Thursday, October 30, 2008

Door Cheer

Zuzus always loves a design challenge, so when one of our
zuzushoppers asked for matching seasonal wreaths
to hang on the outer front doors of his brownstone,
we were equal to the task.
Using a combination of Acorns, Hydrangea, Gourds, and Raspberries
we drew on the feeling of the Autumn Garden and Harvest.
As an extra touch we added fragrant preserved Orange slices
and bundles of Cinnamon sticks , so that coming home
and the aroma of the holidays might be bound in memory.
We don't just decorate...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not The Last Rose

Almost Halloween and my Roses are still making buds...
very optimistic little tomato plant still blooming next to it
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pat Lapide is way on top of my very short list of favorite people.
She is the Matriarch of a family business in its third generation.
I have been a customer and friend of hers for over 30 years.

Pat was running her Father-In-Law's business
with her husband Larry for a long time before that.
It's a seasonal business:
starting with garden plants and supplies in the Spring
peaking with Watermelons in the Summer,
moving on to grapes and winemaking supplies in the Fall,
ending with christmas trees and wreaths in the Winter.
Wholesale, Retail and everything in between.

There is something in Pat that is missing in too many people.
The depth of her patience, generosity, kindness, humor...
her humanity... attracts and holds everyone she deals with,
regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity.

Lately, now that the crazy rush of Garden season is past,
I have taken to visiting with her for no good reason
other than to feel be in the company of a person
who generates love, and regularly receives it back...
from the most unlikely sources.

Sitting next to Pat on a white plastic chair,
surrounded by wooden cratesful of wine grapes,
I watch her transactions with a veritable
United nations of amateur vintners.
Everyone calls her "mom".
and most want a special deal...
the "Mom" price.
Of course, they get it.

It's like that all the time.
Whether it's a small bent over Haitian grandma with a single tomato plant
or a grizzled cranky truck driver dropping off his load,
Pat is the same.
She is my Hero.
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For the longest time, we have been trying to build our website.
Looking back on the process,
the two hardest parts
were finding a designer with the skills and sensibility
to distill the Zuzu essence
and choosing images which best illustrate it.
I am happy to say, we are close to putting it up.
Pictured above is the almost final version of the Homepage.
I think it works like our front window... makes you want to come in.
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most recent bridal bouquets

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Friday, October 24, 2008

October 25,2008

Last weekend, we went upstate to see the leaves.

For me,the Autumn color change
in the Northeastern Deciduous Trees
is the strongest argument
for the existence of a Higher Power...
A Master Designer
with an inimitable sense of hue, tint, and shade.

I wonder what was up when these gourds were designed?
look just like Birds to me.
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Small and Sweet

This folksy little piece is new
from the stay-at-home ladies out west.
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Sunday, October 05, 2008

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does this shoe make me look fat?

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me and bear

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summer gone

Summer has slipped away.
The gardenview outside my kitchen window confirms this unavoidable truth.
Across the top of my neighbor's fence, a Sweet Autumn Clematis is shedding white petals like snow and going to seed. The leaves of all the big old Hydrangea Bushes are leathery and thick, their mophead blossoms, russet, violet, sage, parchment; papery to the touch.
Azalea, Mountain Laurel, Barbery and Crepe Myrtle are edged in wine and violet. Nandina is bleeding its seasonal maroon and burgundy; color it will hold through all the winter weather.
Roses are spindley but insist on making yet another bud, competing for the honor: "Last Rose of Summer".
Today I divided and moved that overgrown clump of Midnight Blue Japanese Iris , spreading it between the baby Hydrangea, newly planted Peach Oriental Poppies and Purple Lobelia. I try to picture these new companions together next spring. I am not sure if the Poppies will bloom before the Iris, but I know those new little Hydrangea will take over when the Poppies have died down to nothing and the Iris have gone to grass.
I am pleased with the addition of some very interesting little evergreens; looking forward to checking on them when little else draws me from the comfort of the warm house into the wind and cold.
This garden I now tend is of my childhood: My Father's Garden.
I grew up on this ground, played amongst these bushes, picked these flowers and wove chains of them for my hair. I brought fat stalks of his fragrant Hyacinth in Spring and Musky scented Chrysanthemums in the Fall as offerings to my grade school teachers.
I watched him turn the soil in the Spring...methodically sliding his shovel in, lifting a clod, turning it over, and slicing in to break it up ; one shovel next to the last, evenly in a row, never out of order. He planted Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants and Broccoli, Zinnias, Impatiens,Begonias, and Geraniums.
The Blue Atlas Cedar, Norway Spruce, and Japanese Black Pine (he bought for a dollar )have grown to tower above the house...sadly these last few years, we lost the Black Pine to a plague of pests and disease they could not withstand.

Now I turn the soil in the Spring and picture him, shirtless on that first warm day of his favorite season.
It is a rich inheritance for me. I have the good fortune to return to my roots.

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