I love flowers and so does Lima. The fragrant scents, the wild colors, the unusual shapes and sizes all draw my attention wherever I see them. I have always enjoyed taking photographs of flowers. Here in Lima, it’s a photographer’s paradise. Back in the United States if I wanted to see or take pictures of exotic flowers in bloom, it required a trip to the Botanical Gardens. The one nearest to me was located in St. Louis, Missouri and the drive there took a couple of hours. Here in Lima, a walk in my neighborhood will get me the same thing. Before moving to Lima, I lived in the northern part of the U.S. and the winters there, although beautiful in their way, prevented even the trips to the Gardens. I always missed the color of flowers in the winter.
I am not a botanist or even an avid gardener, so we had Dr. Jillian Stansbury, an esteemed botanist working here in Peru, help us with the names of the flowers in these photographs. Dr. Stansbury pointed out that some of the photos are not really considered flowers but colored leaves. For me, the beauty of the colors and shapes is the most important aspect. The extravagant variety of flowers you will see here were photographed either within a few blocks of my apartment in San Borja or along the malecon in Barranco and Miraflores. Depending on the season you will find Canna Lillies, Plumeria, Oleander, Roses, Egyptian Lillies, and many more.
I see flowers in every part of Lima as I travel to various destinations. Whether rich or poor, you will always find a carefully tended burst of color somewhere. It seems to me that the residents of this great city have an affinity for their flowers. In all my travels around the world, I have never seen so many vendors selling cut flowers in such stunning arrangements. Every market that I have been in has at least one stall selling flowers and you can find entire market dedicated to flowers alone. Having a bouquet of fresh cut flowers in your home is very reasonable here.
When you are out, touring the city or taking a walk, take the time to notice the beautiful array of flowers. Beauty always surrounds you as long as you take the time to see it.