The Shop Around the Corner

November 22, 2010 | My Jottings

One of my favorite old movies is “The Shop Around the Corner,” a romantic comedy from 1940 starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan. Have you seen it? It would be a fantastic choice for a cozy night at home with someone you love. Anyway, our youngest daughter Sara works at a shop around the corner, or a shop on the corner you could say, and recently I visited her there and took some photos to share.

Sara is a florist, or as they say nowadays, a floral designer. I think the latter term is better, because what Sara and her gifted co-workers do is truly gorgeous design.

Some of the photos enlarge quite a bit when you click on them. Here’s a large table arrangement that would look stunning on a large, set holiday dining table:

These kinds of arrangements are what I love about the shop on the corner where Sara works. Look at the huge pods, the asymmetry, the elegant ribbons, the lavish use of different kinds and textures of greens:

When I visited, Sara was working on a tall arrangement for a customer who wanted something “wild looking.” There is thistle from Scotland in this, curly willow stems and fragrant cedar.

Sara has worked at Angela’s Bella Flora for a few years. Our city has many florist shops, but people tend to go to Bella Flora if they want something stunning and out of the ordinary. Angela hosted a “Holiday Hot Chocolate” event last week so people could drop in and see how they’ve decorated the shop for Christmas, and place their orders for the coming holidays.

The label says “Sara’s Holiday Extravaganza” and the photo doesn’t do it justice – the arrangement below was huge and interesting, full of different textures and color, and the ribbon itself looked like it had tiny dried cabbage roses on its surface.

You could do this with your own oranges, and let them dry:

Bella Flora always looks beautiful at Christmas time, and I wandered through the shop, appreciating the artistry in their displays.

I always think of Sharon when I see aqua and turquoise paired with brown – her favorites.

I love how the shop is always decorated with old things that some people would throw away, like this shutter in front of the cooler.

I wish I had been better able to capture the sparkle in the shop.

I love this bird sculpture, full of personality:

Look at the old, yellowed book pages pasted randomly in the fireplace opening:

This bucket of muted florals was sitting on the floor near Sara’s workspace, waiting to fulfill a customer’s order for something specific and lovely.

I wonder why my house doesn’t look as inviting when we leave our drawers open like this?

I liked this rusty sleigh right outside the shop:

I always order my Christmas wreaths from Bella. They last long past Christmas and Sara matches the ribbon to our outdoor shutters. You can see a photo of the wreath (with artichokes and oranges!) she made for us last Christmas, right here.

I wasn’t asked to take these photos or post about this on my blog – I just thought I would share some of the extraordinary talent and beauty found at one of our local little shops around the corner.


  1. Patty (Rugersmom) says:

    So it seems that all of your children are gifted and artistic! It must be a joy to watch them create such lovely things.

    The pictures were amazing and make me want to visit your town even more! I am sure that as beautiful as things looked; all the lovely flowers made the air giddy with fragrances!!!

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Patty – I’m always amazed at what they all do. I sometimes ponder them all and wonder whose daughters they are? 😀

  3. Ganeida says:

    My favourite aunt, the one I’m always blogging about, used to be a florist. No fancy terms for her. She did a lot of weddings. I love a florist shop. They always smell wonderful!

  4. Just Julie says:

    Sara does a lot of weddings too, Ganeida. I love going into flower shops too. 😀

  5. Savannah says:

    How would you make those oranges!?
    They are so beautiful!

  6. Just Julie says:

    You could take one of those plastic orange peelers and carefully score the strips and then peel them. The oranges should then dry naturally over a few days and become very hard. We like to put pretty designs of whole cloves in oranges, put them in a bowl on a tabletop, and then they dry and are preserved, and give off a wonderful fragrance!

  7. angela says:

    Wow! What a spread…thanks for taking and posting all these great pictures. What a treat to see that you have featured us in your sweet blog! Thank you Julie….

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.