Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pick your own

I'm not one for home decoration. Heck, as long as there is food in the house I'm not fussed if the feng or the shui is in the right place. However, I do understand that some, like my wife, prefer a more welcoming atmosphere and purchase many ornaments purely for aesthetic reasons.

Take flowers for example. Sure, they may brighten up a room with a touch of colour and nature, but are they really worth the trouble? They never last more than a week or so and over this period they drop dead petals and leaves everywhere. They require remembering to fill the water and to trim the stems from time to time and worst of all, have you ever tried to clean an oddly shape vase after it has had flowers in it for a couple of weeks? It is not possible.

Still, many like to purchase flowers for several reasons and Germany is definitely no exception to the rule. Perhaps it is because for about a third of the year, everything is covered in white snow and you are flat out getting a weed to sprout nevermind a flower. Once Spring rolls around and the flowers begin to blossom, everybody is out picking flowers and florists get a booming trade.

In fact, to make getting flowers easier (and fresher), the outer suburbs have many 'pick your own' fields of flowers. If you see a big banner saying 'Blumen - selbst schneiden' (which translates to 'Flowers - self cut') on the side of the road, you will find a field of flowers and a price list for each type. No one stands around all day as it is an honour system with a cash box attached to a drum filled with concrete. People can stoll up, cut their flowers of choice and drop a couple of $$ in the box.

I think it is brilliant. Not for decorating the home. But if you are on your way home and need to apologize to the missus for a minor transgression, or you forgot to get a gift for someone, what is better (and now easier) than a bunch of flowers?

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