Welcome to Daisy Works Blog, a vehicle for me to share my flowersmith life - flowers, other things close to my heart, more flowers, everyday stuff, garden visits & current projects & did I remember to mention flowers? And I have to be honest, it's also a way of checking up on myself - if it's down in black & white that I'm going to do something, then I need to get it done sooner rather than later! The ultimate procrastination preventer!
So that you know where I'm coming from, here is a little about me - I'm a farmer's daughter brought up on mud & plants in Kent. In a previous life I was a plant molecular biologist, & in this one I'm a horticulturist & trained garden designer. And I've been a gardener for as long as I can remember, growing clarkia and pansies in my own little patch when I was about 6 years old. So, in short, I've spent my whole life with plants in one way or another, & it's fair to say I'm plant obsessed.
My love affair with plants, flowers, and being outside is relentless. I'm an unashamed tree-hugger & scent-searcher. I'm a tactile gardener, I need to hands-on explore every facet of a plant. Flowers are my earliest memories. Glary nasturiums growing up a wall and picking ethereal bluebells in the woods. I can still tell you every plant and where it grew in the garden that I grew up in and left 30 years ago. I didn't know the Latin names, but had my own names. 'Banana Plant' is very apt for Hebes if you've ever pulled the growing tips apart. Which I did a lot when I was growing up. Not sure how normal this was and probably explains my social ineptitude.
I have a long-suffering family, who will tell you I occasionally remember to cook, wash, iron etc, & I'm a sport junkie - running, cycling, playing tennis & swimming as often as possible. Our beagle, Nettle, will tell you I'm a pretty awesome dog owner (in other words, that she's in charge of us all...).
Five years ago when my daughter moved to secondary school, I started growing flowers for cutting, initially on my own. But then, I heard about a local project needing help, and so instead of doing it just for myself, I have spent the last three years as a full-time volunteer helping to set up at a local charity where I grew, gathered & designed flowers for weddings and events. A torn knee cartilage, a change in personal circumstances and moving house to a different area brought this voluntary work to an end. Now back on my feet, encouraged by requests from friends and family, and driven to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK, I decided to start up Daisy Works.
I feel that all my life I've been coming to this - to flower growing & forging designs with flowers. As a school girl it was one of my jobs to put a vase of flowers on the dining table on Sundays, and I was spoilt rotten with a kaleidoscope of a garden which offered amazing flowers and foliage throughout the year. So here I am 35 years ish later coming full circle. Flower smith sums it up very well for me and is a term I'm much more comfortable using than florist which I'm not qualified to use, I don't feel describes what I do & doesn't convey the naturalistic approach I take. A flower smith, like a gold smith or a black smith knows her material intimately and forges it into organic and timeless pieces, befitting and respectful of the environment from where it came. I saw this term in another flower farmers bio & I wish I could remember who so I could thank them.
Plants excite me. In a world that is increasingly becoming virtual, plants are exhileratingly real, from their heady scent to vibrant colours, intricate design and sheer resilience. For me, the plant world needs hands on interaction, & it's really hard to translate the feel & scent of a flower across mediums that can't show these elements. For me, I need to live the moment & I would implore any newbies out there to stop reading this & go outside immediately & start experiencing the magic of the plant world. Plants are amazing - our lives literally depend upon them, from the very essence of converting the sun's energy into food that we can digest, to the make-up on your face, the clothes you wear, the books you read, the medicines you take, to the fuel that gets you where you are going. And like the animal kingdom, it's an amazingly diverse world out there- there's a plant for nearly every situation on planet earth & science-fiction films have nothing on the weird & wonderful things that actually exist on our planet.
I'm doing a great job of talking you out of following my blog, but there's always those moments when it's tipping it down outside or you've done all you can for the day, & you want a little trivia to while away some down-time. I'd very much like your feedback & would love you to share your experiences too - inspire me to explore something new!