In The Mood For Love

Stories, events and happenings in nature: from Lunar New Year celebrations to meaningful expressions of love. Plus, how the dandelion inspires art and healing.

“Every beginning is a promise, born in light and dying in dark, determination and exaltation of springtime, flowering the way to work.”

Brendan Kennelly

Considered a time for rest and peace, the months of January and February were late additions to the Ancient Roman calendar. The start of the year can feel almost like an afterthought, slow and hazy, sometimes even sad – with many experiencing January blues following the end of winter’s festivities, waiting for the hope of spring. This seems apt, given that January was named after the Roman god Janus, whose two faces look backward for reflection and resolution, and forward to new beginnings. A more encouraging perspective could be to think of January for dreaming, February for doing.

The second month of the year is short and sweet – and one of the biggest floral moments at The Floristry because of Valentine’s Day. While there are countless stories around the holiday’s origins, the most romantic and real belong to the natural world. By the end of January in the UK, mistle thrushes start to sing their wistful song, designed to attract a mate and maintain the bond throughout February’s breeding season. Around the same time, peach-faced lovebirds – named for the affection they show their life-long partner – begin their courtship by nesting. And towards the end of February, wild primroses appear, representing the passionate declaration of new love.


Discover our latest floral installation at our Gough Street store. An ode to rose this season the Meadow Room is awash with these romantic blooms in a flurry of blushing pinks.


This sense of newness will be felt throughout the month, as we welcome the dynamic, spontaneous energy of the Water Tiger on 1 February. We’ll be celebrating the Lunar New Year by filling our home with red flowers and gold decorations. On the menu: the Five Seasons TCM recipe for ingot-shaped lamb dumplings, flavoured with Chinese chive, ginger, shiitake, oyster mushroom, garlic and onion; and Sichuan Tiger-Tail cocktails – bartender Tui Te Kaaho’s LNY take on the Michelada.


While it may still feel like we’re in the grip of winter, the beginning of the year brings plenty for woodland foragers to find. Show yourself some love by seeking out ingredients for cleansing teas, from nettle leaves – a symbol of women’s domestic magic that’s rich in iron, and vitamins A and D – to dandelion flowers, revered for their healing properties.

London-based, Qatari-American artist Sophia Al-Maria considers the dandelion an emblem of freedom and resistance. There’s still time to see her collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, UK: described as a ‘meditative place’, taraxos is an interactive sculpture, inspired by the dandelion, exploring the seeding of new ideas, kinship, breathwork and abolitionist thinking (open until 24 April 2022).


It is said that Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record Valentine’s Day as a romantic celebration in 1375, and in 1477, Margery Brews from Norfolk wrote the earliest-known letter addressed to a ‘beloved Valentine’. In honour of this 545-year-old tradition, we’ve collaborated with São Paulo-based artist and illustrator Karen Suehiro in creating a new message card to accompany our flowers, inspired by the season of love.

For those who adore the written word, we recommend gifting Huma Qureshi’s Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love (Sceptre), a moving collection of stories about our most intimate relationships, or Open, the debut memoir from Rachel Krantz (Harmony), exploring love, lust and liberation. And for nature lovers, simply look to our Valentine’s Day edit of wild-inspired gifts.


These themes of self-reflection and fresh starts can be felt throughout nature – especially in the night skies. The transition from the Wolf Moon on 17 January to the Snow Moon on 16 February takes us through the cold season and towards the beginning of spring. The symbol of the wolf reminds us that even in the harshest conditions, if we come together as a pack, we can not only survive, but thrive.

A sign of opportunity: the planet of expression, relationships and father to Cupid, Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon on the morning of 16 February. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise, when the new day begins.