A hidden Gem in Buena Vista Oregon

buena vista trip (6) buena vista trip (1) buena vista trip (5) buena vista trip (8) buena vista trip (12) buena vista trip (20) buena vista trip (26) buena vista trip (28) buena vista trip (31) buena vista trip (33) buena vista trip (40) buena vista trip (42) buena vista trip (46) buena vista trip (48) Looking for a delightful floral treat and a hidden gem on a Sunday drive ?  On a recent outing to track down some family history we discovered a lovely floral surprise in Buena Vista, Oregon.

My sister and I heading north from on I-5 took the Ankeny Hill  exit 243 (about an hours drive)  and headed West to learn more about a family member of previous generationslong was a Ferryman  at the Buena Vista Ferry. (We are descendents of the Taylor Family, as in Taylors Ferry Rd in Portland)  The Buena Vista Ferry, still running daily every 5-10 min at Buena Vista is one of the oldest Ferries still crossing the Willamette River for well over a hundred years.  The beautiful farm land and rolling hills to approach the ferry was worth the drive alone, but heading with our car across the sparkling river on the ferry, where I saw a steelhead come up for a tasty fly, and osprey fishing along the banks, we completed the quick passage and departed the Ferry to drive up a small hill.  A few blocks distance our way to Buena Vista House, a B&B where we were to spend the evening, and were surprised to behold a gem. The quaint Buena Vista Flowers, a wonderful wooden building with gabled roof and welcoming colorful signs and flowers abounding  at the top of the “Ferry Road” just a few blocks from the Ferry was such a surprise as we crested the rise in the now very small, but once  turn of the century bustling city of Buena Vista.

The wonderful wooden doors were unlocked and tin buckets of hand tied floral bouquets were in water in colorful assortments.  The chalkboard sign indicated that we could take our pick, and leave the money on the counter or mail it later.  We felt as if we had stepped into another time and place. Cozy, warm and inviting, unpretentious and fun.   While we thought while in the flower shop and enjoyed the wonderful ambiance and fee, that we had  “seen it”, but then as we took pictures of the delightful window sills and abundance of colorful pots cascading with blossoms, we decided to wander down a small path between the lush beds of flowers and discovered that the darling flower store, was just a tiny bit of the gardens. We wandered about enjoying the quaint décor and discovered the beautiful 2 acres of immaculate gardens hosting well over 100 varieties of seasonal blooming flowers, and foliages to delight us around every corner. As we explored we came upon additional buildings hosting pots of tins, mason jars wonderful old sinks and pots and blooms of all types and more and more flower beds all in bloom from delphinium to celosia to zinnas in a riot of color and beauty.

As it turns out, the owners  Mary Dean & Ian Cordner, who also live on the property were not there, but spend their Saturdays selling mixed bouquets of their beautiful local blooms at The Salem Farmers Market and other outdoor venues in the surrounding areas and always leave an assortment for the locals to purchase, whether they are “home” or not.   It is an “honor” tradition from a byegone day, and so very lovely.

Our destination was really only a few steps away at the small B&B “Buena Vista House” where our hostess Claudia welcomed us with a similar fashion of “here is the key” I’m headed out for groceries, as we were the only guests in the wonderful cozy home filled with treasures, snuggly beds and a moment to step back in time in this wonderful tiny town nestled steps away from the Willamette River.  The surrounding area, once bustling with trade and commerce before the railroad moved 3 miles away, are rolling wheatfields and farms, pioneer cemetaries lovingly tended on the top of knolls and while less than 15 min from Interstate-5 hustle and bustle, you felt as if you had stepped back  in time and were just 8 miles from Independence and Monmouth where restaurants and commerce await in small towns that still bustle in this quaint rural area.

If you are looking for a lovely days drive, a summertime treat for the senses in riding the ferry crossing

($3 for cars including occupants)  and the visual treat of Buena Vista Flowers, this is just a gem waiting for discovery.

2013 Eugene’s Extraordinary Grandparent(s)

Sunday, September 8 is Grandparents Day and what better way to celebrate than to honor a grandparent you know by nominating them for Eugene’s Extraordinary Grandparent(s). NOMINATE NOW!

Eugene Grandparents Day Contest

This contest seeks to find grandparents in the Eugene/Springfield area who go above and beyond the “normal” duty of grandparenthood. The grandparent(s) nominated in the winning entry receive a wonderful plaque, flowers and balloons courtesy of Dandelions. Click Here for your nomination form.

