Thursday, June 28, 2012

Anniversary flowers

I love this wedding anniversary.  Every year I'm asked to do something budget.  I love the husband and his wife.

AND we're having a YARD SALE on Saturday.  There will be mostly containers, candles and some pretty ribbon remnants.  The basement is overflowing; it looks like a hoarder's dream.  Have some time? Stop by and see what we've got if you're in town.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Flowers in and around the house.

Before the thunder began to roar this morning, I ran out to take some photos of the crazy mad hydrangea blooms outside and a few other nice things growing inspite of my neglect.

Annabelle Hydrangea and Nikko Blue

White Mulberry volunteer that Marie at 66 Square Feet says is good to eat!  

Queen Elizabeth rose.

Pokeweed.  I have a nice little crop that I'll use in the Fall for big arrangements.

And raspberries.....mmmmm. mmmmmm.

And these are the last frothy peonies I'll have IN the house, brought from the shop on Saturday.

Going now to visit everybody else's house and garden!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

still life with dropped petals and spent stems

The peonies are coming from further and further away now.  Soon, they'll be over: especially with this heat we have today and tomorrow.
The vase was Helen's, my sweet Mother-in-Law; it was a trophy of sorts awarded to her in High School sometime in the late 1920s.  It doesn't say what the award was for.

Just a note to those who have been following the Protest against the Van Horn, Texas Frontier Days World Champion Donkey Roping event, I am thrilled to report the town has cancelled it.  Wow. It worked.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

donkey score!

Because I pay 4.50 per bag for organic Timothy hay at Sweet Meadow Farm instead of 6.00 at my favorite local Pet Store, I like to drive out to Sherborne and stock up.  The last time we were there, the donkeys were at another farm waiting for their new barn to be finished.  It was a donkeyless visit.

The new barn is really nice. There are several separate stalls divided by fencing.  One section leads out into part of the pen for goats and sweet little cows.  The next one is for two ponies and one donkey. There's one that goes into a pen with two ponies and a deer!

The ponies were out in their pen visiting with folks.  The donkey was lying by himself in the sun.

Hmmm. Carson at the 7msn Ranch told me if I was patient, a donkey would eventually come over to say hello.  So I walked around to the far side where the ponies were.  They were very sweet and gave lots of licks and lip 'bites'.

The donkey continued to lay there.  I continued to stand there for twenty minutes, occasionally whistling softly and making kissing noises. (why didn't I feel like an idiot?  really, why would a strange donkey have any idea that my antics were meant for him)?

Well, whether he responded or just got bored laying around in the hot sun, he got up,

and walked to the corner of his pen.

And then he walked a little further toward me.

And finally, to my completely hysterical delight, he came to the fence.

Carson was right!!!  Look at that face and the purple halter. He rubbed his muzzle against my hand a lot, then used my fingers to scratch his forlock; apparently I wasn't doing it right so I just made a rake with my hand and he did the work.

I was NOT presented with his backside for a butt scratch.  I guess I hit the 'spot' he needed the most.

And then he went back to his nap.

No one in the feed store knew anything about the donkeys today, so I don't know his name, but when I'm out of hay, I'll go back and visit again.

Off work tomorrow except for a commercial weekly.  Time to tie up my roses and I'll have to take photos of the hydrangea.  I don't know if it was the mild winter but this is the second year in a row that the hydrangea has exploded: and this year there are twice as many.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mass Audubon's Habitat in Belmont

We've done many weddings at The Habitat .  Why I've never before taken photos, I don't know, but we delivered a small wedding today and because we were very early, Marissa had time to look around and I took some photos.

The house and the adjacent gardens make up the wedding venue.  Beyond these, there are trails within a large and beautiful wooded area.

This is the entrance to the house.  The bride usually gets ready upstairs, and in the Winter months, it's where the ceremony and reception take place.

In the Summer, brides like to be married and celebrate outdoors.

The linens were on, so we were able to set the flowers in place.  Further out, the chairs are lined up for the ceremony.

The bride chose a pretty palette.

This owl is a gift to the Habitat.

A view from the cocktail terrace in back of the house.

Marisa takes in the view beneath the Wisteria.

The bride loved her bouquet!

The corsages.

This was an easy wedding and because it's slowed down at the shop, we felt relaxed and paid extra attention to details. I love the details.

Next wedding is on Cape Cod.  It's a big one.  We're working with wedding planner, Lo McShay who is kind of a dream planner for a florist.  She's super organized and if anyone loves details more than I do, it's Lo.

We're also having a yard sale next weekend. It's going to be one of three, I think.  There's a lot of cool stuff lying around in the basement that I need to weed out.  Stay tuned if you're local!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear Cynthia

The Mother of the Cheese Expert and the Botanist emailed to say she couldn't leave her comment on the post I wrote about her son's wedding at the Journeyman.  Could I post it for her?
She also sent photos of the large arrangements which she took home.

So, this post is for you Cynthia.

Tis the garden rose -peony, now ladyslipper-saracena lily-fern enthusiast emerging from the fog of wedding aftermath to say how very pleased all of us that needed pleasing were with Shelley's exquisite, bizarrely beautiful, highly original floral designs.   They also softened the cement,  loft like interior of the restaurant.  She exceeded our wildest dreams.

