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In Full Bloom
Transplanted to a new location, the Flower Cart has its day in the sun

Mike Koletar likes to call his Flower Cart “the only florist in the world’s most famous hospital.” These days he couldn’t be happier. The shop that’s served Hopkins Hospital for 15 years has moved from an out-of-the-way corridor in Jefferson to a new location near the Wolfe Street entrance.

“We’re more visible. The traffic is awesome, and in retail, it’s all about traffic,” say Koletar, as dozens of patients, visitors and staff scurry by.

Behind the showy window display of giant, pink hydrangeas lies a verdant, perfumed oasis. Offerings range from small pots stuffed with African violets to lavish, $200 displays accented with spiky snapdragons and puffy, pink and white peonies.

Most days, the Flower Cart averages 50 to 60 orders for patients or employees. During holidays and special times like Nurses Week, daily deliveries exceed 200. Listed through Teleflora, the store can deliver to 125 ZIP codes.

Koletar runs two other floral emporiums in the metro area, but it’s here at Hopkins that he’s seen it all. Sheiks who cheer up ailing wives with $300 flower arrangements—one at breakfast, one at lunch and one in the afternoon—for 10 days. The movie star in Marburg who ordered a purple glass bowl filled with orchids, all of them green. The broken-hearted, out-of-town gentleman whose wife loved flowers and lost her battle to cancer. For months, his generous donations supported weekly deliveries of fresh flowers whisked to Weinberg in her memory.

In the spirit of charity, Koletar does his share. At the April 1 opening of the new location, the Flower Cart gave away 300 bunches of daffodils in less than two hours. Last November, to the delight of pediatric patients, the Ravens’ mascot paraded through units in the Children’s Center, distributing the shop’s fresh flowers and purple balloons.

As the tradition of giving flowers thrives, so does the Flower Cart, says Koletar. “My flowers are for all occasions, or no occasion. In the dog house, or I love you.”

Lydia Levis Bloch

Deliveries in the Baltimore metro area are free for employees. Half-price discount on summer Friday afternoons. Info: 410-276-8560 or


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