He was the best of cats, he was the worst of cats... December 09 2017, 0 Comments
A Tale of two Kitties
(well, five kitties)
Chapter One: the Goon
When I am not a florist, apparently I am the local cat lady. I guess we all knew it was coming.
But I can explain!
We have a cat, Mr. Bingley. You may have seen him hamming it up in photos here. At 17 pounds, he is like a mini panther... but he is needy, and still loves to play non-stop. We thought maybe if we got him a companion cat, he would stop entertaining himself by tackling my face when I am sitting on the couch reading and not doing enough cat-related things.
We pondered this idea off and on. The goon is such a goon... best or worst idea ever?
Chapter Two: where the wild things are
In late October, we noticed a little grey stripey cat hanging around our backyard. We'd
put food out for her sometimes. One morning I realised she wasn't alone- she had a kitten with her. Not brand new, probably a couple months old... but we were due for a cold snap.
I went on a google binge. I contacted animal and feral rescue places on facebook. I put a box outside for the critters and fed them every night. One dark and stormy night, the mom and kitten ran away, as they always did while I refill the kibble...
but this time I heard extra scrambling/scratching noises, and a second kitten and I scared the crap out of each other before running away in opposite directions.
The next week, I borrowed a couple live traps... and within an hour, there were two scared kittens and their furious mom in our spare bathroom
We got the kittens to the Humane society (they are less poopy! They are gaining weight! They are having shots/ medical treatment and being socialised. You should adopt them when they're ready!)
The mom outsmarted us for another week. She was an expert at hiding behind the toilet.
My secret for getting an angry stray out of your spare bathroom?
1. Follow internet instructions to make a barricade/tunnel so the only option from behind toilet is carrier.
2. Realise Cat is smarter than you.
She just squished up smaller and hid even more efficiently. I tried to get her to move with a broomstick. A toilet plunger. A bit of leftover flexible pipe from the furnace.... no dice!
I crammed a dropsheet down the side of the tank and wall, to try and block off the hiding spot. She magically contorted herself even smaller with her head behind the off valve.
I shoved pillows, trash bags and an entire roll of paper towel behind the tank in an effort to displace cat. I used Spence's brewing spoon with the long handle to try and shove her without hurting her.
She just looked up at us, .trash bags and paper towels raining down to bury her alive, as if to say "I don't even care. Why don't you just KILL ME. " This may be when the crying started (Me. And possibly Spence.)
Eventually, the cat emerged, like a defeated snowboarder on an avalanche of trash. We took her to the Humane Society as well.
Latest update is she finally let vets examine her, and is warming up a little... but her name is now "Frostbite'. So she might not be over her stay with us....
Chapter three: Friends?
Part of the reason ol' Frosty wouldn't settle at our house? A certain resident cat meowing and scratching the walls 24-7 trying to get in. Clearly he wanted a friend! Our idea was
a good idea!
We went to the shelter Christmas adopt a cat event and found a cute kitty. Small, not intimidating. LOVES to play. And looks exactly like our kitty (except for a missing back leg. She motors around really well post-amputation.)
And we brought her home, with base camp in the spare room while everyone gets used to each other.
And the 17 pound cat was terrified of the tiny kitten.
He hissed at the door.
He was scared to go upstairs.
He tried to barf on the rug as an act of protest.
He could only be bribed with treats, catnip, more treats... sigh.
Little kitty is so impatient to play and explore. We have had several jailbreaks... the clash will come soon.
PS. Weekend update:
Not for everyone! Three things Jenny does not do. November 03 2017, 0 Comments
Owning a business is tricky, in different ways, for everyone who tries it. In addition to competition, regular business routines and handling surprises or crises, you're often fighting yourself. Aspects of your personality that didn't really matter in the good old paycheque days can throw things way off for an entrepreneur.
I've got a bit of a shady past as a people pleaser. I would double, even triple down on efforts the more someone seemed not that into me. (If you're not currently doing this, I do NOT recommend it, haha.)
It's taken me a few years of businesslady life but I am finally breaking out of this lifelong habit.
So here we go.
My flowers and I?
NOT FOR EVERYBODY!
Hooooo hooooo feels good!
Here's what I do not do:
1. I'm not the cheapest in town. With 3 big box stores, 3 grocery stores with floral departments, 3 larger florists' shops and a friggin Costco within a three minute drive, my one-woman shop can't compete on giant volume wholesale discounts.
I can't bang out 10 ultra budget weddings per weekend, or get away with selling plants below cost and counting on battery, leaf bag and paint purchases to bring up my bottom line.
