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.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

These happy folks

are on vacation.  They sweetly let me take their pic while they basked on the beach at a lovely lake in Lunenberg Mass last weekend where I went driving around looking for donkey pastures. (actually one man bolted when I asked them if it was ok - maybe his pic is already at the post office)!

No beach in my future, but we are leaving Monday for Canada.  Marisa will be at the shop with Lizzie while I'm gone.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The results are in

Came to the shop early this morning to re-work my Bride's bouquet.  On the drive in I was thinking how to loosening it up a bit and did a quick mental inventory of the cold chest.

I'd completely forgotten yesterday about the scented geranium and the passion flower vine.  I like some of the flowers clustered, but I love a sense of movement - even a quiver or two, often achieved with grasses and seeded eucalyptus.

I took it apart and created a looser base with the passion vine and more eucalyptus.  I discarded the purple hydrangea:  I rely too much on hydrangea as an anchoring device.

I do prefer the re-do.  Lindsey, the Bride, loved it.

This next photo is really awful, but it shows the passion vine and better demonstrates the breadth of the bouquet.     Can anyone tell me why my distance shots come out blurry?  Am I moving?  How do I not do that?  Also, I'm clearly still working on 'light' issues.

I'm going out to Lunenburg tomorrow to check out country life there and maybe spy a few donkeys!

Friday, August 2, 2013

"do I dare? do I dare....?

We've been doing a fair amount of Bride's bouquets for weddings at Oleana whose restaurant is down the street from us.  Oleana has a gorgeous garden 'patio' where brides and grooms are married before they and their guests eat a fabulous luncheon.  Flowers are always minimal in number, but bouquets are always lush and gorgeous.

One such wedding is for tomorrow and I've been making and remaking a bouquet today for the Bride.

"Colorful" was the request and I certainly have that goin' on, but after I took photos today, I realized that while there is a lot of texture and color, it just doesn't have that 'thing' happening.

It's fairly easy to rely on beautiful flowers to be the standout of the bouquet.  I'm sure the Bride would love this.  But I'm hoping for 'exquisite' and right here on this post, I'm going to say that tomorrow morning I'm going to again rework this melange of beautiful fleurs and end with something I really love and something the Bride will adore.

Sandwiched between tomorrow's post and this image is a photo of Petals I took without looking through the view finder... it's always such a surprise when a blind photo works out!

a  demain.....