February 27, 2010

An Old New-Fashioned Flower

 

  

Last weekend I was thrilled to have the opportunity to design for Stray Cat Flower Farm, one of Burlington, Vermont's favorite sources for local, sustainably grown flowers. Very soon, the wonderful Stray Cat folks will be harvesting armloads of gorgeous blooms from their greenhouses on Intervale Road. Until then, though, they are supplementing with some imported materials, such as- you guessed it- carnations. As mentioned before, carnations have made a come-back in a big way, especially in designs with a more modern feel. I interpreted this well-established trend in a bridal bouquet (above), cocktail table arrangements (below), and some boutonnieres (bottom).

  
 
  


February 22, 2010

A New Old-Fashioned Flower


 
Thanks to the past decade's revival of the carnation as a "retro classic", these long-shunned flowers have gained admittance into even the most stylish floral design studios- that is, provided they keep to sleek domes of tightly packed petals. Dare to show a bud, stem, or calyx, though, and they're right back to being the tacky Teleflora flowers that people love to hate.

I can understand the aversion- we've all seen carnations badly abused (usually there's Oasis involved). But that's not the way it has to be.  I took a cue from the Victorians- huge fans of the carnation- and threw these guys into a simple vase for a romantic, natural, and sweet effect. As a major added plus, some modern carnations even retain a touch of the spicy-sweet clove scent of heirloom varieties, garden pinks, and the tragically discontinued Roger&Gallet Eillet Mignardise soap. So even if it makes me look uncool, I'm fighting the good fight for the old-fashioned carnation.

 

February 18, 2010

Welcome, Dr. Kington!

 

Today I am even more in love with my alma mater than usual.  Welcome, Dr. Kington and family!

February 15, 2010

St. Valentine's Day Retrospective

 

Although I was a little shy on quality photo-taking time yesterday, I managed to snap a few quick shots of some of the joyous spring blooms I had the pleasure of working with, including rununculus (above), daffodils, and tulips (below).
 

Hope your St. Valentine's Day was lovely!

February 11, 2010

Flours in the Kitchen




This weekend promises plenty of flower photo opportunities. But until then, flour photos will carry the show. Ben's been using 100% whole wheat flour and a recipe from the book by Mr. and Mrs. Dworkin (above), a relic of my Mom's homesteading days in Oregon, to bake some amazing bread (below).

  

Meanwhile, I've been using white flour and the amazing duo of sugar and butter to bake up some heart and lovebird cookies (below), which I shipped down to Boston to power the lovely Newbury Street  Girls at Winston Flowers through their hectic St. Valentine's Day weekend.

  
 

Best of luck! I'm sending happy thoughts, too.
 

February 6, 2010

Special Delivery!

 

 

As if daffodils and daphne from my Mom in California weren't enough, this week's post brought another exciting package- delayed Christmas presents from Ben's sister in Peru. Highlights include a rubber band powered "mariposa magica", which may be wound and hidden in a book to jump out at the next reader (above), and some tasty chocolates packaged in rustling, festively colorful paper (below).

  

During the package's layover in St. Paul, Ben's family slipped in a charmingly wrapped birthday present for me (below). I can't wait to get started on my new book, "The Florist's Daughter"!

February 1, 2010

February Gold

 

At some point before I can remember (maybe even before I was born) Mom planted "February Gold" daffodils under the oak tree outside my bedroom window. I've always loved them. This year she experimented with sending me some (above), along with a variety of other narcissi and a few little branches of heavenly-scented (and also very nostalgic) daphne (below).



Now our little Vermont apartment looks and smells like spring in California! Thanks, Mom!