Human Flower Project
Friday, May 04, 2012
Hold onto the Moment
Silver trophies are a cinch, but what if your moment of triumph is crowned with flowers? A Danville, Kentucky, florist has a high-tech solution.
Jockey John Velazquez and 2011 Derby winner Animal Kingdom wearing his wreath of roses.
Tomorrow they’ll run the 138th Kentucky Derby in Louisville with great fanfare and millions of dollars on the line (but let’s hope, not the life of a thoroughbred racehorse as in 2008).
Called “the greatest two minutes in sports,” the Derby in Louisville now stretches to more than two weeks of festivity, and for breeders and trainers, preparing a three-year-old for the event can involve a lifetime of experience, investment and, of course luck.
No wonder winners want to hang onto the wreath of roses, the floral mantle every Derby winner gets to wear after the race.
Greg Kocher of the Lexington Herald-Leader wrote a good feature article on Molly’s Flowers and Things, a Danville flower shop that has been freeze drying floral trophies and other mementos for nearly 20 years. Her first client from the world of racing was W.T. Young. The owner of Overbrook Farm outside Lexington had Molly Jacobus “preserve the white carnations that Tabasco Cat took at the Belmont Stakes.” Two years later, when his horse Grindstone won the Derby, Young hired Molly to preserve the wreath of roses. Many of the winning owners since have done the same.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
May Day honors workers in Greece, but it also occasions flower picking and wreath making, an old custom from the days when everyone was a worker.
Children in Crete collect flowers to fashion into wreaths, May 1.
Photo: Brent Scheneman
Protomagia is Greek even we can understand. It’s the celebration of May 1st – the peak of spring wildflower season there.
In Crete, and other parts of Greece too, the day draws people out of doors to pick blooms and turn them into wreaths that will hang on and about doorways for the next several weeks.
Effusive blogger Sunny Fotini writes that Protomagia is a “day off for everybody.” (It’s also the national Labor Day holiday.) “We did what our ancestors did thousands years ago,” writes Sunny. “Celebrate the Mother Nature!”