Friday, June 8, 2012


With a name like Heather Rose, you can believe I was made to love flowers. My middle name is Ann (no E), and for my wedding bouquet I chose heather, queen Anne's lace, and roses. Brilliant, yes? If only there was a flower to incorporate my husband's last name of Chase... Anyone?

One of my favorite things about Shanghai, beside the delicious and flavorful food, is the wide availability of incredibly inexpensive flowers. Every block has a vendor or two selling them out the back of their van, or off a bicycle cart. The smell is exquisite and I never pass by a bunch of them without bending toward the blossoms and inhaling deeply.

Every time we'd pass one cart in particular, the salesman would practically beg us to buy some. Our problem? No vessel to put them in! But last Sunday as we passed him by, we saw a blanket spread on the ground next to his cart, covered in vases of every size and shape and color. I didn't even ask, my husband told me to pick one out. And then he convinced me to pick a second, which I did. Both are chartreuse green, one patterned, one solid (in addition to flowers, I love the color green!). Since we now had a couple vases, we stepped back to the flower cart and I smelled every stalk he had. I settled on lilies, as they are currently the most abundant on all the carts and the scent is intoxicating to me... spicy yet sweet.

We got two bunches of twenty stems that were all over three feet long. I put some on the dining room table, some in the living room. Walking downstairs is like walking into heaven! So many of my memories have scents attached, and now the smell of lilies will be forever associated with Shanghai.

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