Monday, March 31, 2008

Viola Arvensis. Or Field Pansies. I got a slew of them last week and have been planting them every day since in pots, old metal pails, coffee cans, window boxes etc. One of my absolute favorite flowers. It's markings are so concise and striking...its an elegant springtime flower that blooms before almost anything else, and folks - most importantly - its edible.

Some of you may have seen how Martha Stewart coats them in egg whites and sugar to decorate some type of cake way beyond my baking league. More my style would be adding them to a fennel salad or pressing them in between the pages of a dictionary, never to be seen again...

I'm actually thinking of trying to incorporate some in a sample bouquet tomorrow -- we'll see how they last once they are cut. I got the idea from a this bouquet I saw on Birch's website in San Fransisco. Gorgeous styling...I can't wait to see more of what they do.

In other news, on Sunday I bribed Aaron to act as my assistant and we drove out to The Foundry, a perfectly restored 19th century cathedral-like building located right under the 59th Street Bridge in Long Island City. We've been getting a few wedding bids for this venue so we decided to do a full investigation (and a walk through with the bride of an upcoming wedding). Thank you Aaron for the photographs.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ode to hellebore and moss in 2 acts.


Poisonous beauty, I will not eat you - because you are a sensitive flower. I mean, you really are a delicate flower....Wait...


I found you strewn amidst the with aspirations of terrariums and orchid blankets... I thought to rescue you from the claws of cats and weedkillers. In fact I left you in the back of the truck, rolled in tissue paper until you dried up and died.
What have I done???

[A recent visit to the NYC Opera has provided mild dramatic motivation.]

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The start of our wedding season has begun and I'm busy meeting with ladies, gentlemen and mothers all weekend. Its really fun. Everyone has different ideas and it brings me to new ways of thinking about how flowers can influence the mood of a party.

That being said, I've done a little bit of practicing over the past week. Below is a picture of a boutonniere with thistle, jasmine and and center some shots of a sample bouquet for next weekends wedding with garden roses, tuberose, helleborus, cymbidium orchids, astrantia, ranuncula, tulips and lisianthus.

Friday, March 28, 2008

This little arrangement I made together with Courtney of Heart Explosion yesterday. What a treat to have company -- and excellent talent to collaborate with! This contains hellebores, tulips, lucedendron, eucalyptus, astrantia, and ranuncula.

It has been so nice meeting new people through this little corner of the blogosphere. Adjusting to full-time life at our shop has been tough for me - it can be very isolating. It's nice to come to this space and visit yours. It reminds me there are lots of you out there doing interesting things on your own and with others and in some small way we are connected.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Advantages of living near the office.

Today; another day at the office. These are local (!) ranuncula from New Jersey.

Eric and I have a bad habit of eating copious amounts of ice cream. [Eric can eat an entire pint of B&J in one sitting...I'm just saying.] It usually happens like this...noontime will roll around and one of us will say something like;

"You know I left my laptop at I'm going to run and get it."
"I forgot to feed Ms. Poops (cat with overactive digestive tract) this I'm going to run home real quick"
"Did I leaf the coffee pot on this morning?"
-or, like this afternoon_
"Why don't I go fix some sandwiches for us?"

[It occurs to me that I should note I did not take this photo, because that would qualify me as an ice cream hoarder, which I guarantee you - I am not.]

Which was true...and also the perfect excuse to run home for an episode of Arrested Development and a few spoonfuls of Dulce De Leche paired with an orange biscotti. Easily the best dessert pairing I've had in a while. Throw some late harvest Muscadet (mousey, help me out here?) in the mix and it would be a triumph. I mean, not that I would ever drink during the day. At least not while operating a glue gun.

Orange Biscotti
(adapted from Gormet)

3/4 cups roasted cashews (about 7 ounces)
1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of orange extract
1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 300°F. and butter a large baking sheet.

Coarsely chop almonds in food processor. Leave them in there...

