For those of you who know me, you know how I like…love flowers. It may even be an “addiction” since I can’t seem to walk into a store that carries flowers and not walk through the plant department and come home with at least one new plant. And Kathy Daniels likes to call flowering—plant therapy! Well, there’s a new place in town for flowers—tropical anyway, and I found it this week. Paradise Airplants is located across from the Wal-Mart at 1723 Lecanto Highway—where the former Cloverleaf lawn store was located. 352-513-3481
Although the store is new, Paradise Airplants’ owners Agustin and Shirley are not new to the plant business. They, for many years, travelled the country participating in Craft and Art Shows. When the grandkids starting being born, family members urged them to come home and settle down. So the couple established Natalia’s Italian Restaurant and stayed in the restaurant business until a year ago when they sold the business. Not ready to retire, they decided to go back to doing what they loved…growing plants. They grow the plants on site with greenhouses located on the back of the property.
There are tropical air plants including the beautiful soil-less orchids you see hanging in Donna Rose’s and Fran Welch’s lanais. (They had driven to Clermont to purchase their special orchids) The soil-less orchids, ($39) believe it or not, are easy to take care of. I purchased one last fall, nursed it through the winter and it now has two orange floral sprigs blooming. Spray the roots once in a while with a special fertilizer and that is all. (I did take mine inside when the temperature went to 40 degrees and below.) I purchased from Paradise Plants a new soil-less orchid plant with two sprigs—so I await the bloom and the surprise as to what color it will be. The store carries an assortment of orchids also, not just the air orchid.
I love bromeliads and the store’s bromeliads are 2 for $25. Bromeliads will last for months. I stopped buying my almost weekly (or monthly if I happened to get a fresh bouquet) – cut flowers years ago and love the bromeliad because of its long bloom period, ease in care and tropical look—they look like Florida!
Agustin and Shirley have incorporated local artwork with plants, so their store also has what I think are great and unusual gift ideas. I have included some pictures. The carefree “air plants” incorporated into aquatic art pieces would look great on a lanai and patio.
Agustin and Shirley do presentations and are currently doing talks in the schools about growing plants. Let me know if you are interested in them coming to Black Diamond for a presentation…maybe lunch too? I will set up a day and time.
Stop shop and meet Agustin and Shirley! Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9-4; Saturday 9-3.