Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.                       

Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs the wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

--My friend, I want to trade
my horse for her house,
my saddle for her mirror,
my knife for her blanket.

--My friend, I come bleeding
from the gates of Cabra.

--If it were possible, my boy,
I'd help you fix that trade.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.

--My friend, I want to die
decently in my bed.
Of iron, if that's possible,
with blankets of fine spun wool
Don't you see the wound I have
from my chest up to my throat?

--Three hundred damson roses
bloom on your white shirt
Your blood oozes and flees a
round the corners of your sash.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.

--Let me climb up, at least,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water rumbles.

Now the two friends climb up,
up to the high balconies.
Leaving a trail of blood.
Leaving a trail of teardrops.
Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.

Green, how I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends climbed up.
The stiff wind left
in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil
My friend, where is she--tell me--
where is your bitter girl?
How many times she waited for you!
How many times would she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!

Over the mouth of the cistern
the gypsy girl was swinging,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
A sliver of the moon
holds her up above the water.
The night became intimate
like a little plaza.
Drunken "Guardias Civiles"
were pounding on the door.
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.

Ballad of the Sleepwalker
by Federico García Lorca
Recently we have been getting these strange and wonderful ranunculas from Chile which are part of a series developed by the renowned Italian anemone and ranunculas breeders "Biancheri".
The green centers have been encouraged to develop calyceous material which results in delightful eruptions of green form the bright centers. Of all of them however, my favorites are the green ranunculas each of which seems to be an unique creation.
And occasionally we get Green Zebras.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Have I taken my puns using the word spathe too far? Did the little piggy cry "Wee-wee-wee" all the way home?
Notwithstanding the profundity of these questions as well as their solutions, I present four of the most recent new varieties of colored Zantedeschia  hybrids available for the fall season .

The spathe is the modified leaf that surrounds the spadix; the spadix is the small phallic-shape at the center of the spathe, whereas the actual flowers are in fact the tiny specks that "bloom" on the spadix. (See image to right).

The spathe is imbued with rich color, often speckled and mottled with another hue, especially in the case of oranges and red, and sometimes the whites and creams have another hue such as pink or peach applied like blush. Case in point is the new "Crystal Pink", which is very similar to the Crystal White and the Crystal Blush, but has slightly more pink. The difference between these three varieties is really a matter of degree, and all would be adequate as a white.

There are two new varieties of yellow: Firstly there is "Serrada" (sic) which has a slender spathe that offers a rather narrow disposition in a bright yellow imbued with a caste of lemon tones. Serrada seems to be a corruption of the Spanish word 'Cerrada', meaning closed.

The second yellow is a rather bold and brassy, featuring a spathe that is large, well developed and generally disposed to reflexing and which is a golden egg-yolk (free range) color occasionally limned with green at the apex of the spathe. The name of this variety is rather appropriately termed "Conca D'Or" or Golden Shell.

Lastly, a new calla called "Autumn Jewel" features a rather unusual and complex combination of dull brass tones and brown hues melded into a terracotta colored spathe. The spathe itself is has very attractive shape developing into the classic conical form of the Z. rehmanii hybrids and the red and brass tones contrast nicely with a golden spadix.

Friday, September 17, 2010


It is my understanding that there are approximately 150 ways to say that someone or something is hairy, and the name of this fabulous Leucadendron uses one of them. These dynamic floral items come form South Africa at this time of year. Use them to add silver flourishes to autumn expressions and detailed comtemporary sculptural  compositions. The spherical flower-heads resemble old-fashioned golf balls that have fallen apart, revealing the tightly wound guttapercha within. However, the texture is incredibly soft, like the downy fur just above a cat's nose, and from which the flower gets its epithet: Leucadendron pubescens. Now, I know some of you are thinking that it is a rather risqué name from those lusty, lascivious Latins but in point of fact pubescens means 'fine, downy hair', and is derived from the Latin pubescere which means  'to mature; to come of age' and which is also the root of 'puberty'.
Now is the time to take advantage of these novelty flower cones arriving from South Africa, as their  seasons are often quite capricious in nature, and can finish quite quickly. Fortunately, the different varieties seem to bloom one after another, so if it is unavailable, please inquire as to what other flower cones, globes and spherical materials are coming in from South Africa. Another economical asset of these products is that  they are quite hardy and have an excellent vase life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

E. ROY DAHLSON II; In Memoriam

On September 7th my uncle, Roy Dahlson, passed away. A man who was proud to be American and who fathered nine children, and yet when I came Los Angeles, he accepted me, a rowdy young man, into the fold of his heart. I am eternally grateful for the help and guidance that he extended to me. Roy purchased the Mayesh Wholesale Florist in 1978 and I joined the company  in 1983. He extended to me the luxury of learning about flowers and the opportunity to earn a living; which is a beautiful gift.
Thank you, Roy.

