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A dozen facts about roses to share with your Valentine’s Day recipient

 

If you’re giving flowers this Valentine’s Day, odds are they will be roses.

That generous gesture alone is likely to impress the recipient. But maybe you really want to wow that special someone with your knowledge of the national flower (see below).

For you, we offer a dozen facts about roses that will help you demonstrate an even deeper commitment to your gift-giving.

1. Red rules
Because they symbolize love and romance, red roses are the runaway most popular color at Valentine’s Day, accounting for 69 percent of sales. In 1800, roses from China were bred with European roses to create the first true red rose. Rounding out the top 5 colors are white (38 percent), pink (37 percent), mixed (31 percent), and yellow (29 percent).

2. Color meaning
Other rose colors convey different meanings, giving you other options depending on your relationship with the recipient. For instance, you can send a message of friendship and cheer with yellow roses. Pink is a sign of appreciation, white of reverence.

3. Sweet smell
Rose oil is a popular floral scent and used in many women’s perfumes. It takes 2,000 roses to produce just one gram of oil.

4. 13,000 varieties
The cultivation of roses began around 500 B.C. Today, there are some 100 rose species and 13,000 rose varieties. And you thought there were a lot of mustard options at the grocery store!

5. Enduring
Roses are among the oldest flowers: rose fossils found in Colorado in the late 19th
century were 35 million years old. The oldest living rose is 1,000 years old and grows on a wall at Hildeshein Cathedral in Germany.

6. George Washington, no lie
The Father of His Country chopped down a cherry tree, according to folklore, but Washington planted roses at his Virginia home, Mount Vernon, and hybridized a variety that he named the “Mary Washington” after his mother.

7. 200 million roses
Each Valentine’s Day, Americans give approximately 200 million roses. The bulk of those roses come from South America. In the three weeks leading up to Feb. 14, the Washington Post reported in 2019, 30 cargo jets travel from Colombia to Miami each day.

8. From South America with love
Connells Maple Lee works directly with rose farms in South America to ensure that our flowers are of the highest quality. We visit those farms each year in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day to check on the crop and then follow the shipment through U.S. customs in Miami and onto a refrigerated truck destined for central Pennsylvania.

9. White House Rose Garden
Established in 1913 by the wife of Woodrow Wilson, the Rose Garden borders the Oval Office and the West Wing. It has been redesigned several times, as recently as 2020.

10. National flower
In 1986, standing in the Rose Garden, President Ronald Reagan declared the rose the national flower of the United States.

11. Stories and songs
Authors and songwriters have long been inspired by roses. To wit, in “Romeo and Juliet,” William Shakespeare wrote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” By one count, more than 4,000 songs are dedicated to roses.

12. Make them last
With the right care, your recipient’s roses can last for a week or longer. It is important to water the flowers and to keep them away from heat sources. If the water gets dirty, remove the flowers, re-cut the stems and put them back in the vase with fresh water.

Between gifting roses and learning more about them here, clearly you have put all of your heart into Valentine’s Day.

But if we can help with anything else, please let us know.

Sources: bhg.com, hgtv.com

We want to tell a love story, perhaps yours

 

Let’s get to the heart of the matter: With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we want to share a family-friendly love story on our blog, perhaps yours.

We’re holding a contest to find that story. The winner, who must live within Connells Maple Lee’s delivery area, will have his or her story professionally written and will receive three monthly flower deliveries (valued at $29.99 per month) courtesy of Connells Maple Lee’s new subscription program.

To submit your story, look for our pinned Facebook post on Jan. 20 and respond in the comment section of that post by midnight Jan. 22 (UPDATE: This has been extended to Jan. 26.)

In two or three sentences (approximately 50 words), tell us what is unique and compelling about your love story. Maybe it’s how or where you met, or when you realized you were in love, or a sweet tradition you share.

The winner, who will be chosen on Jan. 25 (now Jan. 29), must be willing to participate in a phone interview that week. We’ll share the story in early February.

We hope you’ll put your heart into this. Good luck!

Here’s a handy guide to your Christmas poinsettia

Poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and flame leaf flower. By any name, they are the Christmas flower, although their flowers actually aren’t the colorful parts for which they are known.

But like an eager child who hasn’t made a wish list yet can’t wait to open gifts on Christmas morning, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

First, some poinsettia background:

  • Native to Mexico, poinsettias are perennial shrubs that can grow 10 to 15 feet tall.
  • Poinsettias were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
  • Dec. 12 is National Poinsettia Day in America, marking Poinsett’s death in 1851.
  • Poinsettias were first successfully grown outside Mexico by Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, a 50-acre National Historic Landmark that still operates.

Some people pronounce it “poinsetta” (three syllables), and others say “poinsettia,” (four syllables). We’re not sticklers either way. It’s more important that you enjoy your poinsettia and get the most out of it.

Grown in all 50 states

But while there’s leeway when it comes to pronunciation, there are strongly rooted facts about poinsettias:

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias come in more than 100 varieties, from traditional red and white to pink and burgundy, marbled and speckled.
  • Poinsettias are commercially grown in all 50 states.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.
  • Contrary to popular myth, poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets: An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts might have a slight tummy ache. Some people with latex allergies have had skin reactions to the sap that comes from poinsettia leaves.

Poinsettia care

Connells Maple Lee offers decorated and undecorated poinsettias in multiple color and size options.

Poinsettias are happiest in conditions that approximate their Mexican origin: as much bright light as possible, warm and never sitting in water. Like humans, they don’t like wet feet.

