A floral love affair: Flowers on 56 full of surprises

A flower shop’s busiest time is right about now and the owner of Carmel Valley’s Flowers on 56, Adele Maroun, is ready to create an artistic bouquet for that special someone.

“I try to make it simple for guys,” said Maroun, noting on her Web site that she has specific designs for Valentine’s Day for men to pick from.

She also creates custom designs and will have a flower stop set up at the Shell gas station on Carmel Creek Road.

While roses are the traditional Valentine’s Day choice, she said tulips are just as stunning and a little more budget-friendly.

Flowers on 56 started off like her Valentines stop, at the gas station on Carmel Creek Road in 2001. She has been at the present location in a barn at the end of Carmel Valley Road that she shares with landscaping company Carmel Valley Materials and Del Mar Orchids for about three years.

The parking lot is gravel and the setting is rustic - worktables overloaded with flowers, an endless selection of ribbons and vases, and a white store cat curled up in the corner.

Maroun is originally from South Africa where she gained an appreciation for plants by following her father into his garden.

When she first came to the U.S. 20 years ago she found success creating Victorian-style birdhouses. But she never lost her love for flowers and made up her mind to start her own business after doing the floral arraignments for a friend’s wedding.

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life I think,” Maroun said.

Maroun takes great care with her flower arrangements, to make sure they are unique. She’ll combine flowers with items like feathers, pearls, wire and fruit.

“There is always a surprise in my work,” Maroun said.

“I’m very drawn to succulents,” Maroun said. “They’re sturdy and very simple. They just add a lot of character.”

Whenever she is hired for an event, if the hosts don’t plan to keep the flowers, she asks for them back to use in her “re-petal” program. The flowers are used to create bouquets that Maroun sends to senior living communities.

Maroun also plans to help children through the Mia Risa Foundation, a foundation started by a friend who lost their four-year-old daughter. Maroun aims to give 50 percent of her delivery returns to the foundation this year.

“It’s just time for me to give back,” Maroun said. “So many people have been so good to me.”

Check out Flowers on 56 at 4343 Carmel Valley Road or on its Web site,