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Lancaster County-grown poinsettias are arriving at Royer’s stores

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It’s two weeks before Thanksgiving, but Christmas is in full bloom at Esbenshade’s Greenhouses Inc. just north of Lititz.

In one vast expanse of the so-called Gilbert greenhouse, the floor is a carpet of red poinsettias. A visitor asks Roger Esbenshade, president of the family-owned company, how many there are in this one area.

“Probably 25,000,” he said. “This is maybe 10 percent of the crop.”

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts has been an Esbenshade’s wholesale customer for decades. Royer’s sells some 20,000 poinsettias every holiday season, most of which are grown by Esbenshade’s.

Only a week prior, Royer’s CEO Tom Royer and Geoff Royer, vice president of central operations, were at Esbenshade’s to review the poinsettia crop.

Esbenshade’s grows nine to 10 sizes and 30-some varieties. Red remains the most popular by far, but even red comes in seven or eight different varieties. The biggest plants come in 10-inch pots and grow to 25 to 30 inches in height.

Depending on the size, the growing season can range from three to five months. What are now almost fully developed plants began as two and one-half inch stems. From the end of October until mid-to-late November, the poinsettias required only watering and disease control while Esbenshade’s tended to its spring crops.

But with the holiday season here, once again poinsettias are the focus of attention.

“For me, being responsible for the growing, it’s a very challenging time,” Esbenshade said. “It’s not a difficult crop to grow, but a lot of things can go wrong.”

He lists the challenges of controlling plant height, temperature, nutrition, diseases.

“It can vary from year to year,” he said.

‘Longevity for the customer’

Timing is important. That sea of red described above arrived only four weeks earlier. All poinsettias are green until their ultimate color reveals itself. Some plants will get redder still, which dictates when they will be shipped to customers.

“We try to have good color development but not overly developed so that they have longevity for the customer,” Esbenshade said.

Wholesale customers such as Royer’s typically place master orders, or what they anticipate needing for the year. Then they draw on that order on a daily or weekly basis.

For example, Esbenshade’s will deliver to Royer’s distribution center in Lebanon on 15 dates between mid-November and mid-December.

Esbenshade’s has approximately 30 workers tending to poinsettias at this busy time. When orders arrive, the workers wrap individual plants in plastic sleeves and place them in corrugated boxes for shipping via trucks.

The plants that are on the floor receive water and nutrients from below. Water rises to a depth of two inches through holes in what are called flood floors. Once the plants have absorbed what they need, the water level lowers and excess moisture drains from the pots.

If cared for properly, poinsettias can last for months if not years. They will cycle back to green in the off-season.

Esbenshade’s mother, Nancy, founded the company with her husband, Lamar, in 1960.

“My mom, she usually has hers up till Easter,” Esbenshade said. “I think most people don’t do that. She’ll usually send me pictures around Easter time and say, ‘My poinsettias still look good.’ ”

No matter how long you plan to keep your poinsettias, they’re vibrant and abundant at Royer’s now through Christmas.

Royer’s Flowers donates $1,000 to YWCA Greater Harrisburg

From left, Mary Quinn, CEO, YWCA Greater Harrisburg, and Holly Newpower, Royer’s market manager.

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts has donated $1,000 to the YWCA Greater Harrisburg.

The funds are earmarked for the YWCA’s emergency shelter, which provides housing to single women and women with children for up to 30 days.

Family-owned Royer’s donates $10 to women’s charities for every purchase of its “Admiration” arrangement.

Royer’s Flowers saluting veterans with free red, white and blue bouquets Nov. 11

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts will salute military veterans on Nov. 11 by giving them red, white and blue bouquets.

The offer is available in-store only at any of Royer’s 16 stores in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

Non-veterans may purchase the bouquet for $3.99.

“Royer’s is grateful to the brave men and women who have served our country so that we may continue to enjoy freedom,” said Tom Royer, CEO of Royer’s Flowers & Gifts. “It’s our privilege to recognize our veterans in this small way.”

Royer’s Flowers offering free bouquet to donors at Nov. 9 blood drive in Camp Hill

 

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts is hosting a blood drive Nov. 9 at its Camp Hill store, 3015 Gettysburg Road.

The Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank bloodmobile will be at the store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone attempting to donate will receive a free bouquet.

Appointments are not needed, but donors should have ID, eat within four hours of giving blood, and stay well hydrated. Orange juice and snacks will be provided after donations.

