Monday, January 31, 2011


Today is day one of my ten day sojourn in Ecuador checking roses for the 2011 Valentine's holiday.
Whilst driving to visit one of the farms I espied this stunning monument to conspicuous consumption at its most visceral. These two golden caryatids sparkled in the sun of a late January afternoon, perhaps a reminder that the rose growers may need to sacrifice their first born in order for the Sun-Gods to be satisfied.
They also reminded me of Rome, and the legend of St. Valentine, who defied a decree from Caesar that prohibited matrimonial services for Christian youth, and joined many young lovers in secret nuptial ceremonies. Beatified by the Roman Catholic church, it was the Victorians who re-invented the St. Valentine concept into the idea of sending amorous cards anonymously to loved ones. This was soon transformed into a flower holiday, which is far more romantic, and the reason why I am in Ecuador.
Most of Ecuador's roses are grown to the north of the capital city of Quito in an area dominated by the towns of Cayambe and Tabacundo; and in the south in an area that is known as Cotopaxi, but which stretches over almost 80 kms from Pastocalle to Ambato. My first day was spent visiting the farms in the south that will be supplying Mayesh Wholesale for this holiday and while I have heard many reports of a harvest coming late, for the most part what I saw in the fields and in the post-harvest was substantially good news for wholesalers and retail florists who buy later than the supermarkets.
As you can see in the pictures there are roses, red roses, in this case "Hearts", waiting to be harvested but this may not be the case everywhere.
There is a good chance that this year's rose harvest appears to be on target to hit a tiny window shipping out of Ecuador almost perfectly. However, I need to reserve judgement until tomorrow when I will get the overview of the farms in the north.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, sir. As an economics and anthropology student turned floral designer, I love your blog. Each entry is like a new article in a research journal tailored specifically to my interests! Thank you so much for your wonderful insight and careful analysis of historical and current floral trends. They are a pleasure to read.

    All the best,


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