When the small things are little

Recently I had an idea for one of my outdoor tiles that I wanted to try out. Working with different mediums is a great way to see the world with a new perspective- even the world of your garden, balcony or city block. I wanted to make a daisy chain. I haven’t made one since I did it with my girls- sitting in the bright sunshine, in the middle of a field on a summer day. Aahh those wonderful memories…

Anyway, I saw that the neighbour down the block had lots of daisies in his lawn and boulevard. But because I didn’t want to knock on his door to ask if I could pick some, I kept walking to the shared space in the median between two quiet streets. It’s like a platform for a beautiful tree with daisies growing in the grass around it. I picked them in the evening which meant that they were closed. Once home, I found a little vase that I had bought at a garage sale for maybe a dollar, not much more. In the morning, I noticed that they had all opened with the light of the day, and then later they closed again at night.

Given that I own an urban flower farm and I grow, arrange and sell lots of flowers every day, I still find these small beauties, well, special, even enchanting.

As I write this, they are still happy in this little vase for what has been almost a week.

My daughter Ilse May is remembered by her friends for making little daisy chains even as an adult. In fact must it be only for children? Or perhaps playful adults….

I will make my daisy chain and then I will play with it in my studio, using it in a botanical outdoor tile.

When you make a tile out of plaster of paris, after it has dried, you can varnish it so that it can decorate an outdoor part of your garden or patio. This will seem obvious when you read this, but it is the design thing that you need to consider: the bigger the flowers, leaves, grasses that you want to use- the bigger the tile needs to be. This means both the heavier it will be and also the more space you need to display it. I live in a family of creatives, and so wall space inside and out is somewhat at a premium. Also, I make smaller tiles because they are great to make for gifts– and I don’t like to give anything that is too big lest it be a burden that my friend will need to carry as she looks for a big space… This is why I am attracted to smaller tiles, smaller flowers, twigs and leaves.

It’s also because small things often get over-looked. They can seem insignificant in an urban flower farm like mine. But actually they are a small flower with the significant memories of cosy times with Ilse – my girls and my own childhood.

By the way, the next day when I passed that neighbour’s house with the thousands of daisies in his lawn…they were all gone, every. last. one after he cut and manicured his lawn. Guess, I really could have asked.

If you are interested in coming to a fun workshop to learn how to make these botanical outdoor tiles in a garden setting- click below for more information, dates and to sign-up.

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