My fiancé and I were walking through a shopping mall in Gillingham (Kent) in about 1993 when we spotted a flowers seller. We stopped to look at what he had on offer and spotted a kind of flower that we had never seen before.
Later, I discovered that they were bunches of alstroemeria flowers. Also known as ‘Peruvian lilies’ and ‘lily of the Incas’, they were named ‘alstroemeria’ by Carl Linnaeus in honour of his friend Clas Alströmer (1736–1794), a Swedish baron.
We bought a bunch from the florist. As we paid, he said:
“They’re good lasters. Should last you a week or two.”
And, so they were. Now, over 25 years since we married, whenever we see alstroemeria on sale, we buy them not only for their longevity, but also because they are very attractive.