Fireside Morning

Woke a little after six with that sort of guilt that I should put new life into the fire that went out during the night. The sort of guilt that all wood stove owners know. With the sound of the furnace kicking on repeatedly downstairs I knew the temp had dropped. My phone screen informs me it will be below zero all of today and dropping to -22 tomorrow. The other side of my brain is thinking tropical palm fronds, ranunculus, anthurium,  and summer elopement picnics. Photos of the wood stove don’t seem to do this nice morning scene of mine much justice so here are some summer elopement photos to warm your heart. Thanks to the talented Joel Allegretto for capturing love and the beautiful light of Alaska with his camera and thank you to Erin of Alaska Destination Weddings for pulling off what I would say are pretty much fairy tale elopements.

More on the palm fronds later.

View More: http://joelallegretto.pass.us/jen-max

View More: http://joelallegretto.pass.us/jen-max

View More: http://joelallegretto.pass.us/jen-max

View More: http://joelallegretto.pass.us/jen-max

View More: http://joelallegretto.pass.us/jen-max

 

 

 

Flowers in Review

It is a time when we all review, reflect, dream, set goals, and plan. I did one of my favorite planning activities today and started my seed orders. The list of varieties is getting smaller, but the quantities larger.  Sort of like a wardrobe, over time you figure out what works for you and abandon the rest.

Earlier today in the bath tub I found on my phone the photo I thought was perfect for this post and then a stream of ideas came to me. They were all ideas that sprouted from the photo. A few hours passed. By the time I sat down next to the stove with the computer to write, the ideas had slipped away.  Procrastinating, I looked for the photo on my computer. As soon as I saw it all the ideas all flooded back! I found myself thinking about that feeling, sitting in that big red chair a few stories up, gazing out at a timeless sea of green. A sea of so many variations of greens. I think of this photo when I describe variations of greens to brides. As an artist there are many moments where you see it all perfectly in your head, but can’t describe it to the person sitting across from you. img_6146We walked for hours with the owner of the this olive orchard and I collected a few items deposited when it was a sea floor long ago. Those treasures now sit in a little dish my Mother gave me next to my bath tub, my own private sea. We sat around the fire tonight trying to recall travel dates from the last few years and of course could not agree, but that is not the part that matters….the part that we value are the memories.

Back to that sea of green…. Why do I do this florist thing, farming thing…

It is the joy it brings to me and to others. I love the whole process of it. I love the seed planning, flower ordering, foraging, meeting the peony farmer in the parking lot for a sale,   the wedding day adrenaline rush, the smiles on faces when we deliver an unexpected arrangement. I love bringing home the left overs and watching them decay over time. Florals are ephemeral.  There is no better word to describe it! They are beautiful and then they are gone, but this is what makes them so special. How do I tell this to a customer who wants “long lasting flowers” or is upset their flowers are starting to die after a few days…Let me remind you the vase life for many of these amazing beauties is only five days….five days and they have to travel to Alaska in the winter first, so you do the math.  The greens are often still there after days and they are beautiful. Back to those greens…. The Pantone color of the year, in fact.
“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.
Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate…”

The next time I feel stressed in this florist madness I am going to think of the sea of green from this window in Italy. Here’s to the new year. May it be all those things described in the Pantone blurb… zesty, fresh, restorative, fortifying, invigorating….

 

 

 

 

December Desert Dessert and Darkness

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December a month of desert travels, desserts, and darkness. There was also the theme of foraging greens. The amount of greens it takes to make a wreath might surprise those who have not done so. There were flowers I gifted to friends(those are the best kind) and flowers I bought for myself even better and flowers I hoarded for my own Christmas party….the very best kind.

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Not my flowers, but flowers that caught my eye in a tiny little one room gallery of local artists in Santa Fe.

A short vacation to New Mexico was a treat of color and endless tasty food. Having traveled to Southern New Mexico numerous times it was great to explore the northern part of the state. I felt like I was in Georgia O’Keeffe land! The colors and light are magical in the desert yellow, purple, red, turquoise… The colors are present everywhere, fashion, food, architecture,  the rocks, the sky…

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We called it the best seat in the house. Front window bay in a very eclectic restaurant. So good we went back the next day. Garlic bread served with all meals! Damn good house margaritas for cheap. Decor to win my heart over, bright paintings, vintage lace, rustic tables, and of course the color turquoise. img_0757

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Old Map of Santa Fe

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Ghost Ranch was even better than I imagined. Having loved Georgia O’Keeffe since I was a little girl it was really special to be in this place that is so full of her.

“The meaning of a word to me is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.” Georgia O’Keeffe 

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Flowers for my table…yes, you read that correctly. Made myself five arrangements for my holiday party. Not leftovers from somebody else’s wedding actual arrangements for me. A Christmas Eve dinner with almost 30 seated friends and one  fantastic bonfire. Thankful for so many lovely cards and thoughtful gifts….on a weird note both of my parents sent us sunflowers in our packages for Christmas. My Dad sent tasty roasted sunflowers to eat and my Mom sent a rare variety of sunflower seeds for us to grow. Two people who haven’t seen each other in twenty years on the same sunflower wavelength.

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 Christmas Eve bonfire

Goodbye 2016 thinking as positive as I can for 2017. May it be full of flowers.

Floral Recipes For A Holiday Table

Happy Thanksgiving! The shop will be open 12-6 Tuesday and Wednesday November 22nd and 23rd and closed Thursday November 24th for Thanksgiving.  Regular hours Friday and Saturday. Call today 907 350 7536 to order your flowers for pick up on Wednesday or place your order online. This florist will be extra thankful if you order early. img_0562

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Time, seasons, change, metamorphosis…

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Chugach Peaks Photography 

Time is always passing, the seasons help us mark this. Flowers and plants do this for me with each season as I find myself excited for new foraging and flowers, but sad for those gone until next year. The snow has arrived in South Central Alaska this week marking the end of fall in my eyes. Wednesday was the last local dahlia delivery of the year and tubors will be sleeping for the winter… mine have never successfully survived a winter making me even more thankful for the farmers who have mastered this. With the arrival of Winter we also find ourselves with much more darkness… a restful thing in many ways after our manic light filled Summers!

Weddings are another big demarcation of time in our lives, our own, friends etc. As a florist I find myself at these life events often, but often just as a vendor. “Just” a vendor who loves to make floral arrangements, loves flowers, excuses for large parties, people dining together, and dressing up! This Fall I did the wedding flowers for the man who I spent more than a decade of my life with. It was an honor and one of the most cathartic things I have ever done in my life. They were damn beautiful florals too!

All of these photos represent time passing and change in their own ways for me.

Here’s to the constant metamorphis in life and all of us.

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Photo Daniel Kim 
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Relic Photographic 

 

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Photo Dallas Wildeve
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Erica Rose Photography