Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tiny Pumpkins- In the Fall- Make Me Happy- It's Fall Y'all!

I splurged today on some of these guys. They are called pumpkin trees. I saw them for the first time at Whole Foods Market in October right after we first moved to St. Louis. Every October they turn back up (And somehow I end up making one of maybe two annual trips to Whole Foods Market during this time. Well, that's curious!) and every October I remind myself that $10 is a lot for flowers; especially because I want to arrange them with other flowers. Last night I was at the Shnucks with the really good floral department. I love this Shnucks because it has Shnucks' prices with better than Shnucks' flowers. I am not sure how that is, but anyway, they had some nice "autumn arrangements." Usually I would say that grocery store prearranged flowers are among the most gaud awful tacky things known to man. I have a friend, bless her heart, who gets these arrangements and puts them directly into vases- no trimming stems or rearranging, just right into water with one stem of about seven tacky yellow mums, a giant smooshed pink carnation, one of those hideous fern thingys they usually put with roses, and a couple of stems of purple alstroemeria. Anyway, these were not like that. There were at least two stems of each variety of mum. And mums are fall flowers and are therefore tolerable in autumn. There was a nice rusty red variety, a yellow, and a nice almost on the pink side dark red. Also, there were carnations. As the white carnation is the Chi Omega flower, I find them somewhat acceptable despite ugliness and vivid memories of green dip dyed carnations being sold for a dollar a stem on game days in elementary school. Anyway, there were several stems of these as well so we were already heading toward a nice variety. There were also some of those pretty stalky things with the teeniny yellow flowers on them. I have no idea how to describe them besides that- um, they look somewhat like goldenrod. Anyway, kind of a fun harvest hue to the bunch and only $6 so I decided I needed some harvest decor. But when I got it home and put it in the vase, it just kept screaming "Sparse!" and "Cheap!" at me. And I kept thinking of pumpkin trees at Whole Foods.

Also I had seen Rachel Ray on TV yesterday morning. Now that Harry is gone I have nothing to do while folding laundry and Rachel Ray was what was on yesterday. Incidentally, could daytime TV be any more boring?! But Rachel Ray had sunflowers and red roses on her set. And I would never have thought to put those two together, but they looked really nice. I think the autumnal bouquet was actually meant to be sort of a consolation prize because I remember now that I priced sunflowers and roses at Shunucks. Sunflowers were $8 and roses were $15. Put it together and whoa, $23!

So anyway, because of the failure of the prearranged grocery store bouquet I went to Whole Foods today and I bought the pumpkin trees! I was delighted and excited and got compliments from everyone else in line. But the whole sunflower roses thing was really getting to me. And I had already thrown caution to the wind so I swung by Trader Joes' and found roses (all different colors of orange, red, and yellow- so pretty!) for $7 and sunflowers for $3. So in the end, I probably just should've gotten no harvest bouquet and no pumpkin trees and just the sunflowers and roses. But I have to say that I made two overwhelmingly huge arrangements that are now screaming "Adorable!" and even more importantly, "Happy Fall Y'all!" from my kitchen table and living room shelf. I do things like this, crazy things where I have been worried sick about money and then nickel and dime it away on flowers. I can't say it was the wisest decision, but I am so delighted anyway. I do plan to share. I hope I can run one of the arrangements over to Steve and Jen tomorrow. They haven't posted about Amelia in a while and I would love to see how she is doing. I will pass on what I learn to y'all.

Anyway, I was telling George that I should have a flower buddy, someone who wants to go in with me to buy all the different bunches and then we can arrange them ourselves. Because I spent way less on two arrangements than I would at a florist, and they look tons better than they do coming from the grocery store. If you're interested, let me know. But bear in mind, I do have somewhat expensive tastes. In the end though, how often do I really buy flowers? It probably adds up to very little over the course of time. Well, I can tell myself that if it makes me feel a little less guilty, right?

So what are pumpkin trees anyway? This is what George and I were discussing at dinner. They grow on stems and the stems have thorns like a rose's. The pumpkins themselves are glossy like peppers, but are shaped like very small pumpkins, though the leaves on top of the pumpkins look more like the leaves on top of tomatoes. I remember how sharp and thorny feeling pumpkin stems can be, but I just wasn't satisfied that these really are related to pumpkins. George decided they must be a rose and pepper hybrid. Well, we were both wrong. They are a member of the eggplant family. One site says it, Solanum integrifolium, starts out as a star shaped white flower and then becomes little pumpkins after pollination. It says it is called "Turkish Orange" in the Middle East and "Hmong Eggplant" in Asia (so if you're ever shopping there, you'll know what to ask for). Whatever, they are super cute!


Wrights said...

I love your pumpkin trees! Isn't fall the best?! It sounds like you have cute fallish decorations--now you just need your sign:)

The Rays said...

do you have a farmer's market? i bought flowers for Emily's shower there and got two really big arrangements and one little one all for $25. the big arrangements alone could have made 2, maybe 3, small arrangements.

courtney said...

So, I got bumped off the blog links... I haven't blogged in a while, but, I hope I didn't commit a blogging offense!!!!

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