Working with nature as your canvas, it’s a relaxing way to flex your patience – perhaps even more so than any life drawing or pottery class. You resign to the natural colours and shapes of your flowers, banishing any inkling of perfectionism and abandoning the need for instant gratification to which we have become so accustomed, all in favour of a delightful waiting game.
Psychologists have found that creative activities can be used as a ‘distraction tool’ to block out stress and anxiety, a ‘self-development tool’ to build up self-esteem and inner strength, and a ‘contemplation tool’ to get the headspace to reflect on problems and emotions. But even simply being in the presence of flowers can improve our spirits as well. A Japanese study found that “viewing roses is a simple method for decreasing stress and improving the health of office workers.” The paper even goes on to say that “ever-increasing urbanization and job pressures have resulted in an overly stressed society far removed from potential calming effects of nature.” It really resonates, doesn’t it?
I have some purple, orange and blue pansies fluttering on my windowsill. It surprises me how dainty they are, considering they can thrive through the winter months. At this time of the year in the UK, they’re one of the first flowers to start springing up outside. But bright and with dainty petals, they make great flower pressing candidates, ideal for note cards and artworks. Irises, Cyclamen, snowdrops, daffodils and hellebores are other options.