Posts Tagged ‘perfection’

Service of Perfection

Monday, May 13th, 2013


Peter Van de Wetering’s nursery has for 50 years been responsible for the plantings along Park Avenue in Manhattan from 54th to 86th Streets. Constance Rosenblum, in her New York Times article, “A Gardener’s Stage: Park Avenue,” reported that in fall workers plant 70,000 bulbs to best control the results for spring enjoyment. They don’t use the same bulbs year after year because tulips, she explained, “can be temperamental.”

Deadhead tulipsThere would also be the back-breaking work of deadheading thousands of spent blossoms and the unsightly look of droopy green-leaves-turned-yellow before they can be cut, not before July 4th weekend: So not Park Avenue.

In spite of the goal—perfection—and every possible step and expense taken to achieve it, there are always some rogue blooms to delight. My father and I made a game of being the first to call out a yellow one among the 30 blocks of mostly red or vice versa.

Peppermint was the color of the tulips on our city street this year and an orange and red one snuck in, making me smile. [Photo above].

“You can plan every detail but something unexpected is bound to happen,” is a version of the advice my friend Liz Mayers’ father shared and I’ve held dear. Mr. Goldberg’s admonition is as true for fields of flowers as it is for work projects and life plans. Unfortunately imperfections are not always as charming as flower surprises such as when job loss, illness or reversals of fortune derail savings plans or home ownership or terrorists ply their trade. Hedging bets is not always possible as with tulip bulbs.

There are examples of foolproof perfection. Can you name some?

Perfect bear dive

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