All Things Flowers
By Karen and Erica
We love flowers. We love having them in our homes. We loved having them in our old offices. We love having them at Lustre global HQ.
Over the years we have learned a few things about flowers and displaying them. First, the vase. Vases come in literally endless shapes and colors. We each have a few different ones. A wide mouth vase needs a lot of flowers, or flowers with multiple blossoms on each stem. A narrow mouth vase is better for delicate stems, or an minimalist arrangement. Tall and short are obvious--though don’t discount the merits of a tall vase filled with short flowers reaching just to the lip. Can be fabulous. Can be awful. Like all experiments.
Clear glass vases are great for showing off the structure of an arrangement. But the stems and the water need to look clean. Ceramic vases let you ignore the stems and fudge the clean water--until the flowers start to wilt, of course. But we love colored glass or acrylic vases. We think all colors go together, provided the tones are equivalent. So we don’t worry about putting pink flowers in a yellow vase, or a multicolored bouquet in a red vase. Junk shops are fertile ground for interesting and inexpensive vessels. Try Cold Spring and Hudson for a day's outing near the city. Ebay is another good source for artisan or second hand vessels, if you can get over the inability to actually see and touch them.
Then, of course, you need flowers. We usually get whatever is in season, because they are the best and the cheapest and likely will last the longest. We get them in farmers’ markets and at the deli, though we are partial to florist Ariston for special occasions. We buy flowers in bunches and carry them home upside down, to keep the water going to their heads. If it is below freezing, we make sure they are well wrapped. Flowers are mostly water and can freeze quickly. Defrosted flowers are unpleasant and unpretty.
The hard part is choosing. Daffodils are a favorite, but they are almost done for this year. We mass them in a wide mouth vase--you can buy millions for very little. Right now, tulips are wonderful. We love all colors, mixed or uniform. We make sure not to put them in too much water. Roses are in too. We clean them up ourselves--we take the leaves off, avoiding the thorns, and we have learned to cut them under water just before we put them in the vase. They open wide and last a week, and at the end look like a Rembrandt. Anemones are amazing--they assume weird shapes as they drink and as their blossoms open wide. Lilies are fantastic. Tall and willowy, we like to buy them when the flowers are closed, and green, and watch as each day they get fatter, and more white or pink or yellow, and eventually burst open. We take out the stamens to avoid staining the petals, and we try to remember to do it using dry paper, but we often stain our fingers, and everything we touch, bright yellow.
Some flowers are not high on our list. Orchids are not our favorite, at least not the usual white "artsy" ones. We actually don't understand why they seem to be the favorite or real estate "stagers". For us, anyway, they don't read warm or interesting. Long sprays of tiny yellow ones are a different story, though.
We have learned over the years that flowers are a relatively inexpensive way to treat ourselves. In the office they are also a way to express our femininity, and to lighten things up. They make our world more colorful. And color is good for the soul.