by BERN MORLEY
My five year old son walked in this afternoon holding a daisy. It was a bit miserable this daisy. Short of stem and missing a few petals but it was the way he strode in towards me, arm outstretched, a little shy yet proud at the same time, presenting this little flower to me, that made my heart skip a beat.
“Is that for me?” I asked with an eager smile.
“No Mum, it’s for the babysitter.” And he walked on past me and sat down in front of the television to wait for her to arrive.
Of course. Emily the 16 year old babysitter who was currently the love of his life. Flowers were always reserved for those we wanted to make the biggest impression upon, how SILLY of me to forget.
But this got me thinking about flowers and what they represent to every woman during the different stages of their lives, whether they be young, old or in between. We are all drawn to flowers and what they represent for our own individual and distinctive reasons.
When I was a little girl, flowers to me were just a little bit magical. When I was only 6, my mother took me to a flower Carnival where I remember being entranced by the radiant and iridescent bouquets. I was fascinated by the rows of vivid colourful blooms that seemed to overwhelm my young and innocent senses. When the Queen of the Carnival threw me a yellow rose from her moving float, I was simply and utterly enchanted. A spell had been cast and I was forever entranced by the magic that a single flower brought with it.
As I grew, flowers started to symbolise different things to me. As a teenager they began to represent that I was special to someone. I still remember receiving my first bunch of flowers from a would-be suitor “just because”. It was a hot and unbearably sticky day that was only punctuated by the heady mix of young love and expectation. I was finally finished with exams for the year and was about to head down to the beach for a swim.
As I rounded the corner, the boy I was secretly in love with was standing there, waiting with a tiny yet charming bunch of daffodils. He was kicking the ground, all nervous like. He looked up and smiled his large goofy smile and thrust the flowers towards me and said nervously “I think you’ve earned these” I took them and we were inseparable for oh, at least 3 weeks. Ahh, young love.
As I grew it often became more about the giving of the flowers as much as the receiving. Friends having babies, birthdays, engagements, single blooms picked from a neighbour’s garden just because I knew they would make Mum’s day. All of these moments, incredibly happy ones. If my Mum were alive today I could think of nothing lovelier than to take her along to Floriade, Canberra’s Flower show that is an amazing celebration of Spring.
In particular, I’d love to show her the vivid colours of the garden bed designs under lights at the Floriade Nightfest. Held over 5 magnificent nights, each featuring their own amazing bands and hilarious stand-up comedians, the Floriade Nightfest is the highlight of Canberra’s unique flower Carnival.
If like me, you like to wander the night markets, you would have to be sure to get there as the sun sets to experience the true wonder amoungst the vibrant blossoms. Or, also like me, if you enjoy a cocktail (or two), you would simply have to take a seat in the Butterfly lounge and partake surrounded by the brilliant perfumed displays under lights.
Held over four spectacular weeks, the theme for the 2012 Floriade is Style and Design with this year’s Ambassador Leona Edmiston to officially launch the 25th Anniversary of the event that will showcase an exciting range of new attractions to stimulate your senses including demonstrations, a fantastic children’s’ program and garden presentations that outline the infinite garden transformation possibilities. The full program can be seen HERE. There truly is something for everyone.
There is often something inexplicable about the way a solitary flower can make you feel. The Floriade Carnival is a vivid reminder of all that is good and right with the world. Don’t miss it.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “The earth laughs in flowers.”
Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring. This iconic Canberra event runs for 30 days over the months of September and October. It showcases one million flowers in bloom, set in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park and entry is free. We welcome over 400,000 local, interstate and international visitors each year to Canberra’s spring festival. For more information visit the official site.
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When was the last time someone bought you flowers?