You might call Karen Nowak a late bloomer when it comes to contests.
Nowak, a retired teacher from Leola, Lancaster County, said she never wins anything. She didn’t even enter Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ online name-the-arrangement contest right away before submitting a different suggestion daily for a week.
“Yeah,” she said, “I just thought it was fun. Each day thinking, now what can I do?”
Fun and, ultimately, fruitful. Her submission “Citrus Splash” was selected as the winner among more than 900 entries in the contest, which ran July 15-31.
“Better late than never,” Nowak said upon learning of her win.
Debuting this fall, Citrus Splash will be available in four sizes, small through extra large. The arrangement, which Nowak will receive as a prize, features yellow alstroemeria and daisy pom pons, peach hypericum and mini carnations, and orange carnations.
Greg Royer, Royer’s president and CEO, said the response to the annual contest never ceases to impress him.
“The volume and creativity of the entries says a lot about how passionate our customers feel about flowers,” he said. “Congratulations to Karen and thank you to everyone who participated.”
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts will celebrate the start of a new school year with a free Royer’s Kids Club event on Aug. 25.
Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to create an arrangement featuring yellow and lavender daisy pompons, leatherleaf fern and a back-to-school stick-in.
Each participant also will receive a balloon.
Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Registration is required by calling your nearest Royer’s store.
Every day, Royer’s makes dozens – if not hundreds – of flower deliveries to homes and businesses in seven counties. It’s likely that you’ll encounter one of our vehicles on any given day.
What’s less well known is that we’re also picking up flowers. In the summer, we make regular visits to Elm Family Flowers in Lititz, which supplies us with thousands of gorgeous, locally grown sunflowers.
In fact, we buy all of Elm’s sunflowers, which we sell by the loose stem and in a variety of arrangements that we make.
Native to the Americas, sunflowers were domesticated around 1000 B.C., according to Good Housekeeping. Not only are they beautiful, but they also produce seeds (1,000 to 2,000 per plant) and oil.
When they are budding, sunflowers literally turn toward the sun, a trait known as heliotropism. The French word for sunflowers is “tournesol,” or “turns with the sun.”
Daniel Lapp of Elm Family Flowers said his father bought their Elm Road dairy farm in 1986. In 2007, the Lapps augmented the dairy farm by starting to grow flowers. Elm has supplied sunflowers to Royer’s for five or six years.
“Daniel and his family are a joy to work with,” said Tom Royer, Royer’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We are glad we can work with a local grower who gives us super fresh sunflowers.”
Today, the Lapp farm devotes one acre to sunflowers. To put that into perspective, farms planted 1.7 million acres of sunflowers across the United States in 2014.
Elm’s growing season begins in late March and continues until the final harvest in early fall. Lapp said the first seeds begin in a heated greenhouse in what are known as plug trays. After a couple weeks, they are transplanted into the ground but covered with fabric that allows sun and moisture to get through but protects against frost.
“It retains a little of the daytime heat during the night,” Lapp said.
The transplanted seeds require 80 to 90 days before they can be harvested. By comparison, seeds planted directly into the ground will require only 50 to 60 days.
The last sunflowers of the year will be planted by Aug. 10 to beat potentially harmful cold temperatures.
“I usually figure Oct. 10 or 15 is when we’re going to get a frost,” Lapp said.
No matter the temperature outside, of course, sunflowers project warmth wherever they are.
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual food drive collected 1,699 pounds of nonperishable items, pushing the total to more than seven tons since the event began in 2011.
Royer’s Stems Hunger, which took place June 16-30, collected 166 pounds for the Greater Berks Food Bank and 1,533 pounds for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
For each nonperishable food item, donors received a free carnation.
Besides Royer’s 16 stores, the food drop-off locations included eight Drayer Physical Therapy Institute locations in the area.
Jamie Butts of Lebanon said her daughter, Camryn, plays soccer, basketball and swims. But her interests extend beyond sports.
“Drawing and coloring has always been something that she has liked,” Jamie said.
