June 15, 2009

Peony Season at Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

























Last weekend my husband and I visited Seattle for a couple of days without the kiddos. Sunny weather, temperatures in the 70's and a gentle breeze made wandering around downtown Seattle feel rather like heaven. We stopped at Pike Place Market twice, and I was delighted to see thousands of locally grown peonies and other blooms lined up in long stalls.


These peonies reminded me of a giant, fragrant pillow. I have a few pink and crimson peonies blooming in my yard, but nothing like this display!








The cool violet and crisp white hues of dutch iris created a lovely contrast with the pink shades of the peonies. This picture almost makes me regret that I ripped out all my dutch iris last year when I got sick of the dying foliage that hung around all summer. How much nicer it is to let someone else deal with the foliage issues and just buy the flowers here.
























We passed people - mostly women, of course - carrying armfuls of sweet peas and other flowers. I expect that putting one's nose into a bouquet of sweet peas was an effective way to block out the fishy smells from the fresh seafood stalls across the way.




Floral workers made breathtaking bouquets from stems of peonies, delphiniums, dutch iris, calla lilies, sweet peas and many other flowers.
























My jaw dropped at the incredible prices - huge bouquets were only $15, and there were plenty of smaller choices for $5 or $10. Similar-sized bouquets at my local grocery store are three times as expensive, not as fresh, and not as pretty.

Seeing the different color combinations was inspirational. As usual, I was most struck by bouquets with vivid, cool hues like magenta, violet, and deep blue. Those were always my favorite crayon colors as a girl.
 
We chose a bouquet for my mother to thank her for watching our kids. Of course it had to include her favorite color, hot pink.
 

























I especially enjoyed the dramatic delphiniums, like the deep blue ones above. My white delphs are just starting to bloom, and all the purples won't be far behind.


This blue and white combo is breathtaking. I love cobalt blue in arrangements, but it's hard to come by in flowers. Delphs and iris have some of the best deep blue flowers. I often 'cheat' when blue flowers are scarce and add the color to an arrangement by placing it into a blue vase.


























This white bouquet reminded me of the white flowers I carried at my wedding. I did feel a bit like a bride as I carried the gorgeous bouquet for my mom back to our hotel. Our tenth wedding anniversary was the reason behind our trip to Seattle, and enjoying all these beautiful flowers seemed a fitting way to celebrate.

19 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby, VW. It must have been nice to feel like a bride on your 10th anniv.! Your mom must have been thrilled to receive such a lovely arrangement...all of your photos were so gorgeous...those peonies in flower arrangements are just so beautiful. I just wish they would last for more than a day or 2! They are such perfect flowers! It sounds like you enjoyed your mini-getaway;-) Take care!

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  2. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. I might just lie down and weep. Magnificent. Just imagining the fragrance is a joy; the real thing must have been pure delight.

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  3. Thank you for the trip back to a place that I love! Your mentioning the fish stalls made the vision/moment complete.

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  4. OMG!!! I want a flower market like that nearby!!! Well, maybe not, I would be broke. Reminds me of the streets of Amsterdam.

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  5. Happy 10th to you and to many more too! The flowers are lovely. I bet the smell was heavenly and your mother was most grateful for her bouguet.

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  6. Happy Anniversary! You had perfect weather while you were here. The flowers are gorgeous and the prices are unbeatable. I think a bride could just swing by for a wedding bouquet on her way to the church. They are pretty enough.

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  7. A very happy anniversary to you both, VW! Seeing those masses of flowers must have been like a dream where the streets are paved with blooms, too yummy! Deciding which bouquet to take to your mom must have been difficult, but I love the pure white bridal one too. I don't cut flowers here, I like to see them in the garden and have a cat that cannot stay away from them in the house, she wants to eat them, even dried. The sweet peas must have smelled divine. :-)
    Frances

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  8. Happy late 10th Anniversary. Looks like you had a great day. Your pictures are beautiful - now I want to run up to the market! Last year my girlfriend took me up there for my birthday - she didn't tell me where she was taking me. And bought me 2 bouquets. I said only one but no she had to get me two so we both had our arms full going through the market. But it was wonderful fun! And you're right I can't believe the prices of those beautiful flowers!!!

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  9. Hi! What a wonderful Anniversary trip you enjoyed!! I cannot believe how beautiful those flowers were - and the effect of the sheer massive numbers of them! You picked a beautiful bouquet for your mom. (Did you find a bouquet for yourself?? It might have been a Very Hard Choice!)

    I sent you photos of my heuchera flowers... what do you think?? I think my little H. is looking fairly princely. ;-)

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  10. Happy 10th to you two! A lovely, weddingy part of your celebratory weekend!

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  11. Oh, I'd go absolutely nuts with a flower market like that nearby! Those are some amazing photos you shared with us & the prices are GREAT. Happy Belated Anniversary. Sounds like it was a nice trip. Can you believe I've never been to Seattle?? Used to go to Portland all the time but even so close by, never made it the extra distance. Now you've made me want to take a road trip!

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  12. the gardening husbandJune 17, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    Hey, what fish smell?! It was a great market, though, wasn't it? You got your flowers and across the aisle I got my smoked salmon. Thanks for being there with me VW. You've made them a wonderful 10 years.

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  13. Maravillosos colores.
    Un precioso blog.

    Te invito al mio fotografico...
    http://cruz-pedro.blogspot.com

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  14. Thank you for the comment, DW (aka the gardening husband). Speaking of fish, did I mention that I still consider you a good catch?

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  15. Oh, my, that was a feast for the eyes. I was struck by the pink and white combinations. Wonderful.~~Dee

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  16. A belated happy anniversary.

    I'm no flower arranger but take my hat off to your 'cheat' to put them in a BLUE vase.

    Nice photos by the way

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  17. Happy 10th anniversary - wonderful colours - I especially love the vibrant pink sweet peas, could almost smell them.

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  18. I liked the posting & think that it will be helpful for others. Keep up the good work. Good luck.

    Web Royalty

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  19. Beautiful. You need to grow more peonies yourself, however...

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