Monday, November 9, 2015


My last post seems to have caused some confusion.   To clear things up, please all, be advised that we are:

still in the wedding and event business.

still taking daily orders for delivery of flower presents.

still open daily except for Sundays (we are open Sundays in December).

The only element of our business that has changed is the outdoor holiday decorating and tree delivery.  Otherwise,  we are in the shop selling flowers and booking weddings.

Thank you to the Mother of the Bride for bringing the confusion to my attention.

Boston Public Library

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Of an age

This Sunday is a rainy pajama day (except for harvesting dahlias later)  and time to take stock of what's going on at Bow Street Flowers.

For twelve years we've been pretty much a full service florist.  We've planted up seasonal containers,  strung lights and garlands on gates and in shrubs, set up Christmas trees and and hung wreaths and ribbons throughout client's homes.  This along with daily deliveries, weddings, corporate events and walk-in trade.

Now, after twenty five years in this business, all I really want to do is this:

On our door is a sign that says:  'we are a floral design studio that is open to the public....' And that pretty much sums it up.  Floral design is what I love most and at a certain age, I can edit out all the tasks that I'm not passionate about. ( except for paper work:  this will always be with me).

We've had the pleasure of designing some lovely weddings these last few years and there are many more on the horizon.  All of the Brides have been so sweet to work with and so appreciative  I am reminded that they are the primary reason we do this.

When I remake a Bride's bouquet or a delivery arrangement three or four times I am constantly learning more about flowers and how they behave, what they need to shine their best and how I help them do it.  It is never a rote process and sometimes it's slow.   And that is why I no longer care to distribute my creative energy beyond my world of cut flower design.

It's bittersweet to say farewell to some dear clients (you know who you are). But I've passed them along to the brightest and best in Boston and I know they are in good hands.

I'll be expanding the 'garden' for cut flowers this year.  We had two raised beds built last Spring but I don't think the flowers did as well as they did in the ground, so I'm preparing two long beds for more dahlias, and some perennials I'm deciding on. The raised beds will be for vegetables.

Lots of weddings this month and in October and folks coming back from vacation.  And so many beautiful flowers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The beleaguered carnation

One of the vendors at the Boston Flower Exchange who grew up accompanying his florist grandmother to the market, wistfully told me about the 'early days' when growers in Massachusetts would bring in buckets of carnations and the whole market smelled of clove.

Smelled of clove.  Can you imagine?  Maybe the local nursery will be selling Pinks and one can purloin that deep scent of clove by dropping one's face into the plant for a moment of joy.  Or spray on Etro's Dianthus, or Caron's Ballodgia.

So what happened to those almost mythical days of scent?   I'm afraid it was the penchant for the lasting power of the poor carnation who still gives her all in FTD coffee cups and stands in the hot sun at the cemetery, forgotten and holding out long after the Oasis dries out in the funeral basket.

Yes, the carnation is making a comeback in high-end, beautifully arranged vases by floral designers who know how to use them.  She is a beauty, even without scent.

But, customers who ask 'please no carnations' are justified in their dislike of them by their experience of how they've been used in the past.

I'm going to grow them next year and give customers an old fashioned fragrance experience that will last long…but not too long.  Who knows?  Maybe someday they'll again be as beloved as the sweet pea .

Friday, June 19, 2015

Organic bouquet

Request for all organic bouquet.  Thanks to Five Fork Farms for the beautiful peonies and the Icelandic poppies.  From my garden: Goat's Beard and Sally Holmes roses.  Feral Blueberries.  

As the Summer heats up Five Fork will keep us stocked with organic product.  As for my garden:  we'll see .

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day blog hopping

I spent the good part of my holiday morning grazing through Blog Land, tracing my steps back from one blog to the blog that sent me to that one and on and on for the better part of two hours, and what I discovered was a lot of Blogger Mea Culpas for not blogging much.  And this brings me to my rather extended absence from my own blog, with explanation rather than apologies.  (I was inspired by Jane at who recently posted after declaring the end of her blogging).

I won't blame Instagram, but as I am a visual person I must say that posting photos with few words suits me very well, not to mention all the other pics I enjoy hourly.

I do however have plenty to report on a daily basis but it isn't always shop related and since this blog is my attempt at staying on top of Social Media for the business, I wonder if prospective brides will care much for dog and rabbit photos if they're looking for centerpieces and bouquets.   I have managed a sort of hybrid relationship to my blog, posting the Personal (knee operations) and the Professional.
Truth is, the Personal is engaging me more these days but I fear it won't necessarily engage brides and prospective clients looking for a new florist.

Maybe using the blog like a big Instagram could be the ticket.  At least until I start my Personal blog and write about Lucretius and Virgil and The Georgics and being accused of misusing one of my favorite words: Latifundia.

In the meantime.

Pink Wisteria in my garden

House flowers delivered today

Mock up bouquet last week

Good dog Addie

Photo of a photo

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring in the shop

It's easy to get discouraged these days while it's still winter in March.  But hope does exist at the flower market where Spring flowers are coming in from California, Italy, France and Japan and they're here in our little shop now, waiting for winter weary folks to discover them.

Many condolences and get-wells this week.  We should all be given Survivors Bouquets for making it through this winter - next week: 50 degrees!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A little whine

I was prepared to go to the shop this morning but then I remembered the parking ban and my driver Lee having to shovel out his car in Watertown to find no where to park in Somerville and Lizzie's car stuck in her drive way by her neighbor's car, and the slow running or broken train system, not to mention digging myself out and sliding down the the road to the market.

But I won't show you woeful photos of the snow banks to further depress my readers here in New England.  Rather, I'll try and perk us all up with some Spring pics and the beautifully packaged and labeled sweet pea paks I received from Floret last week.

Hopefully, they'll grow into something like these:

photographed by our friend Andy Ryan

Our Valentine's Day window display

And more Spring; it will come!