It’s up!! The new website for Tina’s Gift Baskets is UP and LIVE and ready for you to view, comment and shop!


Here are a few pictures that aren’t yet on the site!

easter basket 2014

Fun and Dandy Easter Basket

Easter basket with bunny

Easter Floral Basket with happy bunny

short erica short short for mcmurray

Happy Spring!

Remember the Bride I had Never Met?

Remember the Bride I had never met? I designed her wedding flowers without ever speaking to her! WHEW, that was an experience!

Here are the pictures she sent. I think she was ONE HAPPY BRIDE!

orange and white bride's pictures 2 orange and white bride's picture 3

What do you think?

I had never met the bride!

I had never met the bride.

Why is that important? Because it’s HER day. She’s the one who matters the most (sorry, grooms, but it’s true). Brides are special and their wedding day is the most important day of their lives.

They’ll spend hundreds, yea, thousands of dollars on a dress they’ll wear one time.

They’ll spend thousands of dollars on food that is consumed and then, well, disposed.

They’ll spend thousands of dollars on a limo, a venue, a cake, a DJ and a photographer.

But their flowers? Nope. Brides don’t realize it’s the flowers that last throughout their entire marriage! Sure, I pressed my bridal bouquet and I still have it almost 40 years later!

In this case, the bride lives in Phoenix and she didn’t want any flowers. None. But her mother, who lives in New York, insisted that she carry something. Bride reluctantly said OK, pink and white. So mom called and ordered a bouquet for the bride, a smaller one for the bridesmaid and a floral arrangement for the mantle. The next day she called and changed it to orange roses and white gerbera daisies. Why? The bride decided it’s not such a bad idea to have flowers after all!

So, sight unseen, never ever talking to the bride, here is the wedding bouquet I designed for her. She picked it up and she LOVED it! When Pamela handed it to her I watched her eyes light up!

orange white brideorange white corsage

Her Bouquet and His Boutonniere!

And their mantle piece:

orange white centerpiece

A HUGE hit!

If you’re the bride, remember this: Your florist needs to hear from you! You need to tell them what you like, what colors and flowers you like, and let them work their design magic for you!



Are you using the blog?

I spent some time last week asking myself why we blog.

I came up with 3 main reasons

1. We blog to sell a service.

2 We blog to sell a product.

3. We blog to post ideas, recipes, fun times with family and friends.

Does your blog fit into one of those main categories? And even more importantly, are you actually USING the products and services offered on the blogs?


I am happy to tell you I am using the products and services offered by bloggers I know!

Oils! Have you checked out the oils? Loretta Smith and  DoTERRA Essention Oils 

Cypress Essential Oil

I have peppermint. WOW! It works for whatever ails ya!

And then there’s Send Out Cards. I LOVE Meli Horwitz and Send Out Cards! Have you tried them yet?    send out cards logo They’re perfect for thank you cards (I send them out regularly) and reminders, birthday cards, sympathy cards and, my most recent find: Oops, when you need just the right words to apologize!

Everyone knows I’m crazy about Harper! She’s my granddaughter. Yes, we all brag about our grandchildren, don’t we? (That’s part of #3 listed above!!). harper 11-13

So, here are 2 items I purchased for Harper.

The Harper Doll. From Real Sisters Gifts & Accessories. Check out their facebook page! They custom designed this doll to look like Harper (red hair and all!)

Harper doll

The Harper Bear! From Hand Knitted Dolls & Teddy Bears. Talk about a great teddy bear!

harper bearKathleen custom designed this one for Harper, too! Lots and lots of pink and she even put her name on a banner across the bear’s chest! How adorable is this!

Norma. What can I say about Norma? If you haven’t joined Norma’s business group, you are MISSING OUT! It’s luv luv luv. And I’m honored to tell you she designed the cover pages for my facebook and blog pages, too! Want great coaching on social media? Norma’s your gal!

the best is yet to be

Then there’s us, Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express.  When is the last time you called us (or your local florist) to send flowers to someone you love?

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m going to be using more and more businesses on these threads in the future. Don’t be surprised if there’s a present in there for you, too!

Why are our plants different from other plants?

