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There’s no cutting corners with these square holiday wreaths

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Teddy Roosevelt had his Square Deal. Huey Lewis said it was hip to be square.

We have the square holiday wreath, and it’s pretty hip.

Of course, you’ll still find more round wreaths, but we’re stocking a small number of square wreaths in each of our stores.

No matter the shape of your evergreen wreath, here’s a great tip for keeping them in great shape throughout the holiday season: hairspray. Click here for details.

Poinsettia primer: learning about and caring for the most popular holiday plant

Poinsettias

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:

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and flame leaf flower.
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets: An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts (leaves) might have a slight tummy ache.
  • Poinsettias are commercially grown in all 50 states. For instance, the 20,000 poinsettias that Royer’s receives each year are from Lancaster County.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

Source: www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/poinsettia 

HOW TO CARE FOR POINSETTIAS:

  • Average room temperature is fine; they cannot tolerate cold.
  • Bright light is best, as they originate from the warm, bright southwest and Mexico. If given ample sunlight, they’ll last well into the new year.
  • Avoid keeping a plant too wet, they like moist but not wet. Frequency and amount of water will vary depending upon amount of sun, humidity in house and pot size.

You’re invited to our holiday open house, Nov. 29-30

There’s no need to stop at Black Friday. What are you doing the rest of the weekend?

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Join us for our annual holiday open house. All of our stores will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We’ll be offering:

• 30 percent off Christmas silk arrangements
• Door prizes
• Free balloons for children both days
• Refreshments on Sunday

And through Dec. 5, all of our stores are collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. For details, click here.

Of course, we’ll have lots of beautiful flowers, plants and giftware available, too, as we usher in the holiday season.

We hope to see you there.

Thanks for supporting our children’s-book drive

Bouquets for Books

From left, Ken Flower, director of advancement and community relations, Bexley Public Library, and Roger Morgan, store manager at Connells Maple Lee in Bexley.

In the spirit of the season, we’re so thankful to everyone who helped us to collect 129 new children’s books for Bexley Public Library and Delaware County District Library.

Our annual children’s-book drive, “Bouquets for Books” took place Nov. 1-8.

For each book donated, customers received a free bouquet, up to three per family per visit. In its history, Bouquets for Books has collected nearly 800 books.

Connells Maple Lee stores collecting ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ Nov. 17-Dec. 5

Holiday Mail for Heroes Recipients

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts and the American Red Cross are teaming up this year to deliver “Holiday Mail for Heroes.”

From Nov. 17 through Dec. 5, Connells Maple Lee stores will collect holiday cards and coloring pages that the Red Cross will deliver to service members, veterans and their families. Cards may be dropped off during normal business hours.

The Red Cross, which created the national “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program, offers these guidelines for preparing cards:

• Include messages of support and thanks;
• Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member” as cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program;
• Don’t include letters or inserts such as photos;
• Don’t include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships;
• Sign your name to them;
• Refrain from choosing cards with glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.

Coloring pages are available at each Connells Maple Lee store or can be downloaded here, courtesy of Coloring-Page.net:

Grand Entrance

Join us for the Columbus Bride Wedding Show on January 3rd and 4th 2015.  The pictures are of an arch we are planning to use to decorate the entrance of the show!  Stop by to see the final results!

 

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Columbus Bride Show

Join Connells Maple Lee at the Columbus Bride Show January 3 and 4th, 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center Hall E & F. View the latest trends in wedding flowers and learn how we can help make your walk down the aisle spectacular. Also, have the opportunity to meet Giuliana and Bill Rancic.

Introducing your rewards program: Petal Perks

Research shows the emotional and behavioral benefits associated with flowers and plants. Having them around your home or office is a great way to keep your spirits bright as daylight dwindles.

Petal Perks card

You’ll get another lift from our new customer rewards program: Petal Perks.

We included Petal Perks cards in our fall catalog. If you didn’t receive one, you can pick one up at any of our stores.

With Petal Perks, customers earn one point for each penny they spend and 300 points for each order they place: every 15,000 points earns a $5 discount on a future purchase.

Petal Perks applies to all purchases, whether made in store, online or on the phone. What’s more, points don’t expire as long as you make at least two purchases annually.

Here you’ll find complete details about Petal Perks.

So with winter fast approaching, be sure to keep plenty of flowers and plants around. They’ll help you perk up, and you can get the most out of Petal Perks at the same time.

The making of our fall catalog

Our 40-page fall catalog arrived in tens of thousands of mailboxes in October. (If you didn’t receive one, you can pick up a copy at any of our stores.)

With each of our catalogs, we change approximately 20 percent of the product lineup. Ultimately, it’s our customers who determine which arrangements stay in the lineup over the long haul.

Connells Maple Lee Fall 2014 catalog

How an arrangement makes it into the menu is an exhaustive process. It’s a long way from auditioning for a role to walking the red carpet, in other words.

Weak-selling arrangements are removed, or they are redesigned to give them a more current look. Sometimes an arrangement is discontinued because its container is no longer available.

Once we know how many items are being removed, we begin developing the new items. Inspiration comes from visiting other florists; from walking through gift trade shows in Atlanta and Dallas; from visiting container suppliers to spot trends in colors and styles.

Some of the ideas come from previous holiday selections. If a Mother’s Day item sells out early, for instance, we know there is strong customer demand for it, and it could get into the lineup.

Flower growers are part of the process, too, as we constantly seek out new suppliers. They must be able to provide premium product on a consistent basis. Currently, we are testing flowers from Ethiopia.

In late May, a small team pulls together new containers, flowers and ideas in order to develop new arrangement concepts.

Value engineered

Once we have the concepts, a team of designers turns them into actual arrangements, collaborating on some items or coming up with their own interpretations on others.

We buy flowers in all varieties and colors to keep our lineup fresh and interesting for our customers and designers alike. We also want flowers that we know will be available for at least a year.

With the arrangements made, the original group reconvenes in June/July to make final selections.

The arrangements are “value engineered” to give the best value to our customers. Perhaps better-priced flowers or containers can be used without upsetting the integrity of the designs.

Finally, the approved arrangements are professionally photographed for inclusion in the catalog.

And now it’s in the hands of our customers, who will vote with their pocketbooks and ultimately determine which arrangements stay in our lineup.

2014 ‘Bouquets for Books’ library wish lists

You can be a superhero in your own right by donating new children’s books to our annual “Bouquets for Books” book drive, which returns Nov. 1-8.

Here’s what the participating libraries have on their wish lists:

Bexley Public Library

Bexley is seeking multiple copies of superhero books that it plans to use in conjunction with its 2015 Summer Reading Program, which will have a superhero theme:
Superhero picture books
Superhero chapter books
Superhero easy-reader books
Superhero graphic novels

Delaware County District Library

Any books in these series:
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney
“Elephant & Piggie” by Mo Willems
“Fly Guy” by Tedd Arnold
“Splat the Cat” by Rob Scotton

Anything by these authors:
Andrea Pinkney
Bill Martin Jr.
Bob Shea
Bryan Collier
Byron Barton
Eric Carle
Jane O’Connor
Jerry Pinkney
Jon Scieszka
Kadir Nelson
Todd Parr