Holidaze: Valentine's Day Bouquets, Hamas Hothouses & The Duffy-DilS

So much floral news today! Carnations break for the border, meanings are redefined, the Duffy-dil is invented, the imports are a racket...read all about it!

First, the bad news: it seems floral tributes are terrible for the environment. Hothouse blooms - read: the vast majority we'll see tomorrow - overwhelmingly need to be flown from far-off locales like South America and Africa, shipped in temp-controlled vehicles and then delivered to closer locales all over the world, for a Valentine's Day impact of nearly 9,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. While it's more the travel than the growing that savages the planet, it's increasingly possible to find Fair-Trade and Organic blooms from major floral retailers. Buying locally in February isn't viable for everyone, but domestic flowers are a little easier on mother Earth, and the heartier the breed, the less special handling it will require - if that is, a fern or chocolate just won't do.

And speaking of imports...Israel has just opened the borders of Hamas-run Gaza on Thursday for the first time in about a year, to allow some of those hothouse carnations to be shipped to flower-deprived Europe.

The shipment of 25,000 carnations passed through the Kerem Shalom cargo terminal on the Israel-Gaza border at the Dutch government's request, according to Maj. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry agency that handles Palestinian civilian affairs. They are scheduled to be flown from Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday.

Optimists and their daughters hope this represents a general "thaw" in relations in the region; others of us think sometimes a carnation is just a carnation.

Or is it?! A semi-lame slideshow on the New York Times website gives us a new "language of flowers." Now instead of "treasure and good fortune," "Goldenrod" stands for "I actually bought these with your credit card." It's witty and relevant, you see. The artist would obviously have something hi-lariously irreverent to say about carnations!

...but what would he say about the Duffydil?! Well, it's pretty literal, actually: The Royal Horticultural Society just named a varietal of the Welsh emblem after the Grammy-winning pop songstress. Duffy was allowed to select the type of daffodil she wanted; apparently it's a "hardy" one.

Blooms Away: The Real Price of Flowers [Scientific American]
Israel Opens the Gaza Border for 25,000 Carnations, Bound for Europe [New York Times]
The Sweet Smell of Semantics [New York Times]
Duffy spawns new 'Duffydil' flower [Mirror]