when in bloom…

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As a florist

Let me begin again, I don’t care for the term florist.  So dated.

As a floral designer, obviously I’m pretty biased when it comes to flowers.  They’re all great.  Really great.

And I’ve gotten into gardening, so even rooted plants are great.   Clearly I’ve found my calling.

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But in terms of favorite flowers, in my opinion [IMO- I’m trying to learn the verbiage of the young, but might be a wasted effort since I’m talking about branches and gardening], nothing beats the flowering branch season.

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I lean towards quince every time.  I buy them in a bud stage, so they look just like dead branches.

And just when you start to think you have thrown your quince money down the drain, they start popping open, like little bundles of gorgeous pink popcorn.

flowers & ankle weights…

With three weddings and an event this weekend, I’ve had a long week of prepping flowers.

Beginning of week:

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here’s a glimpse of what my lovely studio looked like earlier in the week after one of my flower deliveries.

But to be honest, throughout the week it looks more like a flower explosion.

And on a side note, I had also decided to invest in some ankle weights (top right- which I meant to kick out of the way before taking this pic but they’re too heavy and I would’ve broken my foot).  I’m on my feet all day and had the bright idea that I could tone by backside and make flowers at the same time.  Logical.

Nope.  They’re 10 pounds and I can’t even lift 10 pounds with my hands, let alone my feet.  I basically just ended up standing in the same spot for four hours.

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{hydrangeas, blush roses, apricot ranunculus, wax flower and eucalyptus}

But thankfully, I’ve been released from my ankle weight prison and am headed out today to an elopement in the Quarter then a drop off of these little colorful cuties to a reception at Brennan’s.

orchid whisperer…

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to grow orchids.  They died.

Fast forward several years, I’m wiser, I drink slightly less (more?) and I am less fashionable than I once was (somewhere along the line leggings were introduced into the mix).  It was time.

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Plus, now I’m a floral designer.  All the orchid shaped puzzle pieces have fallen into place.

I am an orchid whisperer.

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Actually, I just have five orchids from Trader Joe’s  that have lasted two years.  I fertilize them.  When they don’t die, I give them tiny kisses.  And I put them in our sunroom.  Finally have a purpose for  that room.

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Once I felt confident I was past the point of murdering orchids, I have moved from Dendrobiums (in my professional orchid whispering opinion, the easiest to care for) and added Cymbidiums to the mix.

This one came from Whole Foods.  It’s all too easy, just throw an orchid in the cart while grabbing some eggs.

Today I went to Fresh Market to pick up coffee and walked out with coffee and a potted hyacinth.  The Boyfriend told me to stop buying plants, we’ll run out of living space and have to start sleeping out side where the plants actually go.

I’ll stop buying plants when we agree I don’t have to go to the grocery store anymore.

imaginary gardening…

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Much to the dismay of everyone that has ever met me, I’ve taken up gardening.

Thanks to Google, I’ve learned the difference between perennials and annuals.  Although sometimes I still need to look it up because I can’t keep them straight.  I still have to do “lefties” and “righties” on my hands to know direction.  Apparently, there’s just some things my brain won’t keep on retainer.

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But as my interest in flowers has grown, my interest in gardening has like-wise grown.  And I’ve been quite successful.  Until I planted some lavender and three days later is was dead.  That one’s not my fault.  I don’t know who to blame but it’s not me.  Three days seems a little record breaking.

So now I’m trying my hand at bulb planting.  I ordered Lily Trees, Daffodils (my complete least favorite flower ever created but they were free with Lily Tree purchase) and Poppy Anemone hybrids that will (hopefully) bloom in the spring.

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And these are some lackluster pictures of planted bulbs.  After planting over 100 bulbs, which oddly takes forever and in the end you have nothing to show for it, The Boyfriend came outside to bring me a cocktail.

Just kidding, there were no cocktails.  Apparently he only came outside to ask me, “why’s this imaginary garden taking forever?”

lemon tree, oh lemon tree…

 

Several weeks ago, I was shopping at Winn Dixie (that still exists in Louisiana, as does The Piggly Wiggly) and they were having a sale on lemon trees.

