Thursday, September 4, 2014

Light and longevity

During the years when I was growing up on the Southern California coast, I was, like other California natives, tuned in to the subtleties of seasonal change; there were few autumn leaves, no snow storms, and no flowering fruit trees.  The light informed us that Autumn was coming.  The slight drop of the sun on the horizon was as intense a harbinger of seasonal change as an overnight frost.  Even as we were still swimming in the Bay, and the sun was setting at 8:30, we sensed a profound shift from the bright summer.

Mid-west or east coast migrators were only aware that the days were mostly bright and there wasn't any snow: that was their California joy and relief.  The ability to wear shorts all year was a constant source of awe. Endless summer.

In Spring the winds shifted on shore, the air became softer, there was often overcast for most of the day until late in the afternoon and the sun, at the same angle it had been when Fall began to arrive, burned through the mist, washing everything golden until it fell behind San Pedro hill.

Here in New England I enjoy that subtle shift only at the end of the summer.  Some folks will wonder what's changed.  The days are warm and dry or humid:  just like June and July, but I know it's that subtle drop of the sun on the horizon that changes the light just enough to add shimmer to the whole length of a tree at mid day and shorten it's shadow across the lawn.

 On an eighty degree afternoon  in early September, I sit in the back yard facing the setting sun that's veiled behind our ash trees and the neighbor's weeping willow.  The air is dry and the bit of light that gets through to the garden turns the dahlia stalks a lovely copper green.

I was going to write a little something about the longevity of flowers and customer expectations but I'll save that for another post.  I keep thinking about swimming in that Bay.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why didn't I grow David Austin roses in front of the shop sooner?

Well, this is a little tricky because I added Abraham Darby just before it went off to the restaurant.
You can, however, see it @bowstreetflowers via Instagram.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Habitat - again

Sweet Annie and Derek were married at the Habitat on Sunday.  The wedding was an intimate affair with family and closest friends seated at one long table garlanded with olive, calcynia, seeded eucalyptus and studded with ranunculus, dahlia, garden roses, Blushing Bride and astilbe.

Mantle piece not fighting too much with the revolving artwork

Two weddings done for this month: five to go and then the summer will be over.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photos and materials

I spend my early mornings checking in with several blogs:  ranches and animals first and then on to flower and flower farm blogs.  Most of them post beautiful photos of their animals and flowers - really good photos.  

I'm a bad photographer.  I own a good Nikon dslr  that I bought last year.  Even as I just point and shoot I sometimes luck out because of the camera quality, not my skill.  But I know I need to hunker down and learn some stuff.  I'm also a poor self teacher.

During the past week I've been taking new photos for the website.  Aside from my lack of skill, gettting a good picture of a flower arrangement is a huge challenge.  If you're a florist and you want to see what your arrangement REALLY looks like, take a pic.

The process can take hours if I'm also answering the phone, taking orders and waiting on customers.  Even if I'm not busy, editing an arrangement is like editing an essay - the old cut and paste method.

Here's an arrangement that Lizzie made before revision:

It's pretty and before we saw the photo it looked like it had movement.

We expanded the reach almost beyond our comfort zone but in the photo it looks more interesting and has more movement.  Learn and learn some more about how best to use materials.

I took twenty photos of this arrangement, adjusting angles, even replacing some of the flowers, then putting them back in where Marisa had originally placed them,  and I never saw that leaf blocking the peony in the middle of the arrangement. Taking photos is so much about 'seeing.'

I worried over the high contrast in this arrangement and fussed with placement of the burgundy and blue, filled in small gaps that yawned as big holes in the photo.  I turned it every which way before I settled on an angle.    Is that phone ringing again?

I made this arrangement three times and took a dozen photos.

I'm hoping to be finished by next week.  I have beautiful professional photos of some of our weddings - the challenge there is choosing which ones I like best.

I think a photo class is in my future.