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Thanks for another banner year of kids club events; we’ll have more in 2019!

It seems like just the other day we were kicking off the 2018 Royer’s Kids Club schedule with a Valentine’s Day-themed event. We’re not sure where the time went, but we had a lot of fun with everyone who attended one or more of our five kids events throughout the year.

The photos above are from our final event, held Nov. 10 in each of our stores and featuring a Veterans Day theme.

Thank you to everyone, children and parents alike, for participating this year. We love having you in our stores and sharing our knowledge and passion for everything related to flowers.

We wish everyone a safe, happy holiday season. Meanwhile, we are putting the finishing touches on plans for another great kids club schedule in the year ahead. We can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Royer’s collecting cards and coloring pages Nov. 11-Dec. 4 for area military veterans

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Royer’s is collecting cards and coloring pages for area military veterans Nov. 11-Dec. 4 as part of the American Red Cross’ “Holidays for Heroes” program.

Cards may be dropped off at any Royer’s during normal business hours. Free coloring pages can be downloaded here:

Christmas Tree

Santa

Ornament

Reindeer

Dreidel

The Red Cross offers these guidelines for preparing cards:

  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Veteran” 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.

 

Royer’s Kids Club saluting veterans with Nov. 10 event in all stores

Red, white, blue and you!

For its final kids club event of 2018, the Royer’s Kids Club is honoring the service of all U.S. military veterans.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a patriotic arrangement, featuring red and blue carnations and an American flag.

As the price of admission, participants are asked to bring a new children’s book for Bouquets for Books, Royer’s annual book drive to benefit area public libraries.

Participants also will receive a balloon and may decorate a coloring page for Royer’s annual Holidays for Heroes event, which honors veterans and active military members.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling the nearest Royer’s store.

Made in the shade: controlling water and sunlight to improve plant quality

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To understand how flower growing has changed in the past four decades, consider 1, 7 and 9.

Those numbers identify the three remaining greenhouses at Royer’s corporate complex in Lebanon. As the breaks in number sequencing suggest, Royer’s had more greenhouses back when we grew our own flowers – nine total at the corporate complex and six more nearby on Colebrook Road.

However, a perfect storm occurred in the 1970s: An oil embargo made it prohibitively expensive for Royer’s and other florists to heat their greenhouses, while Bogota, Colombia was found to offer ideal temperatures and sunlight for growing flowers. In the intervening years, most flower growing has shifted to South America.

Today, as Tom Royer, senior vice president and COO, pointed out, Royer’s isn’t a grower but rather a holder of plants. That is, the company buys from growers both inside and outside the United States. Those plants and flowers are delivered to the corporate complex, where they reside before being distributed to Royer’s 16 stores in seven counties.

Much of the “holding” occurs in the three greenhouses. Two of them – numbers 1 and 7 – are the beneficiaries of substantial new investments in equipment designed to improve plant quality and operating efficiency.

Turn of a timer, flip of a switch

Specifically, we more than doubled our flood table capacity (Royer’s got its first flood tables in 1999) for automatic plant watering and installed a shading system that can control the amount of sunlight with the flip of a switch.

Each flood table has its own water reservoir. Once per day, we turn on a timer that floods the table for typically 15 minutes but longer if external conditions warrant. The plants, lined up in rows, drink through openings in the bottom of their containers.

In other words, a worker doesn’t have to tend to each plant individually, a time-consuming proposition considering the hundreds of containers.

“Now I can water all these plants in 15 minutes,” Tom said, “whereas it would take somebody two or three hours to do that day after day after day.”

Conserving water

The reduced labor also will improve quality, as watering won’t ever have to be sacrificed for the sake of other time demands. (In some cases, watering from above can cause damage, such as stains on violet petals.)

Of course, not all plants need the same amount of water.

“Just like people, they drink different, they eat different,” Tom said. Reflecting those differences, Royer’s separates plants by type (all violets on one bench, for instance) or at least by pot size and waters them accordingly.

