Mother’s Day 2014

Did you see the youtube video that went viral about the World’s Toughest Job? If you haven’t’ then you should take a few minutes out of your day to watch it. It pretty much sums up the reality of motherhood, and will make you think twice about not being nice to your mom…..or be ashamed of yourself for not buying her flowers (just kidding).

Last year I chose a soft  lavender and white tones for the bouquets. The Lilac were in season so it was a perfect choice. This year with the cold weather, and a lot of blooms being delayed in the season, I decided to go bright and colorful to help spring our minds forward to those hot summer days.

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Anis et Marjolaine

 

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My good friend Ashley (who just so happens to be the genius behind my logo design) was throwing a surprise birthday bash for her moms 60th birthday. It was to be held at Anis et Marjolaine in St-Lazare, a small quaint restaurant run by head chef and owner Alvaro. The centrepieces were to be kept simple, natural, and in tones of white and green with a few splashes of lavender. We were on a bit of a tighter budget for this one, so we picked up bunches of fresh parsley from the market, and ran with the theme of alstro, white tulips, sprigs of lavender, birch branches and soft asparagus fern.

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If you have never been to the fabulously delicious Anis et Marjolaine in St-Lazare I definitely recommend checking it out. They have a fabulous terrace, and a delicious brunch on the weekend perfect for summer weekends.

Here is their website for those of you who are curious:

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(*photos courtesy of Ashley West http://www.behance.net/ashleywest )

http://www.anisetmarjolaine.net/blog/

Still Waiting…

Well I must admit that although it is the end of April, and listening to the gentle hummmm of my furnace is a little disappointing ( I really thought the windows might be open by now), I did have a busy weekend playing in glorious spring flowers. Which always helps to lift my spirits.

Here is a sample of one of the bouquets that went out this morning. The vibrant orange tulips, soft asparagus fern, and creamy yellow double stock will start off your morning in the right way.

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It is Spring in Montreal….Supposedly

Ughhhh…more snow seriously? Have we not suffered enough?

A good friend recently posted a quote by Leonard Cohen that a lot of us here in Montreal can relate to:

“In Montreal spring is like an autopsy. Everyone wants to see the inside of the frozen mammoth. Girls rip off their sleeves and the flesh is sweet and white, like wood under green bark. From the streets a sexual manifesto rises like an inflating tire, “the winter has not killed us again!”

I feel like the spring flowers can relate. They must be growing impatient under the thick layer of snow. In the meantime perhaps a nice image of paper whites, and a spring inspired white freesia arrangement can help brighten this spring snowstorm.

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Valentine’s Day and An Addition to my Bucket List…

I willingly took no orders for Valentine’s Day this year. To most florist this is blasphemous and even unheard of, but to me it was a breath of fresh air. Valentine’s day is super stressful for florists. The planning starts months in advance. Don’t get me wrong most years I love it, the rush, the countless number of thorn injuries, the reactions, the love, but this year being on maternity leave I decided to actually enjoy the holiday with my family, since this opportunity will only ever happen once in a blue moon. So we hoped on a plane and headed south not as far south as I would have liked, but still down to the USA for a little visit with family.

By some small miracle the baby fell asleep on take off and I actually had some free time to just sit and read. I took out the inflight magazine and found a little treasure hidden inside! An article dedicated to bringing together flowers and food in a to die for location. Needless to say that Villa Dulce has been added to my must see and must taste bucket list.

So instead of some Valentine’s day creations for you to enjoy, I have uploaded the article written By Nils Bernstein, and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did. Don’t worry though there will be more floral creations on the way!

Petal Pushers

Forget garnishes; this Mexican restaurant puts flowers in everything

Bougainvillea sauce /Chef Rafael Martínez

In Villa Guerrero, chef Rafael Martínez Acevedo cooks bougainvillea sauce; right: chrysanthemum flower rice / Carlos Hernandez

By Nils Bernstein

About 70 percent of the blooms in Mexico’s cut-flower market are grown in Villa Guerrero, which smells faintly of wet earth and is studded with greenhouses the size of factories. Japanese immigrants introduced floriculture here in the 1930s, finding the area’s rich volcanic soil especially fertile. It’s no wonder then that Villa Dulce, a booming restaurant here, just 90 minutes southwest of Mexico City, would focus on flowers. “Being surrounded by flowers, it made sense to experiment,” says Villa Dulce’s owner, Rafael Martínez Acevedo, who both procures his organic, unsprayed ingredients from nearby farms and grows his own, resulting in such inspired dishes as carnation crêpes, marigold mole, rose-petal quail and bougainvillea ribs. “Our kitchen is a laboratory. Not all flowers can be eaten and not all can be prepared the same way, but we know the native people here used them for food and medicine. It’s part of a tradition.”

Another popular dish at the restaurant is chicken in a mole sauce of cempasúchil, or Aztec marigold, also known as flor de muertos for its importance in Day of the Dead celebrations. The flower’s citrusy petals are blended with green chiles and pecans to make the golden sauce. There are also puffy, peppery chrysanthemums stuffed with fresh tuna, tempura-fried and served in a tomato broth, like a healthier version of the steakhouse classic blooming onion. Carnations, which have flavors of clove and nutmeg, are used in creamy savory crêpes; pungent wild daisies are infused in (and showered atop) a subtly herbal cake. “Flowers have all the qualities of vegetables, greens, even chiles,” says Martínez Acevedo. “They can be sweet, spicy, meaty, with all different textures.”

