Flamingo Road Nursery owner Jim Dezell is used to the surprise on people's faces when they come to the nursery for the first time. "People commonly come in and say, ‘Wow, I never knew there was a garden center like this,’" he says. Maybe they're wowed by the park-like landscaping, complete with display gardens designed to inspire shoppers with ideas for plant combinations. Maybe they're blown away at the fountains, statues, and thousands of pieces of pottery. Or maybe they've just seen the pond surrounded by colorfully painted "shops" and palm trees. It's a "true experience" that's as much about shopping as it is about creating "memory and traditions", wrote Today's Garden Center in 2011, when it picked Flamingo Road Nursery as the most revolutionary garden center in the nation.
In addition to helping shoppers navigate the selection of flowers, trees, and other plants, the knowledgeable staff can also help them complete landscaping projects with outdoor artwork, waterfalls, and more. "It's professional advice here," says Jim. "We really try to understand our customers' needs and offer solutions that will both excite them and provide long-term enjoyment." He even recommends people bring in dimensions and photos of their space so the staff can get a better idea of what will grow well there. Flamingo Road Nursery offers delivery and complete installation services. Other garden-centric items, such as fountains and colorful adirondack furniture, give customers more chances to enjoy their outdoor living spaces.
The nursery also hosts an on-site Farmers Market shop, which hosts a large assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, and artisan foods—some of the produce is even picked at the nursery itself. On the weekends, a beekeeper visits the store to explain how bees make honey to visiting kids, using the in-store observation beehive as a teaching tool. On Saturdays and Sundays, authentic southern BBQ including pulled pork, sausage, chicken, and ribs that have been slowly smoked for 5–10 hours are served under the giant tiki hut. The nursery holds seasonal celebrations as well, including an annual fall festival with pumpkin patch and a Christmas festival replete with sleigh rides, Santa visits, and a Christmas tree forest.
When interviewed by Holistic Health magazine in 2006, Dr. Scott Denny proclaimed, “There is a great synergy when conventional medicine and oriental medicine are applied together.” This holistic harmony is readily apparent at Integrative Hospital Associates and MultiCare Clinic, where Dr. Denny has devoted his life to treating acute and chronic health issues with an approach that integrates the healing philosophies of both Eastern and Western medicine. Together with his personable team of chiropractic physicians, nutrition experts, and massage therapists, Dr. Denny works tirelessly to enhance clients' well-being through acupuncture and an array of other therapies designed to help combat addiction, disease, and habitual sleepsurfing. Oriental-medicine techniques, such as herbal medicine and the Gua Sha healing process, work alongside services based in conventional science, such as cold-laser therapy for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.
Among other accolades, Dr. Denny is the 11-time recipient of the Continuing Education Excellence Award in Pain Management and has served as the President of the American Academy of Pain Management and the head of acupuncture services at Holy Cross Hospital Feldman Center for Optimal Health. The compassionate doctor has been featured in local news media for his “multifaceted approach” to treating chronic pain and is also the inventor of Dodai Fusion Therapy, a combination of ancient Japanese manual therapy and meridian-based acupuncture techniques.
Some of Donn F. Flipse's earliest memories are of him wielding a broom, sweeping up the fallen petals and snipped-off stamen that have gathered around the feet of the floral designers at his family's flower shop. Eight-year-old Donn eventually moved up in rank, escorting arrangements to their destinations in the delivery truck as soon as he got his license. When he graduated college, he almost turned his back on the flower business his father and his grandfather built, but after mentoring under one of the shop's floral designers, he realized, “It was in [his] blood.” In 1990, he opened Field of Flowers in Davie.
The rose, he says, continues to be the most popular flower, although different breeds take the crown every so often—the current favorite is the garden rose, a throwback blossom like what might flourish in a well-tended backyard. Donn's favorites are the rose-like lisanthius and the Canterbury bells, which look delicate but are sturdy and long lasting, much like a quarterback who takes ballet classes.
Field of Flower's team of designers compose striking arrangements using popular flowers as well as rare blooms such as orchids or birds of paradise. The team also crafts design pieces for celebrations, with past creations including a french poodle sculpted from flowers and a Spongebob Squarepants–themed arrangements in which blue gel simulated the ocean, submerging plants in an under-the-sea wonderland.
In 1989, Young At Art began as a small, 3,200-square-foot children’s museum dedicated to shaping young minds and enriching the community through the transformative power of art. Since then, the tiny workshop has grown into a 55,000-square-foot collection of activities celebrating the diverse influences of art on our lives and imaginations, garnering a rare accreditation by the American Association of Museums for its efforts. At ArtScapes—one of the four main exhibits—kids and their parents travel through The Cave, a frantic slideshow of images conveying 5,000 years of human history, step into a replica of a New York City subway car, and view examples of graffiti as a means of creative expression against the oppressive forces of aluminum spray cans.
Elsewhere, WonderScapes transports children up to 4 years old to a world inspired by the illustrations of DeLoss McGraw, whose version of Alice in Wonderland won the Society of Illustrators Book of the Year award in 2002, and GreenScapes demonstrates the immutable intersection of art and the environment as visitors build sculptures from natural materials. Never ones to ignore their creativity, teenagers can find refuge in the Teen Center, where a graphic design lab with Mac computers and a recording studio let them convert their pre-calc homework into digital form before it’s too late.
A deep love of her work has kept licensed therapist Monica Gonda practicing bodywork for more than 14 years, and it is this positive energy that emanates from her fingertips during each session. In her repertoire of seven massage modalities, lomi lomi—_loving hands_ in Hawaiian—stands out for its use of the forearms to send waves of relaxation into deep layers of muscle without attracting beach bums. Monica also practices a lymphatic-drainage technique that notably reduces swelling caused by fluid buildup in connective tissue. The most unique therapy is the crystal massages. A blend of body and energy work, warm semiprecious stones bathe acupressure points in soothing heat and redirect energy flows to achieve mental clarity or emotional well-being.
Monica awakens senses with organic tea and chocolates and can expand olfactory pleasure with her nuanced understanding of how geranium, lemongrass, and clare sage influence mood through sensory and monetary payoffs. Monica extends the reach of her goodwill by donating 5% of her profits to cancer research, an issue close to her heart because she practices oncology massage for lung-cancer patients.
For 17 years, Flamingo Gardens has gathered plant experts, landscapers, and other gardening connoisseurs to its annual festival. This year, the Broward Bonsai Society joins in the fun with an exhibition of the varied shapes and levels of perfection its miniature trees can hold. Displays from Alexander Farms, Greenhouse Orchids, and other vendors entice the eyes while guests wander about, taking in colorful performances from butterfly stilt-walkers and West African drummers. At the Butterfly Encounter, guests learn lepidopterist lore from expert Mike Rich while feeding live butterflies and teaching them about the updated food pyramid.
Wee ones, meanwhile, can head to the Kids Gardening Zone to decorate their own pots and plant a seed or romp through the gardens on a scavenger hunt. Plant experts also hold classes and demonstrations, including "Mounting Orchids & Basic Orchid Culture," and take guests on guided tours through the botanical gardens.