A City Kid's Introduction to Flowers
Shakespeare wrote, “… a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet,” which means that a name does not change the experience. I concur!
But I was introduced as a New York City child to flowers through their names – no color photos, sweet smelling blossoms or informative text – just typed names on a page and I fell instantly in love with the descriptive floral monikers.
|Love in a Mist - great name|
Up until the age of nine, I lived in a small apartment in the borough of Queens in New York City. It was in Fresh Meadows, a complex called by Lewis Mumford “perhaps the most positive and exhilarating example of community planning in the country.”
But it was a neighborhood of squat, three story brick buildings and small duplexes, each with a paved playground behind it and some areas of grass that never grew because us kids always played on it….
|Fresh Meadows, Queens - home sweet home|
Now where did they think we, apartment dwellers, were going to plant these seeds? I don’t know if that entered their minds.
There were kids in school who lived in duplexes and they would be able to plant them but most of us had no hope of growing a garden.
|I lived on the 2nd floor|
I, not to be thwarted, decided that I would simply plant everything on the windowsill of our small, kitchen - to an enthusiastic seven year old, anything is possible.
My mother tried to dissuade me but I was insistent.
I perused the long list of names and made my choices. My only guide was their names – and since I did not know what a chrysanthemum, marigold or petunia was – I chose the names that were associated with times of day, the planets or other alluring descriptions of something odd.
Here was my list as I remember it. (I added photos but I had no picture - just the name.) :
And the one I was most excited about,