Instead? I tend to provide what one of my customers calls 'fewer, but nicer' flowers per bunch. I try to mix it up with a few different bits and bobs every week, use local flowers in season, work in a garden style, and bring in some flowers you're not going to find at the bulk places.
I was tickled pink when the Costco lady stopped at my booth to ask the names of my different flowers at a wedding show last year.
2. I don't offer many plants. This one hurts. I'm a plantswoman by trade, I got into floristry through a horticulture program. But live plants do not work well in my shared space with a bakery. Bugs near food? Ew! The health unit inspector buys birthday cakes here- I am not messing with a good thing!
And I can't justify the prices I would have to charge to turn a profit. You can get plants below my wholesale cost at the big box stores 2 blocks away. So plant availability is sporadic. And mostly limited to Christmas and Mother's Day. Sadly, I am not for them.
3. I don't use any 'wire service'. FTD and Teleflora? And the order-gatherer call centres who frequently dominate their listings? These companies take 20-30% of customers' money for 'service fees', and frequently call in orders from different time zones at lowball rates. This makes your flowers a) way too skimpy b) way too late for the funeral.
Wire service companies are responsible for the cookie cutter online catalogues that make every florist look the same, even though everyone's style and selection is different.
Wire service membership fees basically charge florists to pit large grocery stores and order gatherers against themselves, while making everyone seem beige and lame and same.
So I am taking a stand.
Suck it, Teleflora and FTD. BOOOOO wire service. BOOOOOO!
Long story short: A few potential customers have become legit agitated and upset with me when I explain that I have no catalogue of happy face mugs, and I'm just going to look up a good florist in their loved one's town. With the internet.
I AM NOT FOR THEM.
The lady who needed to send funeral flowers to a small town in Nova Scotia, cried on the phone and told me 'God bless you, there are actually still good people in the world' when I looked up a well-reviewed local florist for her?
I AM FOR HER.
So, now that I have thrown my tantrum and refuse to do things... what DO I do?
1. Something a little different, custom made for you! I used to say "not your Grandma's flowers"... but I've had a few ladies in their 70s and 80s tell their kids my flowers were the nicest they have received. I wear that as a badge of honour!! Grandmas welcome- if you're ok with getting a little natural and a little wild!
2. You like to support small business? Baby, I'm as small as it gets! (that is my joke. I am 5'1. It looks funny when I stand beside really tall people)
Seriously, I care about keeping as much money in local economy as possible- so I try to buy through local growers in season, Ontario(greenhouse) grown year round, and order directly from florists in other towns so the money goes to their local economy instead of some corporation HQ in the States.
3. While I'm not the cheapest wedding florist around, I know what it is to live the budget life! When you send me your inspiration photos and pinterest boards, I'll focus on the flower and style elements that inspire you, bring in ringers where needed and cut out what's unnecessary. We'll maximize your chosen budget, no matter the size, to best show off your style and venue on your big day.
4. If you need something that I know is not my strength, I'm happy to recommend the best place for you.Obviously I'd love to put on my monopoly man hat and monocle and swim in a tub of gold coins, but at the end of the day, I want you to be happy with your flowers. And I can't make everyone happy, so I'll send you to the best fit for what you need. As a much wiser florist than I once said " there is a florist out there for everyone".
How to order flowers- 5 steps! November 02 2017, 0 Comments
There's a first time for everything! Some of my customers have never ordered flowers before. It can be a bit intimidating, especially if you aren't 'a flower person', so here's my handy guide to ordering the best bouquet for your occasion.
1. Contact info. If you are ordering flowers for delivery, you will need to give us your recipient's full name, address, and a contact phone.
Imagine me asking this in my Jerry Seinfeld voice: "What's with the phone number?" 99% of the time, Canada's climate will kill flowers left outside. Most florists in our part of the world call ahead for residential deliveries. We need to make sure someone will let the driver in so flowers aren't lost, stolen, eaten by wildlife or greedy humans, or ruined by heat or cold. This is especially important for locked apartment buildings! We don't say what the item is or who it's from, so there is still some element of surprise.
Oh, and our drivers will need the actual street number... we need a 3D building with a door in it... we can't deliver to a PO Box or Rural Route number!
2. Think of a mushy (or non-mushy) card message. I think I put some customers on the spot with this one!
Florists enclose a small complimentary card with your order . For funeral tributes being sent by a family or group, we have larger cards to fit everyone's name and message. The typical card is 2x3", so if you have a lot to say, you might have to send a pdf to print and enclose. If you're at a loss for words, you can always keep it simple- the flowers will do the talking for you!
