The experienced bloom specialists at Janet's Flowers channel their floral-design expertise into colorful arrangements, utilizing a wide variety of flowers to compose floral opuses appropriate for events ranging from anniversaries to funerals. Bestsellers and seasonal bouquets gather stems topped with tulips, irises, roses, and other complementing flora into elegant handfuls, a perfect beginning to a first date or a second attempt to graduate middle school. Fill homes with the pastel shades of spring with a Lavender Mist arrangement ($40–$60) or an angelic bunch of Casablanca lilies ($50–$70). In addition to premade bouquets designed for holidays and special occasions, florists craft custom orders ($55–$75), allowing clients to celebrate a new birth with a Welcome Baby Boy arrangement ($45–$65) filled with blue irises or a functioning train set made entirely out of baby's breath.
Bouquets bursting with Ecuadorian roses and purple azaleas tug at olfactory heartstrings as Flower Studio owner and expert designer Jorge Ortega nips, clips, and arranges flowers to spruce up homes or celebrate special occasions. The studio’s gift shop delights planners and brides-to-be with its stock of cakes, bouquets, and professional snapshots courtesy of an in-house photographer. Hand-selected bunches of daisies and chrysanthemums send hearts aflutter on holidays and anniversaries, and colorful arrangements of man-eating flytraps commemorate Boss Appreciation Day. Plush white furniture lines the studio’s interior, where a complimentary dessert bar pacifies taste buds jealous of their fellow sensory receptors.
For Fresh Ideas owner Derik Bakker, flowers are more than just petals and stems. “They stir something,” he explains. “It’s not a ream of paper or a T-shirt. It’s something far more personal.” That stirring is why, three times a week, Bakker’s team pilots a refrigerated truck more than 100 miles to pluck the freshest farm-grown coastal buds. Directly sourcing flowers allows Fresh Ideas to keep prices down and also increases its flexibility when filling orders. Bakker can provide hundreds of flowers in bulk to clients 50 miles away while still handcrafting small floral arrangements for locals.
The unique nature of Bakker’s business also allows for a more personal interaction with clients. Unlike larger companies that are forced to interrelate with impersonal 1-800 numbers, Fresh Ideas staffs floral specialists who go over colors with clients, offering suggestions. They can even special order out-of-season flowers from as far away as South America or the secret NASA greenhouses on the moon.
This attentiveness has made the company a popular arrangement source for area restaurants and markets, and anyone who sets foot on the grounds can see that Bakker's passion runs deep. He and his 17-year-old daughter––coincidentally named Sarah Rose––have spent the last year planting seeds by hand in their own onsite sunflower garden. He tells those who ask that they grew the blooms "the old-fashioned way"—the same way he's grown his business.
With spring spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up a Stanley six-piece screwdriver set for $6.99, a VPT rip hammer for $8.49, and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Illuminate the newfound décor with a 12-pack of Ace light bulbs ($21.48), the better to see by as you make use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made for $1.99 a pop, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine ($30 a day to rent).