A natural Christmas tree eventually loses its needles, but giving it daily drinks of water will dramatically slow the process.
Unfortunately, you can’t do the same with a natural Christmas wreath.
But here’s the next-best thing: seal in the wreath’s moisture using hairspray, which acts like glue and holds the needles on.
To avoid any messes, do the spraying before you hang the wreath on a door, window or wall.
The result will be a wreath that looks shiny, green and full throughout the holiday season.
We typically think of the North Pole when it comes to Christmas, but the most popular holiday plant originates with our neighbor to the south.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
In fact, Poinsett’s death in 1851 is commemorated every Dec. 12 as National Poinsettia Day.
Some other facts:
Our annual book drive — Bouquets for Books — returns Nov. 1-9 to collect new children’s books for Bexley Public Library, Delaware County District Libraries, and Southwest Public Libraries.
Here are the wish lists as provided by the libraries:
Bexley Public Library
We would prefer the following (in hardback if possible):
Popular series books:
Junie B. Jones
Any graphic novels:
Any books with the following popular characters:
Dora the Explorer
Bob the Builder
Thomas the Tank Engine
Any Superheroes (Spiderman, Batman, etc.)
Delaware County District Libraries
Any books in these series:
Pete the Cat, by Eric Litwin
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
Splat the Cat, by Rob Scotton
Fly Guy, by Tedd Arnold
Janitors, by Tyler Whitesides
Elephant and Piggie, by Mo Willems
Anything by these authors:
Southwest Public Libraries
Wish list not received
The final Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event of 2013 combines “boos” and bouquets.
In all Connells Maple Lee stores on Oct. 26, children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a small mum basket and will receive a free balloon.
The event will celebrate Halloween and our annual “Bouquets for Books” book drive to benefit area public libraries. Participants are asked to bring a new children’s book as the price of admission.
Time slots are available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Registration is required by calling one of our Columbus-area stores: 2408 E. Main St. (Route 40), Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.
For more information about the kids club, visit www.cmlflowers.com/kidsclub.
Make a mental bookmark for Nov. 1-9.
That’s when our annual “Bouquets for Books” book drive returns to collect new children’s books for area public libraries.
It’s really simple – and rewarding – for you to help out.
Just bring a new book to any of our stores during the event, and you will receive a free bouquet (up to three bouquets per family per visit, while supplies last).
The poet and writer Gertrude Stein was wrong.
A rose is a rose is a rose, she said.
If she meant to suggest that all roses are alike, then she was wrong.
We’d like to introduce you to the Corazon rose. It’s unlike any other rose we sell. Don’t get us wrong, we love them all, no matter the variety. But they aren’t one and the same.
Which is why it’s going to take some educating in order for our customers to appreciate what sets Corazon apart from other rose varieties.
First, let’s start with the name: Corazon. It’s pronounced coh-rah-SOHN, and it means “heart” in Spanish.
Corazon only comes in red.
It is grown in Quito, Ecuador, high in the Andes Mountains, approximately 2,800 miles south of Harrisburg.
But a lot of flowers are grown in Quito, including other varieties of roses.
So what’s special about Corazon?
• Its bloom opens fully, like a garden rose
• Its bloom is extra large: almost 5 inches across
• Its petals re-curl at the margins, giving Corazon a classic look
• It lasts a long time: seven days given proper care.
Corazon was a blue-ribbon winner at the Society of American Florists’ most recent convention.
What’s more, Corazon is exclusive to Connells Maple Lee. No other florist in our market area can carry Corazon.
Tom Royer, our senior vice president and chief operating officer, has been making regular trips to flower farms in South America for decades. You’d expect that it takes a lot to impress him, right?
Color him impressed – the color red, of course – when it comes to Corazon.
“Number one, it’s the head size,” Tom said. “They’re incredible. The color is just absolutely gorgeous. And it looks like you cut the rose out of your garden.
“It’s all about the characteristics of the rose. Even though it opens quickly, it lasts a long time. I was shocked how long.”
Of course, what gives Corazon its unique appeal also makes for a unique challenge in getting customers to embrace it.
“It’s a test for us,” Tom said. “It’s exciting because it’s a different type of rose. Hopefully it will go really well and people will be mad at us because we don’t have enough of them.”
Nat King Cole gave us “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.”
The Connells Maple Lee Kids Club added “daisy” to the rhyming pattern with its Aug. 17 event. Available in each of our stores, the free event gave children ages 5 to 12 an opportunity to make a Sweet Summer Daisy Bowl arrangement.
The kids club’s final 2013 event is on Oct. 26, when all stores will celebrate Halloween and our annual “Bouquets for Books” book drive to benefit local libraries. We’ll provide more details in the weeks to come.
“Where will I wander and wonder?
But wherever I`m going I`ll go
In search of a Rose”
–From the song “In Search of a Rose” by The Waterboys
Just after Labor Day, Tom Royer is going in search of a certain type of rose.
“We don’t want a rose,” said Tom, Connells Maple Lee’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We want a rose. We want the best rose and that’s what we need to do to be competitive in our business, is find the best of the best.
“We pride ourselves in doing that. Our flowers last longer, they’re bigger. We constantly have to be looking at all the things that are available to us to make what we do in the flower business better than what anybody else does.”
Tom, who visits flower farms in South America multiple times each year, will be returning to Quito, Ecuador, to meet with three or four rose growers (and a lily grower).
In some ways, this is nothing new. Tom is always in pursuit of better-looking, longer-lasting flowers.
“I’m constantly looking at farms,” Tom said. “It’s just now that the focus has been more on Ecuadoran roses.”
Specifically, he is looking for roses that have bigger head sizes, consistently. It costs more to ship fresh-cut roses from Quito than from Bogota, Colombia, the single-biggest source of Connells Maple Lee roses.
“So all things being equal, why would you buy from Quito?” Tom said.
“Well, Ecuadoran roses have always had a little bigger head size, and we’re focusing more and more on that.”
While its farms are capable of growing roses comparable to what is found in Quito, Bogota experiences more rain and clouds that can be detrimental to head size.
One of the growers that Connells Maple Lee buys from in Colombia also operates farms in Quito.
“And so we’re getting some of their Ecuadoran farm’s (roses)” and comparing with the ones from Bogota. “And the thing you see is the head size is bigger.”
Tom’s trip will help him determine which one or two farms in Quito he will work with.
“But we’re experimenting with them because you can’t just get a shipment and say, oh, OK, great, this is wonderful or it’s terrible. One shipment doesn’t tell the story. You have to do it over a number of months.”
And even then it’s a never-ending process.
“But wherever I`m going I`ll go
In search of a Rose”
Wherever he’s going, Tom is in search of a rose, too. The best rose he can find.
Our second annual Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger event collected 114 pounds of non-perishable food and $24 in cash donations for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
The number of pounds represented a 37 percent increase from the event’s first year.
From June 21-29, we asked customers to bring food items to any of our stores. For each food item, they received a free carnation, up to a maximum of six carnations per family per visit.
We are grateful for the generosity of customers such as you.
It’s getting to be back-to-school time, but the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club isn’t letting go of summer easily.
For the next free kids club event, on Aug. 17, children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a Sweet Summer Daisy Bowl arrangement. Participants also will receive a balloon.
Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Registration is required by calling one of Connells Maple Lee’s Columbus-area stores: 2408 E. Main St. (Route 40), Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.
For more information about Connells Maple Lee’s Kids Club, visit www.cmlflowers.com/kidsclub.