Autumn at The Petaler

Years ago, as I was pouring huckleberry elixir into fizzing glasses of prosecco during my regular brunch shift at Bar Tartine in San Francisco, I noticed a lovely lady carrying a grand yet whimsical bouquet, placing it on the bar with a big laugh.  I was struck both by both her and her gorgeous hand-crafted arrangement which was lush with seasonal branches, pods, blooms and leaves.  The lady, whom I’ve been seeing around town every since then, was Rebekah Northway, who has been steadily but quietly building her floral design business, The Petaler, gathering and arranging seasonal stems of all sorts into exotic yet charming bouquets–sculpture-like in scale and proportion, but with a refined, consistent color palette.  I recently asked Rebekah if I could visit her new work-space on 14th Street near Sanchez to take a few photographs of her, and her arrangements, in process.  I was a little overwhelmed, as I’m obsessed with flowers as well as the ceramics she often uses to hold her bouquets, and beauty was everywhere, as was the scent of autumn, which I had been longing for with a bit of a distraught heart, a Pacific Northwest woman, stuck in the city.   I want to know more about the discreet career of foragers, the names of petals aromatic of burnt chocolate, how to expand the life-span of a bouquet, how to mix flora from contrasting seasons gracefully, how to wind a sturdy wreath.  I’m hoping my curiosity and Rebekah’s generosity will allow for regularly visits to her workshop space throughout the shifting seasons.   Her materials and talents are ever-evolving, and I’ll keep you posted with more photos and info as the seasons beckon.  Check out her website and enjoy the autumnal photographs! 

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