Orchid Production in a Global Economy

Did you know orchids are a little harder to come by lately and the price may be just a tad higher than before?

Heavy flooding caused by monsoons in southeast Asia has created a lot of obstacles for Thailand’s orchid industry. The flood problems range from destroying orchid plants, making harvest impossible, and making deliveries to the airport on flooded or closed roads wearisome.

Thailand is the world’s largest producer of dendrobium orchids, generally two million stems a day (wow!!). Their government estimates that flooding affected more that two million acres. It takes more than a year to replace damaged orchid plants. Although only 10% of the flooded areas were orchid farms, the industry has been disrupted. Thus, the beautiful flower is even more special today.

Thanks for stopping by,


Flower Coolers are Timeline

It’s the day after Valentine and the shop is trying to recover from the busiest day of the year. The whole staff has worked very hard the last week preparing for V-Day and it appears to have been a great success. Pam & I want to thank all of our loyal customers for their business and for being part of the Wylie family. Wylie has grown greatly the last 10 years but it’s citizens carry the small town attitudes and values that make living in Wylie so fulfilling.

Thinking of how Wylie has grown, Monday while I was in the delivery area, I looked over at our original flower cooler and it triggered memories of how Wylie Flower Shop had grown. In fact, our coolers are like a timeline (facebook users are getting real familiar with that term) of Wylie Flower & Gift Shop.

When Pam & I bought the shop in 1994 from her parents, there was one brown wooden flower cooler about 8’L x 6′ W x 6′ H. A couple of years ago when I was putting a memories dvd for Martha & Bobby’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party, I came across a picture of Bobby King holding Pam (at about 2 years old)  in his arms in front of that same brown flower cooler. That was about 1966 or so and I don’t know how long they had had the cooler at that point..

At some point before 1994, Bobby had added a cooler unit to the old bank vault (yes, the shop building was once a bank, a butcher, general store, etc..)  inside the flower shop for use during the busier days and also added two reach-in showroom coolers. 

Back to present time, next to the brown coolers, is a white cooler that is about 10’L x 6’W x 6’H. The white cooler was added in the late 1990’s and the white cooler was placed along side the wooden cooler near the cash register. Business had been growing and we were having to use our wedding chapel at valentine’s for overflow. The candle store fire of 1999 destroyed the wedding chapel and when we rebuilt, we decided to extend our gift shop.

Growing right along with Wylie, in around 2000 we added our large showroom cooler that is approximately 20’L x 8’W x 8’H. and moved the brown and white coolers to the delivery area. Wylie kept growing and since we no longer had our wedding chapel for overflow, we rented POD’s, refrigerated trucks, or refrigerated semi-trailers during the busy valentine season. Neither the semi-trailers or the refrigerated trucks had ramps, so we made make shift stairs. The staff (myself included) climbed those stairs tens of thousands of times retrieving flowers and storing arrangements for delivery.

After years of planning, in 2007 we added a large flower cooler and processing room onto the back of the shop that is 32’L x 12’W x 8′-10’H. During Valentine & Mother’s Day it serves as refrigerated flower & delivery storage, then during Fall, it is transformed into the Homecoming Showroom. The rest of year it is used for weddings, overflow, and storage.

Marilyn Hargrove came to work at our shop as a teenager and as teenagers often do, they leave and come back only to leave again. Well, Marilyn is now 29 years old and now works part-time at the shop during the peak periods. She made the comment today that she tells everyone that when she started to work at Wylie Flower Shop, “they only had one flower cooler” and “this was her 14th Valentine to work at Wylie Flower Shop”.

Funny how things we come in contact with everyday and don’t give a second thought, are a reflection on you, your family, your history. In this case, a set of flower coolers of all different sizes are a reflection on the growth of Wylie and the Wylie Flower & Gift Shop.

Thanks for reading,


It’s All About Memories that Will Last a Lifetime

A couple of weeks ago, Pam and I were chit chatting with some married friends of ours when the husband made the comment “I think the two biggest rip offs are seafood and flowers! I would rather have a nice juicy steak than seafood any day and florists’ gouge you at Valentine’s and they are already overpriced anyway, and to beat that they are going to die so what’s the point”. As the wife shook her head embarrassingly, Pam tried to explain to him that at Valentine’s our vendors raise the prices and that for years we kept the price the same but over the last few years we raised our rose prices by $10 a dozen during Valentine. She also pointed out that for a lot of florists, the business during Valentine’s season is what keeps the doors open the rest of the year. His comments rolled around in my brain for the last few weeks and I will admit, I have heard the similar comments before.  This may take several blog entries to cover, but I want to attempt to address his issues.

Now during my high school years, I wasn’t the most handsome guy. In fact as a youth I was often referred to as the “red headed freckle faced kid” even though I didn’t think my hair was red. The one thing I learned early was that girls (and ladies) love attention. One of the ways of showing my affection was to send flowers to school (I also made sure and purchased homecoming mums and prom corsages). As I grew older, I kept this tradition. When I went on my first date with Pam, I purchased a dozen roses and brought them to her when I picked her up. That is a memory that Pam still has and mentions from time to time, in fact sometimes brags to customers.

And I guess that’s why some guys don’t get it. It’s not about the flowers’ cost or that they will expire, it’s about the feeling of giving, receiving, and the memories that will be triggered throughout a lifetime. That juicy steak after you eat is only a memory, and I have some great memories of steak also. But I have some great memories of occasions where I purchased flowers and they last a lifetime. Several years ago, we sent my mother a dozen roses for her birthday. Mother went on and on about them and then mentioned that my late father had never gave her a dozen roses. My grandmother would often say “don’t bring flowers to my grave, bring them to me when I’m alive so that I can smell them”. We know she was just using flowers as an example, she wanted us to show her love while she was alive and could enjoy it, not after she had passed. Flowers create memories, but the love that is portrayed by the thought is priceless.

I want to also touch on one other thing. In the next few weeks, you will be barraged with radio ads for Pro Flowers, FTD, 1800Flowers, with some amazing, almost to good to be true deals. Two dozen roses for 29.99, etc… Please know those flowers will be delivered in a box to your doorstep. Your spouse, loved one, family member, or friend, will then have to cut each stem, place then in a vase while attempting to arrange them. This is akin to going to the grocery store, buying steaks, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, wine, etc… bringing them home and having your spouse, loved one, family member, or friend, clean the potatoes, make the salad, cook the steak, and serve on the table, then clean the dishes afterwards.

Think about that! That’s the reason the flowers are sooo cheap. You wouldn’t and  shouldn’t treat your loved one that way. Those items purchased at the grocery store are going to cost less than going to a restaraunt and ordering the same thing, but at the restaurant you are served, satisfied, and you don’t have to clean up. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing with flowers? There is no WOW in having to get the flowers in a box,  putting them together, and then cleaning up afterwards, because there will be a mess.

Put the WOW back in Valentine’s and have your flowers professionally designed and hand delivered to your loved one. We guarantee you both will be satisfied.

Thanks for visiting.