Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Trails

Saturday morning pre work. It's 6:30am and there is a new presence in my private time. Our roommate's brother "Styles" is here for the weekend. Why does everyone have a call name? Am I in the marines?

Anyhoo, Styles seems to require even less sleep than I do and as I browse blogs and sip espresso, he's out in our garden mulching. I'll be out there shortly, stumbling through the wet grass taking pictures for this post. We've had two nights of rain and the"grounds" looks green and fertile. The grass needs a mowing and is ankle high in clover. Our visitor wanted to mow as soon as he got here last night. He doesn't read Horticulture magazine so is advising weed killer. I'm a weeder not a killer, no pesticides here.

Big garden news for us is this hydrangea. It hasn't bloomed in 5 years, it was due for rezoning. Apparently it got the memo. It's loaded with pink and purple blossoms. The raspberries are ripe for the eating and our basket of strawberries is going strong.

Sunday is a day for slow roasting pork and baking beans. Monday we're off to visit our garden mentors at their farm. Happy holiday weekend to all. May all your skies be blue , your food delicious and your conversations witty.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Early Morning With Pokie

If you travel to D.C. this spring or summer to visit the monuments and museums, and you're in Arlington to go to the pentagon memorial garden or the air force memorial , you might take a wrong turn down a one way street. If it's early in the morning and you see a disheveled blonde in pajama bottoms and a t shirt strolling through a garden with her one eyed faithful cat, you have found me.

And if you know how to keep the squirrels from eating all our peaches this summer, please stop and tell me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Green, rainy morning. German girl and the lab still sleeping. Only myself, the cat and a fly are up. The fly appears to have moved in.

I'm in a Sunday morning frame of mind. I'm dividing my time between the New York Times, blog reading, heavy coffee consumption and wandering around the wet garden taking an occasional picture and pulling a weed or two. Echinacea already? Grapes pre squirrels. Someone's nest. Hope you're not homeless.

It's so quiet.

It never looks this good when I water with a hose. It takes the heavens to do the job right.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Would You Like Your Boutonniere Cooked?

After a wacky work day yesterday I wanted just two things: food and peace and quiet. Okay, that's three, but you know what I mean. Customers were arriving to pick up arrangements that weren't done yet because they were in the Saturday box. Young boys in tuxedos were picking up prom corsages but sorry , could you redo that bow to match my tie? Or, sorry, I know my mother ordered a berry boutonniere , but may I have a white rose instead?

Confusion makes me hungry. After a quick stop at Whole Foods, we grilled. Well, German girl grilled and I took a bath. Then I lightly poached some asparagus and coated it with olive oil, salt and pepper. It hit the grill along with a skirt steak and then a couple of pieces of bread rubbed with olive oil and garlic. When the asparagus was done I sprinkled it with my favorite French goat feta. A simple salad of greens with a vinaigrette and contentment reigned.

The dogs got a few bites of beef and then we all took a long walk and went to bed. No nightmares. No regrets. Another prom today, must eat good breakfast.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sunlight With Clematis

Good morning. My head seems to be full of Beatles songs today. The initial good morning I wrote was accompanied in my head with 2 more good mornings and a yeah. Here Comes The Sun is next on my hit list. Our first sun since Sunday ( this sounds like a sad song). Days of rain have done wonders for the freshly planted vegetables and seeds, if not my psyche. The lawn is laden with clover, a good thing according to the new issue of Horticulture magazine. And the weeds? Plentiful! Aren't I always weeding?

The clematis is back and beautiful and clambering up the crape myrtle as intended. Though this happens every spring, it always seems miraculous to me with its big blossoms, the smooth tree bark and full buds yet to open.

It's 8:00 am and at this rate it will be a miracle if I get to work by 9:00, sitting here with wet hair in my pajamas, but I had to take a moment to share. Hope you are enjoy a warm, sunny day full of grace moments.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Own Private Idaho

I feel like I'm cheating because I don't have any of my own pictures to post. I left my cord at work on Saturday and can't download anything.

But Sunday was such a beautiful day in the garden I can at least write about it. The sun was shining, sleeping dogs were lying about, the cat always seemed posed for photos, one minute by the hostas, another moment lying on the porch, ready for her close up.

And finally I got to work in the potager. We were several weeks behind with the vegetable garden. But a quick trip to Whole Foods fixed that. I got 3 organically grown tomato plants: green zebra, big beef and our favorite cherry tomato, sungold. I also found a rosa bianca eggplant, a heavily blooming cucumber and more herbs. I planted black beauty zucchini seeds and we have loofahs (hopefully) growing on the chain link fence. Now all we need are a few pepper plants, sweet and hot and we're good to go.

Every year, before I work in the vegetable garden I haul out my copy of The Art Of French Vegetable Gardening. It is my inspiration. Though I'm missing stone walls and dwarf boxwood for edging, there are no iron basins to store and warm the gardens water and my fruit trees aren't sculpted I love to read about and see gardens that have these and more.

And then I go to my 4 raised beds and dig and plant and water and am just as satisfied as if I truly have a potager I'll plant a moonflower vine and purple hyacinth beans alongside the loofahs and voila! Our own secret Eden. Bees, butterflies, cats and visitors welcome.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Some days happiness is as simple as leaving work early and getting a HOT pink pedicure (and your eyebrows done).

