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Patricia Manley: Owner of A New Leaf Florist Shoppe

CDN's weekly community profile

Patricia Manley has been running A New Leaf Flower Shoppe on Cornwall Avenue since 1980. (Jack Warren/Cascadia Daily News)
By Jemma Alexander News Intern

Patricia Manley (she/her)

Age: 69

City: Bellingham

Lived here for: 48 years

Originally from: Concord, Massachusetts

Notable: Avid reader, road trip lover, nature walker.

When and why did you begin selling flowers?

I met my husband in 1980 and we bought the shop at that time. We started selling flowers in 1980. I was still going to Western and I was doing deliveries in the shop, and I started mentoring with some of the designers and realized that was my passion.

What do you think flowers mean to your customers?

Flowers are a big connector. If you’re out of town, it’s kind of like getting a hug when the flowers show up. During COVID, it was definitely a connector to people that couldn’t get together. It was like sending a hug. I feel that personally, when I lost my father and flowers were sent to me, how it just was such a beautiful expression of how people cared.

I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve established a lot of relationships, and I think you get to know people’s preferences and likes and dislikes.

Where do you source your flowers?

I try to get as much locally as I can. So that starts in like mid-February — we start getting flowering branches, pussy willows and then daffodils and tulips, and then it goes on all summer. I go out to a lot of farms and pick my own. 

What is your favorite thing about living in Bellingham?

Oh, my favorite thing about living in Bellingham is just the beauty of the community. Like I said, I love being out in nature and this is the perfect place to be. 

If you were a flower, what flower would you be?

There are so many beautiful flowers … I would say dahlia just because there are so many varieties, and they’re just incredible colors. 

What was the last interesting book you read?

I just started yesterday Jodi Picoult, “Mad Honey.” And I’m really a big fan of hers because most of them take place in New England, New Hampshire and [have] great characters.

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