The obvious answer is that I love flowers, think they are pretty and enjoy arranging them. I love how they create movement in an arrangement and in nature. I am drawn to the flowers that have the odd colors and I am always most in love with the flower that is not perfect to a standard definition. But it holds true to perfection of it's own definition.
This is what I could say and end it there. However, that's not the whole story. I have a large interest that lies in natural remedies, herbal uses of flowers, how flowers sustain wild life and even human kind. I bought a book when I was in high school of all these recipes on how to make your own essential oils, body scrubs, rubs, washes and such, all focusing on the flower. Perhaps, that is where my passion for flowers originated from.
I am sitting here now in the dark because I am being lazy and I rather spend my time being invested in trying to write this post before my daughter wakes up. It's the love of flowers that keeps me working in the field. I work with flowers because of there ability to not only inspire and create beauty, but also because they are essential in keeping this world healthy, happy and alive.
As with most people in this field, the wedding and event production work is our bread and butter and it really has become the most exciting part of our work. We at Foxglove love working with people to express there love and we also rely on these events to keep our businesses running and even then we struggle to make ends meet sometimes. It is easy to get bogged down with the not so glamorous side of the flower world. So often people see instagram photos of us playing with flowers all day in beautifully lit rooms. But most of our days are spent on a computer, or paying taxes or running around hauling heavy vases and boxes. Through all of this day to day business I have to carve out time to be thoughtful and inquisitive. I want to remember why I am passionate about flowers and plants. What is it about flowers that gets people excited. Florists aren't the only people that choose to surround their lives with flowers. What about the herbalists, the product makers, the foodies that incorporate flowers into their everyday work, and what about you? Why do you love flowers? Not to mention the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and countless other creatures that rely on flowers to survive.
If you keep an eye on our journal, we together can find out the whys and hows of flowers.
Let's explore the companies and people that rely on flowers and along the way we will learn other uses, diys and inspirations that flowers bring. I want to provide as much as I can so that perhaps you can also look at flowers like I do. When you hold that bouquet, or you see that centerpiece, I hope that you can enjoy knowing what types of flowers there are and why they are so important to this world.
And so, we explore our first company. If you have any companies that you want us to look into, or any subjects that deal with flowers, please drop me a line. I want to explore this with you.
I came across Wooden Spoon Herbs while going down a rabbit hole on Instagram. I am not even sure how I got there, but I fell in love with the passion that Lauren, owner of WSH, has for all things nature, with her focus in flowers. I think I have some witchy ways because I have always been so intrigued by potions, elixirs and natural healing. I noticed that she uses flowers in her products and it seemed that she was really in tune with the natural world.
So I reached out to her and asked her a bit about herself, her company and the importance that flowers have on her life.
We also have a DIY for you!! I think it's important to support those who make, but also, to know how to make yourself and this Essence seems like something you can only do for yourself.
This is Lauren:
How did you get into herbalism | Flower Elixirs and natural healing?
For me, herbalism is the perfect synergy of radical activism, art, healing, and nature. I really started down this path once I realized the abundance of beautiful medicinals all around us, in cities or in the countryside. Most people are completely unaware of how simply they can connect with the earth and heal that relationship, and in turn, their bodies. I want to help bridge this gap, and make both knowledge and beautiful high-quality wildcrafted medicines available to my community, both locally and globally.
What did you do before you started your company?
This and that. I went to college, got a journalism degree, and wrote freelance for a while. Then, burnt out on that, I worked at a health food store, where I was really introduced to the vast array of plant medicines and how to use them. Most recently, I worked at a wonderful farm-to-table cafe in North Chattanooga, where I was afforded tremendous opportunity and creativity blending the herbal teas served at the restaurant.
Can you give us a brief history of yourself (where are you from? Were you into natural healing, flowers and herbs when you were younger?)
I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is where I live now. It is a beautiful city nestled in a valley in the foothills of the southern Appalachian mountains. My family has been here for at least 4 generations. Family histories are a bit hazy on my paternal side, but I'm pretty sure we came over as Scots-Irish immigrants many moons ago. Maternally I am an Eastern European Jew. I feel rich with healing heritage on both sides. As a child, I was obsessed with animals and animal rights. I advocated for a vegetarian diet, and even struggled with the concept of eating living plants. I have always held that empathy close to my heart, and never connected with the humancentric paradigm. I knew nothing of plants healing capacities until my twenties, but always felt that deep kinship as I do still.
What inspires you to create what you create?
Necessity inspires me. We need plant medicine so badly in our society, and to me that means seeing the process through from seed to end product and beyond. I aim to create a beautiful supply chain of love and support - support for medicinal herb farmers, support for the plants, and support for the customers. Obviously the plants inspire me, and often times I am just doing their bidding.
What's your favorite flower(s) that you use and why?
That's such a tough question! I often feel compelled to say violets, though I also love white coneflowers and purple echinacea, too. One of my favorite flowers of all time is comfrey's flower. And Oregon Grape flower. This list could continue infinitely. I think, at the end of the day, I love what I do because I am working with so many flowers!
How do you feel flowers are most important to the world?
Flowers heal the spirit on every level. I can't imagine a world without them! Their energies are unparalleled.
If you were to grow your own perfect cutting garden, what flowers and herbs would be a must?
Well, it would have to be a huge garden! Roses, peonies, white coneflowers, comfrey, yarrow, snapdragon, elderflower, witchhazel, hollyhock, brugmansia, dahlias, foxglove, nasturtium, saffron crocus, poppies, coreopsis, and sunflowers. To name a few.
Where can we find you?
Thanks for asking! You can find me on Instagram: @woodenspoonherbs. You can find me at several Chattanooga restaurants and juice bars, online, or at the Main Street Farmer's Market. I am teaching a handful of Spring workshops at a local farm, with more planned later in the year. Soon I will be on Facebook... just trying to work up the nerve. A complete list of my stockists is available on my website!
-- HOW TO MAKE A FLOWER ESSENCE --
Flower essences are the preserved energetic impressions of the flower you are working with. The work on a subtle energetic level, helping to correct imbalances in your behavior and thus set you on a path to greatness. In many European countries, doctors prescribe flower essences to their patients. You can find many wonderful flower essence makers practicioners in the US, or make your own. It's easy!
small crystal or glass bowl
spring, well, or rain water
flowers you feel connected to
a cloudless sunny day
1. Find a spot near your flower where no shadows will be cast
2. put your water-filled bowl here
3. take two leaves or twigs from the plant and use them to carefully get the flowers in the water. don’t touch the flowers if possible.
4. sit and commune with the plant for awhile. see what the plant has to say to you.
5. leave the flower remedy in the arc of the sun, ideally from morning to late afternoon, or sometimes night.
6. when the time comes, strain your essence into a sterilized glass jar. add an equal amount of preservative, either alcohol, vinegar, or glycerine.
7. label this as your mother essence of whatever flower you used.
8. To make the stock bottle, fill a sterilized dropper bottle full of your preservative of choice. add two drops of your flower essence, or each essence in your formula.
9. to make the dosage bottle, fill a sterilized bottle with one teaspoon preservative and the rest water. add two drops from stock bottle.
10. Voila! now take your essence daily and see how it treats you!