Hmmm, that’s a good question! So I wonder…

1. First of all, there’s Pamela. She has a degree in floriculture from Michigan State University.

msu logo

That means she learned all about soil and fertilizer and light and bugs and disease and a million useful things, which is akin to having a green thumb!

2) Pamela became known as “The Plant Doctor” when she opened her first flower shop in Oak Park, MI, following graduation from MSU in 1971.

the plant doctpr

3) Then there’s selection. Pamela has learned which green plants will survive in the desert and which ones won’t and we don’t sell anything from the second option.

peace & forcythiaplant and pinkbirthday pothos

4) The Plant Doctor says, Don’t let their feet sit in water. The #1 reason plants die, their leaves turn yellow brown or black and they fall off is TOO MUCH WATER. If the plant is heavy or the soil on the top is damp, No Water.

watering your plant

5) How to water your plant? That’s easy. Water it. Drain it. Put it back in the basket or pot.

6) Treatment. I, Tina, like to tell people to treat their plants (and flowers) as they treat their children. If it’s too hot for your child, it’s too hot for your plant. Bring ’em in, people!

dracaena for susansuper planterpothos orchids tulips

7) Local. We are your local flower shop. That means you can depend on us to design and deliver the perfect plant for the occasion, whether it’s a birthday celebration, a get well, or an expression of condolence. Count on us at Roadrunner Florist Basket Express!

Sympathy tributes

Today I want to spend a little time writing about appropriate sympathy tributes.

Although many obituaries say something like “in lieu of flowers”, we have learned most families appreciate the beauty and softness flowers provide at a funeral or memorial service. The obituary request, often suggested by the funeral director, is more a suggestion than a demand, and people are certainly welcome to send condolences in whatever manner they deem appropriate.

Funeral flowers come in all styles and colors, multiple colors, red, white and blue, or all white. Ranging from large funeral sprays and casket covers (sometimes called blankets), they are expressions of sincere loss. Here are a few examples of funeral sprays and casket covers designed by Roadrunner Florist.

Image Image ImageImage



Another very popular floral arrangement is the traditional basket. These can be filled with flowers or all types and designed in all price ranges. Here are a few examples of traditional funeral baskets.


Many people choose to send green plants to funeral services as a long lasting tribute to the deceased.


Appropriate for Jewish funerals are fresh fruit and goodie baskets.

Image Image


It is important that each of us convey our condolences in our own special way.

Let us help you send your thoughts and prayers to a grieving family with fresh flowers or a gift basket from Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express.

What a Holiday!

#flowers #florist

What a holiday it was! Thank you, thank you, thank you, to our customers and friends, who shared Valentine’s Day with us! We had a blast designing and delivering beautiful roses and floral arrangements!

How can I resist posting pictures? Here we go!

Let’s start with roses. Why? Because they are the #1 best seller for Valentine’s Day.

Our roses were top-florist quality, not the stuff you find at the grocery store. Long stems, large heads, long-lasting, professionally arranged and delivered.


red in silver vase red roses red vase


doz with white lilydoz with white lily


lavender roses with purple bow lav roses


John Graypink and red roses 


doz mix roses with vday trim   great with sunflowers   


6 roses and moreU of A vdays beauty with casa blanca 


 gerbs for vday soft gerbs


roses daisies girbs  oh myvday mix red vasepink roses in a bowlpink and red funroses lilies daisies


love with bear 


spring tulipostulips mixed

One of our customers told me he would be my “surrogate Valentine” (after he ordered flowers for his wife!) when I told him I don’t have a Valentine. Did you get flowers from your Valentine this year?

Share your Valentine’s Day experience here! I’d love to read about your day!

Roses Shipped in a Box

#flowers #florist #Valentine’s Day

Admit it! You’re thinking about ordering your Valentine’s Day flowers and having them shipped in a box.

In famous words spoken by Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”:


Let me show you what it looks like when you order your roses shipped in a box.

proflowers in a box

Would I kid you? This is honestly what it looks like. Your flowers are pre-packaged and handled by … gee…I don’t know him, do you?…at hubs across the country. You can tell how nicely they handle your package by the way they are neatly stacked and packed. You can tell how  much they care about the flowers by the way they are carefully piled and loaded into a truck.

