London: An Anglophile's Delight

Not many flower posts to report as we are in the doldrums of winter here in New York and anyone with the means to enjoy weekly flowers is probably down in Palm Beach or warming their toes fireside on some snowy slope far from here. Although, I would like to point out that now is the time flowers are needed most.

Gorgeous Italian Poppies are at the market and with the thousandth thin petaled Rancunculus one can stare away a weekend with a mellow smile on your face. Flowers, yoga & bubble baths are mini insta-escapes especially this time of year. Throw in a bottle of Cabernet or tea for two and make a date to have your friend over to share your flowers. ok?

So with all of that said and the thought of,  "the grass is always greener..." I will expound on my euro getaway and tell you about the two places I love most in London (besides my two gal pals and their scrumptious children) On to the V&A and Liberty!

The ultimate delight the Victoria & Albert Museum, where one can learn and lust over the worlds finest objects. Admission to salivate is whatever you choose to pay as all museums in London are virtually free. The museum is not overly massive like the MET or the Louvre and it's oozing with inspiration, the jewelry wing alone will leave you with pangs of longing.
The special exhibition wing, the only portion requiring admission (£11) is worth every pence. The shows combine fine art, decorative arts, architecture, fashion and music to give the ultimate time machine experience.
Only in England was I able to get through the writings of Proust one lucky little sister summer I had locked away in a perfect private park. The place breathes academia with those pert accents while my flat americaaaan voice fills in blankness with ums and likes.
After such restraint heading to Liberty appeases those pesky wants! Yes, we have Bergdorfs and Barneys here in New York but I would take Liberty of London over them all. Not that it has more of the fashions already seen, it's the wattle and daub 1920's structure that simply makes a shopper feel home. 
Besides the fact that this department store launched the Arts & Crafts Movement and the top floor has the most incredible haberdasher full of notions, trimmings & bolts of signature floral fabrics this place welcomes the DIY hobbyists to the chicest of buyers.
Cool canvas totes, paper goods galore and fine Italian soaps are sweet spring carry homes from a department store that nails the experience. 
My English girlfriends sister actually named her child Liberty, not certain if this was a homage to the department store but regardless in England names such as that or nicknames like Kitty are perfectly OK which makes this aspiring anglophile all the more excited. 
Let's swap! You want New York? I'll take London...well just for a little while. 

Berlin: part zwei  

My husband chooses not to believe in jetlag, he's one of those Clark Kent type of guys. In referring to moi being a more delicate flower, I bid him farewell and the no jet lag idea was prescribed.

Reckless youth has a funny way of picking up where once left and jittery exuberance can fuel one through. Three days OK any longer whilst I would wilt.

Some boys have Vegas, I'll take Berlin.  

Staying at the über cool Michelberger Hotel in Friedrichshain, the heart of former East Berlin helped. The word Gemutlich is to mean cozy which is the perfect word to descibe this spot.  Similar to the Longman & Eagle in Chicago or The Ace, these guys are cut from the same cloth. 

Chilling at the hotel as the dj spinned reggae from Dillinger & Grace Jones I sipped on hefferveisen and watched as Berliners packed in for the headline performer from... Portland, Oregon? The singer was something not to be expected, but it put me in a good place the way songbird lullabies do. The crowd got into it too. 

With a fresh day ahead mission #2 was set out to be done. Visit the Berlin Wall:

Do you remember when the wall came down? The year was 1989 a distinct memory exists watching this on tv while the family huddled together dad explained the significance of this event. We watched the serious stuff, not this Hasselhoff crap,  although I do have a tinge of want for that electrified bomber and throw in that piano keyed scarf while your at it.

I visited Berlin for them

To put it plainly enough being in a place where many world upheavals have occured and to see the youth emerge from the rubble, this city has a voice, an audience and this subculture will emerge as the mainstream the day after tomorrow. 

I'm all about these scarfs from Vonschwaenflügelpupke too!

