Everyone loves to celebrate — a gathering of friends, neighbors, and family. Sometimes we forget to celebrate the people who help us celebrate, the people behind the scenes.

Where do those little details come from that make these moments so memorable? Joanne LeFrancois is a superb florist and has been for 28 years, but she is a community asset and tremendously generous person. Her sense of wonder and passion haven’t faded in nearly three decades.

LeFrancois is never short of ideas or projects she vigorously puts together for the Norwich community. She’s been the owner of LeFrancois Floral and Gifts located at 50 Pine St, Norwich that whole time.

“We are a family-owned, neighborhood, full-service florist with a commitment to offer only the finest flowers and gifts. Our ethics and philosophy may be the traditional, valued sort, but our designs are as fresh and contemporary as you want them to be,” according to the business’s website. “We are not a chain. We are not a supermarket. That allows us to be as creative as we want and also allows us to prepare and take care of your flowers like they should be treated.”

The array of plants or gifts you can buy or even rent is staggering. From plants in full bloom and silk flowers, to gifts for all occasions, including gift baskets, candles and home decor, to sweet treats and sweeter gestures, with, of course, the perfect card.

They have everything needed for weddings, proms and life’s celebrations, from the arrival of a baby or the passing of a loved one.

Customers entering the cute little shop are refreshed by the air of fresh flowers and creativity. LeFrancois was found in the back, busily working away on a beautiful arrangement across a wedding arbor for an event she had later that week.

“Things that are big right now are pampas wraps, hydrangea, because they are dry, (tiddly) winks, wheat, cattails, along with, for fall, sunflowers, different kinds of mums, there’s so many novelty additives you can put in there Hypericum berries, yarrow,” she said. “Fall is just a great time for different textures.”

People may not think of bright and cheery colors when it comes fall colors, but LeFrancois said there is no need to stick with boring yellows, oranges, and browns.

“If you look at the tree lines in the fall…fall is beautiful, fall is colorful,” she said. “There’s yellows, oranges, and reds. And then burgundy and dark fuschia..you put those colors together and it’s actually very happy. Yes, you can have rust, gold, and stuff like that too but it’s just a beautiful time filled with texture and color.”

Just because it […]