Water that isn’t absorbed by the plants goes back into each table’s reservoir so it can be conserved and reused.

Another greenhouse variable is sunlight. In greenhouse 7, which holds blooming plants, a system of cables and pulleys operates the fabric shade cloths. By controlling the amount of sunlight, Royer’s can maintain an internal temperature of 75 degrees.

“If these shade cloths weren’t on here,” Tom noted on a warm, sunny day in early October, “it would be a lot hotter in here.”

Tom said the expenditure on flood tables and the shade system are the price of doing right by customers.

“It’s an investment in the future,” he said. “It’s worth it to me to do that because long term I’m going to have better product. It’s going to be taken care of properly. It will grow better, too.”

2018 Bouquets for Books library wish lists

Our annual children’s book drive, Bouquets for Books, returns Oct. 28-Nov. 10 to benefit the public libraries in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties, including the independent Hershey Public Library and Middletown Public Library.

The libraries have provided these wish lists:

BERKS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Dog Man books by Dav Pilkey
Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney
Big Nate books by Pierce Lincoln
Pokemon guidebooks
Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor
Disney books
Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale
Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold
Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems

CUMBERLAND COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

Any titles in these series:
Any Scholastic branches
A to Z Mysteries
Amelia Bedelia
Arthur
Babymouse Graphic Novels
Babysitter’s Club Graphic Novels
Beginner Reader books such as I Can Read, Rookie Readers
Berenstain Bears
Biscuit Early Readers
Boxcar Children
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Curious George
DC Comics
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Dinotrux
Disney
Disney Princesses
Dora or Diego
Dork Diaries
Elephant and Piggie
Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Fancy Nancy
Franklin
Froggy
Geronimo Stilton
I Spy
I Survived
Lego
Little People, Big Dreams Biographies
Magic Tree House
Minecraft
My Weird School
Notebook of Doom
Owl Diaries
Pete the Cat
Pinkalicious
Pokemon
Scooby Doo Mysteries
Star Wars early readers (especially Lego ones)
Star Wars Jedi Academy
Superheroes – DC Comics or Marvel
Thomas the Tank Engine
Who was?
Books by these authors/illustrators:
Anna Dewdney (Llama Llama books)
Dav Pilkey
Dr. Seuss
Eric Carle
Jennifer Holm
Karma Wilson
Leslie Patricelli
Margaret Wise Brown
Mo Willems
Raina Telgemeier
Sandra Boynton

Picture books:
Any hardcover with a 2017 or 2018 publication date
Chapter books:
Any princess chapter books (ex: Jasmine, Ariel, etc.)
Big Nate
Harry Potter
Any books in these subjects:
Biographies –Who Was? series
Books on shapes (triangles, squares, circles, etc.)
Early Reader Science (and other non-fiction)

DAUPHIN COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

Anything written by:
Mo Willems
Eric Carle
Dr. Seuss
Rosemary Wells
Sandra Boynton
Lucy Cousins
Raina Telgemeier
Rick Riordan

Series:
I Survived! by Lauren Tarshis
Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Pete the Cat by James Dean
Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce
I Spy by Jean Marzollo
Can You See What I See by Walter Wick
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
American Girls by various authors
Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

FRANKLIN COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

Series:
A to Z Mysteries
American Girl
Babymouse
Bad Kitty
Berenstain Bears
Boxcar Children
Dragonbreath
Fancy Nancy
Frankie Pickel
Geronimo Stilton
Hamster Princess
I Survived
I, Spy
Magic Tree House
My Weird School
Pete the Cat
Pinkalicious
Princess in Black
Thomas the Train Engine
Large board books, any title or series