If that's not a mouthfull. 

Sadly I visited one week before Berlin Fashion Week, now that would have blown my socks right off.  



Berlin ist der Ort schlechin! Believe the hype, if you have been you know.

This young city is bubbiling over with its evolving urban form and creative milieu. This is the magnet city for free thinking artisits, designers & musicians.  But before I get into all of that...

Having spent the previous three days in London, and before I dove into Berlin I welcomed a day trip journey away from cities and through the wintery Brandenburg countryside to visit the small town of Dessau.   


I traveled solo to Germany with this mission:

visit the Bauhaus.

Now lets put on our thinking caps and place these dates 1919-1933

These dates are one year after WWI and three years shy of WWII. In nearby eastern europe Czar Nicholas II of Russia reign has collapsed and communism becomes an unprecedented power.

This rebirth in time creates a cultural revolution of new thoughts and ideas. These fourteen years are in which the Bauhaus school radiated a new social edifice lead by Walter Gropius and a slew of talents.

Putting a period of time in context to what one is seening and being here in January virtually alone can cause something of an of an understanding. 

The two dimension of books pales in comparision to being engulfed in the real deal.

Naturally if this does not relate to, or understanding of the magnitude of how ahead of time this is, one could forgo the effort put in visiting such a place. Why one must think to travel during such bleak time of year?

It lent better to the effect.

Before this visit german expressionism// international style felt a bit too removed from nature for my tastes. I was wrong, these structures elegantly pay tribute to the surrounding landscapes. 

I could go on about the nuances of large glass being similar to water, the linear beams as surrounding trees, oh the subtlety of color... But better to leave it since I have Berlin to get through.

* the battered Bauhaus after WWII

In the meantime while I gather more of my thoughts and get (actual) film developed you can read about my trip to Münich back in '08. 

Auf wiedersehen!


Sun Bleached Saturdays 

spent down in the Florida Keys. 

Spotted eyes take time to adjust to the details, not much thought given to that which was left behind. 

The ponderings are on the great great great grand kittens of Ernest Hemingway's lucky six toed cats and to the pesky roosters crossing roads.

Simple things like that. 

And the excellent tile choice Pauline & Ernest Hemingway had for their home Circa 1930

Or these small mementos from our beloved president Harry S. Truman, who spent much time in the Keys. 

But most intrigue goes to the ship wreckers of 1886 who amassed great fortunes dredging up sunken treasures from the sea, a glimmer in time which coined Key West as the wealthiest U.S. city. 

Sunday was spent at the beach with my love, another Murakami read and my widest brimmed hat. 

Not much more to be said about all of that.  


Final Bouquet of 2011


I think I will think of something to say in the next year. 


How to Make a Festive Winter Wreath

This wreath is easy to assemble and perfect for your front door. 

A few of my favorite flowers this time of year are...


parrot tulips:


Happy Holidays!


Holiday Bouquet of the Day

How to Arrange a Gorgeous Holiday Bouquet

When it comes to arranging flowers, sometimes the simplest bouquets are the most beautiful. That is certainly the case with the arrangement below. A perfect gift to bring to a holiday party, it’s also an elegant statement for your own home – and will last through the holidays into January. The best part? It only requires three elements.

Lea Ann Willet, of the New York and Chicago-based florist shop Sprout Home, chose amaryllis for their rich red color and durability. Buy them a few days in advance, though, because they often come in really tight buds.

"To help them open up and blossom," she says, "put them in a little bit of warm water. They are also a long-lasting flower, so they make a great gift.

Willet demonstrates how to put together this gorgeous bouquet in the video below.

To assemble the bouquet on your own, you will need the following:

-Magnolia branches
-Rose Hip
-Wrapping Paper

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/imag/At+Home/How+to+Arrange+a+Gorgeous+Holiday+Bouquet#ixzz1gw5QSPgV


Bouquet of the Day

Marc Jacobs resort//spring handbags 

Do my flowers lure you into wanting one of these leather beauties? The colors were exceptional to work with, it makes one want a whole palate of these bags and clutches. 

