May 10, 2012

My Heart Growing 10 X in size-being a Mom

Making a decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. - Elizabeth Stone

{breathtaking peony}
If you are a Mom you know this quote to be true.  Having my boys made me feel much like the Grinch when his heart was touched and grew 3X in size....but I felt like mine grew 10X in size.  My oldest son turned 18 just over a week ago and I can honestly say that my love for my boys grows stronger each day.  My heart truly is not my own and my capacity to love overflows.
{stunning cymbidium orchids}
Take the time to show your mom just how much you adore her and all that she has offered to you and for you. We have the perfect flowers to express your love and gratitude. Give us a call or order on is our pleasure to add to the beauty of all that she is!

{faith rose, muscari, sweet peas, lilac}
{hydrangea, lilac, peony, roses, muscari, and crabapple branches}


May 5, 2012

Truly, Madly, Deeply...

people from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.* ~iris murdoch
Mother's Day is just around the corner and I just get a little giddy at the abundance of spectacular flowers that are available for this special holiday.  I am clearly doing what I am suppose to be doing because when that truck arrives with my flower shipment I turn into a little girl all over again!  A smile is sure to appear no matter how challenging the day was prior to that point! 
She's a wise old Bird!
I truly, madly, deeply absolutely love flowers!!  They make my world brighter, lighter, clearer and more focused.  I am reminded that I am fully alive.  What a true blessing to be surrounded by this kind of beauty everyday.

Pitcher of Love
I am trying to take an arrangement home every week and what a gift that has been.  The experience adds to my confidence in selling my flowers, but the utter joy and life they bring to a space is intoxicating!
Our roots grow deep because of your love
So with Mother's day approaching and remembering once again the joy of being a little girl enjoying my Grandmothers gardens I urge you to show your Mom the love she deserves.  Spread the joy that a simple blossom can bring into any space.  Celebrate the love and nurturing that Mom's give to their children with flowers that are sure to enchant her. 

From our little shop to your homes; we wish all the Moms, mother's to be and mothers at heart all the joy and love that you so naturally and freely offer to we give back to you!!  You are a beautiful fragrance to us all.  Happy Mother's Day! 

April 3, 2012

One Small Flower

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. ~ Mother Teresa    

I have always considered myself a small flower; not the boldest, brightest or most fragrant, but a beautiful little blossom all the same! In all that I am, and in all that I am not, I humbly offer it as a gift. We all have our own unique beauty, I have never met a flower that is not worth cherishing, have you?
the perfect lisianthus bloom

 moby dick
We have the joy of sharing beauty with so many of you, I thought I'd post some of the beautiful blossoms to grace the studio in the hopes you may enjoy the beauty of each individual bloom. Taking the time to admire the detail and savour the beauty in each little treasure and all they have to offer is a little gift of peace and reflection. When I stop to look closely, I realize we have so much we can learn from even the humblest of blooms. 
Whether they are bold and brash or tiny and understated, I am grateful for each one of these flowers and the beauty they so freely offer. I really do love my job!  It is a pretty amazing gig!  Every blossom adds a bit of joy to my life and that brims over into the lives of others. Every day I'm surrounded by reminders of just how natural it is to open up and offer freely all the beauty that lies within us.
ranunculas and magnolia bud, the perfect companions!

water lily

cherry blossoms

gardenia bloom

gloriosa lily

coral charm

I hope each one of these small flowers reminds you as they do me, of the flowers that exists within you.  May you blossom and grow, offering all that you are to a world parched and in need of the unique beauty of who you are. It is within you, let it bloom! With Easter approaching may we all look forward to renewal in our lives. During this holiday season my hope for us all is a time of nurturing and cultivating growth, bursting through the guard petals to flower and bloom!

cymbidiums and the shy helliborus

April 2, 2012

Bursting with Life

We have been spoiled beyond measure with this mild winter, and I don't know about you, but I still am tickled pink that spring has arrived!!  The store is bursting with new life; not only with the spectacular florals that are available but the amazing new product that has arrived!  The french doors are open, the sun is beaming in, the blooming plants and twigs are spilling out the front door and life just feels good.

There is just no denying the beauty, life and growth that the spring season offers to us is in the air!! 

