Lilacs and roses bought after the new year.
Winter (even a mild one) always gets me back to the library. The first book I would love to read this winter is Flower Confidential - which will be on bookshelves soon... In this book, Amy Stewart describes the business behind the cut flowers we all purchase (in NYC or in any major city). For anyone who wonders about the story behind their flowers, this book promises to shed some light on the '$40 billion per year international industry' that brings them to us. Like any specialty item that is brought to our city there is an untold story and price behind the luxury of having it at our fingertips. We often have no idea about where or how our flowers came to us; we don't ask and they don't tell. The fragrant lilacs (with roses)that sit on my table today arrived in New York much earlier than their scheduled local spring debut (these are from New Zealand), keeping silent on their travels and dutifully filling my kitchen with their fragrance. A book like this is a good start to becoming informed of the entire price we are paying for our unseasonal luxury. I am ordering my copy today and beginning the new year by promising to question this part of my consumption. I am sure I will be saddened by some aspects of what I read, but hope to also find new points of fascination, inspiration, and ways to be mindful of my purchases of cut flowers. On the subject of ready availability and cheaper prices, I feel that flowers are important and beautiful enough to not get cheaply at any cost and fascinating enough even by the single stem to warrant a deeper appreciation by the masses. I would love to hear from readers with their own thoughts. Amy also will be lecturing (she'll be at the NYBG on April 19). Check here to see if she'll be coming to a city near you. matt at apartment therapy dot com