Thursday, January 23, 2014

Romantic Antike and antique ribbon

Almost gone

Flowers for Ann with Romantic Antike garden roses, California anemones, Japanese Sweet Pea and White Majolika spray roses.

Mirror image

The last of the vintage ribbon is slowly unraveling toward its end.  I use it for  arrangements to dear old customers who will understand how special it is.

This winter is harsh, but we try to stay warm in the shop in spite of the lack of insulation and all the old single pane glass in the front .  The power went off on Tuesday for five hours.  I could see my breath and I prayed that NStar could fix the problem before I had to leave the rabbits in the cold for the night.

I burned candles.  Eight of them.  I rigged up a flower pot heater:  one  terra cotta pot upside down on another one with a tea light burning inside: in an hour I had a hand warmer.  To make a real difference, I needed much bigger pots and more candles: still, it was a welcome warmth for my fingers.

The power went on at 2:00 and I cranked the heat and said prayers of gratitude.  Rabbits were fine.  

Winter:  4 degrees this morning.  Harsh.  Stay warm All

Monday, January 13, 2014

flowers in the house

My contribution to Jane's Flowers in the House is meager, but I did find an old photo to support her wonderful posts taking us down her personal pic memoir.

The first of the local anemone:  getting to the market early tomorrow to buy bunches!!

The hair, the apron, the birthday

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Out of chaos

For most of last year I grouched about how much 'stuff' we have upstairs and in the basement.  Seven years of hunting and gathering accumulations have created unnecessary obstacles to trip over, mystery boxes sliding off of shelves as we hunt for seasonal props and other shelves filled with 'one-offs' I couldn't bear to throw away. As the year went on, these items swelled up the stairs and by Thanksgiving we were inching around baskets of ribbon and cases of containers, rabbit gates and bags of rabbit litter and kibble.  I was waiting for a 'Hoarders' invitation.

Our twist and slide maneuvers went out of control during our last wedding in December, yet we powered through without time to to address our space issues.

During our Christmas break I drew lots  diagrams of the shop (really bad ones) but slowly got the feel of what we needed to do.  The residue of all my planning had boiled into one basic solution:  move our retail counter forward ten inches.

In all the time we've been on Beacon Street, I've never had a proper desk, we've run down to the basement to nuke our soup and the electric kettle sat on the design bench with my laptop, bills, receipts and wedding proposals.

We switched table tops for the bench, moved that counter forward, switched some tables from back to front and front to back, put some 'stuff' out on the sidewalk and brought up the microwave.

Our new 'kitchen' . (why is that ribbon hanging there)?

My new desk.

The reduced retail space (boxes have been put away and trash sorted, cord hidden)

Ten inches doesn't seem like a lot, but it has given us enough room to walk around the design table which we've never before been able to do.  Because I have no drafting skills, I usually just move stuff before I'll know if it will fit and this time wasn't any different, so the success of my idea is making me a bit giddy.  The design table has nothing but flowers and tools on it, my desk has nothing but my laptop and file, the kitchen is consolidated and everyone has access to it (without walking around one side of the table), the trash is organized against the wall and even the rabbits seem happier. Max has taken to sitting on the bottom shelf of the desk and ZuZu is out more, rather than beneath the counter.  

Is this Feng Shui?

Friday, January 10, 2014

catch as catch can

This was a beautiful wedding at The Castle in Brookline.  We had a narrow window for set-up so I didn't take photos, but Lizzie shot this on her iPhone.

And a month later, requests are heavy for white.  I came across a new florabunda rose:  the most exciting discovery in a very sparse offering at the Wholesale Flower Market.

She's called 'snowflake' and resembles the smaller white Majolika, except when she opens, she looks a bit like Sally Homes.  The center is yellow and the blossoms are heavy on a delicate stem and there's a pink blush on some, but not all of the flowers.

And for Rachel at Slow Lane Life, a cameo appearance by ZuZu.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 redux

We reached out further in our designs:  striving to achieve movement among the arrangements we deliver:  beautiful flowers showing off, bobbing, and smelling terrific.  

Once we unknowingly matched the artwork at the Habitat in Belmont.

We said goodbye to our rabbit Violet and later, found this raggedy little guy at the New England House Rabbit Society.

Who turned into this confident Rascal: Max

Then I went a little crazy and brought home Alice to bond with Petals which hasn't worked out…yet.
But she seems to be happy in the other window and takes her turn every other day wandering the front of the shop. 

We said goodby to our handsome Blossom

And later adopted this impossibly good puppy:  Addison Louise

My dream of owning donkeys was fueled by our visit to the Donkey Sanctuary in Canada where the kindest, most dedicated volunteers tend to 40 or so rescued donkey souls.

We also managed to stop and see Kris at The Dancing Donkey farm in Upstate New York where I met her herd.  Ramsey, the baby donkey was a year old by the time we were able to visit, but still a little boy.  I expected to love the donkeys but hadn't expected to fall in love with her horse Tessa who planted a big kiss on my cheek…at least I think it was a kiss!  

Nice tail shot!

Inspired by Sarah at Saipua and Erin at Floret, I managed to roto till a plot in my backyard and plant a crop of dahlias.

My first cut blossom.

The early bloomers.

I visited dear Opal in the summer and had to resign myself to her fate as a guard donkey.

On several occasions, we shared a Honey Crisp apple which she loved more than baby carrots.

I went out on a limb and purchased a painting I fell in love with.  She needs some work but has already delighted customers as she delights me.

The girls and I  went up to Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunkport in the Fall to take a class with dear Sarah from Saipua.  Most attendees were hard core designers and the results were beautiful.
This was my favorite: the designer almost forgot it!!

And finally, sadly, we said goodbye to our friend Cathy Walsh at Sprout Flowers in Worcester.  I'm sure it was Cathy who wore bells in her skirt at Christmas time.  There will never be anyone quite like her.  The wake was packed with friends and florists sharing funny stories.  She was a true light and will be missed by her husband Paul and hundreds of friends.

Bye Sprout


We start the year off with a small wedding on Saturday and hopefully a big shop clean out.

Happy New Year to all of you recently engaged Brides to be,  and to my lovely group of readers who take the time to see what we're up to at Bow Street Flowers