In the news

Joe Ray says he starts the flowers in November in a cooler to make them "think it's winter" and then he brings them out -- certain varieties at a time -- so he constantly has new waves of flowers for sale.

Thirty miles southwest of Garden Fantasy, signs of plant life are becoming evident at the Platt Road Farm and Greenhouse in Milan. Joe Ray, 58, has operated the greenhouse on South Platt Road in Milan with his wife, Pam, for 25 years. They were married in 1973, shortly after Pam graduated from college, and they started the greenhouse just two weeks later. Early in their career, Pam took summer courses in floral design. Joe attended Cleary College, taking courses in business administration.