Thinking Pink

Tiny adorable pineapples on knobby twigs pop up out of a vase; above them rise stems covered with thornapples plump, green and spiny. Along the wall, the antique cooler is filled with living treasures: blooming eucalyptus that looks like sea anemones, delicate blackberry stems with clusters of fruit, velvety brown chocolate cosmos. Moss Pink Flora and Botanicals proprietress Jil Schlisner opened up shop in the former Harold’s Flowers space at 4615 E. 23rd Avenue this past spring with the “intention to create discovery — for people to see something they’ve never seen before.” She hand-selects 90 percent of the stock, which helps her to find those hidden gems.

Established in 1964, Harold’s had a long list of customers who, according to Schlisner, are “delighted and excited by the new ideas and new life in the business.” Some may also be relieved that, although she leans more toward the unusual, Schlisner is as likely to add a fragrant pink rose as she is to pick up more exotic blooms when she builds a bouquet.

Simultaneously forward-thinking and classic, Schlisner describes her ideas for creating tiny sushi pieces out of flowers, then thumbs through a copy of A Centennial History of the American Florist, searching for a picture of a giant lucky floral horseshoe sculpture — the kind of thing that was once de rigueur for all store openings, and that she wishes would be again.

Beginning with her floral career in Austin, through her years as manager and floral buyer for the Perfect Petal in northwest Denver, Schlisner has always found an old-world charm in visiting the flower market. “It’s like Christmas every time I come back to the shop with a new selection. I’m still excited by the seasons and seeing things that I haven’t seen in a year.”

To explore the floral possibilities yourself, stop by Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 303-388-1666 or visit www.mosspinkflora.com.
Starts: July 31. Daily, 2007

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Michelle Baldwin