The Humble Carnation

Photograph: Serena Stevenson

Shelley a long time friend of Moa's shares an intimate story about her late husband who's romantic gesture of carnations moved us. Serena Stevenson visited Shelley and photographed her in her home.

"I have two favourite flowers that are total contradictions in their elegance, and then lack of.
The first is the full, unburst spathes of the giant mountain flax found in the Waitakeres.

My other favourite flower is the humble yet determined little carnation that just sits there doing nothing in particular. Both remind me of a place and a love that still exists today but only in my heart and memories.

My husband and I found our little place in heaven which was a 1 bedroom pre-fab Keith Hay
batch that was trucked into the Waitakere Ranges back in the 50’s.
The then owner Judy Irwin and her husband had met on the Niagra in the pacific ocean.
Together they had discovered the Turanga Rd section in the bush and had weathered
out the first winter in an army tent.
The next year, they realised another winter without a proper roof wasn’t a good idea. Many years
later, Judy popped a sign on her front yard which we discovered on one of our explorative
‘looking for a house’ trips that ticked our not so many boxes and the rest was and is history.
In those first years with the bitter gnawing of a 22%
mortgage and me at home with our first baby,

Trevor would buy me $5 bunches of carnations at Caltex when really we could have done with a
loaf of bread or a bottle of milk.

We would always laugh and refer to them as The Caltex Carnations. Even though he didn’t have any money, he bought those flowers
to remind me how much he loved me and to let me know, that everything would be okay when sometimes it felt like it wouldn’t.
Over the years as our family grew, and mortgage rates reduced, the carnations
never stopped coming. He isn’t here anymore he transitioned in 2000.

The carnation is such an unfashionable flower, yet for me it’s woven into the fabric of my life; it is
the Flower of laughter, romance, dreams, babies, family.  It is the flower of True Love..."

Share your romantic flower story with us, love the Moa family xx