Having beauty around you affects your mood. It makes you slow down and appreciate what’s around you. Buying yourself flowers is a beautiful act of self-care and an undeniable display of affection when gifting a bouquet to a friend or significant other. From Mother's Day and Valentine's Day to graduations and any old Tuesday, gifting yourself (and others) the gift of living beauty will never go out of style.
In addition to their fashionable appeal, flowers and plants have insane healing properties that not only cheer us up, but improve our health and wellbeing. Exuberant orange orchids and darling pink peonies part of a dinner party centerpiece can be the perfect icebreaker for strangers meeting for the first time. A classic bouquet of pure white hydrangeas and lilies tells a loved one you are there for them. A Rose Très Chic floral design bouquet says, “Happy Birthday, I love you.”
For over 100 years, four generations of the McArdle family have provided Greenwich and the surrounding towns with the very best floral arrangements, indoor plants, outdoor plants, garden supplies, gifts and love through the trusted and beloved McArdle’s Floral and Garden Design nursery and gift shop.
What originally began as a seed and supplies store that landscapers would visit to pick up their supply needs for lawn mowing and horse caretaking, has now become a bountiful and flourishing oasis for garden lovers and landscaping pros alike. “This is legitimately the oldest business on record in Greenwich,” Caitlin Clonin, the business’s former creative director, tells me.
The original location was on Greenwich Avenue, filled with indoor plants and outdoor plants, eventually moving to cut flowers and home decor, and is now a full-service florist operation in charge of weddings and events, proms and dances, and countless other special organizations within the community. “We pride ourselves on having styles that will work well with anyone’s decor,” Clonin says. Whether you’re looking for flowers to fit a Mid-Century Modern, Victorian or Contemporary home, or just the right plants to match your zen office or workout studio, odds are, McArdle’s carries it.
The McArdle’s team members are experts in the Art of Flora, using the highest quality of materials one can get their hands on. All you have to do is take a peek at their website, or better yet, experience the floral paradise in person, to see the level of care that goes into taking everything they do to an unparalleled, elevated place of standard.
“We love helping Greenwich homeowners pick out blooming plants or succulents to put that final touch on their homes,” Clonin said. McArdle’s prides themselves on staying special and relevant by sticking to “The McArdle’s Beauty and Quality Standards,” which includes using the highest quality of materials possible. From curating flowers grown through Holland and Europe to working with farms all over the Netherlands and parts of Europe, they are a real cut above the commodity flowers and plants you see in other places that may not be as fresh or won’t last as long.
Painting the picture of heading to JFK to watch the flowers coming off the plane from Central Columbia, Ecuador, or other exotic place where McArdle’s products are grown, Clonin states the garden and design center only buys “the filet mignon, Grade A level of quality" for their customers.
In addition to their standard of elegance and quality, the McArdle’s team is very much embedded in the community as well, constantly partnering with organizations like the Bruce Museum, Make a Wish, and the Greenwich Symphony, to name only a few.
The garden and design center also sells gifts including candles and cosmetics, books, and gourmet treats, most of them crafted by local artisans and vendors. “If it relates to nature, plants, and wellness at all, we will purchase it from them,” Clonin states of McArdle’s product lines.
Their gift shop includes elegant and understated items that people can refresh their homes with each season, and that works for a broad range of styles – whether that’s preppy chic, casual bohemian or minimalist. Currently stocked is a candle line that was founded by a local woman which represents positive wellbeing and good mood, a cool range of utilitarian books on how to garden and decorate with nature, as well as seasonal decor items like pillows, lamps and pretty watering cans. “If we can get our hands on local makers, we love to support them,” Clonin states.
For Fall, the garden center will have a lot of textural aspects to choose from, including berries, grasses and roses. From “crazy colors of hydrangeas” of bright purples, vibrant greens, pretty pinks and deep reds, to an incredible pumpkin selection with the most unique gourds and giant white pumpkins, Clonin assures me they “keep up with the times,” style wise.
“Our staff is made up of creative people who have been in the floral industry for 40+ years,” she says. “Everyone is really passionate about bringing their own enthusiasm to the work.”
As for customers coming in to peruse the aisles for their autumn style desires, the team of florists loves helping them create personalized creations. “Everyone goes nuts doing tablescapes with big branches in the foyer and using a lot of natural elements,” Clonin says of decorating for the Fall season. While Fall is indeed a busy time of year for the business, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest floral holidays for cut flowers and plants, with Christmastime synonymous with huge Christmas trees, wreaths and bows.
“We’ll go to people’s homes and hang things, and even do a whole curbside makeover,” Clonin says. “Whatever they want.”
McArdle's is located at 48 Arch Street in Greenwich. They are open Monday-Saturday 8 am-5:30 pm.
“Our staff is made up of creative people who have been in the floral industry for 40+ years."