"Death is not the end
Death can never be the end.

Death is the road.
Life is the traveller.
The Soul is the Guide
              _ _
Our mind thinks of death.
Our heart thinks of life
Our soul thinks of Immortality. "

By Sri Chinmoy

Friday, September 10, 2010


When I first started my travails on the Los Angeles Flower Market many moons ago, long before the imports really made inroads into the Californian flower industry, I recollect that all flowers had their seasons: Spring would be announced with the advent of blossoms and bulb flowers. In April and May  the wonderfully scented lilacs would arrive from the high desert and the awesome Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia Aethiopica) that were harvested fully open would come to the market by the bucket-load. Over the years, many of the small growers of these spectacular flowers have retired or stopped growing for various reasons, until the supply has dwindled to almost nothing.
Ten years ago I had a vision for a year-round supply of an "Open-Cut Calla" predicated on a very special packing procedure, and thereafter promulgated, nurtured and developed into a very popular item. In fact, the program was wildly successful, and Mayesh sold thousands of stems of the Callas grown in Ecuador each week, all year long.
However, over the past three years the callas, which are a species, rather than a hybrid, and exceptionally strong as a rule, succumbed to fusarium and phytoptora which severely weakened the plants' immune systems, and which were then attacked by Erwinia; a virus that until recently was only a threat to the colored Zantedeschia hybrids. This blight, apparently first reported in China in 1999 has now appeared in Ecuador, and has affected all calla growers, which is a terrible shame. It is clear that it will take some time to resolve.
Notwithstanding, the callas are still the best available as they are cut "open" which is where the true beauty of the flower lies. When they are cut tight they never reveal the true beauty that engendered the bestowal of the name "Calla Lily" from the Greek word kallos meaning 'beauty', and to which the Victorians ascribed the meaning, in the 'Language of Flowers', of  "Magnificent Beauty".
How sad, I often think, when I see the limp white tortillas in an arrangement, still wrapped tightly, much as when they were cut in the field. For sure, tight callas are easy to pack and ship but the product is as stimulating as the sad tomatoes in the supermarkets. On the other hand, the "Open-Cut Callas" are very difficult to pack and ship, and in fact a little tolerance and latitude is need to enjoy their full glory. The size and scale of these flowers means that 9 times out of 10 they will be viewed from distance, so a spot here and there will never be noticed.

DESIGN TIP: In arrangements, particularly when the composition calls for mostly or only white Callas, a few tight callas can be mixed in with the "Open-Cut Callas" and the overall look will still be very rich, as visually the eye surveys the result much as it would see the flowers blooming in nature; some will be fully open and some in various stages of development. This technique allows some relief from the expense of the "Open-Cut Callas".

The images here are the "Open-Cut Callas" from our grower in Ecuador, which were opened by USDA in Miami.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So I was walking through the office, and I noticed that there was a shift in a matrix. I had to stop and look again, just to be sure, Mr. Anderson.
And there they were : Variegated ....GREEN ...Ranunculas!
Oh yes, (with apologies to Seinfeld) - they are natural and they are spectacular!
So, as an epilogue to a recent post about "Butterflies and Zebras", I hope that you can enjoy these de-licious and de-lovely flowers.

