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.

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!

Yes, it’s a blog!

The votes are in!!


By an overwhelming 26-1 (the one being the lady who accused me of thinking this wasn’t a blog in the first place), the votes are in that this is indeed a blog! And as such I plan to continue to post pictures of our flowers & gift baskets, ideas for you and your friends, plans for holidays and experiences, and yes, more flowers & gift baskets! I’m so thankful to all of you who said I should ignore the lady who said “I found yours more difficult because it isn’t really a blog but a business website.” (you can read her comment and all of the follow-up comments here  https://roadrunnerfloristbasketexpress.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/is-it-a-blog/

Now, let’s get back to flowers & gift baskets, shall we? I want to post only one picture here today. It’s 3 dozen roses! Yes, you read that right! A man called from Ohio. He had forgotten his girlfriend’s birthday and he asked that we design and deliver 3 dozen roses (2 dozen red and 1 dozen pink). Here’s Pamela’s creation, which was delivered in less than an hour!

3 doz roses

Because we’re a local flower shop we can offer that type of customer service! No on-line order-gathering 1800 number could have filled this order as beautifully or as quickly as we did.

We need your help in supporting the local floral industry. Today, tomorrow and in the future, remember to contact your local flower shop for all of your gift-giving needs. We are your neighbors and friends, supporters of local schools, sponsors of little league, and Bronco fans!

Who are you going to call, click or come by the next time you order flowers?

Is it a Blog?

Those of you who know me are aware that Pamela E Smith, Michigan State University Floriculture Graduate owns Roadrunner Florist and I own Basket Express, 2 local Small American Businesses located under one brick and mortar roof at 2007a W Bethany Home, Phoenix, AZ.

New shop signs medium

We appreciate your reading about us, and commenting, and sharing, and being our customers and friends.

smiley face

Over the years we have developed amazing websites www.roadrunnerflorist.com  and www.giftbasketbytina.com for your shopping experience.

We have a facebook page that you can Like!


I also created a WordPress blog (that’s this one) www.wordpress.com.roadrunnerfloristbasketexpress where I post pictures of the designs we create and reminders of upcoming holidays and other tidbits that I think you might find interesting.

I have an email blast that I send to customers who are kind enough to give me their email addressees (they do this because I send them a picture of the flowers or gift basket we design and deliver for them) and I have  joined several blogging threads to attempt to get our information “out there on the web”.

In a recent discussion about Google+, I received this comment: ” Tina Ashburn If you check the comments that both J**  and I left for you on the G+ thread we were doing,….  I found yours more difficult because it isn’t really a blog but a business website.” (Emphasis added).


After my tears subsided, I read this:


One thing I really love about this group is that there is a spirit of inclusion. There are many various types of blogging, blogs and bloggers here and we try to respect each other’s differences. Personally, I think it’s awesome that small business owners like Tina Ashburn take time to blog and connect with customers and potential customers. To say that it’s not a blog doesn’t seem fair. We all blog for diverse reasons and objectives. I’m just saying.”

I thanked her profusely and she replied: “Hi Tina, It was my pleasure to defend your blog. I’ve been in a few groups that judged bloggers who have a product to sell and a thriving business. It’s not right and I’ve been happy to find that this group doesn’t do that. Till I saw the comment about your blog. Hope that the confusion gets worked out and you get the hang of Google+ networking as a team.”

It helps to have friends who write things like this:  “you are a flower arrangement artist!” and this: “Gorgeous! Makes me want spring even more :)”

We take pride in helping our customers send the gifts they want to send. Like a dozen red roses. Or a dozen red roses and 2 white ones. Or a dozen red roses with sunflowers. Or a dozen red and pink roses.

doz super red rosesroses 12 red 2 whitedozen red and sunflowersred and pink roses

To the best of my knowledge, I have never tried to sell anything on this blog.

But I do post beautiful flowers (and gift baskets) and I invite you to comment on them.

So, the question remains: IS THIS A BLOG?