Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Flower Confidential Part 1

One of the few advantages of still feeling rotten is that I have had a chance to start reading Amy Stewart's new book Flower Confidential. I had assumed that I would race through it and report today but unfortunately I am still so woozy that I am having to take my time. As I am a "race through it" type of girl it does me good to slow down and it is a book which probably deserves 3 or 4 reports anyway.

Amy is an American garden writer who has already written a couple of books, one on her first garden and the other on earthworms. Flower Confidential shows the journey of a cut flower - from breeding, through growing, packing, sale and finally to vase. One of the quotes on the back jacket is "Amy Stewart understands that a good book can be about a subject as commonplace as the ground beneath our feet - if the author has a passion to share it" and I think that pretty much sums it up. If you like the kind of book that is about cod or lighthouses brought to you with passion, then you will love this.

I came to cut flower growing from the garden side - I grew them for myself, I expanded the patch and sold some on . . . . In many ways I have seen that as an advantage - I have not had to bother with the conventional way of doing it - but it does mean that I have little practical knowledge of what goes on inside the large tunnels of the multinational flower grower. I am finding it all fascinating.

The most fascinating bit so far though appeals to the bit of me that wanted to be an ancient historian when I was little. Like this quote

"Roses are not yet in full bloom here - in fact they are scarce - we could just barely get together the thousand that we sent you . . . even with picking the ones that ought not to be picked till tomorrow. We had all the narcissi you wanted, so instead of the two thousand you asked for we sent four thousand".

This is an extract from a letter written on papyrus in Roman Egypt, shortly before the birth of Christ.

The photo is of my favourite hyacinth - City of Haarlem - exactly the colour of butter.

I have been sorting out the links on the side bar - please let me know if you are not on (I keep forgetting people as I look at blogs through a circuitous route) or if you are in the wrong category.


BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What a delightful blog you have! Thank you for visiting me! I absolutely adore that dainty color of hyacinth you have... butter! Sounds dreamy! I am looking forward to the flowers in my yard to start sprouting once again... the lady who owned our home prior to us used alot of pink in her plantings, my favorite being a hybrid tearose. I will be back to visit often!

Jane said...

We had a holiday on Cape Cod about 7 or 8 years ago. I had been couriering a Whistler painting to the Montclair Museum of Art and then had a few days research time in New York, Euan and Zoe flew out to join me and we headed for the coast.
The photos in your blog remind me of that time, we may even have visited your hardware store. . .

Heather said...

Lovely hyacinth

I go through books at a million miles a minute too - and yes sometimes its worth a slower tour.


weirdbunny said...

Thank you so much for putting me on your side bar. Thrilled to be there - Julia x