Inspired by Prinzing and Perry's delightful new book, "The 50 Mile Bouquet" ( St . Lynn's Press, 2012) I surveyed some of my own bouquets, created since I moved to a 15th floor apartment in Manhattan; the building has an 18th floor roof garden that I tend. No longer having my flower and herb farm to feed my floral design habit, I buy in season from local green markets, or gather by the armload from Jen's NH cutting garden to bring home. I retrieve a few spring branches that have fallen on the street near my apartment (above), or I prune two stems from the crimson bark Japanese maple on my roof. Well... I have to prune don't I?Later in the summer I cut three branches of barberry and a few stems from the laden hydrangea from the roof garden, and cut five stems of Caladium from the tree wells in front of the building. Placed in front of the mirror in the lobby of my building, a modest, local, organic bouquet looks huge.Back to the streets in fall for Osage oranges, locust pods and horse chestnuts for a centerpiece.
Riverside Park is sort of local for me; it's within long-walking distance. or I find a few stems of green foxtail, a common weed grass. or another bare branch blown from a street tree. You can see I'm not very picky, but if I want something fresh and green, one stem from any conifer with cones, looks like an arrangement. I don't prune regularly but bide my time all year 'til I want something for my own use. Why just trash branches when I can have my own 18th story bouquet, local and organic? And finally, another arrangement for the lobby selecting from plethora of flowers and berries I've grown on the 18th floor.