To Pick Up My Blooms….
As I scroll through my Instagram feed all I see are beautiful flowers (usually Peonies), placed in divine vases (or milk jugs), pictured in breathtaking homes (where I would imagine Classic FM will be echoing out of a Dove Grey Revival Roberts Radio) – it all looks so perfect! I can only imagine an exquisitely dressed Mummy, with impeccable children, gliding through the Montpellier District to pick up her weekly blooms. As I breathe out a little sigh – I wonder to myself, sat here over 37 weeks pregnant, if I too, one day, will be that vision…maybe, just maybe…?!
Whoa…Whoa…Whoa…hang on a minute Carly! You haven’t actually seen this vision in real-life, this is one that has been conjured up from a social media feed, and as beautiful as it is, and how often you click that little heart to say you approve, little do you know what is actually going on behind that camera! There might just be a stressed out Mum, with children point blank refusing to get dressed – or even worse – there might not even be a camera – the image may have simply been purchased from a royalty-free image sharing website (“guilty My Lord!”).
With only a matter of weeks to go until our little girl makes a very welcome appearance – I am looking back on memories from my childhood – thinking of those times where, with friends, I would pick roses to make perfume, place flowers inside heavy books to press them flat…it is no wonder that many years later I would make the decision to step away from a life of computer programming to focus on flowers and gardening – and more importantly using this love I have to help educate and inspire the little florists and gardeners of the future.
So, rolling back to my first paragraph – why can’t this vision be closer to the truth than the stressed out Mum of paragraph number two! I’m not looking for perfection – from what I have heard since becoming pregnant – the words ‘exquisite’ and ‘Mummy’ are not ones that are usually correlated, and from some of the outfits I have seen my friends’ children wear, it is very unlikely that our little girl will be skipping out of the house resembling Harper Beckham any time soon.
However, I can’t help but think that the experience of buying flowers, and the educational benefits of understanding how something so beautiful could be created from a tiny little seed (a story similar to that of our own reproduction miracle!) should be cherished and shared at a young age.
“In every gardener there is a child who believes in the seed fairy” Robert Brault
We are told as parents to interact with our children in order to help their brains grow – when you visit your local shop there are books and flashcards to help teach children how to count, identify the sounds of different animals, learn the alphabet – but a simple activity of visiting your local florist could be just as educational (and probably more enjoyable than a quick trip to WH Smiths to grab a book). From my own experience of helping a friend in her flower shop I can not emphasis how magical it is to see a child’s untarnished view of the World – they don’t look at the price of the flowers in the pots, they simply look at the beauty of them – their view is so innocent, they are drawn to the flowers based on simple factors such as their favourite colour or the one which smells the best.
Over my third trimester I have read a lot of captivating information about the importance of mindfulness – for both parents and children. With a baby on the way I felt it was important for me to train my self employed “frazzled” brain to slow down and start to focus on the present, rather than always racing into the future thinking of new ideas and ways to make money. As part of my research I purchased Fearne Cotton’s latest mindfulness book “Happy – Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect” – if, like me, you sometimes feel like your mind can get somewhat over excited and busy, then this is the perfect addition to your bookcase (this is not an Ad!). One section talks about the need to “Slow Down” – Fearne writes openly about how her enthusiasm for new things, combined with her fear of stopping, can sometimes take her down a slippery “route of exhaustion and boundary-pushing”. To tackle this she now re-programmes her mindset to take a little time to stop, “get centered and look around”. With, what she describes as her over “active brain”, she is unable to completely stop, but instead tricks her mind into thinking that she’s still “doing” something – be it painting, running or cooking – with these activities her mind stops but a “slight blissful ticking remains”.
Fearne’s book got me thinking about ways I can “slow down” my overly active brain once our baby arrives. Although I am sure that it will feel like there is no time in the day to just stop – I would like to try and train my mind, at times, to focus on one activity and remain in the present. As a lover of flowers I can’t think of a better way than to spend time with my daughter in our local flower shop, allowing her to focus on the different varieties, looking at their natural beauty and distinct smells, and educating her on the seasonal varieties throughout the year. Obviously, I would HAVE to purchase a bunch of HER favourite blooms (hey, I’m all for supporting local businesses), and I am assuming these will be peonies or ranunculus, and possibly not carnations (of the garage forecourt variety). And, if my partner is reading this…of course I’ll look at the price (wink, wink).
A Guest Blog from Carly of ‘In The Flower Shop I Saw..’
Carly is a 37 year old mum-to-be (due May 2017!) living in the Cotswolds with her Fiancé Chris. After spending the last 6 years running her own business designing / building online communities for some of the worlds leading brands, she has now decided to step away from the computer and focus on her love of flowers and floristry – a love which blossomed after completing a 2 year floristry course at Reaseheath Agricultural College in Cheshire.
Inspired by her move from Cheshire, in the North West of England, to the Cotswolds, and as a result acquiring a large country garden with her new home, Carly now focus’ on her passion for flowers, highlighting the vital role of the local florists and encouraging parents to share the joy of flowers with their children!
She has set up an Instagram hashtag #intheflowershopIsaw – the aim of this is to encourage people to share their favourite photos from their local flower shop.