3. Colours, fragrances, favourite blooms: any hints you can give us are great, even if you don't know your person's favourite flower. Let us know if they are more of a pastel or bright colours type, and we can take it from there.
If your recipient has any issues with fragrance and allergies, we can tone it down! Hospitals and many offices have scent free policies, so we'll choose not-smelly fleurs for these locations.
4. To vase or not to vase? A big mixed bunch of flowers is a beautiful, classic touch for almost every occasion! If your bunch is going to an office or workplace, we can wrap your flowers with the last few inches of the stems bare- this makes your bouquet perfect for sticking in a sink, coffee cup, water jug etc even if there aren't any vases at the office.
As a general rule, send flowers in a container for hospitals, funeral services, get well... any situation where you don't want the recipient to have to deal with trimming stems and finding a vase. The Kingston General Hospital will not accept flowers out of water.
5. Size matters! :D Space is limited in many nursing homes, hospitals, and dorms, so you might prefer something on the smaller side. I overdid it and brought my dad a HUUUuuge bouquet in the hospital last year. His reaction? "Where the hell am I supposed to put that?!" Thanks, Daddykins!
Sympathy arrangements being sent to a service tend to be larger and showy, especially if you were related or very close to the person who passed away. We don't have to send anything over the top, a small side table arrangement is also a lovely gesture, and easy for a family member to take home after the service.
6. Method of payment: florists require payment before delivery. Credit card payments can be processed online or over the phone, and some florists accept EFTs from your online banking. For debit and cash, pop in the shop. I've seen the odd cheque or two in my day, usually for larger purchases such as wedding flowers. Check yourself before you cheque yourself, just in case they aren't accepted.
Any Questions? Never be afraid to ask! If you need any help with your order or aren't sure how to proceed, always call or message your florist. We love what we do and we want you to love the gift and message we send on your behalf.
It's time to play 'Name that Flower'- blush and pale pink roses September 19 2017, 0 Comments
If you pop into the shop on a Friday during wedding season, you may see me shuffling around, covered in leaves, laughing at my own jokes. It's part of my artistic process! If the bride's colours are blush pinks and ivories, odds are good one of my favourite jokes will be announcing "my colours are BLUSH AND BASHFUL,' in my best impression of Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias.
This wedding season I had a good mix of blush and ivory brides as well as brides who really wanted colour- one thing I have noticed is that the paler shades have a lot more going on than you might think! Bright splashes of colour make a big impact from far away, and the paler tones make me contemplate. They 'draw me in' as a viewer... I look more closely for texture, for shades of green or pink or even burgundy within the pale pink and cream.
I took this photo in the shop while conditioning roses for a big blowout ivory-pink-blush wedding weekend, and thought I should add the rose variety names... for those who need to 'name that flower! '
Garden roses don't last as long as a standard rose, but the soft blousy shape and "Real Rose' fragrance are to die for in a wedding bouquet! These O'Haras were imported from Ecuador. Also in from Ecuador, rushed up north ahead of hurricane Irma, were standard 'Esperance' and 'Marzipan' roses. Live from Ontario... a spray rose (multiple mini roses on a single stem) called Jana.
If you'd like to learn more, check out the beautiful and informative florists' site Flirtyfleurs.com . If you search their site for 'rose studies' you will find fantastic images and comparison shots of rose varieties in purple, lavender, peach, pink, and white (probably more) with detailed info on size, 'user friendliness' and vase life.
Wedding bells, Lovebirds, Flowers for miles.... May 18 2017, 0 Comments
Happy two-week anniversary to Mattea and Mike, and to Jaclyn and Thomas, 'my' first weddings of the 2017 season.
Both couples chose to host intimate, family-focused events at the University Club and Fete Events, respectively.
Close friends and family joined each pair to celebrate on a rainy but beautiful Saturday downtown. Love, fun, music and food (and a bit of the bubbly) took centre stage as the couples said 'I do'.
Mattea carried roses, rancunculus, and lisianthus in blush, ivory and white
Mike wore some of the same blooms as a boutonniere
And we went a little bit more 'wild' and varied with the table centrepieces and ceremony flowers.
Jaclyn and her maid of honour carried white and ivory bouquets of peony, lisianthus, and rose, with trailing ribbon streamers. Ontario rancunculus were at their peak, so I had to pop in a few!
