SECTION 4 DAILY HERALD DF34 SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 Flowers: They ease fast pace of life Continued from Page I The Platts are hoping suburbanites will learn the joys of strolling among buckets of cut flowers and carrying home an armful. "Fresh color does a lot for people's disposition," he said. "Nothing elaborate. It doesn't have to be expensive." The flower habit is not quick to catch on in the United States. Platt blames our fast pace. "It's an opportunity to get people into a very relaxed environment in the Flower & Garden Show," he said. "The colors and smells do give you a good feeling." The Platts have imported flowers from all over the world for the show. Tulips and gerber daisies bring bright color from Holland. New Zealand contributes orchids. Basic flowers like daisies and carnations now come from South America. Fragrant choices — snapdragons, stocks and larkspur — still grow in California, as do sunflowers and yarrow, although the big floral area there is now known as Silicon Valley. And in Hawaii, we find baby orchids and the large, gaudy blooms like protea, birds of paradise and ginger. "Some people love those scientific reasons for having plants in the house.They purify the air. The kids are flowers and others look at them and say 'What is that?'" said Jim Platt. "They're an acquired taste." Greens from lime to sage to mint are among popular flower "There are good, natural, colors these days, and greenery itself is very important in arrangements, said Cindy Platt. She likes monstera J™ platt leaves philodendron relatives that are multilobed with oval holes — and ti leaves, used in many aspects of traditional Hawaiian life. Grasses work too, for a more natural look. Visitors to the show can buy any of the flowers in Sylvia's market. They can take the flowers with them right away, come back and pick them up when they leave the show or have them delivered. Sylvia's has been in the same spot for more than half a century, said Jim Platt, but the new building was constructed about 12 years ago. It may be hard to imagine today, but as late as the 1950s Arlington Heights Road was covered with gravel and rolled through horse farms, said Jim Platt. That's the way it was in the 1940s when Sylvia Craig started arranging and selling flowers at a farmstand on the property. Eventually she took over the location and started her own flower shop. Along came Ann Muran. In the mid-1950s after the birth of her sixth child — who grew up to be Cindy Platt — learning that in school." Muran started working odd jobs at the flower shop to get some time out of the house. When business was slow, Sylvia Craig would send Ann Muran and other employees out to paint the shutters — sometimes hot pink or blue. Cindy Platt remembers the era when the shop sold lots of carnations and football mums. "I can still see my dad carrying bunches of them," she said. But her father, Joseph Muran, died in 1969. Ann Muran took over the flower shop when her friend Sylvia Craig moved to Arizona. Cindy and her siblings helped out at the shop, and in 1984 Jim Platt joined the family. Cindy and Jim Platt were both teachers but spent weekends at the shop. "Sylvia was very creative," said Cindy Platt. "She was very much ahead of her time." Her husband said both Sylvia Craig and Ann Muran, who are both deceased, were noteworthy as women with families operating a business. And the Platts are hoping their booth will give suburbanites better ideas for including flowers and plants in their homes. "There are good, natural, scientific reasons for having plants in the house," Jim Platt said. "They purify the air. The kids are learning that in school." IOTOS BY (JII.IIERT R. 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