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Life not all flowers and plants for Roostervane

April 10, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN - When asked if he liked running Roostervane Gardens, Denny Warrenfeltz smiled as he plucked a few lavender-colored flowers for an arrangement that was going out in a few minutes.

"I've got to like it," he said.

It just so happens that Warrenfeltz was at his 2 S. High St. business at 3 a.m. that day, frantically bringing all of his bedding plants and herbs inside because of an unexpected cold snap.

Warrenfeltz and his wife, Shawen, have owned Roostervane Gardens for the past 13 years. Denny has been in the business for 37 years total, previously working for other people.

"There is a picture over my bench that shows me working in my grandmother's garden," Warrenfeltz said. "I was just 15 months old."

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As a teen, Warrenfeltz learned about horticulture from Robert Leiter at the old Vo-Tech Center at the then-Hagerstown Junior College campus.

Coming up on Easter weekend would have been busy enough but Warrenfeltz said there had been an unusually high number of funerals for which he was called upon to create flower arrangements.

"And we also have an Easter wedding, which is unusual because we don't like to do Easter weddings, but this was special," he said.

Shawen Warrenfeltz handles much of the business end of the business. And she also makes a lot of the deliveries. "Whatever needs to be done," she said as she headed out on a delivery.

Warrenfeltz said he orders flowers from Baltimore, and York and Lancaster, Pa. In the summer, many of the flowers and plants are homegrown, which means they are fresher and more available.

"A lot of time is spent trying to find certain flowers and certain colors," he said.

Then he waits for deliveries of those items so he can create his arrangements and deliver them to customers.

The building was crammed nearly to the rafters with flowers and seasonal accessories.

"Often during busy seasons, I don't get to go home," Warrenfeltz said.

One of the more challenging aspects of his business is knowing what to order and trying to keep up with trends, he said.

Still life isn't all flowers and plants for Warrenfeltz.

Apologizing for his three-day growth of beard, Warrenfeltz said he was growing it so he would look more the part when he played Jesus at church services at Beaver Creek Christian Church.

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