Sending the Earth a ‘get well soon’ wish on this 51st Earth Day — why we welcome today's reminder of the importance of our own actions on the environment.
The quest for the perfect flower.
The floral industry has a delicate balance to achieve. On one hand, our goal is to create beautiful, inspirational, floral works. At the same time, we are highly dependent on the natural environment for our fresh flowers. Our success is particularly reliant on the well-being of the planet, and its ability to thrive for a very long time.
Social media is a great ambassador to the beautiful world of rare and lovely blooms, showcasing floral art on a global scale. There is growing appreciation of nature’s most beautiful fresh flowers – no longer does one have to travel to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show (or other similar world event) to be under the “floral spell”.
The Artisan Gardens pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which presents British-grown flowers and plants, plays an important role in highlighting local species to British society. In contrast to this exhibit, the inclusive, “from anywhere” nature of Instagram, Pinterest and other visual social media outlets, connects us all and makes the perfect flower accessible.
Related: 3 of Nature’s Most beautiful Fresh Flowers to remind us of the importance of the planet’s wellbeing.
A flower’s footprint.
But what impact does this have on supporting local blooms and producers? How does this play into our individual role in preserving the earth’s ability to continue to produce beautiful blooms?
As both a small urban flower farm, and a student in the world of floristry, its particularly interesting for me to consider the journey a flower makes to become part of a luxury floral arrangement.
Did it travel from halfway across the planet? Was it exposed to fertilizer or pest control pesticides? How much water and other resources were needed for it to grow? What is the carbon footprint of this product? And are our gardening activities replenishing or depleting the earth’s nutrients?
When I think about the growing time flowers featured in my work need (90 to 120 days), and the amount of precipitation we receive here in Calgary (an average of 415mm per year), the volume of water needed to produce each bloom is high. This makes me wonder if ‘local’ flower production is enough to ensure the well-being of our environment. Perhaps I should be exploring how I grow both local and low-footprint flowers.
Image above features Itoh Peonies, Garden Roses and Antique Tulips, photo by Modern Flowers Ltd.
What can I do to?
At times if I’m being honest, it feels overwhelming on how a tiny farm and floral artist can make a difference in the overall wellbeing of the earth. This seems like such a big, daunting and impossible endeavour. But then I take a deep breath, and consider the small steps I can take each day to contribute to big world changes.
As a gardener, these steps include draught resistant plantings, mulched flower beds to retain moisture and absorb warmth, drip irrigation to reduce water usage, living soil biology to become independent of fertilizer and other chemicals, featuring flower species native to this climate.
In my floral products, small strategies include planning for raw materials needed with on-demand purchasing of fresh flowers eliminate potential waste, using recyclable packaging materials, and supporting local growers and ceramic or glassware artists.
Sending the earth a “get well soon” wish on Earth Day 2021.
One thing I know for sure is that the wellbeing of our planet is essential to our industry’s success. On this Earth Day 2021, I hope our local, organic farming and water-wise efforts are enough to swing the pendulum towards environment health. Today we are joining the collective in sending a “feel better soon” to the planet. We will continue to surround ourselves in natural beauty as a reminder on how much we depend on the environment for our survival.
Image above features Italian Ranunculus, Garden Roses and Antique Tulips, photo by Modern Flowers Ltd.
Up Next: Let’s all agree about Flower Foam
For inspiration on beautiful fresh flowers, visit www.modern-flowers.com.