September 28, 2010

Later That Same Day . . .

After the market, I zipped home to unload Buck and box up seven arrangements of perennial sweet pea, anemone, 'Black Satin' and 'Elizabeth Jean' dahlias, hydrangea, privet berries, pink jasmine tendrils, and sword ferns (above). Then I loaded up Buck and zipped back over into the Valley to deliver the arrangements in time for an evening birthday celebration at Silverado Vineyards. Here they are chillin' in the wings (below left). Silverado Vineyards is perched on it's own little hill jutting up from the floor of the Napa Valley in the Stags Leap District. The views are phenomenal, even from the kitchen (below right).

And here are the arrangements in the Silverado Room, a lovely venue graced with spacious ceilings, huge windows, and a glimpse into a huge, stately room housing scores of reposing barrels of wine (below).
And on Sunday, I got the house and studio back in order and rested. What a great weekend!

September 27, 2010

Consistency, Yo

In anticipation of a busy weekend, I almost didn't go to the market on Saturday. But in the name of consistency I did, and I am so glad! The day started off slow and cool (enough so to break out my fall scarf, below left), but as the temperature increased so did market traffic. I saw lots of regulars, met some wonderful new people, and sold through so many of my (slightly sparser than usual) wares that I was constantly re-arranging my display to preserve some semblance of abundance.
 Thanks for coming, everyone! You made my morning.

September 24, 2010

Puddle Wonderful, Windy Wedding Weekend

Well, where has this week gone? Even as I share with you these photos from last week's almost-rainy-but-instead-just-puddle-wonderful-windy-wedding, a whole new batch of arrangements sits boxed and ready to go for tomorrow. But for now, I give you these hydrangea, persimmons, nandina berries, sword ferns, and Japanese anemone (also called "windflowers", which seemed appropriate for the gusty, but beautiful, day). Here they are at our house (above, below).
There were also flowers to wear (below).

And here are the arrangements in situ at Ma(i)sonry, a beautiful stone manor/"living gallery"/tasting room in Yountville (below).

Have a wonderful weekend!

September 22, 2010

Local Inspiration

As I was gathering foliage for an order this weekend, I encountered one of the most remarkable bird's nests I have ever seen outside a museum. I'm no naturalist, but I'm told it was an oriole who made this fine sculpture. And all from local materials, too: lichen, oak flowers, feathers and twigs (below right).

September 20, 2010


It's been such a fun-filled, busy weekend that it's hard to decide how to start sharing it all. Chronologically seems a logical and unbiased way, so I will begin with the market and, and more specifically, the botanical material that stole the show: liquidambar styciflua seed pods. Who knew they could invite so much heated discussion? The day was punctuated by surprisingly insistent (though fairly polite) verbal battles amongst the farmer's market patrons visiting my table- everyone seemed to have their own name for the things. And since the only common name I know strikes me as slightly vulgar (wikipedia is not above mentioning it), I was content to sit back and take in all my options. My new favorite name for the liquidambar seed pod: sweetgum balls. They made appearances this week as pins and adorning my table in garlands and bowls.

September 16, 2010

A Lovable Non-Native

Bottlebrush (Callistemon) falls into that ever-growing category of "Plants-I-Did-Not-Appreciate-Before-Leaving-California-But-Now-Find-Completely-Enchanting." It's not a native, which is probably why my mother does not like it and explains why I previously didn't either. (I tend to internalize many of Mom's tastes, which I usually consider a good thing; she's got a good eye).
But anyways, after several years away I've gained a new appreciation for these showy beauties. The hummingbird's eye view, approaching the "brush" head-on, is especially cool. It almost looks like a airplane propeller (below). What do you think?

September 12, 2010


Here, my friends, is a thing of beauty: 10 new cultivars of colorfully-named, decidedly deer proof, shade-loving (or tolerating) Helleborus orientalis for the garden. Their gorgeous foliage (above) is a great addition to our planting of daphne and sword ferns, but some precocious (or confused) specimens, such as 'Gold Cinnamon Snow' are also putting on little sneak peaks of the blooms we have to look forward to this winter (below). Can't wait for the real deal!

September 11, 2010

Applied Economics, Lemonade Stand Style

Did anyone else ever play that vintage computer game Lemonade Stand? You take stock of the weather, decide how many cups of lemonade to mix up, and await your entrepreneurial fate as the program throws obstacles (your mom shuts off your sugar supply!) and successes (there's a neighborhood ball game today!) at your fledgling business. While the other kids at school were playing Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and Oregon Trail, I was all about the Lemonade Stand. Apparently the entrepreneurial seed was planted early on in my development.

Anyways, I mention Lemonade Stand because this morning I had the opportunity to relive one of the less pleasant situations suggested by that game. How so? The 34th Annual Napa River Wine, Crafts, and Jazz Festival was rocking the crowds just a few blocks away (your very popular neighbor Tommy opened his own stand across the street!), and very few people made it over to see us at the farmers market.
But no worries! It was still beautiful out, and the rainbows of ribbons (top), pins, bouquets, and fresh herb wreaths (a new item, below) went over well with what lovely few visitors I did have. So thank you, everyone, for coming out today and helping to make my Flower Stand so fun and rewarding. I appreciate it!