Titles:
123 Dream by Kim Krans
ABCs on wheels by Ramon Olivera
Bulldozer Helps Out by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
Carpenter by Bruna Barros
Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin
Color Monster: A Story About Emotions by Anna Llenas
D is for Dress-Up: The ABC’s of What We Wear by Maria Carluccio
Different? Same! By Heather Tekavec
Ella and Penguin Stick Together by Megan Maynor
Faraway Fox by Jolene Thompson
I Want That Nut! By Madeline Valentine
Lion Lessons by Jon Agee
My Dog Laughs by Rachel Isadora
Owl sees Owl by Laura Godwin
Perfect Day by Lane Smith
Plankton Is Pushy by Jonathan Fenske
Saddest Toilet in the World by Sam Apple
Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake
Trio: The Tale of a Three-Legged Cat by Andrea Wisnewski
Walter’s Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood
What Am I? An Animal Guessing Game by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Authors:
Dan Gutman
Dave Pikney
Dr. Seuss (Hardback preferred)
Eric Carle
Lucy Cousins
Mo Willems
Rick Riordan
Rosemary Wells

HERSHEY PUBLIC LIBRARY

Any titles in these series:
Minecraft
Pokemon
Disney (especially princesses)
Elephant and Piggie
I Spy
Lego
Pete the Cat
Thomas the Tank Engine
Dork Diaries
I Survived…(by Lauren Tarshis)

Books by these authors/illustrators:
Sandra Boynton
Margaret Wise Brown
Eric Carle
Mo Willems
Gordon Korman
Rick Riordan
Raina Telgemier

LIBRARY SYSTEM OF LANCASTER COUNTY

Amelia Bedelia books
A-Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
Bad Kitty books by Nick Bruel
Bailey School Kids series
Beginner Reader books such as I Can Read, Rookie
Readers, Step into Reading, Easy Reader Leveled Books
Berenstain Bears (any!) series
Big Nate books by Lincoln Pierce
Boxcar Children series
Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy
Cam Jansen books by David Adler
Clifford the Big Red Dog (any!)
Curious George books
Dr. Seuss books
Diary of a Wimpy Kid books
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and other stories
Dora the Explorer books
Dork Diaries books by Rachel Renee Russel
Eric Carle books
Elephant and Piggie beginner reader books!
Fancy Nancy books
Geronimo Stilton books
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Graphic novels for youth
Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson
Hardy Boys books
Look & Find I Spy books
Magic Attic Club books
Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne
My Little Pony books
Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
Owl Diaries
Paw Patrol books
Peppa Pig books
Pete the Cat books!!
Pinkalicious books
Pokemon books by Tracey West
Puppy Place books
Rainbow Magic Fairies books
Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant
Scooby Doo books
Star Wars books
Teen Titans Go!
Thomas the Train books
Whatever After books by Sarah Mlynowski

These titles:
Andrew Lost by G.C. Greenburg
Be Kind by Pat Zietlowmiller
Big Nate Goes Bananas by Lincoln Peirce
Borka, the Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers by John Burningham
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo
Dear Dinosaur by Chae Strathie
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Rinker
I Survived by Lauren Tarshis
Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Mighty Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Rinker
Pete the Cat 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by James Dean
Pete the Cat Snow Daze by James Dean
The Power of Cute by Charise Mericle Harper
Snoop’s Christmas Surprise by Charles Schultz
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
This is Christmas by Tom Booth
We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
Wild Orca by Brenda Peterson

