Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why Flowers?

Spring at the Conservatory Garden in New York's Central Park. Courtesy
I couldn't help thinking about Tuscaloosa, AL, and other southern states reeling from powerful storms and tornadoes—or the people of Japan still experiencing aftershocks more than a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami—while taking in the treasures on view at the Antique Garden Furniture Show and Sale at the New York Botanical Garden this past week. Stone urns and animals shared space with ironwork seating, playful accessories and, of course, flowers. It all seemed trivial all of a sudden. Why do we care so much about these things?

Because they afford us an escape, a respite from what seems immeasurable and indiscriminate destruction. Flowers serve a powerful function, don't forget: They propagate their respective species, never mind captivating us with their color and beauty. Flowers, gardens and, yes, spring remind us that life continues and that even among the ashes, beauty can be found.

From top: The displays of Treillage; Bob and Debbie Withington of Maine; and Dawn Hill Antiques.

Crocuses make as appearance on the High Line (photo courtesy Other blooms will come again later this summer.

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