Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Four Seasons of Celebrating Flowers & Friends

What an incredible first year it has been with flowers, friends, and Today's Bouquet! One year ago this Fall, my impulsive-self, with the encouragement of friends, propelled my passion for gardening and arranging flowers into a small boutique floral business with a social media channels and a retail presence at our neighborhood family-owned artisan market in Marin, CA.

Who starts a floral business in a season when flowers are fading fast under the chill of Fall? In that defining moment, when I launched my website last October,  I realized that my aesthetic point of view was about creating artful seasonal arrangements that celebrate  and incorporate, not only my garden's sustainably grown flowers, but also the abundance of what nature provides each season -- such as leaves, seed pods, berries, and branches. 

To my surprise, Today's Bouquet grew quite rapidly, and I began to source flowers from our extraordinary local organic flower farms in the Bay Area. Through my exciting year of creating and expressing with my seasonal flower aesthetic, I learned that I am in the company of a greatcommunity of like minds in an emerging locally grown flower movement lead by the celebrated garden writer and organic flower champion, Debra Prinzing with her pivotal book, The 50 Mile Bouquet . I embrace this movement as it continues to inspire me.

Four season of creating arrangements with sustainably grown flowers for my friends and neighbors has been such a gratifying and whimsical adventure.  I appreciate all the encouragement and support from colleagues and friends in the slow flower movement. I am also grateful to share my flowers in the many celebrations with dear friends and families in my community throughout the year. I look forward to celebrating another four seasons of flowers, friends, and Today's Bouquet!

With love and light, Maya

P. S. Follow me on FaceBook or Twitter @todaysbouquet

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pumpkin Season!

Pumpkin Arrangement with Late Summer Flowers Nestled in My Edible Garden

Assorted Pumpkins with
 Since the first day of Fall, I have been so excited to celebrate my favorite season with my annual quest for PUMPKINS! I just adore their vibrant fall colors and fantastic shapes. This year, I started growing edible ornamentals into my fronyardt and backyard gardens. To enhance my home grown vines, I added some pumpkins bought at my local supermarket and also the neighborhood local patch.  It is simply hard to resist the purchase of a big beautiful pumpkin - - especially one with an expressive stem! Anyway, my obsession could be worse, purses or shoes! Ha!
Celebrate the season with pumpkins!

My Pumpkin Patch In My Front Yard

Mini=Pumpkin with Zinnia Potted Container

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Blossoming OBSESSION with Edible Gardening

Garden Fresh Zucchini from my Beautiful Edible Raised Garden

Ok, as many of you know, I have always been a passionate flower gardener, and plan to remain so--but this year I won the grand prize raffle at the annual Ross Valley Garden Tour, which was a custom raised edible garden bed designed and planted by Terra Firma Landscape Architecture and Fine Gardening.  Real estate in my small backyard is very precious and I really never wanted to sacrifice the valuable space for growing vegetables--especially when my boys and husband aren't huge fans. So each year, I considered  growing edibles, but never did.  As fate would have it, this year I was the lucky winner and was destine to try to grow vegetables in my new raised bed. Unfortunately it was built and planted during the hot snap in late June, and I was not confident that these new and unfamilar vegetable seedlings would endure the untimely heat wave, and mature to produce something I can actually eat; let alone be beautiful feature in my flower garden.

Bell Pepper Blossoms

Of course the raised bed's flowers including cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias--planted to help with pollination and insects control--were the first to mature: robust and abundant in their blooms. Funny, how easily I can grow flowers, while my new vegetable seedling seemed to be struggling against the continued consuming heat, and then followed by an unusually cool late July for the Bay Area.  When our weather finally stabilized and warmed up in late July,  each vegetable plant became abundant with blossoms and began to offer their fruit in August. I was as captivated with their development, as I am with my most precious heirloom flowers-- and now am newly obsessed with my new endeavor of growing edibles and integrating them into my abundant flower garden.

Zucchini Blossom

Many of vegetables in my new edible garden are equally as beautiful in their form and blossoms, as some my favorite flowers that I grow. I don't have tons of space for rows and rows of crops, but have learned that edibles can be artfully incorporated into the design of my garden and produce a good amount of vegetables to feed my family and share with a few neighbors.  The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennette (a new garden blogger friend) and Stefani Bittner is a complete inspiration and guide for integrating edibles into your garden and designing stylish outdoor spaces that are both productive and beautiful.
Beautiful Combination of flowers and vegetables!
I encourage you to read it if you are at all interested in embarking on this new edible gardening adventure. The book guides you in creating new visual interest in color and texture in your garden while at the same time providing insight in to the art of growing and maintaining vegetables. I love my garden fresh vegetables, and have already planted artichokes and pumpkins in the boarders of my front yard! You can bet, that I will soon be incorporating them into many of my artful flower arrangements in the coming weeks.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Glorious Garden Glads

When my glorious purple gladiolas bloomed early this summer, they were especially meaningful as the bulbs were a gift from a dear friend who is crazy for the color as I am.  The bold purple of these dramatic blooming spears really made me take a new interest in this flower that I always have sadly associated with funerals. In addition to their deep rich color, what I love most is that this new addition in my garden intrigues our little humming bird visitor each day as much as it does me.  <3

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Mother’s Roses

My mom loved her roses, but never had the luxury of time to focus on them as I do: composting, mulching, amending, and pruning.   My roses continue to be my babies that require my constant attention and care--especially now that my boys are becoming teens and seem to be more interested in being with their friends than me. Imagine?  My mother's practical sensibility probably would not understand the huge amount of time I devote to my garden, as she worked and couldn’t afford the time to linger in our garden.
Her roses' blooms were incredible in their beauty, form, and fragrance despite the fact that she barely even had time to water them. She and my dad were devoted partners consumed with raising my brother and me, and providing for us with their antique business. She loved her roses and we always had a vase of them on our table throughout their season. Although her blooms were her children of neglect they just grew simply and abundantly in their natural state. Their beauty continues in my garden, long after my mother passed 12 years ago and  my dad brought them up to plant in my garden from the hot Southern Cal climate.

