Western Springs Flower Shop News
Brookfield florist marks 20th anniversary | Articles | News - Riverside Brookfield LandmarkMonday, December 17, 2018
Berwyn. One year later, she and her husband Paul took the leap, buying the former Ardon's Flower Shop on Broadway Avenue. LeClere said she had eyed a store in Western Springs but was convinced by her husband that Brookfield was the right place for the new family business. After all, the LeCleres had lived in the village for almost 30 years at the time. Paul, who died in 2009, worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad and served as a village trustee. They also scouted locations on Ogden Avenue but found a home instead near Eight Corners. "I like the area," LeClere said of her business' longtime home. "Ogden Avenue wasn't as warm a feeling as we have over here." At first, business wasn't driven so much by flowers as it was by Beanie Babies, which were a phenomenon at the time. "I told Paul, 'I don't think I'll ever sell flowers,'" LeClere said of the store's early days. But the Beanie Baby craze waned and the flower shop's customer base began to grow, thanks in large part to word of mouth and connections the store made through family and friends. "You've got to talk to everybody," LeClere said. "It's just funny, once you start talking, one thing leads to the next." Case in point, LeClere's shop did the flowers for the wedding of Mary Vasquez, the owner of Mary's Morning Mix-Up, just a few doors to the east on Broadway Avenue. Her soon-to-be husband, Jason, looked very familiar to LeClere, who couldn't remember why she knew she'd met him before. Turns out he'd worked with Paul LeClere at the Burlington Northern. The shop handles the typical array of floral services, from wedding and funerals to corporate affairs. LeClere says she stays up to date on what gift items to carry by talking with wholesalers and reading trade publications, but she also adds her own handmade touches, such as wreaths and ceramics. Part of her success, she says, comes from simply being a reliable business for her customers. "If you have hours on your door, you have to abide by those hours," she said. LeClere is ... http://www.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/12-4-2018/Brookfield-florist-marks-20th-anniversary/
Green thumbs show off 'fruits' of labor at Naperville Flower and Garden Show - Chicago TribuneTuesday, October 04, 2016
An award-winning rose has to have symmetry from the top, and its leaves have to be free from any evidence of disease."Western Springs resident Darlene Howard served as one of the judges. She called the Naperville show "one of the best in the area, every year.""A friend of my own garden club where I live encouraged me to do this," Howard said about becoming a judge 15 years ago. "Three of the most important things we look for are evidence of good horticultural technique, seeing that the plants have been protected and cared for, and also unusual things."Naperville resident Lorraine Head said she wasn't a member of the local garden club but plans to join soon."I love gardening, and if I knew they didn't have things I'm growing, like kale, I might have submitted something," Head said. "I raise about six different types of vegetables, and I get a kick out of the fruits of my labor."The mission of the group, according to its website, is "to nurture the gardening interests of its members and the community through educational programs and community service."Polito said she believes the annual show fulfills that mission."We hope that the general public that wanders in to the show will learn something, and we see members often bringing their kids as spectators, and so they are exposed to this and can learn something about gardening," she said. "There is a lot of enthusiasm about what we do, and this is a way to showcase that."David Sharos is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/news/ct-nvs-flower-garden-show-naperville-st-0821-20160820-story.html
America in Bloom judges coming to Mansfield - Mansfield News JournalTuesday, July 23, 2019
Awards will be announced Oct. 3-5 at AIB’s National Symposium & Awards Celebration, this year in St. Charles, Illinois. America in Bloom 2018: Judges see flowers, historic sites, more email@example.com 419-521-7223 Twitter: @LWhitmir... https://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/2019/07/22/america-bloom-judges-coming-downtown-mansfield/1793243001/
Capital - Why are flowers so expensive? - BBC NewsTuesday, May 21, 2019
Jeanie McKewan, who has been growing flowers for 13 years in the US states of Illinois and Wisconsin, points to insect damage as a big challenge, saying there’s a “zero tolerance” policy: “It is through constant vigilance and the use of integrated pest management that we keep the little buggers from getting the best of our crops,” she says.Then the flowers have to bloom on schedule. In the case of Mother’s Day tulips planted in January or February, they have to bloom by early May in time to be picked and shipped.Labour costs are already high – according to the 2012 US Agricultural Census, contract and hired labour accounted for 10% of total agricultural operating expenses in the US, but that number soared to 40% for greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production because of a tighter farm labour market and rising wages. Then you add extra costs for peaks.McKewan hires extra hands during peak periods but says cutting flowers “requires experience and cannot be done by just any part-time employee”. Chris Drummond, a Philadelphia-based florist, says wages average around $13.25 (£10.16) per hour in the US. “In order to ramp up production to meet holiday demand, growers are required to pay far above that average,” he says.In developed countries like the Netherlands or Germany, Stewart says