Similar to the Crosby Thompson it's near perfection. 

this pop of tangerine on the Thompson Satchel yum! 

The bag I was most lured into was the one I did not photograph. It's mere existence is not on the web, but I will patiently have my eyes open and snatch it up when I can.  


Happy Thanksgiving


A Flower Dialog with Andy

Warhol that is:

this realization

Andy Warhol Beatle Boots (Negative) 1928-1987

has me shakin' in my Beatle boots!

which are these BTW Y-3 for Addidas 

weekly flowers for private clients 


Bouquet of the Day


This one is for you Jane Packer

Jane Packer ca. 1986, The Guardian Photograph: Peter Brooker

"I remember getting back to the shop one morning, sitting down and bursting into tears because I was so exhausted," she told the journalist Alex McRae. "But then I opened up a box of flowers, and the fragrance floated into the air. And I thought: this is why I do it." There followed three years without profits and five without a holiday.

The Telegraph Photograph: Rex Features

My master, you will be dearly missed. 


Bringing Nature In

When I encounter a home with no plants or cut flowers to enjoy something is lacking. Yes plants can be a responsibility with watering and without adequate light they will perish, but with a variety of low light hearty drought tolerant plants it's tough to find an excuse.

There are makers of self watering planters for the busy traveler and ignorable plant that will do fine just about anywhere you put them. I will not resort to the faux variety but I must admit being duped a few times with excellent impersonators. If you need a little push and direction on these matters read this POST or this great article from NY Times Home & Garden.  

The Fall is an especially great time of year to bring plants indoors to liven up the space while the outdoors wilt away from frosts. It's also a good time of year for budding gardeners to save up and pre-order zippy planters which inevitably cost more than the plants. At my work Sprout Home I splurged on this incredible geometric planter from Planter Worxs a local Brooklyn company and planted two gorgeous orchids for my mantle. This beauty satiates my cut flower needs nicely. 

If you still don't get the drift houseware items that evoke the outdoors is a nice way to bring nature in. Such is this forest lamp shade I have over my table.  

Or fun textiles and prints inspired by nature, rest your eyes on these textiles from Voyesy 

and Obrist embroidery similar to a botanical plate showing plant leaves, bud, flower and root. 

Is it too much to ask for a lemon tree for Christmas?


Lecture Listening

The Fall is a brainy time after all the Summer sillies.

To break from these overworked floristy hands my running legs are racing and lecture listening sometimes beats an overcrowded bar. Call me a bore but what I am experiencing is a quiet and riveting pause between the extra nonesense every scheduled day brings.

Lecture 1:

Did you know sparkling wines can age?  Different from a perseco or champagne, those should drink young and bright. Ferrari Brut's are crafted specifically for each bottle versus the barrel wide other stuff. 

The Trento region of Italy where this is produced just got hot on my list.

Lecture 2:

President James Monroe dazzled by french fashions chose to outfit his State Room with Napolean's Empire style furniture. Certainly much more items and $$ than intended, the french cabinet maker Bellangé made nothing of the specifics Monroe requested. 

A silly thought as to what one orders and what is actually made. 

Lecture 3:  

Did you know paintings back in the day used to be hung very high? A popular spot was to hang art over doors, you can see it in this paining by Hogarth

Here is Marie Antoinette's over door boudoir at Fontainebleau. A bit much I would say.

How for an after lecture stroll through the University Club ballroom to name off design details?

 ...and then stumbiling upon the current lobby of the Lever House

Refreshing! Nicely done Paula Hayes.

It got me thinking about the titans of industry and how I just landed a big new brilliant client and then that song Crystaline by Bjork. 


