Monday, February 2, 2009


I am uncool. It's true, and it's okay. I'm a thirty-six year old mother of two with a house in the suburbs and a generally harried air and (I'm almost sure) the wrong sneakers; I'm not aiming for cool. So I'm not embarrassed to say that I love to visit the Launceston Horticultural Society's flower shows at St Albie's Hall down the road from Brickfields. I love it in a non-ironic, really looking forward to it, I'd like a lamington and a cup of tea kind of a way.

Two dollars gets me an hour to wander between of row after row of colour and form, funny horticultural names, and stalls with seriously cheap perennials. I am always the youngest person in the room, and I win the love of every older person who fears the art and science of flower arranging and growing for exhibition are being lost: I am the future of their passion, and I think I wear that mantle with some grace (but no cool). And lately, I have learned to become a dahlia fancier.

I think dahlias must be one of the most uncool of flowers: all soldier rows and elderly men pre-occupied with size and rigidity. But, check it out:

They're like little manifestations of mathematical formulae. Plus, it's easy to tell a good story in a dahlia show: Devon Carnival, Devon Temptation, Devon Caress, Devon Seduction ... and then the sad ending to the tale: Devon Citation. (Who new Devon was such a hotspot for licentiousness?)

Oh, the youth of today with their hair gel and those night clubs - they don't know where to go for a good time. But I do.