April 2022 news
In my youth in Paris I used to work for a hugely tall presence at American Vogue, the late, great André Leon Talley. I remember him sweeping in to the hall at 284 bld St Germain where the American magazines were based. I was kneeling on the floor with Allana le Saux, stuffing the hand-painted silk chiffon sleeves of a couture Chanel dress with tissue as we packed up the big black boxes we called ‘coffins’ with clothes to send to New York for a cover try. We were clearly flagging, and needed cheering up. Andre was good at dispensing chocolate, but his bon mots were always timely and often memorable. On this occasion he smiled at us in a kindly way and said,
‘Girls, fashion doesn’t matter, but still, we may as well do it as though it does.’
I think flower growing is a little like working with haute couture dresses – growing flowers to cut and arrange may not matter in the great scheme of things, but the beauty they bring, the pleasure, the sheer light-exploding song they sing, makes it very much worth growing and arranging them as though each flower, each bouquet, each great big installation, is a world-changing event.
In some ways I suppose each little flower we grow is world-changing: working with and creating with beauty increases dopamine releases into the brain – learning to create, and creating, rewards us, making us not only happier, but much nicer to be around! Equally the activity of gardening, being outside, working with the soil, exercising patience in sowing seed, planting and growing, encourages the release of bursts of serotonin, which, along with fresh air and sunshine and the increase in oxygen encouraged by the exercise of working with the soil, is very good for the mood.
And so we’ve scheduled a whole summer of flower filled workshops and demos, both here at the farm and online. Hopefully you can choose a domapine-releasing special that will improve your mood while it teaches you something new.
Then, when you have achieved your objective of developing a skill or talent or that possibly a bit dormant creative gene, I will have achieved mine too, because there will be more gardens full of flowers and the bees will have more to eat. And while we can’t avoid the news, the calmer we are as a result of working with the earth and with flowers, the more use we will be to our neighbours.
Click here to see our list of what is coming up over the next few months.
So join us through the summer and learn something new. Of course the three day retreat, and days at the flower farm are the ultimate, but the online workshops and demos are designed that you can create your own pick and mix bespoke floristry course and do as much or as little as you like.
Right, I’m off to pot up my dahlias… and it’s time to sow my next succession of annual seeds… and where are the acidanthera bulbs…