Did I mention the weather? According to the Farmers Almanac 2014, this is the weather forecast for Phoenix: Winter will be colder than normal, with the coldest periods in early and mid-December and in late January. Precipitation will be below normal in the east and above normal in the west, with snowfall below normal in most places that normally receive snow.

And you already know how it is in the midwest, south and east!weather

Do you want your flowers dropped off on the COLD porch waiting for someone to bring them inside?

Of course you don’t!

You want to order your roses from a LOCAL FLOWER SHOP and have them DELIVERED to your loved one on Valentine’s Day!

gorgeous rosesredshort roses & liliesPES doz red roses

Call, click or come by! Let us custom design your Valentine’s Day Roses and arrange delivery for you.

Pamela & Tina

Roadrunner Florist Basket Express  602-246-1271

p.s. Mention “Blog” and receive a $10 UPGRADE on your Valentine’s Day Order  (local delivery only)

You Flipped

When you flipped your calendar this morning what did you see? February! 

It’s time to order your Valentine’s Day roses! Why? Because your local florist has to order them, bring them in, process them, cut them, de-thorn them, hydrate them, and yes, arrange them and get them into the delivery queue!

doz super red roses

What is the most important part of this process? No, it’s not the one you think it is! It’s the COLD CHAIN. That’s the part where the roses are cut at the farm (usually in South America), brought into Miami or Los Angeles and then placed into a cooler. Other than the short time the roses are in customs, they are continuously in a cooled environment, from the port to the airport to the flower shop to you.

No, Fed Ex doesn’t provide this service. Neither does UPS. Or the US Mail. The flowers you get for cheap when you shop on the ‘net and they’re shipped in a box don’t go through the Cold Chain.  Even the flowers you buy at your local grocery store don’t have the benefit of the Cold Chain.

That’s why you need to buy your flowers from your LOCAL FLOWER SHOP!

Who, What, When, Where and Why?

#flowers #florist #giftbaskets

I love to talk about flowers & gift baskets! I love posting pictures of our designs and sending them to you for your perusal.

But do you know who we are and when we started doing what we do?  Let’s see…

Pamela E Smith was born in Detroit, MI in 1944. Her dad was born on a street corner (honestly!) and was a policeman for the City of Detroit for almost 30 years! Her mom was a homemaker and a terrific cook. Pamela attended Michigan State Universitymsu logo

(Go, Sparty!) where she received a degree in Floriculture in 1971. She then opened a flower shop in Oak Park, MI, which she sold to move to Phoenix in 1979. That’s where she opened Roadrunner Florist and she’s been here ever since.

I’m Tina Ashburn, a Denver girl, and a Denver Bronco fan!

  bronco logo

I attended Clark College (now part of the University of Washington) in Vancouver, WA, before moving to Tucson where I met and married Richard. We moved to Phoenix in 1984 and I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Lauren in 1985. I’m a grandmother now, to Harper, age 18 months. Photo

In 1992 I purchased Basket Express, and the previous owner introduced me to Pamela, who at the time was the full-time care-giver to her friend Lizzy, who had suffered a serious stroke a short time earlier. Lizzy wanted nothing more than to see the turn of the century, but alas she didn’t survive, and after her death Pamela and I decided it would be a perfect “marriage of 2 businesses” if I brought Basket Express inside Roadrunner Florist. So that’s how we became

Roadrunner Florist Basket Express, Phoenix, AZ

Over the years Pamela has received numerous awards for her designs and creativity, including a long-standing achievement award from the Society of American Florists .SAF logo

I have been honored to have had an article published in The Basket Whiz Report .

We are proud to be a small business working hard to benefit our community including Desert Mission Food Bank and Washington High School. I sing in the choir at North Phoenix Baptist Church and Pamela plays in the band at Phoenix College and the City of Glendale Summer Band.

food bank logo     city of glendale public art program

We strive to provide our customers with the freshest and finest flowers available (more about that later), custom designed gift baskets and terrific customer service.

Today we wished 3 people Happy Birthday! Here are the custom designed arrangements we made for them.

hb aunt elaine man floral hb tele bowl

And we shared in the loss of loved ones with these flowers to soften the sorrow.

funeral for Richard lav & white

We look forward to telling you more about us, including information about The Cold Chain! Stay tuned!