Posts tagged flower shops

For Diana

I thought, while I took the time to edit the 500,000,000,000 (at least) photos that I took on the cruise, I would show you this.

Diana from Elephants Eye has been a long time reader of my blog. I guess I have blown her away with the brilliance of my flower designing, because she is always commenting how she never gets to see it any more. I did think that I would be arranging flowers in the flat all the time, but for some reason, the gardeners at the complex where I live frown on my ‘helping’ myself to their stuff. I can’t understand why? I am just trying to make life easier for them.

But I did have a chance recently to visit a cut flower farm, here in Barbados.

This is not me!

So many flowers to choose from

And I purchased a couple of things…

Then I made these two arrangements.

This is a 3 sided, and it is on a chest in my foyer. It consists of 3 torch ginger, some song of India and 2 Strelitzia leaves.

 I also used the bottom half of the ginger when I shortened them. If you look closely, you can see 2 stems in the vase, they are a red bamboo looking stem.

In this shorter vase, I also used song of india, and a green that I have not seen before

 It looks like a giant Italian parsley, but the leaves are hard, not soft like parsley. And I added these peachy anthiriums.

I hate to tell you (but I will), that I purchased these flowers the week before I left on the cruise, and in the excitement I forgot to throw them out. Most of the anthiriums were still in good shape when I arrived back, so I just went for fresh water and a quick rearrange. I certainly got my moneys worth out of that lot…

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Love is in the Air

Everywhere I look around,

I am no longer a florist, but I am missing the creativity. So I decided to paint a small picture for Ian as his Valentines Day card.

Hope he likes it…

If you want to see what I was up to on past Valentines Days, you can here and here.

lyrics by Tom Jones


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End of an Era

I’m done!        

Now that I have quit my job (I hope to tell you why next week, don’t panic, it is nothing bad), I feel free to tell you where I worked.          


Yes, the shop is called Black-Eyed Susan’s, the owners name is Susan, pretty clever, eh.  And if I do say so myself, we do lovely work, so if you ever need to send anyone flowers in Toronto, or just outside of it, please call them, you will be very happy.         


These are some of the very last designs that I made at the shop.  Most florists love green flowers, or flowers with a bit of an ‘off’ colour. The anthiriums are a browny green, and I combined them with chartreuse hydrangea.          


I love monochromatic arrangements, and was very happy with this one. Callas, lisianthus and two shapes of dahlias combined in a leaf lined vase.      


Another monochromatic, a handtied bouquet, this time, all in pinks. Celosia, dahlias, roses and sedum make this bouquet, ‘pretty in pink’, lol.      

I thought that I would take you for a trip down memory lane. These have been some of my favourite (at least of the ones that I got a photo of) designs since I got my camera last May.     


This vase arrangement was designed back in March. Green Amaryllis, kiwi vine and moss-a more modern design.    


Another modern design, this time green cymbidium orchids.     


From Thanksgiving, a long and low centerpiece, commercial mums, mokara orchids,lisianthus, roses and apples.    


Another Thanksgiving vase arrangement, mini cabbage, celosia, lilys, commercial mums, and calla lilys.    


Callas, mums and roses, just another colour combination.    

a gardeny arrangement


From July, a combination of roses, hydrangea, mums and my favourite, peonys.    


Valentines brought hydrangea, gerbera daisys, stock, cymbidium orchids and tulips.    


Or, if you like your Valentines Day flowers a bit brighter, you can go with eremurus, mokara orchids and stock.    

 And the very first arrangement that I took with my new digital camera.    


Forsythia and cymbidium orchids, this time in a golden colour.    

I was so happy that I finally had my digital camera and I could post pictures on my blog. I love sharing pictures of my work, and I hope that you have enjoyed seeing them.    

I am sad about leaving the floral industry, but excited about what is coming next.

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I Honestly Love You

Happy (belated) Valentines Day, a floral designers worst nightmare. The day when your own loved ones get no love! I made it though and am out on the other side!

Five years ago, the owner of the flower shop decided NOT to sell roses on Valentines Day.

                                     Just say No!

