Nothing says spring quite like a fresh bouquet of bright flowers, and for one local florist, May is the hottest month for custom arrangements.
“Mother’s Day is hands-down our busiest day of the year,” says Amy Schwartz, owner of Flowers on the Park in Woodbury. “We do more than 600 to 800 arrangements.”
Flowers on the Park in Woodbury has been brightening occasions and celebrations like Mother’s Day for 20 years. In fact, it is one of the only original tenants in its Tamarack Village location.
“Flowers on the Park was started in 1985 by my former boss, Debbie Katzmark; she started with a location off Mears Park—that’s why it was called Flowers on the Park,” says Schwartz, who took over ownership in 2016 after Katzmark retired. The St. Paul location closed in 2014.
Schwartz has more than 22 years of experience in floral design. She also employs two others, designer Julie Cotch and marketing and sales director Amy Faust, as well as a driver for local deliveries, and utilizes a central delivery service. “Deb still helps out on holidays, too,” Schwartz says.
“Of course we have our everyday people that come in and need something for birthdays, anniversaries, get wells, sympathy,” she says. “We do weddings and corporate events for 3M and the University of St. Thomas.” May is also prom season, so the team makes their share of wrist corsages and boutonnieres.
For floral arrangements, depending on the size, it takes Schwartz about 10 to 20 minutes to build one. “We’re pretty quick around here, because we have over 35 years of design experience,” she says. “There is an art to it. You have to have an eye for color—that kind of thing.”
For the perfect Mother’s Day arrangement, it’s all about color. “A bright, colorful mix is key,” Schwartz says. “I like to design with hydrangeas because they come in so many colors. Also, everybody loves lavender roses.”
Designer Julie Coach says leucadendron, delphinium and fuzzy lime green trichilium are fun. “Lime green is a hot color,” Schwartz says. “Also bright purple and orange.”
The team says there are a few insider tips to get the best arrangements. While you can see a picture online and ask the staff to copy it, Faust advises otherwise. “You get a better arrangement if you allow the designer to create with the freshest flowers we have on hand,” she says. “Or if you know you want a particular flower, call us and we will order it for you.”
If you do want a replica of a picture, Faust says it’s important to know that arrangements may not always look exactly like the picture. “Those photos are taken at peak bloom, and we don’t send them out that way. We want the arrangement to last. You have to give it a few days and let it warm up,” she says. “And you do get more bang for your buck if you shop locally and order direct from a florist because of the added fees.”
You can also get creative with the container. “People have favorite trinkets that we can put arrangements in,” Faust says. “One person had an arrangement in a ceramic high-heeled shoe, painted with the Vikings logo. Also, people bring us something like a handmade container from a different country and want a permanent arrangement in it. We do a lot of custom permanent arrangements—succulents or silk and dried flowers, pods and sticks that focus on simple and natural textures.”
Flowers on the Park also offers handmade truffles from the Sweet Shop in Texas and local chocolates by Abdallah Candies, as well as handmade cards and other small gifts.
To get the most out of your flower arrangement, follow this advice from Amy Faust and Amy Schwartz: A colorful mix is best. “Lime green is a hot color. Also bright purple and orange,” Schwartz says.
Get creative with the container. “People have favorite trinkets that we can put arrangements in,” says Faust.
Give the designer some creative freedom. “You get a better arrangement if you allow the designer to create with the freshest flowers we have on hand,” says Faust.