To this day, one of the greatest regrets in my life would be not buying that lemon tree.  Why did I choose that one moment to be practical?  I’m never practical.  I’m a ‘chips land wherever and deal with it later’ type of girl.

But I told myself I would come back for lemon tree.  And I did.

And lemon tree was gone.

lemon tree 3Since then, I have agonized over missing out on this tree.

But fate intervened.

lemon tree 2The other morning I woke up and the first thing I thought was ‘by God, today I’m buying a lemon tree.’  So I roll over, grab my phone and looked on Amazon Prime.  When I want something, I want it now.  Prime honestly isn’t fast enough, I wanted lemon tree in bed with me at that moment.

So I dragged myself out of bed to get to Home Depot by 7am (I know, weird) and was perusing the caladium sale ($3 for quart sized caladiums!  It looks like a caladium bomb exploded all over my front and backyard) and imagine my surprise when I saw rows of citrus trees.

As I dug my way through all the trees, I found the last lemon tree.  Apparently everyone else feels the same way I do about kumquat trees (who wants whatever that is?) and it was a pink lemon tree.  Pink lemons!

The only way I could be more excited about this tree was if it was pink.  Pink lemons!

yellow pot

To go with my new found purchase, I fell in love with the idea of putting it in a yellow pot.  I should have put it in a pink pot since it’s pink lemons (!) but The Boyfriend only lets me go so far.

Well, Home Depot has a great ceramic one for $42, which is so ludicrous I can’t even wrap my mind around it, so I bought a cheap plastic one and a can of glossy spray paint and made my own.

I’m a cheap DIY genius.

lemon treeFast forward to 10am, I now own a pink lemon tree and several hundred caladiums.

Winn Dixie can keep their dumb yellow lemon trees.  And they don’t even sell caladiums.  But they do have great egg prices.

 

 

 

gardening & flamingo beers…

berr & flamingo

This is what my day (d)evolved into.

I began early this morning, determined to finally outwit the deer that are eating all the roses I spent hundreds of dollars on.

While in Alaska (weird beginning to any sentence), I learned when Alaskans want to keep deer away, they spray their gardens with cougar pee.  Well, first of all I don’t want to do that, and second, I’m afraid it will scare off deer and bring around the cougars.  And I really don’t want that.

Instead I went to Home Depot, where I bought some spray of the non-cougar pee variety that’s supposed to keep deer and rabbits away (and ideally the neighbor’s golden retriever that uses my yard as its personal bathroom twice a day).

So I hosed down my garden, i.e. rose graveyard, and planted a bougainvillea I bought on sale at HD.  When I ask why my bougainvillea (normally $49.95) was only $8, he said, “I don’t know, but if it dies in the next week or so just bring it back with the receipt.”   That sounds sketchy at best, and the odds of me digging up a dead bush, throwing it in the back of my car, driving across town and returning it for the large sum of $8 is pretty slim.

But thankfully the weather went south, thank God because I was sooo over gardening, and I brought the party inside.  And we all know what that means, time for flamingo beer.

I saw these online and although I don’t have a pool, these obviously were a necessity.

Happy Saturday.

plant jail…

plant jail 1The little flower shop where I’ve been doing floral design lately has been around for about 50 years.  And apparently it’s been that long since they made an attempt to clean out the attic.

Of course all sorts of bizarre things were uncovered but what caught my eye were the little “bird cages” made of metal and glass.  Extremely dirty glass.

So as they were being carting off to the dumpster, I begged for their release into my custody.

I loved them at first sight.

plant jail 2

When I was on the way home with my new treasures, I texted The Boyfriend that I was bringing home a surprise.  Upon seeing my surprise, I was informed that unexpected cheeseburgers were surprises, not dirty cages.  Clearly we have different definitions of the term “surprise”.

So I removed the glass and hosed them down.  Then I hosed them down again.  With forty years of accumulated dirt, you can’t be too careful.

Then I bought a couple of english ivy plants (my fave) to trail out of the sides.  I took a pic and sent to my mom and The Boyfriend.

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Her response: “Oh my gosh, I love them!”

His response: “Looks like plant jail.”

 

my day off…

IMG_1540This is my day in a nutshell.  Coffee and catching up on interior design magazines.