January 31, 2012

It's almost Valentine's Day and

you know what that means: On February 14, millions of tiny naked boys with wings will shoot arrows of love down from the heavens into the shoulders of mere mortals like ourselves. It means: pull out the stops and gather all manner of paraphernalia in your endeavor to celebrate The One You Adore! Chocolate! Stuffed bears! Flowers! And don't forget a Hallmark Card, since Hallmark invented this holiday in the first place, right?

Actually, contrary to popular belief Hallmark did not invent Valentine's Day. While it's true that since 1913, when Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass producing valentines, February has never been the same, the beginnings of this tradition precede the Industrial Revolution, the Renaissance, and even the Dark Ages. To find the origins of Valentine's Day, which are not as syrupy as you might think, we date back to Ancient Rome. 

The people of Ancient Rome celebrated a festival between February 13-15 called Lupercalia with the intention to avert evil spirits and purify the city, thus fostering both health and fertility. But while the Romans were romantic, they were also drunk, and also naked, claims Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Their rituals, although well-meaning, began with the sacrifice of a goat and a dog, and then women would line up waiting for their turn to get whipped with the animals the men had just slain. It was their belief that this would make them fertile. This festival also included a kind of matchmaking lottery, in which men would choose at random a woman's name from a jar. The pair would then be coupled for the duration of the festival, and longer if the match was right.

Our favorite Valentine's icon Cupid can also be traced back to this period, as the son of Venus (Goddess of Love) and Mars (God of War). This God of Desire was a prominent figure in Latin literature, playing instigating roles in several myths and scenarios. Further, the Roman emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentine, on February 14 of different years in the third century AD. These executions may or may not be responsible for our modern holiday's name.

It was not until centuries later that the holiday was sweetened by Chaucer and also Shakespeare, who both romanticized it in their work. It gained popularity in Britain and throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, along with Cupid, who under Christian influence became a symbol of both Heavenly and Earthly love. At this time, handmade paper cards were the ultimate token of celebration, after the advent of mass paper production around 1100AD. It was not until the 1800s that factory-made cards were introduced to Europe and the New World, better known as America, and it was not until 1913 that Hallmark pushed their brand of Valentines into the hands and hearts of lovers everywhere.

I've never been a big fan of cutesy rhyming verse, but if I had to choose between Hallmark poems and being beaten with an animal corpse by a man who may or may not pull my name out of a jar and become my husband, I would choose the former. I feel very grateful that the latter is not part of cultural protocol these days because the timeless, sacred poetry of nature has always struck me as the best messenger. Whether we take into account all the myriad folkloric meanings of flowers or not, the twist and lilt of a bunch of tulips or the intelligent and exacting spiral of a rose's petals will say more to me in one instant than a hundred Hallmark cards. Flowers say I Love You the best because they don't need to say anything at all: they already are love, plain and simple.

2 dozen roses with cymbidium orchids
Valentine's Day is Tuesday February 14, 2012. Trust your I Love You into our capable hands. We'll put something together for your sweetheart that would make anyone speechless.

From all of us at Anne Paterson's, WE LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU

January 25, 2012

The Essence of Flowers according to Dr Bach

Flowers make us feel good. They're beautiful, they smell delicious, and they bring the crisp, uncomplicated joy of nature with them wherever they go. Everyone knows flowers are a feast for the eyes, nose, and heart, but British researcher and physician Dr. Edward Bach proved that flowers can restore and maintain perfect health in all of us.

Close-up of a signature arrangement from Anne Paterson's Flowers
Dr. Bach developed his flower essences in the late 1920s and early 1930s based on his firm belief that "we each have a Divine mission in this world, and our souls use our minds and bodies as instruments to do this work, so that when all three are working in unison the result is perfect health and perfect happiness." He asserted that a negative mind-state is at the core of all illness: "It is not possible for us to be ill unless we are not in harmony with our true nature." To treat the bodily symptoms of that illness alone is not sufficient. In other words, the whole body/mind/spirit complex must be brought into balance for deep healing to occur.

He gave up his lucrative western medical practice and went to the the English countryside to begin work on a more holistic system of medicine. There, he intuited that the dew on the plants, heated by the sun, held all the healing properties of the flowers it laid upon. As he continued, his intuition became so sensitive that simply by holding or tasting a plant, he immediately knew its healing properties. In this way, he developed, one by one, the 38 flower essences that are known today as the Bach Flower Essences.

