Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Miharu Takizakura ~ Another April

The pride of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, is a 1000 year old weeping cherry tree. Its bloom this spring was a lesson in endurance, documented on film.


Miharu Takizakura, a weeping cherry tree (Prunus pendula) has survived over 1000 years; it grows less than 30 miles

from the Fukushima Nuclear facility.

Photo: hidebo

Our friend Masashi Yamaguchi writes:

A former student of my father’s old school(high school) joined a project to shoot a movie on Miharu Takizakura in Fukushima. She asked my father to spread this news and I think you might be interested.

Miharu Takizakura is one of the three biggest cherry blossom trees in Japan. The tree is more than 1000 years old and it bloomed this year too and then made the local people happy although it is located only 49 km (29 miles) from Fukushima Nuclear Plants.

Miharu is a name of the city, Takizakura means “waterfall cherry blossom” since it is a creeping type cultivar.

The leader of this project, Ayako Imaizumi, born in Fukushima Prefecture, is a Japanese movie director. She thought of making a movie on Miharu Takizakura to show the innocent power of nature to the people around the world. She also wanted to encourage the Japanese, especially the people living in Fukushima.

Miharu Takizakura is the pride of Fukushima. Could you check the youtube link below?

The members of this project opened their own page and uploaded the movie with English subs. They are planning to hold a slide show event all over Japan.

Many thanks and best wishes,


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Posted by Julie on 06/30 at 05:37 PM
Art & MediaCulture & SocietySecular CustomsPermalink

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lady’s Bedstraw: Midsummer in Romania

The celebration of Sanzeine, like other midsummer festivities in Eastern Europe, puts the focus where it should be—on beautiful young women and flowers.


Gypsy maidens” carry crowns of flowers and grasses to a lake near Bucharest, Romania, to launch for Sanzeine.

Photo: Radu Sigheti, for Reuters

Calling all Romanian virgins!

Actually, we’re a mite bit tardy. Sorry. The Sanzeine celebration was a few nights ago. This old pagan custom of midsummer involves such delights as husband-predicting, fairy dancing, heavens’ opening and—the one that sounds the most fun to us – lighting a hay bale on fire and rolling it down a hill. (Don’t you dare try it, Texans! We’re under a burn ban, you know.)

Sanzeine also involves concerted flower picking, of Lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum) to be precise. We find it interesting that this flower is the same bright yellow as St. John’s Wort, and June 24th is St. John’s Day, too, another dancing occasion, often accompanied with flowers and fire.

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Posted by Julie on 06/28 at 10:53 PM
Culture & SocietyGardening & LandscapeSecular CustomsPermalink

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nightshade Compensation

If you can’t join ‘em, sniff ‘em. A modest proposal for the tomato-allergic.

imageAnnick Goutal’s Folavril, containing tomato leaf

The day came, and a sorry day it was, when we could no longer comport with ripe tomotoes. Grave interior distress three summers in a row had us searching the annals of ayurvedic medicine for some remedy.

“Avoid nightshades” – is one recommendation for the Vata type. (Both tomatoes and tobacco, another plant that’s brought us agony, are in this family, Solanaceae).

We wish we had picked up on that; instead it was the trauma caused by one early summer’s first stupendous tomato that proved informative— and complete recovery once we abstained.

Before this degenerates further, let’s move up several chakra – to scent. If we can’t eat tomatoes anymore, we need not be deprived of the spicy and delicious fragrance of tomato plants, a sensation that takes us way back, behind the old garage, into early childhood.

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Posted by Julie on 06/27 at 08:47 PM
Art & MediaMedicinePermalink

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Silletero to Demonstrate on the Mall

As the Smithsonian Folklife Festival features Colombia, a silletero will bring his floral craft to Washington.


Silleta by Alexander de Jesús Nieto of Santa Elena, Colombia for the 2010 Feria de las Flores, Medellin

Photo: Cristina Diaz-Carrera, Smithsonian Institution

This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival, held annually on the national Mall in Washington, D.C., will feature, among many others, Alexander de Jesús Nieto of Santa Elena, Colombia.

Nieto is a silletero, a flower carrier and in folklore-ese, a “tradition bearer” too.

The silleteros carry huge loads of fresh blooms from flower farms, many in the mountains, into the city market centers for sale. We suppose that most flower growers get their blooms to market in trucks these days, but the silletero tradition lives on, perhaps the clearest human flower project on Earth to show the back-bruising work behind cut-flowers.

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Posted by Julie on 06/21 at 01:37 PM
Culture & SocietyCut-Flower TradeSecular CustomsPermalink
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