I discovered last week that the LA Floral District is open to the public, after their To The Trade Only hours, 6 days a week. I made a trip down there to check it out -- since my Costco membership has lapsed, and there appears to be a kick-ass local source for flowers anyway, it seemed worth the trip downtown. (Side note: why can't L.A. be the way it is during the holidays, when 80% of the populace flees for parts elsewhere? It's actually livable then.) I still think I want to convince my friend Kevin, who has a wholesalers license, to take me with him, because the place was half-empty by the time I got there. Not to mention the significant $ savings. But anyway: I bought 2 pretty bunches of flowers and brought them home to experiment.
Lesson #1: I will probably not be using Bells of Ireland. I still think they're beautiful, and extrememly budget friendly ... but the elongated shape is very hard to work with.
Lesson #2: The Nordstrom ribbon off my xmas presents from mom, when turned over to put the store's insignia on the inside, is pretty and the perfect size for wrapping a bouquet's stems.
Lesson #3: Two days into their After Christmas Sale, when half of the holiday stuff has lost its price tag & the staff is seriously over trying to figure out what it's supposed to cost, Target checkout clerks can be convinced to sell you just about anything for $1.97.
Lesson #4: I can safely trust myself to make pretty boutonnieres out of the leaves I strip off of my flowers plus a few other things:Not ideal, but good practice wrapping the stem with a ribbon. Lessons #5 & #6: Don't use ribbon that's too narrow, and Pins work so much better than Craft glue.Lesson #7: Feathers are probably going to be more trouble than they're worth. Even if they do match my veil/hat thingy.
Verdict: I can do these. I will use real leaves from whatever flowers I buy, rather than silk leaves. Stuff from the twiggy bunch of leaves, pinecones, etc. from Target, embellished by a can of "caramel latte" spray paint from Michael's, will be making a significant appearance. I will, however, need more than one bunch of flowers to make a bouquet. (No, you can't see pictures of that -- it's seriously awful.) I should definitely take that 3-day floral design class that LACC offers.
Other things that I've seen that are giving me ideas:I really like these creamy gerbera daisies -- and check out the price. Yay, Flower District! I may want to use these as one of the bouquet flowers, along with something a little fluffier.
Also, I spotted this today on The Knot:Do I really want to buy a bunch of flowers that are on their way to wilting & being thrown away, no matter what the price? Or could we do something like this (since I was thinking hydrangeas anyway) and then plant them at wherever we end up living? Do hydrangeas grow in L.A.? Hmmm....