Magical Carnation Flower Wands
When I pulled up to the Carlsbad Wholesale Market over a year ago while being the go-between for my Nashville-living sister-in-law and her local San Diego wedding florist, the scent of eucalyptus overwhelmed me, taking me back to magical carnation flower wands and holding my mom’s hand through the San Francisco Flower Market. No matter that more than twenty years were between the two experiences - it was as if it was last week. Scents have a funny way of taking you somewhere tucked far away into your memory rolodex, don’t they?
Many days of my childhood were spent digging for stems out of that weird space where things get lost between kitchen cabinets and linoleum flooring, or finding jagged rose thorns in those kitchen corners and managing to lick-and-stick one to my nose (pretending to be a wicked witch with a warty nose, obviously... where my Halloween babies at??). Quite honestly, if you were a Claudine-and-Glynis Cottage Garden bride between 1995 and 2000, I was likely peering around the corner, admiring how lovely you looked while I sipped the leftover coffee out of a floral teacup too. I listened, watched, and learned from the best.
But a four-year degree was the goal, and with music being my biggest passion growing up (aside from anxiously chewing on the leather strings of my softball mitt while waiting for the next double-play at 2nd base), I attended my dream college to get my degree in Music Education through much sacrifice by my family and family friends. I literally found my dream man passionately practicing his Bach partita in the practice room down the hall from where I was frustratingly working out my own issues with Mr. JSB (with quite un-passionately heavy hands and maybe even a profane word or two, let’s be honest) and married him not long after we walked the stage with degrees in hand. Seven combined jobs changes, two babies, and 4.5 years of marriage flew by before my headspace (and instagram searches) began to steadily grow more floral-themed. My Pinterest filled up with images while my notebook blackened with notes of what I liked and didn’t, so I reached out to 1/2 of the OG Cottage Garden and asked if I could help her with any upcoming event she was doing. I tell you, almost literally upon walking into Lora Kanai’s frigid back house packed with spring blooms, Oasis, and every Trader Joe’s chocolate snack you could imagine, I was sold. I called my husband when I left that night and told him that I was pooped and didn’t want to creatively pursue anything other than flowers for the rest of my life.
Cottage Garden Florals is me, my family history, and the way I choose to express the art and creativity given to me by God. Each piece is lovingly (sometimes painstakingly) dreamed up, prepared for, and created to bring joy and light to life’s most beautifully ordinary and extraordinary moments. I hope the next piece I deliver goes to you.