To order go here - Availability: Very limited


This summer I visited London and Edinburgh in the British Isles with my girlfriend. We had a wonderful time and were able to get to visit many of "pre-trip must-do's" including the awesome British Museum, Gordon Ramsay's and a couple of musicals, noteworthy  of these was "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" on stage. Personally I have never been one for musicals but I have to admit that this was pretty good!  A complete "Fail" was a much anticipated visit to the Chelsea Flower Show, which needs tickets pre-booked months in advance: They take their flowers and plants seriously in England! On the other hand we elected to go to a candle-lit performance of several chorale pieces at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields complete with orchestra which was very spiritually uplifting.
We made a couple of other pilgrimages; one being to the Doctor Maartens (DM's) store in Covent Garden, home of the legendary boots with the patented air-cushion soles, which in my youth were referred to as "Bovver Boots" - as in "Do you want a spot of bovver  (bother)?"; the other being a visit to the home of "Neals' Yard", a quintessential English cheese shop.
This cheese shop is one of many examples in London and throughout Europe of shops dedicated to one item. The focus and knowledge is consequently much more profound and the enthusiasm of the staff is palpable even before any words are exchanged. In my opinion one of the distinct downsides of the proliferation of a virtual world on the Internet is the inexorable elimination of these highly focused businesses from the real world.
Fortunately for us, we were able to experience this wonderful shop, to inhale the aromas, to feast our eyes and to taste the wares. There is simply nothing that equals this experience; an environment that so  physically exerts its existence in the tactile and sensory world. And yet certainly it is all but disappeared in the USA, with just a few exceptions in New York and perhaps a few other major urban centers.
For want of a better example, just think about most floral businesses today: With few exceptions, there are no charismatic spaces full of flowers that wow the olfactory and visual senses. Far too many fabulous flowers, great designs and floral decorations are only seen at weddings, on designers' websites or at flower schools that seem to be popping up. For better or for worse, however, that is the way things are today, although as with all things this state is temporal and will change, as flowers are far to wonderful and wondrous to remain the exclusive province of  weddings and events.
Notwithstanding the above, my girlfriend and I got to enjoy this fabulous emporium and appreciate it for the time we were there, in person, up close and also later on enjoy it all over again in our mouths! The Cheese.
That's another thing , by the way, is how wonderfully mature and ripe the cheeses are, with fully developed flavors and sharp, edgy accents impregnated into the deep, creamy textures.
It is so important to allow products such as cheese, beef, and even flowers to mature and age to a point where they impart the full flavors, colors, scents and afford sentient beings the best visual experience.
Which is, of course, how one gets to enjoy the perverse pleasures of a cheese called the "Stinking Bishop". Amen!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Have you noticed lately on television advertisements they will refer to food using a noun as an adjective in a very annoying way? For instance there is an ad for Italian meal in a box, I think, that proclaims that it is "Restaurant Quality". Of course that begs the question; "What kind of restaurant are they alluding to?" Perhaps a commercial that is less ambiguous is the one that proclaims a foodstuff to be "Sit-Down Quality". I guess that rules out all those meals that you have to eat standing up like a Pinks Chili-Cheese Dog or a Philly Cheese Steak Wit'.  In a really incorrigible abuse of the English language, not only does the noun become an adjective, but the noun becomes almost superfluous and meaningless. But hey, if its good enough for Madison Avenue its good enough for me.
Being the philistine that I am, I have latched on to Porn; as in Food Porn, and feel the urge to provide you with some Rose Porn. See - its that easy to turn a noun into an adjective!

There is a fabulous new rose with a somewhat limited availability that we call  "Charity", which is a deliciously feminine pink hue with a fully double rosette. "Upskirting a ballerina in a tutu" provides a pale metaphor of the wonderful  ruffled beauty of this rose, which is why the pictures are so necessary and illuminating. Charity does grow with some green calyceous growth in the center, which seems to be very fashionable at the moment, but not for everyone.. It has a strong resemblance to one of the classic garden roses of all time, the R. 'Fantin-Latour' a seminal rose in the history of flowers, but like many of the new generation of garden roses from David Austin developed for cutting, it has a vastly superior vase life than the famous Fantin-Latour. As if this is not enough, "Charity" also has a delightful light but lingering perfume altogether reminiscent of Yardley's English Lavender soap, and all in all, is an absolutely wonderful flower.

David Austin Roses, the breeder of this rose does not like it at all, due largely to the green protuberance in the center and will not be developing it for the cut flower market. Which seems to me to be rather a shame, as it is a modern masterpiece. We have an exclusive but limited supply of this rose, and I encourage to you to order it while still available.

And hey, if you don't like the green cayceous material showing, you can do what I did in the last image and cut it off with some scissors.

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