Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Less than a week to go.

We've hardly been in the shop this week.  Lee took photos today of the house we've been decorating, but my usb cord is missing.  This photo is from last Christmas.  I should be posting new ones tomorrow.

This month has been a blur of wedding flowers, inside and outside decorating, the departure of one delivery driver and the return of another.We've been tripping over boxes of pine cones, crates of evergreens and an overflow of containers. The back of the shop looks like 'The Wreck of the Hesperus' and won't look better for a while.

I'm happiest being in the shop making wreaths and arrangements, listening to Pink Martini Christmas and snippets of the Messiah.  All the off site decorating is finished now.  Holiday flowers are coming in and Christmas Eve isn't far away.

We're open on Sunday from 12:00 - 5:00.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Season begins...

We're open on Black Friday and Saturday too for our walk-in customers.No super BF deals and no deliveries, but we have some sweet hostess gifts, Saipua soaps, Christmas ornaments from Cody Foster and some that are truly handmade by Brooklyn designer Yessil.

There are paper white bulbs, amaryllis plants and on Saturday we'll have some Bow Street designed wreaths for the wild at heart.  There will be ribbon by the yard and slices of quince!!

Our new pup Addie will be meeting the bunnies for the first time.

We'll have the Holdiay music STILL going, as we never kicked it off the iPod this year.  And there might be a bottle of Port we've dusted off just for you.

If you're far away, drop by in Spirit.  If you're exhausted from your trip to Best Buy, stop in and visit the rabbits, have a little holiday cheer or just say hello.  We'll be looking for you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


We are poised for take-off:  before the end of the first week in December we'll have finished Thanksging, a  Bat Mitzvah, our first Christmas party and a wedding. Then it's time to decorate houses for the Holidays. I'll come up for air on the 25th.

My personal Holidays, however, will be merry and bright.  There's a sweet puppy in the house and

she's perfect.  Perfect Addie.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A break from Fall color

Bride's bouquet

Bridesmaid bouquet designed by Marisa

Monday, November 4, 2013

where, oh where are the flowers?

Time to whine about the sad offerings at the Wholesale Flower Market.

True, peonies are coming in from Down Under, but gone are the dahlias and the pretty late summer flowers that were so abundant.   The garden is bare,  the antique hydrangea are super expensive and even the ranunculus that was coming in pretty colors is down to basic orange and pale pink.

Also true, it's a transitional period and I should just get over it.  Still, I long for the Spring, Summer and Autumn product.

We are however, making the best of it:

Flowerless Fall arrangement

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Open House

The Habitat in Belmont is hosting an Open House this Sunday, October 27 for prospective wedding couples.

If you've never visited this beautiful venue, you have a treat to look forward to.

Besides being a part of the Massacusetts Audubon Society's network of special conservation places,
it has a lovely old house , a gorgeous garden and grounds where couples can be married outside.

The Open House is from Noon until two-thirty and couples (and their parents) can talk to florists and caterers in the area who are familiar with the site .  There will be beautiful flowers and samples to taste, so if you're local or you'll be in the Boston area on Sunday, stop by and say hello!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dahlias: night and day

It's another Flowers in the House.  For once I've a bounty of cuttings from my 'garden':  actually it's more of a crop.  I like crops.  There's no design involved and the focus is on plant health and ultimately, the flowers, or the vegetables.  And did I ever get flowers this year.

I took photos during the afternoon after I'd gathered as many stems as my pitcher would hold.  These dahlias are going to the shop on Monday.  

I went crazy with pinks when I ordered dahlias last spring.  I KNEW that in the fall I relied on peach and orange for weddings and I've been buying a lot of those colors at the Flower Market.  Next year I'll plant more of these:

Except I don't remember what they're called.  If they're Swan Island dahlias, their name will be stamped on the tuber.  When I dig them up for storage I'll make a note.  This is a late bloomer - rather, I planted them late and it's a little slower than the others.  I'll order more peach, some burgundy and some light orange.  I think I have enough pink, but who knows what will happen when I look through the new catalog.

Then I took photos by lamp light.

I like the shadows and the wash of yellow, but I'm not sure the dahlias look better.

Same with this photo.  The dahlias actually look darker, but the light warms up the walls.

