Memorial Day always does what is meant to do
– it makes me remember.
That Monday always provokes homesickness from abroad. I miss the barbecues, the flags, the camaraderie of home.
My brother sent me a link to Shakespeare’s famed St. Crispin’s Day speech which ran in the NY Post on Monday. It made me remember what the holiday really represents. I heard that speech delivered last year by Jude Law in the title role of Henry V. Though written hundreds of years ago, the words remain powerful and relevant.
All of this remembrance got me thinking about this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, an annual event in London that officially kicks off “the season”. This year featured an exquisite exhibit from the 5,000 Poppies Project, an initiative begun in 2013 by two Australian artists who aimed to honor their fathers who fought in WWII. In a true labor of love, people created over 300,000 crocheted red poppies to “plant” in front of the Chelsea Royal Hospital.
This virtual red carpet was lain to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women who have fought for their country.
The effect was breathtaking and reminiscent of the “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” installation of nearly one million ceramic poppies at the Tower of London in 2014.
Within the flower show, there was another important event to remember: the Queen’s 90th birthday. To commemorate the longest reining British monarch, a beautiful floral installation was created of color coordinated flowers within the Queen’s iconic profile. The ‘cut out’ exhibit was the star of the show. (Peek through to see the Queen herself!)
We wondered through the vast tent and saw creative installations that ranged from the significant to the absurd.
As always, I felt a bit like an imposter among the throngs of eager horticulturalists as I seem to possess a pair of black thumbs. Yet, the undeniable beauty of the show is hard to resist. With its focus on remembrance, this year packed a stronger punch.
The exhibits gave new meaning to the phrase: