Friday, April 30, 2010

Say A Little Prayer For Me

Soooo tired. Two weddings , one today ,one tomorrow. And a slew of other orders. I left work at 6:15 and our driver was still out delivering.

I'm drinking a vitamin bomb because I feel a sore throat coming on and enjoying a private computer moment. I want to go wander around the garden but the 6 month old pit bull , Baby, has escaped his home again and of course come directly to our yard. As far as I can tell he's being reared by 7 children of a young age, whose names all start with R. If German girl were home we would corral baby up and walk him home ( well, she would) , but I'm not up for bringing up baby tonight.

Today's wedding was beautiful, all white peonies, scabiosa flower, lambs ears and other lovelies
held in a beautiful botanical garden. Clear skies, 80 degrees, perfect.

Tomorrow's wedding is for one of my best friend's daughter. So far the pink peonies, from France no less, have opened and started to crumple and the cherry blossoms are on the verge of exploding. As am I. But manana es otro dia. I have fresh peonies coming , praying for the cherry to hold firm, and reminding myself that everything always works out.

( it does doesn't it?)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Garden Temptations

My house is but two away from the main street where I catch my bus in the morning. The bus stops in the middle of the block. So say it takes me one minute to walk to the bus stop.

Unless, unless the sun is shining , and new flowers are open in the garden, and I have to stop for a fast shot of this one or, oh my God, that one. Picture me whirling around in the garden a la Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

Then I'm late and running down the street praying the bus is behind schedule or someone has seen me and told the driver to wait or I just miss the bus. And another one doesn't come for 20 minutes.

But after the winter we had, it's damn near impossible not to stare at this Sugar Blues iris, or the Miss Kim lilac or that crazy weigela , a shrub I swear I grow not so much for its blooms as for a chance to say it's name (same with euonymus, but that's a shrub for a different season).

So there goes the bus, but that gives me 20 minutes to go back home and pull a few weeds and pick a few flowers and make that er, I 'm running late phone call.

Crazy gardens, always tempting, always getting us into trouble. Ask Eve.

Monday, April 26, 2010

How Was Your Sunday?

You know what it's like when a Sunday starts out quiet and rainy. And the only things on the schedule are meeting friends for brunch and picking up some groceries. Oh, and a dog walk.

Then the sun comes out and brunch becomes lunch at your house but you still don't have any food?
A quick trip to The German Gourmet to grab sausages and bread and some truffled pate ( 2 guests are European , after all) and the bakery to buy pastries (that European thing again). Then the grill is smoking and a 3 year old is running through the house speaking English, Swedish and apparently Mandarin Chinese, Both dogs are in attendance, one with a "dog hat" according to the 3 year old. Swilling of much wine and water, pate is pronounced excellent, 6 grain german bread delicious, and I don't quite remember what I did with the pound of cooked undressed pasta delivered to my door by Tini, but it was eaten also.

Then they were off to Brooklyn.

And we went grocery shopping. And it started to rain again. ... If it weren't for the dirty dishes and faint sprinkling of freckles on our faces, I would think I had dreamt it all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April Flowers

A stolen moment at the computer. The last few days have flown by in a blur of work and weeding, and friends and family. Sometimes, while weeding or working, I wear an imaginary button that says "I'd rather be blogging".

Friends and food are on their way with more of both to come tomorrow. So I'm grabbing my private time to post a few pictures from today's wedding. For some odd reason German girl and I posed the bouquets in front of plants , almost obscuring the bridal bouquet of phalaenopsis orchids, succulents, green tea roses, pale yellow wax flower and baby green hydrangea with a few green hypericum berries. The queen ferns and little zinc pots were not part of it.

The bridesmaids bouquets ( with an under planting of maidenhair ferns) have limoncello floribunda roses, more yellow wax flowers, yellow hypericum berries, green hydrangea,and a larger pale yellow rose accented with blue thistle.

I was so insistent in getting pictures of the bouquets, we were almost late for the delivery. Mea culpa.

I hear car doors slamming and people laughing. My time here is over. I'll sneak back soon to post some flowers from the garden.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let The Sunshine In

A heartfelt thank you from the garden to Denise of Little Pheasant. She's one of my BBF's and a constant source of delight and inspiration. Thank you for giving me the Sunshine Award. Though it's gray and raining outside, it's sunny and delightful here at SmallButCharming thanks to you.

And now I get to pass it on to other bloggers who make me laugh, sometimes make me cry ,occasionally get me to gasp aloud at their words or photographs. I've found new recipes, gardening tips, beautiful flower arrangements, poetry, and just plain inspiration.

So I pass the Sunshine Award on to
66 Square Feet (the blog that started it all for me)

My Farmhouse Kitchen ( I'm sure
you've gotten a million awards, now you have a million and one)

The Little House In The City ( don't start with her recipes or your family will demand them weekly)

Sara In Le Petit Village ( if you haven't read Sara Louise' s saga of her life in Provence start at the very beginning)

And of course, the ever glamorous, always witty Miss Pickering. ( your life will never be the same after you meet her , and you'll feel witty by association)

I'm getting the look from the Lab, I believe it's walk time or dinner time, anyway, loud and clear, it's DOG time! Gotta run.

Monday, April 19, 2010

You Reap What You Sow

When I was a teenager this statement didn't bode well for me. Whether at boarding school or at home, being grounded (or confined to campus) was sure to follow.

But hah, now that I'm an adult, being grounded means I have my two feet firmly planted in the earth, or in the garden if you would.

Yesterday was a chilly day, in the 50's as opposed to the 90's we were getting used to. Too chilly to work outside I decided and suggested pedicures. Just one hour countered German girl. 5 hours later, 3/4 of the garden was weeded, some plants moved, shrubs trimmed and part of the 5 yards of mulch we received on Thursday spread.

Kneeling and weeding are not so bad when your nose is inches from pink lily of the valley, sweetely scented yellow iris ( a gift from a friend's garden so no idea of their name) or the ginormous blooming broom . And whose idea was it to put it so close by the door? Guess that would be mine. Who knew?

Today is sunny and warm, but the garden will be abandoned while my hair is trimmed and weeded and covered with blonde goodness. Roots, good in a garden, bad on the head.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Partaay in The House!

In other cities florists do arrangements for fashion designers or movie stars. Here we do them for politicians. These parties start and end early. There are massive amounts of security, dogs sniffing at your flowers and ID checking.

Last night was an exception. We did flowers for a dinner at the W Hotel honoring Hilary Clinton. The W is the old Hotel Washington revamped. We drove to it through a sea of protesting Tea Party members. I stuck my head out the window at a red light to engage in some banter, but thought better of it to my driver's relief.

The flowers were once again green, this time with a touch of white. The room was white and rather sterile with an incredible view of the city. I had to get out before the security sweep and never got to meet the guest of honor. But I was honored to do the flowers.

As we left I hopped off the elevator at the lobby level rather than continuing down to the sub basement , better pictures on this level, trust me. Nothing sterile about the lobby, loving the 4 red chandeliers.

Drove back to Arlington, once again absorbing a rather different political slant. Beautiful day for a protest I thought. We tread on no one. Their flags asked us not to.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waking Up With Red

I feel like Goldilocks and the 3 blogs. Monday was too busy, Tuesday was too rainy and Wednesday is too tired, rather I'm kind of tired but what the hell I'll post anyway.

While I've been busy, rained on and working hard, the garden has been producing reds. Not everyone's spring colors, but they work for us.

The Japanese maple leafed out and glowing. The red honeysuckle on the chain link fence and a red charm peony just cracking open. These are a few of my favorite things. The pink lily of the valley are almost ready for their close up but I'll save that for another day.

