All posts filed under: Local Loveliness

mid summer dreams

“Are you sure/That we are awake? It seems to me/That yet we sleep, we dream” It is July and normally I should be admiring regal sun flowers and day-glo bright zinnias but instead I find myself like Demetrius, in a sleepy mid summer haze; half-awake, fixating on fire flies and driven to shady secret places where “the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”   And as I hide out in these secret gardens and the few and far between small flower farms tucked in between muscular urban sprawl, I am reminded how lucky we are to still have the quiet spaces for delicate flowers to unfold; that there is an alternative to the non stop air-conditioned and air-brushed perfection of imported roses. That we still have space in our hearts for the fragile and the quirky. Here then are a few ephemeral florals that come out with the fire flies and just as quickly disappear. They don’t show up at …

The Perhaps Hand of Spring

Will Spring ever get here? Is it gone already? Was it ever so lovely? Was never a sky so blue or a garden so bursting? Gosh it’s hot. Wait…is that hail coming down now? Will it ever be normal again? Did you hear that? Did the tulips just explode?  It’s just such a mystery, Spring. How did it happen? It’s just so E.E. Cummings: spring is like a perhaps Hand in a window (carefully to and fro moving New and Old things,while people stare carefully moving a perhaps fraction of flower here placing an inch of air there)and without breaking anything. Nothing did break, but the hard working local growers surely did sweat bullets of worry; going from frozen ground and no flowers one minute to suddenly not having enough buckets to contain the explosion of flowers. Suzanne Montie @ Red Chimney Flower Farm Which was a lucky thing for me and a few brides and birthday girls this past month.   The Perhaps Hand of Spring reaches out to tickle us, then wrap us in an affectionate …

the best time

I work with flowers all year long and season after season of non-stop pretty, I can truthfully tell you; January is the best month for local flowers.   It must be the “surprise!” factor at work or the rarity of other living, growing things in the chilly bleak mid-winter, that stimulates my primitive brain to cherish it more.  But oh, I do. A local greenhouse in winter is an oasis and I am so grateful for everything they produce: tulips, snapdragons, amaryllis, anemone, callas and more.  This time of year they are (dare I say it?) somehow more stunning than the August Avalanche of flowers.   Sure, the florist’s cooler is full or conventional roses and tropicals of a thousand colors, but, really…so what? At some point, for me at least, the super abundance became trite. A rose, as gorgeous as she once was (back in the day when she actually had a smell), just became too abundant, too soaked in pesticide, too easy. Bring me the few, the proud, the tough winter blooms.  The triumph of hellebores under ice …

Holly Day Home Visits

 Is your house in need of a shot of good cheer? Are your outdoor containers compromised?  Like this anemic little pot…so tired! So sad! A little clean up, a lick of paint, some local greens…voilà! Dressed and ready for the Holiday Party Circuit. In this case, the Kensington Row Annual Holiday Open House… We’re making House Calls these days…the mini-van is full of Life-Giving Greenery, Healthy Berries (well, healthy for birds, anyway) and a treasure-trove of Wintry Woodland Accessories and Cast-off Shiny Bits; everything you need to welcome the Season of Light to your home.   You can find our One-of-a-Kind Holiday Wreaths and Décor at: Miss Pixies , 1626 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20009 Goldsborough Glynn Classic Furniture and Finds 3746 Howard Ave, Kensington MD 20895 Old City Farm and Guild 925 Rhode Island Ave NW DC 20001 Call us for holiday design help and for one of a kind gifts and adornments – #240-535-7086 and bethany925 at gmail dot com.