While the Bach Flower Essences (BFEs) work on the same basic principle as the more commonly known healing technique Aromatherapy (the use of essential oils--potent aromatic substances extracted from all fragrant plants--for physical and emotional healing), there are two major differences: BFEs are generally taken internally while essential oils are normally applied to the body or used to fragrance the air; and essential oils can be used to treat symptoms as well as to promote positive qualities, while the BFEs, like any other medicine prescribed by a doctor, cannot be used simply to promote the positive but must be used to balance the negative state that those essences address.

Unsurprisingly, there is a significant correlation among the folkloric meanings of flowers and their healing properties of their corresponding Bach Flower Essences. Clematis, for instance, is said to signify ingenuity, and its Essence balances excessive daydreaming and lack of concentration by enabling people to express their artistic and creative gifts in practical and material ways. Honeysuckle symbolizes the bond of love. Its Essence enables one who is lost in nostalgia to release their dwelling on old memories and go out to develop new relationships and interests, making life meaningful and vital again. Gentian's meaning is, literally, I look to heaven, and its Essence vibrates to the frequency of faith, melting away feelings of discouragement brought on by life's numerous setbacks and delays. Stars of Bethlehem signify reconciliation, perhaps between one person and another or perhaps between one part of the self and another. It's Bach Flower Essence is useful for restoration and the release of any trauma from cellular memory so that healing can occur.

This correspondence is present in flower meanings and their aromatherapeutic essential oils also. Chamomile, for instance, which is said to hold the meaning of Energy in Action, helps as essential oil to overcome oversensitivity, stress, anxiety, hysteria, insomnia, suppressed anger, and hyperactivity; and it also treats physical symptoms like PMS, menstrual pain, ulcers, and light constipation, helping to unblock energy and ensure its smooth movement through the body. Neroli (orange blossom) essential oil is often used as an aphrodisiac. The orange blossom carries meanings of fruitfulness, marriage, and eternal love. The rose, paragon of beauty, virtue and love, in essential oil form helps to rejuvenate cells, heal all complexion types, and slow aging. It further promotes self-confidence, and is useful for treating relationship conflicts, envy, and intolerance. The Wild Rose Bach Flower Essence vibrates to the frequency of inner motivation and assists with the realization that we can always use the power of choice to change our lives for the better.

Does this mean we have to run out and buy all kinds of ointments and tinctures in order to receive all the rejuvenative benefits of flowers? Definitely not. All the healing properties of flower essences are often present simply in their very symbolism. Flowers have an aromatherapy all their own, elevating mood and inducing cheerfulness. Further, each flower, according to its colour, will also affect different aspects the body/mind/spirit based on the ancient Eastern philosophy that our bodies contain and emanate seven wheels of energy known as chakras:

One of the easiest ways to bring an energy centre into balance is with colour, and the easiest ways to integrate colour into daily life are with diet, wardrobe, decor, and flowers.

So the next time you want to pick up a few blooms for someone you love, someone you want to apologize to, someone you want to forgive, or even for yourself, you'll know there's more to knowing that flowers make us feel good than meets the eye. Flowers have the power to heal in many ways. But don't get too caught up in particulars, (What does this flower mean? What does it do? How is it going to affect my reproductive system?) just let your inner wisdom guide you. Choose what you naturally gravitate to. The power of intuition is strong, and if we trust it, we can rest assured we'll pick out just the right remedy for any occasion.

Additional reading and information:
Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self
Natural Wisdom & Know-How: Useful Practices, REcipes, and Formulas for a Lifetime of Health
The History and Language of Flowers
The Original Bach Flower Remedies

January 15, 2012

Bringin' back the Carnation- January's Flower

I've got to tell you (being a florist for more years than I am old), carnations have always been a dirty word in my vocabulary. But there is something to be said about making something "old" new again, and I am growing in my love affair with this little beauty. Carnations have a lasting power like no other and the varieties, shades and tones now available are breathtaking, not to mention their unique and wonderfully spicy scent. Now don't get me wrong, you are not going to see carnations in every arrangement that leaves our store, in fact they are still rare. In my view the carnation should only be used en masse, no "onesies, twosies" designing with carnations for me!  For these flowers to really shine, my preference is to see them en masse, where their ruffly, fringed edges are bumping up next to one another like shy tweens at there first school dance!  It's in a group that they radiate and glow!

quicksand rose, echeveria, scabiosa pods, brezillia, brunia, astrantia and the antiqua carnation
Today seemed like as good a day as any to celebrate the New Carnation; after all it is January's flower!!

