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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Flower shop blooms unions

Tamya Burch
A tree stands in front of Blumen Gardens. Blumen Gardens is a flower shop and wedding venue in Sycamore. (Tamya Burch | Northern Star)

A local flower shop is blooming flowers, botanicals and unions.  

Nestled in between the fertile farmlands of Northern Illinois sits a quaint town dressed in Americana. Sprawling canopies line up against colonial revival buildings that pay homage to Sycamore’s heritage. Entangled in the winding pathways of a Victorian neighborhood, there sits a flower shop hidden between lush greenery.  

Blumen Gardens opened its doors in 1993 after Joel and Joan Barczak purchased the “small dump” of a long-forgotten railroad weigh station. The white peeling building stood as an eyesore to their first home that sat just across the road.  

The two attended Kishwaukee Community College in 1981, where they met on the first day of a greenhouse management class. 

Joel and Joan Barczak’s union served as a prelude to their business endeavors of cultivating a flower shop that transcended into a beloved venue of matrimony.  

The couple’s love can be felt throughout the ethereal landscapes of the once small flower shop. The vast acreage is adorned with seasonal botanical displays and floral embellishments, creating a curated and adaptable venue. 

The rolling red cobblestones welcome guests as they step through steel gates. Time slows as the natural grace of flowers and botanicals engulf visitors in warmth. The air is thick with pollen and the deep earthy musky scent of the soil beds.  

The twist and turn of the cobbled paths wrap around the base of a willow tree. Its long branches provide an umbrella for the center of the shop where guests leisurely sip seasonal drinks and admire the leaves of the willow that sit like a curtain on a rod.  

“I used to come here all the time with my mother before she passed,” Sycamore resident Lisa Oros said.  

Oros appeared to be an energetic woman, decked in purple and paisley, sitting down in one of the many bistro chairs. As she talked, she adjusted her matching thick purple frames that go along with the purple scrunchie holding together her long salt and peppered hair.  

“We would come and just shop for flowers for hours. This was her favorite place because of the willow tree,” Oros said. “We could walk around here for hours, but we would always come back to just sit and admire this tree. As her chemo got harder on her, we stopped being able to come.” 

Oros quickly swiped a fallen tear, but not before painting her face with a grin.  

“Now I come here about once or twice a year, and I’m usually getting my purple flowers for my mom and Prince,” Oros said.  

Blumen Gardens has a way of emotionally drawing in its customers. The shop serves as a time machine for memories to be held inside.  

Upon leaving the small café seating area, there are nooks and crannies filled with staff bustling to arrange for the day’s ceremonies. The decorations are meticulously hung with care as the floral arrangements are placed. 

Blumen Gardens’ customizable venue is one of the many reasons couples are drawn to the flower shop turned wedding venue.  

In the entryway of one of the ceremony areas stands Sarah and Jeremy Jasperse, a lanky couple who have shared four years of marriage. The room is fitted with rustic brick wall detailing and splashes of greenery.

Sarah’s fiery crimson locks were swept behind her ear as she gazed lovingly at her towering husband, Jeremy. 

“This is where we got married. I have always dreamed about having my wedding here since I was a little girl,” Sarah Jasperse said. “I had my mom help me plan it. I just remember I could not stop smiling when I saw everything all done as I came down the aisle. I do not think I have stopped since then.”

Jeremy Jasperse brought in his wife tighter, his hand stroked her pale arms for warmth and reassurance. 

“We trusted that they would make our wedding perfect, and they delivered the most beautiful and intimate ceremony we could have asked for,” Jasperse said.  

The joyous pair is one of many who have exchanged vows in the intrinsic walls of Blumen Gardens. 

As the day ends, guests slowly file their way back through the cobbled paths and past the steel gates. Even though the venue is no longer filled with people, the energy still beams. The sensation of life can be felt through the vibrant blooms and fallen petals whispering the cherished stories of love and growth. Every flower is grown with love; every arrangement is put together with care.  

The flower shop has become the epicenter of love and unity within the sleepy historic town of Sycamore. Love saturates every nook of the shop, having been crafted out of love, and now radiates warmth and love to all its visitors. 

Love has a home in Blumen Gardens. 

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