new d*s columnist: sarah ryhanen of saipua

today i’m thrilled to welcome a new columnist to d*s! i’ve been wanting to add someone to our tiny team who could help with all things floral and garden-oriented so i was beyond excited when sarah ryhanen of saipua accepted my invitation. i’ve long been a fan of sarah’s (and eric’s) work at saipua, a beautiful flower and soap shop in red hook brooklyn, and have been following her blog for months (you might remember her hilarious guest blog posts at d*s). once a week sarah will be joining us to talk about floral arranging, urban gardening, plants, diy floral centerpieces, introducing us to interesting (and affordable) flowers and anything else that relates to nature and our modern world. we’re still working on a name and permanent day-of-the-week for the column so stay tuned for her regular schedule. so, without further ado, take it away, sarah…

Flowers make people happy in the simplest way. I used to work at a Carvel Ice cream store, and it was pretty much the same type of simple pleasure. But more delicious I guess. You want to know how to make those chocalate crunchies? No you don’t.

So I’m really glad to be here, glad to be sharing pictures of flowers and a few words of wisdom on how to arrange, care for, grow, and sometimes eat flowers. Also here to let you know that your girlfriend likes flowers, would like you to bring home flowers tonight, and would like you to start thinking about valentines day now…Jus’ saying.

Today the anemone is on my mind. Anemone Coronaria… and don’t call her poppy. She can be French or American and comes in shades of white, blue, pink or red but is distinguished by her blue/black center. She’s around from November to April and now – January – finds us smack dab in the middle of the season when anemones are their strongest and most beautiful. Winter flowers always feel really special to me. They are lovely contrast to the weather outside. Such a lovely contrast to the clothes all over the floor or the sink full of dishes. Those things tend to fade into the distance with some flowers on the kitchen table. The cat threw up? Who cares! We have Anemones!

The anemone is a saucy and versatile flower. She can stand surprisingly well on her own – holding a room with just a few stems, but she she also mixes exceptionally well with a myriad of other blooms. She’s great at parties. All this despite her tragic name – Anemone comes from Greek, meaning Windflower. It symbolizes the foresaken and is said to have sprung from the blood of Aphrodite’s slain lover, Adonis. I generally don’t tell that to brides.

I like to put a few stems in small bottles by my bedside or on the kitchen table. To dress them up a bit I mixed about 14 stems here with a few bunches of fresh oregano. For something a bit more styled I made a quick tie-up bouquet with quince blossoms, salmon parrot tulips, poppies, roses, and eucalyptus. Might as well get this out of the way up front: best advice for keeping these beauties looking good for 5-7 days is to change the water daily. Thats all. Some people add drops of bleach (kills bacteria) or dish soap (glycerin acts as a stand-in for flower food) but I don’t monkey with flower cocktails. Just keep the water changed and away from the heater.

Anemones leave you cold? Single petaled flowers seem shallow? Next week we’ll take a look at the Anemone’s illusory cousin THE RANUNCULA.

  1. lucyjupiter says:

    YES YES YES… I didn’t think I could love this blog more. I AM SO EXCITED FOR OBSCURE FLOWER NAMES.

  2. grace says:

    i’m so glad everyone is enjoying sarah’s first column. it’s such an honor to have her as part of the site. :)

  3. caroline says:

    i am SO glad you’re adding sarah in a semi-permanent way! i loved her guest blog posts. her gorgeous photos, beautiful arrangements, knowledge, humor, pop culture references and descriptions of animals get me every time. yes, all that.

  4. Sarah says:

    lucyjupiter took the words right out of my mouth, Yes yes yes! My two favorite things (sponge and saipua) in one! Made my day.

  5. oh dear, thanks so much for this new D*S feature! I grew up in a horticultural farm and can’t wait to see more of your photos!

  6. Jane says:

    Brilliant, really helpful and so pretty.

  7. Johanna says:

    Brilliant! Saipua and Design*Sponge all intertwined together in one scrumptious package! Fantastic idea Grace, you are an international crowd pleaser!

  8. Smilla says:

    I am really looking forward to your posts Sarah.
    I started reading D*s about a year ago, and this is where I read about your store in Brooklyn. So when I was in New York past September, I walked across the BBridge all the way to Red Hook (man it was HOT) only to find that your store was closed!
    So silly of me not to have checked beforehand. But I loved Brooklyn so much, that I’m pretty sure I’ll be back some day. Walking over to Red Hook was one of the best day’s ever!

    Enjoy posting!


  9. kim says:

    Oh, I’m very glad as well, I love gardening and everything flowers. Anemone is one of my favourite bulbs. Great start!

  10. Jeff Flemings says:

    GORGEOUS. Thrilled you are contributing and can’t wait for additional beautiful, engaging, practical posts like this one. Wish I lived in Red Hook so I could partake of your magic live.

  11. Sarah says:

    i’m so pleased that you all are pleased, and am gearing up for lots of good material to share here – thanks to grace and all of you for giving me a needed boost of inspiration with this new project!

  12. Loved this article and can not wait for more! Thank you so much! The Anemone happens to be my favorite flower so it was an extra special treat. Lovely pics as well!

  13. meg says:

    Is there anything better than anemones?? Just breathtaking.

  14. I love when the passion is felt beyond the words of a post…Great addition to the blog Grace and many congrats to Saipau!

  15. eileen says:

    What a super addition to d*s! Love anemones and ranunculas are my favorite (peonies too!). Grace, mad props for continuing to expand the scope of d*s while still staying true to your vision — that’s why I voted for you in the AT survey and am super happy you won. Somehow you’ve made the d*s world so much bigger without any dilution in the quality of the content. Sarah, I just read your blog. I will be a regular lurker there too now!

  16. Martha B. says:

    Beautiful. (big sigh…)

  17. Macy Dawn says:

    Ooh! I am so excited to see this as a new column on d*s! I have just recently become fascinated with flower arrangements and I have been posting some on my blog. I can’t wait to read Sarah’s posts!


  18. Lauren says:

    So excited for this new column! Yay!

    And Ranunculas are my favorite flower…

  19. holy smokes! i’m so excited to see you here sarah… congrats on the new spot! and congrats to d*s for the awesome new addition.

  20. amanda. says:

    ohhh.. the milk glass and mason jars make me feel like I can do these arrangements too! SO beautiful.

  21. I cant wait !! this is the most the bestest the greatest the prettiest the uberest the chicest column I will ever read!!

  22. julie says:

    i love anenomes. i can;t wait for more columns like this. does anyone know of a good source for anenome bulbs?

  23. julie says:

    does anyone know the paint and color used for the background wall?

  24. Pam says:

    I can’t wait! Sarah is such a treat!!!

  25. I popped over this evening, hoping to see if you have links to great urban gardening blogs – and you’ve exceeded my expectations . . .I can’t wait for Sarah’s column. You had me at “anemones”.

  26. ak says:

    the most beautiful arrangements i’ve ever seen.

  27. Jen says:

    One of my all time favorite flowers all though I have to admit that I’m guilty of calling them Poppies. They don’t seem to be very fragrant however and are a bit hard to find. Does anyone know where to get these in the Seattle area?

  28. nicole says:

    I need to dash out straight away to buy anemones. Right now I have a tulip and pussywillow bouquet.

  29. Austin says:

    my friend tinks these flowers are bleedin massive

  30. Stephanie says:

    Exquisite, delicious, sumptuous arrangements and photos!

  31. M Tosyali says:

    Sarah: I love these French Anemone Coronaria (white with blue center). I’m looking all over but can’t find a source to buy these bulbs. Where would you recommend I buy these bulbs from? Thanks!!


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