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Connells Maple Lee donates to four area animal shelters

Plants and animals just go together.

Consider the former that are named after the latter, from cattails to hound’s tongue, elephant ear to bird of paradise, rattlesnake orchids to zebra grass.

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts even offers arrangements featuring plush animals, including Kitten in a Basket and Puppy in a Basket. Under a new program, Connells Maple Lee is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of those two arrangements to area animal shelter and rescue efforts.

For the first awards, family-owned Connells Maple Lee sent $100 checks to four area animal organizations:

CHA Animal Shelter, Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center, Columbus Humane and Pets Without Parents.

“On behalf of the Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts family, please accept this gift in support of the love and care your organization provides to animals,” wrote Tom Royer, president and CEO of Connells Maple Lee, in a letter accompanying each donation.

The Kitten in a Basket and Puppy in a Basket arrangements are available year-round.

Connells Maple Lee Flowers saluting veterans Nov. 11 with free red, white and blue bouquets

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts will honor veterans with free patriotic bouquets on Nov. 11.

The bouquets – featuring a red carnation, a white carnation and a blue bow – will be available in-store only at any of Connells Maple Lee’s stores: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.

“This is one of our favorite annual traditions,” said Tom Royer, president and CEO of family-owned Connells Maple Lee. “These men and women, along with their families, make great sacrifices while serving our country. It’s our privilege to honor our veterans.”

Non-veterans may purchase the bouquet for $2.10 each.

Connells Maple Lee donates $2,750 to three women’s charities in Ohio

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts has donated $2,750 to three women’s charities in Ohio.

Family-owned Connells Maple Lee earmarks $10 for women’s charities for every sale of its Admiration arrangement (left), which is available year-round.

This year’s recipients and the amount of their awards: Junior League of Columbus, $1,000; Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio, $1,000; Dress for Success Columbus, $750.

“My grandmother Hannah Royer started our company,” said Tom Royer, president and CEO of Connells Maple Lee. “Our family has a keen appreciation for the vital role that women play in our families and communities and for the importance of encouraging female empowerment.

“We’re grateful to our customers for supporting our efforts with their purchases and to this year’s recipients for the significant contributions they make on behalf of women. Congratulations to each of the recipients. It is our pleasure to support them.”

Orient resident wins Connells Maple Lee name-the-arrangement contest

Orient resident Diana Hendricks’ 25-year relationship with Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts has achieved a new high. You might say it’s sky-high.

Hendricks’ entry, “Azure Sky,” won this year’s Connells Maple Lee name-the-arrangement contest.

She said she entered just once, her entry playing off the arrangement’s blue vase. Hers was among more than 100 online submissions between late July and Aug. 6.

Participants saw a photo of the arrangement and a list of its components: the vase filled with a rose, blue hydrangea, white stargazer lily, daisy poms, carnations and eryngium.

Hendricks said she has been a Connells Maple Lee customer for 25 years, starting when she placed orders as a church secretary but also including her mother’s funeral and other occasions.

“They always did a nice job,” she said.

For winning the contest, she will receive an Azure Sky arrangement as a prize.

You name it, you win it: Connells Maple Lee’s new arrangement

Every year for various reasons, Connells Maple Lee Flowers reworks approximately half of its arrangements.

This year, one of those makeovers is the focus of Connells Maple Lee’s annual name-the-arrangement contest.

This design features a cobalt blue vase filled with a rose, blue hydrangea, white stargazer lily, daisy poms, carnations and eryngium. It’s only lacking a name.

To view the arrangement and enter the contest, visit Limit one entry daily per email address, through Aug. 6.

The person who submits the winning name will receive the arrangement (retail value $59.99) as a prize.

Entries due July 15 for this year’s Connells Maple Lee Kids Club birthday card contest

The winning design in 2020

Just in time for summer vacation, the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club has a challenge for children ages 5 to 12.

We’re looking for our next birthday card design, one that all kids club members will receive in the year ahead.

As a reward, the designer of the winning entry will receive a free bouquet delivery on his or her birthday.

To enter the contest, which begins June 14, pick up an entry form at our stores in Bexley, Grove City or Powell or download one here.

