When the streets of Vienna are getting too hot to bear, I duck into a side street flower shop. It’s the bunches of “weeds” in the window that first catch my eye; familiar wildflowers as carrot and catmint, laurel leaves and common grasses, in bouquets and tall vases.
As I stick my head in the door I ask “do you mind if I take some photos?” Fine, is all he says.
I snap away. There are huge cat portraits and the rows of jars are filled with soft colour combinations, in the background endless telephone conversations in animated German. And I am in awe, here is a man who knows his flowers……
After a while I say, “I’m not sure I know much about the flower business but you seem to be an artist of the genre.”
“Ah! D’you think so.”
He continues to twirl ribbons around a wreath of roses, lost in the zone; the touch, the scents, the colour. For some time we work side by side. Deliveries come and go. Orders are taken, glass jars are shifted up and down the rows.
Vienna is old world and on a grand scale, but transported into the intimacy of his workshop, I feel more inspired than by almost anything else in this city of ghostly memories.