Flower Confidential

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers

By Amy Stewart
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565124387, 306pp.)

Publication Date: February 2007

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Description
We buy more flowers a year than we do Big Macs, spending $6.2 billion annually. We use them to mark our most important events, to express sentiments that might otherwise go unsaid. And we demand perfection. So it's no surprise that there is a $40 billion global industry devoted to making flowers flawless.
Amy Stewart takes us inside the flower trade--from the hybridizers, who create new varieties in the laboratory, to the growers, who produce flowers by the millions (often in a factory-like setting), to the Dutch auctioneers, who set the bar (and the price), and ultimately to the neighborhood florists orchestrating the mind-boggling demands of Valentine's and Mother's Day. There's the breeder intent on developing the first blue rose; an eccentric horticultural legend who created the world's most popular lily; a grower of gerberas of every color imaginable; and the equivalent of a Tiffany diamond: the " Forever Young" rose.
Stewart explores the relevance of flowers in our lives and in our history, and in the process she reveals all that has been gained--and lost--by tinkering with nature.
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