Camryn is a talented artist, too, as evidenced by the Cornwall Elementary fourth-grader winning this year’s Royer’s Flowers & Gifts Kids Club birthday card design contest.
Her design will be featured on the electronic card that kids club members will receive on their birthdays in the coming year. Her prize is a free flower delivery on her next birthday.
The Royer’s Kids Club is free to ages 5 to 12. With parental permission, children may register for the kids club at any Royer’s store or online at royers.com/kidsclub. Kids club benefits include a membership card, online activities, quarterly e-mail newsletter, contests and in-store events.
When boxes of fresh flowers arrive at our distribution center in Lebanon, often they are stacked on wooden pallets. Needless to say, that’s a lot of wooden pallets over time.
As noted by Cheryl Brill, Royer’s vice president of retail operations, pallets became all the rage a few years ago. A quick Internet search reveals pallets that have been “upcycled” into everything from wine bars to bookshelves, pathways (when taken apart) to lights.
Royer’s had its own purpose.
“We originally became interested in the pallets as outdoor artwork as a way to provide color and interest outside in the drearier months,” Cheryl said.
In Ephrata, Cheryl installed pallets on a wall and attached shelves to them. In Shillington, we turned pallets into display pieces for plants and giftware, with two more decorated with sunflowers by resident artist Lori Emerich, assistant manager of our Lebanon store.
In the accompanying gallery, you’ll find numerous examples of our talented staff bringing new purpose and function to old wooden pallets.
Amid the flowers, plants and gifts in our stores, this time of year you’ll also find a selection of food.
That’s because we’re in the midst of our annual Royer’s Stems Hunger food drive to benefit the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Greater Berks Food Bank.
From June 16-30, we’re collecting nonperishable food in each of our stores. For each item you donate, we’ll give you a free carnation, up to six per visit.
Please consider donating at any of our stores.
While the holidays are a time of great giving, needs in our communities exist year-round. Summers are tough for some families because the school break cuts off access to food programs.
So for the past seven summers, our “Royer’s Stems Hunger” food drive has collected nonperishable items for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and for the Greater Berks Food Bank. In its history, Stems Hunger has collected more than six tons of food.
Stems Hunger returns this year from June 16-30. For donating at any of our 16 stores, we’ll give you a free carnation for each item, up to six per visit.
In addition, seven Drayer Physical Therapy Institute outpatient centers in the region will collect food for Stems Hunger.
Meanwhile, the Royer’s Kids Club is helping to kick off the food drive June 16 with an event in each store. Participants are asked to bring a food item as the price of admission.
Royer’s Flowers will collect cards and coloring pages for active military and veterans in each of its stores Nov. 11-25 as part of the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
Collected cards and coloring pages will be handed over to the Red Cross, whose volunteers will organize them for delivery. Destinations include military installations, VFWs, American Legions, the Lebanon VA and retirement homes in 22 counties in central Pennsylvania.
Cards may be dropped off at any Royer’s during normal business hours. Free coloring pages are available at the stores or can be downloaded here:
The Red Cross offers these guidelines for preparing cards:
- Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member” as cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
- Include messages of support and thanks.
- Sign your name to them.
- Don’t include letters or other personal information (photos, addresses).
- Refrain from choosing cards with glitter.
The American Red Cross (redcross.org/centralpa) prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Last year in central Pennsylvania, the Red Cross assisted close to 4,000 people affected by more than 400 local disasters.
Join us Sunday, January 18, 2015 from Noon to 3pm for 101 The Rose Bridal Party at the Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA. View the latest trends in wedding flowers and learn how we can help make your walk down the aisle spectacular.
Dream Weddings PA will bring back their spectacular Grand Prize Wedding Giveaway for the 4th year in a row. The Grand Prize Wedding will be given to one lucky couple at the end of the show! Every registered bride will automatically be entered, every PRE-REGISTERED bride will be entered TWICE (pre-registration ends Friday 1/16 at 2PM)!