Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spring Subscription: Week Six

I won't hide it: I am on a mission to convince you that local, seasonal flowers are the best thing out there since sliced bread. I dare you to try to find flowers this beautiful in a Trader Joe's. Or a Safeway. Or anywhere else that sells flowers flown in from other parts of the world. They may be cheep, but those flowers can't hold a candle to the local ones.
This week's subscription arrangements include:
The Summer Subscription starts on June 28th. Read about it here, and sign up here.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Succulent Gardens for Washington C.A.S.H.

A few weeks back, I had the honor of creating centerpieces for the annual fundraiser for Washington C.A.S.H., an incredible non-profit in Seattle whose mission reads: "Washington C.A.S.H. empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources—and unlimited potential. We provide the hands-on education, in-depth support, and access to capital needed to launch and grow successful small enterprises." I was particularly excited for this project, because Washington C.A.S.H. is a very special organization to me: they provided me with tons of helpful training and resources when I was starting Botanique, and continue to play a critical role when I need business mentoring.
For their fundraiser, I wanted to create something clean, chic and modern that they could sell to attendees of the fundraiser at the end of the night to raise money. As these succulent gardens will survive for quite a while without too much care (just a little spritzing with water about once a week), and they have a cool, contemporary look, they seemed like a good match.
Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the room once it was all set-up, nor did I take any photos of our epic adventure through the Convention Center Loading Zone to get these little gardens to their homes on the tables! (but that part is a crazy story involving zooming pallet trucks, humongous dollies, and a massive freight elevator...) Suffice to say, they all made it to their proper places safe and intact, and the event was a huge success, raising over $100,000! Congratulations to Washington C.A.S.H.!

For anyone out there in the Seattle area with a great business idea who wants/needs some help getting it off the ground, I strongly recommend that you check out Washington C.A.S.H. They are truly a fantastic organization, and it was such a treat for Botanique to be able to help with their fundraiser!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cool Blues, Purples and Silver

Perhaps it's the fact that purple is one of my favorite colors. Or that blue flowers are hard to come by and must be enjoyed when they can be found! Or perhaps it's just that I love silvery foliage, and two of said foliages were ready to harvest this week from The Botanique Cutting Garden. Or maybe it's all this rainy weather, which is inspiring me to make peace with a cooler color palette....
Or maybe it's these OUTSTANDING anemones from Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, WA.
Whatever the reason, this week's subscription arrangements are all about the spectrum of color between amethyst, silver, icy blue and mint green.
This week's subscriptions include: Lace-leaf Dusty Miller, Cardoon Foliage, and Campanula from The Botanique Cutting Garden in Seattle, WA, Bearded Iris from Schreiner's Iris Farm in Salem, OR, Anemones from Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, WA, Columbine from Jello Mold Farm in Mount Vernon, WA, and Rye Grain from Charles Little & Co. in Eugene, OR.
This marks week five of the Spring Subscription, which means that the subscription period is more than halfway through! But there will be plenty more to come- the Summer Subscription starts on June 28th, and there's Autumn after that... in other words... if you've been enjoying these photos and thinking to yourself, "Flowers every week, that sounds pretty good!" now's your chance to sign up to receive a weekly arrangement from Botanique! You can read about the subscription here, sign up here, and email me with any questions:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Subscription: Week Four

Vivid color. I didn't know how much I had been craving it until I saw it! This spring I have been so drawn to pastel shades, creamy whites, purples, sea green.... I went to the market on Wednesday to select flowers for the subscription and was so taken with the warm, bright shades of carmine, peach, royal purple, burnt orange... It seems like in the week Eli and I were in California, Washington's flowers just went totally crazy!
I had been waiting and waiting for the local ranunculas to come into season. There are so many gorgeous hues to choose from, but ultimately the salmon-peach won me over.
Another incredible flower, the bearded iris. That deep purple looks just like magic.
This week's arrangements contained a fiery mix of: ranunculas from Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, WA, bearded iris from Schreiner's Iris Farm in Salem, OR, and a fiery, magenta/hot pink/red variety of scotch broom from Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, WA.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Big Sur, a fever, and an amazing wedding...

