Fuchsia

Fuchsia

Trumpet flowers

Trumpet flowers

Leaf

Leaf

Calla lilies

Calla lilies

Trees

Trees

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Face

Face

Crow

Crow

Hands

Hands

The end

The end

It was a rush to the finish, but I did complete this project by the end of the year as I had hoped.  Time for new projects in 2017.

 

Happy New Year!

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

This morning I stopped by the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market after dropping  my daughter off at the airport for an early morning flight.  There were buyers lined up at the door at 6 o’clock when the Market opened.  It has been a while since I last visited and things have changed — new vendors, rearranged spaces, new market manager.  But the selection and quality of the flowers is as spectacular as always.

I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible while I took a few photos.  Here they are:

Peonies

Peonies

Peonies

Peonies

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Calla lilies

Calla lilies

Poppies from Jello Mold Farm

Poppies from Jello Mold Farm

Poppy seed cases

Poppy seed cases

Sweet peas

Sweet peas

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“The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned.  This is not the case.  When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.”
— Ai Weiwei, from the @Large exhibit brochure

Approaching Alcatraz Island from the tour boat

Approaching Alcatraz Island from the tour boat, in the San Francisco fog

I enjoyed a quick trip to the Bay area over the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday weekend to visit friends and to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit at Alcatraz.  Weiwei is a dissident artist, currently not permitted to travel outside China.  He conceived and developed the @Large exhibit from his studio in Beijing, and it was installed with his detailed instructions in various buildings within Alcatraz.  The former prison was an evokative setting for this exhibit, whose themes are freedom, detention, and justice.  Making this trip over the MLK holiday also seemed especially appropriate.

Building 64, Alcatraz

Building 64, Alcatraz

Water tower, Alcatraz

Water tower, Alcatraz

The water tower still showed signs from the 1969 - 71 occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes, a significant event in Native American history

The water tower still showed signs from the 1969 – 71 occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes, a significant event in Native American history

A Block, Alcatraz

A Block, Alcatraz

A Block

A Block

Prison cell, Alcatraz

Prison cell, Alcatraz

Cell house, Alcatraz

Cell house, Alcatraz

The art exhibit was a multi-sensory experience.  There was a sound installation in the cell house and A Block, which featured music, poetry, and speeches by artists of conscience.  And Tibetan and Native American chants played in the cell house hospital’s two psychiatric observation rooms.

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One can imagine how important books and letters are to prisoners as a way to bear their isolation.  The “Yours Truly” part of Weiwei’s exhibit gave visitors an opportunity to write messages to prisoners of conscience currently detained around the world.  Postcards featured images of birds and flowers, and postage was provided.

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I appreciated the layout of the @Large exhibit, which required one to walk outside from building to building to see the various artworks.  The walking time gave one time to absorb and reflect upon the works.  And while thinking about detention and imprisonment, to enjoy the grounds with their views of the bay, and the lovely gardens.

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I particularly liked Weiwei’s “Blossom” installation in the cell house hospital.  The delicate, pristine white porcelain bouquets were points of hope amidst the ruins.

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“Refraction” was viewed through broken and cracked window glass, a huge winged structure that felt very heavy.

"Refraction" by Ai Weiwei

“Refraction” by Ai Weiwei

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As we walked along the narrow corridor to the next exhibit, we caught glimpses through broken windows.  “Trace” featured portraits made of LEGOs of political prisoners.

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"Trace" by Ai Weiwei

“Trace” by Ai Weiwei

I liked seeing the portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King on this MLK holiday weekend.

I liked seeing the portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King on this MLK holiday weekend.

A traditional Chinese dragon kite featured large in the “With Wind” installation.  Another emblem of freedom.

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The Georgetown warehouse of the Seattle Wholesale Growers' Market

The Georgetown warehouse of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

“We tend to consider bloom to be the ultimate gift of the garden, but the structure is just as important. For example, the phlox is beautiful in its mass of foliage, even before the blossoms emerge.”
— Stanley Kunitz, from The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden

Kunitz finds metaphors for his poetry writing in his flower garden.  Here is one of its lessons:  “In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.”

So, too, one of the lessons I’ve learned from the flower growing experts at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is that you can make a spectacular bouquet from stems, twigs, pods, leaves, and things scavenged from nature.  Blooming is definitely not all a plant can offer.  There’s plenty going on in all seasons of the year.

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is a farm-owned cooperative with a focus on local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.  I dropped in last week and was pleased to see that the Market is growing.  It’s expanded its warehouse space and is gearing up for its busiest year yet.

Here are some photos from mid-May at the Market celebrating its “underlying song”:

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Sweet peas

Sweet peas from Jello Mold Farm

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And sweet pea vines

And sweet pea vines

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Calla lilies from Z Callas

Calla lilies from Z Callas

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Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm checks an order at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

You have to get up early to catch the action at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.  The doors open at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and by 6:30 a.m. the warehouse is already a whirl of activity.  Florists and buyers arrive at sunrise for the freshest blooms.  I can image the local growers on the road in the pre-dawn darkness hurrying to get their flowers to market in time for this buying rush.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is open to the public on Fridays from 10 – 2 (small fee for admission)

Ready to load up the car with new purchases

The back of another florist’s truck

This has obviously been a good year for our local flower growers, and it is gratifying to see the market flourishing.  Summer is a season of abundance in the flower fields, and inside the warehouse was a bounteous array of choices for bouquets and floral arrangements.  Here are some photos:

The morning sun casts a shadow through the open warehouse door.

Nicole, the front desk manager, greets buyers and keeps the operations flowing.