The groom and best man wore ranunculus with a simple ribbon knot
The flower girls wore crowns of greenery
A couple of vases and some garland in the windows were all it took to set off the beautiful loft space at Fete events (Jaclyn's friends carried the garland from ceremony to reception at Olivea and decorated the family style dinner table. Gold stars to the 'garland wranglers'- those things can be beasts!)
The newlyweds were kind enough to leave lovely google reviews- spread the word to anyone who needs some romantic wedding flowers for their big day.
Wishing many happy years and awesome adventures to the newlyweds! Thank you for letting me take part in your wedding day!
Special thanks to Nina at Queen's University Club, and Leanne at LSP designs for the inspiration on column and vase setup- when Mattea and Mike had to move their ceremony indoors, we had to do some fancy footwork to replace the University club garden setting! (and keep the exit sign from photobombing the couples' vows) And sincere personal thanks to Claire, who very graciously helped me navigate my first trip to Fete.
Back to (flower) school! March 02 2017, 0 Comments
Does anyone else do this? I seem to make more real, lasting new years' resolutions in the spring and fall than on the actual new year date. Solstice? Laziness? The light at the end of the tunnel as we potentially don't live in a frozen wasteland forever and ever? Who knows!
One of my resolutions for this year is to step up my game and update my techniques and style. This is tricky to do as a one-woman businessperson whose learning preference is the classroom environment. I think I might be part eternal-student at heart; there's only so much I can absorb from videos and tutorials!
So I am beyond thrilled to have found a lovely teacher-mentor and flower school in the big city of Toronto. I'm off to flower bootcamp on Monday March 6 and can't wait to come back with new ideas and gifts for you and yours.
PS. Will I figure out my new non-1990s smartphone and instagram in time to bring you along for the ride? Stay tuned!
PPS. special delivery will be unavailable on Mon March 6, and the flower counter will be opening at noon on Tues March 7. I'll be able to check emails and online orders the whole time, so don't be shy!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
RESIST disappointment! (Order your flowers online like a pro) February 08 2017, 0 Comments
Valentine’s day is coming, and if Tuesday the 14th finds you away from your sweetheart (or finds your sweetheart trapped at the office) you might order flowers online.
If you don’t know much about sending flowers, or about flowers at all, this can be intimidating. We’ve all seen those social media posts on February 15: a photo of a lush bouquet on the left, with the caption ‘What I ordered,’ and a sad, wilting bouquet on the right, with the caption ‘what I got’.
You don’t want this to happen to you. And neither do I! As a florist, I spend way more time than you researching flowers and florists online. Check out my tips to help you send the best possible flowers!
1. RECON. Find out your recipient's favourite flowers or colours, or find out if there’s a flower they hate, and add a note to your order at checkout. Are they the ‘two dozen long stemmed red roses’ type, or would they love a bunch that looks like field-picked wildflowers? Do strong scents irritate them? A little observation goes a long way! (Mothers, housemates, and friends can usually give you good advice.)
You don't need to know the names of flowers to place your order. Notes at checkout like 'no sticks', 'no yellow', or 'no weird dangly leaves, please' are great!
If you don’t see anything that matches your personality or budget online, call the florist directly to find out about order minimums and custom orders. You can always request ‘designers choice’ - you name your price, we create something lovely that suits your budget. We’re here to make you look good.
2. RESIST THE ORDER GATHERERS Basically, skip the paid google ads. I just googled ‘florists in Kingston ON’ and checked out the paid ads. Half were for actual florists in town, but I only know this because I am a florist in town. The rest of the links were for order gatherers. Order gatherers are the worst thing about the floral industry, and most customers don’t even know they exist!
Order gatherers advertise online and have websites and toll free lines where you can order flowers. But they are NOT florists. They are call centres. And most of them aren’t even in Canada. 1-800-flowers? JustFlowers? Flowershopping.com? IT’S A TRAP!
Order gatherers take your order and your money, take a cut off the top (typically 20%) and then shop your order around to florists in your destination town.
Say you’re in Winnipeg and want to send some flowers to your fiancee in Kingston. You google ‘send flowers in Kingston’ and find an ad for $10 off with flowershopping.com. A discount on Valentine's Day? CHA CHING! SOLD.
You order something valued at $100, but pay $90 with the special. They subtract their fee. You’re now really working with $72. The order gatherer starts calling florists in Kingston, trying to place their lowball order worth $100 retail for $70. We have to subtract local taxes and delivery fees from this already reduced amount. Less bang for your buck. ZERO chance of your order looking anything like the picture.
