Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Eric and I take a rare moment to walk down to the water together this morning.
It's so hazy in the city today. Sitting on a bench together I suddenly become aware of how quiet it is. So unusually quiet, and very very foggy. It suddenly feels like a dream, and I started to realize that I was dead.

"Am I dead?" I ask outloud.
"What happens next?"
"You have to go back to work."


I have been living in two different worlds. Fall wedding season and starting to organize a flower farm.

We closed on the farm just shy of 3 weeks ago. suddenly it seems that time expands infinitely behind us and in front of us. try to see back to the beginning of this farm in 1820. then forward into it's future. building a garden; a lifetime flashes by.


Go out to the barn. leave the radio on inside the house and when you come back it's still on, talking away without you. Some classical npr offiliate from the chicago area playing classical music 24 hours. Intervals of strings and news from Washington
Someone has set a metronome.
It is located the basement hidden in the depths of the oilburner. It goes on
It goes off


Our lives are changing rapidly. Words like muck boots, roto till, vapor barrier, bush hog are now part of regular conversation. We finish a big wedding in the city then rush up the thruway. Each day we're there Nea and I take a long exploratory walks; surveying our kingdom. 110 acres plus or minus. She's oblivious of property lines and runs after a doe for a mile or so in the wrong direction. Have to get her a neon bandana for hunting season and hope for the best.


I've been ordering bulbs for spring brides. How nice to have a row of fritillaria planted just for your wedding?


Monday, September 26, 2011

for Fallon








Roses held up with fedex in memphis from thursday, arrive this afternoon. Most perished.

Exhausted and dehyrated...confused...disoriented (the roses and myself) we made something from nothing.
All is not lost!

Friday, September 23, 2011

big pretty & school pictures






Wild grapes from the farm inspired this big messy urn of leftovers that Louise (stupendous intern) and I made yesterday for fun. If only all our pictures from grade school were this styled. Did you're mom splurge for the laser background? Mine didn't. We also never got to eat sugary breakfast cereal and I'm still working through that.

Going great guns gearing up for a wedding on Sunday...will try to snap pictures along the way.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Colony Club


We had the privilege of working at The Colony Club this past weekend, a stunning place on the upper east side. I ran into Ivanka Trump on the corner outside.


If you follow my twitter and bother to open any of the instagram pictures I uploaded that weekend, this is old hat for you. I love live twittering an event, better yet when there's heavy lifting to do. Eric rolls his eyes.


What I didn't divulge in the tweets was any details about the bride; possibly the sweetest most excited one of the year. At one point she told me she wanted to hug the flowers. Me too! I said. And the bride's mother...her overwhelming enthusiasm for flowers and our work is the reason I keep at it.


Many congratulations Thayer and Jay!

*a few more photos here. i sadly didn't do a great job photographing this, but the good news is that my friend david is making a video of our process based on this weekend, so i'll share that when it's ready.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



snowberry, persian carpet zinnias, pampas grass, roses, sunflowers, sedum, hydrangea, and double d's dahlias

you havn't seen anything yet! just wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

happy times are here again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Flower school is back in session kiddies, pack your rucksacks your backbacks your bag lunch your bookstraps whatevers and sign up
Best time of year for flowers is the best time of year for classes
Check our two new October classes out here
Also read about Professor Nickles over at lotte and bloom today

Now I get back to wedding work...have an exciting one this weekend at the colony club
And Porcelain Berry is here at last!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011









A little wedding at Frankies 457 on Saturday with berries galore and figs. Is a fig a berry? I think not...on my quest for these figs I met with an angora rabbit - have you ever seen one?! and a thicket of mosquitoes. Also I recently found an incredible source for Thai basil; so these arrangements were fragrant as well...we cut zinnias...just such a opulent time of year.

Monday, September 12, 2011

making all the girls cry

lauren bouquet dahlia

This is the time of year when I just go bananas
Flowers are jus too good
I send everyone home and stay into the night, greedy with the flowers - making them just for me, alone
and for brides of course too.

Got to be selfish a bit.

Take that dahlia you deserve.
Sorting through the hundreds of photos from this past weekend of weddings and flower school.
More soon -

Friday, September 9, 2011

World's End


I want to tell you all about it, but I have to get back to my real life and make some weddings right this second I'm so behind

All I can think about is buying fritillaria bulbs here - finally allowing myself to start planning the garden and it's overwhelming

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

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Labor day is my favorite holiday, the one I wait for all year

"Even better than your birthday?" Eric

This takes a moment... "Yes."
Eric: I like your birthday because it lasts a whole week.
[It should last a month.]