Martínez Avecedo says the most popular dish on Villa Dulce’s menu is quail in rose sauce, a grilled whole bird served in a pink gravy that is sweet, savory and powerfully floral, with a minty spice. The dish is especially popular on Valentine’s Day. “People come from all over for it—they’ll start with a rose salad and have rose gelatin for dessert. There are so many different roses, and each color tastes different,” he says. “The darker they are, the more intense the flavor.”

Longtime Villa Dulce regular Leticia González comes frequently from Mexico City, en route to her family’s vacation home in nearby Malinalco. “Our first visit, we were shocked to see flowers used like this, but at the same time they don’t seem out of place,” she says. “In Mexico, beautiful colors are everywhere. It makes sense to see them on the plate, too.”

Hello 2014

Happy New year! I hope that everyone enjoyed all of their festivities. I had a wonderful holiday season. I was even able to take some time off to celebrate my sons first christmas abroad with my family. I knew that I was still going to be doing a little work on vacation though, no rest for the wicked as they say. My father had made a request for centerpieces for a late holiday party that he was having. So here is the last of the holiday photos that I will be posting, and look forward to heading into spring.

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One last little thing….

2013 was a great year for me, and for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you to all my clients who trusted me to take part in their special days, their highs, lows and all the holidays in between. Without you none of this would be possible so thank you, thank you, thank you……

Hot off the press…

footer-cover-decFor those of you have previously scrolled through my blog, you may remember a post  that I did featuring my friend Gwylan Goddard’s wedding. The wedding was so amazing, and so beautifully captured by Chelsea Gray at Blushing Bride Studio, that it was recently featured in Weddingbells magazine Spring & Summer 2014. It is the first time that my work has ever been published, and has left me with a sense of accomplishment, gratitude and excitement. Here is the link that will bring you to the Weddingbells’s website so you can take a look. Enjoy!

http://www.weddingbells.ca/real-weddings/an-eco-friendly-diy-wedding-in-quebecs-laurentian-mountains/

If you are interested in reading my post on Gwylan and Michaels day, you can see it here:

https://fleursrougeandco.com/2013/08/

Events in December other than Christmas

December, the month when almost every single day something relates back to Christmas. Trust me this is more than ok with me. I love Christmas, everything about it, in fact it is my favorite holiday. The lights, the snow, the shopping, family, and of course the wintery greens, table centerpieces, and all the wreaths and urns that I get to create. People tend to get carried away, or even a bit of tunnel vision when holiday time rolls around. They forget that there are events that occur in December that don’t actually relate to Christmas. 

Being Born on Christmas I know a thing or two about how events can overlap. It is just small insignificant things. For instance almost all of my pajamas and socks are Christmas themed which gets a little weird around May. Birthday cakes, well up until recently they have taken on many of form for the holidays, santa, rudolph, snowman you name it.

So when I had an order come in for a retirement I wanted to make it seasonal but not overly christmassy. This time of the year is ideal for incorporating wintery greens into arrangements. Cedar was the green of choice in this bouquet, combined with red piers japonica to offset the soft peach tones of the roses and tulips. It was a beautiful bouquet and the photos really don’t do it justice. We seem to run out of daylight quite quickly these days,so the photos were taken in the evening. I hope you enjoy it all the same.

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Marie-Anne and Sheldon

I came to know Marie-Anne while I was a student at McGill University. She was a teaching assistant for quite a few of the courses that I took during my undergraduate degree. I can remember the exact course when I grew particularly fond of Marie-Anne, and that was during Ornithology. Those early morning labs were particularly challenging at times, but Marie-Anne’s passion for birds combined with her incredible personality and humour was contagious. She helped me to realize just how amazing birds really are, and to this day I turn to the life of birds by David Attenborough as my go to DVD when I want to watch something but just not quite sure what. When I graduated I wasn’t sure if our paths would ever cross again, but thanks to Facebook they did. She happened to pop up in my news feed as being recently engaged. I of course wanted to congratulate her, one message led to another which eventually brought us to her bridal bouquet. Unfortunately I was not able to see Marie-Anne on her wedding day, but was thrilled by the e-mail that she sent to me a few days later saying that she absolutely loved the bouquet. The varying tones of white with a slight cascade accented her gown and smile perfectly. Thank you to Jamie Kronick Photography (www.jamiekronick.com) for capturing the beauty of Marie-Anne and Sheldon’s day, as well as these beautiful shots of her bouquet.

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The fall…

A friend within our tight knit group recently lost her father after a long battle with cancer. We wanted to offer her and her mother an arrangement just let them know that we were thinking of them. I often say that there are no rules when it comes to sympathy arrangements. I opted for rich fall tones, with a modern yet organic twist. I felt it was a nice representation for the season that she lost her father, as well as her own personal style. My hope is that when she is getting ready in the morning and she glances over at the arrangement, that she may crack a small smile,think of her dad, and that just maybe the healing process was helped a little bit.

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