Oh, and a final shot of two tired pups, one (not ours) wearing the cone of shame. So shameful ,he has battered it to bits and it is now held together with duct tape. And I just noticed in the puppy shot the monopoly house across the street with the very red door. Perfect.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shop And Garden

What a busy week the garden has had. Accompanied by the cat and 4 and 20 blackbirds I just took a morning stroll. Between the 90 degree days and the rain the garden has grown and grown, mixing April with May. The lily of the valley are up and coming (whatever happened to valley for May Day). the peonies are up to my knees and loaded with buds, our Miss Kim lilac is HUGE and revving up to open. And the weeds? I foresee a busy day ahead of me.

Before I get down and dirty, here are a few pics from yesterday's wedding. The bridal bouquet was much more traditional than we usually do. White peonies, stephanotis, hypericum berries, green hydrangea and freesia. The bridesmaids carried sweet nosegays of peonies, hypericum, hydrangea and cherry blossoms. And here's a shot of the van loaded with centerpieces and off to the party.

Now I'm off to party in the garden. Hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Heart My Hood

I just have to sing the praises of my crazy little neighborhood. We're not Georgetown or Park Slope or Beacon Hill. We're three streets of little houses and duplexes built in 1940. Some are owners, some renters, some section 8 housing. There are retired and active military, gay boys and lesbians, Bolivians, African Americans, Ethiopians, you name it, we're here.

This morning one neighbor popped over to ask me if I wanted a ride to work. Did I? Tonight we're dogsitting for German girl's sister, who lives across the street from us and is out of town. When I arrived home from work, neighbors brought over treats for the dogs and a big armful of this lilac from their garden. Can't you just smell them? I hope you have a vaseful of your own soon. This is heaven: this hood, these flowers and this hot spring night.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

As If By Magic

How could I resist a fast post announcing that it is 90 degrees here today? We lost power at the shop this afternoon so we were all out the door by 3:45.

Took a stroll around the garden and was totally confused. Are the hostas and painted ferns supposed to be up already? The sweet woodruff is about to burst and the camillas and columbine are in competition with the hellebores. The first blossom opened on the peach tree last week and now its leaves are out.

And I had to take another pic of our ornamental plum, don't know how long the flowers will hang around in August, I mean April.

Just waiting for early evening so I can give a drink to the new plants. Probably be able to pick our first tomato!

( and if the second photo looks a little crooked, it probably is, there's a 5ft.incline on that side of the house)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Just Another Day In Paradise

Two beautiful days to work in the garden. Yesterday we weeded and planted a few new spring things. Today, the lawn is being mowed for the first time in 2010.It smells delicious.

But even more delicious is the viburnum carlesii, Korean spice bush, the whole back yard is heavily scented. And in the front the Carolina jasmine is blooming. I'm intoxicated.

Here's a snap of one of my favorite corners, it holds soon to be blooming iris, catmint, a clump of sparkle grass ,sedums and succulents and a Japanese maple given to us as a seedling, plus a random bulb plant or two ( given to us by the friendly neighborhood squirrels).

Our county will deliver our leaf mulch on April 15th. Gotta love them, all year they pick up piles of leaves, christmas trees, tree branches, turn them into mulch and then give it back. Gardening, the gift that keeps on giving.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

So there we were, as we like to say in the design room "locked and loaded".
Centerpieces: check
Baskets of blooming plants: check
Buffet arrangements: check
Various vase arrangements: check.

Oh, wait, no driver. He called in exhausted??!! After sharing my inner Tourettes (again) with my coworkers, we made a few phone calls and by noon had replacements in play. By 6:30 we were out the door tired but satisfied.

My Saturday flowers are again decorating the sink. This time they didn't make into a pitcher, but are sitting in an empty yogurt container.

Wishing everyone sweet dreams and a very Happy Easter. And a big hug to my buddy Gwen who not only makes beautiful arrangements but also makes me laugh at the absurdity of it all.