Flower Framers was founded in 1994 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The founder, Jay Korte, being a passionate gardener, was inspired by the beautiful flower boxes adorning windows and balconies throughout Europe's urban areas and countryside.
However, he recognized that many Americans found numerous limiting factors in what was currently available in America. He joined up with a local landscape architect, John Bentley, a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), to overcome these problems.
- Since dirt eventually eats wood, existing wood boxes rotted in just a few years. Fiberglass had been tested for over 60 years without any strength loss. This gave the body of the box durability, but it also was light and very paintable.
- Hanging existing boxes were problematic. The solution was to develop bracket that would be hung first. To be sure it would not rust it must be made of stainless steel. The shape of the box evolved so the entire length of the side was a lip that would engage with the bracket by just slipping down over it.
- Drainage was always a challenge since gravel or broken pieces of pottery laid along the bottom would eventually clog. A unique drainage mat along the entire length of the box let the excess rain water escape thru drain holes on either end of the box. The fine mesh wrapped around the mat prevented the soil-less mix from flushing out. As an additional benefit, the mat was made out of non-biodegradable material, which meant it would not deteriorate for hundreds of years.
- Boxes on the market were available in just a few short lengths, which limited the options for usage. Because the new box was to be protruded, it could be made up to 15' long. The end caps could then be added to any length from 2' long to the full 15' or any length in between. If you want a 12' 6" box, one can be made for you.
In the fall of 2004, one of Flower Framers' best customers, bought the company. Tournesol Siteworks, previously known as Planter Technology, is now headquartered in Fremont, CA. It has been a leading manufacturer of complete landscape solutions for the urban environment for over 25 years. For more information, go to www.tournesolsiteworks.com .Since purchasing the company, the new owners developed a complimentary sized version. The European Series box is 40% smaller in size and has the same classic lines of the larger version. You will discover that it has all of the other characteristics in the Product section.
Flower Framers of Cincinnati
John Simpkinson joined the original company in the spring of 2003 based importantly on his recognizing the quality and the potential of the product. He had bought some of the first boxes in 1994 and he and his wife had been very pleased with the results for over a decade. When the company was sold in 2004, he became a regional representative for the new owner. In the summer of 2007, he became an independent distributor for the company.
During his tenure he recognized and developed solutions to other limiting factors;
1.) Offering to paint the boxes to match their new environment had great customer appeal. Now all boxes are offered in a choice of 19 colors of commercial grade acrylic latex paint. A custom color is available for a small set-up fee.
2.) Hand watering limited the appeal of owning a flower box. Most prospects did not want the hassle of opening window and screens to water, in many cases, daily. Again an elegantly simple system was developed to provide automatic watering of all the owner's boxes from one controller. Even boxes on the second floor can be watered from 1 to 4 times a day. Just set the timer in the spring and forget it until the late fall. All the details and photos are shown in the Irrigation Option section.
3.) The final objection to buying flower boxes was the hassle of hanging them, especially in precarious locations like the second floor. A national affiliation was developed with the network of Mr. Handyman franchises. This is 600 strong group of bonded, uniformed, reliable installers waiting to please their clients. Go to the Installation Services section for more details.
4.)Finding where to buy Flower Framers was a challenge. No longer. There are now three ways to buy the full line of containers and irrigation systems.
- On line, right here and save 5%.
- Work with your landscaper, architect, builder, etc. and he or she will specify just what you need to add "ribbons of color" to your environment.
- Quickly gathering is a collection of Garden Nurseries, Lumber Yards, etc who will work with you on your plans. They have samples of the box that you can thump with your thumb to give you a high level of confidence. They are listed under the Where to See and Buy section.