Monday, October 29, 2007

Dahlia Days Past and Present

The Camera has run out of battery so I am posting what my one Dahlia flower looked like in its prime. The waxy white petals with splashes of egg yolk yellow, and light pink. The yellow centre has spiral patterns.
I wanted to come across a nice Aztec myth as they were great lovers of Dahlias, the Fleeting beauty and bright colours embodied their gods of War and Death.
Instead I came across an interesting article about the Southern Valley of Mexico of a people who grew flowers and vegetables on islands on a lake, the Xochimilca or people of the flowers.
http://www.moplants.com/blog/?p=1042
These man made raised land masses were made by hauling mud from the lake in Baskets and forming Canals between these chinampas (islands). This meant the soil was probably extremely fertile and well watered.
Flowers and Vegetables grew spectacularly here, untill the Aztecs came and conquered these people. The Aztecs took the flowers back with them and put them in their most high peoples gardens, the Empereor and the nobles. The Spanish Conquistador Cortez came upon these beautiful flowers too called Acocotli. Three varieties were taken back to the Madrid Botanical garden.
I wrote before that the mother of all modern hybrids came in an 1872 shipment from Mexico to Holland, the Dahlia Juarrezzi.
Now Mo Gilmer writes that in the citys Nursery districts that there is a blooming cottage industry, and lots of varieties of Dahlias are being sold.
The Dahlia has come full circle, and returned to one of its original dwelling places. Through thousands of years and many cultures. Now it is the National flower of Mexico.
I want to visit one day the City of Xochimilco, and get a flower decorated boat ride to these islands, in the land of the flower people.

2 comments:

Vanillalotus said...

What an interesting little story about flowers. An island of flowers and vegetables sounds like a great place. Maybe when I'm rich one day I'll make and island full of flowers.

snappy said...

Hi VanillaLotus, maybe one day I will go to Mexico and see the flower people, the Islands, and the Traditional Nursery sellers in the citys.And lots of Dahlia's I hope!