Well its hard to say where my love of flowers came from. Possibly while helping my nanna in her garden while she was looking after numerous rose's or when I received my first bunch of flowers from my dad on my 13th Birthday. When I chose my own wedding flowers that is when I hoped one day I would be able to actually work with flowers - I just didnt think it would take nearly 20 years to get there!
After I lost my dad to cancer just 4 weeks after he was diagnosed I felt intense grief that was completely consuming at times. Losing a parent suddenly brings home the reality of how short life is and the need to make the most of every minute. This led me to explore the possibility of fulfilling my long held dream of training as a florist and in doing so I found the Academy of Floral Art in Exeter. A fantastic floristry school with some of the most highly qualified florists in the UK. I trained with a lovely creative group of ladies all with the common goal of pursuing a career in floristry, after years spent in very different careers.
Our teacher was encouraging, inspiring & supportive and each class was such an enjoyable experience. Little did I know the added benefit of pursuing this dream was the therapy flowers provided to the grief I was experiencing. Each time I worked with flowers I got lost in the process as my mind was completely occupied and it provided a type of mindfulness. So that is my very real experience of the therapeutic benefit of flowers, however it is scientifically proven just how positive the affect flowers can be on our mental health.
Colour is well proven to alter our mood with greens & blues creating calm, red can represent passion and yellows can make us feels sunny & bright - think of sunflowers & daffodils. Scent can be incredibly powerful with the ability to transport us back to a particular moment in time evoking special memories. For me every time I smell Stocks, memories from my wedding day flood back. Aromatherapy therefore is the practice of using flower oils, for physical & psychological well-being. It's been scientifically proven that oils from some flowers can provide significant health benefits if used correctly & safely. It is believed that oils of flowers such as rose, jasmine, lavender & chamomile are especially beneficial. Flower therapy comes in many forms, Teas & infusions, oils & ointments, medical tinctures such as in Bach flower remedy. Flowers are proven to improve memory & concentration as they oxygenate the air which boosts our brain cells making us feel more awake and energised.
Giving flowers can have just as much of a mood boosting affect as receiving them - for whatever reason the flowers are being given, they are to convey a message whether it be of love, thanks, celebration or just to let someone know you are thinking of them. Knowing we have made someone feel special or valued can make us feel good too, in situations where we are powerless to offer physical help, a bunch of blooms can let someone know we care & relieve our own feeling of helplessness in. Sometimes what we cannot say in words we let flowers say for us.
Just being around flowers can lift us however we experience them, whether it be while coming across them on a walk, in our own gardens or by recieving or giving them as a gift, these beauties are a welcome, positive addition to our lives.