Most of us will hang up on flowershopping.com and your order will bounce around from shop to shop being rejected all day. Because it's Feb 14 and we are losing our minds filling actual orders for actual value for actual customers. Order gatherers suck! RESIST!
3. USE THE MAP. I love google maps, as I can find the closest flower shops to my destination address. Spend more money on flowers, less money on delivery! If I’m not 100% sure an online florist is legit, I use google maps street view to see if there’s a brick and mortar shop (Once I chose a florist in Quebec because there was a street view photo of a customer leaving her shop with a beautiful bouquet!)
4. ONLINE CREEPING. Er, RESEARCH. Many florists who are members of FTD or Teleflora will have identical websites, as a standard catalogue of photos and a hosted website is included with your membership. The standard catalogues are often used by order gatherers, but that doesn’t mean every florist who uses one IS an order gatherer. Confusing?
You may need to dig a little deeper on these to ensure they’re legit and see their actual work. Do they have a street address prominently featured on the site? Do they have a blog or facebook page where you can check out their shop and style and photos of their arrangements? Do their reviews seem realistic vs. cranked out for pay (are they written by different people on different dates? Are there anecdotes about customer service at the shop?)
4. Order away! Call in if you have questions, have a specific budget, or need a specific flower. Order online if you’re less particular. AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY PLEASE DO IT BEFORE 7PM ON THE 14TH, OR WE WILL BE CRANKY.
Obviously, as a small independent florist I’m biased in favour of contacting florists directly instead of using FTD or Teleflora apps etc. But there are also benefits for you as a customer:
-You’re paying for your order at realistic local prices
-All of your money is going towards your order
-All of your money is staying in your recipient’s local economy
-And most importantly, in the event you have a question or problem with your order, you can contact someone in the same building as your flowers, who genuinely cares about your flowers, and who cares about their business reputation and customer satisfaction year round.
Bonus- they won’t be on a headset in San Viejo California, fielding irate phone calls and wishing to be anywhere else on Feb 15.
Happy Valentine’s and happy flower ordering, lovebirds!
FAMILY EMERGENCY JAN 27 January 27 2017, 0 CommentsI will be out of the shop Jan 27 in the morning and possibly this afternoon due to a family emergency. I will forward calls and reply to messages asap. Sorry for any inconvenience! -Jen
Weddings and Valentines- hope y'all are in the mood for romance! January 19 2017, 0 Comments
It's the smoochiest time of year- wedding show season meets Valentine's Day. Don't be a cynic! Treat your favourite person or yourSELF to a bit of midwinter floral cheer.
We'll be joining the wonderful Jane of Safari Cake Boutique at the Kingston Wedding Show, Sun Jan 22 at the 1000 Islands Sportsplex. Grassy green astroturf underfoot and a bright dome overhead... it's a great day to enjoy catering samples and beautiful wedding wares. Plus, you go through an airlock. Scifi fun even if you're not a real wedding enthusiast, haha. Info and tickets on the Kingston Wedding Show site.
And get your phones out-
Tuesday Feb 14 is VALENTINE'S DAY. Set two alarms! Cancel the snooze. Do not forget!
CHANGES to Holiday hours (blame it on the nog!) December 24 2016, 0 Comments
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year from everyone at Sage Flowers!
Sat Dec 24 10am-12pm
Sun Dec 25 CLOSED
Mon Dec 26 CLOSED
Tues Dec 27 CLOSED
Wed Dec 28-Friday Dec 30 10am-4pm
Dec 31 10am-12pm
Jan 1- CLOSED
Ho-ho-holiday hours for Sage Flowers December 17 2016, 0 Comments
Our elves and reindeer available for deliveries on Sun Dec 18 and Mon Dec 19 th. We have an early evening route as well as 'business hours' to accomodate your loved ones during this busy season. Please call or email to confirm orders or pickups, as we don't have official shop hours Sunday and Monday and we don't want to miss you!
Flower counter Holiday hours:
Sat Dec 24 10am-2pm
Sun Dec 25 CLOSED
Mon Dec 26 CLOSED
Tues Dec 27 CLOSED
Wed Dec 28-Friday Dec 30 10am-6pm
Sat Dec 31- 10am-noon
Sun Jan 1 CLOSED
Your florist is away Oct 23-Nov 8 October 22 2016, 0 Comments
I am leaving on a jet plane to stomp in puddles with my littlest niece and catch up with much-loved family and friends. Sage Flowers will be closed Oct 23-Nov 8. I'll be checking email regularly, but unable to return phone calls or send flowers until Nov 8.