It has been over 13 years since  the relocation of my mother's roses to the cool damp Bay Area and they  continue to thrive. Her stunning blooms continue to remind me of the love she had for them each May--especially on their stunning first bloom.  In their fragrance and beauty they continue to carry her spirit and love-- and are the greatest gift for me each Mother’s Day --as I feel her spirit with me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Re-Cyclery Partners with Marinwood Market & Today's Bouquet

Pop-Up Flower Shop by Today's Bouquet at Marinwood Market
March 9 - 30, 2013

A whimsical old vintage bike circa 1950's, announces the Spring launch of the Pop-Up Flower Shop by Today's Bouquet at Marinwood Market. Our friends at the Re-Cyclery generously lent the antique bike to raise visibility of their non-profit Trips for Kids, and their bike thrift store in San Rafael on 4th Street. The Re-Cyclery keeps bikes out of landfills and compliments our use and philosophy of re-using old things for our flower arrangements; so Re-Cyclery is a treffic new partner.

Marinwood Market and Today's Bouquet are delight to partner with the Re-Cyclery!  This Spring bike-on down to Marinwood Market and our Pop-Up Flower Shop

The Re-Cyclery Thrift Shop is located in San Rafael’s downtown business district and is a center for affordable bicycle transportation. The shop sells an array of bikes, parts and accessories donated by individuals, shops and manufacturers. As needed, their mechanics assemble, refurbish, and breathe new life into the donated bikes and parts.

Sales at +Re-Cyclery raise funds that support the work of Trips for Kids, a nationwide nonprofit program with 45 independent chapters serving over 5000 disadvantaged youth each year. Trips for Kids provides mountain bike outings, job training and environmental education for youth that would not otherwise have these opportunities. Their programs combine lessons in personal responsibility, achievement, and environmental awareness through development of practical skills and the simple act of having fun.

For great deals on new and used bikes for kids and adults, bike parts and accessories you can’t find anywhere else, and new cycling clothes at low prices, visit Re-Cyclery at 610 4th Street in San Rafael. By shopping at or donating toRe-Cyclery you help the kids, the community, and the environment!

Trips For Kids was founded by director Marilyn Price in 1988. Dozens of chapters have opened up across the United States and Canada ever since, and there's also a chapter in Israel.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Delicate Beauty of Early Spring Blooms

Daphne Odora
The blooms of early Spring are some of my most favorite of the year because of their delicate beauty and amazing architectural form for each fragile bloom. Daphne Odora is the first to say good-bye to winter and welcome spring with its once woody branches now covered with delicate tiny white and pink trumpets that hold an intoxicating fragrance like not other. It blossoms for a short time lasting about six weeks from January through March. It is my favorite bloom to include in Valentine Bouquets as its winning combination of fragrance and exquisite beauty can't be matched seasonally in my garden.

No other flower brightens my day more in early Spring that the many varieties of Daffodils that pop-up throughout my garden. From tiny yellow trumpets mixing with the tangle of For-Get-Me-Nots to the big bold bright trumpets that stand 2 feet tall the announce that spring is here in there glorious and vibrant varieties. My colorful tulips brighten my day to as the punctuate the garden with their colorful display. The many varieties of Daffodils and Tulips in my garden are always a happy and welcome surprise when they spring up in my garden, as I can't ever remember exactly where I plant them from season to season.

Narcissus, Lily of the Valley, and the many fragile fruit tree blossoms seem to be the most delicate and add soft romantic accents to my garden and arrangements.  Their papery textures really adds an intricate show of delicate blooms in that very short window known as early Spring. These blossoms are always threatened by the strong winds and occasional rain where I live, so I really try to get out doors to enjoy them for their exquisite short bloom.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sharing the Love--Pop-Up Flower Shop by Today's Bouquet

Valentine's Day launched a new partnership for Today's Bouquet with Marinwood Market, a wonderful family-owned neighborhood market that specializes in selling organic and locally grown products.  Marinwood Market was brimming with romance as Pop-Up Flower Shop by Today's Bouquet offered customers a variety of our romantic and whimsical floral arrangements for their beloved Valentine's.   Love <3 Locally

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year & Happy Gardening in 2012: My Gardening Resolutions

Roadside Cactus
from our Holiday Road Trip to Arizona

  Happy New Year!

I just returned from a road trip to Arizona to celebrate the New Year with our family, and I am ready to get back into the garden despite the cold. 

With our holiday decorations finally taken down; and the last load of laundry from our trip folded; I remembered the list of my gardening resolutions that I came up during the long drive home, and thought I would share them:
1.     Take better care of my garden tools--will give them longevity.
2.     Stay on top of weeding--plants will thrive and it will look much better.
3.     Keep Garden Diary--this will better assist in my planning and ordering.
4.     Collect more seeds from my garden--I tend to get lazy with this one.
5.     Occasionally, be still and enjoy in my garden--as I am always tinkering
 What are your gardening resolutions?
Happy Gardening in 2013!!!!!!!