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Arizona Columbine Garden Club

Amy Stewart Event

Amy Stewart, the New York Times best-selling author, public speaker, and winner of both the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award enlightened and entertained Columbine members and the community in 2014.

Stewart, the author of the The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential spoke about the natural world of plants and behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry and how it has sought–for better and worse– to achieve perfection.

For over a century, hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists around the world have worked to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature could provide. Almost any flower, in any color, is for sale at any time of the year.

Amy Stewart has traveled flower markets and nurseries around the globe and took us inside this dazzling world. Stewart has discovered a fascinating intersection of nature, technology and commerce. She found scientists intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horticultural legend who created the world’s most popular lily (the ‘Star Gazer’); a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorian farmer growing exquisite, high-end organic roses that are the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. She shared with us firsthand how flowers are grown and harvested on farms in Latin America, California, and Holland. (It isn’t always pretty.)

Stewart posed the questions for us to ponder long after her presentation….In a global marketplace, is there such a thing as a socially responsible flower? What has been gained-and what has been lost-in tinkering with Mother Nature? Should we care that roses have lost their scent? Or that most flowers are sprayed with pesticides?

Pictured: Amy Stewart (left) with Arizona Columbine Garden Club President

Arizona Columbine Garden Club

Founded in 1946. Member of Garden Club of America since 1989.

The purpose of the Arizona Columbine Garden Club is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, aid in the protection of native trees, plants and shrubs, and restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through programs and action in the fields of conservation, civic improvement and education.

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