This year we are offering fresh holiday wreaths and fresh flower arrangements for your holiday parties / apartment beautifying / housewarming gift-giving.

Blue Wreath featuring Eastern white cedar, spiral eucalyptus, silver bells, pine cones and the most ethereal dried baby’s breath

I’m equally excited and terrified about it. Retail is not really our bread and butter and I’m just dipping my toes into these murky and unchartered waters for the great ship MOF. It’s sort of a must though… while the intensity of our subscription/event season is waning, and in its way nature is suggesting to us that we slow down, it turns out that when you’re an adult that runs a business you can’t have little to no income for three months of the year. It’s problematic in lots of ways.

{LET IT BE KNOWN: subscription income in Dec. is VERY helpful and essential – it helps give me a sense of whether we will have a subscription program at all the following year,  and I can also give financial support to the farmers who purchase all of the necessary seed / equipment upgrades / etc. in winter months.}


However, and not to bore you with too much of an administrative aside, but just about two years ago I moved over to ‘accrual’ accounting, where you don’t count income until the month the service or product is completed. It helps to see the true profitability (or lack thereof) of your revenue streams. It’s been sobering in the best of ways. Really helpful in terms of helping me see what I needed to change to make this whole business more sustainable.

The point I’m rambling towards is that the business needs income in November and December so that those months don’t end up screwing up any good profitable months I worked hard to have. It has very real repercussions for my life – like being denied a loan to try to buy a house (not that I can afford a house anyways, but I liked the idea of it). Same goes for Jan. and Feb. We are working hard to organize a Jan. start for the Seasonal Flower Project, so stay tuned and keep your fingers and toes crossed!


So back to the holiday offerings. While I was reticent to do anything since my body and mind just want to curl up like the cats that purr in my lap and love me, what got me excited about these offerings were the memories I have – of wreaths and of parties.


Holiday Red Wreath, featuring Maine Balsam, Hinoki Cypress, Redwood tips and baby cones, painted pinecones and Red Ilex berries


Wreaths and parties would be two of my top 10 FUN holiday traditions or memories in a Family Feud episode where my brother and sister are the ones that guess correctly. I don’t even know what the other 8 would be… Well, “tree time” would be one for sure, although that would be under the category “Top 10 COZIEST holiday traditions.” You know, curling up on the couch with a blanket near the tree, taking in the aroma, feeling the warmth of the lights and all the beautiful ornaments my mother has collected since her own childhood. I digress.

But yet I need another preface: Holiday time in our non-practicing, Episcopalian-by-way-of-ancestors household is a bit of a flurry of activity, and Christmas the DAY typically leaves me feeling a bit hollow and sad. All the attention on physical presents… I get depressed even though now I really try to help it. I try to take some joy in the gift giving, and in receiving the generosity of others. And cooking and focusing on great meals always helps.


SO as I was saying about three paragraphs ago, as I trembled a bit at the thought of having to sell things this winter, what ultimately warmed me up to the idea of the continued grind of selling things (the cold trips to 28th St., the trying lack of local flowers, the mocking up, the pricing, the photo taking, the marketing…), was the memory of my Aunt Barb arriving from Maine in late November with a big yellow Ryder truck full of wreaths and garlands she’d made.

So now I need to tell you that mini story. Barb isn’t really my aunt. She’s my mom’s age and they met in their 20s in Maine when my mom’s brother/my uncle John moved up there to homestead in the 60’s. Barb is a now a beloved Maine artist, and like most artists she has always had side hustles – jewelry making, teaching. And for 3 decades or so her winter side hustle was tipping trees in the back woods of Maine and making wreaths for holiday decorating.

She told me recently that she started making wreaths at 12 years old in 1962! I had no idea the entrepreneurial spirit started so early, but I also get it. (Playing store was always my favorite game).

Her dad, a general practitioner, would take her wreaths to the hospital where he worked. She laughed as she told me about torturing her younger sister Jane by hooking her up to a leather harness and forcing her to haul a giant basket of boughs back to the house. She started an official business in 1981, the year I was born. She’d market wreaths all the way down the east coast, from Portland down to Rye, NY. She’d come to stay with us in Connecticut in early October to pre-sell to families and shop owners in our area. And then she and her daughter Gabe would return at Thanksgiving in a giant truck absolutely packed with the most fragrant wreaths and garlands.

I remember those exciting evenings, waiting for Barb’s truck to crest over the top of our driveway. We’d race out, into the cold – the true, crisp cold – and make her open the back. We’d lean in and just inhale. It was magical. And for about three decades, a Barb wreath would grace our front door – as well as the door of the chocolate shop and bookstore where I had my first two jobs downtown.


So that’s the core memory about wreaths. I could say more but this is already a novel.

 Molly Oliver Flowers Winter Holiday Arrangement party flowers Cutflower Kale Lisianthus Anemone Calla Lily Eucalyptus NYC Brooklyn Delivery


Party flowers! My mom held a neighborhood Christmas party for at least 20 years. We lived in a not very cool part of town, but our Christmas party was a happening. I think it likely started around the time I was 12 or 13. Neighbors, friends from church when my parents went to church because everyone else did (that died after a few years), and eventually my friends and their parents, my siblings’ friends, etc. We’d buy a honeyed ham, a roast turkey, and dinner rolls. The rest was pot luck. The same BBQ wings, the same meatballs, the same baked ziti, and cheeseboard and mac and cheese and shrimp cocktail would all show up year after year. As kids, we’d run around the house, delighted the parents didn’t care what we were up to. We’d run around outside, playing manhunt and trapping each other in my mother’s chicken house. It was cold. Truly cold. And the tree was lit up and fire was ablaze in the living room. Shirley Temples as kids. Champagne and whiskey as we got to college age or older. Bringing new friends and roommates home for the Christmas party weekend. There was always a funny handmade invitation that came in the mail announcing the party. I would look forward to it all year. The night our community surrounded us, warm and laughing and our house and family received so much love.


Molly Oliver Flowers Winter Holiday Arrangement party flowers Amaryllis Tulips Anemone Christmas Bush Pepper Berry Eucalyptus NYC Brooklyn Delivery


We haven’t had one in a while. My mom tired of hosting a year or more before the pandemic. It’s arguably a lot. But the good memories remain. And so, I’m thinking about your upcoming holiday parties and gatherings.


In the studio we’ve been talking about the traditions we grew up with – all so different. The ways we decorate or celebrate or take the time in winter to appreciate friends and family are different. Maybe flowers will be useful. Maybe they won’t.


I’m intrigued to find out.


So many emotions come up around this time. As mentioned, for me it’s a mixed bag these days for many reasons. But I love these two memories. I still love the smell of a fresh wreath, and I love a holiday party – especially with a ham, champagne, and a paper plate. Hope you get to lean into whatever positive core memories you have from holiday times, whatever your religious background or tradition, or that you get to enjoy creating new ones.


November 22, 2023 — Molly Culver

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