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Our stores are accepting nonperishable food donations through June 30

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Amid the flowers, plants and gifts in our stores, this time of year you’ll also find a selection of food.

That’s because we’re in the midst of our annual Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger food drive to benefit the Neighborhood Services Inc. food pantry in Columbus.

From June 16-30, we’re collecting nonperishable food in each of our stores. For each item you donate, we’ll give you a free carnation, up to six per visit.

Please consider donating at our stores in Bexley, Grove City or Powell.

Snapshots from our June 16 Connells Kids Club event; see you again on Aug. 25

A big thanks to everyone who joined us for the June 16 Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event.

Not only was it a fun time, but it also helped us kick off our annual food drive, Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger, which runs through June 30.

We wish you a happy, safe summer and look forward to getting the gang back together for two more events this year: Aug. 25, when the theme will be fall, and Nov. 10, when we focus on our Bouquets for Books children’s book drive and our Holidays for Heroes card and coloring page drive for active and retired military members.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t officially joined the kids club, or if you have a friend of family member who might be interested, please click here for complete details.

Stems Hunger, our annual food drive, returns June 16-30

Our annual food drive – Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger – returns June 16-30.

Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger will benefit the nonprofit Neighborhood Services Inc., which operates the Choice Food Pantry at 1950 N. 4th St., Suite J, Columbus.

For the food drive, donors will receive a free carnation for each nonperishable food item they contribute (limit six per visit).

Donations may be dropped off during regular business hours at one of Connells Maple Lee’s stores: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.

Meanwhile, the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club is helping to kick off the food drive June 16 with an event in each store. Participants are asked to bring a food item as the price of admission. 

Our annual rose sale returns May 16-June 16

Roses are most closely associated with Valentine’s Day, but they are available year-round.

They’re a particularly good value in June thanks to the natural rose growing cycle, as evidenced by Connells Maple Lee’s annual rose sale, which coincides with National Rose Month in June.

This year’s sale runs May 16-June 16 with specials including:

  • Three roses added to any arrangement for $4;
  • One-dozen loose red, yellow, pink or rainbow roses for $15.99;
  • Two-dozen premium rose arrangement for $69.99 (normally $89.99).

A rose farm typically harvests its crop every six to eight weeks: conveniently, after the Valentine’s Day harvest comes the one for Mother’s Day. But while there’s another big crop of roses in late spring, there is not a corresponding holiday to absorb all those flowers.

Our rose sale taps into that abundant availability, which makes roses less expensive for us and, by extension, for you, our customers.

Connells Maple Lee’s primary rose variety is called Freedom, which makes a big impression with its deep color, size (flowers range from 5 to 7 centimeters across), and long vase life.

No matter the variety, roses have similar characteristics. However, care requirements can differ whether the roses arrive in a vase, loose or in a box, as these care tips explain.

Of course, with our annual rose sale, it’s a great time to give roses as a gift to someone else or to treat yourself.

Help kick off our food drive at June 16 Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event

Our annual food drive — Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger — returns June 16-30.

The Connells Maple Lee Kids Club will kick it off with an event June 16 in our three Columbus-area stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 are asked to bring a nonperishable food item as the price of admission.

They will have an opportunity to decorate their own pot and plant marigold seeds in it and to enter the kids club birthday card design contest (the winner receives a flower delivery on his or her birthday). Each participant also will receive a balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.

Connells Maple Lee Kids Club offers free St. Patrick’s Day event March 17

If you can’t have a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, then the next-best thing just might be a free Royer’s Kids Club event on March 17 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a St. Patrick’s Day arrangement and will receive a balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Because space is limited, we encourage you to call or visit your nearest store right away to register:

Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.

To join the kids club, click here.

Valentine’s Day: from field to front door

Whether you’re a planner or procrastinator, online or in-store shopper, you can expect the same high-quality product and customer service from Connells Maple Lee.

We really shine at Valentine’s Day. It’s our busiest time, and we enjoy the challenge of rising to the occasion. If a customer buys flowers once per year, it’s probably for Feb. 14. And with matters of the heart, the pressure really ramps up to deliver in a special way, for lovers and florists alike.

