Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Flower Shop .. Pasadena!!

I always wanted to work in a flower shop ... and I finally got my chance.  On the way to "work", we passed the HGTV grandstand, along with thousands of others.  In the next day or so, I expect to see people camped on the curbs!!
Here's an example of the detail work from one of the floats.  The letters are glued, flowered and split-peaed ... with tweezers!!  Pretty tedious work, to say the least.  Although there are lots of kids around since school is out, most of the work is done by us "older" folk!!  The more common sense, the better ... I'll leave it at that!!
Since the Western Assets float wasn't making any headway, I went to see Gretchen in the flower shop, while Cyndae, Joe and Katie went to cut flowers.  That means they took very small scissors and cut the petals off straw flowers.  While doing so, they got to meet people from all over the U.S.  I've met ladies from Indianapolis, Kansas City, Washington State and Maine!  They all come here to volunteer.
This is a dock on a waterway with a fish jumping out of the catch bag.  The designs are so imaginative and detailed!!
Closeup of the fish where flowers and beans have been glued on.  The bosses have worksheets that tell them exactly what goes where.  Take a look at the fins!!
Back in the flower shop, the heart of the parade floats beats like crazy!!!  It's almost like a continuous heart attack!!  Every float designed has figured the number, color and type of flowers required.  That was sent to the Dept. Head, who ordered the flowers and gave the control list to the Flower Shop.  It's our job to be sure they get exactly what they ordered!!  The problem comes when people just walk in and pick up buckets without checking in first.  Yesterday, several people got off with the wrong ones.  In the end, some specific orders probably won't be filled with the exact right color.  That didn't happen today, but only because the Flower Police (me and two helpers) were on the job.
I'm officially the Detail Florist ... meaning I handle the most delicate flowers, including anthuriums and these amazing cattleya orchids .. 80 to a box.  I get the float name and order from the boss, then unpack and re-water every little tube.  You can't touch these orchids or they will turn brown immediately.  Can you imagine getting the packing material off without damaging these babies??  
They were packed in Hawaii and shipped in these huge boxes.  Once refilled with water, we stick them in the box tops with the number and float name.  In between, we kept people honest!!  You can't imagine how many don't follow the rules!!!  OR how many people came through and just wanted ONE for themselves or their wife!!  Sorry, no can do, but I'm sure she will appreciate the thought!!
Each anthurium is packed separately in wet shredded newspaper and are even more delicate.  These are cut, counted and bucketed, then tagged with the float name.
These gorgeous babies will be substituted for the ones that went missing!!!
In the middle of all this, a huge truck brought in an order of miscellaneous exotics, including bird of paradise and ginger.
When it was all counted and tagged, we were short quite a few and had some that weren't on our order list.  It took a couple of hours to finally figure out they had delivered to the wrong building.  Yikes!!!  We had already stored most and sent some out!!  This mess will be sorted out today!!  It's interesting to note that everything comes in water ... even this cardboard box has a water container at the bottom so everything stays fresh.
No I don't know the names of most, but these are pretty spectacular!!!  I worked from 9:30 to 5:30 before finishing the last box and heading out for the night.  The VERY nice guy in the parking lot let me sit on his chair and rest before the drive back through traffic!!
Cyndae had called and wanted to eat dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  Who am I to disagree???  It took over an hour for me to find the place.  Since I couldn't find any parking, I drove back to the Elks and walked two blocks, coughing all the way.  Believe me, it was worth it!!  This humongous Galleria Mall has fountains, music and some of the most amazing shopping!!  No time to look however ... they have had a table for over an hour, waiting for me to find the place.  Simon the waiter was a sweetheart and waited on us hand and foot.  I mean really, this guy knows his business ... which got him a BIG tip!!  
The Bellagio Chicken over pesto pasta was the best thing I've eaten in two months!!  Yup ... better than my baklava!!  They even brought us extra sauce ... who's ever heard of that??  Half came home, along with a piece of dulche de leche cheesecake!!!  On the walk back, we cruised down the trolly car track to this magnificent chandelier hanging over the street.  Amazing!!!  If I'm not too tired tomorrow, I want to come back and get more pictures.
It's just so fun to get out of my drab little corner of the world and see the sights!!!  Not to mention spending time with friends and meeting new people from around the world!!  

It's going to get more hectic ... only two days left!!!  Are we going to finish all the flowers???  Will we have enough???


  1. Wow. Bingo police, flower police, next month the ice cream police. Do you see a pattern here? Also, interesting that you are number three on Nick's blog. Jim

    1. Hahahah Jim ... yes I do!!! I guess somebody's gotta do it!!!
      I saw that on Nicks Blog ... they are great friends and I do tend to comment a lot!!