Friday, January 19, 2018

making a golden flower crown

There was this little magical moment not so long ago. I was wandering through the forest with the big girls, taking photos for my blog and their Instagrams, when Miss Pepper rode her bike down to see what we were up to. The light through the trees was golden, the air was still and sparkly, and we laughed, told stories and joked around with each other as the sun slowly set on the day.

And after a while, when we were finished taking photos, we looked over to see Pepper picking a small posy of little yellow flowers from the forest floor.

I've been thinking a lot about growing flowers lately. While I start the first module of my flower farming course, while I wander through the rows of flowers we planted in the garden, while I spend time each day investigating the progress of every variety, while I cut big bunches for the house and for friends and family, while I water, and deadhead, and stake, and tie, and watch.

Why do I want to grow flowers? What sort of flowers do I want to grow? How big an area do I want to devote to flowers? What will I do with all the flowers?

So far I haven't been able to quantify or clarify my answers. Growing flowers doesn't seem to make sense in my head. But my heart is another story entirely.

Growing flowers and slowly becoming a flower farmer is about a feeling. It's about beauty and luxury and treats and colours. It's about slowing our world down for a little while and getting caught up in the moment. It's about each emerging stem and leaf and petal. It's about falling in love with growing all over again.

I have a residual fear left over from our big farming days of putting a price tag on something I love, and turning it into a business. The spreadsheets and the invoicing and the price tags and the competition, still fill me with dread. And while I do want to take responsibility for my seed buying obsession and for all the time it takes us to grow them, I need to find a way to stay pure and true to the love of it, while slowly working out a way to help them pay for themselves and for us.

So I'm allowing myself to take baby steps, to take several weeks to complete the first week's module. Because I want this part of my farming journey to stay simple and filled with heart.

I want to lose myself in the moment of watching my smallest picking stalky green stems from the forest floor. I want to hear her talk about the ooze that comes from those stalks and sticks tacky to her fingers. I want to take hold of each blossom she passes me and braid them into a crown. I want to sit there for a moment longer. Just because. Just because I don't want this precious time to end.

And as I braid the little yellow flowers, I want to admire my hands that have their own strength and memory from years of hair and garlic braiding. I want to immerse myself in the joy and chatter going on around me as my girls wait. I want to feel totally unselfconscious as they take my camera and turn it on me. I want to watch the late afternoon sunlight stream in from behind them as they take turns trying the crown on after I've finished it. Posing and laughing, feeling the glow of the warm summer's night.

I truly believe that flowers must be filled with magic, and I love the dream of growing many and spreading that magic around, I just have to find a way to hold onto it while letting a little bit of real life in. I hope it's possible. I really hope I can balance it.

Do you have any thoughts about merging dreams with reality?
Do you think it's possible to hold onto the love and magic of a thing while also getting it to pay its own way?
Would you buy flowers from a farm gate stall? A market stall? A supermarket? A florist?

Wishing you all a magical weekend.

Love Kate x


  1. Maybe just grow the flowers and give instructions how to make your own crown! People love simple and easy directions x

  2. Maybe just grow and sell enough flowers to allow you to grow more flowers for your heart.
    I only buy flowers from driveway stalls and farmers market.
    Those pictures are beautiful and that crown is gorgeous.
    Cheers Kate

  3. I think I am in a similar spot as you. I've tried to turn all sorts of things I love into a job. And as soon as I did that, all the magic was lost. This year I am also looking into how to keep the magic but also put bread on the table.

  4. I really really love flowers....The magic is in the flowers, the love is in creating this magic......i buy flowers from a little stall outside a home in daylesford....dahlias, jonquils, daffodils, proteas...they are only available with the seasons, limited quantity, grown right there and to me, very special. You could sell flowers with your apples......a bag of apples and bunch of flowers.....just enough to recoup seed as it is a labour of love....and you could easily trade flowers for what you hours work in your garden, artichokes, honey - the list is endless (see Matt and Lentil from Grown and Gathered) and what about scent extraction???.....and then just fill your house with the rest..........ahhh the magic and wisdom of flowers.......xxoo

