October was a busy travel month for me. After my Vancouver trip, my husband and I headed to New York to visit family and friends. The main reason for our trip was to attend a cousin’s engagement party….and I’m always up for a party! The hosts were my mother-in-law and her brother (my uncle-in-law), so naturally they asked if I could put together a few flowers for the event.
The venue was our uncle’s gorgeous Manhattan loft. It’s a very contemporary home that features fantastic artwork, so we didn’t want flowers to overpower the space and take away from the overall design aesthetic. They requested nine arrangements: three for the restrooms, one for the master bedroom, one for the bar, one for the media room coffee table, a dining table piece, and designs for two stunning ikebana baskets. Once we decided on the designs, it was off to buy the materials at the flower district.
The Manhattan flower district is a collection of small wholesalers along 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. The selection was pretty good, but I have to say that I am spoiled by our San Francisco Flower Mart (which is amazing and about 10 times larger with more variety) so I was a little underwhelmed. Prices were ridiculously high, but what isn’t expensive in New York? I managed to find what I needed and we headed back to the loft to process and design. By Saturday afternoon the flowers were done and I was quite pleased with the designs, as were my “clients.” The party was fun and I received compliments on the flowers……isn’t family great?
I’ve been in Vancouver the past few days visiting family and checking out my old home town. I seldom do the touristy thing whenever I visit, but I did make a point to visit some florists in the area. It has been grey and rainy here since I arrived, so walking into a colorful flower shop adds a little sunshine to your day, eh? Today I visited Granville Island (okay, that’s kind of touristy) and saw a few flowers I don’t normally see in San Francisco flower shops: water lily, hellebore, and a new variety of mum. I asked one shop owner about the new mum and he said he’d never seen it before this week. He wasn’t sure about this hybrid’s name, so I am going to have to do some research to find out what it’s called. It looks like a button mum and a marigold got together and, well…you know. I wanted to buy them, but the bunch was pricey and I leave for California tomorrow…U.S. Customs may not appreciate little green stow-aways in my luggage.
Unfortunately on this trip I did not have a chance to visit the United Flower Growers co-op in Burnaby, also known as the second largest flower auction in world after the one in Alsmeer. I’ll have to make sure to include that in my plans the next time I’m in town.
I visit the flower market weekly, sometimes several times a week. Today I was on a mission to find green flowers to make an arrangement in honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday (yes, it is a bonafide holiday). As I wandered around, I realized that there really are limited choices. Almost every vendor had the same chartreuse-hued spider chrysanthemums, which I love because they smell like chamomile tea! The similar-hued button mums are always cute, but not large enough to be a focal flower. Then there are the green jade roses, which are tricky because they end up turning yellow as they open. Green hydrangeas are plentiful, but I’m kinda bored of those. There are beautiful green tulips, but they end up being so pricey that I really have to hold out for a special occasion to use those. My go-to greens include leucadendron and beautiful green anthuriums, but today I was ready to try something else. I ended up choosing some succulents as focal flowers, petite variegated kale, those cute button mums (as accents), green hypericum, berzelia, some lambs ears, and my new fun flower, the green trick dianthus. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the end product.