Flowers can convey powerful feelings understood by all, and also be eloquent messengers for the rituals that define each unique culture. At Flowers of Colombia, they have started a ritual of their own: honoring cities around the planet that have a special relationship with flowers. Last year they went to Tokyo to celebrate the authenticity of its women, and they also took over London to praise its musical legacy. In 2019, they decided that they should pay tribute to the most inspiring city of all: New York.
Joey, Daniel and Catalina are three flower growers from Colombia. They take pride in their work and they are constantly looking for inspiration to create better, brighter and more diverse flowers to share with the world. They were the perfect messengers for the tribute in New York: curious and kind, happy to be part of this amazing surprise.
Over 3,000 stems went with them on this trip. Roses, carnations, alstroemerias, hydrangeas and foliage became beautiful gifts for the city and its people. They were transformed into stunning installations and bouquets by Kelsea Olivia, a florist with a delightful studio in upper Manhattan.
The team took these amazing creations to iconic spots in the Big Apple. First, it was Shakespeare Garden in Central Park, a place devoted to flowers and plants mentioned in the Bard’s most famous sonnets. Then it was the steps of the MET, a place where five thousand years of history constantly inspire new ideas. The final spot was Dumbo, a neighborhood showcased in hundreds of thousands of pictures in social media; the best place for photos to become NYC keepsakes.
Every bouquet given by Joey, Daniel and Catalina, turned into a burst of laughter, a smile or a hug between strangers. Groups of families walking by the MET rejoiced when handed these arrangements, especially the kids. Children would come with excitement to pick their favorite varieties and colors from the installation by the museum.
Such a happy surprise drew in lots of curious tourists, locals, and even an officer with the NYPD who gifted the growers with his biggest smile when Cata placed a bouquet in his hand in a gesture of admiration and respect. He did not expect to get flowers that day and they would bring more life into his patrol car.
“Strangers move fast in this big city. Everyone is doing their own thing, and someone else handing them a flower bouquet… that just stops them in their tracks. Their smiles are so genuine, their happiness is real: flowers have the power to do that”, Catalina said.
Those who came across the team at Shakespeare Garden were in awe. Some people were so charmed by the arrangements that they asked for more flowers so they could surprise their loved ones at home. One woman asked for another bouquet for her daughter, knowing she would adore the amazing varieties. A passing man promised to take his gift straight home: “My wife is gonna love me”.
It was a lovely summer day and picnics were happening all around. Colombian flowers came to those enjoying the park as a spark of joy, decorating their baskets to give a happy moment some added magic.
Dumbo, the last place for the lively tour, turned out to be the coolest setting for the flowers to show their magic. Brick, concrete, and metal structures dominating this famous neighborhood became a spectacular backdrop for a frame with Colombian flowers. Yellow, pink and violet splashes looked bright and vibrant in the middle of this traditional photographic spot. Every tourist in sight was trying to get the perfect shot with the Manhattan bridge. This time, their photos would be different: they would be covered in beautiful Colombian flowers, a total burst of color (no filters needed!).
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