January 1, 2012

New Beginings- Forgetting the past and pressing toward the things yet unseen! Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! What better way to ring in 2012 than to start fresh? Feels kind of like a bed with crisp, clean sheets! Is there anything that feels better?
There is a freedom in just surrendering to the present moment, letting go of the past and pressing on into the mystery of the unknown... It is true liberation to experience the present and anticipate and lean into the future. I am excited.

Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

We have this amazing Cypress in the is full of life and essence! I decided I would research the plant that I had admired so much over the Christmas season to see what I could find. Turns out the Cypress has intrigued many over the centuries. It's the most photographed tree in the world and Van Gogh included Cypresses in many of his paintings. The tree also has many deep cultural significances, which I found very interesting.
Langlois Bridge, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

The Cypress is considered by many to mean death and rebirth, which seems like an apt thing to ponder during this season of new beginnings. In Greek mythology, it was believed that the Cypress grew out of the grief of a teenager who accidentally killed a deer that belonged to Apollo. It was out of this poor boy's sorrow that the legend of the young Cyparissus is brought to life. Through his sadness and mourning, Cyparissus' body was transformed into the tall, strong and noble looking Cypress tree. I love the imagery of this story and somehow it gives me hope. Out of his despair, he was transformed and brought back to life with a strong presence for many generations to come. He gave up all that he was and was made something new!
In the Christian tradition, the Cypress is a symbol of death, and signifies the heavens calling. With its column-like shape that reaches toward the heavens, much like a church spire, the Cypress has deep-rooted relationship with the heavenly realm and divine light. The evergreen leaves have become a symbol of resurrection and new life.

Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

In Turkey, the Cypress is the symbol of the universe. Its roots, tall trunk and upward branches represent the three levels of life: birth, midlife and the attainment of heaven, with the evergreen leaves representing immortality.
To the people of Iran, the Cypress symbolizes many attributes of beauty and form. Persian poets would make reference to loved ones as being "Cypress-like." For them, this term perfectly described a woman's grace in motion, slender body and balanced, poised frame. The Cypress represented youthfulness, truthfulness and was also used to describe a  person of upright character.  It is said that in the presence of a Cypress, it would be impossible for someone who breathes in its scent to be deceitful. Mystics have believed that because the Cypress is an evergreen and that its branches are never barren, it is truly liberated and liberating: perfection without desolation.

I will forever look at the sweet sights and smells of the Cypresses that enter my store in a new and magical way.  It will forever be a testament and symbol of death, birth and transformation, and I love that when I take in its amazing scent I can be reminded that I truly can trust myself and live in the abundance of that freedom! 

May 2012 and the symbols of the Cypress bring you focus on the new beginnings that await you. May you surrender to the present, and to all that the future has in store for you!  May you all experience life anew;  put the past behind you and lean upwards, like the branches of the cypress towards a new life or a new way to live. Remember that the divine resides within you and that deceit can not exist in presence of the divine! May the knowledge of that profound fragrance impact you in a deep and meaningful way!  Happy New Year!! And here's to an exciting and wonderful 2012!!

If you are interesting in learning more interesting things about the Cypress, please peruse these great sites that I got some of my information from:
The Meaning Behind Cypress Trees
What is the Symbolism of the Cypress Tree?
20/20 Site, Cypress Tree

November 26, 2011

Celibrating Christmas Green!- sustainable succulent ornaments

We have had fun today decorating our Citron Cypress with our environmentally friendly little succulent ornaments.  They are so cute and is the perfect gift for the environmentally conscious person on your list.  These little gems will last through the whole holiday season and once Christmas is gone you can place them on top of soil and they will root into the earth and live on and on.

I adore the natural look of these ornaments and love the fact that they will live on well past the holiday season.  What a fun and fabulous way to decorate your home for the holiday.

I also am tickled with the idea of using the Cypress as a living Christmas tree for the holiday season and then being able to enjoy it as a stunning house plant all year round.  The contrast of the two greens is so fresh and revitalizing.  The Cypress also have a natural aromatherapy that is light and refreshing and adds to the atmosphere for this festive season!

On the light and whimsical side, it makes me think of Charlie Brown and his Christmas tree and who doesn't love that?!  So here is to the beginning of the Holiday Season, may you embrace all the the Christmas season offers!