Need flowers now?
Chartreuse Flower Works for downtown and East Side,
LSP designs for mid town
and Loyalist Flowers for Amherstview and points west.
These are all lovely folk who do lovely work and will take care of any flower orders for you in my absence.
See you soon!
Upcoming events at Sage Flowers September 27 2016, 0 Comments
Sun Oct 2- come say hello at the Kingston Wedding show. New location in the west side! http://kingstonweddingshow.kxomedia.ca/
Mon Oct 3- Jen gives a talk on wedding flowers/ arranging techniques at the Collins Bay Horticultural Society meeting. Meet my new secret weapon! http://www.collinsbayhorticulturalclub.com/
Sat Oct 7- Thanksgiving! (Sunday a.m. delivery may be available by appointment- order now to avoid disappointment)
Today on 'Totally Dignified Moments in Floristry' September 22 2016, 0 Comments
An open letter to publicly thank Mr. Douglas Wark at the Glen Lawrence Golf Club for being so gracious when a certain florist busted right into his office while he was in the middle of a meeting .
Imagine, if you will, those koolaid commercials from the 1980s. Everyone is having a nice and normal day, until suddenly, a man dressed as a big red jug of koolaid kicks through the wall and yells ‘Oh YEAH!’
Except it’s a frazzled looking short lady who says ‘OH NO!’ … and possibly has some leaves in her hair at this point in proceedings.
Of course on my way OUT of the parking lot, I found the sign with the arrow, clearly pointing to the entrance I was supposed to have used in the first place.
Thanks to Doug, the couple he was meeting with, and the friendly bar and restaurant staff at the Glen Lawrence for being so understanding, getting the florist to the right door at the right time… and even helping her unload the van!
PS. The bride emailed me on Monday, and she was delighted.
*Screenshot of 1978 'Castles and Knights' kool aid commercial courtesy Wikipedia- under fair use license https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kool-Aid_Man
Civic Holiday bouquet giveaway draw July 28 2016, 0 Comments
Who's got two thumbs and has to work on the holiday weekend?
Turn that frown upside down- you could win a free bouquet this Sat. July 30th!
How to enter/ rules rules rules:
- Leave a comment here on the blog, or post on our facebook wall- 'I love flowers' 'I'm stuck at home all weekend and I wish I had some flowers' 'Sage Flowers, I think I love you' etc. Be as creative or boring as you like. Just keep it clean- my mom is on my facebook!
- Entries close at 3pm on Friday July 29th
- At 4pm Friday July 29th, I will draw a name from our 'pool of commenters' and announce the winner on the blog and facebook.
- Winner (or 'representative') must collect their bouquet at the shop (inside Safari Cake Boutique 842 Gardiners Rd.) between 10am and 3pm on Sat July 30th. (we've got a wedding underway and won't be able to deliver)
- Bouquet is approx value $40, ' as-is', based on availability, and cannot be converted to cash. No rain checks, this is just a one time thing for pickup on Saturday July 30th. If you aren't available to collect, you CAN give your bouquet to a friend who is able to pick up during the above times.
- We're running this contest on the blog becasue facebook has strict rules for business page contests- especially when asking for likes or shares. You didn't hear it from me, but if we get 5 more page likes and/or 25 shares on the post about this contest... we'll probably do a draw for a 2nd prize bouquet worth approx $30 ;) Not sayin'. Just sayin'.
Whether you spend it under the sun by the lake, or under the flickering glow of fluorescent lights at work... wishing you an awesome Aug 1st long weekend!
Closing 3pm Thursday July 14 July 14 2016, 0 CommentsWe will be closing at 3pm July 14 to attend a memorial service. Evening deliveries available by special request. Regular hours resume July 15th. Thank you for understanding!
HALF DAY FRIDAY JULY 8 July 08 2016, 0 CommentsWe will be on the road with a big delivery until 2pm today. Leave us a message for flower deliveries/order pickups this afternoon and early this evening. Thank you!
Existential Crisis Garden Tour June 03 2016, 0 Comments
My garden is a hot mess.
I apparently only do adult life in the form of weekly ordeals, so the garden has been on red ordeal alert for approximately 104 weeks. I busted up my hand in fall 2014 and didn't get any fall cleanup done.Then I spent the spring and summer venturing onto the deck, looking at the jungle for a couple of seconds, and running back inside.
