First Minnesota Certified Florist

Minnesota Certified Florist

Hi Folks!

Just an update. Anytime Flowers in St. Paul, MN was the first to recieve this certification, and we sincerely hope that there will be many more to come!

A little bit about MNCF

In order to carry this badge, a florist must have a person or persons on staff who have gone through a rigorous set of testing and evaluation, not only for floral design, but also for all of the other things that make up a good florist. These include marketing, merchandising, and accounting to name just a few.

What does this mean for the consumer?

It means that this florist is trustworthy to you and to other florists around the world. It is a “seal of approval” by experts. It means that this florist has learned how individual flowers should be handled in order to give the consumer the best possible value. It means that this florist has learned the intricate life of plants, and how to care for them so that the consumer will have a lush and “happy” plant that has not been permanently “stunted” from neglect.

And that is what Any-Time Flowers gives you, value for your dollar. We are always furthur educating ourselves, and in fact, owner Linda Pawlik recently was awarded the prestigious title CFD, (Certified Floral Designer) by the American Institute of Floral Designers after daunting testing and evaluation through an international panel of acclaimed floral designers.

So be looking for seals like this, many states have now adopted a version of Florist Certification in order to give the consumer easier ways to make choices. It also is a way for consumers to “weed out” those online who would pretend to be a local florist.


Congrats to the class of 2010!

I just recieved my third invitation so far for graduations this year. I find myself moved to tears for these young people who are moving into a completely new realm of reality, and the things that they face as they accept ever more responsibility for their own futures.

And yet their excitement and energy is contagious.

I take myself back to those times, way….way back. I remember my own plans and dreams. And you know what? I achieved them. There are not so many people who can honestly say that they are living their dream, so I find myself humbled by the gripes and complaints that I frequently fall into when I’m tired and just plain ol’ pooped.

I believed in myself, and best of all, others believed in me too. It was a long haul, and it still isn’t easy sometimes, (well, most of the time) and yet I wouldn’t trade running my own flower shop for something that I might consider easier. The rewards would not be as great.

So here is my advice to all of those graduating this year.

Believe in yourself, and hold onto your dreams. You may be ridiculed by others, or even pressured to follow another path. The realities of life are not easy, and the paths are seldom straight, but they are your paths and you are the only one who has to walk them. Make them worth the walk!



Memorial Day – A day of remembrance….

With memorial day just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to have a spot where people could post their favorite memories of a departed loved one.

I will be the first.

My Grandpa, John M., was my fishing buddy, so this time of year especially brings great memories back, because fishing opener for us is the third week-end in May. My Grandma, Anna M., was a no-nonsense woman born at the beginning of the 1900’s. She baked, cooked, cleaned, and played a very mean game of 500. So my favorite memory is the week I spent with my grand-parents when I was maybe 15, (yes, this is a very old memory!).

One morning  grandma  taught me how to make her wonderful bread dough. From it we would make bread, dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls. I was a pretty sharp cook by then, and had determined that I wanted to write down her recipe before it was lost to the family, she used NO MEASURING cups or spoons, just an odd drinking cup. So I was guesstimating as she worked and told me what she was doing and why. I wrote down everything and still use that recipe to this day.

They lived on North Center Lake in Lindstrom, MN. Grandpa took me to town, which is a charming Swedish town in North Central MN to buy bait. We bought a tub of meal worms which I thought was MUCH better than going and digging up night-crawlers in his worm farm out back.  He said we were going to get some pan-fish, which by then I understood to be sunnies and crappies. I had been raised on fish-fry.Way way back my grandparents owned a resort so we were there every week-end in the summer until I turned 9. I had spent a lot of time scaling and gutting sunnies, and also ate a lot of dry bread to dis-lodge those sharp little bones that I was always accidentally swallowing.

But I digress. Back to my teens.

 We were out for a couple of hours, just hauling them in, chatting or not, just companionable-like. We shared views on everything, and I was quite surprised at how much we agreed about, and on the things we didn’t agree on, I was surprised to learn how strongly I felt about my opposing view!

