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Embrace the “cottagecore” aesthetic. Escape from modernism and take a break from too much fuss when it comes to flowers.

What does this mean exactly? Rustic, shabby-chic décor is not only a la mode, but it’s all over the internet and jettisoning from pages of magazines to the homes and apartments of young twenty-somethings who long for the simple life. This idyllic style of flower beds galore, winding brambles, hanging wisteria, garden gnomes, and overflowing pitchers of wildflowers have consumed a culture. So go ahead and use old watering cans (or coffee cans) and wooden apple crates as planters. Fill mason jars with flowers you’ve picked from the forest or field and let the petals haphazardly fall onto the kitchen table. It’s a beautiful, bucolic, laissez-faire lifestyle!

“Most of the dandelions had changed from suns into moons.”
–Vladimir Nabokov

  • Embrace the weeds. Dandelions… or “wishers” as every child refers to them (when turned to seed) can be a pest for a well-kept yard but turn any field or meadow into a gauzy paradise filled with as many wishes to be made as are candles on a birthday cake when one has lived to be very old.

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” –Herman Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

  • Did you know that “Forest bathing” is a practice recently raved about by the New Yorker? “The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku—literally translated as ‘forest bathing’—is based on a simple premise: immerse yourself in the forest, absorb its sights, sounds, and smells, and you will reap numerous psychological and physiological benefits.” Go ahead and take a walk in the forest, enjoy the spring and summer blossoms; there’s always beauty to be found. Sometimes there’s nothing more poetic than a field of clover and wild-blooming buttercups.
  • Don’t forget to look for Queen Anne’s Lace, dogwood trees, red buds, and vines covered with honeysuckle. Some even pick their own wisteria or honeysuckle brambles and create their own wreaths. Take a basket with you on your forest walks and collect flowers for whimsical bouquets and arrangements.

Chelsea Flowers: Pastoral Perfection

  • Soft Pink Rose: There’s nothing more pastoral than soft pink-petalled roses, blushing pink berries, and sweet peas.

  • Spring Garden: Hand-tied hydrangeas, roses, orchids, and peonies: these beauties make a statement but are still modest and, of course, reminiscent of the ideal spring garden!

  • Spring Tulips: There’s nothing more “cottagecore” than planting and enjoying blossoms that have bloomed from a bulb and come back year after year.

For more information on fabulous flowers from Chelsea Flowers mentioned in this blog, check out the website and the following links:

To read more about forest bathing or “shinrin-yoku,” consult the New Yorker magazine at the link below:

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