<strong>Floral designer</strong>, Myrna Roxas puts the finishing touches to a mixed arrangement of flowers. <em>*Photo by B. Candace Ray</em>
Floral designer, Myrna Roxas puts the finishing touches to a mixed arrangement of flowers. *Photo by B. Candace Ray
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“We design to fit the occasion,” the owner of Gardine’s Flowers N’ Things, Gardine Gibbons said.

Proposals rank among such occasions. A fiancé-to-be could bookend his proposal with a single bloom at the start and celebratory bouquet after.

And, of course, flowers are always appropriate for those ‘I’m sorry’,or ‘I’ll do better’ occasions.

Who’s to say, too, that ‘I love you’ requires a reason other than that to present beautiful blooms? Try a congratulatory arrangement for a friend who’s received a promotion, an, ‘I understand and I’m here’ bouquet for a colleague facing a challenge, or a ‘happy Friday’ basket of blossoms for your partner.

A balloon bouquet for your son or daughter’s birthday could be presented. Include a lesson on marine mammal protection so that your child and his or her friends guard against balloons escaping their grip.

Dress the altar at your church with an Easter lily cross, or ask Gardine’s designers to prepare a variety of flowers for another Sunday.

Relax. Gardine’s Flowers N’ Things also cater parties, according to Ms Gibbons. Let Gardine’s fill your requests for flowers for banquets, weddings or conventions. With Shelly Bay being so central, you haven’t far to go for help.

And did you know that Gardine’s blooms have been recognized as ‘flowers fit for a queen’? When Queen Elizabeth visited Bermuda, the florist was tasked with arranging orchids, lilies and alstroemeria for a Tucker’s Point dinner feting Her Royal Majesty, and for the plane when she departed the island.

“We did little arrangements for the tables, which basically was a mixture of what we did previously [for the dinner],” Ms Gibbons said.

Floral designer Myrna Roxas and colleague, Charmaine Haydel helps Ms Gibbons create the shop’s beautiful arrangements.

The three designers worked long hours, last October, during the Department of Tourism’s ‘10-10-10’ wedding promotion.

“We were the florist that was chosen out of all the florists on the island to do that promotion,” Ms Gibbons said of the 10 weddings in one day.

Gardine’s was responsible for the bride’s bouquets, boutonnières, flower girl baskets, maids-of-honour bouquets and mothers’ corsages. The 10 different packages were adjusted to the preference of each bride and delivered between Somerset and St. George’s by Ms Gibbons’ husband, Shirley Gibbons.

“Of course, for special occasions, I have two floral arrangers that I can call in and three more drivers that we use,” the owner said.

According to designer Ms Roxas, arranging Gardine’s blooms is a real ‘labour of love.’ A native of the Philippines, Ms Roxas began her career at a flower shop in Brunei.

“My boss really loved flowers,” she said. “She [was] the wife of the Minister of Education. We used to make the arrangements for the house, and for the Sultan, too.”

Now Ms Roxas concentrates on making Gardine’s customers, ‘king’.

Gardine’s designers might create a funeral tribute of carnations and spider mums, for example, or perhaps of roses or lilies.

Customers often ask them for a particular shape to celebrate the life of the departed. It might be a saxophone, golf club and ball, or tennis racket. A musical note, book or lady’s hat could be requested. Motorbikes, taxis and fishing rods with fish have also been done.

“We cut the Styrofoam to shape whatever we need to do, and then cover it with flowers,” Ms Gibbons explained.

She noted that while this kind of work is extremely tedious, it is a specialty of the house in which the business takes pride.

“We’re basically the only florist on the island that gets a request to do that,” Ms Gibbons said.

Many orders come in by phone, but with its 6:30pm closing, Gardine’s Flowers N’ Things wields the personal touch for which it is known amid the shop’s evening traffic. Stop by and see what you might come away with.