Easter is synonymous with death and rebirth so it should be no surprise that flowers are a beloved part of the season.

It’s the time of year when green life pokes its way up through white ice and brown muck, and Easter—with all its pastels—provides the perfect showcase for spring beauty.

Easter lilies alone keep things busy for Reedsburg floral shops but they aren’t the only reason customers walk through the door. Other colors are sneaking into tabletop arrangements.

Country Charm Fresh Floral & Gifts on Main Street prepares numerous white Easter lilies and palms for regional churches, said owner Dorothy Gant. Palms arrive from tropical areas and are distributed for Palm Sunday services. Lilies and other holiday arrangements are delivered just before Easter to ensure freshness.

For lilies, churches and individuals prefer the traditional white. However, she’s seeing more requests for tulips, daisies, mums and azaleas. Gant said it may be for the burst of color or because these flowers tend to last longer than Easter lilies. Some churches have gravitated to other flowers due to the lily’s aroma; its unmistakable scent can aggravate allergies and respiratory conditions, as well as make it difficult for musicians to breathe.

They may not be white lilies, but colorful flowers are no less beautiful for Easter, she said.

“It’s like God’s work of a flower garden,” she said.

At Fantasy Floral & Accents on Main Street, managers Bobbi Ruszkowski and Rande Buske see requests for not only lilies but also tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Ruszkowski said it’s nice to have a lily at home but there’s nothing wrong with a dash of other colors.

“We’ve had a long winter with whites and reds and greens,” she said. “When spring gets here people want pinks and yellows and blues and purples.”

Ruszkowski said Fantasy Floral cooperates with Country Charm, and churches make sure to share their business between the two shops.

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Gant said she doesn’t make many corsages anymore. What used to be a seasonal staple has faded away. She isn’t certain why, but Gant said it might be due to changing fashion trends and clothing. Modern fabric differs from years past and many people don’t want to put pins in it. That’s why Gant introduced a magnetic fastener for those who don’t want the typical corsage pin.

Ruszkowski said she’s noticed a resurgence in corsages but they are more popular for Mother’s Day than Easter. She attributes the comeback to nostalgia and vintage fashions.

Lily care

Reedsburg floral shops have some advice for people who want to keep their lilies fresh.

First, remove the stamens, the small yellow parts that are coated with pollen, Ruszkowski said.

Next, don’t overwater. Lilies don’t need a drink every day, she said. To check for moisture, touch the soil around the stems. If it’s dry, it’s time to water.

Gant said it’s best to keep lilies in an area with a medium amount of light. They don’t fare well in direct sunlight for extended amounts of time and tend to prefer cooler temperatures to heat.

If there’s a tray under the pot, make sure it’s empty, Buske added. Plants don’t like to sit in brown scum.

“It’s like anything that’s living. It needs care,” he said.

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