Sheffield-based florist Anna Potter gives her best advice on how to bring more happiness into your life using your favourite blooms in her new book, The Flower Fix.
Who doesn’t love a flower? But floral fixes aren’t only great for gifts and decorating your home – they also have the power to improve your mood. Anna Potter’s exciting new book, The Flower Fix, details the wide range of benefits that come from filling your space with blossoms.
Anna is founder of Swallows & Damsons, a UK-based flower shop with a large following of more than 180,000 people on Instagram (follow @swallowsanddamsons). Her creations take inspiration from Dutch still life paintings and offer unique combinations of blooms that are not only arresting, they’re also transporting for the spirit.
Here, in a Healthista exclusive, Anna Potter shares her personal insights on how flowers can improve your mood – and your life.
1. To connect with nature’s rhythms
A delicate, fleeting flower such as simple stems of cherry blossoms in a vase in Japanese culture symbolise the fragility and beauty of life. Seen as a seasonal reminder of mortality, that life can be overwhelmingly beautiful yet on the flip side fleeting and short.
Throughout the winter the Sakura endures a host of unforgiving weather. With the seasonal shift from winter to spring the cherry blossoms emerge and for just a few short weeks the results from a years’ growth are in full splendour and celebrated. We are rewarded with the most delicately fragranced, humble yet exquisite flowering branches.
2. To boost energy
Display bright vibrant flowers in an abundance, especially big seasonal blooms tumbling out of the vase and making dramatic shapes that are bursting with life. For me, tulips in various colours and sizes, the way they dance and their stems bend and grow even when cut brings a burst of life and revitalises me.
3. To welcome guests
A scented warm bouquet of seasonal flowers like garden roses, jasmine and herbs in an everyday vessel, this could be something familiar and nostalgic that tells a story.
Sometimes how we mix beautiful stems of garden flowers and foliage with familiar scents such as herbs and then even one step further, objects from around the house such as jugs, figurines, books all can be added to a welcoming scene to greet friends and family.
4. To give a calming effect
Scented flowers such as lavender, chamomile and dille can be combined in a wild meadow-like bunch with other wispy foliages like thalapsi and grasses. Not only does the bouquet look like it’s been handpicked from a countryside walk it will also have the calming fragrance of lavender which can be used to reduce anxiety and help with sleep problems.
5. To celebrate
I love to combine all the dramatic show stoppers in one place for a celebration, party arrangement. June’s favourites exquisite iris and peony are a great example of what’s available at one given time, combined with garden roses, honeysuckle and foxgloves. There’s so much to look at and enjoy!
6. To reflect
Sometimes just a simple vase of one variety of flower that open from bud to full bloom and then shed their petals on the table or subtly change the colour can be the most quietly beautiful process to watch.
This quote says it wonderfully ”The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.” – Paul Coelho
7. For gratitude
A full overflowing arrangement of summer blooms, sunflowers, fruiting branches, roses and dahlias. We can work with gratitude for all of summer’s abundance and appreciation for the wealth of blooms and fruits in this garden arrangement.
Anna Potter founded her UK-based flower shop, Swallows and Damsons, in 2008. View more of her floral designs on the Swallows and Damson website. The Flower Fix (£20, White Lion Publishing, 2019) is available to buy on Amazon.