I went a little camellia and magnolia crazy this winter. The magnolia is no surprise; but the camellia... I hadn't been in California at this time of year in a while, and forgot how insanely amazing these beauties are. The real winter rose. Camellia plants like to explode with blooms; the bushes/trees- whatever you want to call them- were covered in pink, white, stripes, deep fuchsia/red. It's incredible.
Lately I have been working on so much restaurant/hotel stuff that I haven't had enough time to work with flowers. (At the moment, I am helping with my family's business- organizing, restructuring, remodeling etceteraaaaaaAHHHHH). AH for real. It's intense, and while I miss working with flowers, I am also really excited about the changes that are coming for the hotel and restaurant. !!!!! And I'm adding to my GIRLBOSSness and learning some hardcore lessons in business and life.
It's a bit ( hmm, very) stressful because it's a steep learning curve and a million other things I won't go into (mortgages & operating agreements?! no thanks). Since I haven't been able to work with flowers lately, I have been enjoying daily twilight walks, during which I drool over all the crazy Los Angeles plant life. Succulents are blooming like I've never before noticed; the rain followed by sudden heat has made the wisteria go bonkers....eucalyptus trees and their fuzzy bright blooms, passion vine. It's all too much, and I am scheming and planning the first garden I will plant in my adult life (how is it even possible that I haven't yet done that?!). Not working with flowers gives me space to think about why I like them so much (& long for them). For me, they are healing (slippery slope, here I aaaaaam, riding the avalanche). They're so real and unreal and they make me feel connected to the present and at the same time in tune with some magical otherness. (I think they do it to us all, even if you're not aware of it). They mark the seasons and if you pay attention to them even just a little, they can add smell and shape your memories and periods in your life. In my dreams, I create an epic, large, wild garden where I host events that are all about flowers and food, and where people come to play with flowers and chill.
When I was in Boston, I met one of the head gardeners of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Taylor Johnston. She is so inspiring. Warm soul. After a degree in horticulture, some time working at flowers farms and botanical gardens, she got a Master's in Philosophy, and then went back to working as a gardener. I love her perspective and thoughts on gardening, plants and flowers, and I wish I could really describe it here for you. Formalism and informalism, communicating the ethereal, the special and the extraordinary; perfectionism; sustainability vs. artful choices. What an inspiring visit.
Just layin' it out on the table.
aaaand that concludes my Friday-night-fried-brain philosophy session.