Atelier Henson

While I was in Houston last week I visited with a dear friend of mine,

Mr.Henson (a world-class Chef and Master Florist).

He was kind enough to cook me a most phenomenal meal that began with fresh Pimento cheese and Egg salad sandwiches (which we drank with Heineken served in goblets). For the main course he served a fantastic herb-roasted chicken which were accompanied by  crisp potato and sweet potato fries. He even went so far as to whip up some roasted-garlic aioli to dip the fries in. Unforgettable! It was a truly lovely evening filled with great conversation, special friends and generous hospitality. I wanted to include some images I took of Mr. Henson’s atelier. It is always changing, always evolving, and always fabulous. Just like he is.

In a previous life we worked together at a flower boutique in Houston. Mr. Henson taught me a lot about design, style and showed me how to turn Carnations and Baby’s Breath into something fabulous (arrange in huge over-the-top masses).

Mr. Henson transforms Casual into Chic (or shabby-chic to some) without really trying. I love the way he drops a stem of yellow Kangaroo paw into an old beer bottle. The painting (in first photo) I gave to him years ago, looks appropriate now in front of a newly painted lime green wall. Mr. Henson manages to pull off lime green in a kitchen with ease. Not many can.

I admire his choice of putting several bunches of pink Statice in a vase and making it look elegant. He does the same in the bedroom with a few stems of Eucalyptus overflowing out a vase that is set atop a glass pillar. In in his sitting area he features a short glass cube stuffed with orange Alstroemeria and garnished with twisted copper wire.

I love him for his incredible charm, impeccable taste and self-less generosity. I look forward to the chance to return the favor by cooking him a wonderful dinner and creating a display of Carnations, like no other..

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Yellow & White Roses: REdo

I’ve seen many a long stem rose in my time working in the Floral industry. In consulting with a customer about the time of arrangement they’d like to get I sometimes here this question: “Do you have pictures of examples of the arrangements?” In other words, is there a catalog of floral arrangements to choose from? Though this is a great question, it not always applies to non-virtual floral experience. In the department of ‘look’, in my experience many people prefer to order custom arrangements (they choose specific flowers: hyacinth, lilac, hydrangea). Many people also like to leave it in the able hands of the designer              (designer’s choice).

And when it comes to ‘height’ (short or tall) this is still an area of understanding.

There are those who equate a taller arrangement with ‘grander’ and ‘more ‘expensive’. Yes, a taller arrangement can be grander and it can definitely be more expensive. I recently helped a nice man from New Jersey who wanted to get some flowers for his girlfriend while he was in town visiting. When I asked him if he wanted something taller or “low & lush” (shorter), he immediately threw his hands in the air to express the meaning of: big and tall. Tall is what he got.

Then there are those who understand that roses can be in a short arrangement and that short doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper.

To investigate what was currently taking place in the online Floral ordering world, I clicked on Teleflora. To my surprise I was happy to see a nice variation amongst the still very present ‘cheesy’ and ‘traditional’. Teleflora also features rose arrangements that are short and full. Faith Hill even has her own collection and it isn’t entirely horrible.

I only mention Teleflora because when I think of a ‘Dozen roses with filler in a vase’ I still think of FTD, Teleflora and other unnamed businesses.

I did receive a bounty of flowers yesterday in honor of the day that Doves choose their mates and Romans would flog young girls with goat skin.Only to ensure fertility.

My sender is sweet and wise. He also knows I like an assortment of flowers because I like to rearrange them to my liking. Included in the bounty were gorgeous yellow Cymbidium orchids, Iris, purple French tulips, Bush lily (Amaryllis), Ginger, white and pink Amaryllis. Plus one additional arrangement of long stem roses, in a vase with eucalyptus. I want to believe the sweetest thing ever genuinely wanted to add yet another surprise. Unfortunately the shop he chose the roses from, didn’t have the strongest long stem roses. The stems were very thin and the head of the white rose is tiny and delicate. In this case the roses just weren’t working as a tall arrangement.

So I reworked the yellow and white roses into a short square vase, keeping some of the Eucalyptus as well.

I’m hoping that the roses may perk back up, now that they have a fresh-cut and the leaves are removed from the stem.

Some like it short.

Ferdinand Bauer

A Ferdinand Bauer book arrived in the mail last week. There is a sneaky and considerate Amazon fairy that exists in the world. Thank you.

The book is filled with beautiful illustrations by Ferdinand Bauer.

Plants and flowers are dissected. Beautifully

I am captivated.

So excited about reading this book in its entirety during these lovely balmy February days.