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Thursday, 10 August 2017 12:53

Florist: Sleeved Flowers

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My 1st horticulture job was at a nursery selling interior/exterior plants. Think Jimmy Carter & 21% interest rates. More than knowing a bad economy, graduating college, it directed my life's path. By the time I left nursery work, 5 years l
ater, I had another degree, horticulture. Punching a time clock and driving a forklift, among other such, were not on my list of life expectations. How often have you fallen into a dumpster during your work day? Days were tiring, these were years of mostly being in bed by 8:30pm, and having a sore stomach most days because of laughing so much with co-workers.
Bonding while unloading 18-wheeler trucks loaded with plants from Florida, a stray snake or two, a foot thru the floor, temps in the upper 90's with humidity the same is not to be scoffed at. Our company did not have to send us to team building camp.
Saw this, below, and it stopped me. Thru the years I unloaded many trucks with flowering interior plants, and they were wrapped exactly the same. This wrapping protected the plants, but more importantly, made it easy to move them from truck to cart to building to staged for sale.
Unless you've done it you have no idea the beauty of thousands of myriad blossoms at your feet, and on counters. They were mine, all mine to stage. Hours with them, just me & the flowers, blood fizzing with a bolt from Zeus, now understood as the relationship from Providence, no different than the honey bee to its garden. Poof, all the flowering plants would sell, me-shop-girl, I placed another order, its truck arrived, and so it went. Between trucks, watering the flowering plants, pinching spent foliage & blossoms, sales girl.
Looking back across decades, at that work, I especially miss the 1-2 days of bringing those plants off the truck, and having them to myself to stage. Life moments. Tearing the paper wraps off the plants made mountains of crumpled paper, mine to put on the same carts I brought the flowers inside with, and roll to the dumpster. To Providence, thank you for those moments.

Pic, above, here.
The painting is by, Frederick Childe Hassam, ca. 1889. At the Florist. Cannot believe I had a job little changed from this painting. Nor, I now live in a house ca. 1900.
More amazing, during the years working at the nursery my mother-in-law gave me a book, An Island Garden, by Celia Thaxter. Read many times, and recommended, including now. Guess who did the artwork for Thaxter's book? Exactly, Childe (Frederick) Hassam. More, more. Discovered the painting on Barbara Wells Sarudy's site, It's About Time. Sarudy is the top living garden historian in America. Her book, Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805, a must for any serious gardener. Sitting on a bookshelf in my office. Of course.
Odd & delicious, simply writing about working with those sleeved flowering plants, makes the blood fizz. Grateful to have that job in the memory bank. Glad of the 21% interest rates, seems wicked the entire country had to suffer, for me to have a career course change lovingly directed by Providence.
Garden & Be Well, XOT

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