Archive for October, 2012


Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Landscape Show’s motif for 2012 was “Where You Are the Star”, and we took the theme very literally. If the customers are the stars, we reasoned, then why not give them the Hollywood star treatment? We set up our display with giant Oscars, lights, a red carpet with velvet ropes, gold drapes and, of course, a horde of Paparazzi to photograph our arriving guests. We were the paparazzi with cameras slung around our necks, but we were nice paparazzi from the golden age of Hollywood, not the pushy obnoxious version of today. In the back of our booth was a huge sign reading “Grandiflorawood”, similar to the famous one you see up in the Hollywood Hills near the observatory. Of course, we stocked the booth with the most exotic and colorful plants that we had in the nursery, big leafy plants like elephant ears, bananas, gingers and ornamental grasses. Apparently the judges liked our booth, and we were pleasantly surprised when FNGLA President Wes Parrish came by later in the day to present us with the award for Best of Show Themed-Booth.


Thursday, October 25th, 2012

This is an open letter from Laurie French, who has worked for Grandiflora for eons, and now must leave Florida to relocate to Arizona and care for her ailing mother… 

I have been on a very enlightening journey the past two months. I have traveled over 4,000 miles, over or through 23 states, and have seen many relatives. During this time I have realized how easy it is to get caught up in day to day activities, and before you know it, 19 years have flown by. This is how long I’ve been a part of Grandiflora.

 Back in 1993, Alan gave me the opportunity to be a part of a unique wholesale nursery. I experienced the steady growth of the business from 15 acres to 106, from mainly growing shrubs to a mix of annuals, perennials, trees, vines, topiaries and more. 

I was able to see the metamorphosis from San Felasco Nurseries, Inc to the branding of “Grandiflora Grown…Long Lasting Southern Blooms”. I participated in many events as part of the nursery: FNGLA Frontrunners Chapter meetings, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Plant Festivals, Morningside Nature Center Native Plant Sales, Lubee Bat Conservancy Open Houses, Life South Blood Drives and United Way Fund Drives.

 My most rewarding experiences were helping design and participate in Grandiflora’s yearly tradeshow displays. I was a part of numerous fun exhibits. You may remember me as an alien from our “Men in Green” booth, a Fembot (female robot) from our Austin Powers themed exhibit, and the Queen of Hearts in our “Alan’s Wonderland” display. I was unable to make it to Orlando this year, but saw pictures of another ingenious booth spoofing the movie business, “Grandiflorawood”, which won a Best of Show Award.

 I will especially miss seeing all our wonderful and friendly customers. These tradeshows were always a great opportunity to see the people who have been so loyaland supportive throughout the years.

 The other event that meant so much to me was the yearly San Felasco Field Days which has now turned into a major Southeastern educational event, the Floriculture Field Days held at EPCOT in spring.  

During my employment I have had the opportunity to experience many aspects of the trade. I was able to incorporate many of my own ideas. I was able to share my knowledge and love of horticulture with so many other plant enthusiasts. There are so many customers I wish I could say thank you to personally. You have helped me to grow as a horticulturist as well as a person. Also I would like to thank Alan and all my fellow Grandiflora employees that have helped me become a better listener, manager and friend. I will greatly miss you all.

 I will be continuing my love of plants in Arizona while caring for my Mother. I am only a phone call, text or email away at, so please stay in touch.

 Your fellow PlantNut,

 Laurie French