Friday, April 20, 2012


One of my favorite sources of excess these days is Potomac Floral Wholesale, a flower warehouse not far from the house. It's a wholesaler, as the name might imply, but they also allow individuals to come into their cold room and pick up flowers. 

(Maybe all wholesalers do that. I don't know.)

I first visited Potomac Floral a few days before my wedding. We were planning on fresh fruit on the tables and cloth flowers for guests, but I had it in my mind that I would like a bouquet of yellow freesia. I tasked a friend with ordering freesia, and found myself picking up flowers and stopping in the cold room to see what else they had.

25 brown-orange roses and a bunch of sorghum later, I left.

Sorghum heron, with a white Sukkot pumpkin and a ginkgo leaf

The sorghum joined some curly branches to make an arrangement that stayed with us all winter. I loved it, because quite by accident it looked like a heron. 

For a couple of months, I have had ambitions to go back to Potomac Floral for fresh flowers. This would involve destroying the sorghum heron, because all the best art is  impermanent and this winter arrangement needed to fly away, come spring.

Finally, two weeks ago, I managed to get to Potomac Floral on the morning of erev Pesah. We were hosting our first seder that night, and it was fresh flower time!

The living room, which became the dining room, all gussied up for Pesah.

I was apparently busy arranging five or six vases around the house on a day with many priorities, too busy to take many photos. That's all right, since the best art is impermanent. I was pleased with the pieces I put together, though. My ingredients were orange freesia, yellow tulips, dark purple sweet peas and various green things from the back yard.

It is strangely important for me to always include a power room arrangement.
I love buying fun flowers and putting something together, but it's really a once or twice a year sort of event. Or so I thought! Now, two weeks later, S--'s parents are coming to stay with us. S-- suggested that I should go to the flower shop and make a few more arrangements. 

Well, no arguments here!

One interesting thing about buying from the wholesaler is that there are no posted prices, and it is hard to find someone to ask. So, one has to hope that one's choices are reasonably priced, and work in the dark. (The metaphorical dark. And the literal cold. One must make decisions in a giant refrigerator.)

Before Pesah for example, I found some very nice looking purple clematis. Fun, unusual and, it turned out $40 for a bunch. At that time I went hastily back and changed the clematis for a similarly colored sweet pea arrangement. Going to the wholesalers requires one to be flexible, and also to make some challenging decisions based not only on what looks pretty but also on what looks fresh.

On my "didn't have to ask me twice to visit twice" trip, the centerpiece of amazing was some bi-colored pink and green hydrangea. This stuff was subtle and incredible. The guy who checked me out, who works at the place, said he had never seen anything like it. I trio'ed it with some extra roses from the bargain bin (perfectly nice, likely the leftovers from folks ordering by the dozen when wholesale roses are packed by the 25) and a strange looking creature called "savannah sunset."

A better view of "savannah sunset," as well as S--'s grandmother's "I Dream of Genie" lamp

Also, our own garden is blooming! The powder room flowers for this weekend are home grown anemones. 

And now we're ready for company!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Separation

The fewest blog entries appear when the most shareable stuff is going on. That being said, we are switching over from this....

Some of the last grain-based products: Tofurkey sausage and veggie burger with cheese on a wheat challah bun

... to this...
Outcome of a trip to the Asian grocery. Too much goodness to count.

We're hosting our first seder together tomorrow night, so that pile of fruit and vegetables is somehow going to transform into a very big meal. (It's also picking up a roast, two chickens and a fish in the process.)