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.