Monday, July 14, 2014

hashtag flowers hashtag wedding hashtag brooklyn


melissa and casey2

We fired up the SAIPUA wedding machine in Brooklyn last week again and let me tell you how smooth that shit runs. Purrs like a big kitten...


I spend a lot of my time working on Worlds End stuff; when I come back to pull together the flowers for an event I'm always surprised by the professional tactics the girls have up their sleeves. Like pre-ironed linens or a 16 foot refridgerated truck. To buy flowers they have one of our crew pick me up and drive me to the market. There was a time I would bus-to-train it to market. Which was fun in it's own way - ever ridden the subway with armloads of flowers? Great way to meet people.

melissa and casey3
IMG_0982We never have to work late anymore. The arrangements are tucked in and the studio swept (!) by 6pm.

We're finally able to cut some serious flowers from the farm at Worlds End and I brought down foxgloves, clematis, currants, yarrow, ninebark and astilbe...I bought the most gorgeous sweet peas from Ariella's Zonnderfeld Farm.

melissa and casey4

I started writing this from the apartment. It's around the corner from the studio in Red Hook. It's dingy in that way that old city buildings are, the corners, the windowsills can never be clean. The dust builds up and solidifies and then you just paint over it. Every time I come back I pick up pieces of the ceiling that have fallen. It's filled with all of our old stuff. A random gaggle of house plants that we miraculously keep watered between visits. It is where our record collection lives. When I met Eric he was 25 and I was 19. I bragged to all my friends about how I was dating an older man. He had a room in a house that was filled with obscure magazines and jazz records. The posters on his wall were vintage and framed. I had never heard of Charles Mingus or Thelonious Monk.


After the wedding on Friday I came home and threw around half a dozen records trying to find the right one.
Ella; no
Bonnie Rait; no
Grace Jones; def no
Neil Diamond; no
Judee Sill; no

Albert King, I'm in a Phone Booth, Baby ...
I prepared a very large, considerably undercooked steak which I devoured leaning at the counter half dressed. It is hotter than hell in the apartment. I have an old shitty fan called The Hawaian Breeze; it was kicking in the corner blowing dust around. My feelings for red meat after weddings are vampiric.

Cocteau Twins; no.
Boards of Canada.

You know who knows a lot about music? Deanna/aka/SoundsDisatrous. She has a radio show on Tuesday nights from 9-10 pm you can live stream it and prank call her here:

She's gonna play some Vandross, you gonna take your pants off.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014


[The beautiful end to ranunculus trials at Peterkort Roses in Portland, Oregon.]

My least favorite season has descended like a hot damp cloud.
Here's a list of things I hate about summer:

1. people talking about pie
2. days over 85 degrees. no, 80 degrees
3. cookouts. (considering the state of affairs at the farm I am pretty much over cookouts forever)
4. the smell of axe body spray on the subway
5. people not working normal work day hours and not answering phones (europeans you are especially guilty of this)
6. rest areas on the thruway
7. trying to keep flowers from wilting
8. white wine
9. the hamptons
10. thinking about air conditioners and energy consumption

[Primrose in Ray Schreiner's garden]

Granted now that we have a farm and are trying to grow flowers, summer holds a few allures; I can throw myself into weeding and spraying fish fertilizer for hours in the field. This is as close as I come to meditation and it seems good for me.

Things I like about summer:

1. tomato sandwiches
2. weeding
3. when I go to the city it feels empty (and I don't have to wait in line at the mr. softie truck)

[Schrieners Iris farm in Oregon]

It's been a busy spring, and it's gone by too fast. Our baby girl Asheley got married. I met Asheley sometime around 2007 I think. She was our first intern. Years later she came back, all grown up. Within days of working as a freelancer I knew we needed her on staff. She's transformed the flower stuff at Saipua from my chaotic brainchild mess of a business to a well oiled machine. A machine that gets paid on time, and one with a much friendlier interface (Apparently I frighten clients by saying weird shit at inappropriate times, or hanging up on them).

Needless to say, employees become like family and so it was a special weekend for us at Saipua. Ben cut us some very special wisteria and azalea. Flowers are just on fire in May. Everyone should get married mid May.

ash and erik big arrangement

Between the four special weddings we made and the trips for Flower School to Portland and the UK not to mention the special wedding we did in Italy I'm feeling like a gutted fish but the kind that keeps flapping after it's been gutted. In other words, I'm not stopping. And I'm happier than I've been in a while which is really nice.

There's this meditation guru who says "If you are breathing, there's actually more right with you than wrong with you."


I am in the city now. It's 5:30 pm and I'm sitting in the back of the studio sweating. I started the day 12 hours ago at 5:30 am with the dogs the chickens the sheep the chaos of the flower field at the farm.

Its been so hot that it's best to work in the field very early and very late. The field is a wreck and I came in around 8 to express my concern to Eric that maybe we're making too many mistakes. Maybe we bit off too much. We're dumping our precious resources into a project that should have been planned better. Then I left. Just like that I threw a pair of panties and my camera in a bag and drove away. I have a meeting with a client tomorrow. Two worlds.

[Columbines at our farm]

This evening I had a phone meeting with the mother of a bride who was considering hiring us. It seemed harmless, but once on the phone she talked without letting me say a word for 25 minutes about how wrong our proposal process was, how we didn't do enough research on the venue, how our business doesn't make any sense.

She made me feel really insulted and just bad. I wanted to hang up 5 minutes in, but then I thought that everyone deserves to be heard. When she finally relented I didn't know what the hell to say. When I started to tell her about how important flowers are to us and how we're trying to grow them to make our flowers even better I started crying. Which is oddly out of character for me at work. She told me that as a female business owner I should learn to separate my emotions from my business.
I told her keeping my emotions involved made me better at business.
Then I hung up on her.

I think about the sheep in the field far away right now. There's no question what they are thinking about. Grass. And eating more of it.

Things are shifting and it feels good. Hard but good.