Monday, April 28, 2014

Emily Thompson

We don't attend Wedding shows.  We don't do much advertising.  We attempt to promote a love of unusual and local (when possible) product.

From my beginnings as a floral designer, I loved moss and Maiden Hair ferns, extraordinary flowers and a garden design style based upon the Madderlake philosophy of arranging flowers so that they looked as though they grew in their containers.  They encouraged using found materials to enhance the true nature of fresh cut flowers.  And when I first began working at Bow Street with my predecessor, Serge, it was his style and his love of exquisite flowers that made my job more than delightful.

These days, we glean inspiration from  new designers who have taken garden/nature style arranging to a new level.  Yesterday, myself and the young women who work with me went to a Master arranging class with Emily Thompson at the MFA in Boston.

I don't need to say much about her, but I encourage you to follow her link above for a visual treat.

This is her arrangement.  She's a wonderful teacher, warm and enthusiastic.  We had a wonderful, inspiring class with her.  Thank you Emily.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why it's all worth it

I was leaving Wholefoods a few weeks ago and someone called my name.  It was Alison, last December's Bride at Alden Castle in Brookline.  She had just received her wedding photos and wanted to show them to me.  As an introvert, I have to try hard to switch gears when I'm lost in thought, especially at the supermarket, but it was worth the effort.  Alison was so enthusiastic and sweet, I was easily drawn in and the photos were beautiful.  And SHE was beautiful.  Thanks, Alison.  I'm so happy you loved your flowers.

The following photos are all by © Henry + Mac .  Many thanks for sharing them with me.

And thanks to the staff at Alden Castle who put the tall pieces in place for us.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Squirrel Girl

Because Addie had been surrendered twice in her nine months when we adopted her, I arranged for our friend Sofi to stay with her while we were away in California, instead of kenneling her. 

Addie could sleep cozy in our bed (with Sofi), play with her best friend Murph and feel comfy at home.

Sofi is a photographer and when we came home, she emailed a portrait of Addie to us.  

Doesn't she look stately and mature?  Well mannered?  Well, you're looking into the eyes of a highly focused Squirrel and Cat Juggernaut.  I think we can deconstruct her DNA and find a Sight Hound lurking within that double helix.

Every morning she steps onto the back porch in a crouching position and freezes until she sees movement at the back fence where the squirrels gather what they gather.

The good news is that she can't catch them.  And her first cat chase ended with the cat turning to face her, ready for a spat.  Addie stopped in her tracks and barked until the cat sauntered away.

So, really, she's just a Game Girl and not a serious predator.  But the squirrels don't know it.  Maybe I could actually have an unmolested bird feeder in my back yard now!

Thank you Sofi for the beautiful portrait of my sweet girl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rose Story Farm

I'm back from California and still dreamy eyed from the intense light, the smell of the Pacific, the lush estates in deep contrast to the drought desert scrub`that towered above them and the very competent, but extremely fast drivers in Los Angeles who kept me on my toes!

There was a lot of driving to Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Olivos, Will Rogers State Beach and of course to the airport.

One of many destinations was to Rose Story Farm in Santa Barbara.  I've ordered roses from Garden Valley Ranch in northern California, but Rose Story Farm has a longer growing season and I've enjoyed their personal customer service.

Organized tours don't start until late April, but Patti welcomed us to come anyway for a short tour and we weren't disappointed even though the the 'farmed' roses weren't quite blooming yet.

Pacific Coast Highway near Carpenteria

First stop at the farm!

There are several houses for rent - short or long term on the property.

Hedges of Sally Holmes - one of my favorite roses.

The office.

Cecil Brunner.  My grandfather had a huge climber over a potting shed. I just ordered one from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas - they ship 'own root' roses.

A dead tree with several different climbers trained over it.

Rose Story Farm packs it's rose stems in wet moss for shipment.  I've never had a problem with their roses and they've always been long lived and always beautiful.