Royer’s collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for service members and veterans in November

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts is collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for service members and veterans throughout November in each of its stores.

Royer’s will present the collected items to the American Red Cross “Holidays for Heroes” program.

Cards and coloring pages may be dropped off at any Royer’s store during normal business hours. Free coloring pages can be downloaded at royers.com/heroes

The Red Cross offers these guidelines for preparing cards:

  • Use generic salutations: “Dear Service Member” or “Dear Veteran”
  • Be thoughtful with messages, expressing reasons why you are thankful for the service members/veterans; if you have a personal connection, such as a family member who served, consider adding that
  • Try not to be overtly religious, but messages such as “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You” are acceptable
  • Do not include inserts such as glitter, photos, business cards
  • Do not include personal information such as telephone number, address or email
  • Sign your name

 

Royer’s Flowers donates $3,000 to American Cancer Society in support of ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign

From left, Tom Royer, Royer’s CEO; Stephanie Delp, senior community development manager, American Cancer Society; and Geoff Royer, Royer’s vice president of central operations.

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts has donated $3,000 to the American Cancer Society in support of its “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign.

Family-owned Royer’s donates $10 to women’s charities for every purchase of its “Admiration” arrangement.

Real Men Wear Pink is designed to give men a leadership role in the American Cancer Society’s mission to eliminate breast cancer.

Royer’s Flowers donates $1,000 to Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County

 

 

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts has donated $1,000 to the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County.

The funds are earmarked for CAP’s Domestic Violence Services program, which provides emergency shelter, counseling, legal and housing services, and children’s programming for victims of domestic violence and their children.

Family-owned Royer’s donates $10 to women’s charities for every purchase of its “Admiration” arrangement.

Royer’s Kids Club making patriotic arrangement at Veterans Day event on Nov. 2

The Royer’s Kids Club will salute Veterans Day with a free event on Nov. 2 in all Royer’s Flowers & Gifts stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a patriotic arrangement (left) that includes an American flag.

Participants also may decorate a coloring page for the annual Holidays for Heroes event, for which Royer’s works in conjunction with the American Red Cross to honor veterans and active military.

Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the Nov. 2 event.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is required by calling the nearest Royer’s store.

Sizing up six new arrangements for fall

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Several sure signs of the season: cooler temperatures, candy corn on grocery store shelves and the arrival of our fall menu.

Emily Mallis, Royer’s marketing manager, shared her insight on six arrangements making their debuts.

2820/Foliage Terrarium:

A tilted pedestal container gives a unique, updated look to our everyday dish garden while retaining its vintage feel.

2838/Rectangle Succulent:

Succulents are in, and we are keeping them trendy with this stylized design. This two-plant dish garden gives an earthy feeling, with the stone container and moss as finishing touches.

3768/Darling with Spray Roses, Extra Large:

Charmelia adds height and removing the lilies and gerbera daisy makes for a fuller look in shades of purple and pastel pinks. Ginger spray roses add a finishing touch.

3780/Triple Rose Bud Vase:

This new style of triple rose vase, with its wider lip, enhances a shift to more of an all-around look that’s a great size for an office desk or end table in the home.

3788/Baby Girl Steps: 

The new L- shaped, three-quarter round design replaces the all-around look from last year. The increased height and width give it a more impressive look, with pink or blue carnations instead of an overall garden color.

3795/English Garden Vase:

We wanted to increase the number of $125 vase selections. This English garden vase was redesigned to be fuller. It no longer includes curly willow and uses stock, roses and other value flowers in place of lilies and gerbera daisies.

If you haven’t received a copy of the fall menu in the mail, you can pick one up at any Royer’s store.

 

Royer’s Flowers donates $1,000 to Safe Berks emergency shelter in Reading

From left, Tom Royer, Royer’s CEO; Beth Garrigan, COO, and Mindy McIntosh, director of development, Safe Berks; and Geoff Royer, Royer’s vice president of central operations.

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts has donated $1,000 to the nonprofit Safe Berks in Reading.

The funds are earmarked for Safe Berks’ emergency shelter, which serves victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and their dependent children.

The shelter can accommodate as many as 50 people for 30 days and offers professional counseling and educational group meetings. Its staff is available 24 hours per day, seven days each week.

Family-owned Royer’s donates $10 to women’s charities for every purchase of its “Admiration” arrangement.