A DIY refrigerated vehicle and ungodly amounts of crumpled newspaper.

Being a part of the floral business means getting up early. I loathe this more than most things. However, it makes such a huge difference when you’re motivated to get ahead. Motivation is something I haven’t felt in a while and now that it’s a part of my day–to–day life, getting up early seems so insignificant.

Today I worked mainly with Jill who spearheads all things wedding for Studio Choo. When starting the day the first thing that has to be done is getting the flowers processed. This means giving them a fresh cut (at an angle) and placing them into buckets with water. I mention the water because it’s a trade secret of florists. Now you know. Cut flowers need water to survive. Consider yourselves part of the cool kids club.

Planning ahead for very hot weather, Jill had me add a splash of Hyraflor to the water. It’s a magic potion that makes flowers last forever. Or at least helps them get through 100 degree weather as best they can by hydrating them and working to prevent wilting.

Next, I got to work on putting together some bouquets for bridesmaids. Making handheld bouquets is difficult, especially when you have hands the size of a small child in which to hold the flowers you’re working with. But thank God for Jill’s patience and willingness to teach me the wise ways of the Choo. Below are  a few pictures showing the elements of the bouquet (coral charm peonies, pink veronicas, orange snapdragons, garden roses, jasmine, geranium, and a few bright dahlias) and the final products all packed up ready to transport to the wedding.

Elements of the Bridesmaids Bouquets

peonies, garden roses, jasmine, snaps, dahlias, veronicas

Bright Bridesmaids Bouquets

All packed and ready for their journey!

Getting the flowers ready for travel is a huge job on its own. There are many things to consider, like making sure the flower don’t get up and walk away (this is why we drug them and tie them together). But fo reals, they have to be tightly packed within the crates so the jars don’t jostle around and break. This must be done with care in order not to crush them. It’s a delicate art and this is where the ungodly amounts of crumpled newspaper comes into play. Not only is the newspaper within the boxes of arrangements, it’s also placed around the boxes themselves in the refrigerated car. And by refrigerated car, I mean a regular ol’ ride with the A/C cranked up and paper placed over the windows so the flowers keep their youthful glow. Life is all about improvising. I’ve added a few more pictures because I always skip wordy blogs and head straight for the colorful photos. Enjoy!

Boutonnieres

Lovely boutonnieres made by Alethea.

More Arrangements

The table arrangements ready to be put into the car.

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Sneaky Deliveries

Today I met (and spent the majority of the day with) Wendy, one of Studio Choo’s trusty assistants. Wendy is in charge of buying the flowers and arranging for two of Choo’s main accounts. These would be the restaurants Delfina, and Locanda. They are owned by the same person, and are close in proximity so it’s not a huge hassle. Both restaurants are beautiful spaces and the flowers enhance the inviting atmosphere. At this moment I command you to look at their equally beautiful websites here and here. Since I did study Art & Design in college I still reserve the right to drool over a beautiful logo and web page.

One of the awesome things about being a florist and doing weekly accounts like this is that you get to see the inner workings of cool businesses and people’s homes. It’s the ultimate high for a curiosity junkie. Not that I am one, I’m just saying it would be. Back to the restaurants. Delfina has quite a few arrangements: a small one at the hostess podium, two little ones in the restrooms, one medium one in the women’s restroom, three medium ones above the kitchen, another medium one above the bar area, and a large one in the seating area. Locanda has only two large arrangements. One over the bar and another towards the back of the restaurant.

According to Wendy, the key is to buy flowers and other plant material (like branches) that are going to hold up near a hot kitchen. She checks the arrangements at least twice a week and often tries to just refresh them, rather than start over completely. Makes sense to moi. That’s exactly what she had me do with one of the arrangements at Locanda. I have only one very gloomy looking photo but if you look closely you can see some french tulips that have yet to open and make their debut. The arrangement also includes some purple artichokes and bright sunflowers.

Locanda Arrangement

Locanda Arrangement

I’ll just quickly touch on what I mean by sneaky deliveries. Among the handful of personal arrangements to be delivered was one that needed to go downtown, around 4th and Market streets. This is death if you’re driving. But with sneaky and quick thinking Wendy there’s always a way around traffic and parking issues. She cleverly took advantage of the Marriott Hotel’s drive through by telling the vallet she was bring a few arrangements into the hotel. She went in the revolving doors, and back out the main entrance to get to her destination. Meanwhile, I watched over the car incase I had to fight off any zombie hotel employees. I did, by the way. And I won.

This was the moment I knew for sure that Wendy and I would get along perfectly.

Twas a successful day.

When life hands you lemons… start a blog?

It also helps if you’re getting school credit.

A little introduction is in order I believe. As I sprint towards the real world there are a few college credits looming over my head, and the easiest way to keep them from haunting me is to take on an internship. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. One of the requirements is to keep a log of my activities and projects on said internship. And so, blogging it shall be. Who knows how far it will go?

I’ll be documenting my adventures and misadventures as I work my tail off breaking into the floral community of San Francisco. Hold up yo, I know what you’re thinking, “Damn, we’ve lost another one to some strange utopian cult breeding flower power  hippies.” Fear not my comrades! By “floral community” I mean the network of talented floral designers working throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area. This summer I’ll be spending my time with the lovely ladies of Studio Choo. (check out their beautiful site here)

Now back to the lemons. In the past four years I’ve had a few sour lemons thrown my way, and the process of getting those turned into lemonade has been a long one. Slowly the support of my family and friends has been the right amount of sugar necessary to complete the recipe. With the future looking bright, it seems as if my simple batch of lemonade may be turning into a delicious Arnold–Palmer. The right amount of iced–tea (and a splash of vodka) has brought things full circle.

But enough of the metaphor. I’m on to the next thing. Is anyone else in the mood for golf all of a sudden?