Home & Garden: Floral Notes


Home & Garden: Floral Notes


Date: November 22, 2011
by: Rachel S. O'Hara | Staff Photographer



Calvin and Jane Boehme grew up only one greenhouse away from one another in New Jersey, and both are fourth-generation florists. The couple married 55 years ago and opened their own floral shop, America’s Florist, in Bound Brook, N.J. At one point, the shop was the No. 1 florist shop in the country and is still being run by their children and grandchildren.

Now retired, the Boehmes have been year-round Longboat residents for the last five years and continue to be involved in gardening. Jane Boehme is a member of the Longboat Key Garden Club, and both Jane and Calvin Boehme help maintain the butterfly garden on Longboat Key.

The Boehmes’ home is tucked away on Neptune Avenue and is surrounded by brightly colored impatiens and includes an extensive vegetable garden, a rooftop garden and a shaded, jungle-like area with banyan trees, tradescantia and other wild plants.

Calvin Boehme is a big fan of impatiens. He met Claude Hope, the man who discovered impatiens in the 1940s in Costa Rica.

“They used to be called ‘busy Lizzie’ because the seeds explode into the air and go all over,” says Calvin Boehme.

The term was used for the larger impatiens that Hope later dwarfed into the kind of impatiens that are planted in pots and in people’s yards.

These types of plants are a staple in the more than 400 pots the couple has on their property. They also have a wide variety of ferns and bromeliads.


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