There had been a freeze in Ecuador where 99% of our roses come from, and the quality was not there. Actually I have seen the quality of roses at Valentines Day declining over the twenty years that I have been a florist. There is just too much demand for one day.

OMG, how would this work.

The first year was difficult. You would have a customer either call or come in to order a dozen red roses. Then you would have to go into your spiel. But by the end of it, they agreed (probably mostly to get away from you). But every year after that it was easier. Mostly the sender would rave on about how happy their wife/partner had been the previous year, and gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted.

A few peoples wanted vases.

But, 99.9% of our customers were looking for a bouquet.

Whether romantic,

or vibrant,

My fav, all white and green,

tropical colours,


and soft pastel.

Another year, done and dusted!

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Holiday Magic!

This is a very busy time of year for me. A lot of companies seem to all have their Christmas parties the middle of December. And a lot of people are looking for gifts as well.

As promised, here are a few things we have been working on.

These are Goldcrest Cypress.

A mix of amaryllis, paperwhites and cypress.

Helleborus are starting to be sold as a blooming potted plant at Christmas for the first time this year. Here it is planted with the cypress.

Here they are planted by themselves. I hope that my Secret Santa gives me one of these.

Paperwhites, cypress, stephanotis hoops and frosty ferns have pinecones nestled in a bed of moss.

A vase arrangement of cymbidium orchids, magnolia, bc cedar, pine cones and oregonia.

Now some flower arrangements. Amaryllis and leucadendron with a few paperwhites, commercial mums and gold pinecones.


The same flowers as the arrangement above,  but with roses instead of mums.

An arrangement to go with the centerpieces above. This is for the bar.

A centerpiece.

A very tall arrangement needed for a Christmas party. We used cello in the base to raise the flowers up. Add water, and it looks like ice.

We will often use a large leaf to line a vase, this hides the water (if it gets murky) and is a different look from just a clear vase.

Another party waits to be delivered. One more week to go…..

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Silver Wood

This is the centrepiece to the Christmas decorations in the flower shop this year. I was inspired to show it to you in more detail after reading Christine at Idora Design post about Manzanita.

We get these branches in from California with the bark sandblasted off. They were used for a few years in their natural state, before we decided to paint them silver for Christmas.

I love these branches, they are so architectural in their shape, and make quite a statement.

These are big branches, about five feet from bottom to top. You can get much smaller ones as well.

We had to put some big stones in the base of the galvanized container they are sitting in. You need the weight to stop it from tipping over.

Then did the usual stuffing chicken wire in and hiding it with sheet moss.

We had these up last year as well, wound tiny white lights around the branches and hung silver and crystal ornaments from it. This year, a more natural look, no lights and there are moss balls hanging from ribbon tied to  the branches.

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Do They Know It’s Christmas!

How can they not? Look what we did to the flower shop last week.

Starting with the outside, two galvanized pots are filled with 6 foot birch poles flanking  the entrance. Although you cannot see it, the centre is stuffed with moss.

This is the view that most customers see, if they are just walking by. Hopefully, it is eyecatching enough to draw them in.

On one side of the room we have a fireplace mantle. This has  been a lovely feature, and always interesting to display on. We have placed a small wooden table in front of it for an extra display area this Christmas.

This is the other side. It is much brighter as it has a window behind it. Customers can see in from the outside as well as from the inside, so the displays have to be arranged so they can be viewed from both sides.

These four pictures hanging over our design desk are actually framed moss. They were created for last Christmas and have stayed up all year. They have not deteriorated at all. I love them!

Look at the beautiful colours in the cooler now. See the peonies from New Zealand.

This is the front display window, sorry for the glare.

Unlike most retailers, we do not start decorating for Christmas in October. To me this is ridiculous. It seems to start earlier every year. I do not even want to think about Christmas when there is still leaves on the trees, veggies to harvest, that is autumn. Christmas is a winter holiday. Can the stores not wait to decorate, we all know Christmas is coming, no need to shove our faces in it. (Sorry, I guess that is a touchy point.)

To me (personally) any time after the middle of November, it can start, all though at the flower shop I am working at now, we have always decorated the last weekend in November.

So much of what we sell is perishable, we cannot afford to start too early. Next week, I will show you some of the designs we are making for Christmas.


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