This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shopping at Brookside Florist

When I arrived in Rensselaer, Brookside Florist occupied a greenhouse at the end of Warner Street, close to the creek that forms the eastern boundary of Brookside Park. In about 1984 it moved to Owen Street, and the greenhouse was demolished. I recall that there was a large rubber tree growing in it, too large to be easily contained in a normal house. Today a house sits on the lot it once occupied.
For over twenty years Brookside Florist was located on Owen, and they put up some cute decorations along the street, such as this little bridge. In October, they moved again, this time to Vine Street. The new location is just south of the Morning Song bird food plant. Because the signage is rather small, unless you look carefully, you might not realize that it is not a residence.
On entering, you see a room full of silk flowers and arrangements.
Next to the service desk is a large cooler with fresh flowers. At one time flowers like these might have been grown in the greenhouse, but today they are airshipped and delivered next day all across the country. Because greenhouses are expensive to heat, it is cheaper to have the flowers shipped in from distant parts of the country than it is to grow them locally. It is my impression that greenhouses, those glass building that grew flowers and plants throughout the winter, were once common in towns the size of Rensselaer or larger, but now are rather infrequent. If you have either supporting or refuting evidence, leave it in the comments.Because the florist is in a former residence, it consists of a series of rooms. Below is the view from the front room looking down the corridor to the end.
The end room was mostly green plants. Brookside Florist is one of three sources of flowers and plants in Rensselaer--Brown's Garden Shop and Jordan's Floral are the others. I recall that for many years a Brand's Floral was on the Court House Square. I am not sure exactly which of the buildings it occupied, but it seems to me that it was one of the ones near the parking lot that was once Fendig's Drugstore.
In the corner of the picture above you can see this little fountain, which is typical of the artful arrangement of plants and flowers throughout the shop.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this information. I will now look for this shop. Also, Brand's was in the Jasper County Courthouse Annex building.

Sheila said...

"Today a house sits on the lot it once occupied." --- That's MY house :) !

Ed said...

They moved in '84?! Wow, I actually vaguely remember the greenhouse, guess I can "remember" things when I was 4.