Author: Tina Fottler Sawtelle, I've been sharing our Color Your Life With Flowers brochure all summer at health and wellness gatherings, garden club picnics, farmers' markets, through libraries, and community gatherings. A few flower care tips and some everyday reminders of how we all can include flowers in our lives and share flowers with others. Some of my most rewarding flower experiences through the years have been stories from those that discovered then shared how the addition of a few simple flowers at home and in the workplace brightened their days. Take a peek and let me know if you'd like to chat about a workshop for your group or organization.
Author: Tammy Cloutier is an Environmental Studies PhD student at Antioch University New England. She lives in Kennebunk, Maine. Tammy has always had a passion for wildlife and nature in general. By combining art and science in her research, she hopes to have a positive impact in the lives of other species who share this planet with us - which ultimately benefits us as well. I met Tammy when she wrote a profile story on our farm. I asked Tammy is she would share some of her intuitive thoughts about how flowers have enriched her own life. I'm truly grateful when talented writers are happily agreeing to join me down this Flower Story road, sharing stories you all can relate to and be inspired by. Read on to hear Tammy tell how flowers have brightened her life and left lasting impressions.
Flowers. They are definitely one part of nature that is taken for granted. We see them everywhere – advertised as the perfect sentiment for special occasions such as holidays, anniversaries, and promotions, or as a show of sympathy and support at the passing of a loved one. They truly are the poster child for one stop shopping!
So what is it about them that can turn a mood around? Sure some are more boisterous than others – deep reds, brilliant blues, or vibrant yellows, but even the softer, smaller, more subtle petals can leave a huge impression. Case in point is what happened during a week-long session of intense graduate classes I recently attended. At the end of the week, one instructor walked in with two small plants – gardenia and jasmine. Their delicate blooms were certainly pretty enough, but their fragrance is what struck me. After days of using just about every last ounce of brain power I had, all it took was a hint of their sweet scents to magically relax me.
Or how about the effect flowers had after I climbed a 4000 foot mountain? I had completed much smaller hikes and was ready for my next challenge. I was proud that I pushed myself to new heights (pardon the pun), and thoroughly enjoyed the view of Mt. Washington when I reached the top. However, one other thing made me smile when I got there – no, not the rock that my legs thanked me for sitting on – but rather the yellow and white alpine flowers that were sprinkled all over the mountain top. If something so tiny could survive at that altitude, then I had no excuse not to!
Why are we drawn to flowers in their many forms, shapes, and sizes? It does not seem to matter if they are wild, cultivated, an extravagant bouquet, or a simple long stemmed rose. Is there really something behind the phrase, “flower power?” I love to watch sunflowers as they turn with the sun – drawing their energy and movement from it. Are we similar? Do we draw strength or happiness from the mere sight of blossoms? I know lilacs lift me up during their short appearance in the spring, while the sea of purple created by northern blazing stars at one of my favorite walking spots always makes me stop to take a moment to enjoy them. Ironically, purple is one of my least favorite colors, yet these two species of flowers boost my mood regardless.
Perhaps one of the most surprising ways flowers have brightened my life is as meal garnishments – not a phrase I ever thought I would write. Although I prefer to gaze upon flowers rather than eat them, some of the best ice cream I ever had was created from flowers while we were in South Africa. It was made from roses and garnished with another type of flower (please do not ask me which one!), and was not only delicious, but smelled absolutely delightful as well. I almost couldn’t bring myself to eat it – almost – unfortunately, ice cream is one of my weaknesses.
I googled “flowers inspirational quotes or sayings” to try to end this post with a witty comment or story, but both escape me at the moment. However, as two quotes that I like appeared at the beginning of my search, I will share those with you instead…
“The Earth laughs in flowers” and “Flowers are like friends; they bring color to your world."
Here’s to you finding your own friends and flowers that make you laugh and brighten your world!
Tina Fottler Sawtelle is a flower farmer and floral artist on her New Hampshire farm. Tina's creative floral work is inspired by nature and the outdoors where she feels most content. Her designs are requested and shared daily throughout the community from the largest of events to the smallest of occasions. Color Your Life with Flowers is Tina's inspirational creative capstone project encouraging people in communities to enrich their lives with flowers and share flowers with others enriching their lives as well.