The Blog

How sweet it is to be loved by you.

It feels like a hundred years since I reached out through a blog post. Writing is, and has always been, one of the most effective ways I can totally detach from the world and settle into really enjoying the beauty and joy of life. I have thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to share my thoughts, my hopes and my unending gratitude through these posts, as well as chronicling this unusual journey that has chosen me. I would like to think it’s the other way around and that I chose the path, but in reality, it totally chose me. I really didn’t have a lot of say in the matter!

This will be my second January in the florist life cycle. A time of year where florists usually slow right down on actual orders, and the mania of the holiday season seems a distant memory. The last of the pine cones have been stashed away for next years’ wreaths and most of the glue gun injuries of the past few weeks have had time to heal. It’s an opportunity to recharge, spend some quality time with friends and family, sleep, catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, sleep some more, and shower on a more regular basis. What I have also noticed, is that it’s a moment where you can actually sit back and review the work you’ve done over the last year. This, is an incredible thing. Sitting back and actually going through your personal portfolio of work is…a really unbelievable activity to engage in. At least I find it is. I’ll tell you why.

I still have trouble thinking that this is what I am allowed to do for a living. I struggle with my confidence as a designer, usually on the daily. I worry over pricing. I have this heart wrenching fear that the bride won’t like her bouquet. I have nightmares the fridge will give out on the hottest day of the year. I’m constantly aware of the market price of David Austen roses. I’ve given up my love of manicures. I have a collection of buckets in every room of my house. And in the middle of this jumble of chaos and fear and panic, I’m actually living the life of a real florist! The actual beauty of the work that I do accomplish can easily get lost in all of that junk. So by the time the holidays roll around, I haven’t once taken the time to sit back and really dive in and marvel at the level of my talents, the amazing-ness of our clients, the excitement of some of the projects I was a part of, and the sheer magic of our achievements. It’s a real brain buster! But it’s also the thing that makes the worrying and sleepless nights, missed meals, post-poned vacations, raw fingers, long days, longer nights and moments of “What the hell am I doing????” all completely and utterly worth it.

It’s so important to remind ourselves how great we can be. Not in an “I’m so much better than that florist” kind of way. We are all different and offer diverse levels of expertise and art. We all have differing levels of skill and vision, and I have always firmly believed that if I can’t deliver on something, it’s better to be upfront about it and recommend someone that can. But looking back and admiring the hard work and dedication you’ve dished out over the last year is incredibly motivating and a real nice pat on the back. Look at you kid, you really are a star! 

Maybe it’s because I’m still so new at this (although I feel a lot less new at it than just my 2.5 years) and the weary ways of the floral world has not taken its toll on my spirit yet. Maybe it’s due to the fact that all my clients have spoiled me and been really exceptional people who have allowed me to be creatively free and trusted my design judgement from the word go. It might even be partly due to the amazing florists around me, who have graciously shared their bodies of work with the world, letting the rest of us be truly inspired and awed by their accomplishments, driving us forward in our own endeavours. 

Whatever the motivation behind it is, I’m just a pretty lucky gal who is sitting back on this snowy Tuesday, with a hot cup of coffee, taking it all in. There is a lot of work and planning to get to, as we start to plan for the upcoming wedding season, as well as a little time off for a special delivery due at the end of February (HT takes on Baby!!!) but for today it’s all about me and the flowers. How we speak to each other, how we dance together, how sweet it all is. Thank you for supporting us through another incredible year, and I look forward with anticipation to the beauty, love and flowers that lie ahead.

 

She Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah!

Lori and Jenna. Jenna and Lori. These two girls are one of a kind. Each of them! I've known these two wonderful humans for a few years now. My memories of them are peppered with dressing up, lots of yummy food and wine, backyard summer nights, and laughter…always laughter.

We share besties, which is to say that they’re best friends with our best friends. So it’s appropriate that the whole gang would get along. And get along we do, just like peas and carrots in fact. So when Lori popped the question, it just so happened, we were there to celebrate with them! And again, we found ourselves, on a warm night, in the backyard, surrounded by our besties and their besties, laughing, loving and celebrating. 

Secretly, I of course was hoping they would bequeath me with the marital floral responsibilities. But deep down, I was nervous to actually be asked! Unlike some of my other couples, they seemed so sure of what they wanted and what they didn't want. And I have, like, real feelings for these two!! Mucking up their special day was not in my plans for us. I didn't want creative differences to come between what we had so beautifully and lovingly created over the years of summer nights together. I didn't want to Yoko this band!

However, ask me they did. And, to my very grateful surprise, we were all on the same woodsy wedding inspired path! We met one morning over boozy coffees in the local pub and talked about our ideas. Within the first two minutes of our meeting (“meeting”) I knew that this was the only option. Their whole wedding theme was about having all loving hands help out, to be an integral part of the love that they were building for their own new family. So, as someone who loves them too, I knew I fit right into the plan.

There was very little back and forth. Just like our friendship, we just clicked, and it’s apparent that it all came together almost effortlessly.

It Is Love, That Makes Impossible Possible.

Oh thank God! I got so lucky. Damn, I am so blessed. I’m so excited. They are my perfect couple!

These were the thoughts I had running through my head as I walked away from my consult with Chelsea and Anthony. Jeez, did I ever luck out.