I didn't get much gardening done, but I stayed up late and partied a lot with my old friends shame, guilt, regret, and 'remember that time when HORTICULTURE SCHOOL? Remember every decision ever? Why the hell do you do any of the things you do?' Good times.
This year? Honestly, I don't want to jinx it by overthinking things... but I am remembering to water things. And add compost. I put in an appearance at the landscape supplies lot. I am machete-ing weeds,cutting edges and banging down truckloads of soil. I'm using super lazy cheats, like cardboard garden beds. There are still pockets and corners of burdock and thistle. But it's fun again.
I have killed a lot of plants. Legit, spent-money- on -them, adult homeowner career lady plants. (Beautiful white garden rose bush, I let you down, and I am so so sorry.)
But others? My oddball collection of salvaged, traded, and 'founds'? The ones who have been in my life through work, projects, a move, all that life stuff? They have been there waiting for me at the end of the sad grey tunnel. (Behind a lot of really tall weeds.)
Want a tour?
I know, I know, I should mow my damn driveway. You would not believe the temptation to crop the weeds out of these photos. Not today! Meet Hoppy the hops plant. He will try to take over your entire yard. He's great for gates... and for hops if you're doing a brewer-couple's wedding flowers. He is, however, bred for looks, not beer.
Porch onion. I love him. I grew allium and garlic chives from seed back in the early 2000s. They are now everywhere. Spencer says I can keep this guy. He reminds me of the radish growing through the concrete in Japan. (the allium. Not Spencer) Allium come in so many shapes and sizes- plant bulbs in the fall for spring/summer blooms. Those big tall Dr Seuss looking poofballs on a stick? Allium. Also available in tiny and yellow.
I had to cut back some over-enthusiastic geranium from a client's walkway a couple years ago. I took the cuttings home and planted them beside our steps. The lady who owned these has since passed away- I didn't know her very well, but I'm friends with her son, and I like thinking that I'm carrying something forward in her memory. I should see if her son would like some...
Another survivor of my 'let's grow local wildflowers from seed like a real horticulturist' days. Columbines. (aquilegia) from one or two plants to whole clumps. Growing perennials from seed is a real exercise in patience. Gardening in general, I guess. "It is only to the gardener that time is a friend" *
These frigging poppies. I love these. They were in bloom for my birthday this year and it felt like a sign. They spend the whole year as raggedy ass thistle looking leaves... except for one glorious week where they put on a show. Big, silky, the brightest orange red you'll ever see. These came to me as three strays from my gardening boss' garden. And now I have billions. They're my crowning glory.
Also a surprise that felt like a sign as I figure out the next few steps of the rest of my life- my sage plant. It survived the winter. And now it's growing Sage Flowers.
PS. *That quote back there? Turns out I'd only ever heard half of it.
"It is only to the gardener that time is a friend, giving each year more than he steals. "
Well how about that.
Enjoy your weekend, and happy June! I hope it brings you more friends than thieves, and that you get to play in the dirt :)
New Hours on Mondays April 18 2016, 0 Comments
Switching up the schedule a bit here at Sage Flowers:
Mondays *NEW HOURS* 10am-2pm
Remember Admin Professionals' Day April 23rd and Mother's Day May 8 (we will be open Sunday May 8th)
Monday bleurgs- Spring Therapy Edition April 11 2016, 0 Comments
*Disclaimer disclaimer, not my garden!* In my wildest dreams!
For anyone else with the Monday blues… a wonderful garden timelapse from You Grow Girl to remind us of that time when the snow went away and the plants grew. Maybe it will happen again.
If you are interested in growing anything– whether you have a patch of ground to call your own, or a little plastic bucket on a fire escape, I cannot recommendYou Grow Girl (and owner/author Gayla Traill) highly enough. Under the tagline ‘Gardening for the People’, Gayla will show you how to get your own plants going from scratch. She emphasizes affordable, environmentally-friendly techniques for the low budget and/or definitely not Martha Stewart types among us. I loved this site when I was an absolute beginner, and I still love it now with a few years of horticulture under my belt. Not that you’d guess from looking at my sad, neglected garden. Maybe 2016 is the year I get my act together!
PS. Whoever has my beloved , tattered copy of her first book, please give it back. Or I shall haunt you for all time.
I pity the Fool April 02 2016, 0 Comments
Happy April 1st!
Jane (at at Safari Cakes ) and I spent a pleasant last day of March experimenting with some different wedding cake-and-flower techniques. One of my contributions was this composite rose.
Check it out on our wee rustic cake,
and side by side with a Monsieur Michel’s faux peony.
