With a fragrant host of photosynthesizing wares, De La Flor Gardens delights guests with colorful arrangements and occasion-appropriate projects. Eschew singing telegrams or carrier pigeons trained in interpretive dance for a colorful explosion of sentiment corralled into a carefully arranged collection of flowers. The Appreciation bouquet intersperses white and purple blossoms among eye-catching pink roses ($44.99), perfect for expressing gratitude to a mom, teacher, or friend. Or, show off your romantic side with the Token of My Love bouquet ($49.95), which nestles yellow roses, hydrangeas, and other brightly pigmented blooms into a charming wicker basket that may be repurposed for a picnic or as a storage bin for smaller, even more charming wicker baskets. Aside from its beautiful blossom bundles, De La Flor Gardens orchestrates larger floral-reliant projects such as landscaping, wedding ceremonies, and the annual running of the bees with an experienced staff and wide array of choice stems and products. A personable team of garden enthusiasts may be deployed to re-mulch, trim, and fertilize lackluster lawns ($300), whereas bridal parties can adorn empty hands with bouquets perfect for bridesmaids ($60), the mother of the bride ($35), or a ring-bearing miniature horse.
With a collection of more than 10,000 bromeliads in stock, Sunshine Bromeliads stuns potters and planters with a leafy arsenal of flora for homes and gardens. Brighten up windowsills with a 6-inch pot-dwelling Sheba ($10), or practice horticultural hexes on the colorful Voo Doo Doll, a magenta, broad-leafed, housebroken plant ($10). Other low-maintenance greeneries include the striped Black Chantinii decked out in tall, zebra-striped leaves ($20), or the colorful and petite Rafael named for its striking resemblance to Rafael Nadal ($15). Unlike a trust-fund vampire, most of the bromeliads can survive outdoors or inside with access to sunlight.
A verdant collection of native Florida plants share space with exotic greenery in the garden at Jesse Durko's Nursery, a living testament to its namesake's mission to improve the world through horticulture. Since 1990, the 10-acre property has showcased a collection of aromatic flowers, towering palms, elegant orchids, and other greenery expertly designed by Jesse and his landscaping team. Most of the plants in the garden are also available for sale in the nursery, allowing visitors to transform their own home into a tropical paradise.
At Bloom Nursery, owner Diego Scort and his staff of green thumbs nurture the tender blossoms and lush foliage of the nursery's stock of palms, shrubs, and budding vines. They strive to help customers gussy up their gardens with organically and locally grown plants, as well as those that have been adapted to thrive in South Florida's climate. In addition to sending visitors off with flourishing flora, the staffers also equip gardeners with the materials, supplies, and tips necessary to keep plants from sprouting rampant weeds or eloping with tumbleweeds just passing through town.
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. 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.