ou don’t have to live in the area long before you’d begin to notice a woman driving around town in a Gator, tending to the flowers downtown with her trusty sidekick pup. Spencer Moore – known lovingly as “The Flower Lady” – has been responsible for the care of Ridgefield and Wilton decorative flower baskets for eleven straight seasons.
Spencer was born and raised in Winston Salem, North Carolina and lived in Charleston until her move to Ridgefield in 2003. She earned an english degree from UNC Chapel Hill in 1989, going on to work for an advertising agency in Charleston before teaming up with a friend to form a successful PR/Marketing Firm. Her advertising job is where she met her husband, Rhys: “I actually met him through my parents.” When her mom introduced the two, she said, “I didn’t even do that on purpose.” They went on to have two kids before their move up north, but she insists that “the kids think they’re yankees even though they were born down south.”
After the move to Ridgefield, Spencer semi-retired from her job to focus on her kids. She started gardening in her own 1-acre yard as a hobby – a passion spurred by having a rooftop garden when she lived in New York. She quickly grew so enamored with it that the mayor enlisted her for a job. Her husband was on the historic district committee in Ridgefield – the board is responsible for maintaining the integrity of Ridgefield’s historic homes and Main Street. “One day Rudy said to me, ‘Hey, we need someone to take care of the flower baskets around town and we’ll pay you!’ That’s how it all began.” Since that day, Spencer’s business has evolved from a self-taught hobby to a sought-after enterprise.
Her official business is called Moore Blooms with a logo design based on her handwriting, and she has a team dubbed “The Flower Girls” who help maintain over 500 flower baskets from Ridgefield’s Stop & Shop to Wilton’s downtown center. “[My business] is the real deal! I have checks and everything!” Spencer says her small residential business has gone “bonkers,” even doing work in North Salem with plans to break out of Fairfield County.
“I’ve had great people take me under their wing. This is a very welcoming community.” Spencer made it very clear that this is not a one-woman-operation. On top of her “flower girls,” Moore Blooms is sustained by further local business owners in the community. The baskets she uses to hang flowers from the town lamp posts come from Hollandia in Bethel, whom she says is like an extension of herself. “I can go in there and everyone drops what they’re doing.” The guys at Town Garage have been pivotal in keeping her business afloat, as well. “If I get a flat [on my Gator], they come right away. And they work on ambulances!”
Even when she’s working alone, she’s never really alone – she always has her dog right alongside her. When she first started this venture, her trusty sidekick was her Australian Shepherd, Biscuit. From the very first day on the job, Spencer committed to taking Biscuit with her every day. She and her son even got Biscuit certified as a therapy dog so people could interact with her on the job. As she got older, Spencer’s friend, Mike Zapp – the city’s handyman at the time who also constructed the metal flower baskets – built Biscuit a bed to lay in the back of the Gator.
Spencer has a new co-pilot with her now: her son’s puppy, Bower. Another Australian Shepherd, Bower is being trained to sit in the Gator alongside her and he joins the ranks of the team’s furry co-pilots.
Outside of her work, Spencer describes herself as “pretty one-dimensional.” She spends a lot of time in her own garden and travels often to cheer on her kids who both play college sports. They’ve tried to encourage her to get back into tennis, which she played throughout school, and she’s even considered trying her hand at golf. She loves her job enough that she’s very happy with things just as they are.
Because she’s self-taught, Spencer recently started working towards getting her horticulture certification from a local non-profit and she said it humbled her greatly. “I wake up every day, and whether it’s doing the baskets or working in someone’s yard, [my job is] very rewarding.” The work she’s done has had a great impact on the Ridgefield community, and the town is better for it. Should you ever see her out and about with Bower, don’t be afraid to say hello. •