Amazing Autumn

Autumn is a time of notable grandeur
Etched in colors of red, yellow, and gold.
Each tree is dressed in a coat of splendor,
A vivid treasure to always behold.
               Autumn Grandeur by Joseph T. Renaldi

At Bo-Ty Florist, we’re excited when the seasons change and we begin to use the colors and flowers associated with each one, whether it’s the sweet pastels of tulips and daffodils in the Spring, bright colors of zinnias and garden roses in Summer, or the happy hues of Christmas followed by cheerful hyacinths and amaryllis in the Winter.

The Autumn brings its own palette of brilliant yellows, reds, oranges, and golds, and we enjoy all the varieties of chrysanthemums and sunflowers along with great choices in roses, fall lilies, and many other flowers available in beautiful colors of the season.


We really love to dress up plants and arrangements with
gourds and pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables of the harvest, as well as wheat, cattails, and colorful foliage.Croton plants, with their variegated  leaves in vivid fall tones are a particular favorite this time of year.

All the way up to Thanksgiving Bo-Ty Florist celebrates the cornucopia of Autumn’s produce, including fresh flowers and plants!  And we try hard not to let this magnificent season get overshadowed by Christmas, as wonderful and magic as it is.

Nathaniel Hawthorne said “There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” 

Relish in this Amazing Autumn, and all the beauty it brings.


In Lieu of Flowers

Florists would, of course, encourage everyone to send flowers for whatever the occasion and feel that sympathy flowers may not only brighten and warm a funeral or memorial service setting, but also have a positive impact on the emotional well being of the bereaved. 1

In lieu is defined as in place, instead.  I think we get the impression that “In lieu of flowers” means “don’t send flowers, please do something else.”  Usually the meaning is that as an alternative to flowers, there is an option to honor the loved one another way.  The request may be to make a donation to a charity or church.  At Bo-Ty Florist, we are very involved in charities and contributions to the community, so we understand the value of these as a meaningful option. 

While a contribution to charity in the name of the deceased is always a fitting tribute, the value and importance of flowers sent in sympathy can never be overstated.  Sending flowers for a funeral is a strong tradition for many, and it is a part of the grieving process to be able to express yourself in the manner which best conveys your emotions. 2

Our friend, renowned floral designer Haskell Eargle, once said “You never see ‘In lieu of potato salad.’”  It was a humorous way to express a florist’s exasperation with the phrase.  If I want to bring food- or flowers- and you turn me away with a polite “no thank you,” I may be left with the feeling that I haven’t been able to show my love and compassion for you. 

Fortunately, we rarely see “Please omit flowers” any more.  As florists, we’d prefer alternatives such as “Memorials may be made to…” or even “The family requests that donations be made to…” simply eliminating the phrase “In lieu of…” that singles out the floral industry in a negative manner. 

Flowers are sent to honor the deceased, to comfort the loved ones, and as an expression of sympathy meaningful to the sender.  This little poem expresses it well-

I put flowers on your grave
Although it doesn’t seem much
But even though you’re gone
We still love you very much

                                   Jade Bradley

For more information, please see


1“The Role of Flowers and Plants in the Bereavement Process” The American Floral Endowment jointly with the SAF Florist Information Committee.



Tell On Us!

The kids and I recently had lunch at Arby’s.  We enjoyed the food and had a good time together.  At the door on the way out Arby’s has a bell with a sign reading “Ring our bell if we made your day!” 

 We were happy, so I rang the bell.  It was almost an afterthought, and I was reaching back awkwardly, giving my teenage son a chance to make fun of me.

 Later I was thinking about how nice it is to hear when we’ve accomplished “a job well done.”  Everyone likes and needs a pat on the back occasionally help keep us motivated.  If you really try to do a great job, you want to know that someone appreciates it.

At Bo-Ty Florist we really try.  Customer service is one of the best things we have to offer.  It’s what keeps you coming back, because you know we will take care of your order.  We get thoughtful notes from customers thanking us for the attention that we gave their order.  And I love to get comments about how our flowers lasted or “stood out.”

We love to see favorable comments in the social media.   Admittedly, we like the PR, but it is also encouraging and uplifting to know that we “made your day!”  If Bo-Ty has made you happy, we’d like you to share it on our Facebook page, Google, Insider Pages, CitySearch, Yelp, or other places you like to use to share your opinions.  If your experience was not positive, call us at 336-765-7272 or 800-232-8791 and give us a chance to make it up to you.