  5. Hello lovely Kate! Maybe it's about pace and intention....I am at a very experimental, playful and joyful stage in my creative dream and journey. My aim is to make a living from it but I am going at a steady pace to make sure that it comes from a place of love and happiness. I am letting my heart rule and my mind knows that so they are working together I feel. I came up with a few slogans! A wise mind houses the heart, A wise heart knows it's own mind.....I know that there will be moments my mind and heart may not feel so in tune but I am hopeful!.....I would definitely buy flowers from a farm gate stall and would much prefer that than a supermarket. Lots of love Kate, I hope you find that balance. I'm so looking forward to hearing about your course! Lucy xxxxxxxx

  6. What a wonderful post. I'm also trying to pursue a dream of a sort, and figuring out how to let real life in but not let it become overwhelming and make everything pragmatic and dull. I think you're right that the heart knows.

  7. Dear dear Kate,
    Thank you for your wonderful blog.
    I just love it!
    I had to comment on this post because it came as I finished reading your blog, I don't mean reading this post but...
    Reading The Whole Blog.
    From Start To Finish.
    I have really loved seeing all the stages of the blog, from your girls when they were diddy, you starting to knit (my own obsessional craft!) the crochet, the sewing, the farmer boy carving, the cooking, the flowers, the farmers garden and of course all the wonderful farming!!!! Did I forget anything??
    I'm sad I can't read through several pages of your wonderful blog at the same sitting but I'm looking forward to each Friday!! Roll on the next one!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you
    And keep writing!!!!!!!!
    Much love

  8. There is so much magic in doing something you love and earning a living from it. For years I worked in conservation and had so many days out in the bush somewhere when I had to remind myself that this was actually my job! I couldn't believe I was being paid to do something I really loved. Now I have a family and an office job - still in conservation but different from before. Like you, just feeling my way along. I once worked for a commercial flower grower - it didn't have any magic because they used spray on the crops ( I quit that job!). It has always left me wondering why flowers aren't grown organically more - I am sure people would be horrified to know what chemicals are on that bunch of flowers on their dining room table.
    If you had organic flowers I would buy them anywhere!
    Jo x

  9. this was beautiful...both the images and your words. <3

  10. That pic of Indi with the flower crown and sun flare - just stunning!

    Oh I do hope people will buy flowers from a farm gate as we hope to do that one day too! I know I certainly would. I can't wait to put the little posies together for it - even though we're yet to plant flowers and build a farm gate! Ha - gotta dream right :-)

    I remember a dear Buddhist Monk telling me once that when you make an offering of food you are giving good health, and when you make an offering of flowers, you are giving joy. I think of that everytime I give someone flowers, I'm wishing joy for them and hopefully creating a little for them via the flowers. It's so true, flowers are totally magical and truly healing.

    I find too much reality can create a lot of doubt chatter in my head, so I prefer to keep my head in the clouds - an my nose in the flowers! I'm convinced passions pursued by the pure motivation of heart brings success. I'd say keep being guided by your heart and how they will pay for themselves will likely slowly unfold in quiet moments and walks and flower crown making sessions xx

  11. I will stop my car for flowers! Whether that be a paddock of sunflowers in a field under a blue sky, a random wildflower I spot on the road or a sweet bunch at a roadside stall. I love to marvel at their petals, look into their centres and smell their beautiful perfumes. I don't feel the same about supermarket flowers, often there's very little variety and very little perfume, nothing random or tangled or a little wild in the arrangements on offer. I hope you will find a way to make your flower dreams and reality merge because that would be truly lovely. Meg Xx

  12. Good luck with the flower adventure! I've never been able to find the balance.(The closest I've came is selling the surplus.) I would buy flowers from a farm gate, sadly I've not came across any, but I do buy them at supermarkets and re-sale markets.

  13. Long time reader, and great appreciator of your blog. I just had to say that those portraits of your girls and your self and magic and beautiful - the light, the clarity and the naturalness. Truly great photos.

  14. StamiMax Then that little time passed as well as the focus Muscle Fitness shifted to ARod. We began to think Manny was squeaky neat and in the clear. At no more the day the muscle fitness regimen must not be at loggerheads with your sweet lie. In other words it is of absolute necessity that you see a good nights sleep.


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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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