Entries must be dropped off at one of our stores by July 15.

Good luck to everyone. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Brighten up your back yard with rugged outdoor canvas art

Sue Pappas needed a name for her business that was free of any potential trademark issues.

She settled on West of the Wind.

“I don’t know why, and it’s a very odd name,” she allowed, but it was one she thought no one else in her industry would have.

Winds of change would blow, however. Within months of the 2007 launch of the Durant, Okla.-based company, Pappas and her two partners at the time realized that the market for indoor wall décor was saturated.

Turning their gazes outward, literally, they saw a void in the outdoor décor realm. They sought to fill it by offering giclee canvas prints for outdoor use.

Beginning with one size and 50 images in 2008, West of the Wind now wholesales more than 550 images that are available among three canvas sizes.

The pandemic has kept Americans in their own back yards, prompting a consumer splurge on outdoor decor. Seizing on that, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts began carrying the vibrant, high-quality West of the Wind products this year.

Protection from UV rays and water

Connells Maple Lee offers the canvases in two sizes – 24 by 24 inches and 30 by 40 inches – for $99.99 and $199.99, respectively. They can be purchased in-store or online.

Approximately 80 percent of the designs are based on paintings, with photographs comprising the other 20 percent, Pappas said. West of the Wind has licenses with the artists, who provide digital files to the company from high-resolution scans of their original artwork.

Pappas’ team then crops or makes any other necessary changes before sending the files for printing. Giant Epson inkjet printers (giclee is a French word meaning “to spray or to squirt with a nozzle”) transfer the design onto canvas. A proprietary lacquer is applied to the front and back to protect the canvas from harmful UV rays and water damage.

The canvas is gallery wrapped, meaning that the image appears on the sides of the frame as well as the front. The canvas is attached to vinyl stretcher bars that aren’t affected by moisture, cold or heat. Stainless steel staples, which can’t corrode, attach the stretched canvas to the stretcher bars.

Each print comes with hardware for outdoor installation. Two L-shaped hooks can be screwed into stone, stucco, brick, wood or aluminum. Brackets on the back of the canvas slide over the hooks. The hanging system is designed to withstand 60 mph winds.

West of the Wind guarantees its products for two years. But in these uncertain times, perhaps the best the outdoor canvases can do is help you do a better job of living in the moment.



From left, Craig Truax, corporate engagement manager, Mid-Ohio Food Collective, and Andrew Royer, vice president of Ohio operations, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts.

Every dollar donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Collective can provide up to $9.50 in groceries or enough food for up to 4.5 meals to a family in need.

By those measures, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts’ $3,000 donation to the Food Collective will fund $28,500 worth of groceries or 13,500 meals.

Connells Maple Lee’s stores are at 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.

Tom Royer, president and CEO of family-owned Connells Maple Lee, said the donations reflect the company’s gratitude for the support it has received during the pandemic.

“We had to reinvent our company, and at times it was a painful process,” Royer said, “but we’ve become more agile and more successful. Thanks to the unwavering loyalty of our customers, we’re able to give back to our communities and help families that are struggling to put food on the table. It’s our privilege to do this.”

Mike Habash is president and CEO of the Food Collective, which is based at 3960 Brookham Drive, Grove City, and serves 20 counties.

“This donation comes right at a time when many of our neighbors are still bravely navigating through this pandemic,” Habash said. “We are so thankful to have a wonderful partner such as Connells Maple Lee that is helping us continue our work toward ending hunger.”

For more information about the Food Collective, visit

Need help sorting out clovers from shamrocks? You’re in luck


I’m looking over a four-leaf clover that I over looked before.

Most of us have heard the song by that name, which also happens to be its first line. But you’re in rare company if you’ve actually come across a four-leaf clover in the wild.

Your odds of finding one? One in 10,000, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. They’re so rare because they are an unusual mutation of a three-leaf clover.

Of course, we commonly associate the three-leaf clover with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. It’s also known as a shamrock, which comes from an Irish word that means “little clover.”

St. Patrick is said to have explained the holy trinity – father, son and holy spirit – by using a shamrock.

