Checking out at the grocery the other day I couldn't help but notice the abundance of people in line with their Valentines Day gifts. The floral department was sea of shiny balloons, stuffed animals, candy bar vase arrangements and bouquets that left little to be desired if you ask me. The next day I read an article in the Washington Post that stated flowers shops are in the decline often losing out to big box stores and online retailers. No!! I thought to myself. It can't be. Isn't anything the way it used to be anymore!? And by that I mean people having personal connections with the shopkeepers in their community. My great grand-father owned a grocery store on our town square, called Dewey's Market. Above the door was a sign that said "Through these portals enter our customers, our friends." So today I set out to visit some neighborhood flower shops in hopes of bringing light and awareness to the issue and to help encourage folks to support their local flower shops this week.
I decided for this time I would head south starting in Tipp City and end my day in Cincinnati. Before becoming a rose farmer I spent the last 5 years working in a quaint flower shop called Carriage House Florist located in Tipp City, Ohio. Remember the bookstore in the movie, "You've Got Mail? The shop was cozy, small, the bell on the door jingled when you opened it. Meg Ryan and her customers were bonded like family. This is exactly Carriage House. The Carriage House was moved by owners Steve and Sally Watson from a property in town where a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian sadly burnt to the ground in a fire. The Watson's saw the potential, had it saved, moved and restored to become the shop that it is today. Inside you'll find gorgeous terrariums, a wide selection of pots from makers like Campo di Fiori, house plants, fresh cut flowers and various gifts for the gardening aficionado . The shop offers full service floral design for weddings, events, funerals, and every day occasions. You can place your Valentine's Day order by calling 937-669-4090. The shop is located at 4 N. Second St. Tipp City, Ohio 45371
My next stop took me to The Oakwood Florist located at 2313 Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood. Shop owner Mimi and her mother purchased the shop in 2004. The flower shop has been in business since 1950 and is still in the original location. Customers will find a wide selection of fresh cut flowers along with traditional gift items. The shop is open M-F 9:00-5:00 and Sat. 9-3. The Oakwood Florist can be reached at 937-293-1196 or on the web at www.oakwoodflorist.com
My next destination, Far Hills Florist located at 278 N. Main St., Centerville, Ohio, was a something out of a magazine. When you walk in, it's as if you stepped into an English garden filled with topiaries, plants, a gigantic cooler with a vast selection of fresh cut flowers and all kinds of beautiful gifts. There's nooks everywhere you turn including cozy chairs with fluffy pillows. I wanted to just sit and drink a cup of tea and browse for hours through their gorgeous gardening/home decor book collection. Owner Barbara Schneider said she wanted her shop to be filled with things that make people happy and let me tell you I think she's mastered that. I wanted one of everything in there. You can order your Valentine's Day flowers from here by calling 937-439-0314.
Finally, the last stop in Centerville was Morning Sun Florist. I can think of one word that describes this shop…Exquisite. Dim lights, exotic orchids and plants nestled in Campo di Fiori pots, unique fresh cut flowers, Juliska glass, and gorgeous botanical home decor accessories all set in a space straight out of an Isabella Kirkland painting. Morning Sun Florist is located at 11 S. Main St., Centerville. Flowers can be ordered by calling 937-434-8090.
On to Hamilton, Ohio to visit Two Little Buds. Owners Mindy and her mom, Alice are in high demand for weddings and events. Mindy has become a huge advocate and supporter of the American grown and locally grown flower movement so much so she has started her own flower farm called Morning Sun Flower Farm, ( no relation to Morning Sun florist). I love her unique way of utilizing different textures and color pallets. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram if you're not already. Two Little Buds is located at Bridegwater Falls, 3431 Princeton Rd #103, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Order your one of a kind Valentine's Day flowers by calling 513- 737-8527.
Robin Wood Flowers (RWF) was the last stop of my day. Located near Xavier University at 1902 Dana Ave, in Cincinnati, RWF is a flower fanatic's dream come true. Right upon entering the shop you are greeted by thousands of stems of all different types of flowers in all shades imagined. The blooms are literally front and center so you can immediately begin to immerse yourself in an out of this world floral experience by touching, smelling, and putting together your own bouquet if you want. I can spot a RWF bouquet a mile away. They truly are something special to give and receive. RWF offers classes too but register quickly because they do fill up. Flowers can be ordered by calling RWF at 513-531-5590.
I hope this journal entry leaves you filling inspired to go meet and connect with your local florist not just this week but always. I look forward to completing more Flower Shop Hops and sharing them with you here. May your week be filled with gratitude, love and peace.