The Gifts of the Flower Fields

May 20, 2014

The Georgetown warehouse of the Seattle Wholesale Growers' Market

The Georgetown warehouse of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

“We tend to consider bloom to be the ultimate gift of the garden, but the structure is just as important. For example, the phlox is beautiful in its mass of foliage, even before the blossoms emerge.”
— Stanley Kunitz, from The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden

Kunitz finds metaphors for his poetry writing in his flower garden.  Here is one of its lessons:  “In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.”

So, too, one of the lessons I’ve learned from the flower growing experts at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is that you can make a spectacular bouquet from stems, twigs, pods, leaves, and things scavenged from nature.  Blooming is definitely not all a plant can offer.  There’s plenty going on in all seasons of the year.

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is a farm-owned cooperative with a focus on local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.  I dropped in last week and was pleased to see that the Market is growing.  It’s expanded its warehouse space and is gearing up for its busiest year yet.

Here are some photos from mid-May at the Market celebrating its “underlying song”:





Sweet peas

Sweet peas from Jello Mold Farm


And sweet pea vines

And sweet pea vines



Calla lilies from Z Callas

Calla lilies from Z Callas






2 Responses to “The Gifts of the Flower Fields”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    I just took a look around. There’s not a single fresh flower, but plenty of dried grasses, seed pods from crepe myrtle, and so on. One great advantage of dried arrangements is that they don’t have to be replaced. And, they can be marvelous tokens of other places and other times.

    Of course, there’s always that structure.

  2. […] The Gifts of the Flower Fields, May 20, 2014 […]

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