Alana Dee Haynes

January.  The month of resolutions, hopes, promises.  As the flower garden sleeps this is a precious time for us, we can finally take a breath and indulge in reflection and ideas; travel, read, research, feed our minds and plan projects.

We have been lucky enough to start the year with a truly inspiring overseas trip but more of that later, first here's a new favourite, one for the scrap book.  A mixed media artist working largely on fashion photographs, New York based Alana Dee Haynes work is reminiscent of tattoos, tribalism and graphic art.  She says there's no religious connections but there is something sacred and very beautiful about her work, maybe it's the repetitive patterns; ritualistic, slow forming and blossoming across the image like little thoughts, or prayers.

This is the beginning of regular Friday posts to showcase artists or creatives that inspire us and motivate us to be better.  It will probably continue for as long as winter and fade away as we gear up for spring and 'the season' but until then, hope you enjoy.

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Images via design milk and Trendland



Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower

So said Albert Camus and so it was for our last big wedding of the year in October.

It was a special one for us becuse it was held at Colstoun House, home to Pyrus HQ.  It seemed fitting that at the end of our wedding season we were harvesting all the flowers from our cutting garden, spending days foraging the surrounding fields and woodland and then carting vans full of flowers all of a few hundred metres to the main house and marquee.

The sense of place was really wonderful and working in a venue so familiar to us (the house is so homely you can kick off your shoes) gave this wedding a particularly personal, intimate feel.  Similarly, our working relationship with the Colstoun team means that when potential disaster struck and we realised that our mallet wasn't heavy enough to drive the hazel lantern poles into the ground, everyone ran to our aid.  Soon there were five of us plus dogs using all manner of implements (probably antique) from the house, laughing and taking photos of our misadventures.  This is the other side of events that you don't hear about and we won't be sharing those particular images here, definitely one for the personal album.... thankfully we got the poles in eventually and no one was the wiser!  Phew.

We worked alongside the amazing Kitchener photography for the first time on this wedding and they have been kind enough to let us use some of their beautiful images for this post which captured the day SO brilliantly.

And lastly of course, to Mr and Mrs Leggat- all our flowery congratulations in the world!  We hope you enjoy your long awaited honeymoon travels when they finally come.

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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
— L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Greengables)

Paris

A few precious days in Paris post wedding season- soul food for one weary half of Pyrus.  We decided that we must write on the wall calendar in the studio next year: 'October is holiday month, we have worked hard and we deserve it'.  

Meanwhile I would be hard pushed to find another city quite so perfect in Autumn; heart wrenchingly beautiful, mild enough to indulge in alfresco cafe culture by the canal (well into the night- lap dog and gitanes optional) and not forgetting that age old French insouciance that I love so much. 

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 Lipstick kisses for Oscar at Pere Lachaise

Lipstick kisses for Oscar at Pere Lachaise

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 Now THAT'S a glasshouse (Parc Andre Citroen)

Now THAT'S a glasshouse (Parc Andre Citroen)

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 The way forward for all future Pyrus vans, no more dented bumpers in town!

The way forward for all future Pyrus vans, no more dented bumpers in town!

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 Shipping container vertical planting on the left bank

Shipping container vertical planting on the left bank

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And lastly, for those of you that find Paris a bit of a minefield when it comes to finding somewhere to eat (I do), these places are REALLY good... 

  Fish

Verjus

 Le verre vole

 Le Petit Cambodge

 

Dreamy Dahlias in Upstate New York with Saipua

When a friend (Pyrus flower garden helper and aspiring florist), told me that Saipua were doing her wedding flowers when she moved to upstate New York this autumn my heart skipped a beat with excitement. When Mairead followed this up casually with “Sarah’s treating it as a personal project, she might need help cutting and what not, you should come”, my heart actually stopped.

 If you are into flowers you will most likely have come across Sarah Ryhanen’s business Saipua. We at Pyrus are great admirers of the New York based florist and flower grower so to see her work in the flesh AND take a trip to New York AND maybe even help out was an opportunity not to be missed!

 

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After arriving at JFK and following some ‘adventures’ with a badly behaved GPS we finally arrived at Race Brook Lodge   Massachusetts. It was literally like walking into an American wedding blog. Autumnal splendour all around, hammocks, lots of wood and an air of romance. Sadly, my below par photography skills do not do justice to the beautiful things I saw over the next few days but hopefully you’ll get the gist.

 

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 Within moments of arriving I was greeted by buckets of beautiful flowers and two happy faces, Mairead and Sarah, and set to work.  Mairead asked me to decorate the marquee with saplings and Sarah had a request for some golden crab apples.  Sarah kindly let us borrow her enormous pick up for a spot of upstate foraging!

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As anyone that knows me will know, foraging is one of my all time favourite things to do and as an avid lover of all things autumn this was a serious treat- upstate New York in the Fall!

 I was particularly taken by the weeds!

I was particularly taken by the weeds!

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Later on after unloading I headed to the flower den where Sarah was working.  I immediately fell in love.. with THE most beautiful Dahlias I have ever seen!  I couldn't contain my joy, they were just so dreamy.  I ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the array of flowers; from anemones, snaps, roses and dahlias to hydrangea, zinnias and at least three different vines.

 

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We chatted a while (or at least I picked her brain trying not to let on that I actually had a million billion things I wanted to ask her). We spoke about flowers, varieties and what we like to grow, her style and I asked her secret to success (well I had to ask!). And her answer... “hard work”.  She said she didn't develop a style particularly, just arranged how she liked the flowers to look. She commented that she was lucky to have caught the trend for a more natural style of arrangement at just the right time. No big marketing campaign, no tactics, just hard work.  I was reassured.  I could see she was enjoying herself so I went on to do my flowery jobs for the day and let Sarah work on into the night (in peace!).

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 The following morning we were welcomed at breakfast to a beautiful big arrangement sitting outside the lodge. As the day developed more and more gorgeous arrangements were popping up all over the place, like a gentle crescendo to the wedding itself.

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 check the golden crab apples

check the golden crab apples

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The day of the wedding and the first advantage of having a late afternoon ceremony is that everybody is free to help set up!  It was a really lovely morning, lots of team spirit, more foraging and an air of Brownie Camp.

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The second advantage is that there is no mad rush to get ready!  A relief for me as usually it's a mad rush to finish setting up and get my wedding glad rags on for a friend's wedding.

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The wedding itself was beautiful.  Normally I'm not the emotional type but I did well up at this one, we all did.  Sauerkraut Seth (he has an amazing Sauerkraut business) waited for his Celtic bride under the Chuppah and Mairead glided in looking absolutely stunning.

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The day was so incredibly beautiful: beautiful people, music, food and punctuated with beautiful flowers.

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Needless to say the next day we were all a bit tender.  However a trip to a local flower grower soon fixed that! And more on that to follow...

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Congratulations Mr and Mrs Travins and all our flowery wishes for your future together! 

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Lera Grant

We're back! After what is an age of radio silence we thought we really should get our blogging hats back on.  We all love Facebook BUT there's no comparison to a place we can show you lots of images or tell you a little story abut our flowery adventures.

So here we are and let's kick off with a wonderful little project we've been working on this summer with the brilliant Fife based photographer Lera Grant.  Originally from Russia, Lera's work is magical and ethereal and this is just the beginning of a long term project with her to document the estate and surroundings of the pyrus studio and garden.  If you would like to see more of Lera's work she will be showing at the   Roseangle Gallery in Dundee from the 24th August at the Borders and Crossings exhibition.