Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Flower Beard

 'The King O'Malley' 2014
photo:Melissa Adams
Australian political legend, King O'Malley (1854-1953)
At the Canberra beard competition, held last Thursday at the King O'Malley Irish Pub, there was not a flower beard to be seen; perhaps more indicative of a Canberra winter than anything else. Flower beards, which have been a feature of the Northern Hemisphere summer are in fact just plain ridiculous!
'Adams tugged at his beard, which was a white version of Lodge's beard as Hay's beard was a grizzled compromise. What did beards imply? he wondered. The early Roman emperors, like the early presidents, were clean-shaven: then decadence .....and beards, then Christianity and the clean-shaven Constantine.'

 'The look-good-in-a-coffin' beard
Someone failed to tell this chap that the flowers and foliage of the 'woodlander',Anemone nemerosa, which form the centrepiece of this arrangement, are quite poisonous and toxic to the skin and mouth.The white Chrysanthemum on the left is a traditional funeral flower in some countries while the 'grape hyacinth', Muscari sp. below his ear are also poisonous and more at home on the grave of a deceased person during the late Victorian era. The saving grace is the tiny Geraldton Wax flower, Chamelaucium uncinatum just below his lip.

'The Aussie-Winners' beard
Delightful silver foliage from Leucophyta brownii and golden paper daisy flowers of  Calocephalus platycephalus or Chrysocephalum apiculatum compliment the cable-knit sweater in pure Australian wool.

'The Far-from-Heaven' beard
Those who enjoyed the Todd Haynes film 'Far from Heaven' will recall the sepia, chestnut and flame tones of the garden which formed the background to this movie.This arrangement includes lots of way-side weeds and a spiky centrepiece of 'sea holly' Eryningium sp. Small bunches of the Australian 'False Baeckea', Astartea fascicularis, grace his cheeks.

The Salvador Dali Paper White Jonquil 'tache
The iconic Surrealist painter knew how to turn heads and was obviously a dab hand at applying the 'gentleman's stiffener' aka moustache wax but how did he sleep at night?
 'Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip regardless' is Captain Fawcett's motto and this bee's wax based product contains lavender essential oil which gives it a wonderful scent. To soften the wax after applying you need to use a hairdrier on low heat to work it into place, but hair often has a mind of its own and may refuse to do what you want it to without a lot of effort. In other words you need to get up an hour earlier in the morning if you don't want to be late for work if deciding to use it.
'Have a Lucky Day' is the motto for Sandahl's 'Lucky Tiger' wax.This is a softer styling and conditioning wax for both beard and 'tache. It contains lanolin and cocoa butter and has a neutral scent.

The San Francisco, Californian beard
Works in the garden for me, the sea-side daisy Erigeron 'LA Pink', Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio' and organic sow thistle, Sonchus oleraceus.

The Boston-after-Mass beard
Rich dark velvety red Violas in flower now.

 More suggestions for flower beards would be most welcome

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