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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FLOWER CONFIDENTIAL: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of FlowersUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
An engaging mix of botany, history and commerce highlighted by profiles of flower mavens and close-ups of rare flowers. Stewart, a flower lover and horticultural writer (The Earth Moved, 2003, etc ... Read full review
A expose of the floral industryUser Review - I am a gardener too - Borders
Amy Stewart's investigation of the floral industry left me with a new view of that bouquet of flowers in the grocery store. Her world wide tour takes you to places you would never have imagined and ... Read full review
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Engineered to Perfection
Italian Violets and Japanese Chrysanthemums
Acres under Glass
How the Dutch Conquered the World
Flowers on the Equator
The Dutch Auction
Florists Supermarkets and the Next Big Thing
The Care and Feeding of Cut Flowers
Visiting Markets and Growers