It was around this time back in 2011 that I had my first paid floral order. It was a small order, 3 arrangements for a casual, catered dinner party. Needless to say, I was excited.
I researched and schemed. I gathered information and I was going to make these arrangements be the most beautiful flowers anyone had ever seen. Being as it was September, I choose to add some autumn hints, with browns and burgundy, a few sunflowers and some seeded eucalyptus. One large mantel display and two centerpieces later, I was almost pleased with myself. It was missing something…
So off I went for a walk. The perfect mix of green and yellow is what I sought and I found it easily within my reach, right in the comfort of my own yard. Now they were perfect. The foraged greens added the perfect amount of extra texture and completed my color palette.
Upon arrival with my arrangements, the secretary in charge of the dinner did not share my enthusiasm for the foraged greenery I was so proud of. In fact, other than some pleasantries about how nice it was to meet me, the only comment I heard about my flowers was “these greens, they look like they’re dead”.
I was mortified. I thought I had found a way for me to create; I thought I was stepping outside of the comforts and confines of a traditional floral shop and perhaps even finding my niche. I had always picked roadside blooms and other treasures for my garden, I didn’t see why I couldn’t do it even if I were selling the arrangements. And so I let one negative comment stop my vision of becoming a floral designer. Fear and judgment took over.
A year passed before I played with more flowers. And even then it was mostly for my own viewing pleasure. Her voice was always there, in the back of my head questioning my every move, every flower I choose and leaf I picked.
Today I would like to say “Pish Posh” to her. Her who had the audacity to question my art and pass criticism my way. Today I understand that negative criticism will always be lurking around the corner but I will press forward, maybe learning from my mistakes and maybe just taking it with a grain of salt.
“The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.” — I saw this quote last night and thought it was so fitting.
The above bouquet was 100% foraged from my garden and might include a couple of “weeds” from my yard, but I think it’s kind of lovely in its own spunky way. The picture was captured by Hetler Photography.0