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Growing flowers amid a pandemic

Growing flowers amid a pandemic

Becky Devlin is the owner of HortiCulture Design Co., a new Norfolk retail shop and floral design studio. (Courtesy of Judith Soule/Fresh Look Photography) (Judith Soule) Opening a floral design studio and retail shop during a pandemic has made one truth extra clear to Becky Devlin: Plants and flowers aren’t only pretty decorations. For many people, they’re important sources of joy and calm. Pictured is the interior of HortiCulture Design Co., which has specialized in selling plants so far. (Courtesy of Judith Soule/Fresh Look Photography) (Judith Soule) HortiCulture Design Co., Devlin’s new shop on Norfolk’s West 22nd Street, marks an expansion into retail for the experienced wedding florist and flower farmer. The business offers a wide variety of potted plants and cut flowers, along with themed workshops and gifts such as jewelry, bath and body products, candles and chocolate.

Devlin embraces customers of all gardening backgrounds, from knowledgeable green thumbs to rookies who admit to a fear of killing any plant they touch.

“I just like making people happy and bringing beautiful things into their lives,” she says. “I tell everyone to call me if they ever have questions, or to come back and see me if a plant isn’t looking so good.” HortiCulture Design has a colorful flower bar that includes zinnia, cosmos and celosia from Becky Devlin’s home garden. Every Friday afternoon, the shop hosts a happy hour with wine and half-price flowers. (Courtesy of Judith Soule/Fresh Look Photography) A Virginia Beach native, Devlin previously ran the smaller Roost Flowers company in that city for 10 years, mainly handling weddings. With much more space in her 1,500-square-foot store off Colley Avenue, she has focused early on plants and potted gardens.

Monstera, ferns and small potted tropical plants are among the bestsellers. Overall, Devlin likes to stock plants that are simple to care for, such as the beginner-friendly pothos.

HortiCulture Design also has a colorful flower bar that includes zinnia, cosmos and celosia from Devlin’s home garden. Every Friday afternoon, the shop hosts a happy hour with wine and half-price flowers. Customers also have learned how to create wildflower arrangements, hanging succulent terrariums and flower crowns during private and small group workshops. Pictured are tables for workshops that customers can do. Customers have learned how to create wildflower arrangements, hanging succulent terrariums and flower crowns during private and small group workshops. (Courtesy of Judith Soule/Fresh Look Photography) (Judith Soule) Devlin, a 49-year-old mother of four, had a gardening-obsessed grandmother but didn’t discover her own green thumb until adulthood. After graduating from Cox High School, she went to Virginia Tech for a year before deciding she wanted to jump into the workforce. For about two years, she helped with marketing for her father’s chiropractic practice.

Once she had two young children and stopped working full time, Devlin grew restless and armed herself with a book on growing flowers from seeds. Soon, she was experimenting on her parents’ land on the Eastern Shore.

“I don’t sit still well,” she says. “So, I just went out and […]

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