The Carlyle

Photo by Kate Murphy!
Weddings. We don't talk about them much here, because we try not to do too many of them here. As a florist, it's normal and even expected to book yourself silly every weekend during peak season- to become a wedding factory and arrange flowers machine-gun style. That way of working isn't for me, and I relish staying small so I can do only the jobs that inspire me.

When Jamie Beck emailed me about her wedding at The Carlyle, it was like hearing from Grace Kelly incarnate. She is every florist's dream bride- an incredibly talented photographer with a legendary sense of style and she was hands-off in the best sense. When you trust your clients and they trust you, beautiful things are bound to happen.
Photo by Kate Murphy!
Photo by Kate Murphy!
Photo by Kate Murphy!
The above photos were taken by the eyepoppingly good London based Kate Murphy. The ceremony was in a suite overlooking Central Park and I made a big garland decorated with peonies and roses to frame Jamie and Kevin. Only in very rare occasions do true simplicity and glamour get to meet, and their ceremony was one of those moments. 
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Back on planet earth, if you leave a bucket of priceless garden roses and peonies in the hall outside a hotel room at the Carlyle even for just a few minutes, the supremely attentive housekeeping staff will "tidy" it up for you. That that means your assistant will spend that next 30 minutes digging through garbage cans to salvage what's left of the extra flowers you brought to gussy up the already finished centerpieces for the reception. Deep breaths, everybody- it worked out in the end and I had enough time to take lots of photos of the flowers.
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The only direction Jamie gave me was that she wanted something light for the ceremony and something a bit more colorful for the reception. We used summer fruit as the palette- peach, apricot, plum, raspberry and cherry. I bought baskets of fruit at the farmers market, more than I could carry, and clustered them with the centerpieces to make little dutch paintings for her guests. I kept popping overripe cherries in my mouth and worrying I'd ruin the linens with my cherry-stained fingers.

When it was all said and done, Francecsa and I huddled in the bathroom of the Carlyle, brushing hairs and applying lipstick. We waltzed into the storybook Bemelmans Bar and sipped some champagne cocktails and ordered onion rings. We waltzed out 2 hours later, and went into Central Park to watch the sunset from a hill at 78th street while Jamie and Kevin got married above. 

Beach daze

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I guess we should start saying goodbye to summer at this point. My friend Michael and I went to Fort Tilden on a day that still felt very much like it- 93 degrees, tacos, my nose got a little pink and my ears still have sand in them a week later. I wouldn't say by nature I'm a beach girl, but with a little more tutelage, I could be trained. Namely, the acquisition of a large striped umbrella, a cooler filled with boozy lemonade things, the discovery of a legitimately nonsticky sunscreen and the calendar set back to June.
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There is a transcendent few minutes when you first jump into the ocean where the collective sweat and sunscreen that has melted on your skin turns slick. That's summer. When we first got into the water, Michael turned to me and said something to the effect of why did we waste so much time laying on the beach? It was my first swim in the ocean this year and it was overdue. Next year, Atlantic, you will be seeing more of me.


Edible arrangement

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Recently I drove up to Connecticut to spend a day with my pal Frances Palmer. I've told you about her before, and my admiration is unchanged. Her work is still deeply inspiring and her friendship even more so. (And that's a lot.) 

She made me an astronomically delicious lunch, and we sipped wine and poked around in her garden. I clipped some treats and while she worked on the wheel, I arranged in her vases. We talked about business and boys, the importance of bookkeepers and the class we want to teach together in November. Having creative, successful women to encourage you, well, it's everything.
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Her garden was rioting with heirloom tomatoes and the first of the season's dahlias. I was struck with how the warm colors coordinated so darn nicely with the new oxblood colored pots Frances has been throwing. Her porcelain work is always top tier and I'm particularly struck by these new ones. The color is so good for flowers. She said the glazing process is quite challenging, the color is created by copper and often comes out to the kiln with a mottled effect. 

This one is amazing, and I'm going to dream about that dahlia for weeks to come. See more of them here. When I left, she loaded my truck up with a bucket of dahlias and a brown paper bag of tomatoes. Bunches of lemon verbena and a handmade vase. I pinched myself as I drove back home- I'm truly lucky and not just because she stuffed me with homemade caramel ginger ice cream. But she did that too, and wow, I'm still reeling.