Saturday, April 26, 2008

Persian Wedding

Today we worked on the flowers for the wedding of a beautiful young Persian couple from San Francisco. The traditions are exquisite and focus primarily on the Sofreh. The Sofreh and the items placed upon it have deep symbolic meanings. The wedding vows are taken at the Sofreh in the presence of the bride and groom’s parents, family members and close friends.
The most significant item on the Sofreh is a large central mirror, placed directly in front of where the bride and groom sit, before taking their vows. It is large enough that the bride and groom can see both of themselves in it. It also allows for all the gathered guests especially those standing behind the bride and groom to also see each other in the mirror. Aside from its practicality, the mirror represents the bright light that shines into one’s future. In our photo, you can see Orchids reflected in the mirror, which were one of two larger arrangements placed behind the Sofreh.
The mirror is flanked by two candelabras. Candles and mirrors, which are also used in the sofreh haft seen (Persian new year celebration) have are symbolistic of the Zoroastrian faith. The sun was the source of all energy and candles represent the sun and its energy.
A tray of bread also adorns the Sofreh representing prosperity. Traditionally, a flat bread called Non-e-sangak has been used and can be decorated in many ways. Representing fertility are walnuts, almonds, and or hazelnuts. These are usually painted in gold or silver colors. The sweetness of life is represented in many items including, a bowl of crystallized sugar, a small bowl of honey, and in one or more trays of assorted Persian sweets and pastry such as Baghlava, Toot, raisin cookies, and others. Additionally, behind the bride and groom, family and friends gather and hold a long scarf made of fine fabric or silk over the heads of the bride and groom. Then the guests take turns rubbing two large pieces of rock sugar (Kale-ghand) over the scarf.

Termeh is a traditional Persian embroidered cloth, generally having the paisley design. It is used to decorate the Sofreh and symbolizes tradition. A tray of esphand (wild rue), which can be decorated in many different shapes and colors. Esphand is traditionally used to keep away the “evil eye.” At the time that the bride and groom enter the place where the wedding ceremony is being held, a pinch of esphand is placed on burning or hot coal to ward off evil and bad eyes. Burning esphand is similar to incense and has a wonderful smell. A small bowl of coins is also placed on the sofreh representing wealth, a tray of fresh assorted traditional herbs, and a small bowl of apples.

Congratulations to our Bride and Groom, and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together!

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Favourite Dogs & Cat

My Best friend, Lola Miles

This photo was taken last summer at a farm in Langley where I grow Raspberry Cane for cut foliage. Lola loves the country life.

My Nephew Dog, Riley Miles.

Lola's Boyfriend, Kaiser M.

My brother Cat Amigo

Amigo was my Mom's baby and after she passed away last year he was adopted by my friend Oscar who has given him an incredibly loving home. He is now known as Cat, and occasionally is subjected to a hat or costume which I know Mom gets a laugh out of in Heaven. He tolerates the hats better than he does Lola, who has been swacked a few times upside the head if she irritates him too much.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Peonies Have Arrived!

Karl Rosenfeld Peonies they are. One of Mother Nature's most beautiful gifts! The first variety available locally is "Karl Rosenfeld", a softly scented double hot pink Peony grown in our own fertile Fraser Valley. With a vase life of 5-7 days they are one of the smaller, early varieties of Peonies available here from now through early June. (depending on weather patterns) Mixed with Tulips, Roses, or Ranunculus, or even better en masse, it just doesn't get any better than this!
Purchased through our local flower auction, these arrive fresh every Tuesday & Thursday during their availability period. As the season progresses, the varieties increase along with the size of the blooms. It's a short availability season, so don't miss them!
Tip: Put them outside at night in the cool spring air to increase their vase life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pink & Orange

Assorted Orchids (Thailand) & Pincushion Protea (New Zealand)

Pink & Orange...One of my all time favourite colour combinations. Fabulous with lipstick red. Hot with chartreuse. Perfect with yellow. Very Emilio Pucci! Speaking of hot pink, "Karl Rosenfeld" Peonies (double hot pink variety) are now available locally. Other varieties should be available in the coming weeks. Forget about the snow last week...if Peonies are here it must be Spring!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fabulous Homes

One of the best parts of my job is getting to work in my client's amazing homes & about a bathtub overlooking English Bay? Over the next few weeks, we are working on some great weddings & events, so keep checking in for new photos!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Planning your Wedding & Lola Miles

Peony & Sweet Pea Hand Tied Bouquets

Are you planning your wedding? Check out one of my favourite wedding resource sites…
Pour yourself a glass of wine & call your girlfriends over – you may be on this site for a while…..great gowns, d├ęcor, ideas, and of course the most important detail of the day….The Flowers!
Oh, and while I'm here, I might as well throw in a photo of Lola enjoying the Spring Air on her Vespa.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

TV Pilot & Arthur Erickson's Garden

Welcome to my new blog! I will be posting updates and photos of new stuff we are working on at the store, new flowers available by the season, and new products we are carrying. I really hope you enjoy it and would love to hear any comments or suggestions.
Last week we worked on a presentation for a new TV Pilot...hopefully it gets picked up as a pilot & ends up getting filmed here. The scene we worked on was a wedding scene set at Cecil Green House at UBC. (Isn't everything filmed at Cecil Green? - We have done hundreds of sets for TV and film here over the years.) As it was a 4 day shoot, we mixed some artificial fruits and flowers along with the fresh flowers for longevity. Here are a few photos of our very traditional wedding set...
The Dining Room

The Mantel and Cake Table

Garlanding the Mantel

Fruit & Flower Topiary

On a completely different note....I am proud to count the distinguished Architect Arthur Erickson among my clients and friends. A fabulous way to herald the arrival of Spring in Vancouver is to visit his Point Grey Garden.

The Arthur Erickson House & Garden Foundation offers guided tours of the world famous Architect's garden every Thursday at 5pm April 17 to mid October. (Or, at other times for groups of 4 or more by special arrangement) Cost is $10 per person. Reserve at 604-738-4195 or by email at

The compact garden set on 2 residential lots in Vancouver's Point Grey, reflects Erickson's passion for Japanese gardens. For more Information visit

Maybe I'll see you there!