Here’s a way to keep things straight: All shamrocks are clovers, but not all clovers are shamrocks. That is, if a clover is a shamrock with three leaves, by definition it can’t have four leaves.

A shamrock is not associated with any specific clover species, of which there are hundreds. One of the plants that is called shamrock is oxalis, also known as wood sorrel or “love plant.” Connells Maple Lee obtains its oxalis plants from Canada.

Oxalis also is called a “false shamrock” because it’s not actually in the shamrock family but is better suited to the indoor environment than clover species are.

The oxalis plant is photophilic, meaning that its leaves and flowers close at night and open in the morning. Oxalis likes bright light, including full afternoon sun in the winter.


  • Keep the soil barely damp, allowing it to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Cool temperatures are best, especially during blooming: 50 to 65 degrees at night, 70 to 75 degrees during day.
  • When the plant is actively growing in the winter/spring, feed it liquid fertilizer once per month. When it stops blooming, fertilize every other month until it goes dormant.
  • In the summer, oxalis will go dormant. When it starts to fade, stop watering and store the plant for two to three months in a cool, dark place. for a few weeks to three months. After this period, bring the plant back out and resume watering.
  • The plant can be repotted and/or divided, although it can remain in the same soil and pot for several years. To divide while the plant is dormant, look for small, bulb-like structures just below the soil surface. Gently pull these apart and pot in small groups.

Flower and gift ideas for all of your valentines

#2167 Masterpiece

Ravishing red roses rightfully rule Valentine’s Day, but they’re among many great options for conveying love and respect to the important people in your life, from family members to friends to valued community members.

Better still, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts offers arrangements and gifts at a wide range of price points to accommodate any budget. Here are some of our favorites:

For Partner

#2167 Masterpiece

This upgrade on a traditional dozen red roses features a handblown vase, stargazer lilies and curly willow to give a lavish loving look.

For Child


#2106 Sweet Hugs Bud Vase

Perfect for children of any age, it includes two roses in a red vase with a heart ribbon accompanied by a soft, huggable teddy bear and Hershey’s Kisses.

For Parent


#2114 Heart of Hearts

A lovely blend of pink and red flowers to show your love – straight from the heart.


#1959 Always figurine

Add a special gift for mom with this heart-tugging figurine, which comes boxed with a note saying, “I feel the strength of your love.”

For Grandparent


#2136 Love’s Garden

For the grandparent with a green thumb, this will continue to sprout love well after Valentine’s Day.


#2101 One True Love

For the grandparent with a small space, a beautiful vase arrangement featuring white hydrangea, red rose and pink alstroemeria. It’s simple, delicate, beautiful and perfect for a bedside or small coffee table.

For Sibling


#2112 Sent with Love

A vibrant mix of Dutch tulips perfect for a sister or brother.


#2185 Pound of Chocolates

Make your gesture extra sweet with a gourmet mix that includes caramel, chocolate-covered pretzels and buckeyes from Ohio’s Waggoner chocolates. 

For Friend


#2162 Dozen Yellow Roses

Yellow roses are a traditional sign of friendship, joy and caring. The pandemic has made it more difficult to enjoy time with friends; here’s a way to let them know how much you value them.


#9235 Your Journey Heart Bracelet

From Demdaco, this beaded bracelet features a heart pendant and comes with a message gift box that reminds us to “nurture loving moments with our favorite people.”

For Neighbor


#544 Chocolate Lover

Good neighbors deserve a basket teeming with a delicious gift selection of chocolate treats.

For Teacher


#2137 Love Grows

What better way to recognize the hard work of teachers, whether in the in-person or virtual classroom, with this easy-care succulent plant?

Healthcare Worker


#2111 Love’s Garden

A bright and cheerful mix of garden flowers are the perfect prescription for thanking health care workers for their selfless devotion to public wellness.

For Employee


#2182 Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bag

Reward an employee’s hard work and dedication with this 6.5-ounce bag from Asher’s Chocolates.

Of course, you will find dozens of items from which to choose at and in our stores.

It’s easy to let your love flow to all of your valentines!