Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let's celebrate the life of Violet

Violet was found in an Industrial Park, knocked up and hungry.  We adopted her from the House Rabbit Society after all her babies had been adopted.  She had a great life here if you don't count the time she got her ass whupped by Georgette and was hospitalized for three days!

She had street cred and not much bothered her except being put back on the floor after a cuddle.  She had an unwavering love for ZuZu that was never returned.  She hated Petals.  She loved banana and apple and stretching out over the heat register. She hoovered up rose leaves and gently savoured Pennycress.

She was older than the other rabbits which would have made her about 12.  She almost made it to the end of the surgery, but her age made her vulnerable to the anesthesia.

Cheers to you Violet.  There are many who will miss you.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I baked a pumpkin pie yesterday without condensed milk.  I don't know why I found the idea of condensed milk to be wrong, but I found recipes for a heavy cream  replacement.

The pie is very rich and kind of fluffy.  It's really good, but I think I might prefer the condensed milk version for it's denseness.  I am a 'savory' type as opposed to 'sweet', and that is why I love pumpkin pie.  I'm looking forward to the cold version tonight and I might make a second pie on Sunday....with condensed milk.

We had peonies and Darcy Garden Roses left from Thanksgiving.  We were closed, but I had an anniversary arrangement to deliver that came in yesterday and a small wedding for tomorrow, so I worked alone happily and listened to NPR.

I treasure my Madderlake books.  I'd always had a vision of how flower arrangements should be and these guys described what I hadn't been able to articulate.  Sadly, they closed before I had a chance to visit their shop in NYC.

We're open on Sundays in December.  This weekend will be my last one off;  to the movies I think: Life of Pi or Lincoln?

There's going to be a shift at Bow Street Flowers starting in January.  The details are being worked out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to give thanks

The last arrangement was picked up at 6:30 while a couple pondered over the flower selection and chose three flowers to take to their Hostess tomorrow.

There's much for which to give thanks.  I think, though, that the spirit of Thanksgiving might be well represented by this photo of my sister-in-law Diana at a family gathering that was not the holiday, but a celebration nontheless of families getting together.

Here she is, diligently carving into a broken cork to free the elixir inside the bottle for all of us to enjoy.
She was successful. (Not really sure what the bottle of olive oil is doing there).

 We all gave thanks.

Cheers. And Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Orange and Violet

Hortense is jaunty in her orange Autumn crown.

And the news for sweet Violet is that she's having her eye operation on Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
I won't go into the details but we won't have to worry about eye infections anymore.  My only worry is her age, but she's in excellent hands for the operation, so I'm trusting in a good outcome.

No dahlias, but antique lavender hydrangea, orange roses with pink highlights and mango calla lilies, lavender sweet pea.

And then there's the usual autumn faire of burnt orange roses, orange rose hips and refreshing ferns to break the heat .  And yellow roses, coral charm peonies,  tall Gloriousa lilies.  It's Thanksgiving and it's Autumn; we want the warmth of color to ease us into the winter; heat and fire and then on Friday, the burning colors will be over and purples, hot pinks and reds will reign. 

 Those of us who have featured pumpkins, Chinese lanterns, Free Spirit roses and rusty calla lilies, will transition into the fresh clear colors of winter with relief.  We look forward to gold ribbon, red berries, white peonies, french tulips and the fragrance of evergreens, wreaths and little white lights to welcome customers into the shop. Next week, we make evergreen arrangements in birch bark containers, kissing balls with beautiful English boxwood,we  pot up Amaryllis also in birch bark containers and get ready to brave the cold and decorate outdoor containers for our dearest customers.   

 We are thankful for the extra week this year after Thanksgiving to prepare for our holiday projects, and to tend to  Violet who will be recovering from her eye operation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hot lemon water

We have a kettle again.  My method of staying hydrated during the winter is to drink cups and cups of hot lemon water.

My other acquisition last week was Kenneth Turner's LITTLE book on dried flowers.  I'd ordered a small selection of product from Mountain Farms along with the Lunaria requested by a customer.