They were just beautiful. Chelsea was quiet and confident about her vision for the day, which was awesome. And Anthony, well he was just easy, in the best way possible. Overall I trusted them to have impeccable taste, and they trusted me to do my thing.

Throughout all of our interactions, Chelsea and Anthony were nothing but super stars, giving guidance when I asked, letting me run with my ideas, and overall allowing the creative process to come together. What they might not know however, was just how amazing it was to do the flowers for their incredibly beautiful wedding. Their confidence in me, their excitement to get hitched, and the love that was clearly bursting from the seams of the whole event made it stupidly easy for me to find the right colours, the perfect flowers, and create.

The morning of their wedding it rained. It was a hot and humid thundershower. But it didn't worry me. Arriving at the venue (The stunning Berkeley Field House) the mood was calm and happy. Family members and friends trickled in, hands dripping with love touched every piece of the day. We laid out tablecloths with care, favours were lined up, center-pieces laid out, exactly as planned. The room, even without the lovely couple was sparkling. So you can imagine the fireworks that went off when they waltzed in. What beauty. And the rain, was nowhere to be found.

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

I meet a lot of people doing this job. Not that I ever have trouble meeting people, I could make friends with a tree stump if I really had to. But it’s a part of the job that I love so much. Meeting people and hearing their stories and why they need flowers, why they want my flowers, is always a treat. But there are times when it’s not the people I meet, but the need.

What I mean is, I do flowers by proxy if you will. Like, for someone, by someone else. Like this summer, a friend of mine who does event/wedding planning called and said “Can you do flowers for a client of mine?” I said “Of course! I’d love to, I’ll be able to meet the happy couple on Wednesday” to which she replied, “wellllll….no”. 

Okay…. how can I be expected to make beautiful, sentimental, once in a lifetime creations that will be forever etched in the hearts of the bride, groom and all attendees forever more without meeting them?? What about our heartwarming conversations and storytelling over coffees and cakes at some beautiful coffee shop tucked in a warm old house in a playful part of the city?! How can a creative work under these conditions?!?!?

Easy… they gave me their preferred colours, and general wedding theme via email, via Laura the wedding planner. The rest, as they said, was up to me.

And so it was. A simple country chic style wedding. A simple plan, a simple palette, and most of all, a simple execution. Only thing was, they still needed a photographer, and did I perhaps know anyone? Well I had a very simple answer for that too, yes, I did indeed. One of my dearest friends Whitney shot their special day. It’s safe to say, as you can see, that the whole thing was just simply beautiful.

The day the fridge STOPPED.

My fridge broke. That’s it. The thing that keeps my flowers alive so that I may be released creatively into the world, to be free and do the very thing that brings joy to my life, stopped. Without any regard for how this would affect me, my life, and my relationships, it just broke down. The audacity…

It was literally the most discombobulating 3 weeks of my life. For real. No drama. For the last year and a half I have woken up every day, grabbed a coffee, and the dogs and I would enter the workshop. Rain or shine, the comforting hum of the fridge motor would greet me, and all my babies would be sitting, comfortable in their cool buckets, ready for all the adventures awaiting them. It’s given me such purpose and happiness, and has really changed me. I absolutely love working with flowers and plants. But I didn't know just how much I loved my new job until I couldn't do it anymore.

Because one morning, which began very much like the rest of them, I woke up, stuck a coffee in my hand and with the boys by my side headed to the shop. This day however, was different. There was silence in my workshop. Nothing was happening. As I reached into the fridge for my flowers I noticed something funny… they were frozen. All the flowers were frozen stiff, standing straight up in buckets of ice. Bad day ensues…

I won’t waste time on the details of going through work people who came and went who couldn’t find the problem. Or the wholesaler who couldn’t be bothered to help me figure out the problem, or the days I walked in and out of the workshop staring at an empty fridge. It was dreadful. Heartbreaking. But then John came around, probably from the land of magical repairmen who saw the vacant look in my eyes, and realized what getting this fridge fixed really meant to me…it meant everything. For two whole weeks he worked diligently to get the schematics on my fridge, (from somewhere in China or something) emailing his colleagues to troubleshoot what could be wrong, all the while keeping me informed on what our next steps would be. And then he figured it out, and fixed my fridge. Just like that. John to the rescue.

Aside from meeting this amazing human who was compassionate, thorough and just plain lovely, I realized how deeply connected I am to this work. I absolutely wasn't being honest with myself when I started all of this about how much I needed this outlet in my life. How complete I feel when I work with flowers, and how amazing it is to meet and connect with new people every day. Without it present in my day to day life, I was a mushy mess of sadness. Everything seemed dull, and I felt a gaping hole in my heart. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to do the thing that makes my heart sing. It’s been very hard work, and of course the road is long…but nothing worth having comes easy, as they say.

So, Heart Tree is back in service, gearing up for what should be a fantastic holiday season. Wreaths are under construction already… all hand made out of Shawn’s mama’s Virginia creeper vine, which grows all along her old farm house, and we spend hours clipping off! Pine cones of all shapes and sizes have been hanging out all over the house drying out, and have probably made their way into the pup’s toy bin. 

And as I wake up tomorrow, grab my coffee, and lead the boys on another creative adventure, I know I’ll hear the quiet and reassuring hum coming from my little workshop. And, as we have for the last year (who can remember life before all of this madness) will set to work…beautiful, amazing, incredible work.