February 9, 2001
Perhaps I should call this little saga, The day $35 turned into $63.50 and ended with a smile on Bob Edward's face. Of course you won't get to see that actual smile because Bob's too discreet to have his kisser displayed on-line, but here's how the rest of the day looked:
Laurelhurst Florists is a delightful low-tech, neighborhood affair, a place that could have been airlifted from Mayberry, USA and dumped into SE Portland (where the store's clients are just as likely to have pierced eyebrows and nose rings).
After meeting with designer Linda Beutler -- a well-known name in Portland horticultural circles -- producer Jane Greenhalgh and I offered no help whatsoever as Linda put together a decidedly non-Valentinelike bouquet. This one would be a prototype for the arrangement I planned to order later that morning for the unsuspecting Colonel Bob.
Here's what we got for $50: a blue vase, several coral-colored peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria)...a couple of yellow dancing ladies (Oncidium)...blue and yellow Dutch iris...the salmon berries of St. John's Wort (Hypericum)...plus eucalyptus and deciduous huckleberry (Vaccinium) for greenery.
So home I went, bouquet in hand, and called Sandy's Flowers in D.C., using all the tips I'd learned from Linda about how to do business with a florist. Of course I'd spaced out one small detail: my $50 bouquet would now cost $63.50 after tax and delivery charges.
Virtual Bob with his bouquet
Photo by Maggy Sterner
Nice, huh? Maybe a little heavy on the coarse-textured greenery (and what's that pink doing there? I asked for three colors, max), but the feel of the bouquet is pretty much what I wanted. If I had to do it again, however, I'd have said No Bird. Strelitzia, or bird of paradise, is right up there in my book with no mums, no carns, no gyp!
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