I fell in love with the sweet daisies which don't look that great on their long dry stems, but cut down and massed together, they have charm.  I already sold a piece.

I also realized when I finished taking photos that I'd had the camera setting at candlelight. o. well.

We're gearing up for a big second half of the week.  I hope my little Element can hold all the flowers I need tomorrow.

And then comes Thanksgiving.  Cornucopia anyone?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day. Let's talk about animals.

 I know who I'm voting for.  I'm not confused about that.  I AM unhappy about this Election.

 So, instead of Donkeys and Elephants, I'm posting about donkeys and rabbits who never ask us for money, never fabricate the truth, and always let us know that we matter.

Ramsey or Violet for President!!!

For those of you who follow me, you'll already know that I'm a bit donkey crazed, and that I own three rabbits who live in my flower shop.  The follow up on Violet is slow-going.  Last week on Monday, we saw the eye doctor who prescribed a gooey salve to break down some heavy calcification in her eye that has partly caused her abscess.  Her eye is now looking better.  I think we have one more trip to the Vet on Friday and I might get the go-ahead to stop taking her home every night to give her evening and early morning doses of her various eye goos which includes a strong antibiotic.  She's also on Medicam for discomfort.  She hates leaving the shop, but she's been a trooper. We'll both be relieved when she's back home for good.

You may also know that I follow Kris Maxwell's blog The Dancing Donkey.  I began following after her young donkey Emma had a foal named Ramsey.

Here he is just come into the world and still wet.

Patient Emma with her pesty baby.

Two donkeys asking for a playmate.

Two donkeys waiting for breakfast.

Last week Ramsey came down with a hoof abscess that became systemic and he's recovering from
surgery at Cornell Equine Center.  There was a lot of worry that the infection had spread to his brain, but it hadn't.  The news is good, guarded.  Recovery will be very slow and breathtakingly expensive. He had to be weaned early, which is very distressing to him and his Mommy.

You can read recent updates on how he's doing at the above link to Kris's blog.

I think this is a very recent photo of Ramsey before he became sick.

This is the Ramsey we want to see again.

An addendum to the Dried Flower post:  a bunch of stuff is on its way including Kenneth Turner's book on dried arrangements ( 7 bucks with shipping).  Has anyone noticed how fast Amazon processes your order and your credit card? At first I didn't think my order had gone through. Better not blink.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is it time yet to bring back dried flowers?

During the last century, when I was young and free in Berkeley, there were versions of Urban Outfitters all along Telegraph Avenue outside of Sather Gate that carried a huge selection of dried flowers.  They were useful for dropping into heavy, hippy ceramic vases: a sort of de regueur decorating strategy for rickety tables and windowsills where Tree of Life bedspreads blew next to them as an opaque curtain option for slim wallets and zeitgeist imaginations.(is that an oxymoron)?

In the last decade of the last century, when I was older and finally a florist, dried wreaths were on order in the fall,  arrangements of cockscomb and wheat bulged out of terra cotta pots with pretty ribbons,  and dried roses and peonies were sold by the bunch.

Our wholesale hardgoods supplier had almost nothing dried on hand this season. (There was, however a  motherload of Ting Ting - god bless it).  So if the wholesaler doesn't stock them, that must mean there isn't a demand.  And truthfully, I haven't cared about drieds for several years.

Last week, a client came in to ask for Lunaria.  Silver dollar plant.  Most Luneria I've seen is usually spotted and falling apart, although Jaime at The Monkey Flower Group had some last year that was pristine and therefore, beautiful.  This photo was taken from Mountain Farms website:

As I was looking through the dried flower selections, I wondered why they aren't popular anymore.

The little star flower is just as appealing as it was at the dawn of time when I was in Berkeley:

And look at this Santa Cruz oregano.

And these pod like flowers.

I'm ordering the Lunaria... and maybe a few other things. Stay tuned.