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!
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.
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 mofcollective.org.
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.
HOW TO LOVE YOUR LOVE PLANT (OXALIS)
- 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.
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:
This upgrade on a traditional dozen red roses features a handblown vase, stargazer lilies and curly willow to give a lavish loving look.
#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.
#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.”
#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.
#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.
#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.”
#544 Chocolate Lover
Good neighbors deserve a basket teeming with a delicious gift selection of chocolate treats.
#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?
#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.
#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 royers.com and in our stores.
It’s easy to let your love flow to all of your valentines!
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!
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
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!
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.
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 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 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.