Sunday, November 30, 2014

A holiday tour at Bow Street Flowers

It's Sunday and I've spent the afternoon tidying up at the shop, opening Christmas and Holiday bins - getting a late start it seems by the looks of the world around us.

Here's a little tour of the shop.

Small Tatine candles in three scents:  Kensington Gardens, Love That Burns and Swarm of Bees.
We also carry the standard original Tatine candle in Wood Smoke, Honeysuckle, Neroli and Geranium Bourbon

 Hand made ornaments from Yessil in Brooklyn.

Venetian Harlequin ornaments

Small gifts.  A pair of French Opaline vases.

Paperwhites in vintage bowls with vintage English ribbon and pinecones.

Fragrant hostess gifts.

Quince, pine needles, wild rose hips, cones and each one has a leaf ornament tucked in.

We've decided to make wreaths this year and it's gotten a bit out of control!   Next Sunday, the 7th they'll be at Pod located not far from us on Oxford Street in Cambridge.  If you've never been to Pod, you have a treat in waiting in your future.  My go-to for gifts - and they mail purchases for you!!!

Amaryllis coming in, hopefully Twinkle orchids too:  all set up as presents!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wedding at the Boston Public Library

Our last wedding of the year was at the Boston Public Library.  Mary and Daniel were married at All Saints Episcopal Church in Brookline.  Mary wore her Grandmother's gown:  it's a style for the ages, especially this one.  Her Mother wore it too.  

The Bridesmaids wore blue. The Maid of Honor's dress mirrored the style of Mary's gown.

View from the hallway at the entrance to the library.

Dinner table with Bridesmaids' bouquets over the mantle.


Next post all about the holidays!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Carlos Thomas was my web designer.  Ten years ago, he was just out of school and I had just purchased the shop from my predecessor.  He built my first website and then rebuilt it a few years ago.

Carlos got married, had two babies, bought a two family house an hour from Boston and built his business.  He loved his family, his community and beautiful flowers.

Before he died last week, Carlos told his wife La Neia that he wanted us to do the flowers for his memorial service.  He didn't want funeral flowers:  he wanted wedding flowers.

I've never known a sweeter, gentler person than Carlos.  It won't be the same in my world without him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Home wedding

I love doing house flowers.  Our Bride, Lauren was married at her Grandmother's house in Somerville: an old Victorian.   She chose some colors, I suggested some colors and we came up with this pretty palette.

Again, I relied on the Bride for photos who just emailed these pics from her big day.

Thank you, Lauren.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lucky for me...

there's a phtographer at every wedding!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Light and longevity

During the years when I was growing up on the Southern California coast, I was, like other California natives, tuned in to the subtleties of seasonal change; there were few autumn leaves, no snow storms, and no flowering fruit trees.  The light informed us that Autumn was coming.  The slight drop of the sun on the horizon was as intense a harbinger of seasonal change as an overnight frost.  Even as we were still swimming in the Bay, and the sun was setting at 8:30, we sensed a profound shift from the bright summer.

Mid-west or east coast migrators were only aware that the days were mostly bright and there wasn't any snow: that was their California joy and relief.  The ability to wear shorts all year was a constant source of awe. Endless summer.

In Spring the winds shifted on shore, the air became softer, there was often overcast for most of the day until late in the afternoon and the sun, at the same angle it had been when Fall began to arrive, burned through the mist, washing everything golden until it fell behind San Pedro hill.

Here in New England I enjoy that subtle shift only at the end of the summer.  Some folks will wonder what's changed.  The days are warm and dry or humid:  just like June and July, but I know it's that subtle drop of the sun on the horizon that changes the light just enough to add shimmer to the whole length of a tree at mid day and shorten it's shadow across the lawn.

 On an eighty degree afternoon  in early September, I sit in the back yard facing the setting sun that's veiled behind our ash trees and the neighbor's weeping willow.  The air is dry and the bit of light that gets through to the garden turns the dahlia stalks a lovely copper green.

I was going to write a little something about the longevity of flowers and customer expectations but I'll save that for another post.  I keep thinking about swimming in that Bay.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why didn't I grow David Austin roses in front of the shop sooner?

Well, this is a little tricky because I added Abraham Darby just before it went off to the restaurant.
You can, however, see it @bowstreetflowers via Instagram.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Habitat - again

Sweet Annie and Derek were married at the Habitat on Sunday.  The wedding was an intimate affair with family and closest friends seated at one long table garlanded with olive, calcynia, seeded eucalyptus and studded with ranunculus, dahlia, garden roses, Blushing Bride and astilbe.

Mantle piece not fighting too much with the revolving artwork

Two weddings done for this month: five to go and then the summer will be over.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photos and materials

I spend my early mornings checking in with several blogs:  ranches and animals first and then on to flower and flower farm blogs.  Most of them post beautiful photos of their animals and flowers - really good photos.  

I'm a bad photographer.  I own a good Nikon dslr  that I bought last year.  Even as I just point and shoot I sometimes luck out because of the camera quality, not my skill.  But I know I need to hunker down and learn some stuff.  I'm also a poor self teacher.