YORK COUNTY LIBRARIES

Title and Author:
A New Friend for Sparkle by Amy Young
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas by Amy Young
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, Jen Hill
Black Panther: Young Prince by Ronald L. Smith
Bulldozer Helps Out by Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann
Cat Nap by Toni Yuly
Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin
Clifford Books
Darnell Rock Reporting by Walter Dean Myers
Did you Hear what I Heard? by Kay Winters
Different? Same! by Heather Tekavec
Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman, Andy Elkerton
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
First Laugh, Welcome Baby by Rose Ann Tahe
Flo: A Picture Book by Kyo Maclear
Forest Dream by Ayano Imai
Freddy Files (Five Nights at Freddy’s) by Scott Cawthon
Fruits in Suits by Jared Chapman
Furqan’s First Flat Top by Robert Liu-Trujillo
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, Max Lang
Gus Loves Cinderella by RH Disney
Hippopposites by Janik Coat
Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo
I Don’t Want to Be Big by Dev Petty
I Hate Reading: How To Get Through 20 Minutes of Reading Without Really Reading by Beth Bacon, Arthur Bacon
I Want That Nut! by Madeline Valentine
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Jada Jones series by Kelly Stadling Lyons
Katie in the Kitchen (Katir Woo) by Fran Manushkin
La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena
Lego DC Super Heroes: Ready for action! by Victoria Taylor
Lego Ninjago Reader by Tracey West, Kate Howard
Lena’s Shoes are Nervous by Keith Calabrese
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, Jill McElmurry
Llamaphones by Janik Coat
Love Sugar Magic: A dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Magic, Madness and Mischief by Kelly McCullough
Mary Poppins by Dr. P. L. Travers, Genevieve Godbout
Mouse is Small by Mary Murphy
Neon Leon by Jane Clarke, Britta Teckentrup
No Kimchi for Me! by Aram Kim
Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan, Eric Fan
Pearl & Wagner: Four eyes by Kate McMullan
Peek-A-Who? by Elsa Mroziewicz
Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival
Pinkalicious Books
Plankton is Pushy by Jonathan Fenske
Podin One-Ear(Longburrow) by Kieran Larwood
Queen Panda Can’t Sleep by Susanna Isern
Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
Rice from Heaven by Tina Cho
Somewhere Else: A Picture Book by Gus Gordon
Stella Diaz has something to say by Angela Dominguez
Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake
That Bear Can’t Babysit by Ruth Quayle, Alison Friend
The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald
The Carpenter by Bruna Barros
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
The Girl who thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier
The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King by Max Brallier
The Last kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade by Max Brallier
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, Dan Hanna
The Worst Book Ever: A funny, interactive read-aloud for story time by Beth Bacon, Jason Grube
There’s Nothing to Do by Dev Petty
Trio: The Tale of a Three-legged Cat by Andrea Wisnewski
Under my Hijab by Hena Khan
Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman
Who Am I? An Animal Guessing Game by Steve Jenkins, Robin Page
Whose Poop is That? by Darrin Lunde
Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer, Dave Mottram
Category: Alphabet Books
Category: Fire Prevention Books
Category: LEGO Books

Royer’s collecting new children’s books Oct. 28-Nov. 10 to benefit area public libraries

Give a new book, get a fresh bouquet.

That’s the simple proposition behind Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual children’s book drive, which this year runs Oct. 28-Nov. 10.

Bouquets for Books benefits public libraries in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

For each new book, donors will receive a free bouquet, up to three per family per visit, while supplies last. Used books will not be accepted.

For more information, including library wish lists, visit royers.com/bouquetsforbooks.

Postcard from Quito, Ecuador

A field of babies breath and a breath-taking mountain view in Quito

Located in the northwest part of South America, Ecuador’s name betrays another fact about its geographic location. Ecuador is Spanish for equator, the imaginary line that separates the Earth into northern and southern hemispheres.

Quito, Ecuador’s capital, sits more than 9,000 feet above sea level. That combination – proximity to the equator and elevation – are what make Quito a near-perfect place to grow flowers. A 2015 article in the Financial Times noted that Ecuador was the world’s third-biggest exporter of cut flowers, 73 percent of which were roses.

“Roses grown at high altitude have a much longer growing cycle than those cultivated at sea level, up to 15 weeks as opposed to eight, so it is perfect for long-stemmed varieties with big heads,” said an official with a Dutch flower breeder. “The cold nights mean that you get a lot of bi-colors, with contrasting hues on the edges and the insides of petals, which are very sought after in certain markets.”

Tom Royer, our senior vice president and chief operating officer, had been to Quito on multiple occasions prior to his latest visit in September. His nephew, area manager Geoff Royer, had previously joined Tom on trips to flower farms in Bogota and Medellin in Colombia.