When we got back, grandma had lunch on the table, simple fare left over from dinner the night before. We ate and then I helped grandma clean up, and then they both took their afternoon nap. I worked on a baby afghan I was crocheting while they slept, grandma taught me how to crochet when I was maybe six years old.

When grandpa woke up from his nap, he said it was time to clean the fish. We took them out of the water and counted. 91. Ugh!!!! But, grandpa had a new trick that he showed me. Instead of scaling and gutting, he had started fileting the fish. Within a couple hours, we had all of those pan fish fileted and packed in card-board milk cartons for freezing.

When I think about my grandparents and all that they were able to teach me in just one week of living with them, I fully regret not sending my own kids to spend some time with them. The values, ethics, and plain old living that they imparted will be with me always.

Because of that, I like to go and visit with them a bit at the mausoleum where they lay, and bring a little gift of flowers to symbolize my respect for them.

Please post a favorite memory of yours to share, and don’t forget to bring flowers in honor of your lost loved one.


It’s Down to the Finals!

The “Battle of the Flower Designers” is down to two contestants, now. Adam from Belvedere in PA and Cathy from Avante Gardens in CA.

You absolutely MUST see these two designs for yourself. Both are stunningly creative, and so different that you are sure to have a hard time deciding which you like best. Our judges are having a hard time deciding, too.

Who is going to take the prize? You can help decide! Follow this link to cast your vote for your favorite!


Palm Weaving and Braiding

It’s been pretty exciting around here for me since I learned a couple of new techniques last week. Phil Rulloda was kind enough to post a “How-To” video on Flowerchat. I’ve been a weaving and braiding monster ever since, much to the delight of the customers who have already purchased a design with them incorporated!

Phil showed us two techniques, and through practice and perseverance, I’ve already come up with a couple of my own deviations, and the sky is the limit on where this might take me next. I’ve developed a butterfly that can even flutter it’s wings, you are going to want one of these. I plan to offer them for a “Mother’s Day Surprise” so stay tuned into our web-site or here to be  first in line to see it, you’re gonna love it!


“Cut flowers die too fast!”

Does that statement sound like something you or someone you know would say?

In this industry, things are changing all of the time. The varieties of flowers available are ever-changing and expanding. It is sometimes difficult to even keep up with the changes; science has made leaps and bounds in every aspect of our floral offerings.

We now have fresh flowers that routinely last two or three weeks. That is astounding when you consider how long a bloom might last in your garden! Just think about that, a flower that lasts longer cut and inside the home than when on a plant? Incredible but true. When following the basic floral care practices your local florist gives you, you too can enjoy the beauty and magic of fresh flowers in your home without breaking the bank.

For more info on flower-specific care, ask! Just post your question here so that everybody can benefit from the questins and answers!



Polls are open – Vote for your favorites.

Okay, the battle of the designers is on!

So there are 8 designers across the United States going head-to-head on this competition. Each designer had to follow the same “recipe”, but could choose their colors, container, type of greens, and type of branch. Then, video tape the resulting design from all sides. So now you decide who should go on to round II.

To vote, click on the “March Madness” link and that will take you to the polls, or, click on The Real Florist Blog  and there will bring you there as well.



YOU will vote on the “Designer Shoot-Out”!

We’re really excited here at AnyTime Flowers in Saint Paul to be part of an unusual floral design competition. A handful of florists across the United States and possibly Canada will be participating!

The unusual part of this is that the winner in large part will be voted in by you, the consumer, along with an accredited floral judge as well as a guest judge.

The rules for us are simple, we have been given a “recipe” of a certain number of specific flowers, can’t go under, can’t go over, and then we will choose our own colors and containers.

VOTE FOR ME!!!!!!!
Linda at Any-Time Flowers West Saint Paul, MN

So…..stay tuned in here and I will post links to the videos which will also be on YouTube.