While 1313 Gilbert Street has been the location of a florist and greenhouse business since 1915, Otto’s Oasis has been serving Charles City and the surrounding communities since 2007. Open year round, we are committed to offering the finest fresh floral arrangements, gifts, home and garden décor, and the largest and best selection of plants in the area. We also carry an extensive line of nursery products and provide professional landscape services.
Jeff Otto, a Charles City native, and his wife Lori purchased the business in February 2007. Jeff received his degree in Horticulture Science and has been in the landscape profession for over 30 years. He started his greenhouse and landscape career in high school, working right here at Floral Expressions and then in later years for the business when it was known as Echter’s. While he oversees the store in general, his focus is on the greenhouse and landscaping areas. Lori has a background in retail as well as administrative assistant positions. She spends her days ordering gifts and home décor, marketing, financials, and managing the day-to-day operations.
We have a talented, dedicated, and caring staff to assist with your shopping experience. Whether its traditional, modern or high style, our floral designers make custom arrangements to fit your needs. While we are known for our greenhouses and fresh floral arrangements, we have a variety of décor and gifts in our newly decorated showroom. With kitchen décor and accessories including Nora Fleming, personal care products, candles, greeting cards, children’s gifts, food products, clothing and more, you will find a perfect gift at a perfect price. The exceptional customer service team is ready to assist you, whether it be in person or by phone. In addition, Otto’s offers same day delivery and curbside pickup. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 to 5:00, Saturday 9:00 to 4:00, and select Sundays through the Spring and Christmas seasons.
We like to say "Our Business is Growing for YOU, because we have Roots Here!"
Stop in and see us soon!
Meet Our Staff:
Christopher Anthony, Floral Manager: Christopher is the “original” of the current crew at Otto’s Oasis. After moving to the area in 2005, he was hired when the business was known as Echter’s Floral & Greenhouses. Prior to his move to Iowa, Christopher began his design career in his Pennsylvania hometown delivering flowers and doing the bookkeeping for his employer. Soon, he decided to put his artistic abilities to good use and began designing floral bouquets. From traditional to high style to creations beyond your imagination, Christopher has done pretty much everything. He is always up for a challenge and has wowed customers with animal shaped arrangements, sympathy pieces made with vegetables and extravagant floral displays for art shows. In addition to managing the floral department, he creates displays in our gift shoppe as well as helping with day-to-day operations. In his spare time, he enjoys cruising in his Cadillac, time with his pups and finding just one more clock he can squeeze into his house. There are so many, we do wonder if he has gone cuckoo at times, but we wouldn’t pun him off on anyone.
Michelle Lohse, Floral Designer: Michelle has been working part time with Otto’s Oasis since 2015. After graduating from Kirkwood Community College in 1985, she has worked at a variety of floral shops over the past 30 years and has a true gift for creating that perfect floral arrangement. While Michelle’s main focus is in the workroom, you will also find her friendly smile in our gift shoppe and garden center. When she isn’t working, Michelle enjoys traveling and motorcycle adventures with her husband Dave. But…her biggest passion? Time with her beautiful granddaughter Addie!
Dene Lundberg, Floral Designer: Dene began her “second career” with us in 2018. Before that, she was a teacher right here in the Charles City Community School District for 33 years before retiring. Dene is highly creative and detail oriented and it shows with every floral bouquet she creates. Her energy and doting personality are great assets to the Oasis family, and as a customer you will be treated like a lifelong friend. Dene and her husband Jim have been part of this community since 1983. Her hobbies include gardening, sewing, reading, snowshoeing and more. See what we mean about energy? While she loves her hobbies, what is most important to her is her family. With 3 grown children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and amazing granddaughter and Boomer, their four-legged love, her days and her heart are full.
Chris Wells, Customer Service Associate and Floral Designer: When you step through the door to our gift shoppe from late fall to early spring, you will most likely be greeted with the warm and friendly smile of Chris Wells. Chris began her career at Otto’s Oasis in November 2019 and has quickly become a beloved member of our Oasis family. She assists with the decorating of our showroom, works with customers from start to finish on purchases, helps maintain inventory and is working her way to becoming a fantastic floral designer. When she is not with us, you will find her on a mower soaking up the sun….no, we mean helping her husband Romaine with their lawncare business. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside in their flower gardens and making her own outdoor oasis. Chris says it is a challenge, however, trying to keep Sulley, their golden retriever, and their kitties from trying to “help out”. Stop in and say hello to Chris. You will be glad you did!
Jean King, Greenhouse Manager: Jean is no stranger when it comes to plants and when she started at Otto's in 2009, she brought with her more plant knowledge then we could have hoped for! Part of that reason is because plants are her passion. Jean is an avid gardener with an outdoor living space that would make you as green as grass with envy with one of the most impressive highlights being the many varieties and sizes of hostas she has nurtured over the years. At work, you will find her keeping busy in the greenhouse watering, planting, pruning, creating beautiful displays and so much more. One of her most favorite hobbies, however, is keeping Jeff on his toes. When the two of them put their heads together in our greenhouse, you never know what will happen.
Phyllis Hillis, Delivery Driver and Mom: When you are a lucky recipient of an Otto’s Oasis bouquet, you will most likely meet Phyllis at your door who also happens to have a more important job of being Mom to Jeff. Phyllis delivers, run errands, and brings us snacks and meals along with all the other various things we can dream up for her. Her sweet spirit and gentle personality makes her the perfect person to brighten your day no matter the occasion.
1313 Gilbert Street
Ambassador Call for 5 year Anniversary
Ambassador Call for 10 year Anniversary