track of color patterns you see, creative use of flower pairs, and anything else than inspires you.

I am fortunate enough to live close to the Memphis Botanic Garden, which offers visitors 96 acres of small gardens and trails, thousands of flowers, but also thousands of unique trees. That is one thing to keep in mind when visiting the gardens — Look Up!

With 152 different species of trees, the Memphis Botanic Garden is classified as a Level IV Arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. This Level IV designation makes the Garden one of four in the state and the only one in West Tennessee. “We estimate there are at least 2000 trees in the Garden – with lots of duplicates,” says Adult Education Manager Laurie Williams.
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