How do you woo a Dutch girl?
Kiss her on her tulips!
Posted by Maria on March 7, 2013
It’s kind of a long story so I’ll save it for the end.* Let’s start with the moral of the long story. Flowers make a room look better. Want to see it in action? Okay, here’s your “before.”
And here’s your “after.”
What do you think? I think that, even though I can’t afford to always have flowers on hand, they are without a doubt an element of “the good life.”
Maybe you prefer twigs in a bottle or ferns spilling out of a planter. All I’m saying is that natural elements lend an aura of completeness to home decor. I think it might actually be good for our souls to see flowers in our living spaces. What I love about them is that they beg me to interact–to appreciate their beauty with multiple senses.
Next time you buy a bunch, whether it’s a mixed bouquet or all one kind, take a few minutes to study the flowers. Examine their shapes, feel their textures, and, if you’re lucky, inhale their fragrance. (Many commercially-grown flowers actually aren’t scented, except in that vaguely organic, leafy way.)
Here’s a poet’s reflection on seizing an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of blooming things while he can:
A Shropshire Lad II: Loveliest of trees, the cherry now (A. E. Housman)
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
*If you’re still with me, here’s the story I referenced at the beginning but saved for the end. On Valentine’s Day a customer called the shop wanting calla lilies. Those are mini calla lilies pictured above; full callas are as long as your arm (or longer), with “stems” as wide as ribs of celery and leaves as big as hostas. In other words, all-around enormous. And expensive. In our shop on Valentine’s Day they were $12 a stem.
Anyway, this guy wanted a dozen, so I explained the situation to him and suggested minis. As long as he could have them in white he was happy. But I didn’t have enough white minis on hand to save for him until the next day, which meant we’d have to order more. And the thing about ordering flowers from a supplier is that you can’t just order a dozen when you need a dozen. Most things come in bunches of 10 or 25, and even then you usually have to purchase a certain number of bunches to get your price cut.
So I called the supplier. He could send 12 bunches at the discounted price, but if I ordered just the two bunches (of 10 stems) needed to get just 12 stems for the customer, it would cost about a dollar more per stem. And that’s wholesale, so the retail markup would be…more than my customer probably wanted to pay.
So I talked to my manager. She hesitated, thinking that that many callas right after Valentine’s Day would likely go to waste. I’ve seen it happen so I understood her doubts. I said if it helped, I’d but one of the 12 bunches, but by that time she had decided it didn’t matter that much and we could go ahead and place the order with our supplier. That night I prepped a vase for the callas that would arrive the next day.
Fast forward to the next day: I was scheduled to work in the afternoon but the customer was coming in first thing in the morning. The story, as I heard it from my manager later, was that he got there before the lilies did! And he was…how to put this?…unhappy about it. Understandably. Turns out he wouldn’t have been happy even if the lilies had been there; they showed him other colors (we just didn’t have the new white ones we’d ordered) and he thought the size was way too small. Eventually he left with a smile on his face and an all-white bouquet of other flowers in his hands. But, man, was that almost a minor disaster!
And we were still stuck with 12 bunches of calla lilies. Let me put that another way: 120 calla lilies that no one wanted. But I thought the red ones were loverly, and I felt like I almost owed it to my manager to take a bunch of them off of her hands–I’m sure you can see why.
Buying the lilies was the perfect excuse to also buy a narrow-mouthed vase I’d had my eye on for a while. So the happy bouquet came home to make my living room just a little bit prettier. And that’s the story.
Posted by Maria on February 25, 2013
Posted by Maria on February 18, 2013