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.
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.
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.
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:
Bill Martin Jr.
A book drive to benefit area public libraries represents the final chapter in the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club 2014 event schedule.
On Nov. 1, children ages 5 to 12 are asked to bring a new children’s book in support of our annual “Bouquets for Books” book drive.
Participants will have an opportunity to make a fall arrangement 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: 2408 E. Main St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.
Among the arrangements debuting with our 2014 fall catalog is the Power of Pink bouquet.
It packs plenty of pink: a 9-inch pink vase holds an all around arrangement in shades of pink, featuring a lily, gerbera, three roses, alstroemeria, carnations, mini-carnations, caspia and a sheer bow.
As for power, that derives from the good we hope it does in the fight against breast cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Approximately 40,000 women in the United States are expected to die from breast cancer in 2014, according to breastcancer.org.
The much better news is that death rates have declined for decades, there are millions of breast cancer survivors, and the fight for a cure continues.
This is why for every Power of Pink arrangement sold, we are donating $10 to breast cancer research. We are committed to this cause, so we’re offering this arrangement year-round.
Meanwhile, if you are a woman between the ages of 50 and 74, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you have a screening mammogram every two years.
Connells Maple Lee Flowers and Gifts’ annual children’s book drive – “Bouquets for Books” – will return Nov. 1-8.
The books will benefit Bexley Public Library and Delaware County District Library.
For each book, donors will receive a free bouquet, up to three per family per visit, while supplies last.
Used books will not be accepted.
The Greek mathematician Archimedes said that with a long-enough lever and a fulcrum, he could move the world.
That’s a pretty lofty goal. What if you are just searching for the right words to accompany the flowers that you’re sending to a loved one?
Connells Maple Lee’s website offers more than 200 quotations and expressions to help you say what needs to be said. They cover everything from anniversaries and birthdays to love and marriage, business and education to sympathy and thank you.
For instance, here are seven ways to say you’re sorry:
1. “Accept these flowers in place of the words I said.”
2. “I wouldn`t have made a mistake with my mouth shut.”
3. “I’m wrong – you’re right.”
4. “I muffed it! I`m so sorry!”
5. “I’ll never forgive myself … but I’m hoping you will. I’m sorry.”
6. “I may not be perfect, but my apology is close.”
7. “Will these keys let me out of the doghouse? I’m sorry.”
Feel free to pick one or cobble together your own creation from these suggestions.
We can’t promise that your words will move the world, but they will be a really nice complement to the flowers you send.
Our annual food drive collected 250 pounds of non-perishable items and $45 cash for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
From June 20-28, “Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger” asked customers to drop off donations at any of our three Columbus-area stores. In return, customers received a free carnation for each food item, up to a maximum of six carnations per family per visit.
Also participating in the food drive were Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, which has outpatient centers in Grove City and Hilliard, and Columbus-based Battelle.
We recognized Grove City for collecting the most pounds among our stores. Photo, Crystal Wells, Grove City store manager, and Andrew Royer, Connells Maple Lee regional manager.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year’s food drive a success!
We’re celebrating the start of a new school year with a free Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event Aug. 23 in each of our stores.
Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to create a daisy arrangement adorned with a “back-to-school” stick-in. Participants also will receive a free balloon.
Time slots are available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: click here for locations and contact information.
So you bought annual plants in a container at your local florist, garden center or home-improvement store.
Annual plants – such as petunias, geraniums and begonias that complete their life cycles in one year – pose perennial challenges once you bring them home.
Here are five things you should know about caring for your annuals:
1. You have to add nutrients: Your plant didn’t come in nutrient-rich soil. Rather, it’s a potting mix that includes peat moss. This mixture is inert, meaning that it doesn’t contain the nutrients found in soil. So you have to add the nutrients by applying fertilizer on a regular basis.
2. Fertilizer is soluble, so you have to keep adding it: Regular watering of your annual plants will wash out the added nutrients if the container has drainage holes on the bottom.
3. Don’t add too much fertilizer: One of the ingredients in fertilizer is salt. Too much fertilizer – and with it, too much salt – can damage plant roots. The salt in the fertilizer will remove whatever moisture is left in the roots and burn them.
4. Cut the amount in half: Whatever dosage the fertilizer manufacturer recommends, consider cutting the amount in half and fertilizing every time you water. This way you have less of a chance of burning the roots, and your plant gets a continual supply of nutrients rather than peaks and valleys.
5. Give them a pinch: Remove the old blooms and pinch a plant’s tips, which will force out new growth. An occasional light trim will keep a plant bushy and blooming.
With proper care, your annual plants will bloom beautifully for you this summer.
For children, summer is for getting out of school, swimming, going on vacation.
And entering the 2014 Connells Maple Lee Kids Club birthday card design contest, which is open to children ages 5 to 12.
The deadline to enter is July 12.
The winning design will be featured in the email birthday card that every kids club member receives on his or her special day.
The winning artist will receive a free flower delivery on his or her birthday.
The entry form may be downloaded here and dropped off at the nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 2408 E. Main St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell,740-548-4082.