Bouquet of the Week: Pick-Your-Own Zinnias
As part of our recurring Bouquet of the Week series, Garden Collage continues to present a weekly inspirational bouquet that incorporates intriguing new elements into the traditional practice of flower arranging. This week, Garden Collage Graphic Designer (and resident in-house Chef) Eidia Moni Amin styles a bouquet celebrating her family’s annual trip from NYC to a pick-your-own orchard upstate.
Every Fall for the past decade I have found myself sitting in the back seat of a moving car, watching the metropolitan landscape fade into expanses of landmasses defined by lush grass, trees, and mountain tops. We cross a bridge, and curve into upstate New York.
During the drive, the general mood consists of my parent’s jubilant small talk with each other and my sister falling asleep to the music pouring from her ear buds. As for myself, I allow the scenic drive to envelope me in its expansiveness, my consciousness drifting into the sporadic rhythmic pattern of “mountain top, barn, grassland, house, horse, mountain top”.
In 2014, we planned our annual visit upstate, and I anticipated a similar routine and atmosphere unfolding with the course of the morning; however, prior to our trip to Weed Orchards, I had unravelled a part of my life to my parents, which dispersed parts of myself into minuscule pieces. We all went to bed that night with fraying ends, questions, and a few scars. The following morning, the drive to our destination was quiet, still, and numb.
When we reached the farm that day, I walked up to the front stall and noticed scissors and mason jars available to the visitors. A sign reading “Pick-Your-Own Flowers” caught my attention, and I instinctively grabbed a mason jar and a pair of sheers.
“My bouquet for this week was collected two years later at the same orchard, in the same field of zinnias, but with a sense of growing completeness and healing.”
Usually, my parents pick apples and vegetables at this orchard. On that particular day, they followed me to the designated area for the flowers. Neither one of us anticipated the scene that graced our eyes: row upon row of zinnias and gladiolus in warm yellows, deep maroons, whimsical pinks, and rich oranges. I started picking the flowers, and noticed a hand with another freshly-picked flower add to my mason jar, and then another. In their silent, supportive way, my parents picked flower after flower with me, and we occupied every bit of space possible inside of the mason jar with closely-huddled green flower stems.
We did not speak to each other, but we looked at the bouquet we made together. Often, certain life experiences ignite a desire to either completely diminish the existence of those moments– a yearning for a time machine to travel back and prevent the situations from taking place– or an extreme sense of dejection or permanent scarring. That bouquet epitomized the optimism that is possible to seek and feel even while coping with the most despondent moments of our lives. Just with each flower collectively gathered on that day, it is possible to bring back together the minuscule, dispersed pieces of yourself.
My bouquet for this week was collected two years later at the same orchard, in the same field of zinnias, but with a sense of growing completeness and healing. It is a continuum of my personal journey in gathering parts of myself.