And then to come home on a cloudy day and take a walk in my neighbor's garden among these seriously orange poppies and these "hotter than pedicure pink" peonies. Sweet.

On Sunday we had a yard full of neighborhood children. They did somersaults down our "hill" and shouted that our backyard was awesome. One wondered if we were rich because we had so many flowers and trees. When your playing fields are an alley or the streets, I guess our back yard is an oasis.

So I am feeling pretty rich today. The first of the alpine strawberries has set fruit, same with the peach tree. The raspberries aren't far behind and I'm already picking herbs. And to hear "I'm Not Your Boy Toy" sung by 7 and 8 year olds? Priceless.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

That Was Then

Earlier this month as the madness that is May was just beginning, I was "tagged" by Sarah of Semi Expat ( a woman who leads a far more interesting life than I) to show my sixth post. When I posted this on September 13,2009 I had no idea that anyone would read it other than my partner and myself. Since that day, I have gotten a much better camera, learned to crop, learned to capitalize and found a community of like minded souls whose day to day adventures I follow avidly. So here it is:

i've just spent 2 hours weeding and cleaning up the vegetable beds. in the 2009 battle of food v.s. weeds, weeds won hands down. so did the new contender: blight! blight took on the tomatoes, the squash, the eggplant, and handily won the battle. the weary warriors are in the trash. left standing are a few bedraggled pepper plants, the basil, and the ever growing raspberry, now in fall flower and fruit. then, i wrestled with my nemesis, the chain link fence. our side, covered in autumn blooming clematis, carolina jasmine, a variety of red honeysuckle, gourds, pesky morning glories. their side covered in bindweed, porcelain berry, and various weeds that get caught up in the web. oh, what a tangled web we weave when our neighbors don't weed.

(This post does strike terror in my very soul, wondering what horrors the garden has in store for us this summer.)

I will only tag a few, and please only do this only if you feel like tripping down memory lane.

Denise of Little Pheasant
Se'Lah of Necessary Room

Denise of Chez Denise
Nicole Of Cole And Josephine

Aron of hitherandthither

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rocking and Rolling

I have risen, like Lazarus, from my bed. 10 hours of sleep v.s. 22 hours of work.

Friday I started work at 8am, we staggered out into a beautiful night at 10pm. Right before I left work I grabbed a quick computer moment. Read a few new comments on my last post, felt reconnected to a bigger world than the flowers shop. Thank you.

Saturday was a blur. Phones, flowers,pollen everywhere,people coughing and talking and laughing. Pizzas and salad for lunch, I switched my afternoon coffee size to a Venti. A Venti is a lotta coffee.

We were home by 7:00pm. Today is a day of rest for us. You can take your Mother or wife to brunch or lunch. Your florists will be resting.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you. Happy napping, reading, gardening and eating to the hard working florists out there.

And apologies to my workmates for snapping a few blurry pictures of them hard at work. We had 6 designers, 3 delivery men, and 4 women working the front of the store. For those 4 who took care of the husbands, the children, the phones and the screaming ( was that me?) a huge round of applause and a big thank you from the design table.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Cinco de mayo began early for me. I was picked up at 7:15 and after a Starbucks stop, we drove and drove to a nursery to collect plants for Mother's day. We waded around in the mud retrieving hanging baskets far over our heads with a long hooked pole. We collected sedum gardens, pots of gardenias and lavender. Loaded up the two vans and were off to a day of ringing phones, lines of customers and flower arrangements.

Cinco de Mayo ended late, for we cooked a dinner to celebrate our roomate , He Man's ,birthday. We grilled ribs and chicken wings, made DanDan noodles, a big bowl of salad. At some point a paddy wagon appeared to attempt to collect the runaway pit bull Baby. Baby evaded his captors running up and down the street with two county Animal Control people and about 6 small children in hot pursuit.

We ate under the stars and finished with chocolate cake and raspberries and a dog walk. Baby was nowhere in sight.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days

Updates from the weekend:

Saturday, rushed to work with heart in throat, replaced peonies in some centerpieces, changed water, talked to flowers sweetly. Did a million other arrangements, baby showers, bridal showers, dinner parties, you name it. Drank a lot of water, wrapped bouquets with ribbon, packed bouquets, threatened driver's life if so much as a petal dropped from wedding flowers. Then sent him out in 90 degree heat with fragile branches of double cherry and those peonies. A series of misadventures followed but nobody saw us sweat. Well, maybe they saw him sweat, but not a bloom was lost. There are no pictures, there is no evidence.

Sunday, 90 degrees and high humidity. While German Girl mowed lawn and edged beds, I lay around our hot house drinking copious amounts of iced green tea and lemonade and reading. that was it. Oh, and I took 2 showers. I was good for zip. Nada. Zero.

Monday, Very, very strict with myself. Housecleaning and laundry. NO blogging. I mean I peaked at a few new postings whenever I finished a room, but then I left the computer alone, just walk away from that computer, I told myself. Then lunch with friends, a little shopping, coffees and talking. Home, prepped dinner, took a few shots of the garden ( see above). Next wedding I'll use my own peonies, lavender and garden roses, thank you very much.

Whew, feel much better now that I've gotten all that out of my head. I am now free to peruse your blogs and see what you've been up to!