Alway​​s In Bloom​

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Flower Blog #1

An ongoing series of informational entries about blooming things

Ready to Bloom - flowers for children

March 19, 2018

I fell in love with flowers at a very young age. My grandmothers were both avid gardeners and their patches of blooms filled my head with sweet fragrances and soft textures. Grandma Lois had fluffy white clouds of alyssum heading to her front door. I didn't miss the chance the let my feet dance over them to release those honey-like smells. My best friend's mom had a yard full of stock, a flower that really deserves a better name. The fragrance still takes me back to the days of dress up dolls and tea parties.

With Easter and Spring around the corner, now is a wonderful time to introduce little ones to the magic of living flowers. Here are some easy ideas to start them on their own blooming adventures -

                                        * Add pansy plants in their spring baskets to plant outside.

                                         * Plant a sensory garden full of textures and tastes. Some great

                                             choices include lamb's ear, mint, lavender, chamomile and

                                             rosemary.

                                          * Plant a simple Fairy Garden with succulents, ferns or          

                                             miniature steppable plants. Add some hand painted stones,

                                             twiggy furniture and marbles for water or gazing balls.

                                          * Give them their own area to grow flowers in. Some easy

                                             choices are calendula, nasturtium, geranium and sunflowers.

                                           * Don't be afraid to dig up the flowers once they are done

                                              blooming to show them how grow in the dirt. Bring some

                                              cut flowers in to see how they dress up a tea party, let some

                                              of them go to seed and collect them to replant.

When my children were little, we had a path for their wagon to roll on between the garden areas. I would load them in it and take them around to smell, taste and touch the plants as if they were on a royal garden tour. Looking at my hard work (the kids and the garden!) reminded me to slow down and enjoy the fruits of my labors. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the chore list, but what's the point of the hard work if you can't share it with those you love the most?

Flower Blog - #2

An ongoing series of informational entries about blooming things

Creative Juices Sometimes Freeze  

April 16, 2018

I have always found creativity to be a double-edged sword. It's the only real way to convey my personality and it is also the most frightening way of exposing myself. Yes, I think I'd rather dance in feathers than to put myself in a position of being judged for my talents. Trust me, feather dancing is not one of those talents!  (Apologies to my dance teachers). I was gifted this expression of using flowers for art in 2007, when our local flower shop was up for sale. I didn't have any business buying it, but I jumped in anyway. Mistakes, oh so many. Lessons, some painful but always remembered. Smiles, more than I can count. I waited for the phone calls to come in about me being a fraud, but they didn't come. Instead, I was recognized for being different in the predictable flower world. I had found a way to bring others the joy that I enjoyed with everything I did.

Fast forward into working for other flower shops. More lessons, more mistakes and many tears. I wasn't there to be creative, I was there to replicate  the style of someone else. I learned to "cut, copy and paste" arrangements from the wire services (you know, FTD, 100FLOWERS and the like). I hated every soul-sucking minute of copying someone else's expressions of flowers. I learned to watch what others were doing so that I could duplicate their work. All along the way. I could feel my creative heart getting smaller.

Eventually, I ended up in a wonderful place that helped me celebrate my love for blooming things. I had room to grow and use flowers that were new to me. I watched the process from planting to harvesting to designing. It was a life lesson in growing, both mentally and creatively. I tapped into my creative processes and applied them into every aspect of my job.

Alas, all gardens stop growing after awhile and it was time for me to move on. I missed the individuality of creating my own floral world, so I opened up Garden Goddess Flower Creations. In this garden, I can grow how I need to. I can find rest when exhausted and bloom when the sun shines.

When I started out in floral design, I was told that my look was too wild and not organized enough. I learned to reign it in to fit the styles of the day. Just the other day, when working with another florist, she told me that my look was too structured and it needed to be loosened up. In that moment, I realized that creativity, whether in song or paint or flowers, is subject to interpretation.

So I will continue to find my way along the garden path and keep growing. I hope to find others who can celebrate the beauty of the earth with me. And I will continue to find my own voice among the many others. Have a blooming day!  

Winter hibernation is over!

April 2, 2018

I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Yes, it's green, it's pretty and we have seasons. I love all of those things about living here. But let me go on record to say that I hate winter. Sure, we have the occasional serenity of snow but we mostly have rain. Lots of rain. So much rain that everything I own is green. I bought a green car just to avoid having to watch it moss over. I am married to a Winter Lover. God bless his polar bear heart; he adores the brisk air and chilly nights. I can be comforted only with a warm fire and a pile of quilts while sipping something at a low simmer. I hate cold feet on a tile floor and the endless gray skies. The only thing that saves my sanity are my flowers. Without sweet aroma of cut flowers on my table, I would hibernate the winter days away until the magical days of spring arrive. And arrive they have - hallelujah!

Saturday of Easter weekend dawned warm and sunny. I changed my holiday prep plans and unearthed my garden gloves. I spent a glorious few hours cleaning up my deck area of last summer's leaves. I carefully clipped back geranium leaves to discover that my favorite plant is alive! I cut back the mint and lavender, filling my senses with life-giving fragrances. They are all still hesitant to come out to play, which I fully understand as on the Monday after Easter brought snow . But I can see that spring is on the way as my daffodils stand strong against the last of Winter's blast. So I will celebrate Spring's new life and another winter  behind me. Plant on, survivors! Time to get dirty!

Growing edible flowers with children introduces them to the amazing world of flowers!
Not only do people eat the flowers, but bees, butterflies and birds do too!