Sunday, April 29, 2012


There are no flowers in this post.  Only a jewel: an Opal.

This is Opal.  She lives at Codman Farm in Linclon, MA.  She appears to be a miniature donkey and she's an albino.

My interest in donkeys goes back a few years.  It started with an abandoned toy I spotted at the Antique Market given to me by Gillian and Peicha:

The next year, Gillian adopted a donkey for me from The Donkey Sanctuary.  They have a webcam where I can watch the donkeys in the barn or in the pen.

A few months ago, I followed a link from Slow Lane Life and found Morning Bray Farm.  From there, I found 7msnranch where Linda Carson writes a daily blog about her horse and her three donkeys, named
George, Alan and Lucy.

I'd never met a donkey before.  So, when I found out there was a an albino donkey at Codman Farm in Lincoln, I decided to visit.  After delivering a funeral in Waltham today, I met my friend Marlowe at the Farm.

These are the photos of  Opal and the animals at the farm.  I'm a little concerned that Opal has no Equine friends.  She did a little dance with a lamb, but the grown sheep push her out of the way, so she doesn't really have a companion.

Tomorrow, it's back to flowers with Janes'  Flowers in the House.  Next Sunday, Joe and I are going to Dartmouth Ma to visit with more donkeys.  Opal's nose is very soft. She likes scratches between her hear and cheek bone.  She seemed unimpressed with butt scratches, which I understand are welcomed by many donkeys.  She also seems to need brushing.  But what do I know?   yet.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A perfect fit

Six weeks ago, when I was looking to add some photos to my website from Style Me Pretty, I realized that the photographer of a wedding we did a few years ago was the amazing Lisa Rigby.  I had fallen in love with her photos I found of a wedding at the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge a year ago.  I didn't realize that we had worked on the same wedding at the Commander's Mansion in Watertown.

I wrote her a fan letter disguised as a request for some of the photos from that wedding.  As a result of this connection, Lisa came to our shop on Wednesday and took lots of photos which she posted on her blog:

What I love about Lisa's photos is how she captures the color and character of the flowers.  Her color slays me; I want to eat these photos!

She took a lot of photos of Petals. I let her take a photo of me which is rare!  Meeting her was like catching up with an old friend.  We love you Lisa!  Thank you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Many thanks!!!

Without color theory traning (which I'm considering), finding the right color combinations is like panning for gold in a Wyoming river:  a glimmer in the pan is like the "click" of what falls into place through the retina when colors work, and there are only a few glimmers in a week.

My plea for help after I saw the old green brackets with the new wall color was wide open.  Was I attached to the old color combination and couldn't let go?  or was I surprised by an unexpected possiblility?

All of your comments were so well meaning and helpful!  For the time being, we've painted all of the woodwork white.  Some of you said it was the wrong green.  One of you said the green with too many colors wasn't quite right.  One of you said you thought the green was "whimsical".  I like whimsy.

That green, however, needed to go, thanks to all of you. I'm considering another color for the brackets.  When I know what color I'll choose, I'll let you know.  Maybe after a color theory class.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New shop color

I was going to wait until everything was done before I posted this, but a turn of 'color' has me wondering about a choice I'd made about the shelf brackets.

The wall color is Wet Concrete.  The trim is Ivory White.  Benjamin Moore.

Before the Amazing Tom Driscoll came in to paint this weekend, I thought all the woodwork would be white.  We even painted a shelf and brackets in the back.

Pardon the unattractive wiring from the cold chest and phone.

When I came in this morning, the brackets were still green in the front of the shop.  I had second thoughts about changing them.

The shop is still topsy turvy and probably will be all week as we finish the shelves and lay down tile in the window for Petals so he won't chew the paint.

I'm eager for any and all opinions about the brackets: please weigh in.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beyond flower prep 101 and an OOPS moment

In preparation of a 'no roses please' wedding, I decided against pre booking lisianthus to avoid higher prices and inferior product.  I took my chances early one morning last week and swept through the Market where  I found the best of the lot that were 75 percent greenery and buds. The open flowers were unbruised: there was hope.

