Looking forward

December was a manic month and January feels like a breath of fresh air. Some people don’t like New Year but for me, it’s exciting.  I love the idea of starting afresh. I started with new notepads, coloured pens, growing plans and big promises to myself of things to come.  Although I haven’t set strict goals this year, I have thought about my ambitions for 2019.  Rather than setting plans which inevitably result in little failures here and there, I have chosen to be kinder to myself and think about important things for the New Year. Making creative mood boards and mind maps help me capture that feeling.

As soon as the New Year dawns, I’ve found that people often put pressure on themselves and forget all that they have achieved in the previous year.  Mindful of this, I cast my memory back to the beginning of 2018 and with hindsight tried to remember how I felt.  I would have been delighted then to have achieved what I currently have now. It was a special year for me.

One of the things that brought me unending happiness during 2018 was starting my own allotment. It was a real challenge at first - my boyfriend and I made lots of mistakes.  We had no clue what we were doing.  We approached our overgrown piece of land and desperately tried to dig and create a workable patch.  At first, we used a rotivator, bought lots of soil covered the ground with manure and after our first weekend’s work were so happy with ourselves.  When we returned we realised the money we had spent we would never see again.  Growing tall and proud all over our plot was Mare’s tail - an ancient, rapidly spreading weed that burrows as deep as a house and ruins everything!  We took a deep breath and changed our allotment plot to start again.  I managed to rectify all that went wrong and built my first ever beds for my cutting garden. No rotivator this time, digging from scratch, planting seeds.  We waited for the first signs of growth and held our breath.  Recently I’ve seen these seedlings bloom and am so excited for my first batch this Spring. 

I have really developed a deep love for natural, home-grown, seasonal flowers. There is nothing quite like them, the way the stems intertwine when put together in bouquets and arrangements.  They seem to have a unique fragility and are truly beautiful!  They speak wonders and I find them captivating, to me, they are true representations of the earth.  I would love to be able to use home-grown and locally sourced flowers more regularly this year. I want to be able to grow Cosmos, a rainbow of Zinnias, gorgeous and delicate Nigellas and of course the unforgettable Dahlia!

A natural part of life for a London florist is the pain and gain of getting up at a silly time and driving to the flower market.  I didn’t even have a car until recently and am now navigating London’s crazy streets at dawn and dusk.  I love love love experiencing the ‘florist’ culture, different traders, shops, styles all over.  But for me mixing these beautiful flowers we can buy with natural products  makes a perfect picture.

The challenge then for 2019 is to pursue this natural beauty.  To have a full and functioning cutting garden filled with fresh floral beauties.  The work has started with forks and shovels and will end with an array of home grown flowers (we hope!!!)  Here is to a prosperous year, filled with fruits of the earth.