There are many ways to create art. There are many ways to grow and cherish flowers. The way that resonates with me is the truest form Mother Nature intended. There are booms and busts. We are subject to the whims of weather in any given year, so each and every growing season is different. All my material is grown by me or foraged within the nearby woods. I do not import or buy flowers from anywhere else. I make a conscious effort to bow to the ways of nature that are beyond my control, and take a certain pride in being restricted to only the materials I can grow myself.
I also do not use any chemicals growing my flowers; I welcome bugs of all sorts to my little patch of earth. Farming is a way of life. It’s often hard and unpredictable. I want to nurture my ecosystem and give back to the land. I’ve come to accept imperfections. Sometimes critters deform my flowers, sometimes the weather stunts their growth. It’s all part of the cycle and I accept my place in it.
I do not dye or manipulate my flowers in any way that transforms their natural state. Some people prefer florescent hues but I do not. I embrace the soft decay and find beauty in the slow decline of even my loveliest blooms. I do my best to respect their natural state and my preferred methods of preserving are hang-drying or pressing. I use an all-natural water-based glycerin soak for tree branches and eucalyptus. My dahlias and other large blooms are quick-dried using a borax and cornmeal mixture.
Many people who enjoy dried flowers expect a certain kind of uniformity, especially in wreaths. The common form is a full circle wreath with repeating patterns. As humans, we find patterns and repetition pleasing. However, that is not the way I work. I’ve tried and failed at making full circle wreaths. I’ve also tried and failed at crafting with patterns. I have trouble conforming to rules. I’m at my best when I let each piece fall into place at will, wild and whimsical.
My craft is quickly turning from a quiet hobby into a full blown obsession. That being said, I still have a full time job that I find fulfilling and requires quite a bit of my time. Our little farm is operating at max capacity right now with no plans to expand much beyond our current state. If you commission a work from me, please know that I’m only one person and I may not be able to accommodate every request. My flowers typically run out in February and as I’m tied to the seasons, my next round will not be available until at least mid-July.
Every one of my creations is unique and some take hours to complete. If they resonate with you, I hope you respect that they are created with love and see them as a form of art. I do my best to work with them using all-natural materials, so my bases are grapevine hauled from the woods and twisted into lovely wreaths, and my flowers are held in place using raffia twine rather than wire. It’s my hope that these creations have long lives in their new homes but they won’t last forever. When you’re ready to let them go, I’d like to have them be compost-ready so they can go back to whence they came.