Last night we toasted to Labor day, the onset of autumn, the hesitation now whether or not to wear white shoes.
A cool breeze swelled suddenly around us in from the windows, in from the harbor. a big ship blew it's horn as if to say

Free at last! from Summer's stifling clench! from the long lazy days and people not returning phone calls
Auto Responders set "I'm traveling someplace far beyond your wildest dreams with limited access to email..."

Let me make the message clear: Get your asses back from the Hampton's, and lets get back to work.

*The photos are of echinops (globe thistle) from the botanical garden in Akureyri, Iceland. A place far beyond my wildest dreams. One year ago today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

remember little flower school?



I barely do! Nicolette and I have both had tumultuous schedules this summer, and we've taken a hiatus from teaching flower arranging classes.

But school's about to be back in session - we've got a class up at the NYBG next Sunday that will be a divine romp through their perennial gardens followed by a hands-on floral class. A few spots left if you'd like to consider...sign up info is here.

Also, there are two new classes being released soon so stay tuned to the LFS blog for that.

Going forward we've been thinking about ways to change the format of the classes in order to keep things interesting, if anyone has any suggestions or requests, I would really love to hear them. One idea we had (besides taking classes to Tuscany) is to make a series of symposiums where we colaborate with other floral/botany experts to teach joint classes. I love any opportunity to cross pollinate...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Perfect Storm



It starts in the studio.
I hear Thursday that the 300 person wedding on Sunday upstate will probably have to be postponed. A fury of phone calls begins. It's off, then it's on, - Asheley and I hit the market Friday morning in limbo, camping out around the corner at the ace hotel like hipsters without jobs, waiting for the call from the mother of the bride.
She calls, and tells me they're going forward - that they'll try to get most of their guests up to the camp before the storm hits. And so it's on.
Which is good for us, since we've already bought days worth of flowers and grasses, and have a box full of california heirloom roses in transit. Although the idea of a weekend off is appealing (as is a house full of extra roses - IMAGINE!) we're in the business of getting people married. And to disrupt the momentum we'd been gathering for this particular wedding would be a shame...



We had to rearrange all our plans for Irene, instead of making anything in the studio, we packed everything up and drove it all up to camp on Friday. Making all the arrangements on site is a real joy - since they don't have to withstand trucking it allows me to make pieces that are more fragile, more gestural and loose. I really wish every event could be like this. The flowers were so effing good...but the streamers! A 5000 square foot streamer canopy transformed the camp mess hall into a real party! But as I look back at our prep photos it wasn't necessarily a pleasure putting it up...Thank god for Eric's engineering degree.


It was while standing amidst 50,000 feet of streamers that I get a text from my real estate agent that they were starting to show the farm to other clients. My agent, who deserves a whole chapter in my book titled Guts and Glory, says to me "Focus on what you do best, and I'll do what I do best" (heroic!) Half an hour later she has a verbal agreement from the sellers to give us until September 1st. Which is today, I realize..


Then we camped out and weathered the storm like a bunch of 12 year olds. 12 year olds with wine that is!



The next morning the mess hall had lost power. No power meant no coffee brewed. Someone in the kitchen mentions "boiling water on a fire" and "sanka"
This is probably the lowest moment of the weekend


On a big wedding weekend, regardless of the circumstances, I always hit a point where I start losing focus...I tend to walk around in circles just watching what everyone else is doing. Does that happen to anyone else?

In the dark I make the bouquet and personal flowers...taking them outside once in a while to check the colors...



Then suddenly the rain tapers and the light improves slightly, and a bus full of people pulls up, and there's a wedding. Our staff heads out. The Tisch's start, and I witness what is probably the most touching gesture of family and community support for a couple.
After this weekend I was in awe of Jewish wedding traditions...


And then there was a party, complete with a Klezmer band.






Eric and I lit the candles and then left to start fundraising...

Today, September 1st, we have come up with the 196,ooo we need to buy the farm. And I have things to say about that someday.

It's not quite over yet, we don't have a close date set - but I don't want to leave you hanging too much as you've been ridiculously supportive in the last few weeks. And years.

A few more photos on my flickr.