About thirty years ago something happened that I still remember very vividly and you may it think it very strange. Whilst living with my mum in the Shakespearean Mecca that is Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire, England. Allow me to set the scene, little brother running around with toy pistol and half the kids from the street in hot pursuit as they dart in and out of the lounge probably disturbing me considerably. Little sister too small to be doing anything really. Mum screaming at the kids. Me waiting for my buddy to arrive at the house before we disappear into the night in search of another memorable night that I am certain, we will not remember.
I go upstairs to change, Mum as ever had washed my clothes and all ironed and smelling of that spring alpine, mountain fresh, pine swoosh whatever they choose to call it nowadays, but I remember all the smart kids at school used to smell of it, needless to say I didn’t fall into the smart smelling category of Britain’s future. There among my soccer shorts and socks and Scooby-doo boxers lying perfectly folded was a shirt, but this was no ordinary shirt. This shirt was majestically lying there like a just fed Siamese cat licking its paws. Turquoise blue and a material I had never worn before, could this shirt be mine ? I gently took the shirt and let the fabric unravel. It had to be mine, how could it be anyone else’s? Is my mum dating the post man? She can’t be he is a hundred and three years old on Tuesday. I held it up to my chest. Everything seemed in order perhaps the arms were a tiny bit short but that seemed ok. So in front of the mirror I stand as I start to transform into a Gianni Versace prospect, one arm, two arms so far so good, go to button it up and what no buttons? There are no buttons, I look in the mirror and I see buttons but when I look down there are no buttons. My worst fears had been realized it was not meant to be worn by me, or for that matter worn by a man at all. It was my mum’s shirt and the buttons are all on the other side. All my dreams and visions of grandeur had exploded in my face leaving my haute couture vision only partial. Now I am faced with a dilemma, will anyone know? How could they, when the back to front buttons are done up no-one could tell could they? All those in favor that I wear my mum’s shirt to a trendy nightclub say Aye, I said Aye it was a one man vote kind of thing.
I wore my shirt, or my mums shirt with pride that night and sure enough if anyone had said anything about why I was dressed in a ladies shirt I sure would have forgotten by the time we stumbled home.
You may be wandering what on earth this has to do with flowers. Well for me that was the turning point that I realized the clothes should be bright, everything should be bright, clothes, shoes, walls, cars, flowers, everything should be colorful. Color is good, color is healthy, color is exciting, color is brave, color gets you noticed as you walk in to a room, color draws people to you. From that day on my approach to color changed forever.
To this day I am still obsessed with colors and my favorite site in the world is looking at a field of stock growing in Lompoc, or a snapdragon nursery in Carpentaria or a rolling field of Hydrangeas in Medellin. It mesmerizes me. I have spent countless hours looking at flower farms and the visual masterpieces they become as a crop comes into its flushing stage. An art form unique unto itself. I love to work with a designer that dazzles the eye with color choices. It doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact sometimes designers can make two or three colors look stunning together. Give your colors some thought. It will get your work noticed. Back next week with some flower talk.