If you’ll “Ring Our Bell” it will make our day!


“Make it nice, I’ll be there!”  We hear that from customers sometimes and it kind of frustrates us.  As if we wouldn’t make it nice if we knew that the customer would never see it.

We try to treat every order with the utmost care and accountability.  Of course, more time and effort go into the $300 arrangement than the $30 one, but the same level of quality and service is behind everything we sell. 

A floral design is an individual work of art, like a sculpture.  I’m not sure everyone understands the skill and artistry involved.  Sure, just about anyone can chop off flower stems and drop them in a vase, and the beauty of the blooms themselves can be appreciated.  You do that at home, bringing the wonders of nature indoors to enjoy. 

Our hope is that we build a confidence in you, our customers, that each time you call we will create something beautiful for whatever the occasion, whether you’ll be there to see it or not!  We even work at finding the right selection of florists throughout the country, so that your order to another city will be up to the highest standards.  I think that’s why you call us to help with those orders, rather than just picking a shop on the internet.

We are proud of our artistry, and we’re constantly trying to upgrade and learn all the latest trends and styles so that even though we’re over sixty years in business, we’re still the “up-and coming” florist.


“It’s The Economy, Stupid!”  That phrase, coined by James Carville for the 1992 Clinton Presidential campaign, is widely credited for Clinton’s successful defeat of George H. W. Bush.  It’s still the economy, and even more so these days, as we try to bounce back from a long and drawn out recession.

At Bo-Ty, we have been struggling along with the rest of you to figure out how to survive and succeed in these challenging times.  We appreciate our customers who value flowers and their place as gifts and decorations for all kinds of events, and continue to support us.  While recession lowers prices on many things, increases in gasoline prices drive up costs, particularly of things that must be transported quickly, like fresh flowers and plants.  Adjustments in the airline industry have bumped up air freight expenses.  Flowers come to us from all over the world via air and truck, and wholesalers and brokers are finding it hard to absorb those expenses.

We also are deeply grateful to our employees, who have had to adjust to shorter working hours as business has remained slow.  We are pleased to not have had to let people go, but our folks have made big sacrifices in helping to cut back our payroll.  The economy shows signs of recovery, but it is expected to be a slow and trying process.

The Botyers want you to know that we are, as always, “Working to provide exceptional and unique floral services that express the emotional moments of life through our team of dedicated professionals.” (Our Mission Statement)


People often ask “Are flowers really better at flower shop?” or “Why should I buy flowers from Bo-Ty instead of a grocery store?”  

Our answer is that supermarket flowers may be fine for “everyday” flowers if you just want to add a splash of color, just like hamburger is fine for everyday dinner, but when dinner really matters, would you serve hamburger or steak?  A lot of people may not realize it but, just like meat, there is a wide range of quality in flowers. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.

 Bo-Ty prides ourself on searching out growers where we buy only the highest quality flowers. Our premium flowers generally have longer stems, bigger blooms and brighter colors. Compare our roses to those at the grocery store and you will see what we mean. We also have more choices. In a typical week, we have nearly 50 varieties of flowers in stock and we work growers all over the world. If it’s blooming anywhere in the world, we can usually get it when given enough notice of a customer’s need.

 Bo-Ty is the oldest florist in Winston-Salem. Flowers have been our specialty for over 60 years. Our staff continually attend professional florist training programs and read professional trade publications to keep up with the latest design trends and the latest care and handling of flowers and plants.

 Don’t give ordinary flowers to extraordinary people.  When flowers matter, remember Bo-Ty.


(this post was inspired by an article by Amy Stewart. Read more on her blog.)

Welcome to our new blog!

We’re not blogging because, like some, we feel we have so much to say that we should be heard.  Or because we think we can cash in on the ad money in the blogosphere.  No, we just want to communicate with our friends and customers so that when we have something we find interesting or exciting, we can share it with you.

We have fresh flowers coming in daily, and we take that for granted, but sometimes even we get energized by something new or especially beautiful.   We also have new gifts and accessories coming in all the time-fun new things we’re delighted to have in the store.


Our staff is very talented and knowledgeable, and eager to let you in on our experiences in the flower business.  And our goal is to make your experiences with flowers more enjoyable.  Hope you’ll join us often!