Ring around the season

Well, it’s possible it was the prolonged exposure to glue fumes, but I have to say this year’s wreaths are just this side of splendid.   Weeks ago we started following Mother Nature as she shed her finest bits until we amassed an opulent and lush collection of shed deer antlers, pods, pheasant feathers, vines, berries, quail eggs and other natural ephemera. The results are kind of lovely, don’t you think?     We call this extravagant upgrade of a common vegetable “Okracoco”   The locally-grown Harry Lauder Walking Stick wreath with skeletalized pods, milk weed, and egg shells is coated in moss paint so that it continues to grow outside if exposed to damp cool weather.  It’s like bringing an exhilarating winter hike to your front door and keeping it there. Can you think of a better way to send Mother Nature off to her winter nap au naturel? Our wreaths are popping up around town! Come find them at Old City Farm and Guild, and Goldsborough Glynn Classic Furniture and Finds or call us for a very …

Bikes, Flowers & Beautiful Friends

 oh, what a Sunday.  The BEST kind of people gathered at Malcolm X Park that morning, braving an kinda rougish and nasty wind.   You can do that when you are properly attired, you know.  Tweed is perfect.  So is the hip flask of brandy and thermos of tea. A vintage-y group of musicians is also de rigueur, as they keep your toes tapping, until The Right Honorable Mr. Channing rings his bell.   The Tweed ride is the Well-dressed Brain Child of Eric Channing.  His quirky social club Dandies and Quaintrelles has hosted this ride for the past 6 years, highlighting tweedy goodness, vintage bikes, bracing autumnal rides through our Fair City. Afterwards, there is the social lubricant of cocktails and Charleston lessons.  The man deserves a medal, or at very least a boutonnière.  I’m so glad we found each other.   Also so glad to have my Besties on hand to help decorating wrists and boutonnières and handle bars. Showing DC, yet again, how it’s done.   To all of you I say, HUZZAH!    

pin your faith on it

  Listen, you don’t have to take my word for it, but just look at these people.  They know what they’re doing.  They know you’re not fully and properly attired without the right boutonnière or corsage.  Sometimes it pays to listen to the experts.  They would totally give me a call and so should you.   Finish your Perfect Tweed Ride ensemble with custom made Boutonnière or Corsage.  This year, all flowers and foliages are locally sourced and delivered directly to you at Tweed Ride meet up.  Order in advance and mention Tweed Ride 2014 for a 10% discount.  You take care of the rest of your stunning outfit, but rest assured.  We’ve got your lapel covered.   Contact ButterKup Flowers  #240-535-7086 or bethany925@gmail.com

A Proper Table

Felicitations, Friends! The Season of Feasting is here!   This year we begin the delightful tradition of big dinners, buffets and festive get togethers TONIGHT, at sundown, with Yom Kippur.   After that, it’s Halloween Party season then a fast trot off to Thanksgiving and then BOOM! Christmas will be less than 4 weeks after that. So get your linens pressed and put on your party game face because It. Is. So. On. In this center of all this merriment, I hope, will be locally-grown flowers.  My project this year is the foam-free centerpiece, which for those who don’t know, is not always as easy as it sounds.  Many floral designers just assume the long and low oval centerpiece needs to start on a bed of non-biodegradable and toxic floral foam. I say it just ain’t so.  You wouldn’t serve your guests formaldehyde and carbon black, so why put it on your table? A locally grown, environmentally responsible alternative is always available.  I’ll be demo-ing how to do this at various locations this month and next: Today! …

it takes a village

I dropped this little cutie off at my neighbor’s house earlier this week and post it here as a part of Love ‘n Fresh’s Backyard Bouquets project.   It’s a compilation of flowers from our two backyards – a sweet collection of her Peony, Baptisia and Garden Rose, with my Callas, Strawberry Bush, Spiderwort, Spyria, Snaps and Hosta leaves.  It was a hard winter here and while I would normally have an abundance of Peonies, this year some of my most trustworthy specimens refused to produce even a single bloom. My local Maryland growers noticed the same thing on some of their normally proficient bloomers.  As if Madame Peony was insulted by such a rude and borish winter.  As well she should be – I will be cursing that polar vortex for quite some time.    However, don’t tell my sulking Peonies that we got along just fine w/o her help; my dear Neighbor’s AMAZing roses matched exactly that faint blush inside my callas – it was as if they were meant to be. Here’s hoping I get to …