‘I must have flowers, always and always’ one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite artist’s Claude Monet and I couldn’t agree with him more.
I have always loved flowers, always and always. As a little girl I enjoyed making the inevitable daisy chains, before plucking the tiny petals one by one to discover if my latest beau was to be or not. My exercise books and childhood diaries were full of ditsy flowery doodles and I loved having floral prints on my clothes and little flower clips in my hair. Sitting in the garden making rose petal perfume and picking tiny petals to press are some of my fondest childhood memories. This love has only blossomed as I have grown and flowers have remained one of my greatest joys.
What has changed over the years is my attitude towards buying flowers. For many years I have viewed cut flowers as a real luxury, only really buying seasonal tulips and daffodils alongside my weekly groceries and then waiting patiently for birthdays and special occasions in the hope of receiving something more special. I have often bought flowers to cheer up a friend or to brighten our spare bedroom for guests, but never just for me, perhaps finding it a little too indulgent.
As any mother of a newborn knows, you tend to do a lot of walking in those first few months or in my case the full year of my maternity leave. Anything to get out of the house on those long days, fresh air for you and your poppet, a change of scenery and fingers crossed that the motion will lull their cries into a peaceful slumber. Well in Posy’s case she never ever went to sleep despite the longest of walks but she did settle and look curiously out of her pushchair and was always much happier out and about than in the house.
I seem to have lost my bearings a little here…back to the flowers. Well on one of these long morning walks after dropping Jake off at school I took a different route than usual and in doing so discovered a small florist that I hadn’t seen before. I was having a bit of a hum drum day and was also about a fortnight into a sugar free, gluten free fad, so quick pick me up’s were a bit harder to come by than usual, so in I popped and decided to treat myself. I spent some time selecting my blooms…astrantia, wax flowers, ranunculus, cabbage roses, forget me not’s and a couple I confess that I didn’t know the names of so just pointed and asked for ‘one of those please’ before they were wrapped in brown paper, tied with string and balanced carefully in the hood of my pushchair. On the walk home, every time they caught my eye I smiled, such pretty flowers, all for me. I did feel slightly guilty at spending more than £20 on flowers which were completely non essential, but put that thought to one side and enjoyed the walk back home.
Later that afternoon whilst my littlest one napped I unwrapped my flowers, plucked off stray leaves and carefully snipped the stems and arranged them in my favourite vase. A few smaller stems went into a jam jar in the kitchen and I rescued a small broken bud and popped it into the tiniest little vase no bigger than an ice cube. I couldn’t believe the difference the flowers made to both my home and my mood and this feeling lasted with the flowers. Each day or two I removed any fading petals, re-snipped the stems and refreshed the water, gradually reducing the large bunch into smaller vases as individual flowers began to fade. I also borrowed flowers to use in my photographs and appreciated them at every stage until all that remained was the tiniest stem of forget me nots which lasted for more than a fortnight.
Since then I have always kept flowers in the house, be it a handful of daisies picked on the way home from school to the most beautiful hessian wrapped bunches from Petalon, my new favourite place to buy flowers, and definitely the topic for a future blog post. I feel like we have all benefitted from welcoming nature into our home and it is so lovely to see this joy already shared by my little boy. He simply cannot walk past a flower without trying to pick one for me and does often return from the park clutching a paskelilje, that’s a Daffodil to you and me, his Farmor has taught him the Danish word which he seems to prefer!
Jake is very lucky to have spent a lot of time with his grandparents who have the most beautiful garden, complete with a lovely greenhouse, trees big enough for a treehouse, endless flowers and even a secret garden hidden away at the bottom. He has grown up in this garden, learning about the seasons, growing strawberries and potatoes and picking peas. He brings me a flower or sometimes a tiny bunch every time that he visits and lately has started to bring something for Posy too. When we visit a florist he likes to choose a flower of his own, mostly preferring something blue and then he will spend time selecting a jar to display it in once we return home. His favourite are craspedia or billy buttons the nickname that Jake prefers. The little yellow balls on the straightest stick like stem are such fun and last for weeks and when they are finally on their last legs we snip off the little sunny pompoms and Jake uses them as footballs for his playmobil figures.
There has been so much research done on the power of flowers to boost happiness and decrease anxiety, but this isn’t a post full of facts and figures, I just know that petals and pretty foliage, be it something snipped from my window box or the biggest bunch of sweet smelling blooms give me power and positivity, so much so that I have decided to factor them into my monthly budget.
Wishing you all the loveliest of days. I would love to know your thoughts on flowers, your favourite florals, florists or just the way that they make you feel.