Composites aren’t silk flowers, but they’re definitely not as nature intended: you build these roses by taking apart 4 real roses and reassembling the petals into a monster bloom. Back in the day, this was done by wiring and taping each fragile petal (gives me stress hives just thinking about it) In 2016, it is all about the glue. Or ‘floral adhesive’, as I guess I should say.
Of course I’ve got fakes on my mind as it is April Fool’s Day! Anyone fall for any good ones? I was pretty tickled by the The National Library and Archive Canada’s release of Wolverine’s WWII journals and photos. You can check it out here- OUTSTANDING prankstership, ladies and gentlemen!
Taking the cake for me this April Fool’s, though, would have to be this new hipster airline connecting Shoreditch in London with al the scenesters worldwide. They let you into the VIP lounge based on your tats and beard, and bookings are via Instagram.
Oh and in late breaking news, expedia announces new competing airline Ginge-air, for redheads only, and Queen’s University right here in the Limestone City has successfully launched its first suborbital rocket from the new Belle Island Space Flight Facility. Until next year, jokers!
Serious about sending flowers? Give us a shout at 613-545-9229 or order online at http://sageflowers.ca
PS. I’m still a little upset at how many people called/messaged me to ask if I had really opened a yoga studio for cats 2 years ago.
Easter Holiday Hours March 22 2016, 0 Comments
Good Friday March 25th: CLOSED
Saturday March 26th: OPEN 10AM-2PM
Sunday March 27th: CLOSED
Monday March 28th: OPEN 1PM-6PM
We hope you have an excellent*, peaceful holiday weekend with family and friends.
And Wild Horses March 20 2016, 0 Comments
Took a 5 day trip to Chincoteague Island VA with Mr. S.
Wild ponies. The Lighthouse. The forest. The Atlantic.
We arrived waaay later than expected on Friday night, but this meant we got to discover where we'd ended up as the sun rose on Saturday morning. Magic.
We had the whole place virtually to ourselves since Chincoteague doesn't open for the season until US Spring break. Many shops and restaurants are still closed, or only open Thurs-Sun, and you can't book tours. Honestly? We LOVED it.
Things to do on Chincoteague in March:
Proceed directly to Assateague Island and look for wild ponies, obviously.
You may also enjoy the Island Museum if it's open for 'history weekend'
Famous Pizza and Subs- PICKLE FRIES.
Ray's Shanty for seafood about 20 min off the island (weekends only in early spring- closed for the winter)
The Village restaurant on the island for seafood closer to home. If you are so inclined, eat the scallops.
The NASA visitor centre for Wallops Flight Facility on nearby Wallops Island, (we missed a rocket launch by a WEEK. Booooo)
A one hour road trip to the Evolution craft brewery in Salisbury. We missed the tours, but consoled ourselves with amazing local food, a flight and a pint. It was Spence's birthday, and the birthday kid may or may not have left the premises with a couple growlers of his favourite. He was chauffeured by station wagon for a nap on the beach, haha.
Island Creamery for ice cream. SEA SALT CARAMEL I WANT TO LIVE IN YOU.
If you can't find wild ponies, don't be sad - there are tame ponies at the McDonald'sparking lot near the bridge to the wildlife refuge, and they will be your friends if you buy them 50 cents worth of corn feed.
Things we did not do, but looked or sounded rad:
Bring binoculars. Bring a proper beach blanket for picnics and or naps.
Rent a bike.
Go check out Crisfield on the Chesapeake side, take a ferry to Smith Island, and eat an entire Smith Island cake.
Saigon Village restaurant, apparently the place to eat on Chincoteague if you have overdone it on the seafood. Or the pickle fries.
Random things to know as you head south: the Penn Turnpike is the worst and it costs $15. Ordering tea is weird. Tea is "hot tea" and iced tea is "sweet tea" or "unsweetened" tea. Anything sweet is super sweet. People will call you honey and baby but it's not creepy at all and is genuinely friendly. Ordering food will always result in too much food. But sometimes you're your own worst influence. Like if you go for ice cream twice in one day.
And Misty of Chincoteague was not wild, but she was real.
Happy weekend, friends!
SAGE FLOWERS CLOSED FEB 16-MAR 2 February 16 2016, 0 Comments
* Please note we will be closed Feb 16- March 2. We will be monitoring/replying to emails and able to provide wedding estimates while we are away, but we will not be available by phone or for flower orders until Wed. Mar 2nd. Sorry for any inconvenience!
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