While I’m sitting home sick and in a lull between planing and harvesting and floral gigs, I’ve been catching up on some reading. If I wasn’t too sick to move from the couch, I would definitely be out finding something sturdy to swing my hammock between so I could read outside. (You should be warned I’m obsessed with my hammock and will probably find many more opportunities to mention it.)
So, for the reading material:
-Borders has an awesome magazine selection (rivaled, at least in Portland, only by Powell’s books) where I found this fun wedding flowers mag. It’s aptly called “Wedding flowers: your expert guide to bridal blooms” for June/July 2010. It’s British, and is connected to this website (I recommend the “Real-life flowers” section). I loved their cute ideas, and that they included some ideas for doing things smaller and more affordable.
-While we’re renting and focused on potted gardens, we’re still a little obsessed with gardens and learning as much as we can about gardening before we have a yard of our own. My in-laws got wind of this and sent me a book they just found for my birthday. It’s similar to another one we’ve found, and I’m excited to actually read this one (I just got it, so I’ve only skimmed it) because we’re pretty sure this is a style/philosophy of gardening that we want to get in to. The book is “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. His website is a little intense, so I suggest checking out the book.
We’ve spent past few Saturday mornings at the PSU farmers market. While I fully intend to try out as many of Portland’s markets as I can… I keep going back to the Hollywood and the PSU market. The extremely convenient locations I think are probably part of the big draw, as well as the familiarity that the Hollywood holds. The PSU market is quickly becoming familiar, but I feel like I could visit there every weekend of the summer and still have more to try.
With hours of 8:30 – 2, open March through October, you’d think it was possible to get a taste of everything, but not only the market huge, but the vendors are all so delicious looking! I just wander around looking and sampling and taking it in.
The PSU Farmers Market is located at Portland State University in the South Park Blocks between SW Hall & SW Montgomery. After being a student at PSU, parking on a weekend in the summer doesn’t actually feel that terrible, and there are always lots a few blocks away if you dont want to parallel park
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.
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.
I tagged along with my husband’s photography gig in Easter Washington this past weekend… it was exhausting, but the drive was so beautiful.
I think I will always love car rides through the countryside… I can stare out a window for hours. This drive I’ve made periodically since I was a kid. It’s always interesting, but I’ve somehow never seen it in Spring. It has never been so lovely.
I spent the afternoon yesterday walking the neighborhood around N Mississippi ave, and admiring the many home gardens. If you have even a small yard you can plan so much food (trying hard not to covet)! But! even without a yard/garden/etc, there are still some options for growing things outdoors.
I know I promised Easter arrangement photos last week, and only posted one. They really are coming! We had a busy weekend, so I didn’t really get to the computer much at all. And yesterday Portland saw a little sun (! and by sun I mean… brightness with spots of blue?) so we, and the rest of the city, ran outdoors as fast as we could.
The husband and I plopped down in a park with some gardening books. The cherry trees are lovely this year.
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
One thing I love about European floral design is that it does not hold to specific formulas or strict spacial rules – it is influenced by what’s available and by nature’s design. I love wild, garden type arrangements – bringing nature inside; bringing a little something wild and beautiful into something otherwise formal and artificial. But sometimes, living in the city, I forget what nature even looks like! My world is a world of parking lots and cubicles. I do love the city with all its stone and steel and iron. And the city does have a little nature – the ivy and moss that covers those walls and gates, and the trees someone years ago, thankfully, did not cut down. Being in the city is lovely, but everyone needs a little green. I wish I had a more! So I buy house plants for my little house, and do floral projects for clients – it is a breath of fresh air. Continue reading
On my bus ride to work this morning, as the sun started breaking up the high clouds, I started getting excited: crisp morning air, warm sun on my jacketed back, fresh air – add a little sunscreen and it reminds me of snowboarding, but add the smell of earth and growing things and it reminds me of the coming Portland Farmers Markets.
The first one to open up is the Saturday PSU market: start looking forward to local produce on March 20th.
I personally tend to gravitate toward the Hollywood Farmers Market, opening in May, but this year I plan to branch out. The goal is to visit all of them – we’ll see how that goes! I’ll do my best to provide little tidbits about the individual markets, as well as samples of arrangements you can create with from not only local flowers, but foods as well!