Youths, take heed! Learn from my hard-won experience! Marrying an SAIC-educated artist will commit you to a life of restless grasping after gifts that have to meet advanced aesthetic criteria. Luckily, I've got (a) a wife who likes few things better than a well-designed bouquet and (b) a florist who designs bouquets exceptionally well. When I first started going to Barbara Bellamy at Ixia Flowers, I tried to coach her through my orders, telling her what I knew of my wife's preferences. Hah! That's over. These days I just tell her "I trust you." A former dancer who opened Ixia in 1990, Bellamy knows what to do. I asked my wife to explain the appeal, and she wrote a testimonial: "Each bunch is unique. Usually includes my favorites, fragrant lilies augmented by bits of curly bark and feathery greens, always a few roses, and surprises like a cluster of berries or, in my last bouquet, a spectacular and precious tree peony. They last for weeks. As some flowers die out, others come to prominence, just like in a garden. Color and shape, fragrance and texture, always artful, always welcome." Youths, take heed.