Sunday, April 28, 2013

Not about hotel venues

I completely erased a rant over hotel venues.  I think I purged my pique.  Enough said that I won't be doing Boston Hotel weddings again. Period.

So instead, I'll tell you about Mother's Day, my favorite holiday of the year.  Jen over at Country Weekend hooked us up with some great vintage jars a few months ago and we're going to fill them with the prettiest flowers a Mother could want as our prepared arrangement offering for walk in customers.

We'll be open until 6:00 on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday we'll be open at 9:00 and we'll stay until every last Mother's child has secured their flowers.

There's a new David Austin rose coming in.  We'll have a lot of yellow this year and lavender and purple and pinks and orange.  The peonies will be plentiful and beautiful, and we'll have little orchids for plant loving Moms.

Here are some Instagram photos I took recently of the rabbits and a home we decorated for a wedding shower.

Max finds the hay bucket

Alice is too big for her chew tube: Max can wiggle right through his.

Bride's bouquets for each of four windows.

The shop looks like hell, so after planting up some boxes on Beacon Hill, we'll be cleaning house - probably for a few days, and hopefully continuing the bonding sessions with Alice and Petals.

No more hotel weddings. ever.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Flowers in two houses and a Rascal

Early Sunday morning, we drove up to Hamilton Hall (which was a house) in Salem to set up a wedding.  The Ballroom was upstairs. Marisa was a Sprite, running up and down with centerpieces, hedgerows and vases.  The day was bright and cold with Spring budding out in the adjacent park where the couple would be married.  Luckily, we only had flowers for the house.

Hedgerows of Jasmine, Miranda garden roses, french tulips, french ranunculus and passion flower vine.

California ranunculus was the standout in the bride's bouquet, even against the beaufiful red peonies.

At MY house, Yves Piaget garden roses were a gift from a vendor who told me they were old.  I think he was mistaken because these Babies were tight and fresh.  The fragrance is heady.

And here is Rascal Max stripping bark off a willow stool.

A pause from the hard work of destroying yet another piece of furniture.

Jane at Small But Charming is hosting another Flowers in the House Monday to shake off the week's distastrous events.  You can see what others have mustered up for their house flowers here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Isn't 'lockdown' a prison term?

Well, Boston is 'in lockdown' and boy, is it!  I drive about 6 miles across town to our shop in Somerville on the Cambridge line.  Has anyone ever seen the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still"?
I swear it felt like that.  There were a few cars out.  I left home at noon after being glued to the tube for the whole morning with a party and a big wedding waiting at work to be designed for Sunday.

When I crossed the River into Cambridge, it became even more quiet. Trader Joe's was closed, Wholefoods too. There were fewer cars and no pedestrians on Memorial Drive which follows The Charles to Harvard Square (and beyond).  A few students were darting through the Square: other than that, it was empty.

The shop is a 1/2 mile to the residence of Suspect #2.  There will be a controlled explosion sometime this afternoon at that address.  A controlled explosion.  WTH?

Anyway, here I am at the shop grumbling over the peonies that didn't open:  more hot water swishing and more hoping.  I've made good progress with the centerpieces and I'll deliver some anniversary flowers to Newton when I leave.  I've tried move forward as normally as possible, but this is far from normal.  I encouraged Marisa to stay home where the Governor would like us all to be.  This is not normal.  Kate is in genuine lockdown in Watertown: she doesn't live far from where the police believe young Suspect # 2 is hiding.  They've gone house to house searching for him.  This is not normal.

The rabbits are happily ignorant of this craziness, although they were grumpy that breakfast was late.
I wish I were a rabbit today.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Customers often ask me if I have a beautiful garden at home.  I think they are disappointed to learn that I am a mediocre gardener and haven't done much in the yard since I bought the shop nine years ago.

Other Bloggers have inspired me to many things including my obsession with donkeys and my dream of owning a little hobby farm with a couple of them along with some chickens and maybe a little goat.

A garden hadn't figured in the plans, but lately I have been inspired by the amazing Erin of Floret and Sarah at her Worldsend Farm to take a stab at growing dahlias for the shop, and a few vegetables other than (but including) tomatos.   I've also been inspired by my new knees which stand strong for long periods of time now and bend very nicely!

I've layed my large plastic sheeting - 10x20 at the sunniest spot in my back yard and in Mid May, I'll have it roto tilled, amend the soil and lay the weed blocking membrane.  We're perusing the
Swan Island catalog for the dahlias we'd like to grow and I'm checking out my local nursery for varieties I didn't find there.