And here are a few photos from last week.

It's a little biyt hard to see this piece.  I've cropped the minister out and I took it from the middle of the church, so it's lacking the detail. It was a Funeral Service for a Naturalist, and was filled with maiden hair ferns, Lady Slipper orchids, sword fern, sea star fern, baby pine branches.

And the bouquet of the week.

If you haven't visited Jane's Small But Charming blog yet, hop on over to see what's left in her garden and maybe you'll get a glimpse of Lucy and Gus.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

House flowers

I love meeting with brides.  I love seeing their pinterest pages, listening to their vision for the big day, showing them flowers they've never seen before or one of our photos with the exact color they couldn't describe to me.

But I also love designing house flowers for special events, like home weddings, book parties, little community get-togethers, garden or book club meetings. 

When I have time to design something for my house, I am always surprised by how the flowers enhance all my mismatched furniture pieces,  my quirky keepsakes and even a little mess of books and papers on the coffee table, bringing all the little details together to make it look as though it was designed that way.

So when I have the opportunity to do house flowers for clients, I study the size of the furniture, the size of the rooms,  the art, whether there will be children present, if there are animals,  the period of the antiques and how the client lives in their space.  Mostly, the houses are beautiful and beautifully maintained, but all families have different styles.  If there are children washing the family dog's sore foot in the hallway on a priceless oriental runner, and several cats are running up or down the stairs, I have a good clue about the client.  If there are no animals within a mile of the house and the cleaning crew is there once a week, I have some valuable information.

The fun part is choosing colors and materials based upon the request of the client.  While they are familiar with our style, some of them prefer a subtle design, some say 'go all out: I trust you'.
Either way, making something that will look beautiful in THEIR house is my goal.

Lately, we've booked several house parties. 

I'm in the zone.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's better....?

A class with the amazing Sarah Ryhanem who started us off with the above beauty..albeit unfinished....

Sarah chatting with a student


......sharing a Honey Crisp apple with Opal?

A scruffy girl with grass stains on her mouth, mud all over her coat, dirt on her nose, goobers in her eyes, and joyful brays and soft nibbles on my fingers.

Glad I don't have to choose one over the other:  yet.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Equinox weekend

Our long week ended with this morning's delivery to the Habitat at Mass Audubon in Belmont.
We were finished setting up at ten.  I dropped Marisa off at home and made my way to Peets in Harvard Square where I did something I've never done before.  Instead of ordering 'to go', I ordered my cappo for 'here' and sat at a table with my laptop to download photos from our two weddings this weekend.

Rain or shine, the Habitat is always lovely.  On rainy days, it's cozy inside.  When the sun is out, couples are often married outside among the trees on the extensive grounds which are filled with flowers and beautiful shrubs.  It's a homey welcoming venue, and there's going to be an Open House on Sunday, October 27.  Interested brides and grooms can chat with caterers and florists and tour the house and grounds. 

Saturday's wedding was at the Nashoba Valley Winery.  We'd never been there before; it was a sweet surprise.  The leaves are just beginning to turn.  The weather was glorious.

Except for last night's rain, the days have been perfection and apparently will continue on through the week.  It is, however chilly tonight.  Sandal weather is coming to an end with the first day of Fall.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Here is our shop a few years ago before the green benches fell apart and the glare-reducing awnings went up.  The colors were chosen after an artist friend did a lot work coming up with this combination.

I've never seen this exact color pairing before, but yesterday while stealing time for some local antiquing, I came across this:

This is a little oil painting by Antoinette Saint Leger.  She is a french artist who isn't very well known apparently: only found one painting of hers on Google. I would love to know what flower shop this is.
The colors of the door and windows are reversed, but it could easily be Bow Street Flowers on Mother's Day.

Even if there were no similarities, I love how it picks up the blue of our table and those hot pinks of the dahlias from my garden.

We're sweeping up all the bunny fur that's been shedded off of all the rabbits this last month.  We're shining glass top tables and wiping down the summer dust and putting out little vases and garden ornaments we've collected lately.

Except for this little glitch of summer weather, Fall is apparent by the dimming light and earlier evening darkness.  Almost time to plug in the kettle and stock up on lemons.