Into a bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together 1.5 eggs, zest, and vanilla and orange oil.Stir in flour mixture in briefly, then dump all into the processor on top of nuts. Buzz it all together using brief pulses until dough forms.

In a small bowl beat together water and remaining .5 egg to make an egg wash. On baking sheet with floured hands form dough into a 12-inch-long logs and flatten slightly. Brush logs with some egg wash. Bake logs in middle of oven until golden, about 35 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes.

On a cutting board with a serrated knife diagonally cut logs into roughly 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange biscotti, a cut side down, on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Cool biscotti on rack. Biscotti keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 2 weeks.

[You all have been really nice to say nice things on the blog. I love the encouragement, kind words and makes me so happy to see them come in.]
[Carolyn -- you asked about the candles -- more info will be up on the website really soon. Until then I will say that the Wisteria/Lilac is very a light, sweet floral and the Cedarmoss smells like camphor and the richest dirt you've ever smelled. I'm obsessed with it - but beware, its heady.]

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I've been quiet for a few days trying to separate myself from Saipua a bit...which is really hard when I live around the block from the shop and all my junk is there, including my boyfriend and his junk. There may be a better way to say that..

Easter was nice. My little sister and her giraffe-patterned 5-inch heels came up from Atlanta for the weekend. Susan picked up lamb from Hemlock Hill Farm* (incidentally the same farm where my childhood friend boarded her pet sheep) which was roasted and eaten and excellent. My father interrogated us about current politics, whether we've watched the Ralph Nader disks he burned for us three months ago and who of our friends (or their parents) didn't believe in evolution. He then donned a headlamp for eating dinner.

This was an arrangement I made Monday with sweet pea, anemones, parrot tulips, jasmine, flannel flowers and muscari.

It's going to be warm and lovely here today...I need to turn off Nico, wash my hair and leave the I'll leave you with this amazing piece of hippie-history. A 1971 video of dancers enacting the process of amino acids linking to form protein.

[from kottke, which I found by way of Heart Explosion]

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter business.

Our new spring candles were delivered upstate a few days ago. We're here now to pack them up with labels and string ... we will start shipping them tomorrow. Thanks to all of you who have been so patient, I think they will be worth the wait. I'm trying to think of something clever to say, but can't.

Ok, happy easter kids...I'm turning my computer off to go raid my sister's easter basket. Because I didn't get one.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Picked up some last minute Easter jamz at the flower market, including the flannel flowers above. The city is startlingly quiet at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Aaron came with us to make a 8mm reel, but just as we were getting on the BQE he realized he forgot to bring a new roll. Eric suggested we stop at a 7Eleven to pick up some film....

...So there will be no documentation of March 22nd. No footage of the quiet city, no footage of the lady slipper orchids Aaron insisted grew in his back yard in Virginia. No film footage of this greasy breakfast at Egg (which now serves dinner)....but snapshots of aaron and eric below.

Friday, March 21, 2008

on content.

My phone has been full of text messages for the past 2 weeks. It only keeps 25 at a time. Texts cost me 10 cents a piece. Write me a text - that's 10 cents. "OK" ... 10 cents. When you suffer from phone phobia, texting is handy. Really handy. And then you have something to transcribe in your blog when A. you have no content and B. your at home on a Friday night listening to dudes discuss He-Man: Masters of the Universe.

1. There are dozens of us...dozens!


3. Are there any parks near your house?

4. Lets just meet at eyebeam bc everyone here wants to bolt at 6.

5. Would love to what time and whats your address?

6. What's anne rices pseudonymn?

7. dude! Spitzer might resign. involved in a prostitution ring. ck the times

8. j'arrive-saw u by the window from the plane in something more comfortable

9. call me if you want to hang out2day. maybe u have 2 do food and wine stuff

10. Ok

11. Just getting up

12. im at my gate. 2 hrs till boarding. can we smoke in here?

13. poppies

14. poppies

15. Eli told you shes cooking for Aaron as well, if hed like to join tonight

16. 530?

