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Elizabeth's Garden, celebrating 10 years, offers Valentine's variety

February 12, 2011

Elizabeth Thompson, owner and proprieter of Elizabeth's Garden in Culver, works on a flower arrangement at the Plymouth Street store. PHOTO: JEFF KENNEY

Customs and trends come and go, but in Culver as elsewhere, Valentine’s Day remains a day for presenting one’s sweetheart with flowers. This Valentine’s Day, as has been the case for a decade now, Elizabeth’s Garden is the place in Culver to facilitate that time-honored tradition.
The florist and gift shop, at 104 Plymouth Street, will celebrate its 10th anniversary here on April 9. Before Elizabeth (Beauchamp when she first opened, but Thompson since 2006) opened her business, it had been several years since Culver had a local florist.
Elizabeth’s, of course, offers much more than just flowers. Some may not be aware that the shop rents tuxedos, and besides selling green plants (“We dabble in annuals and perennials,” says Thompson), there are candy and balloon bouquets for any occasion, including Valentine’s, and candies specially-made for Elizabeth’s Garden.
The store is also an authorized dealer in Melissa and Doug toys, Vera Bradley products, Lindsey Phillips’ Switch-flops (whose strap can be quickly changed over to accessorize any outfit), and several local artists’ work, including Allison Osborn and Rhonda Kinney jewelry. Also on hand are a variety of Culver-related keepsakes, besides outdoor-related items and an inspirational line featuring stepping stones, crosses, picture frames, and the like.
As for flowers, they aren’t just for Valentine’s Day, of course. Fresh arrangements for virtually any occasion -- from parties and proms to weddings and funerals -- are available. Thompson has, in fact, come to specialize in coordinating a variety of events, something she says is “my favorite part” of her job.
And as one would expect, delivery is always available from Elizabeth’s, at least within Culver and a reasonable outside town.
Thompson, who grew up between Culver and Knox, started out young in her gardening life, doing floral arranging in 4H as a youth and coming from a family flower gardeners.
“There was no florist in Culver,” she says, looking back at the genesis of the idea for her business here. “We used to come to Crowels (florist in Culver) when they had their store. I was familiar with Culver, there was an open market here -- it seemed like a no-brainer.”
Those who’ve dropped by Elizabeth’s Garden or ordered flowers delivered are likely to be familiar with Elizabeth’s mother, Barbara Beauchamp, a retired librarian with Knox Schools who has worked intermittently with her daughter “since day one.”
This coming Sunday the 13th, Valentine’s shoppers can order their flowers from noon to 4 p.m. that day. Thompson encourages orders by Sunday or Monday noontime. By the afternoon of the big day, they’re often sold out of flowers.
She notes mixed bouquets are popular and practical for many customers hoping to charm their sweetheart on the 14th.
“We can match those to the client’s price point,” she explains. “Those are what we find to be the most popular at Valentine’s Day. Long-stemmed red roses are traditional, but a mixed bouquet is not as pricey.”
Elizabeth’s roses, she says, have greater longevity than some others, and certainly more than at groceries or other stores where they aren’t kept in cool storage.
Fresh flowers may be delivered as often as six days per week, Thompson says, and nowadays it’s “very rare that something’s out of season.
“I feel people appreciate having a local florist in Culver,” says Thompson, reflecting on her decade in business here. “I have a window full of thank you notes from clients!”
Elizabeth’s Garden may be found online on Facebook and at www.elizabethsgardenofculver.com (the store will soon be part of www.treatsbridalsuite.com, as well), or reached by phone at 574-842-4766.

NOTE: See the complete version of this article in our print editions only.

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