The Popeâ€™s wake and funeral must have wiped out all of the white flowers in Rome. I think he was a good Pope and if I could have gone to his wake and brought him some flowers as a token of thanks for all that he did, I was debating with myself what flowers would be the most appropriate… roses seemed too stead, lily of the valley beautiful but western, casablanca lilies too trite and their smell a bit powerful, and peonies a little too ebullient. I think if all of the Philippines could send one bouquet, it would have to be of some stunning white tropical orchids. I once chanced upon a flower shop in New York when they were preparing a â€œblanketâ€ that was to be draped over the casket at a wake. It was made up of at least 200 large white cattleya orchid blooms, the most stunning display of beauty and excess in a floral piece I have ever seen. The cattleyas had been special ordered from the Dutch wholesale flower markets and flown to New York and they were being worked into a blanket of greens, each individual bloomâ€™s stem in a vial of water to keep the blanket fresh for a day or two.
So cattleyas might be a good choice but they might seem a bit excessive from a country where the minimum daily wage would barely purchase a white cattleya bloom. And it would be difficult to arrange them. Dendrobiums might also be nice. A few weeks ago I had to spruce up a table with very little notice and not a lot of money. I got 2 dozen short stem white dendrobiums and just plonked them into large hurricane vases. No fuss, no muss. And they looked great day or night. But they are a bit common and perhaps too plain for a man of such distinction. So I think the most appropriate bouquet would be a large one made up of hundreds of white phalaenopsis or moth orchids (I had an earlier post on these) â€“ these orchids are native to the Philippines, they have a pure white color, and they are generous without being too loud. Yes, definitely a large bouquet of phalaenopsis for the Pope is what I would bringâ€¦ Any other suggestions?