During the past week I've been taking new photos for the website.  Aside from my lack of skill, gettting a good picture of a flower arrangement is a huge challenge.  If you're a florist and you want to see what your arrangement REALLY looks like, take a pic.

The process can take hours if I'm also answering the phone, taking orders and waiting on customers.  Even if I'm not busy, editing an arrangement is like editing an essay - the old cut and paste method.

Here's an arrangement that Lizzie made before revision:

It's pretty and before we saw the photo it looked like it had movement.

We expanded the reach almost beyond our comfort zone but in the photo it looks more interesting and has more movement.  Learn and learn some more about how best to use materials.

I took twenty photos of this arrangement, adjusting angles, even replacing some of the flowers, then putting them back in where Marisa had originally placed them,  and I never saw that leaf blocking the peony in the middle of the arrangement. Taking photos is so much about 'seeing.'

I worried over the high contrast in this arrangement and fussed with placement of the burgundy and blue, filled in small gaps that yawned as big holes in the photo.  I turned it every which way before I settled on an angle.    Is that phone ringing again?

I made this arrangement three times and took a dozen photos.

I'm hoping to be finished by next week.  I have beautiful professional photos of some of our weddings - the challenge there is choosing which ones I like best.

I think a photo class is in my future.

Friday, June 27, 2014

June catalog of flowers and Opal

Flower crown modeled by Lizzie, made for Lili, our Intern who graduated from High School.

My favorite bride photo ever.

Summer wedding bouquet with Kate garden roses.

Hot colors.  Today's Bride.

My Bindya scarf finally went on sale for 1/2 price after seven months.

Those of you who follow the blog are acquainted with Opal, the Codman Farm donkey with whom I've fallen in love.  Since I met her, I've been disturbed by how little she was cared for (except for winter skin lesions or cuts).  Her feet were always in need of care.  I think that any hoof trimming was done with wire cutters. Her job was protecting the sheep and she stayed out with them in the rain and snow until winter time really set in.  It was difficult to spend time with her when the sheep were crowding her out for carrots and the farm residents were less than open to my inquiries about her care.

A miracle has occurred .  The farmer and his family are now gone and the new farmer is 21 years old!!! His name is Eric Robichaud and he's transformed the farm.

Opal no longer guards sheep.  There are no sheep.  She shares the whole barn with two giant pigs in another stall.  There's a sign up with her name on it.  She has definitely seen a farrier and her hooves look 100 percent improved.  The barn is clean with new shavings on the floor.  She was much more engaging and enjoyed the scratches and carrots I'd brought for her.  I'm over the moon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More from Molly and Travis wedding

These are shots we didn't get at the Habitat.  Thanks to Li Ward at Fat Orange Cat Studio who also takes amazing portraits and photos of cats…really, they're surprising and beautiful.

Molly and Travis:  just perfect.

Friday, June 13, 2014

How lucky am I

To know photographer Andy Ryan who loves flowers and loves to photograph them and who calls me to see if there are any weddings coming up I'd like him to shoot.

In fact, there was one coming up:

Brittany and Brandon planned to be married in the old vegetable garden below an ancient wisteria pergola on the Crane Estate.  Colors were black and silver, peach pink and burgundy. The reception was in the barn.  I love this part of the Estate.

I'm hoping to have more photos of Brittany from her photographer because her hair ornament was gorgeous!

These pics are Andy's.  Thank you Andy.  Beautiful as always.

Entrance to the old vegetable garden

old vegetable garden area

Inside the barn

I didn't expect a photo of the bride's bouquet -there was of course a wedding photographer, but Brittany sweetly posed for Andy.  Thank you Brittany for allowing us to be part of your beautiful day.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lili, not Lily

Earlier in the Spring I was asked to become a mentor to a student at the Winsor School in Boston who wanted to do her senior project on flowers and their presence in and relevance to literature.  

(Why didn't I think of this when I was suffering through French Literary Theory in Graduate School)?

So I said yes and Lili came into our lives from the first of May until last week.  

Several times a week she worked with us from 10:30 until 2:00 while she juggled us with other activities.  She worked Mother's Day weekend, she swept, cleaned, organized and then we spent time talking about flowers and designing arrangements.  While she made her first arrangement, Marisa, Lizzie and I occasionally looked at each other in amazement.  She clearly had a gift.  Apparently she had been 'studying' flower arranging at home before she started with us.

Lili ate up everything I told her about flowers and what she learned from Lizzie and Marisa. 

I challenged her with different and difficult containers, taught her about the subtle use of the Hogarth Curve (which she studied at home) and loaned her my favorite books.

Part of her project was choosing a few literary passages to present with a record of her time at Bow Street Flowers.  She settled on a most beautiful section of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Emily Dickinson's poem number 620.

I had the pleasure of attending the presentation at the Winsor School last Thursday night.  Lili and all the senior girls set up their tables and their projects in the Cafeteria.  I was very proud.

This is her Virginia Woolf arrangement.

Emily Dickinson


And even though she was finished with her project, she came with us to Ipswich the day after to help us set up a wedding.  As always she was a valuable member of the team.

Lili, we send our congratulations for your graduation this week.  Whatever you choose to do in your life, I know you'll rock it!  xoxo