On Flora & The Feminine
Spring means longer, brighter days. Things feel lighter and more hopeful. Throughout the months of March and April, communities around the world revel in the dawn of the Spring Equinox and show gratitude for the season’s great crop. Spring marks the perfect time to surround ourselves with colour by dotting flower jars around the home or visiting the latest exhibitions during Arts Month.
For our team at The Floristry, the season comes with countless flower-filled memories – from finding bluebells in Epping Forest to seeing narcissus, the national flower of Wales, growing in abundance throughout childhoods. Likewise, the woods and fields are filled with plants to forage. In the UK, we like to look for the fragrant gorse flower, which offers a coconut and almond flavour, great for making teas, wine or even ice cream; while in Hong Kong, tangy wood sorrel adds brightness, acidity and vitamin C to a dish. With the scent of sunkissed grass and dewy blossoms floating across the meadows, we can truly say that spring is in the air.
At The Floristry, the meadow is a constant source of inspiration in all seasons – none more so than in the spring. There’s something so special about being in these open spaces when the wildflowers bloom and the long grass grows against a perfect-blue sky. We chose flower-filled meadows as our backdrop for this season’s Story, Dreamnaissance, for this reason. A celebration of emergence and new beginnings, which immerses the viewer into a dream world of flowers and the feminine.
Six female figures are the focus of Sandro Botticelli’s painting ‘Primavera’ (c. 1480): Venus, the Three Graces, the nymph Chloris, and Flora the goddess of flowers and the season of spring. The epitome of a Botticelli woman, Flora is graceful, ethereal, romantic and mysterious, depicted in a floral crown and pure-white dress adorned with foliage, staring straight at the viewer while embracing her pregnant stomach. In ancient mythology, she was believed to have the power to make both nature and humans more fertile; for the Renaissance artist, perhaps Flora also represented fertility of knowledge.
This supposition reminds us of the poem ‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou, in which she writes: ‘Men themselves have wondered / What they see in me. / They try so much / But they can’t touch / My inner mystery.’ Just as wondrous as the first blossoms of spring, women are extraordinary, demonstrating strength and softness throughout history. In acknowledgement of this fact and to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, this season is filled with stories of inspiring women. Stay tuned for features on artist Ane Alfeiran and art director Alistair Casillas. Meanwhile, photographer and writer Kimberley Grant looks forward to spring escapes in our new series, Winding Roads.
It is also traditional to turn our attention towards the home in spring, clearing out clutter and welcoming new colour palettes to refresh our spaces. This sense of reinvigoration also applies to body and mind: we can spend more time outdoors, set fresh intentions or feast on the season’s fruits – the sweet candy-yellow of a slice of pineapple, the tart yet sugary taste of pink rhubarb.
Helping us find the joy in food and the healing benefits of herbs are TCM chef and nutritionist, Zoey Xinyi Gong; chef and writer, Maya Thomas; and herbalist, Brianna Cherniak: three of the four female entrepreneurs we’re celebrating this season for IWD. The fourth is Vivian Wong, founder of Wild Mint and the creative force behind some of our favourite aromatherapy blends.
With notes of fresh gardenia, our new Meadow Rising candle will bring the magic of the meadow and the joys of spring into your home – wherever you are in the world. So, gather friends and family, fill the table with flowers and ripe fruits, and celebrate the phenomenal feminine power within.
This fresh issue observes the welcome transition to a world in bloom. The time has again come to re-open ourselves to the wakening year, to look for signs of life unfurling in our environment and let these lead us outward, onward, into a new cycle of mysteries, strengthened by the revival of our own internal energies, while ever guided by the season’s familiar scents, sights and sounds.