Product quality

Because more flower growers ship out of Bogota than Quito, freight costs are more competitive, Geoff said. Quito also has a higher minimum wage that gets passed along to flower buyers.

While Royer’s has tended to buy most of its roses from Colombia because of cost, Tom and Geoff felt compelled to visit Quito because of the undeniable quality of the product there.

This was Geoff’s first exposure to Quito.

The first thing you notice when you get into Quito is the landscape,” Geoff said. “Where Bogota is a plateau and very flat, Quito sits in a river valley.”

Elevation is elevating

Quito is some 700 feet higher in elevation that Bogota.

“That 700 feet is what makes all the difference,” Geoff said. “Because the flowers are closer to the sun, its intensity is much higher. This leads to bigger roses and brighter colors. You can buy the same varieties in both places, but in Quito they are that much better.”

Tom and Geoff wanted a first-hand look at “what’s out there and what’s new,” Geoff said. “We visited a few growers, some whom we’ve dealt with before and others not. As always, we are trying to find the best, longest-lasting product that’s out there.”

Among the Quito-grown products that Royer’s customers could be seeing:

–Hydrangea: “It’s a bigger head and the colors are different from the white and blue that we carry now. There are even some with variegation in the colors,” Geoff said.

–Painted rose: This is a white rose with outside petals hand-painted red. “We sometimes have that that variety of white rose, but the painting is different from anything we’ve had before,” Geoff said.

–Babies breath: Tom and Geoff visited a new grower. “What we get now is called Million Star, a variety that has a smaller flower. This grower offers that but also other varieties with bigger flowers and sturdier stems,” Geoff said.

 

Royer’s name-the-arrangement online contest runs July 15-31

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual name-the-arrangement contest is four times more fun this summer.

The winning name will apply to one arrangement that’s available in four sizes, small through extra-large.

The person who submits the winning name will receive a small version of the arrangement (retail value $21.99), which features yellow alstroemeria and daisy pom pons, peach hypericum and mini carnations, and orange carnations.

To view the arrangement and enter the contest, visit royers.com/contest.

Limit one entry daily per email address, July 15 through July 31.

Royer’s annual food drive kicks off with June 16 kids club event

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual food drive returns June 16-30.

The Royer’s Kids Club will kick it off with an event June 16 in all Royer’s stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 are asked to bring a nonperishable food item as the price of admission.

They will have an opportunity to decorate their own pot and plant marigold seeds in it and to enter the kids club birthday card design contest (the winner receives a flower delivery on his or her birthday). Each participant also will receive a balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling the nearest Royer’s store.

OUR ANNUAL ROSE SALE RETURNS MAY 16-JUNE 16

Roses are most closely associated with Valentine’s Day, but they are available year-round.

They’re a particularly good value in June thanks to the natural rose growing cycle, as evidenced by Royer’s annual rose sale, which coincides with National Rose Month in June.

This year’s sale runs May 16-June 16 with specials including:

  • Three roses added to any arrangement for $4;
  • One-dozen loose red, yellow, pink or rainbow roses for $15.99;
  • Two-dozen premium rose arrangement for $69.99 (normally $89.99).

A rose farm typically harvests its crop every six to eight weeks: conveniently, after the Valentine’s Day harvest comes the one for Mother’s Day. But while there’s another big crop of roses in late spring, there is not a corresponding holiday to absorb all those flowers.

Our rose sale taps into that abundant availability, which makes roses less expensive for us and, by extension, for you, our customers.

Royer’s primary rose variety is called Freedom, which makes a big impression with its deep color, size (flowers range from 5 to 7 centimeters across), and long vase life.

No matter the variety, roses have similar characteristics. However, care requirements can differ whether the roses arrive in a vase, loose or in a box, as these care tips explain.

Of course, with our annual rose sale, it’s a great time to give roses as a gift to someone else or to treat yourself.