MM 4 SKCTtON 4 DAILY HERALD SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 CLF12M Flowers: They ease fast pace of life Continued from fhge 1 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 flowers and others look at them and say 'What is that?'" said Jim Platt. PHOTOS IIY OII.11KKT R. HOUCHKR II, 2007/gbouchcr(r*clai Iylicralcl.com This waterfall was one of the attractions at last year's Chicagoland Flower & Garden Show. "They're an acquired taste." Greens from lime to sage to mint are among popular flower colors these days, and greenery itself is very important in arrangements, said Cindy Platt. She likes monstera leaves — philodendron relatives that are multilobed with oval holes — and ti leaves, Site gives gardening help A Web site that allows home gardeners and professional horticulturists to gain information about plant pests, diseases, and performance in the USDA's hardiness zones 4, 5, and 6 has been launched by University of Illinois Extension. "Hortanswers" at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/ hortanswers/ is designed to provide basic information about the disease and pest problems of plants plus determine the right plant for the right place in the garden, said Greg Stack, U of I Extension horticulture educator and one of the designers of the Web site. Originally conceived by former U of I Extension specialist Bruce Pallsrud, the Web site was developed by Jane Scherer, U of I Extension urban program/web coordination specialist, along with Stack and fellow Extension horticulture educators James Schuster, Maurice Ogutu, and Sharon Yiesla. "Because of its complexity, it took several years to develop," said Stack. "The result is an extremely valuable site." Users may access the information they seek by a variety of routes. One approach is to search plants and the categories include annuals, groundcover, ornamental grass, perennials, roses, shrubs, small fruits, trees, tree fruits, turf, vegetables, and vines. If a particular problem is affecting your garden, try the search by problem feature and initiate a search by the problem or pest or by the plant affected, with categories for common and scientific names. Searching by perennials, for example, produces a page that gives criteria for these plants in hardiness zones 4, 5, and 6. Pictures of the plants are included along with information on the various plants plus problems they may encounter. And, there are also photos of the problems that affect the particular plant. "The Web site allows users to proceed through as much information as they desire and gain insights and tips about how various plants will look and perform in their garden," said Stack. "While the site is not all- inclusive or exhaustive, it provides good, basic information to guide home gardeners in selecting plant material and alerting them to some of the problems they may encounter." WINDY CITY KITCHENS & BATHS Serving Chicago/and Since 1991 FEATURING: OAK-PINE-RED BIRCH CHERRY-MAPLE-HICKORY ALDER • (RUSTIC WOODS) s*tl • 100's of Styles • 100's of Cabinet Finishes Cabinetry uLTMC^n taamSaaSiA-ntr.tftJfi Hi»-K*ta«.ta»lft»l»S«J.-IMIt i'U,,iw,«,i- < «ij«.».a" > a.-.«!i If ix MJ ,e.i !af' SOLID SURFACE • LAMINATE • GRANITE • QUARTZ MATERIAL • CALL OR VISIT OUR SHOWROOM • WINDY CITY KITCHENS & BATHS 370 Bennett • Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 (847) 806-7040 Just off 1-90 at Arlington Heights Rd. & Higgins njj Monday Thru Friday 9am - 5pm Or By Appointment Know the score. Everyday in the Daily Herald 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 — 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," "There are good, natural, scientific reasons for having plants in the house.They purify the air. The kids are learning that in school." Jim Platt Orchids, like those above, are among the popular flowers you might see in Sylvia's European flower market at the Chicagoland Flower & Garden Show in Rosemont. Gerbera daisies, below, should be a hit again this year as well. 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." LOOmCVd f* Vemon Hills Hours: Moh. & Thurs. 10am • 9pm ^v 645 N. Lakeview Pkwy Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat. 10am - 6pm home decorator fabrics 847-680-1119 Sun. i lam-5pm _ SPECIAL DISCOUNTS For Builders, Contractors new construction and remodeling (additions & basements) Ask for details. Top Designer Brands Available NOW OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK!! HAVE A FREE FOR ALL THIS MONTH with Any Carpeting Purchase! 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