The plants can suffer from droopy leaves, a condition known as epinasty, if they are exposed to cold temperatures or experience a build-up of ethylene gas.

If you’ve ever shopped for poinsettias at a big-box retailer, you may have seen a rack of them still in their protective sleeves. What you’re really seeing is those plants being ruined because the sleeves trap ethylene gas. An experienced florist knows to remove the sleeves as soon as possible.

By any name or pronunciation, poinsettias are a beautiful and safe holiday tradition, a gift of Mexican origin that keeps giving to the world nearly two centuries later.

Additional source: University of Illinois Extension

 

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

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts will continue an annual tradition when it honors 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.

Connells Maple Lee employees and customers are required to wear masks for their safety as part of the effort to combat COVID-19.

“We always look forward to Veterans Day and the opportunity to show our appreciation for the men and women who have selflessly served our country,” said Tom Royer, CEO of Connells Maple Lee.

Non-veterans may purchase the bouquet for $1.90.

Connells Maple Lee collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for service members and veterans

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts is collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for service members and veterans throughout November in each of its stores.

Connells Maple Lee will present the collected items to the American Red Cross “Holidays for Heroes” program.

Cards and coloring pages may be dropped off (masks are required) at one of Connells Maple Lee’s three Columbus-area stores during normal business hours.

Free coloring pages can be downloaded at cmlflowers.com/heroes

The Red Cross offers these guidelines for preparing cards:

  • Use generic salutations: “Dear Service Member” or “Dear Veteran”
  • Be thoughtful with messages, expressing reasons why you are thankful for the service members/veterans; if you have a personal connection, such as a family member who served, consider adding that
  • Try not to be overtly religious, but messages such as “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You” are acceptable
  • Do not include inserts such as glitter, photos, business cards
  • Do not include personal information such as telephone number, address or email
  • Sign your name

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts donates $1,000 to New Directions Career Center in Columbus

Photo: Celeste Gamble, development director, New Directions Career Center, and Andrew Royer, vice president of Ohio operations, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts.

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts has donated $1,000 to the non-profit New Directions Career Center in Columbus.

Family-owned Connells Maple Lee donates $10 to women’s charities for every purchase of its Admiration arrangement, which is available year-round.

New Directions, at 199 E. Rich St., is in its 40th year of providing career counseling, education and supportive services to help women transition from low-wage jobs or unemployment to affirming and satisfying career paths. New Directions offers career development programs, workshops and individualized services.

 

‘Harmony Harvest’ winning entry in Connells Maple Lee name-the-arrangement contest

Kara Ferguson’s favorite time of year is the fall: crispness in the air, leaves changing color, drinking cider when it’s cold outside.

Ferguson’s fondness for fall made her a prime candidate to enter Connells Maple Lee Flower & Gifts’ contest to name a mounded pumpkin arrangement.

Her entry, Harmony Harvest, was selected as the winner among nearly 100 online submissions received Sept. 14-18. Her prize is one of the arrangements.

The all-around arrangement measures 12.5 inches high and 16 inches wide. It features a six-inch white ceramic pumpkin, country buffalo gingham bow, dusty miller, mini-green hydrangea, carnations, spray roses, charmelia, poms and limonium.

Click here if you’d like to order a Harmony Harvest arrangement.

Connells Maple Lee Flowers name-the-arrangement online contest runs through Sept. 18

In fairy tales, pumpkins turn into horse-drawn carriages.

At Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts, one lucky person will turn a pumpkin into a prize simply by entering this year’s name-the-arrangement contest.

The person who submits the winning name will receive a complimentary mounded pumpkin arrangement, retail value $44.99.

The all-around arrangement measures 12.5 inches high and 16 inches wide. It features a six-inch white ceramic pumpkin, country buffalo gingham bow, dusty miller, mini-green hydrangea, carnations, spray roses, charmelia, poms and limonium.

To enter the contest, visit cmlflowers.com/contest. Limit one entry daily per email address, Sept. 14-18.

Dublin fifth-grader is this year’s kids club birthday card contest winner

Maya Ibrahim returned home one night this month bearing an abstract painting on canvas that she had created at a friend’s house.

“We’re waiting for that to dry, and we’ll hang it up,” said her mother, Deanna.

It’s not Maya’s only work of distinction this summer, however.

Maya, a fifth-grader at Riverside Elementary School in Dublin, is the winner of this year’s Connells Maple Lee birthday card contest.

Her design, featuring presents, stars, party hats and a hand-lettered “Happy Birthday!,” will adorn the electronic card that kids club members receive on their birthdays in the coming year. Her prize is a free flower delivery on her next birthday.

The kids club is free to ages 5 to 12. With parental permission, children may register for the kids club at any Connells Maple Lee store or online at cmlflowers.com/kidsclub. Membership benefits include a membership card, website activities, an e-mail newsletter, contests and in-store events.

Thank you for helping us collect 175 pounds of food for Neighborhood Services

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts’ annual food drive collected 175 pounds of non-perishable items to benefit Neighborhood Services Food Pantry in Columbus.

Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger, as the food drive is known, ran June 27-July 4 at the florist’s stores in Bexley, Powell and Grove City.

Food drive donors received a free carnation for each non-perishable food item they contributed, up to six per visit.

This year’s total tied for third highest in the food drive’s nine-year history. Overall, Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger has collected nearly 1,500 pounds of non-perishable food.