Tuesday, May 4, 2010
adventures in floristry
You might recall that a few months ago i took a lesson in creating boutonnieres in preparation for Francie's wedding a week ago. Joan had used a specific finishing spray that kept the flowers lovely in my fridge for over a month. I, of course, took a picture of it so that i could get some for the wedding flowers. See? There it is. Obviously it exists because i have a picture of it, but when i went to purchase some at my local craft store - nada. Okay, i tried a different store. Nope. Okay, maybe it needs to be purchased through a florist. No. Okay, maybe through a florist supplier. Success! Oh wait... all those places are in the UK. Jeez Louise - I couldn't find this stuff anywhere. Two days before i left for Portland i was starting to get a bit frantic. What if i couldn't find finishing spray? What if the flowers wilted? What if the wedding was a disaster because I screwed up the flowers?!?!? In a last ditch effort i went to a local florist - they were closed. I tried another florist - they were closed. So the day before i am supposed to fly across the country i finally get into a florist shop. The very nice ladies there knew what i was talking about, but didn't have the same brand i was looking for; they had another brand and it can only be bought through a supplier by a florist. Great. Taking pity on me they sold me a partial bottle that they had in the back, though the receipt says $10 cut flowers. Sneaky Success! Now, how to get it to Portland... This should work. I put each bottle in a separate bag in a separate suitcase so that one way or another there would be finishing spray with me. Francie was in charge of having an empty spray bottle waiting for me. Thursday evening i picked up the flowers from her apartment after dinner and took them back to my hotel room for their pre-wiring overnight feeding and watering. Since they will be out of water for the entire wedding day, you have to trim them, cut them and soak them in hot water with plant food, followed by warmish water for at least 8 hours. Luckily, my bathroom had plenty of counter space right next to the sink and bathtub. I can only imagine what my housekeeper thought when she cleaned up all of the floral debris the next day. [so about that lilac - Francie loves lilac and it was in bloom in Portland so she hunted and hunted to find a tree that wasn't on private property to take a cutting. I was going to work it into her flowers and dutifully carried it from place to place to place for 2 days, but try as i might to keep them alive, they expired the morning of the wedding.] On Friday, all of the bride's attendants, along with a few friends and her mom joined Francie at the church hall to cook the reception food (pictures in a separate post) and i brought along the flowers so that i could do them with company. Look at the concentration, people. The night before i had had horrible dreams about ruining the flowers, but in reality it turned out okay. I did 2 bridesmaids bouquets, a maid of honor bouquet, 5 boutonnieres and 3 corsages while the ladies cooked. By the time we had to pack up for everyone to go to the rehearsal i still hadn't finished Francie's bouquet so i took stuff back to the hotel and finished it that night. Also, i did the ribbon wraps on all four bouquets that night after the rehearsal dinner and bridal shower (mayhaps it was the next morning by that point), but have no pictures of that step because of the late, late, late hour. It was quite an experience putting together the flowers for the bridal party, well outside my fields of expertise or comfort level. Though i worried and worried and fretted about every little thing, it was cool to have to stretch myself and try something different. The only downside is that as i finished the last bouquet i finally felt like i knew what i was doing. I almost, almost, wish that i had a chance to do it over again cause now i know i could do an even better job.