When I first began gardening, I must confess, my mind was wholly on growing fresh vegetables for our family to get stuck into. I thought that a practical garden was one that would fill our bellies, enhance our food quality and nourish our bodies.
I became keen to grow flowers when I learned that it would draw pollinators to the garden, and could contribute to us obtaining even more bountiful food. So away I went and got a lovely cottage and native garden growing, right outside my door. I grew flowers everywhere, even amongst the vegetables and down our utilitarian driveway.
After only a short while I began to fall in love with flowers, and even started to like them as much as the veggies. Shocker, right! I found botanicals that I could grow like Rose Scented Geranium and Lavender, so I could craft soaps. Clary Sage, so that could make nature wand smudges and get rid of nasty smells in the home. I added them to vinegars to make lovely scented sprays for the kitchen counter, even warmed up simmer pots on the fire for natural aromatherapy around the home.
Suddenly, flowers had so much value and I realised they too had uses for around the home. There was also the mental health benefits that come with growing and enjoying flowers outdoors and bringing them inside. Sometimes its just nice for your brain to sit and look at a pretty flower. A beautiful flower has immeasurable value really if it puts you in a better mood.
While its nice to go into a florist and buy a bunch for yourself or a friend, its also important to know, like with everything, the flower industry has been systemised. Many of our flowers are shipped in from Europe, its not hard to get any flower you want through any season of the year now. Just like vegetables, I feel flowers that are in season should be enjoyed while they are in fact in season. I want to know where the local flowers are, the slow flowers, the flowers grown up the road, not in Holland.
Here in our rural spot, there are flower farmers all around us, and they are doing magnificent things. They are growing everything from Australian natives to cottage and dried flowers. The variety being grown just locally around these parts are astounding. Its heartening to know I could reach out and get local flowers when I want them, and many of the local florists in our towns are supporting this too.
Sometimes little family-owned flower farms also sell seeds and bulbs or tubers, and this has been wonderful as I’ve added many flowers to my own garden when they are on sale to the public.
The verdict is, I have been growing masses of flowers for gift giving, the kitchen table and soap making for nearly 3 years now. Flowers are as much important to me now as all those delicious vegetables that I grow. They are all lovely useful crops, feeding our bodies and minds.
This article contains photos of only a fraction of the flowers that I have grown for my table or friends and family birthday’s and occasions over the last year. I actually cannot believe the amount of flowers that have been available to me. Even in winter I can always manage 2 vases per week for our sweet country home. Taking a small floristry workshop locally can also be a great way to enhance the look of a handmade bouquet, so you can decorate and make lovely floral centrepieces and arrangements for everyone.
Growing the good things is always the best idea!