I personally loved her subtle, edgy palette and the intricate delicacy of every arrangement.  I also overheard my new daughter-in-law explaining the complex ecological community that develops inside of one of the rain catching blossoms in her bouquet.   I think we can confidently call this project both an aesthetic and botanical triumph.
As for the bride's special affection for the waxy orange Haliconia, it was reproduced in full color,  life-sized butter cream beside a Bird of Paradise atop her wedding cake, so that Shelley didn't have to find a way to include it in a nosegay. 

The cake:

Banana arrangement:

Thanks, Cynthia for your sweet comment and the post event photos.  I wonder how long that stem of banana lasted.  Did the bananas get ripe?  Did the big flower open?  


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Donkey day

Bow Street is closed on Mondays beginning yesterday.  I celebrated my new day off with a trip to Save Your Ass Mule and Donkey Rescue.  During my previous trips to find donkeys, there were usually one or three, but never any kind of herd.

The mother lode of donkeys in New England is at Ann's farm in New Hampshire where she takes in the abused, disenfranchized, unwanted and slaughterhouse-bound donkey and mule souls and really does find them homes. I want to move in. Joe wanted to move in.

There's a Billy Goat too.  And two German Shepherds.  This was the rescue pen.

This is Earl Grey.  He is a Mammoth donkey, and he's a big boy.  According to Ann, Mammoths take a few years to flesh out even when healthy, but Earl was neglected and came to her all skin and bones. Someone rescued him from a Slaughterhouse Auction and brought him to Ann.  The good news is that he was adopted the day before we arrived!

Earl's nose.

A beautiful Mule.  Joe tried hard to make friends but only got this close to him.  Abused and neglected Mules and Donkeys need time to develop trust, but they almost always manage it with love and care.

Ann and Joe with part of her herd.  She loves all animals, but I think she's extra  fond of mules.
 What's up with Joe and the donkeys? Once again they flock to him.  Guess who's taking pictures by herself!!!

I did, however make a friend who was particularly itchy.  Any port in a storm, I guess.  This guy was a nibbler too.

Ann is remarkable.  She works full time at the Rescue caring for the homeless and her own herd, looking for funds so she can welcome as many Mules and Donkeys that her pasture will hold, answering emails, reaching out to other Rescues for funding advice (and not always getting a warm response) and she lives a spartan life in order to maintain the work she does out of  love and passion for these creatures. I'm in awe.

So, out of Titania's dream and back into the world of flowers.  Except if you love animals, go to Carson's blog where you can participate in a protest against Donkey Roping, a spectator sport in Texas.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday. The finale

On Saturday we packed up house flowers and ball jars for a graduation party.  The ball jars were filled with the same flowers we did for the wedding.  Here are the flowers for the house.

The empty blue Ball jars?  Here they are ready to be packed up.

Some close-ups of the clear jar version for the grad party and below are the chair flowers for the wedding

These are the yellow versions.  They were lined up down the table in a yellow - blue - yellow - blue pattern.  Did I bring my camera to the venue?  As is too often true, I did not.

We are moving into summer hours.  This Monday, we're closed.  Joe and I are going up to Save Your Ass Rescue in New Hampshire.  Trying to figure out what shoes to wear!  I think sandals won't be appropriate for a corral.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This weekend

and this is only half of them!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Botanist and the Cheese Expert

Every year, we do a wedding that's a little out of our comfort zone.  Cynthia, one of our favorite customers came to us to do her son's flowers for his upcoming wedding.

Cynthia's son was the interpreter of what his fiancee might or might not want.  He's an editor for a magazine about cheese.  The two of them  lived on the West Coast, so wouldn't be in town for the first meeting with me.  Cynthia set the stage for the flowers via her son:   the bride is a Botanist, she does a lot of trekking through Central America and Asia for her research; her favorite flower is a bromiliade.  Cynthia loves garden roses and peonies.  O Dear.

The reception was going to be at The Journeyman, a small restaurant serving up powerful flavors and beautiful presentations in Union Square.  The decor is bare bones. A huge window with shelves of wood wine boxes filled with plants and herbs serves as a window treatment.  The kitchen is open, the tables are small and the chairs are black and chrome.  A bit of whimsey is created by small chair slips covering their backs in a lovely robin's egg blue.

The bride's gown was found at Poor Little Rich Girl.  She was hiking in the Himalayas two weeks before the wedding. This was a laid-back bride.  Will stopped in a few times to chat when he was in town.  He has his mother's charm. Sadly, we never met his fiancee.

So, basically, we had carte blanche with the flowers.  But,  how to charm the bride and please dear Cynthia.

We don't do much with tropicals.  Truthfully, I don't love most orchids, and Haliconia and Ginger leave me cold.  But I do love ferns, and Lady Slippers, and Saracena Lilies.

We were so busy on Saturday, I didn't have time to photograph the personal flowers or the two large pieces. Too bad: I'd bought my first and probably last stem of bananas.  I did take pics of the bride's bouquet before the ribbon went on.

Weddings and graduations coming up this week.  It's going to be a Ball jar jamboree with peonies and local early summer flowers.

Next week, I'm taking Tuesday off to visit  lots of donkeys!