Have you been wondering what the deal was with the Olympic
flowers? I have. When I first saw the yellow/chartreuse bouquets, I wondered if they had
some kind of significance to Vancouver, because they are so unlike the
traditional flowers you might expect—any color roses would be the norm, you’d
think. Not that I’m disappointed they’re not roses; like Susan, I find florist
roses to be pathetic, chemicalized clichés.
From the distance of the TV screen, the Olympic bouquets,
given to both male and female medalists, look to be homely bunches of ordinary
flowers, though it’s hard to distinguish the individual cultivars. I did find
about them though, and here’s the deal. The flowers are green mums and hypericum berries. Well, that’s what the Yahoo article
says. Technically, they should be called regular incurve chrysanthemums and (I
think) Hypericum androsaemum. I’m no mum or hypericum expert, though I’ve
certainly bought enough of them as excellent components of long-lasting
arrangements. That said, I’m not a fan of the traditional fall mums. The
Olympics ones are a prettier variety.
Apparently, 58 florists competed for the Vancouver bouquet
concession, and the winners were Just Beginning Flowers and Margitta’s Flowers,
both local to BC. Just Beginning teaches floristry to women who have left
prison, are recovering from addiction, or are victims of violence. In other
words, the program makes a useful trade available to women who need a fresh
The Beijing Olympics had roses. In Turin,
they used rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias. While both of those choices
may be more interesting or elegant, I like this year’s choice of common flowers
we all buy for our household vases. And I love the Just Beginning project.
Our friends at the Human
Flower Project also had a post on this.
Oh, and by the way, I am loving the Olympics. I have not
watched it in years and so far I am vastly entertained by the snowboarding
and the figure skating. Awesome outfits! And let’s face it, the outfits are key.