And the yellow asiatic lilies are from my garden. Apparently I’ve picked up a new hobby and I’m into gardening now (who would have ever thought).

Why can’t my hobbies can’t be finance or hedge funds?  I’m only vaguely aware of what a hedge fund is (and if I were having a glass of wine with you and not writing this on a public forum that is the internet, I would honestly inform you I actually have no idea what that is).

I don’t know, hedge funds?  Sounds like it might have something to do with gardening.  Maybe I will like it.

 

a girl needs her privacy…

On my days off, from slinging flowers and designing jewelry (such a multi-faceted life I lead…), I find myself relaxing around the house.

And by relaxing, I mean not-relaxing and stressing myself out over self inflicted home improvement projects.

Our house is really open.  Lots of windows, open floor plan and tons of natural light.  Sounds great until you groggily stumble your way to the kitchen in the morning for coffee in your underpants.  And there are middle aged golfers 15 yards away waving at you.

I needed some privacy.

ferns1

{breakfast nook [I don’t know how to spell ‘nook’] before}

But unfortunately I live on a corner lot on the 18th green so privacy isn’t really on the radar.  Plus, I’m not trying to keep out the apocalypse, I just want my coffee in peace.

So after going back and forth with ideas, we decided on ferns.  I’m going to pump them so full of Miracle Grow, it will be like a fern wall protecting my coffee drinking, underpants wearing self from the golfing public.

ferns2

To begin my ‘Project: Privacy’ I bought ferns, flowers (unrelated to my project but I just can’t leave without buying more flowers), chain, s-hooks and heavy duty overhead hooks.  I didn’t like the plastic hook crap on each fern so I replaced with chain, combined on an s-hook.  Then, I had to screw overhead hooks into the drywall (honestly, I’m proud of the fact I knew how to do this yet also incredibly weirded out) and hung my ferns.

Three hours after I begin, The Boyfriend called.  “You’re still doing that?!”  Although I may know how to do it, apparently I don’t know how to do it in a timely fashion.  Whatever.  He’s sitting at a desk in front of a computer while I’m making our entire house pants optional.

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This picture is ridiculous.  It looks like I live in the amazon, not New Orleans.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can people watch with the best of them.  I’d just rather see you in your underwear than vice-versa.

c is for courtyard. c is also for cocktails…

When we moved in, the gated courtyard was not my favorite.  It had white stones instead of grass and where there weren’t stones there were overgrown azalea bushes.

The stones seemed a little out of place to me.  If this was Arizona or Nevada, I could understand but Louisiana is like a sunnier and way less hipster version of Seattle for the amount it rains here.  I wanted green.

Of course I asked our contractor (mistake number one of hundreds) if he could remove them.  He quoted me something astronomical, which I started to notice he did often when it was apparently something he didn’t want to, or couldn’t, undertake.  So the stones stayed.

It’s not like I was going to remove them.

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 {courtyard before}

Here’s The Puppy wandering around trying to find a spot to go the bathroom.  He’s scared to walk on the stones and he would be lost eternally to the azaleas.  He had no options.

courtyard grass

So I ripped up all the bushes, planted sod and decorated with giant pots of flowers.  Yes, I planted sod. I’m amazing even myself these days.

bistro set

For the rocky-part of the courtyard, since clearly they were there to stay, I thought about how I could at least make it slightly more attractive.  I found this amazing little bistro set on amazon (prime!) but was concerned when the box arrived flat.  Not sure what I was expecting but I thinking  maybe a more table and chair sized box.  Apparently someone had to put them together.

lightingAfter I put the set together (as The Boyfriend and The Puppy watch from the window) I started looking for other easy touches to improve our little courtyard.

When I was at a lighting showroom picking out exterior light fixtures, I found this little matching pendant light perfect for above my table.

pansies

My last stop was the gardening store.  Final touch, pots of pansies everywhere.  Then I was done.

table top

Now I see all the amazing things you can do outside.  Read outside.  Have morning coffee outside.  Drink cocktails outside.  Write this blog outside.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless.  I don’t know if I mentioned this but you can drink cocktails outside.  It’s amazing.