I'll keep it simple:  only five different varieties that work well as cut flowers in colors we use a lot in weddings.  Sadly, there are no Cafe au Lait dahlias left in the world it seems.  I can't find one!

And here is what I hope to reap in the Fall.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Go ask Alice", and a Rabbit Primer

While I wanted so much to write this post earlier, I've waited a bit because I wasn't sure of the name of our newest staff member at Bow Street Flowers.

Two adorable teenage girls came in today to visit with Petals and noticed our newest addition while I was taking pictures of her.  They were captivated by both rabbits and we had a little exchange about her name.  I said she came to us as Button, and although I don't object to the name, I kept thinking of another:  they remarked that Button didn't seem to fit.  When I suggested that I thought of calling her Alice, they agreed it was VERY suitable.  And here she is.

I travelled with Petals last week to the House Rabbit Network for some "dates" with possible bonding mates.  "Button" and Petals didn't hate each other and she is an extremely affectionate girl with people.

I'd never have chosen a white rabbit.  But when Petals seemed not to mind her much, I asked to hold her and she fell asleep in my arms.  She is a big girl, she's strong and fast.  I have her in our other window right now, while she gets used to our shop.  Tomorrow we begin the bonding process.

I've been asked by a few Readers about the behavior of Rabbits and how best to care for them.  I'm pleased to pass on information from my experience over the last nine years.  I've made some mistakes, but I've learned from them.  Here is a Rabbit Primer for those who are curious or who have become recent Rabbit owners.

There are three most important facts to know about rabbit well-being:

1.  They require a strict diet of Timothy Hay, fresh greens,  fresh fruit (limited) and a bit of rabbit pellet each day because they love them and they are fortified with vitamins.
Do not share your sandwich with them, or give them wheat based treats.  No cookies, cake or bread products.  Our water delivery man gave his rabbit a can of fruit cocktail everyday.   That's like giving a diabetic a can of commercial peaches.
2.  Your rabbit needs excercise.  A good run about everyday will keep it well exercised.  A rabbit kept in a pen all day will not remain healthy for a long life.  Supervision is required .
3.Rabbits are social beings.  They love spending a lot of time with you or another rabbit.  If you are going to be gone a lot during the day and evening, a pair of rabbits will be ideal.  If you have time to spend interacting with your rabbit, you'll experience a deeply social, intimate relationship that's difficult to describe.  

Rabbits are very territorial.  When two are bonded, they live as one happy unit.  Intruders are not tolerated.  Rabbits will fight quietly and do a lot of damage in a very short time span: seconds, in fact.
This is a natural response to territory invasion.   We had one rabbit who broke into the pen of a bonded pair.  She was at Angell for two days and recuperated for over a month.  

 Meanwhile, Max continues to fill out and charm us with his adorableness.  He and ZuZu are closely bonded. A generally clean little rabbit, ZuZu has become something of a "Pigpen" probably because Max is an inexperienced groomer.  
She does 'school' him in the proper grooming process, but he's still a baby and ZuZu will take whatever  'loving' he has to offer.  Now for the bonding process with Petals and Alice.  When that takes, we'll have two happy pair of bunnies.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Look who's answering the phone now!

After answering the pnone all morning and sometimes leaving it off the hook, Rascal Max usually flops down next to ZuZu, exhausted from his hard work.  While he looks down for the count, he's up in five minutes ready to cause more trouble.

Bonnie and Clyde on the run.

ZuZu has become a little hoodlum too, scratching her way beneath the counter, peeing where she shouldn't - usually where Max has peed.  I just bought a product called Get Serious!  This is to discourage these two from marking every corner of the shop where Petals has been.

Tomorrow I take Petals out to the Shelter in Billerica to keep a few bunny dates.  

Oh, and yes,  we're also a flower shop.

Spring Bride's bouquet.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

If you came into the shop today...

you would find us fresh and clean (in the front, that is) , the tables and shelves stocked with orchids and their new containers, cherry blossom and Clematis.  

And of course, you'd see the Trouble Makers.

We're in post Easter quiet mode, pausing before wedding season begins later this month.  I am impatiently waiting for new glasses to be ready: mine are so scratched and spotted I was beginning to think I was losing my eye sight. I have to look around the blur that's settled in the middle of each lense.
It'll be a shock to look in the mirror when the 'film' is lifted... that's how bad they are.

We're investigating the possiblility of adding a fourth rabbit to cuddle up to Petals who doesn't visit the others anymore because he's afraid of Max after their spontaneous meeting one night.  Sarah at the House Rabbit Network is scouting out dates for him.

In spite of the the cold, it's clear that Spring has arrived.