Oregon Coastal Flowers section of the warehouse

Such an assortment of colors and textures for unique floral arrangements

Deep purple calla lilies lined up for purchase, Oregon Coastal Flowers

Buckets of calla lilies, Oregon Coastal Flowers

Floral lamp shades, J Foss Garden Flowers

Green and orange gladioli, J Foss Garden Flowers

Calla lilies await wrapping

Wrapped and ready to go

Wrapping supplies

A buyer backs up to the loading dock for her purchases

Dahlias in yellow bucket

Sneezeweed assortment in brown wrapping paper

Eremurus

Check out counter

Fallen blossoms and petals on the loading dock

Scabiosa, Jello Mold Farm

The loading dock at 7:30 a.m. — the early morning rush was over.

Snowballs and callas displayed by Oregon Coastal Flowers inside the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market warehouse

Yesterday the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market celebrated its one-year anniversary with a festive party at their Georgetown warehouse.  It was a joyous occasion, full of color, supportive buyers and friends, fresh blooms, and good food.  Debra Prinzing and David E. Perry, author and photographer, were on hand to sign copies of their new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet.  (The New York Times recently wrote an interesting article about the book and the “buy local” flower movement.  You can link to it here.)

Starting June 1st, the market will open its doors to retail buyers on Fridays from 10 – 2 and will charge a $5 fee for this privilege.  I appreciated getting an invitation to the Anniversary Party, even though I am not a wholesaler or florist.  I am proud to know this group of local flower growers who are working so hard to promote sustainability and local markets in the flower industry.  Small is beautiful!

Here are some photos of the day:

Twig baskets on the loading dock, from Oregon Coastal Flowers

Bucket full of calla lilies, Oregon Coastal Flowers

I simply cannot resist including another photo of these gorgeous calla lilies.

Buyer selects individual blooms from the choice inventory of J Foss Garden Flowers.

Janet, owner of J Foss Garden Flowers

Janet writes up a sale.

Another buyer

Casual seating area

Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm flanked by author Debra Prinzing and photographer David E. Perry with their book, The 50 Mile Bouquet

Debra Prinzing signing book

Debra Prinzing signing copies of her new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet

Photographer David E. Perry signing copies of his book, The 50 Mile Bouquet

The focus is on super fresh, seasonal flowers like these tulips.

Flower arranging demonstration

Flower arranging demonstration

Diane Szukovathy speaking passionately to local buyers and florists

Diane talking with her hands

Jello molds at the warehouse from Jello Mold Farm

Reflections in a mirror at the warehouse

Purchases on the loading dock

Diane Szukovathy, President of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market Cooperative

Calla lilies in a bucket, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market will soon be celebrating its one-year anniversary, and I stopped by the warehouse to photograph some of its current offerings of fresh, seasonal blooms.  The market is a producer’s cooperative that supports Washington, Oregon and Alaska flower farmers and provides a place for them to sell directly to Seattle area florists, event planners, stylists, and other buyers of flowers.

Several of the Seattle Wholesale growers, including Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm, have recently been featured in a new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet by Debra Prinzing.  This book captures an exciting time in the floral industry, when more and more buyers are demanding locally and sustainably grown flowers.

Every visit to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is a feast for my eyes, and this one was as rewarding as ever.  Here are a few photos:

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is housed in an old warehouse.

A big selection of twigs and branches for floral arrangements

Budding branches of purple leaf plum for spring bouquets

Cylindrical bark containers

I love these twiggy wreaths!

Moss, buds, and twigs give rustic texture to this wreath.

The first-of-the-season sweet peas

Passionale daffodil and yellow specialty daffodils

Bucket of Passionale daffodils

Bucket of Frittelaria Assyriaca

Blooming branches

Stool, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Pussy willows and polka dots

Pussy willow and polka dots

Purples and Greens

October 10, 2011

I am seeing a lot of purple-green color combinations in nature right now.    I think it is a particularly pleasing juxtaposition.

Purple calla lilies in a neighbor's yard

Purple calla lilies

Edged in green, Barberry bush

Hydrangea

Foliage at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Ornamental cabbage, Sky Nursery

Purple and green is also a favorite color scheme in quilts.  Here is one I made several years ago:

Kansas City Star Quilt

Colorful Calla Lilies

September 3, 2011

Calla lilies at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

I’d never seen so many colors of calla lilies in one place before my visit to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market — creamy white, yellow, peach, burgundy, and such a deep purple that it was almost black.  (The dark ones were a challenge to photograph.)  These were the bounty of Z Callas, a specialty grower from Oregon.

I took so many photos of the calla lilies that I decided they needed their own post.  I just love the curvy, sensuous lines of this elegant flower.

Calla lilies at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Luscious, creamy calla lilies

Yellow calla lilies against dark purple ones

All the colors of a sunset in these calla lilies

Calla lilies

Purple calla lilies

 

Flower Market Revisited

September 2, 2011

Purchases ready for pickup, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

It has been some time since I last visited the flower growers at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in Georgetown.  I made a trip down on Wednesday to see what’s blooming now in the late summer.  As always, I was captivated by the gorgeous flowers and new varieties offered for sale at this thriving market.  I so appreciate the invitation to photograph extended to me by Diane of Jello Mold Farm.  Thank you!

Buckets of colorful hydrangeas brighten this corner of the old warehouse

Red Queen Lime Zinnias -- I loved the zing of the lime color!

Red Queen Lime Zinnia

Zinnia from Jello Mold Farm

Dinnerplate Dahlias, Jello Mold Farm

More dahlias (salad plate size)

Green Trick Dianthus, North Fork Growers

These won my vote for the most unusual flower of the day.

Artichokes, Jello Mold Farm

Sunflower

Scabiosa pods

Scabiosa pods (another new-to-me flower)

These growers offer enough beauty to sustain you for days.