17. OK.

18. Watching a movie. I dont do coffee. Where do you want to meet?

19. Can it be early?

20. Want to meet tonight?

21. Ok - will you be there after 5?

22. I wasnt born yesterday

23. like houdini.

24. April 8 1980

25. Baltimore city 10:04 pm

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

grey-->>pink; a rainy wednesday progression.

1. city hall this morning 2. bird plate thing on wall taken as I contemplated going back to bed 3. cherry blossoms 4. little tie-up with hydrangea, anemone, cherry blossoms, curly willow and sweet pea. And thats what I've got in the shop for the next few days; along with some fringed salmon colored tulips, callas, and more guinea hens.


2001 a Space Odyssey is one of my favorite films. Once when Eric and I were watching it I said "How do you think they get those monkeys to act in the "Dawn of Man" scene?" Eric, always quick to exploit my gullible nature, played along: "Amazing isn't it." Much later I realized they were VERY obviously not real monkeys, but people dressed up like monkeys. Or apes. Actors in ape suits. Wow. I have since gotten eyeglasses.

Do you think Mike Huckabee has to fast-forward through this scene?

...Okey-dokey, I'll be back this afternoon with flower pictures, which I know, is what you really come here for.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2 happy things, one not so happy.

Cameo from Erie Basin.

Amaryllis, Forsythia, Cone Flowers, Calla lillies

More soap to wrap.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mysterious gift; revealed.

Susan, my mother, has been dangling a carrot-of-a-gift in front of my nose for the past few weeks in an attempt to get me to visit. Lately I've been staying home to work when Eric heads upstate to collect soap. I get more done alone. I get more time to watch things like this:

After a rowdy visit from some dark and mysterious guests last night I was not feeling up to the trip this morning. But here I am, writing yous from the mossy banks of Mohegan Lake. And in my hot little hands is the amazingly smarmy Mr. Monsieur by the gifted Sandra Juto! Eric stood in the corner mumbling something about how the blog is convenient way of getting stuff. Let me tell you Eric, if you're reading this, jealousy will get you nowhere. (Dirk Diggler's words, not mine.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

1. Flowers on the way to a restaurant. Iris, cone flowers...

2. Snack at Red's Grocery a new joint at the tail end of Columbia Street. A great snack place. This was a yellowfin-tuna-stuffed red pepper. (Mousey, they have real good olives too)

3. Muscari (Grape hyacinth) bulbs!

4. Dublab radio. Why, why, why did it take me so long to listen to this.
5. Arrested Development. Aaron may not always bring home the best when it comes to DVD's (St. Elsewhere, Dynasty) but this recent addition to his collection has restored my faith in our friendship...not that it was ever really in jeopardy.


Eric has many excellences - air swimming being one of them. Another is details...Turns out the orchid I showed you Friday is actually mine. Well, was mine until Eric "rescued it" by taking it back to his workspace, thus "liberating it" from my negligent plant care regime. I promised him that I wouldn't use him as humorous fodder for the blog, and so to make it up to him I bring you some pictures of Eric's impeccably maintained house plants.

Exhibit A: Aloe

Exhibit B: Thriving Scented Geranium with Doughboy.

Exhibit C: Jade

Exhibit D: Some type of succulent. When the jar of pencils appeared here, I joked that he should go work for Real Simple.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

spring fever and a much anticipated package

I've spent most of Wednesday waiting patiently for the USPS to deliver a box of rare potted orchids from Barbara and Terry at Pine Ridge Orchids. When the postman arrived I ran out from the back with my big knife we use to open boxes. In my excitement I must have looked crazy; he walked out backwards with a strange look.

[Paph Bel Royal]

Anyway, the orchids inside are incredible. I've been learning a lot about the Glancy's farm through email corespondence with Barbara over the past month or so. When you love plants and flowers but live in a city that resembles a rat hole (my father's words, not mine) nature becomes a somewhat mystical process; one constantly mediated by the artificial, concrete landscape of the city. Successfully growing plants and incorporating green space into our lives here is so tricky. I've been working very hard over the past few years to green my thumb. It's getting better. [My plants look better than Eric's]

[Eric's dead orchid...he says it's "coming back"]

So naturally curious about running an orchid farm, I've scoured the Pine Ridge website and learned tons from them about orchids and the incredible ecosystem in Miami-Dade county. When I think of Miami I think instantly of three things: Miami Art Basel, The Golden Girls and most unfortunately...2 Live Crew.

