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It’s All In The Family At Milena’s

Some families have weekly dinners, or go on yearly vacations. Other families run a business together. For Milena’s Garden Center and the Basso Family, it’s the latter.

 

When John Basso was 18, he emigrated from Argentina, found an old house on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, and turned it into a nursery in April 1997. He named his business after his daughter,

Milena. Flowers are associated with femininity, he feels, so the name was a perfect fit for his nursery.

 

Milena, now an adult, has even helped expand the offerings.

 

Milena decided that if she was going to be a part of the family business, she should have the proper knowledge of what her business provides. She is a graduate from New York School of Flower Design and a student at SUNY Farmingdale’s Ornamental Horticulture program. 

 

“I provide the customers with my horticulture knowledge,” she explained.

 

One of the most popular services that Milena’s Garden Center provides is landscape-planting service. “Everyone always wants a tree or a shrub installed,” said she.

 

The store is made up of three divisions: the garden center, the planting design, and the florist section, which was added in the past year and is run by Milena.

 

Basso decided to expand the family business and added the florist division of the nursery, where she creates custom floral arrangements. She specializes in various events including Communions, Bar/Bat

Mitzvahs, Sweet 16s, birthdays, bridal showers and weddings.

 

The store offers landscape irrigation, design and installation of brick, stone and slate walkways, patios, driveways, and retaining walls, trimming and pruning of shrubs and tress.

 

Besides Milena, John Basso keeps his business running with the help from other family members: his brother Oscar, the manager, his parents, Lina and Carmelo Basso, and his wife, Josephine Basso.

 

The store’s biggest sellers are the wax begonia flats in the summertime. “Each season has their own popular item,” said Milena. “It depends on the season.”

 

In the springtime, the shop offers annual flats such as marigolds, petunias and begonias. 

 

During Christmastime, a popular service Milena’s Garden Center provides is blanket and wreath decorations. Lina Basso decorates the wreaths with beautiful handmade bows.

 

She makes 1,200 bows every season.

 

“I’ve never seen bows like my grandmother’s,” said Milena Basso. “Nobody makes bows like her.”

 

Milena’s Garden Center is at 2000 Jericho Tpke. in New Hyde Park and open every day, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Sundays, where they are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 516-616-5165.


News

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”

The Village of New Hyde Park will soon hear Manhattan businessman Sam Chan’s proposal to open a 84-seat hibachi-style restaurant at 1215 Jericho Tpke. in New Hyde Park, the former spot of the maligned Empire Billiards Hall. The hearing is set for Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

“The board will be hearing the case for restaurant usage,” Mayor Robert Lofaro said. “This will also have to go before the zoning board. They will likely hear the case.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com