Talk About Robin

Talk About Flowers is excited to be doing a Talk About employee series.  Each month we will feature a Rockcastle Florist employee to help you learn a little bit more about them and their floral history.  First up, from our Greece location, Robin!

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{1} What is your floral industry background?  I attended Alfred State College to gain my Associates Degree in Floriculture Merchandizing.  I have been working in a floral shop since 1995.  During this time I have become an award winning designer, and have attended many floral conferences and exhibitions to keep up with the industry.

{2} How long have you worked at Rockcastle Florist?  12 years. 2 months.

{3} What is the most memorable order you have worked on at Rockcastle?  A funeral piece for a man that was an avid hunter and outdoorsman.  I have a personal connection to those interests and really understood what the family was look for even if they weren’t sure.

{4} What is your favorite flower?  To smell, freesia.  To garden, bachelor buttons or poppies.  To design with, hanging amaranthus.

{5} What inspired you in this industry?  Learning from other designers that push boundaries of traditional design and composition.  I love the calling of being resourceful and using unexpected elements.

{6} Tell us a random fact about yourself.  My family, my gardens, and my hobby farms are my happiness and muse.

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Local Pet Adoption Agencies We Love to Support

During our Cutest Pet Contest, we’d like to hi-light a few of the local Pet Adoption Agencies that we love to support. Whether you’re a pet owner or an Animal Lover there are countless ways to help local agencies through pet adoption or donations of time, money or supplies.

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GRASP Greece Residents Assisting Stray Pets has been a long time favorite of Rockcastle Florist. For a time we even hosted Foster Cats in our Flower Shop…what an awesome distraction, (I mean opportunity) that was!! Greece is a large town with its own sizeable stray, lost or abandoned pet concerns. GRASP not only provides a network of Foster Homes but also reunites lost animals with their families. coordinates medical care and adoptions.  This weekend GRASP is hosting a Garage Sale Fund Raiser. For more information on how you can help visit their facebook page or website at https://www.facebook.com/pages/GRASP/79872086484

LollyPop Farm Animal Shelter has been helping pets and people in the greater Rochester area since 1873! Who can’t recall a visit to their sprawling facility where it seems they accept any kind of animal imaginable in need? Just because they are a large expanse of shelter don’t discount the amount of help they need to run things smoothly. For more information on Lollypop Farm visit their facebook or website at https://www.facebook.com/lollypopfarm

FLTAP Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program opened in 2007 on the property of Finger Lakes Race Track. The Purple Haze Adoption Program allows former race horses the chance for a new home or career. Most race horses are retired from racing between the ages of 4 and 7, whether it is minor injury, overuse or age related issues. With help from FLTAP thoroughbreds are rehabilitated, socialized and trained to become eventers, polo ponies, hunt jumpers, trail horses or family recreation pet/horses. With a potential lifespan of 30+ years FLTAP allows retired race horses many more years of activity and happiness.  What makes these horses so unique is that race track training doesn’t allow much exposure to the outside world so they don’t share the same experiences as farm raised horses. A few years back our family had the experience of indirectly adopting an off the track race horse. He was a gifted athlete with a heart of gold. It seemed every change in scenery was a new experience or surprise for our boy Roy. We miss him terribly after his untimely death, but we cherish the memories we had with him.  For information about FLTAP Purple Haze go to http://fingerlakestap.org/

Cutest Pet Contest

If you know Keith and Wendy, you probably know they are pug crazy.  And in general our staff at Rockcastle is pretty close with all of their animal friends.  From cats to chickens and horses to dogs, we share quite a wide variety.  So it’s about time for a furry face off.

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We want you to submit a photo of your cute pet for a chance to win a $30 Rockcastle Gift Card and a Puppy Bouquet, valued at $59.99.  All you have to do is send a photo to flowers@rockcastle.com by Friday July 19 to be eligible for the contest.  The best of the best will be posted on our Facebook page on Monday July 22.  All week fans can vote by liking the cutest pet.  The lucky winner with the most likes will be announced on Friday July 26.

Get ready for some ooooo’s and awwww’s with out cutest pet contest!

Cutest Pet Contest

Can’t Keep A Gardener From Growing

Today we are happy to share another guest blogger, our very own designer Robin!  She is sharing some of her latest gardening research with us.  Happy reading:

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Everyday of my life nature has inspired me.  As a sleepy tot, leaves served as a mobile for me while my mother did outside chores, wild daisy and black eyed susans later taught me how to braid and chain halos.  I was free to move about in the garden at my own speed, free to indulge all my senses.  Working the Earth steadily all these years completes me and offers physical and mental workouts.  Lately that freedom of movement and opportunity has taken on a new meaning.

Recently a family friend, who shares my passion for plant hoarding and appreciation for garden design, has become physically incapacitated.  She will not heal from her disease and in her early 50’s a wheelchair will now be her only means of mobility.  Along with my suffocating empathy for her situation, I have found a panic button in myself.  One that triggered the fear that at any moment of one’s life, their physical status may change for the worse.  Whether by disease, accident or aging, it is life altering and something I personally would struggle with to the extreme.  So at the root of my fear is ” how will I garden???!!”
I have started researching handicap accessible gardens in hopes to be reassured that there would still be opportunities for my gardening brothers and sisters (and someday possibly myself) that may need a little help in completing their garden or landscape visions.  I was slightly annoyed that there were so few options.  Most photos were of wheel chair accessible gardens to visit in larger cities.  That may be nice for an afternoon visit or a bit of inspiration, but a real gardener needs to get their hands dirty. (Need, not want!)  There were a couple different architectural samples for the homeowner.  Mostly wood raised beds that are the correct height for a wheelchair to glide next to.  The thought is nice, but weeding can sometimes become a contortionist art.  Pulling or planting while facing the wrong direction is not efficient or comfortable.  Leverage and gravity are mandatory.  So I dug deeper for more information. Finally I came across proper raised beds where a wheelchair could pull right up to the planting beds that fit like a table over the lap.  There was a glimmer of hope!  The outside of some of the raised beds were even nicely covered in field stone for a much more natural feel.  There were large gardens of brick or stone that had small coves built in for a very accessible and natural flow and beautiful paths that to the untrained eye would appear to be like any other inviting garden walkway.  On closer inspection the paths are flanked with woody plants, shrubs and trees that need pruning and shaping at a 3′ to 4′ foot level.  Maintenance after initial plantings was thought out professionally.
There are lifelong gardeners and beginners but the common thread is that once you connect to the soil and plants it’s difficult, if not impossible, to pull yourself away.  Blisters, cuts and pulled muscles are just the ignorable side effects of a beautiful personal garden oasis that brims with your own pride and creativity. No matter the physical limitations, We will always find a way to keep up the work.
So I will now keep my eyes (and mind) open a bit further in finding creative and well engineered planting beds that everyone can use.  I would love to see more community gardens offer accessible gardens for everyone and to see more selection and inspiration of raised beds and greenhouses.