Everyone should walk through Artistic Flowers in Lake Grove at least once.
The smells of fall foliage - flowers of all different colors, heights and variety - engulfs the store and line the walkways. Equally as impressive is the selection of vases from around the world, a gift in itself.
And at 4 p.m. on Nov. 17, owner Maryam Bazargan invites the public into the shop to take a look around - to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Bazargan said that her past five years on the corner of Pilkington and Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego have flown by as quickly as the change of seasons.
'We have very loyal clients,' Bazargan said. 'I know how people's dates are going, and how the kids are.'
Bazargan said that what sets apart her flower shops from other local shops are her custom designs at no extra charge.
'I ask clients what the purpose of the gift they're trying to send. Based on what they tell me I can choose something appropriate,' Bazargan said. 'It's not just ordering flowers - it's a lot more than that. You want them to remember the gift.'
With vases from China, Ethiopia, Europe, Japan - 'just about everywhere,' Bazargan said, a vase is an essential part of flower giving.
'If you send somebody flowers they are beautiful, but after two weeks they might be gone. What you are left with is a beautiful vase,' Bazargan said. 'You don't want to give a gift that is done and over with.'
If a client wishes to spend a bit more on a vase, Bazargan can choose the appropriate flowers that will still fit into their budget. It's easiest to start with a budget, she said, which gives her and her staff of four guidelines for making a perfect, personalized bouquet.
'You can get a great arrangement for $40,' Bazargan said. 'And we deliver (flowers) twice a day in the Metro area.'
Giving and receiving flowers should be a joyful experience, and Bazargan said that local office buildings also take advantage of her 25 years of experience. Once a week she will rotate fresh floral - along with a new vase so 'things never get boring' - at local businesses.
And the arrangement at offices and delivered as gifts must be appropriate.
'Is this person your biggest client? Is it a business minded person? Then you probably don't want something 'cutesy, cutesy,'' Bazargan said.
This fall, give the gift of floral - to someone else, or yourself.
Play with color and texture - and silk
When thinking of fall color trends what typically comes to mind? Orange? Green? Maroon?
Sure. Bazargan also makes a lot of hot pink arrangements and incorporates berries, tea leaves and other textures to make an arrangement come to life.
'Notice the copper leaves. This works now and can be carried into Christmas,' Bazargan said. 'And the energy from the bright green is amazing.'
Pointing to a short and horizontally long arrangement - perfect for a fireplace mantle - Bazargan talks about how ornamental cabbage, rose hips, a cymbidium orchids, Oriental lily, stock, and tea leaves can blend to form new beauty.
Trained in practices from the Orient as well as Europe, Bazargan said that whatever style of arrangement, it is important to be able to view and appreciate each flower.
'Europeans have a tendency to gather things together. I feel like when you pay for a flower you want to feel its value. If you look at my arrangements, you can see every flower,' she said, 'and every flower speaks for itself.'
In her most popular arrangements, which she calls 'The Martha,' because 'it's my interpretation of what Martha Stewart would do,' Bazargan said, she uses a clear glass vase. In it she incorporates roses, lilies, cala lily, rose hips, sunflowers, pin oak leaves and a few other seasonal items to create something punchy yet elegant. And leaves are pressed up against the glass, making the glass appear textured.
Eventually all real flowers will wilt, that's why Bazargan said she creates so many arrangements using silk flowers.
'If you put the two side by side you can't tell the difference. Which one looks like the real one? Which one is silk?' she said holding up two simple orchid arrangements. 'Or, you can do an elegant silk arrangement and add pieces of fresh flowers to the arrangement.'
This time of year - and after just changing our clocks back - evenings in Oregon can become dull. By placing flowers in places often overlooked, local homeowners can enhance their mood, the beauty of the space and enjoy some fragrance.
'Put flowers in the bedroom. Treat yourself. Even if it's just one stem of a floating gardenia. It changes the mood for you,' Bazargan said. 'Come in to (Aritistic Flowers) and experience the joy. We're all passionate here. I can go on and on about flowers. This is my life and I love it.'
Artistic Flowers and Gifts is located at 17100 SW Pilkington Road in Lake Oswego. The shop can be reached at 503-635-6661 and online at www.artisticflowers-decor.com .