Birds of Paradise, part 2

Memories can be elusive, unlike flowers. In yesterday’s post I mentioned that my father, Sidney Edward Wilensky, was a florist. Guess I haven’t talked about him much, even to my closest friends. Maybe it’s because my father died in 1969, in what seems like another lifetime.

I’m sure my extrovert gene came from my dad (also my not-so-good businessperson gene). On a nice day Sid would stand in front of Cherry Hill Gardens chatting with everybody who walked by. He told corny jokes. He didn’t mark prices on plants, but changed the prices willy-nilly if he liked a customer.

My parents, Ida and Sid Wilensky, in front of Cherry Hill Gardens, in Waterbury, Conn., in the 1950s.

I come by my love of flowers honestly.   As a kid I didn’t know how much they would mean to me later in life. Those elusive memories surrounding my father the florist grew over the years.





The first time I saw flowering cacti in Tucson, 10 years ago, was a revelation. When it rains as it has lately, flowers burst forth, not caring if it’s spring and the “appropriate” time to bloom again.  Bright pink bougainvillaea can almost always be spotted around the city.

In our hood

Orange bird of paradise delivers color in the desert.







I can’t help myself. Almost every weekend I check out the plants at our local Home Depot. Even if they don’t survive in our tiny yard by the front door or in the atrium outside of our living room, I desperately want flowers to beautify our home.




Which reminds me of the upcoming presidential election. I desperately want our president to try his damndest to maintain a dwindling middle class and help the most vulnerable among us. Obama can do it with a little cooperation from a do-nothing Congress. We can only keep trying.

One showy flower is all it takes.

This entry was posted in Fight wimpiness, Nature Girl, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Birds of Paradise, part 2

  1. Claire Doheny says:

    So nice to hear about your father…he died so long ago…gee…that must have been hard. But you must think of him every time you go to a flower shop or see flowers…what a beautiful connection. I love the photo of the flower shop and your parents. Thanks for sharing these tender memories and thoughts.

  2. says:

    Great pix!

    Penelope Starr

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