Brightening the Day with Flowers by Janie

By Lura Jackson


For the past 17 years, Janie Morrell has been providing the community of Downeast Maine with floral arrangements from her shop on North Street in Calais. As one of the few florists in the area, she has thus been part of innumerable moments of significance for a great number of residents: from proms and graduations to new births and funerals, her flowers have often been present in the memories of our lives. 

Walking into Flowers by Janie generates immediate visual bliss, with its bright interior highlighted with luminous, healthy flowers placed in the most eye-catching fashions. Various kinds of flowers are on display for individual purchase, along with bouquets and arrangements of mixed color and type (ranging in size from small vases to large arrays for gravestone memorials).

 Janie does essentially all of the arrangements herself, having been gifted with an artful eye augmented by over 30 years of experience in the field. She handles each and every aspect of her business, including ordering, stocking and delivering the flowers (though she is quick to praise the occasional assistance of her family and friends). “I’ve always believed that you’ve got to like what you do, and then you’ll do well at it,” she affirms, a belief that manifests clearly in her work, which is often in high demand.  

Mother’s Day is one of the more active holidays, with most bouquets accented with the intense pink of the boronia heather (only available at this time of year). National Administrative Secretaries Week is from April 22-26, with the day itself celebrated on Wednesday the 24th. Prom nights and graduations combine with the arrival of wedding season to keep business active in the warmer months. 

Those of us “patiently” awaiting the blooming of spring know well the impact of flowers on a day made dreary by its weather or its news. The arresting aesthetics of flowers can break us from mental slumps when exchanged in friendship, thanks, or love, and in turn, we present them as symbols of our happiest emotions to those that enrich us. 

Flowers by Janie is open Monday to Friday from 9-5, and Saturday from 8-12. Her number is 454-2555. The shop is located at 276 North Street.