Entries are due by Wednesday, September 4, 2013. Entries can be faxed to 541.484.9303, emailed to toviana@dandelionsflowers.com or dropped off at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts (1710 Chambers St., Eugene, OR 97402)

Grandparents Day

2013 Eugene’s Extraordinary Grandparents Pat & Frieda (center) with, from left, Brian, Avery and Trisha

Fun, Quick DIYCenterpiece Idea

This Easter afforded us a perfect DIY centerpiece scenario: what do you do when you need something for your table, but you’re in a hurry and are low on flower options? Dandelions owner Shirley Lyons found herself in this situation this weekend, and was kind enough to share how she resolved her problem.

You’d think that as florists, we are constantly taking  flowers home to make fabulous and lush centerpieces and arrangements for family functions. That does happen on occasion, but usually, and  more often than we’d like to admit,  even the florist forgets to take flowers home!! Shirley was half-way home before she realized she did exactly that! So between babysitting her two-year and twelve week old grand-kids (a juggling act of princess dolls and diapers), and preparing dinner for twelve, she needed to come up with something fast and uncomplicated. Thankfully, Shirley had daffodils growing in her yard, and with some of these and a few vases in colorful, spring tones and varying heights, she had a quick, fun, artsy centerpiece on her dining-room table!

centerpiece 5Daffodils centerpiececenterpiece 1

Using what you have growing in your yard (be it flowers or some pretty greenery)  and your collection of vases is a cost-effective way to make a great impression, and get your creative juices flowing!

We love flowers because they’re inherently beautiful and really don’t need much embellishment to make a statement. Artfully placed vases and simply arranged flowers are an easy way to enhance any event.IMG_0200

Aqua vases with yellow flowers

Pantone’s Color of the Year: Emerald-Green

Photo used under Creative Commons from GlitzUK

PANTONE recently announced the 2013 color of the year as PANTONE® 17-5641 Emerald. PANTONE has long been the authority on color trends and their decision to name emerald as the color for this year reflects the desire for renewal and growth.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, reminds us that “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum”. How true for flowers! Often green is only seen in the foliage but why shouldn’t it play center stage? Anthurium, Bells of Ireland, spider mums and even roses all come in shades of green (although not truly emerald) but certainly complement the deep gem shade.

If you can’t wait to incorporate emerald into your upcoming event or wedding, PANTONE suggests pairing it with shades of peach, pinks, roses, ruby reds and aubergines. I also think navy complements it well since it is such a sophisticated palette.

Anni3_high GreenEssent1_high DLOL-190 Candy Cane Delight 003

Using Flowers in Local Science Classrooms

We received a great thank-you note from local Willamette High School teacher, David Novak, who has been using flowers from Dandelions to teach the students in his botany science class about the anatomy of flowers.  We love hearing that our customers enjoy our flowers, and we love finding out about the different ways they are used. It’s great to hear how students are getting exposed to flowers in this educational way, and learning to appreciate even more this incredible part of nature.

Here’s some of what David wrote to us:

The flowers I get from you, even those that are too "ripe to sell",
the are perfect for us and add greatly to our learning of the
fundamental tissues and organs of plants and are great motivators for
learning! Nothing beats getting actual flowers into students hands when
learning about all the structures!!

What do I do with them??  I have included some shots to help you
understand.  In particular,
I have students draw them, both as the flowers come to us and after we
bisect them lengthwise.  
We examine the parts using microscopes to view all the parts (ovary,
ovules, pistils, etc.) which are often
hard to see with the unaided eye.  We answer questions about  the
flowers (e.g., compare the length of the pistil in one 
flower to another and suggest reasons for the different in length).
There are also a few experiments we like to try with the flowers, if we
get enough.

The mums we used this week and alstroemeria were perfect. THANKS for
all your effort and generosity!!

MVC-001S MVC-003S MVC-004S MVC-005S

Tips for Getting your Centerpiece to Last

The first thing you should know about your floral centerpiece is that the cut stems are inserted into a floral foam, also known as oasis. Oasis is great because it retains water well and helps the arrangement hold it’s design. Flowers in foam can stay vibrant and beautiful for days, but they need care. The downside to oasis is that where you can see the water level in a vase, in floral foam the water level is not as obvious. Because of this, many a centerpiece dehydrates and dies earlier than it should. So it is important to make sure your floral arrangement has plenty of water.

