Archive for 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Coco Chanel is Alive and Well in Milner

Christmas cheer is in my blood.  As a matter of fact, I often feel that I must be a distant relative of Mrs. Klaus.  Around this time of year, my dreams are full of red and white.  My hair is dusted with so much gold glitter that I leave a trail of sparkling specs wherever I go.  You will most likely find me running around the greenhouse with a shiny sparkle stuck to the end of my nose, a box of bright metallic cellophone sheets tucked under one arm and curly ting ting bunches under the other.  During the months of November and December my calling in life is to spread the joy of the season from house to house, one beautiful poinsettia at a time!

Here at Darvonda we grow somewhere around 200,000 gorgeous Red, Pink, White and Candy Speckled blossoms every year.  Each plant is meticulously chosen for it's depth of colourful bracts, strong branches,  and number of blooms.  While they don't take longer than 6 months to go from a cutting to your dining room table, they do require a very meticulous attention from the farmer when it comes to water, light, fertilizer and temperature. The growing process can be quite overwhelming.

On our farm, Poinsettias are one of the most demanding crops to grow.  They are finicky about not getting too much water or their roots will rot and yet they need a steady amount of fertilizer to keep their leaves nice and green.  They prefer a nice bright Fall season for good growth and yet must have 10 hours of darkness per night to ensure they color up nice and strong.  Even the shining headlights of passing cars can put a poinsettia on hold!

Oh the ups and downs of being a farmer.  First there is not enough light and then there is too much.  It's an uphill battle all the way to Christmas.

Around our place, almost 100% of our crop goes out dressed up for a party.
Rarely do we send them off in a plain old speed cover and brown cardboard box.  Nope.  I love to bling my baby girls up before I send them out to you.  Organza by the meter, shiny buckles by the thousands, and glitter by the ton is always on hand here like a well stocked makeup kit.  Haute Couture for flowers is the aim and I consider myself the Coco Chanel of the horticulture industry.


 I LOVE my job!

Now be sure to stop on in at your local garden centre, florist shop, grocery store or Big Box outlet and get your poinsettia before it's too late.   This year's fashions are flying off the shelves.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Plan an Event - Plan an Adventure

Photo Credits:  Dragonflight Photography

If there is one thing that gets my blood pumping, it's planning a PARTY!  My initial attempts at being an event coordinator were for my children's weddings.  First it was my Little Angel's "Phantom of the Opera" theme, then Junior's "Please Make it Simple MOM" theme and the  most recent Opera Diva  wedding based on "A Night in Venice" theme .  Oh, how I love a themed wedding.  However, those occasions are now distant memories and with no imminent betrothal's on the horizon from my 2 youngest children, it seemed wise to me that I scratch my party planning itch in some other way.  So, this summer we started working on our 2nd Annual "Fete for the Foodbank" at the store.

Photo Credit:  Dragonflight Photography
Last year we had 175 people join us at a big Wine and Cheese soiree with proceeds going to our local food bank here in Langley.  This year we wanted to change things up a bit by adding a PAMPERING aspect to the evening.

I made a few strategic calls to some talented family and friends...

My Niece Deanna doing mini nail sessions.

and we set up a few beauty stations around the store.....

My cousin's daughter Laurel does a mini up-do
giving our guests the opportunity to sit for a 5 minute consult....

Miss Eigenraam does her magic on Miss Schouten
or some were even treated to a 5 minute MASSAGE.....

Photo Credits: Dragonflight Photography
in the middle of the greenhouse!

Starbucks donated coffee for our bistro......

Photo credits:  Dragonflight Photography
and Tracy Cakes donated cupcakes.

Photo credits:  Dragonflight Photography
Township 7 came by and served the wine.

Photo credits:  Dragonflight Photography

Wine always lifts my spirits!

Photo credits:  Dragonflight Photography
We also featured a fashion show by "Everything but the Groom" as well as "Nectar Lingerie".

Then Chef Glen Zoteck showed us how to whip up the yummiest chicken skewers in just a flash!

The crowd got an opportunity to nibble and sip all night long.

Our volunteers just kept the food coming!

