The backyard bouquet is everything that the florist’s bouquet is not.
Where the corner florist’s bouquet is full of identical, stick-straight stems, the backyard flowers bend and swerve like cursive letters.
Where the local deli’s bouquet has plastic-smelling carnations, the fresh-cut dianthus from the backyard still carry a spicy fragrance. I never knew these flowers to smell good until I smelled a fresh one.
Where the florist’s bouquet is patched together from flowers that flew in from foreign countries, often raised with pesticides and chemicals and by the hard labor of those not making upscale-florist salaries, the backyard bouquet is what you cut from everything blooming under your own hands. And maybe some tall, frilly weeds to fill it out.
The backyard bouquet is simple, unpredictable, haphazard, and lovely.
And it’s a pretty nerve-racking business model, as I’ve designed it. See, about a month ago, I arranged with a local coffee shop to plant a container garden in their backyard and sell bouquets from their counter. I loved cutting my own bouquets from my garden plot all last year, and I was so inspired by Tara’s backyard bounty, that I thought I’d try a low-stakes “slow flower” business experiment. At best, I’ll make back my tiny capital investment and a little extra cash to blow on cold-brew coffee or fancy cheese this summer. At worst, I’ll get to make pretty bouquets and learn a thing or two (at a price B-school can’t beat) about entrepreneurship.
If you find yourself in Brooklyn, swing by Primrose Cafe. Venture into the backyard and smell the anise hyssop or the Siberian wallflower, and especially the dianthus. It’s delicate and you have to get your nose real close, but when you do, it smells sweet and spicy, like nutmeg or cinnamon, and you’ll wish you could carry it with you all day long.