I once read that Kirstie Alley spends as much money on fresh flowers as she used to spend on drugs. Having grown up in a house dotted with plastic flowers, I now have an affinity for the real deal — colorful blooms which fill a room with fragrance.
The flowers in some stores here in Sarasota, however, have brought big disappointment. I bring them home, snip the stems at an angle, stir in the additive to extend blossoms, and sit back and watch the petals fall. Regardless of the price, I always brought home fading glory.
Recently my luck changed when I stumbled across Tiger Lilly, thanks to a neighbor’s advice. Located off University Drive, Tiger Lily is a botanical delight, an independent shop that does not import generic flowers in bulk from Miami. Instead their flowers are delivered fresh from all over the world, many of which are exotic. The other day I bought stunning proteas from Hawaii which lit up my kitchen and garnered lots of compliments. Plus they lasted over ten days. The store also sells custom silk flowers, one-of-a-kind gifts, and elegant antiques.
The boutique shop, co-owned by Jim Carlton and Arthur, is a throwback to the sensuous bordellos of the French Quarter in New Orleans. Romance is everywhere! Draped in red velvet, shrouded in antiques and fanciful knick-knacks, the retail storefront is really only a small part of the business. Vintage jazz softly lures customers to explore further. Behind the counter lies spacious rooms full of goodies waiting to be delivered all over the city. The business supplies weddings, funerals, the Sarasota Ballet, gallery openings, and myriad special events. Nevertheless, walk-ins are always welcome and treated with the same grace as the thousand-dollar customers.
Touted as “unrepentantly lush and romantic…and perhaps ever-so-slightly decadent,” Tiger Lily petals the best roses and tropical flowers in the city.
The Sarasota Spectator
Our Sarasota Spectator is Betsy Miller, a retired high school teacher and college professor. Originally from Columbus, Betsy has fallen in love with the Gulf Coast of Florida, especially Sarasota. Blogging about the area has been a creative outlet for the writer, opening up an avenue of exploration. You may find the bon vivant enjoying happy hour at a tiki bar, shopping on historic Main Street, or seated at a concert or show at a local theater. Chances are you also might find her buried in a book on one of our beautiful beaches. Asked to give one word about her feelings for Sarasota, Betsy replied, “Smitten.”