This past weekend was Botanique's first official wedding! It was for two good friends of mine, Katie and Jeff, who got married at an incredible ranch in Big Sur, CA. I say incredible because that is the closest word I can find to describing a living dream: it was so beautiful and so magical up there, perched at the top of a long, winding dirt road, engulfed in passing clouds half the day, and clearing to reveal the ocean beneath the bluffs on which the ranch sat the other half.
We drove up to the ranch from LA on Thursday, and unfortunately, by Thursday night I was plagued with a horrible fever! Not exactly the best way to start the weekend. I had an insanely feverish sleep, complete with bizarro hallucinations in the middle of the night, but as they say, duty calls, and the next morning I was back out in my "studio" getting down to business!
I don't know what I would have done without that yellow vest, lent to me by Lygia, the woman who runs the ranch and my guardian angle for the time I was there: she brought me tea, goat cheese made fresh on the farm, and all the warm cloths I needed to stay bundled up.
Lucky for me, two of Katie's bridesmaids (Michelle and Sidonie) had experience working for an event florist, and they swooped in to help that afternoon. By the end of the day, we had made all the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages, two big arrangements for the buffet table, six smaller arrangements for the bars, a really sweet flower crown for the flower girl, and (with the help of another set of friends) table arrangements for 18 tables! I was so thankful to have help from such talented friends!!! I don't know what I would have done without it. I did, however, feel very possessive over Katie's bouquet- I wanted it to be dreamy, romantic, fun, whimsical... I had to make sure it was just perfect.
The next day, I woke up feeling just as lousy as I had the previous two days! I couldn't believe I was so sick not only for my first wedding, but for the wedding of a dear friend! Before I had to go back to bed (the sickness was getting worse!) I managed to wrap the bridesmaid bouquets and Katie's bouquet (in gorgeous lace, I really hope the professional photographer got a shot of the handle wraps, because I sure didn't!), made up an example of how I wanted to the corsages and boutonnieres wrapped, left detailed instructions on the chuppah decorations, and crossed my fingers that Katie's two friends would do a good job finishing everything. I feel SO FORTUNATE that Michelle and Sidonie were such talented florists in their own right: they did a GREAT job, and everything really looked wonderful for the wedding.
The day of the wedding, everyone was shuttled up to the ranch. Though I was so sick that I couldn't stay for the party (I still have not quite gotten over that!) I did manage to make it through the ceremony, which was extremely heartfelt and beautiful. And Katie looked absolutely STUNNING. It was so, so wonderful to see such a good friend looking so beautiful and happy, on such an important day in her life, carrying a bouquet I had made especially for her! I managed to take one good photo of her before I went back to my little cabin and fell asleep.
I am sure there will be plenty of lovely shots from the professional photographers that were there that day, and when they come out I will share them! Until then, I am savoring this shot of Katie with her bouquet like it was the last flower on the planet.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Quick Cutting Garden Update

The annual patch is all planted. The dahlias are all in the ground. The peonies are nicely budded. Sigh...

And we are off to California for a week to visit with friends in LA and do flowers for a wedding in Big Sur. It is a crazy time to leave, everything is growing so fast and there is a constant to-do list for the garden- thinning out, taking care of all the baby seedlings, staking the taller plants, planning what will go in as a second crop where some of the spring bulbs are finishing... I have to let go of my control-freak nature, and just let everything do it's thing for a week- trust that these plants know what they are up to and will do just fine in my absence.

Grow garden grow! Can't wait to see you on the flip side...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Botanique Spring Subscription: Week Three

I love white dicentra (bleeding heart). I love it so much. I have been waiting for it to appear in the local market, and finally, today, it did.

I also love that flowering rubus (which if left to set fruit will become blackberry). And I LOVE those big peony-flowering tulips.

This week's subscription arrangements included: Peony-Flowering tulips from Choice Bulb Farms in Mount Vernon, WA, Rubus, White Dicentra, and Alkanet from Jello Mold Farm in Mount Vernon, WA, Viburnum foliage from Oregon Coastal Flowers in Tillamook, OR, and Weigela from The Botanique Cutting Garden in Seattle, WA.

Though the Spring Subscription is already underway, there is still room in the Summer and Fall Subscriptions. Click here to sign up for a weekly arrangement of the freshest, local flowers available!