Not Just for Sissies

Recently I came across a post from one of my favorite garden photographers, David Perry. Entitled “Flowers Aren’t Just for Sissies,” it immediately brought to mind the scenes I witnessed during my trip to Mexico earlier this month during the Day of the Dead celebration. Perry’s message, aimed at “tough guy” types, includes the point that it’s OK to put cut flowers in something other than a delicate crystal vase.

Like, for example, these lovingly arranged flowers in metal cans – or other humble containers – that I saw repeatedly in the old cemetery in San Miguel de Allende on the Day of the Dead while we were there.

Day of the Dead, San Miguel de Allende, flower offerings

Flowers in a metal can, painted purple, in a cemetery niche in San Miguel on the Day of the Dead

San Miguel de Allende, Day of the Dead, cemetery, flower offerings

Carnations, marigolds, and even artificial flowers in a variety of containers

San Miguel de Allende, Day of the Dead, flower offerings, cemetery

Another painted metal can with marigolds and coxcomb flowers is the central offering in this cemetery memorial niche.

The cemetery was filled with families, including plenty of men, who were celebrating the lives of their beloved but departed family members by freshening graves (including piling newly dug soil on top of tombstones) and painting memorial niches.

Day of the Dead, San Miguel de Allende cemetery

A family member repaints the back of a memorial niche before placing flowers as an offering on the Day of the Dead.

Were there more elaborate memorials with formally arranged flowers? Absolutely.

Day of the Dead, cemetery, San Miguel de Allende

An angel stands guard over a tomb on the Day of the Dead, splendidly bedecked in garlands and with beautifully filled urns at her feet.

What stays with me the most clearly, however, are the more humble offerings – and their simple, unassuming containers – that I saw at most of the graves or memorials. Flower offerings, whether for yourself, a friend, or the table, don’t have to be elaborately displayed. After all, it’s the flowers that are taking center stage and which you choose for your message.


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One Comment on “Not Just for Sissies”

  1. Annia Says:

    Absolutely. Flowers are amazing gift to us by God to express our deepest thoughts and emotions that no words will be able to describe.

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