Can you buy real flowers at a supermarket?
This is a selection of in-season blooms outside Key Food on Atlantic. I'll miss them, in our move to Harlem. While they do stock the boring and ubiquitous and season-defying long stemmed roses, lilies, Siberian iris, and orchids (and hyacinths, in October, which is just upsetting to a gardener), the flowers pictured here could, by no long stretch of the imagination, be blooming in local garden now. And that is what flowers mean, to me: now, this minute; this is it.
I remember houses in Bloemfontein where the marigolds were planted in rows, with neat, Dutch Reformed spaces between each non-touching plant. Then, I hated them. But these are a riot.
Not bad, as generic bouquets go: sunflowers, marigolds, cockscombs (Celosia spicata - the smaller, pointy, feathery pink flower and Celosia cristata, the ruffled, sea-coral one), sweet William, argeratum (fluffy mauve), Gomphrena (round, fluffy hot pink ones).
There won't be flowers in our house, for a while. It's all a little disheveled. Boxes here, boxes there. And when we do get round to it, in that northern Manhattan neighbourhood, where every person who passes you utters a greeting, the weather will have turned again, and might call for Viburnum branches, or sprays of late asters.