The amazing creativity and deliciousness of our local farmers/growers/bakers around Portland never cease to amaze me! A bunch of sugar pea tops/flowers, and some Thai flowers for a stir fry caught my eye and I couldn’t say no… such delicate, pretty things that are also edible? and I never even knew the existed? I’ve been missing out! Food texture is just as important to me as flavor, and almost anything can win me over if it is fun and looks beautiful. The Thai flowers tasted nice and slightly sweet and lemony; the pea tops basically tasted like broccoli. But I like broccoli.
We just dropped the stems, leaves and flowers in the wok with some garlic, soy sauce and oil – simple and delish.
The leftover buds I added to one of my favorite vintage vases. I particularly love the tiny curly-cues.
As a renter without a yard, I’ve invested in a few pots and various types of edibles that are pot/deck/patio/porch/balcony happy. My two year old columnar apples were getting lonely, so this year we bought some herbs.
I have a tendency to want to buy EVERY herb at the nursery… somehow we managed to finally narrow it down to three: chocolate mint, habak mint and chives. (I like chives for their lovely petite flowers, especially.)
If you’re ever in Portland, make sure you visit the Portland International Rose Test Gardens (they don’t have a great website, but some of the information is good). I love going up to the gardens to walk, read, watch people play tennis – I can find any reason to spend time there.
As usual, I found it impossible to leave my leftover flowers at home while I sit in a beige and grey cubicle, so I brought them to work to enjoy their beauty, and inevitably, watch them wilt.
When I came in this morning, the red peonies, yesterday having faded slightly to a more magenta hue (one even is nearly purple with white streaks), had lost a handful of petals. There is a scattering of petals on the floor that look more like feathers than petals. The soft cluster where they dropped on the desk amazes me – I look at the blossom and swear there can’t be so many petals having fallen off when so many are still firmly attached.
Again, I wonder at the lives of flowers.
Last week I found the most gorgeous dark red peonies. I’m ashamed to say it, but at first I was tempted to keep them to myself. But shared joy is increased joy, so I was so happy to find an excuse to share them: the 23rd birthday of my sweet friend Abbie. I handtied a bouquet of peonies, viburnm and a few other flowers, and carted them off downtown to the Pearl to meet up with the girls.
Because really, what is a party (or a birthday) without flowers? Or a fantastic feathered headress, for that matter.
I have been so excited for May and for the season of farmers markets – and I know I’m not the only one: who is not excited for fresh, local produce and flowers, really? Don’t get me wrong – I love grocery stores, but there is something so natural and inspiring about an outdoor local market – fresh air, fresh food, dirt. It’s like a chance to be actually be actively living in a community, and supporting one another… talking to farmers who are passionate about their pesto? I can’t resist it.
So here’s the thing: this Saturday is the opening of the Hollywood Farmers Market. And I am out of town. So sad! And I was so looking forward to sharing ideas and photos of edible arrangements.
Please go shopping for me?
What is a holiday without good leftovers to take to work?
[phone pics aren't the best, but it's all I have with me at work]
Ham, salad, cake, roses, ranuculus, kale…
Edible has always intrigued me.
I’m a picky eater, yes, and am often more concerned with texture than flavor, but I love trying new things - I am all about presentation: if it looks incredible, I will be more excited about eating it. As a kid I loved the freedom and adventure of going out in the backyard or woods and knowing about plants I could eat. We grew wild strawberries, among other things, and I loved searching the yard for a couple of fresh, sweet bites. I love that some plants have both traditional edible parts as well as other more unusual parts that can also be eaten. Garlic, for example - delicious in bulb, and incredible in flower! Plants with edible flowers make my day. Continue reading
One thing I love about having a floral business is having access to tons of incredible flowers year round. If that’s not you, and you don’t have an event coming up that you need a florist for, or if you haven’t had one in the past few weeks (yes, most of my arrangements look good for well over a week), where are you supposed to get a hold of amazing flowers? If you live in the city, and you’re not a big fan of the grocery store flowers (often unimaginative, standard, not local and not fresh) I know it can be a challenge. If those potted plants on your apartment balcony you’ve nurtured for months finally have a bloom or two and it seems a crime to cut them and bring them indoors – I totally understand (though I have way too much unfounded faith in potted plants).
So where does that leave us?
Well, I’ve mentioned the Portland Farmers Markets (which are just getting started – hooray!), but we’ve also got other options…
Grow them! Continue reading