How to check the water level: Touch the oasis. If you press it lightly you should feel moisture.

When to water: Because it’s cold outside, and we’re all keeping our homes warmer, the water from the floral foam is going to evaporate faster, so you should check the moisture level every day.

How to water: Move your centerpiece to the sink, or to a surface that won’t be damaged by water, in case you spill. Carefully find a space in the centerpiece, or at the side of the container it is in, where you can see the oasis, or a space between the oasis and the container, and carefully pour water onto the oasis or into the space around the foam, allowing time for  the water to be absorbed.  Slowly add water until the oasis is thoroughly saturated.

Enjoy your flowers, and this wonderful season!!


Poinsettia and Wreath Sale

In addition to our Christmas Sale Items, all poinsettias and holiday wreaths are on sale, too! All of the wreaths are $10 off while supplies last and the poinsettias range from $5-$10 off. Order fast because these won’t last long at this price! Offer valid on Eugene/Springfield delivery only. To view all of our Christmas options, click here.


Originally $49.99
ON SALE FOR $39.99


Medium Poinsettia Was $29.99
ON SALE FOR $24.99


Large Poinsettia Planter Basket
Was $74.99
ON SALE FOR $64.99

DLOL-7A GO DUCKS Wreath popup

Go DUCKS Wreath
perfect for your Fiesta Bowl Party
Was $49.99
ON SALE FOR $39.99

DLOL-7 Holiday Wreath popup

Holiday Wreath
Was $39.99

DLOL-6 Poinsettia reg

Large Christmas Poinsettia
Was $59.99
ON SALE FOR $49.99

Modern Christmas Fresh Floral Designs

Having fresh flowers during the Christmas season is a wonderful tradition that makes the home feel extra festive. Whether you are buying them for yourself (highly recommended) or as a gift for someone else, here are some of my favorite holiday arrangements.

  silver and white christmas flowers   Christmas flower arrangement

Men’s Guide to Valentine’s Flowers

1). You can’t go wrong with roses. Red long-stem roses are still the #1 hit for Valentine’s Day because women love them and probably always will.

2). Make it personal. Tell your florist a hobby or passion that she loves and allow the florist to create something that incorporates that. This will show her that a) you listen and b) you care.

3). Get the most bang for your buck. Have the flowers delivered to her at work where everyone can ooh & aah over how sweet you are. She may insist that it is embarrassing but everyone loves a public display of affection. Women want flowers and want everyone else to know they received them.

4). Don’t forget about the card message. It’s as important to women as the flowers themselves. Be yourself but if there was ever a time to lay it on thick…it’s now. Don’t be afraid to ooze love & romance. It’s what women want. Check out some ideas here…

5). Order early. We all love to procrastinate (myself included) but you really want to plan ahead if at all possible. This will ensure that what you order will be available. This is especially true if you want something other than red roses. The more specific you are, the more time you need to allow the florist to obtain what you are looking for.

Remember…it’s about love. If worse comes to worse stop by the flower store on the big day and pick something out to hand to your sweetie in person. And nothing beats a hand-written note!

Locally Grown Flowers

We are proud to carry throughout the year a large variety of locally grown flowers and foliages for our floral designs.  In the next few weeks we will introduce you to some of our growers so that you can learn more about the “behind the scenes” of these wonderful fresh local products.    Nancy was just here bringing us our fresh Oregon Dahlias this morning, and our shipment of Oregon lilies and greenery also just arrived to start our week.

Oregon has a great climate for growing and some of many seasonal flowers we carry that are locally and Oregon grown are: Dahlias, Tulips, Sunflowers Asiatic Lilies, Calla Lilies, Iris, Delphinium, glads, zinnias and yarrows, just to name a few.  We even grow on our own farm, some of the ribbon grasses, yarrow, liatris and zinnias during the summer season.

During this fall season we are carrying seasonal mini pumpkins from Springfield, and many of the native grasses and foliages such as Oregonia, Myrtle, Huckleberry, Nandina, Eucaplytus, Cattails and wheat. Charles and Bethany Little grow & supply us with many fabulous native and unique foliages, and Dancing Lizard farms in Junction City

provide a rich variety of unique Semperviums that we use in unique lasting floral bouquets.  Watch in the next few weeks for highlights about some of our local Oregon family growers that we buy from to make your fresh floral bouquets.