Miami-Dade county is really is an naturally biodiverse area which is being swept away by what is now the largest building boom in the US. Qualified as one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world, Miami rock pinelands are situated on highlands that do not flood; and are therefor ideal parcels for developers. The Glancy's 20 acres is one fourth farm (orchids, bamboo, palms, fruit trees) and three fourths rock pineland forest which they have been restoring to its natural state since purchasing the land in 1976. At one point in our correspondence Barbara compared the detail of biodiversity to a Persian carpet - an analogy I find so fitting...

I will post more on these topics of orchids, plants, ecosystems etc. on and off over the next few weeks as I gear up for planting, composting, asparagus and all things spring.

[Paph Vanguard]

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

enter the dragon.

My coffee was so good, and I was feeling so free like I could do anything this morning. Then it got cold, I realized I forgot to pay bills this month, and a telemarketer called.

I'm showing you my desk in all its cluttered glory this morning. You know how people love to take photos of their work spaces all primped and proper with matching sherbert colors and the latest screen-printed calender hanging next to their inspiration board? Yeah well that doesn't happen here.

Margot at the Wedding was the movie I didn't fall asleep to last night. So so funny and good. Nicole Kidman's character Margot says to her 13 year old son "You used to be charming."

Monday, March 10, 2008

back from the front line. (+tacos!)

If you spend time drooling and clipping from foodie mags like I do, then you might imagine how thrilling it was for me to make flowers for a christmas shoot today in Soho for a well know mag that lets just say focuses on food and wine.

It was a tricky Christmas palette to work in March. [White, silver and crimson.] By now Ilex berries have all been eaten by the birds and the holly berry I sourced from Oregon looked like it had been buried in the basement of US Evergreen since last December. But we made it work. We also made a lot of things silver with a can of spray paint, including my [oh SH**] new frye boots. Remember how enthusiastic I was about spray paint at christmas this past year? It's over friends. Not because of my boots, but because each time I sprayed a little silver over my eucalyptus garland in the back yard yesterday I heard a little animal cry out and then perish. No sparkly garland is worth a little animal now is it?

No, it isn't. Now I'm faced with cleaning up this place and getting to work relaxing tonight for the first time in days. Aaron is back from Blacksburg so I should go home to see him and hear about who had a kid, who's still drinking at The Cellar, and who's kid is now old enough to be drinking at The Cellar.

Good nite.

ps; 6 more years: Thou shalt not take awayeth ye old ballfield tacos.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Everything becomes more interesting when your procrastinating. I can't stop thinking about cornichons, what to make for dinner next sunday, the concept of fault, where I could treat myself to a new blouse, and, if forced to eat cat food, whether I would prefer wet or dry. [dry]

In the fourth grade I realized my extraordinary ability to procrastinate. It was the night before the science fair and I was categorically f*@#ed. I had signed up for the INVENTIONS section, excluding the ever-popular pepsi-or-coke-taste-test project which saved the lives of many middle school procrastinators. What resulted after a day of wandering around the house tormenting the cats [an my little sister] was a spaghetti twirling fork involving and electric screw driver. Admittedly, some of my finest work has been done in the 11th hour.

Today, once again, I find myself honing this talent. We're making flowers [and a xmas tree] for a photo shoot tomorrow morning. I have yards of eucalyptus garland to spray paint (let along make) and many flowers to fix up. Eric sits here diligently wrapping soap while I search the internet for how to make an exploding volcano with baking soda. The cool kids always made volcanoes.

[Delivery from yesterday with guinea hens, fringed tulips, ranunculus, and some seeded euc.]