We handle a similar volume of orders during the Christmas season, but that’s over a month or longer. By comparison, the Valentine’s Day “season” squeezes a similar volume into several days.

FROM SOUTH AMERICA, WITH LOVE

But behind the scenes, Valentine’s Day is months in the making, and it takes us thousands of miles from our stores.

You see, we don’t just place a phone call and wait for roses to come to us. We go directly to the flower farms in South America, where we can see firsthand the crop that’s being grown just for our customers. This way we can make sure everything is to our satisfaction. If there are problems, then we have more time to correct them.

Once the Valentine’s Day crop is harvested, it is flown to Miami, where it is inspected by U.S. customs officials. From there, we move the flowers to a refrigerated tractor-trailer for their journey to our Grove City distribution center.

The flowers are either picked up by drivers from our stores or headed to another part of the building and our central design department.

CENTRAL DESIGN: THE HEART OF THE OPERATION

The demand is so great at Valentine’s Day that our stores simply can’t accommodate all the work. They get a big assist from central design, where a team of workers packs roses in boxes or turns them and other flowers into beautiful arrangements.

Whether you give or receive Valentine’s Day roses, or both, we want to make sure you get the most out of them. In fact, with the right amount of care, you should be able to keep your roses looking just rosy for a week.

Click here for specific care instructions, which differ depending on whether your roses arrived in a vase or loose in a box. Either way, it’s best to keep them cool and, of course, sufficiently watered.

From the farm to your front door, we love making Valentine’s Day special for our customers.

Thanks for letting us show you how.

Connells Maple Lee Kids Club offering four more events in 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined us Jan. 20 for the first of five kids club events planned for 2018.

Be sure to mark your calendars as you won’t want to miss these upcoming events:

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day theme

June 16: Stems Hunger food drive/Fourth of July

Aug. 25: Fall

Nov. 10: Bouquets for Books/Holidays for Heroes

Kids club events are open to children ages 5 to 12. To get the most out of the kids club, it’s best to register for it here or by stopping by any of our stores.

You’ll receive a membership card and Buds, our quarterly email kids club newsletter, which will tell you about opportunities to win prizes and support our charitable events.

We look forward to seeing you soon at another fun, free kids club event!

We’re bringing ‘shabby chic’ to Columbus Weddings Show, Jan. 13-14

The HGTV series “Property Brothers” always starts with a couple oohing and aahing over a gorgeous home that, ultimately, they can’t afford.

Never fear, the twin-brother hosts help the couple find a fixer-upper that affordably mimics their dream home.

That dynamic is not unlike some prospective brides who come to us with photos of gorgeous photos they’ve found on Pinterest. Sometimes the flowers in those photos are more expensive than a wedding budget will allow.

Jill Elmore, Connells Maple Lee’s bridal consultant, is OK with that. She wants to know what brides envision for their dream wedding. If she ultimately must bring them back to reality, she said, she can do that.

Jill will bring that philosophy with her to the Columbus Weddings Show, Jan. 13-14 at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th St. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

You’ll find Jill and her Connells Maple Lee colleagues in Booth 102.

Jill has plenty ideas of her own to share. She said “shabby chic” is the current trend.

“It’s not really country,” she said, “but it’s not really elegant, either.”

It includes lots of giftware items that brides can incorporate into their weddings, Jill explained, such as wooden lanterns, chalkboards, whitewashed screens.

Jill said the elements also might include a variety of greens with hand-tied flowers, or garland running down a table, across a doorway or above a backdrop of latticework. Connells Maple Lee’s booth also will feature giftware that could be given as gifts to the wedding couple.

Jill encourages brides to share their visions. She can work with that, she said, sounding just as confident as those HGTV hosts in her ability to deliver the look they want at a price they can afford.

“I can give you the wedding you want but within Dad’s budget,” she quipped.

You’re going to love the kids club’s free Valentine’s Day-themed event Jan. 20

The 2018 Connells Maple Lee Kids Club season kicks off Jan. 20 with a sweetheart of an offer: a free Valentine’s Day-themed event.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a special arrangement in a heart teacup and will receive a balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.

This is the first of five kids clubs events planned for 2018.