While many in my profession love to use the little lisianthus buds for accent flowers, I find them annoying.  One or two here and there seems fine, but I've seen them dominate an arrangement and to me, it isn't pretty.

That said, it was an obvious choice to remove all of them: ALL OF THEM, even the swelled buds showing color, which I put in a separate container and left in the window where they would get some morning sun.

Even though it was early in the week, I wanted to avoid putting them in the cold chest where they seem to get a bit moist.  Risky, but I left them out.

They swelled and opened up.  So pretty: perfect petals.

Lots of other flowers played a supporting role to these beauties.

When we  arrived at the hotel with the flowers, a lovely young woman who I thought was the Maid of Honor opened the door to the room and invited us in.  We put the flowers on a couch and everyone came over excitedly to see the bouquets.  There was a hush, a pause and a soft voice said, " but they're not blue".  No they were not blue.  It wasn't the Maid of Honor.  It was the Bride.  The wrong Bride.

Right next door, Jen was waiting for her flowers.  The desk gave us the wrong room number.  The Bride
in room 321 deserves the Composure Award of the year. Hats off to her.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

where have you been all my life

We use a lot of seeded eucalyptus when it's in season, which a good part of the year.  It's waning now, so I've been looking for the texture I love.  There is leaf eucalyptus that comes in a dark green:  I find it too harsh.

Today, I found some leaf eucalyptus in a pale gray with burgundy edges.

It's delicate and soft.  I've never seen it before.  I bought two bunches and used it all day.

It's the little things that make a difference.   Sorry, too busy to photograph the finished product.

But the product is pretty. Yes?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Thanks to Jane over at Small but Charming, I've been ordering flowers direct from a wholesaler in California. I don't order a lot, but if something is a good price and doesn't weigh too much, I order up!

Last week, the huge - est bunches of jasmine arrived.  I've never seen such gorgeous jasmine. The stems have a lot of flowers, but they don't hang down lifeless: they float above and around  the arrangements like angels.  The fragrance is....heaven.

It seems we're not the only ones who love it.

This is the closest the rabbits get to the outdoors.  California treats.


Violet has glaucoma and a cataract.  The Vet suspects it's from an old eye injury. I usually like to show her right-side only, but she was so clearly posing for me I couldn't not post this photo.

This is my last day alone at the shop!!! So much has happened since my last crabby post.

I advertised for another Intern.  I had some good applicants and a sour-puss guy who said "sure, I'll sweep the floor, empty the trash and work for nothing so I can have the privilege
of working in your shop". He's probably been looking for a job for a long time. o. well.

Our new Intern is now our new employee after rocking the day before Easter.   Susan is for Saturdays and she can whip up corsages in no time.

We have another driver for the Spring.  Victoria's great.  She can heft the trash and recycling and with her GPS she whips around unknown towns and the City like a champ.

The shop is being painted this week by us, and by the talented Tom Driscoll on Sunday.  Rabbits are going into the basement  Saturday night until Monday to avoid fumes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

toute seul

No time even to "cracher dans la rue".  I am all alone among the branches, the tulips, the roses, the Orders and the phone that has been mostly quiet is now annoyingly LOUD!  Frequently loud and annoying.

I've been flying solo since Saturday and frankly, the charm has worn off.  Marisa comes in to save me tomorrow and Steve, our driver is back on the job.  My shoulders are stiff from all the prepping and my anxiety level has risen to a roaring crescendo as I realize that the orchids haven't been watered in probably two weeks and the hydrangea I bought on Saturday need HYDrating too.  I don't have enough greeting cards, my vase supply has dwindled, and I had a crabby pants email customer today.  Kate, are you reading this?

Bless Joe for delivering the flowers today. I wonder what genius designed Assembly Square in Somerville.
It's a No Man's Land out by the Mystic River for the uninitiated with a major thoroughfare divided into one ways on either side of the Expressway.  Absolutely inspired city planning.

I need to drink more water.

So, I entertained myself briefly with taking photos of ZuZu at eye level.

"what's goin' on out there"?

"Hmm I smell banana"

"She's hiding it in her jeans".

"you could clean the floor ya know".


"Fine. No more photos."