“One arranges flowers as the spirit moves you; to obey some inner prompting to put this colour with that, to have brilliance here, line there, a sense of opulence in this place or sparseness in that; to suit your surroundings, your mood, the weather, the occasion. In a word, to do as you please, just as, if you could, you might paint a picture.”
Constance Spry, 1940, ‘Constance Spry’s Garden Notebook’
Cease the doom scrolling, close the laptop, put down the saucepan/hoover/child! Take a breath, grasp a self indulgent moment to do something creative. Just for you.
Flowers seem to have the powerful allure to create a smile, even if momentarily. The colours, textures, smells and natural elements of beauty have the ability to spread happiness.
Before embarking on this journey of our family business, I had always been quietly obsessed with flowers. Trips to the infamous Columbia Road Sunday market; a bunch from many-an-aspiring florist dotted around East London (before our move to Margate); always gifts to friends and family, or when just in need of a pick-me-up or a reminder of "you’re great you are." Flowers have always been my natural go-to.
Taking this one step further I began to start playing with arranging the armfuls of flowers myself. I then realised, this whole time I had being missing a trick; for that exact moment I could do just as I wanted - no small child asking for a snack, no boss requesting to make it more this or that. It is just me and the flowers. It's precisely this freedom and creative buzz I wanted to be able to share - some flower 'therapy.' I have no qualified background as a florist or even a gardener. Just a pure love of flowers. So, it's with this that I'm convinced that with a little encouragement and confidence, you too will see that arranging a beautifully styled bouquet is not only achievable but enjoyable. I am yet to hear otherwise...
As this journey evolved, I became frustrated that these bursts of creativity only lasted a week or so. The wiffy smell of the water, pollen all over my fancy tablecloth, the mess of transporting what was once quite the ‘looker’ to now a gunky slimy pile of stems to the garden waste bin.
I began reading and as I delved further, I discovered how wasteful the fresh flower industry really can be - from not disposing of the flowers correctly, the carbon footprint of importing from afar and all the single use plastic. Whilst still a huge fan of fresh flowers, I realised there had to be alternative.
I became utterly transfixed with dried and preserved natural flowers - the last up to a year! No water or bad smells, the use of eco-friendly processes to preserve them and natural dyes to add a dash of colour. It all just seemed a lot more......practical.
This is how Appreciation Project sprung to life, a sustainable way to purchase and gift flowers, sourced mindfully and packaged in an eco-conscious way. All the fun and beauty of fresh but with the added bonus of lasting months and months. Oh and need a vase to put them in? Got your covered. A table dressing for your party? That too. Gift boxes? You get the idea.
So the point is to try something creative and enjoy it, have fun styling your blooms, find its perfect spot within your home or workspace and then share your flower arrangement with our community. Firstly because we all love a nosey and secondly, to inspire others. Join in our shared joy of dried flowers and I truly hope you get something from our ramblings and nuggets of inspirations.
If the last year or so has taught us nothing else, its to focus on some much needed self-care and appreciation.
Love Natasha. X
This Month's Inspiration
BOOK ~ If you’re in need of a book that will allow you to escape the everyday into a fantasy world of things whimsical and colourful to inspire your flower arrangements or home décor try the brilliantly talented Tim Walkers Story Teller available at all good independent bookshops, or Liberty of London.
EXHIBITION ~ As a fellow Northerner I have always felt akin to the colourtastic paintings by David Hockney, his latest exhibition The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020 at The Royal Academy is bound to help blow away any post lockdown blues.
STAYCATION ~ The House of Hackney ‘Hotel Termatonia’ in Cornwall looks the place of wild fantasy, with floor to ceilings decked out in all their supreme glory of creativity. I cant think of a better retreat.
DAY TRIP ~ Freedom seems to be making a return so I cant recommend highly enough to get out there and inspire yourself by having a good old nosey at some of the best english gardens. Living on the Kent coast one of our family favourites is Walmer Castle, for its beautifully kept flowers and woodland, always at its best in Summer.