Friday, 20 January 2012

Tropical Canberra

Things are weird here to be sure.

As I dont have a wedding this weekend I have been pondering the weather - and been grateful I haven't had delicate flowers to care for, manipulate and transport. It has been positively tropical here in Canberra...weird...clear, bright skies in the morning then a slow and accumulating stuffiness until the mid afternoon, when banks of gruff clouds appear to the west or south and threaten a storm.

Empty threats usually, but tonight some real rain after several hours of build up, and a 360 degree light show. The severe weather which the Bureau of Meterology have been issuing warnings for: large hailstones, flash flooding, damaging wind. Last time we experienced a storm like this our most treasured cat* disappeared and our outdoor terrace area was torn up by hail. So I've put the cats to bed already.

Anyways...the weddings. I have been thinking of the flowers which provide that real lush, tropical feel to a summer wedding and have included some of them here. The reality is that many of these are commercially available to florists (and punters) almost year round - Dendrobium Orchids, Vanda Orchids, large broad leaves and the like are generally greenhouse farmed crops. 

For a really authentic tropical wedding you would be requesting frangipani, hibiscus, gingers, heliconias, palm husks and berries but we dont do those sorta weddings in Canberra! 

One of my favourite floristry stories comes from when I was working for the most fabulous Juliet Justice in Balmain and making and learning so much. At the crack of dawn we would unpack a van load of flowers fresh from the markets and make up a long list of arrangements for corporate clients - this particular week using tropical stuff, freighted in boxes from north Queensland like this vibrant, long lasting Crab Claw Heliconia.

To my surprise and delight, when I grabbed a stem I found a tiny brilliant green tree frog tucked neatly into the cavity of the "claw". Still alive but probably scared out of its wits, we popped it into the closest bit of garden - I dont know how well adjusted it would be. So cute, and such a good memory! 

I am off to listen to the rain pounding....

* of course we loved both of our cats equally, but Princess Lea was most treasured because she was SO unlike a cat, and so unusual. We have never had a cat with a personality like hers, and we never found her after the storm.

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