Fall weddings are starting next weekend.  It's going to be a fun season!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ending August with a bang!

Two weddings for Labor Day weekend kept us hopping for the week.  Kate came back to help and Lizzie worked every day.  Marisa carried the fifteen foot garland to the car.

This was for a backyard wedding in Cambridge.  We designed a 'welcome' urn for the front driveway.

Next wedding in Topsfield at the lovely Willowdale Estate.

Congratulations to Monica and Brad!!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"I'd love a bouquet that looks like I stepped into the garden or field and gathered a bunch of flowers".

This is a look we're most often asked to create. "Natural, organic, wild...".

And why, I'm asked, is such a bouquet so expensive?  Notwithstanding the time it takes to make such a bouquet look like no one arranged it, there is the volume of flowers one needs to have on hand in order to insure that every flower is flawless and that the stems curve the right way - not too straight, not bending too far over : and there are many blossoms on a stem that are sacrificed to showcase the one most beautiful flower.  

In a perfect universe, florists would go to the Market and purchase exactly the number of stems they needed for a bouquet like this one.

But many of us need two or three times that number to create a 'wild' garden look.

Then, there's the number of times we tear it down and start over: two-three.

It's the same with centerpieces, in fact, all the arrangements.  If a florist isn't buying enough flowers for a wedding, the results will show.  And no, those sacrificed blossoms can't be used somewhere else - they're donzo.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It could be Paris in August

It's so easy to drive in Boston right now.  Traffic is at a minimum as so many folks are taking their last bit of summer vacation to the beach or the lake.  

I am back from my vacation.  The Flower Market is bursting with local product.  The special Connecticut dahlias are starting to show up:  such beauties!  All the 'weedy' field type flowers that I love are available by the bucketful. 

We have new customers as a result of Marisa's stellar job of holding down the fort and I am so grateful to have been able to get away for my week of donkey madness!

I was going to take this trip alone, thinking that my husband would be bored to death by the narrow scope of my vision for our vacation, but he was eager to go and I'm grateful he was along to take on some driving.  Well, half of the driving.

There are so many photos that didn't turn out well, but here are a few of the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada in Guelph, Ontario.

This place is devoted to the well being of abused, abandoned and surrendered donkeys.  They are never adopted out, although it's possible that the satellite foster homes will put theirs up for adoption.  The stories of abuse are heartbreaking, but many donkeys were mostly ignored with overgrown hooves and results of basic neglect.  This is their home forever and the staff knows each and every one of them. It is the most altruistic place I've ever been to.

This is Joey.  He's forty eight.  He has arthritis so doesn't get up much but he loves the attention of the visitors.

This guy was swatting at flies and hiding from a whipping wind that blew hard during our visit.  The guy peeking around the corner is Apollo.

I don't know this guy's name but I love the photo.  Donkeys are cautious and their behavior is sometimes a bit comical as they slowly test the waters of their immediate enviroment.

I couldn't resist taking this photo.  The donkey was asleep against the fence, standing there by himself and enjoyed my ear massages while he snoozed away.  When he woke up, he offered his muzzle and 'chewed' my fingers with his lips.

Our last destination in Upstate New York was Kris's farm.  She blogs at The Dancing Donkey about her herd and her dog Tanner.  I wish I'd had an extra day to spend with her. We left at eight from Canada, but didn't arrive at the farm until three.

Her donkeys, Emma and Ramsey have a lot of followers and readers who are enriched by her wisdom and delighted with the antics of this mother and her 'baby' who is actually a year old now.  Ramsey develped a terrible hoof infection when he was very young and we all followed daily for updates of his care at Cornell.  Cornell is apparently where one wants to be for such care and they brought Ramsey back from a very close call to the relief of Kris's readers and obviously  for Kris as well.  The post-care was arduous and long and Kris did an amazing job of caring for this little guy.

I couldn't wait to meet them.  Here they are!

Ramsey and Kris with Emma

Emma and Ramsey and Joe

Kris's beautiful farm she built herself. Jeez.

Beautiful, sweet Tessa


Weddings coming up for the last of summer and the fall.  My last donkey blog for a while.  Thank you Kris for your generous hospitality and for sharing these amazing equines with us.  We WILL be back sometime.