A Flowery Dream

I’ve had this odd dream/idea of working in a flower shop, making pretty arrangements.

My allergies have a large say in why I do not work in a flower shop.  We had to instruct the florist for our wedding that no strong scented flowers could be used or the bride and mother of the groom would be sneezing and headachy through the whole thing.  Lilies and hyacinths and eucalyptus do not enter my house and if I wear perfume it has to be on the back of my neck in order to avoid headaches.

In my current life I work on this dream by buying basic bunches at the grocery store and trying to arrange them in pretty, though simple, ways.

Years ago I worked as an assistant superintendent on the construction of the Barneys flagship store in NYC.  It backed up to a beautiful old hotel and we had to rebuild their cart wash room for them as part of the construction.  It was my area.  To get to it through the hotel I had to go past their flower shop.  The florists would let me watch them prepare bouquets and centerpieces for events.  Often they’d give me a rose or other flower to take with me.  There I was, in my jeans, flannel shirts, hard hat, construction boots, etc, walking through the jobsite with my clipboard and a rose.  What a juxtaposition.

There was a wonderful woman who followed her flower shop dream and turned that into a 30 year career of designing the flowers in the White House.  It was not an easy career, but what a career.  I just finished reading her book on her time there.  What interesting stories.  She worked under 6 First Ladies and created more than just floral arrangements.  While I was reading it, she passed away.  I am so glad that she took time out of her retirement to share her stories.  The book is My First Ladies by Nancy Clarke.

I will probably never work in a flower shop.  And I certainly will never end up working at The White House.  But I will continue to buy my grocery store bouquets and cut whatever flowers I can manage to grow (there will be a fence around my flower garden this year and we will plant earlier) and arrange them for me and my family, placing them out of snacking reach of the cats.  It will make me happy.


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