As the sun began to fade, our appetites were wonderfully satisfied with all sorts of tasty morsels.

What do you get when you combine good food....

liberal libations.....



and more SHOPPING?!

You end up with a wonderful night out with new friends....

neighbour friends....

sister friends.....

FRIENDS of every sort.  Each of us united in our wish to connect on a deeper level with one another and with those in need.

So, if you are feeling the need for a little adventure in your life, I would like to suggest you start planning a party?

All you need is a little decor.....

some mood lighting.....

a few tables and chairs.....

and a whole lot of flowers to set the scene.

OR.....if your real hobby is ATTENDING parties, you could always come to one of my parties here at the greenhouse.

This November 16th we are planning a big Winter Reveal shindig at Milner Village Garden Centre which will feature all of the right elements for a fun evening out.  You can register here.  The evening will include 5 local fashion designers presenting their recent creations, local cheeses, local musical talent, catered appetizers, wine tasting and a chance to see the store all done up for Christmas!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Creative Costumes - Pumpkin Style

Pumpkins and scarecrows are popping up everywhere.   Grocery stores, home improvement stores and corner stores have palettes of colourful gourds bubbling out of giant cardboard boxes as you walk in the doors.  Sunny fall days are slowly transforming as temperatures dip and fog begins rolling in to the Milner Valley.  That's the signal it's time to start planning for the upcoming fun of Halloween!

No need to travel far for an adventure THIS week.

This is the time of year when MATURE citizens get to suspend their adult frame of mind and start thinking like a kid again! Memories of late night trick or treating in the rain and snow with winter coats beneath our cardboard Robot masterpiece keeping us warm while hampering our ability to move freely.  Pillow cases bursting at the seems with bubble gum, candy bars and sweetarts that would last well past Christmas.  Oh the sugar highs and inevitable crashes are indelibly etched in my memory.  Those were the days!

I distinctly remember how much fun it was to plan what costume I was going to wear for the annual candy heist.  Rolls of aluminum foil and tubes of red lipstick were always in short supply at this time of year.  You can imagine then that when I grew up and became a mom, I had even MORE fun dressing my kids for the many parties that happen around this time of year.

Mini Me and Opera Diva as Hiawatha and Snow White

Sometimes the kids LOVED their costumes.....

Mini Me as Pocahontas

Sometimes they helped design their own costume......

My Little Angel draws her dream dress for Mom to sew

And sometimes they re-designed costumes to suit their own personal preference.

Mini Me makes herself a paper crown and train to change things up just a few years later
The boys generally didn't enjoy dressing up as much as their sisters.

Junior's very last costume.  He made a mighty fine Scarecrow!

I just don't understand why NOT?!

Anderson Cooper was VERY scornful of being dressed up.

We always found it such a joy to go around and meet the neighbours whom we never normally saw.  The Davis family, long time farmers here in Milner, held an annual party where we would all gather after the candy was gone and the children were too tired to hit another house.

Now that I am an empty nester, I realize that I still need to itch that creative costuming side of me.  I am finding myself sending Facebook suggestions to my College aged kids for "just in case" they might go to a party next week.

So reply.

So what's a gal like me supposed to do when she has no one to dress up?!  She goes out and buys a bunch of PUMPKINS and uses THEM to curb her addiction.

Never one to leave good enough alone, I find myself going crazy making all sorts of wacky planters just for FUN!

I crack myself up!
Heather, Chrysanthemum and Winter Kale make a perfect combo!
I think I will sell them this weekend at the Winter Market here in Milner Village Gardens so that I can afford to make some more again NEXT WEEK.  My addiction has taken hold I fear.

So, if you are someone who LOVES to hark back to those wonderful days of childhood when your imagination was boundless and magic was real, stop on by the store this weekend.  We are going to be holding our Winter Market where all sorts of fun things will be going on.  

Unfortunately, someone STOLE Frankenstein last year so he will not be attending.

35 Vendors will join us in selling their handmade goods....

Fresh organic veggies.....

and even HOTTIES Food truck will be there!

Using our imagination to pretend there are NO CALORIES in Hotties's fresh pasta!