Tuesday, August 28, 2012


There is a lot to say about our weekend in Vermont. I am very tired right now, and I hope that I can say the right things.


It was the largest most intense wedding we've ever done. The bride and her mother really really love flowers. That is the best kind of client really, and the only kind I'll work with anymore. More on that someday.

This wedding had lots of moving parts. In the end, all of those parts fell into sync and that is thanks to so many people who I really have to tell you about and thank here.


Nicolette and I worked together on this wedding -- I could have never pulled this off without her talent and support. She is like having another me on staff, only better. And significantly less caffeinated.


The wedding was on the grounds of the Von Trapp Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. People always ask; how do you get the flowers there and so I'll tell you...


...carts drawn with bulls.

Kidding. We got significant material from Walt at Mountain Flower Farm. Limelight hydrangea and zinnias. We got insanely beautiful rehearsal dinner dahlias, artimesia, baptisia pods and bittersweet from a grower in New Hampshire named Emily. (Thanks to Morgan from Valley Flower Company for connecting us.)

We ordered garden roses from Fallon at Garden Valley. The fedex shipment was held up in Memphis. I yelled a lot and then just called back to Asheley (who was stationed in NYC) and had her give FedEx hell. She brought it... "Basically if those roses don't move right now you'll be shipping us a dead body..." She told the fedex manager over the phone. "And nobody brings a dead body to a wedding." They arrived via a privately contracted carrier 6 hours later, still mostly fresh.

We got flowers flown in from Brannan Street Wholesale in SanFransisco. Anne there is my best friend lately. She said to me; gee we have these beautiful hellebores that look great with all your stuff we're getting together, do you want them? This is the stuff bedtime stories are made of...

Dahlias from Edi in Providence. Dahlias that were the size of my head. Dahlias so impressive that when they arrived (more on that in a minute) I ran one 20 minutes down the road to the rest of my crew to show it off. These dahlias are what we call next level. I bow to you Edi.



Edi's dahlias were out of my reach so I called upon my legal advisor-cum-floral-designer and good friend Donna, who happens to be ... a pilot. Did you ever consider how heavy a bucket of dahlias is? Perhaps you've never had to consider the weight distribution in a puddle jumper bound for Stowe. I mean...


And we worked with Brian, Denyse, Gus, Evan and Sandy at Gardeners Supply in Burlington on a massive plant order; limelight hydrangea, quickfire hydrangea, heuchera, painted ferns, macho ferns, bluestar ferns and coleus. I can not say enough about how helpful they were through the process, and their plants were beyond my expectations. (Guess where those plants are being repurposed?)



Lastly we foraged like there was no tomorrow. Apples, Queen Anne's lace, wild clematis, grasses, small trees.


We had a local freelancer who after working a day with us said "My parent's farm is covered in small wild apples." The next day she arrived with a Subaru full of apple branches, wild grapes and clematis. Come on!

We worked on the event with the talented Beth Helmstetter of Los Angeles. Her team is a real class act and all the pretty details complimented our work so nicely.

The Bellmen and staff at the Von Trapp Lodge were incredibly helpful and patient, they let us practically trash their ballroom and then brought us Danishes when it was over. They put a doggie bed in our room.


Then I have to thank my staff; Donna and Tim who I mentioned, Leah thank you for being on call last minute and I hope you can work with us again next weekend, Maureen - I hope you took flowers home to your mother (who apparently insisted that she cut me the grapes), Amelia and Michael from Montreal who were visiting VT and worked the hardest most hectic part on Saturday. Courtney and Katherine my expert drivers and floral goddesses. Asheley our point person and YES woman who was stationed back at headquarters. Deanna of course who is possibly tougher and stronger than me but we're not going to test it. And lastly Eric, our in-house engineer who actually plans out and builds all the structural things that I just assume will appear when I need them.


...I can't forget Nea - our mascot - who keeps it light and rather hilarious no matter how stressful things get. She's learned how to order a pizza, and so we're going to keep bringing her along with us.


In our communications Edi made a reference to all the hands that touch the flowers - all of the behind the scenes moments of excitement, admiration, wonderment, stress...the secret of our work: we love it.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

on not being busy, and calling all Vermonters








We've been living at the farm lately, and I loose myself here. Ignoring my computer for a few days which is so good for me since I normally feel like a fucking slave to it. What I want to tell you is that I'm not busy. I read this article (thanks to L&B for pointing it out) about how new yorkers love to talk about how busy they are; and I realize I've done that a lot this year. It's annoying - when someone talks about how busy they are because really it sounds like a boast. And there's a place for boasting, but openly and without foil please! The humble boast irritates me like nothing else. It irritates me like Paul Ryan talking about Ayn Rand irritates me. It irritates me like people who are against wind power irritate me. Or like when people in rest areas fumble through the doors trying not to touch the handle because of germs. Ooh this is fun...

Anyway, I'm loafing! puttering! gardening! toodle-ing! I didn't touch flowers for a few weeks, then the poppies started to bloom and I did what any one of you cutters would do; I snipped them and made it into an arrangement. All flowers from the farm. Felt good.

Look, I have a message for any of you Vermonters reading; if I haven't turned you off with my ranting; I need some help. Saipua is coming to Stowe for a big job next weekend and I'm looking for some help (we pay 20/hour some gardening/floral experience needed) and I'm also looking for someone who might have a big garden with things in it I might cut and buy. Like we have this gorgeous wild clematis that grows all over here that I want to exist there...if you're interested email me.

Friday, August 3, 2012



I've been avoiding the blog because this is the 1000th post. It was looming and I wanted to make it about something killer, or you know, some shocking, earth-shattering Saipua news. But I don't really have any, and I can't keep waiting for it.


Right now I'm sitting in my new office at the farm. It's the tinier of the two bedrooms upstairs, and it looks out onto our big field. I think it's the best view in the house and so I parked my desk here. Next to me are the remnents of a dunkin donuts run I made at 3:30. We have coffee here, but I have not been off the farm in a while, and driving the 10 miles feels liberating and exciting. I looked forward to it all day.


Sanford, our tractor man who hays the 100 acres across the way has been spreading manure on his freshly cut fields for the last few days and the smell wafts in the window next to me. I don't mind it. Nea, on our nightly walks does an intricate dance on her back in this newly fertilized field. The first time it happened I stood on the side of the road screaming at her to get out of there, as she rolled in and started actually eating shit. I must have sounded like a banshee. Do you ever kick your dog? Now when she does it I don't care, in fact I took her picture. Dog's going to be a dog. Some things I learn very fast here.


We've been working a lot outside. Eric has a scythe to cut grass we've let go for too long. It's laborious but he likes impossibly daunting projects like this. There's a metaphor regarding our relationship in there somewhere.


I've been busy outside too; at the beginning and end of the day when it's cool enough I've been working on all the gardens. Around 8:30 when it gets too dark and buggy I come inside, take a shower put on clean clothes and pour a glass of wine. I sit here.


If Eric is still not in yet I put on old sarah mclaughlin songs and reminisce about being 16 and first really discovering the vastness of nature.

Sounds corny? F-off! What if I also told you I'm getting into soft country??? and demi lovato???

We've been a long way together, haven't we?