Speaking of local businesses, when I hurried into Charmar Flowers this morning, I only went there to mail a job application in a hurry. The Charmar Flower & Gift Shop post office is a very convenient stop for my postal needs, and a much more pleasant experience than the large, rather sterile post office a little further away.
Winterville, city of Marigolds, got the Charmar family started. In 1971 they were asked to grow marigolds for the (sadly defunct) Winterville Marigold Festival.
When I got there, I realized that they were going out of business. Everything in the store – plants, pots, gifts, seasonal decorations, Christmas trees – was on clearance, and fast disappearing. I mailed my application, and then decided to get a large and healthy rubber plant for a good friend.
As I chatted with Jan, the spry, elderly lady at the desk, I asked her why Charmar was closing. “Because of the drought!” she replied. “We grow and water our plants, and we don’t have enough water to do it. And people can’t water their plants either, so they won’t buy the plants.”
Charmar is a friendly, cozy little store, surrounded by a what used to be a flourishing nursery of flowers and plants. I used to love to potter around the ferns, herbs, and flowers, deciding what I would buy some day (when a) I have a real house b) Raihana stops pulling the leaves off plants c) I grow that green thumb I’ve been waiting for d) and I have the extra cash. The experience of browsing and smelling plants is precious enough, and I’m grateful for Charmar Flowers to have offered me that opportunity in the middle of busy days.
Charmar will be sorely missed. It added beauty and reflection to our lives. The severe drought in the area is closing down a 36-year old business in Athens, GA.