If flowers are your thing, and even if they’re not, Annabelle Hickson's new book will change the way you think about them.
Not only does she make the concept, art and practice of flower arranging accessible to everyone, she encourages us to embrace often overlooked home decorating heroes of found flowers, foliages and vessels that will lend themselves to making a home more beautiful.
A strong advocate of making the best of what’s in front of you (a girl after our own heart), Annabelle has delighted us on Instagram for many years as we’ve watched her life in the country burgeon and grow into something truly beautiful to behold – much like the dahlias she says may not have reached their full potential.
We think Annabelle is well on the way to reaching hers, and the results are not only a delight to behold, but beg to be adopted, embraced and incorporated into our own daily lives.
Here, we take a little extract from her lovely book to whet your floral appetite.
"One of the greatest joys of playing and experimenting with flowers is that it opens your eyes to the beautiful things growing around you. The ones that are already there, doing their thing, that you didn’t have to buy or water or prune. You start to notice them. Like words whose meaning you’ve just learnt (nadir and akimbo), you start, as if by magic, to see them everywhere.
And the more you think about flowers on the home front, the more you start to see the outside world through a kind of flower filter. You pay attention to what nature is doing around you, and even to bits and pieces beyond the natural world. Old, rusty buckets morph from junk destined for the tip into the perfect vessel for the mass of jasmine hanging over Mr Smith’s fence, which you will pinch in the dead of night.
There are writers who say that one of the greatest unexpected consequences of writing is that you become a better reader. Just as, I would say, playing and working with flowers can help you become a better observer of the natural world. Anything that helps you focus on what is beautiful and interesting in your daily life, when so much can feel repetitive and mundane and ordinary, is worthy of celebration. Reverence, even.
So if, like me, there is a terse and rather annoying voice in your head that often yells ‘Put down the flowers and do something useful with your life’, just ignore her and her arms akimbo. Continue to remove the thorns from your rose stem knowing you are onto a good thing; a practice that can bring meaning, beauty and cause for celebration into your everyday (and into that of those around you)," says Annabelle in her new book A Tree in the House.
To find out more about Annabelle's inspiring journey, her family life, flower how-tos and her stunning creations, pick up a copy of her new book – we're sure you'll love it as much as we did.
A Tree in the House by Annabelle Hickson published by Hardie Grant Books ($50) is available now.
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