Buyers browse the selection of freshly cut tropical flowers for sale at the Honiara Central Market, Solomon Islands. (JP/ Catherine Wilson)It is the wet season in the Solomon Islands, a sweeping string of more than 900 tropical forest-covered volcanic islands in the Solomon Sea southeast of Papua New Guinea.
The leaden sky, heavy with heat and moisture, is dropping sheets of torrential rain amid the distant clap of thunder. Foliage in the garden shakes under the violent deluge as the streets of the capital, Honiara, become a network of gushing streams.
In contrast, the edge of the town’s Central Market is a river of brilliant color overseen by a group of determined and enterprising women. Elegant tapered heliconias in a rainbow of shades from apricot to red compete with delicate spider orchids and the vibrant pink and fuchsia of full bodied ginger flowers intersper...