I’ve always loved flowers, but before I started writing The Memories That Make Us, I didn’t have much experience in growing them, and I only ever kept vases of them in the house when I received them for special occasions. Over the course of writing my novel, set on a fictional flower farm in Daylesford, Victoria, my love of all things botanical amplified, and a new world opened up to me—one that showed me just how beneficial having armloads of flowers in my garden and home on a regular basis could be.
Fresh flowers boost your mood
When someone presents you with a bunch of fresh blooms, most of us instantly experience emotion. Think about a time when someone presented you with fresh flowers. Do you remember feeling happy or grateful? Did they make you feel special or loved? As researcher Jeannette Haviland-Jones found in a 2005 research study, flowers were shown to elicit smiles, boost mood and memory. They were found to have positive effects for both the long and short-term. As if we needed more reasons to love them!
Fresh flowers make for beautiful decor. Because flowers only last for a limited time, this means you can change things around as often as you like, whether you use a different vessel to hold your flowers, or you play around with varieties and colours according to seasonality or mood. Fresh flowers also make great table centrepieces. Try Koch for floral foam and other floristry supplies if you’re game to try to create one yourself!
Flower Arranging as a Hobby
Working with flowers is therapeutic. Flower workshops are gaining popularity, and are offered by several flower schools and florists around the country, such as Bloom College in Melbourne, Flower Lane & Co in Sydney, Francesca’s Flowers in Brisbane, and Beans and Bunches in Perth. I attended Bloom College’s posy workshop while researching The Memories That Make Us so I could experience what it was like to work with flowers in a hands-on way, just like Gracie, my main protagonist in the book. I learnt how to cut and condition flowers, and was able to experiment with them creatively as well. Every posy is different. Flower arranging isn’t only fun, but it’s a creative hobby that is relaxing and being able to take home a beautiful arrangement of flowers is immensely satisfying.
They’re easy to grow
The most affordable way to ensure you have a supply at the ready is to grow your own flowers. Bonus: you get to enjoy a pretty garden! Places like Garden Express have a wide range of seeds and bulbs available year round depending on seasonality. Try Treloar Roses for bare-rooted roses, Tesselaar or Van Diemen Quality Bulbs for tulips and daffodils. If you’re after dahlias, look no further than Country Dahlias. They have an extensive catalogue to choose from. If you don’t have much room to grow your own, or live in an apartment, look for flowers that can grow in pots, like tulips, hyacinths, or miniature roses. If you have more room, a raised garden bed can be a great option for cut flowers as you can alternate what you plant each season, much like a vegetable garden. Don’t forget plants like dusty miller, which can make for a great filler, and not only looks fabulous in the vase but can bulk up an arrangement.
Some flower varieties smell heavenly. If you love the scent of flowers and would like to enjoy them for their fragrances, try hyacinths, jasmine, sweet peas, lavender, freesias and, of course, roses. Tip: pick your flowers in the morning or late afternoon when they’re most fragrant.
Vanessa Carnevale is an author and freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia, where she lives with her husband and two children. In her early twenties, Vanessa spent several years living in Florence, Italy, where she met her husband and discovered a love of travel and la dolce vita. She now considers Italy her second home
And if you’re looking for the perfect birthday or Mother’s Day present for the reader in your life, try pairing a bright bunch of flowers with a book that will linger long on their mind after the flowers have faded…
“As beautiful as the flowers that proliferate through the novel, ‘The Memories That Make Us’ is a story about love, second chances, and taking risks.” – Natasha Lester, author of ‘The Paris Seamstress’
Gracie Ashcroft is supposed to marry Blake Beaumont in three months’ time. The trouble is, she doesn’t know who he is…
After an accident leaves Gracie with severe amnesia, she’s forced to decide: live a life that is made up of other people’s memories of who she was, or start a new life on her own. Leaving her fiancé Blake behind, she moves to the country where she takes on the task of reviving her family’s abandoned flower farm.
While attempting to restart a business with an uncertain future, she tries to come to terms with the grief of losing a mother she can’t remember and a fiancé she so badly wants to fall in love with again. What she doesn’t count on is developing a deep connection with Flynn, a local vet. Worst of all is having to confront the fact that she might lose either chance at love.
Forced to examine the person she has become, Gracie confronts the question: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?
Click here to find out more.
Posted on April 12, 2018 by harlequinaustralia