that there are greenhouses with automated technology like sophisticated watering machines or robot transplanters and harvesters, where fewer workers are needed. But in poorer nations with cheaper labour, there’s less use of technology. Then it’s time for shipping. While flowers are waiting on the runway or in the back of a lorry, temperatures can’t be too cold (for Valentine’s Day) or too hot (for Mother’s Day). When they arrive at the wholesaler, they must look perfect. That means no bug bites, no missing petals, no dead buds. Otherwise, they get thrown away. “It has to be flawless,” Stewart says.Complicated logisticsChris Drummond, the florist, estimates that the holiday volume “is usually nearly 20 times the everyday volume”. He says many farmers nurture flowers all year long to ensure enough blooms for the handful of holidays. During the other months on the farm, he says, flowers are sold at cost, below cost or discarded and turned into mulch.“So, of course farm price increases as demand increases,” he says. “Consumers are paying a premium to make sure that grower is compensated for their expense and effort to maintain the plants year-round, thus ensuring the wide variety of flowers is available at each holiday.”He highlights costs across the supply chain, saying industry participants must “rent temporary space, pay fuel surcharges, find space on airlines, hire independent drivers, find more refrigerated trucks, pay overtime to staff” and more. Roses flown from Bogota to Miami are hit with a 15-cent (£0.12) importer’s fee to clear customs and inspection. Domestic refrigerated shipping can vary, but that’s another eight cents (£0.06) per rose.It also depends on what kind of flower you’re shipping – Drummond says 300 carnations can fit into the same box as 150 roses, so the transport price per stem is halved. Transit time from field to florist can be up to a week (though it can wildly vary depending on where the flowers are coming from), and the blooms must be carefully handled every step of the way.Hans Larsen is a cut flower grower in the US s... http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190507-why-are-flowers-so-expensive
Brighton florist achieves title of certified designer - AdVantageNEWS.comThursday, May 02, 2019
Leanne Muenstermann, owner of Leanne’s Pretty Petals in Brighton, has earned the title of Illinois certified designer during the Illinois State Floral Association’s annual floral design show March 14-18 in Champaign, Ill.
She was assessed in theoretical knowledge of advanced design styles and techniques. She was required to create three “advanced design” arrangements during a timed test.
Internationally recognized floral industry professionals evaluated these advanced designs. Muenstermann is one of only five florists in Illinois to earn this accreditation.
She earned her title of Illinois certified professional florist during last year’s annual floral design show. She is one of 58 florists in the state to earn this distinction. She is working toward her national certified floral designer accreditation through the internationally recognized American Institute of Floral Designers.
To maintain the Illinois certified designer accreditation, the designer must continue to accumulate continuing education credits each year and maintain his or her membership in the ISFA and ICP... https://advantagenews.com/news/business/brighton-florist-achieves-title-of-certified-designer/
Food flowers - Illinois TimesThursday, May 02, 2019
Do not eat any plant if you’re not totally sure what it is, and ask an expert like the folks at University of Illinois Extension Service if you have any questions. Some flowers, like daylily (which are in a different plant family than the toxic true lilies) can act as a diuretic and should be eaten in moderation. Make sure that the flowers you eat or cook with have not been sprayed or treated, and never eat roadside flowers or those purchased from a florist. Flower jelly 2-3 cups loosely packed flower petals, such as violet, rose, sunflower, dandelion or nasturtium. (Be sure to pinch off only the petals and discard the base of the flower, as it can give the jelly a bitter taste.) Juice of one lemon2 ½ cups boiling water 1 package of Sure-Jell pectin (you can certainly use a different kind of pectin, but you may need to adjust the recipe method according to the package directions) 3 ½ cups sugar Sort through the flower petals and rinse them gently under running water to remove any dirt or bugs. Place the flower petals in a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let the flower “tea” steep for at least two hours or overnight. Prepare a water bath canner and have ready six half-pint jars with new lids and bands. After the mixture has steeped, strain it through a fine meshed sieve into a nonreactive saucepan and discard the flower solids. Add the lemon juice (this may cause the color of your tea to brighten or change hue). Slowly stir in the pectin and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for one minute, then add all the sugar at once. Stirring continuously, return to a boil and cook for one minute. Ladle the hot mixture into the clean, hot jars. Wipe the rim of the jars, then place a lid on top and gently screw on the band (do not put it on super tight). Process in the water bath for five minutes, then remove from the water and set out onto a towel to cool overnight. As the jars cool you should hear an occasional “pop” coming from the jars, indicating a good seal has been achieved. *for rose jelly, add a tablespoon of rose water to the rose petal tea to enhance flavor **add a ½ tablespoon or so of crushed red pepper flakes to nasturtium jelly for savory kick Ashley Meyer is a Springfield-based food writer, cook and avid gardener. https://illinoistimes.com/article-21169-food-flowers.html