Human Flower Project
Sunday, September 28, 2008
In Malta, the Right to Bear Wreaths
Political rivals of Malta’s current president stage a floral rebellion on the Mediterranean nation’s Independence Day.
Malta’s Coat-of-Arms, with olive and palm branches
Nothing shouts like a ritual wreath, big, beautiful – and imperious. Whoever lays a wreath at a public monument comes through loud and clear, all the way to the cheap seats: “Got Power If You Want It!”
And nothing communicates to the newspapers like a breach in wreath-laying protocol. This past week, “a storm in a teacup” swept in after leaders of the Labour Party and opposition toted a big wreath to the Independence monument in Floriana on Malta’s Independence Day. No big deal, you say?
Very big deal.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Walking with ‘Sharp-eyed’ Margot
For flower lovers, there’s a “there there” along San Francisco’s East Bay. With prompting from a pink rose and garden writer, Georgia Silvera Seamans gets a move on, and we tag along.
Berkeley Rose Garden, Berkeley, California
Photo: City of Berkeley, Parks and Recreation
The hybrid pink tea rose has peaked. It has several bloom cycles, each bloom boom happily enjoyed from the kitchen window during breakfast. It’s not a gathering rose. The small flowers wilt within a day.
The rose is on my mind by way of Margot Patterson Doss’s 1978 “There, There,” a book of walks in San Francisco’s East Bay. One takes her through the Berkeley Rose Garden, a chapter she opens a quote from the poet W.E. Henley:
O gather me the rose, the rose, while yet in flower we find it.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Vada Schwartz ~ My Florist in a Hot Rod
Arizona’s florist bandit conquered Phoenix with her imported orchids and out-sized personal style.
Once Phoenix’s biggest flower shop, now a cafe
Progressives may want to tune out, as we reek of nostalgia today. Who wouldn’t after seeing this sign??
Those of you in Phoenix, Arizona, know it well: the landmark (skymark?) above 534 W McDowell Rd. Here for 49 years was the largest flower shop in the city, operated by Vada Schwartz, a small-businesswoman who was bigger than life…
…Once upon a time, Vada “rode up on a horse, bandana across her face, and proceeded to hold up her own store at gun point. She galloped away with all the money from the register, not to be seen for two weeks.” Today for a maneuver like that, she’d no doubt be on an ankle monitor, a suspected terrorist.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Gardening Triumph < 10 Words
How about a little help from our gardener-readers? And we do mean little—keep it brief!
Remember to plant and before that remember…
Photo: Human Flower Project
There you have it – Gardening advice as sound as any we’ve ever gotten, and succinct enough to remember. Ellen Zimmermann heard this from dear friend and renowned Austin herbalist Dorothy Cavanaugh every fall. Four years ago she shared the wealth of wisdom.