Monday, April 30, 2012

Wedding Anniversary

No, not my wedding anniversary, but Faith and Bruce's 40th wedding anniversary party where I was both florist and photographer this past weekend -- a true BusyB Production!  It's quite rare that I do flowers and photography for any single event, but I couldn't refuse my good friend, Jen.  Jen chose pink and purple for the flower color palette (her girls absolutely love those colors).  She left me to interpret the colors into flowers and I wanted the flowers to be as magical and lush as possible.

Pre-Event Picture taken at my apartment
Other side of the arrangement
Entry Piece -- I love cherry blossoms, particularly when the flowers start to lose their petals; it's like pink snow.

pink peonies, ranunculus, clematis, scabiosa, spirea, roses, double tulips -- need I say more!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Leftovers, if you could call it that

Sorry, the peony obsession shall continue until they are done for the season.  I have some pretty cool stuff to post over the next several days.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peony Cloud

For the past couple of days, I have found myself swimming in a sea of peonies.  I can't seem to stay away from them, particularly the pink ones with its translucent petals that glow with hints of yellow sunshine and its delightful fragrance.  I wish peony season could last forever.  

The ones featured here are from France and I can't wait to get my hands on local varieties.  

Wrapped and ready to be delivered to some lucky individuals.
So pretty!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just Can't Get Enough

This morning started pretty rough with a wrong number call at 5:30am.  I hate those!  I only wanted 30 more minutes of sleep before heading to the flower market.

But by 8:00am, a good friend sweetened up my morning with some of the prettiest local clematis.  It was a complete surprise and the perfect companion to my lilacs from yesterday.

BTW, I just can't get enough of this color palette and my hurricane / vase from West Elm.

local lilacs and clematis

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flower Class -- Yay!

Earlier in March, I signed up for a flower arranging class by Nicolette Owen.  The class was part of a book release for "Bringing Nature Home" which Nicolette collaborated with Ngoc Minh Ngo, both photographer and author of said book.  Haven't had an opportunity to read, but am completely excited:  it's about flowers and stunning photography of flowers; it possibly can't get better in my mind!  Plus, I've been a long admirer of Nicolette's work.  

Here's the book!  I love, love this arrangement -- so inspiring!

Class was today and held in a gorgeous nook at West Elm on the Upper West Side.  Nicolette gave a brief demonstration of her technique which is loose yet still very abundant.  

Pre-class photo
How awesome is this space?  And the flowers!
So many varieties

My station.  The clippers are so cute and vase to add to my collection.
The vase has a nice modern vintage vibe going.

I went quickly to work after Nicolette gave us a demonstration:  how to build a foundation using woody stems, how to add the showy flowers and the gesture flowers.  Her approach is so natural and relaxed.

There were so many flowers at my disposal and color combinations as well:  purples, peaches and yellows, apricots and pinks or apricots and lemon -- I could go on and on.  I decided that since I couldn't decide, I'd find a way to use them all.

Et voila!  Whoever said "less is more" is crazy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Summer Cutting Garden -- Phase 3

Pete and I have reached the midway point of our summer cutting garden project, the raised garden beds.  Pete's parents generously allowed us to borrow the sunniest part of their field for our experiment.  It was a fun weekend: our families generously pitched in and got dirty with us; the weather cooperated, albeit a bit windy and overcast at times; and execution went as planned.  In hindsight, building six beds was quite ambitious.  A family friend remarked, after hearing of our plans and seeing pictures, "this is no joke".  Without skipping a beat, Pete's dad sarcastically responded "with Botha, nothing is a joke".  What can I say?  I dream big.

It starts with black gold:  loam and compost mix.
8 cubic yards trucked in on Thursday morning from Martin's Farm.

No pics on the box-making process, but it was a straightforward process.  We put two 2'x8'x12" and two 2'x4'x12" joined simply by butting them together.  The beds were reinforced with 4"x4" posts in each corner.

Once the boxes were made, we had a long debate about placement.  

My dad surveying the line-up.

The crew (including me) outlined the boxes, cut away the sod and tilled and leveled the land beneath.

Pete's dad removing sod.
Pete and the pitchfork.
Nathan (9) took turns on the pitchfork.
Always time for a laugh.
We used these babies to move soil to the beds.
The beds were mostly filled by Saturday evening.
After Easter brunch, we topped off the beds with more soil.
Leftover soil, but it will not be wasted.
Found in this the field.
Perhaps we could rehab and use on our future farm *wink*....
What a weekend!
 One day to gather and purchase materials.
Two and a half days of assembling, digging, tilling, leveling, shoveling, raking and more leveling.

Our next steps are to install drip irrigation and plant.  It's a bit too cold to start planting most of the flowers except for the sweet peas and anemones.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Summer Cutting Garden -- Phase 2

As noted in my last post, Pete and I headed back to Boston to care for our seedlings.  We figured two weeks was enough time to start transplanting into larger soil blocks.  This wasn't so much a hunch on our part, but through Facetime with my plants -- technology can be a wonderful thing.

Here is me contemplating the work ahead of us.  Just kidding.  More like me drinking coffee while Pete snapped away.

Coffee is not the single origin stuff that Pete's gotten me used to, but I'm loving the Starbucks blonde roast.

In my short experience, seeds want to grow and grow fast.  But some seeds can be completely temperamental, such as the sweet peas not liking super moist conditions and thereby got moldy.  Alas, must re-start the sweet peas by sowing directly into the raised beds.

My babies...

Zinnias in the front and sweet peas in the back
Sweet peas of what didn't turn moldy
Assorted sprouts of coleus, gomphrena, scabiosa, poppies and verbena
Dad and I getting the soil ready for block-making
Tray full of blocks ready for the smaller blocks

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Went up to Boston this weekend to visit my seedlings, which I'll cover in my next post.  My sister's birthday is upcoming and I won't be around to celebrate with her.  She is an over-the-top flower lover like me, so this Saturday was flowers my treat.  At the Boston market, I came across some andromeda (a.k.a. lily of the valley bush) and instantly fell in love with its pearly, drippy bells.  We decided to work with two color palettes using the andromeda:  one that was muted and the other more vibrant.

The muted - very dusty and romantic...

The vibrant...