After being tended for four months since germination, some 59,000 marigold plants are ready to be transplanted to the gardens and plazas of Querétaro’s historic center, just in time for Day of the Dead.
Erika Zepeda, administrator of the municipal nursery located in the Geoplaza neighborhood, says that this year’s crop of marigolds is double that of last year’s.
The flowers, with their vibrant orange color and pungent scent, are thought to guide spirits of the deceased to the altars that family and friends erect in their honor.
Each month, nursery workers care for 67,000 plants and flowers of 30 different varieties to keep the city in full bloom.
“I started working here without knowing anything about gardening, Here I learned everything and now I love my job. It is a great pride for all of us who work in the nursery to dedicate so much time to the flowers and plants that we will later see in different public areas of the city, it is very gratifying,” nursery worker Gabriela Cabrera said.
As soon as the marigolds leave the nursery for transplanting around the city, workers will begin producing another traditional flower, the poinsettia, for the Christmas holidays.
Although the production of seasonal flowers to adorn the city is a race against time, Cabrera says she is proud of her work.
“It is very sastisfying to walk through the historic center and see your flowers. I get excited and tell my children, ‘Look, those flowers are mine, I prepared them so that they would be that beautiful.’”
However, the satisfaction of seeing her flowers adorning the city is at times tempered by sadness when the flowers are crushed, trampled or broken.
“Yes, it makes me very sad to see the broken flowers, trampled on because people do not cross in the right places and prefer to step on the flowers that we worked so hard to produce. I would ask society in general to respect our work. Each flower that they see in a park or a planter took a long time and a lot of care to make it look pretty …” Cabrera said.
She and her 21 colleagues have worked through the coronavirus pandemic to produce this year’s crop of marigolds, to make sure the city would be properly adorned for this year’s Day of the Dead holiday.
Source: El Universal (sp)