October 29, 2010

Flowers to Please a Victorian Ghost

 It's common knowledge (at least in my family) that this beautiful old Victorian in downtown Napa has a ghost. She's said to be benign, quirky, and inclined to moving things. So when I was granted the honor of providing some flowers for an open house (the space is in between leasers; I've got my eye on the tiny upstairs office) I was a little nervous to leave the arrangements in situ over night. So nervous, that I even popped in early the next morning to make sure everything was is order (it was). Maybe I was just being silly. But maybe she let them be as a sign of approval. Everyone loves flowers, and it's probably been a while since anyone brought her any.

October 28, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night . . .

  . . . Not the kind that's good for taking pictures of ten vibrantly autumnal centerpieces of Aztec dahlias, Devoto Gardens sunflowers and dianthus, and my camelias, and cotoneaster berries. But here they are, complete with a little glimpse of my super low-tech (but very effective and zero-waste) brick-based transportation system.

October 25, 2010

What a Week: Part 6 of 6

After the market I hurried home to make up eight tiny centerpieces of small sunflowers, cosmos, and pink jasmine tendrils. I then delivered them to one of Napa's favorite old Italian restaurants where the tables were set with fiesta ware for a wedding celebration dinner. It looked very cheerful. Congratulations, B&K!

Happy Birthday!!!

This beautiful girl, my bosom friend from school girl days, is currently tugging along somewhere off the coast of Alaska, living the dream. And today it is her birthday! Happy birthday, Liz! I'm so proud of you!

October 24, 2010

What A Week: Part 5 of 6

 The next morning, dark and early, I set up at the farmer's market. To add some umph to my display (which was pretty light this week) I brought along some flowers from the Arts Council Event. Thanks again, Aztec Dahlias!

October 22, 2010

What a Week: Part 4 of 6

Last Friday at Mumm Napa, the Napa Valley Arts Council celebrated the debut of its portraiture photography exhibit and a month-long arts festival. About 600 patrons of the arts strolled about Mumm's beautiful terrace and galleries, enjoying sparkling wine, live jazz, and delicate little champagne cupcakes from Sift. Petaluma's amazing Aztec Dahlias donated three brimming buckets of gorgeous dahlias in sunset tones; I provided the design and a few more flowers. After setting arrangements all about Mumm's lovely grounds, I took a table on the terrace next to the nice gals from Sift and spent to evening chatting with guests.

October 20, 2010

What A Week: Part 3 of 6

Okay, you've got to believe me when I tell you these arrangements were actually quite lovely in real life- much softer and wilder looking (the fact that I left my real camera at home- and instead used my phone- is a testament to the intensity of the week). In any case, here they are waiting in the wings before taking their places along long tables, which were covered with butcher paper and long, piled lines of lobsters for a festive lobster feed engagement party (note how the dahlias were selected to coordinate with the featured crustacean). I'd never heard of such a thing, but I dig it.

October 18, 2010

What A Week: Part 2 of 6

 On Sunday morning I was happy to have another opportunity to use my new organic cotton ribbon: a baby shower. The hostess ordered a box of ribbons so each guest could chose one to wear as a bracelet, headband, or necklace. Fun!

October 17, 2010

What a Week: Part 1 of 6

 As suggested by the paucity of posts over the last week, it's been busy around here! It began and ended with a market day, so I'll be doing the same as I recount what all I was up to while MIA. Last Saturday's market included a few exciting highlights, namely a wide array of wands for Halloween, a monkey flower plant (sooo helpful in explaining the origin of my business name- a weekly occurrence), and organic cotton ribbon from a family-owned mill out in New York City (I've been wanting to transition to a natural fiber ribbon for a long time- this is the first I've been able to find that's narrow and pliable enough for my purposes). All in all, an excellent market, and an excellent start to a fun-filled week!

October 13, 2010

A Brief Surfacing

It's been a busy week, coming up on an even busier one! I'm surfacing briefly to share these photos of some lovely fall blooms I recently had the pleasure of arranging. More exciting things to come after this weekend . . .

October 6, 2010

Halloween Pre-Order Time!

If you're anything like me, you've had your dream Halloween costume planned  for about eight months by now.

BUT, if you're still searching for that special get-up for this wonderful holiday, why not consider The Monkey Flower Group's unique masks, wands, and (bracelet/headband/necklace) ribbons? Hand-sewn from local botanical materials, these fun but sophisticated accessories pair equally well with super-hero suits, magical fairy tutus, and slinky cocktail dresses.
Because of the perishable and heavily labor-intensive nature of these items, quantities are limited. Very limited. That's great news if you're someone who dislikes showing up in the same get-up as anyone else, but it also means they might be hard to get a hold of closer to the 31st . . .
So, to reserve your one-of-a-kind botanical accessories for the Halloween weekend, stop by the Saturday Napa Downtown Farmers' Market or send me an e-mail at info@TheMonkeyFlowerGroup.com (we'll discuss the details then, including pick-up, delivery, and color palette options).

By doing so by October 25th, you'll also enjoy these Pre-Order savings:

Pre-Ordered Masks: $25 (regularly $30)
Pre-Ordered Wands: $12 (regularly $15)
Pre-Ordered Ribbons: $5 (regularly $12)
Pre-Ordered Matching Sets of Mask, Wand, and Ribbon: $40 (regularly $57; greatest value, hands down)

Orders for over $80 will be available for shipping within the continental US (wish I could ship to England!), but please place your request two weeks prior to your desired delivery date to allow me time to investigate your state and county's specific plant quarantine regulations.

Thank you, and happy Halloween planning!

October 3, 2010

Fun With Fruticose Lichen

California Spanish Moss (Ramalina menziesii) is not actually a moss, but a combination of fungus and algae. Sexy, huh? In other (more pleasant sounding) words, it's a lichen. And since it's all branchy like, I think it's a fruticose one. (I also think you could throw "pendant" in there, too, but that doesn't make for such a nicely alliterative post title.)
This week I had lots of fun embellishing my ribbons, pins, masks, and wands with this living lace, which apparently continues to photosynthesize as long as it is exposed to moisture and light. I am eager to see whether my wand's trailing lichen tail will eventually become even more trailing. That would be appropriately magical.  University of California's Hastings Biological Field Station thinks it can grow 30% in a year. I'll keep you posted.