Friday, 5 April 2013

Friday flowers: an appreciation reignited

Working with flowers, there are times that I perhaps take them for granted - and then something happens, like coming across Andrew Zuckerman's book Flower - which stops me in my tracks.  

While the most famous Zucker might be Zuckerberg, Andrew Zuckerman is a celebrated filmmaker and photographer whose work has an emphasis on minimalism, divorcing his subjects from context resulting in a reaction that is generally one of awe. There's that dreamlike sense of familiarity, of intimacy, but also of hyper-realism - like when you spell a word too often so that eventually you think you might have it wrong. (Or maybe that's just me!?)

So while there are exotic flowers that you might expect to be breathtaking, like these:

Perhaps the most amazing and awe-inspiring are the flowers we might count as 'everyday' ones: 

I think I love this book because it stopped me bang in my tracks, reminding me to really *see* the flowers I work with all the time - rather than just look at them or consider them part of my job. Although working with them isn't so bad since while I have become rather immune to their scent (customers always talk about the amazing perfume in our Botanical Room which we don't even notice anymore) and have perhaps started seeing them in terms of groupings and colour-ways, I am definitely not immune to the emotional effect they have.

That is probably the loveliest and most rewarding part of working with flowers - sharing in life's exciting and celebratory moments - or being able to help provide comfort when words aren't enough, at times of great sadness for whatever reason. My favourite though are those bouquets that are for everyday events - I love those - dinners, thank-yous, congratulations, new homes. Flowers for everyday really, that could be to my own nearest and dearest, even though most of those are half a world away... 

My lessons from the book aren't finished yet - I don't like gerberas, or banksia. Or chrysanthemums. 

Or at least, I thought I didn't, look at these: 

and my favourite Chrysanth, which even made it to the cover:
Architectural Digest's review of Zuckerman's book captures it best: 
'The leaves, the textures, the petals, even the pollen are all mesmerizingly provocative - in a most elegant way.' 

Provocative and elegant. 
I like that. 


images: all Andrew Zuckerman
from top: exotics: Beallara, Gloriosa, Nemesia, Orthosiphon
everyday: Hydrangea, Hyacinthus, Rosa Cinderella, Tulip
the surprises: Chrysanthemum Hoko Yaui, Banksia, Chrysanthemum Coral Reef
Flower is available on Amazon: 


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