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Relles Florist offers free bouquets Wednesday

Two per person -- one to keep, one to give -- as part of Petal It Forward

Relles plans to give out a floral bouquet to each passer-by and another for that person to share, up to 1,500 bouquets.

Relles plans to give out a floral bouquet to each passer-by and another for that person to share, up to 1,500 bouquets. Courtesy Relles Florist

How do you make people instantly smile? Give them flowers.

And this Wednesday, Relles Florist in Sacramento is hoping to do just that – make hundreds of people smile with free bouquets.

As part of a nationwide effort, Relles Florist, at the corner of J and 24th streets in Midtown Sacramento, will hand out free bouquets Oct. 18 to any passersby who want them. Starting at 9 a.m., the florist will give away about 1,500 bouquets – two to each person. That’s one bouquet to keep and a second to give to someone else.

It’s part of “Petal It Forward,” a campaign organized by the Society of American Florists to give back to their communities through sharing flowers and smiles. Besides the happiness factor, flowers also are a proven stress buster. The event is purposely held on a Wednesday to combat the midweek slump, say organizers.

Petal It Forward also is a way to celebrate a milestone for Relles Florist, which marks its 77th anniversary on Thursday.

“Our business is modeled around bringing joy to peoples’ lives with flowers,” says owner Jim Relles. “Petal it Forward also happens to fall on or near our anniversary of being in business.”

Added Colby Relles, who will be handing out bouquets Wednesday, “Through the positive effects of flowers, we hope to make someone’s day brighter, and provide a much-needed moment of calm amid the hectic pace of life.”

The original idea behind Petal It Forward’s “keep one, share one” concept, which started in 2015, came after looking at statistics that showed while 80% of people reported receiving flowers makes them happy, even more (88%) said that giving flowers makes them happy, Colby Relles explains.

“We want to give people the chance to experience both,” Relles says. “I have grown up in the floral business and I love what I do every single day. To be able to help our customers spread joy is one of the greatest feelings ever.”

Relles Florist is located at 2400 J St., Sacramento.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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