Lecture 3:

Now this one is for you:

Sign up for my Flower Class!!! The edible arrangement  

It's this Sunday, November 6th at Sprout Home Brooklyn

We will be creating a cornucopia (not literally) of seasonal fall blooms using many edible ingredients such as artichokes, rosemary, oregano, and more. Materials fee is estimated at $65 – $125 (based on your selections) and pays for a small vase arrangement you make and take home.

For more information, contact Sprout Home Brooklyn at nyinfo@sprouthome.com or call 718.388.4440.


Apple Picking... 

in Rhode Island.

 It's a nice way to close a birthday. 

Spent with great friends no less.

A canoe ride down the Pawtuxet River speaking of Luscious Brown, a marvelous dog who passed. 

Luscious Brown swims the Pawtuxet River from Lea Ann Willett

 Then seeing my nephew Jack Chandler Willett turn 1years old, a mere 7 days after my own! 

Happy Birthday little buddy!! 

Love you R.I. 


Gardening: Part Deux

Remember this post back in July about our window box garden? 

from humble beginings:

to a start:

and four months later: 

I planted these two up just in time for the first frosts. Plant those tulip bulbs please!

Left a mess with the dirt, shoot can someone else can take care of that? 

Lookin' good! 


Milestone Birthdays

So I am told, mine was yesterday. It's been a funny one and I guess a particularly good one. 

I saw one of the greats Winton Marsalis, he was celebrating his 50th, my 30th. 

We had a fancy bottle of champagne and dinner with two couples I share deep a admiration for.

The shop dogs wore bows: 

...and I received some perfectly appropriate gifts. 

a dream catcher:



and a very fancy 2 year subscrpition to this periodical:

In the midst of all this excitement I took a decorative arts midterm which haunted me with the latin phrase "Ars Longa, Vita Brevis"

Art is Long, Life is Short.

Distractedly made terrible date mistakes on the exam, upset with myself I blew off steam by running my fastest 6 miles in my goal of 13.

I felt much better and stronger. 

Drop-front Secretary (Secrétaire à Abattant or secrétaire en armoire) Guillaume Benneman Dilder

 And finished off the final hours of my first day of 30 with this diddy of a flick.

 Thanks to my friends for all the warm wishes and positive sentiments. 


Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico Landscape by Georgia O'Keeffe

We were brought to the land of enchantment for a very special couple who married. 

Balloon Fiesta photo: Lea Ann Willett

When your boss from Sprout Home is the one getting married and you are putting it together with your fellow work pals a familliar delirium sets in. It may be the 7000 foot high elevation, excitement of witnessing thousands of hot air balloons launch at sunrise, or simply all the surrounding joy. 

photo by Pitaya Japiean

Table centerpieces, flower crowns and little girl's posises...

the tiniest of detail towards a most perfect boutinnere by our Shirley...

photos by Ramsay De Give

to the sumptuous bridal bouquet Doan made.

Thanks for the memories! The experience was thoroughly enchanting to say the least. 

Portrait of Georgia O' Keeffe 


Bouquet of the Day 


Block Island, R.I.

When you find yourself having accidentally deleted an entire trip from your camera you hope and pray someone has captured the memories.

Lea Block Island by April Marie Gray

Block Island House Field by Jessica Burkart

Such was the unfortunate case on my trip to Block Island. The redeeming part is having been with girlfriends who are damn good photographers. 

All of these images are credited to my bests: Jessica Mae Burkart and April Marie Gray

Block Island Rocks by Jessica Burkart

Block Island Cliff by Jessica Burkart

My trinity, my girls, my love goes to you. 


Bouquet of the Day 

There is nothing quite like an early morning dawn breakin' saturday shopin' till you dropin' for a sea of flowers, getting to arrange them from home and to finish mid day with a hop on amtrak to New London ferry down the Thames //pronounced James not Thems// to see your best gals in Block Island

...but before all of that!! Here shown are the bad boys I put together for a very special client Sat morning. 


The seasons finest flowers are out and looking good!