It's Mid September and there are plenty of beautiful late summer and early fall flowers to be excited about! Dahlias, Amaranthus, Cosmos, Japanese Anemones, and Chrysanthemums to name a few.
Everything in this bouquet above was grown within 30 miles of San Francisco. Oh yeah!
Ingredients: Distant Drums Roses and Cosmos from our studio garden (!) plus Dahlias, Amaranthus, Nut Grass, Strawflower, and Snowberry, most of which was grown in Half Moon Bay.
A trick Fallon taught me for keeping Garden roses hydrated is to snip their stems UNDER water. Apparently rose stems immediately try to suck up water as soon as they are cut. So if you don't submerge them while doing so, they'll suck up air bubbles instead, making it less likely that the water in your vase will reach the flower's head.
To extrapolate a bit on general flower care - did you know you should really change out a bouquet's water every day? At the very least, refill your vase by sticking it under the kitchen faucet or by using a watering can with a skinny nozzle. When you forego doing this, bacteria will quickly build and your flower stems will get clogged and (surprise surpise!) stop taking up water.
I know this might be more work than most of us would prefer to do for something that is simply meant to brighten up a room (vs adding more to-do's to your day!) The floral industry has come up with some scientific ways to accommodate our general preference for low maintenance arrangements. Roses and carnations have had their scents engineered out of them (because fragrance saps up energy, thus shortening vase life) and there are chemically concocted floral food solutions and green foams to solve that whole changing the water OR ELSE predicament. Did you know these foams have been linked to cancer though? Yikes! And you'll never find an 'ingredient' list on any of the floral foods out there.
So might changing out vase water, while a bit of a hassle I'll admit, seem like the better way to go? If you like your Roses to smell like roses, maybe you could find a way to be at peace with them lasting in all their beautiful glory for half a week. Or maybe not. No judgements here. There is a time and a place for everything. Just don't let your flowers lose their romance is all I'm saying.
The #1 thing you could do to reduce your floral waste is to select blooms that are in season and grown by a farmer within driving distance from you. Why? The flowers shipped from far away have to be delicately packed in boxes with lots of packaging. And if they were grown outside of the US, it's almost certain they've been treated with fumigants to ensure no stow-away insects entered the country along with them.
Plus, it's way more fun to know WHERE something was grown and to see how the varieties change from month to month! Like anything else, if you start taking an interest in how something made its way into your hands, you might begin to see cut flowers in an entirely new way.
In other news, I have been trying to make some headway towards teaching myself photography. I bought the book From Plate to Pixel, which is really about food photography, but so far has proven to be a really nice resource for photographing still-life subjects up close in general. The hard part for me is going to be taking the time to take pictures using different settings, learning how my DSLR camera (a gift from my mom's fiance - thank you Lucien!) actually works. You become spoiled after using your iphone, where after minor editing you quickly have images you can upload online. But I think learning the REAL way is probably a worthy investment though, right?
I also discovered a florist this week (not new, but new to me!) whose work I really dig! Erba Floral in Portland, Oregon. Riley Messina, the florist behind Erba, released a floral photography Art book called Overgrowth last year that I just ordered today. It is a series of over two dozen floral sets and 100+ images. Secret dream of mine if you haven't figured out already - to make a really great floral 'dreamscape' (or nightmare-scape, haha) coffee table book.
Let's dive into the image of her flowers above, shall we? How haunting is this mixture of whites, greens, and greys? Ingredients: Anthurium, Snowberry, Spiral Eucalyptus, Bells of Ireland, and Eresthmus. So damn good. Ugh!
Well, my pretties, I'm going home to have a glass of wine and work on a project for another talented woman whom I admire so flipping much. Happy Hump Day!