Flower Talk

I remember being a kid and knowing that flowers were the most magical thing on the planet. I talked to them, hid in them, stole them out of other peoples yards.

I started buying and selling them before I was able to vote. And then they started talking back.

Those were heady years. I was in love with every season. The growers pampered and grumbled at me in turns. And I adored them and their harvests. But I bought on personality, on mojo. The flowers winked and said, "buy me." And I did. They were an easy sell from there.

Now I have my favorite growers at the farmers' market; Rose, who sells raspberries in the summer had the best spring anemones I've seen in double digit years. And Devoto Gardens has fine field flowers. "Our guys have worked for us for twenty years," he once told me. It shows. Their flowers laugh, they grin, they pick you up and twirl you around.

But a lot of flowers don't have the spark they once did. A fresia that looks and smells like a fresia but doesn't flirt isn't really a fresia at all. The same with an alstromeria lily. If it's color isn't as saturated as a home grown tomato something is wrong.

The flowers I see these days in stores are imported. And they're old. I wish I could get tell you the formula but it's an instinct learned over time.

Next time you're at the store or the market though, ask a bunch of flowers if they want to dance. You may hear the answer before the question is even fully formed.

If they say yes, I'd say you've got yourself a bouquet. Take those poppies home because they're magic.


Anonymous said...


I have one pot of white ones that I inherited from a relative that was peripherally in the flower business. They are the long stemmed kind that you can actually cut (yes, twist I know) and bring in.

I've tried to buy more like that, but all I find locally is the little mounding, bushy types. I looked online a few years ago to try to find the ones I want, but don't recall the outcome. I didn't have a spot for them at the time anyway.

But now that I have a perfect place for them, I'm going to start my search again. Thanks for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll ever look at flowers the same after reading your post. My alstromerias are just now blooming and I still have yet to identify that mysterious ranuncula looking flower that is just like jewelry to me.

Kale for Sale said...

malisa - I would have white ones too if I had the room. Good luck on your search. I once saw a yard wild with alstromeria. They were three and four feet tall in flourescent shades of pink and orange. Hundreds of them. I can't imagine how old they were but they had spread everywhere. It was untended and stunning.

kendra - I hope that's a good thing. I do still love flowers which is probably why it's painful to see the essence of them lost for the benefit of cheap and mass production. I've never heard anyone relate a flower to jewelry. That's beautiful. Thank you.