PART 2 -Floral Healing Through Preparation

This is a four-part series on DIY flower arrangements and the mental benefits of floral therapy.

Part 1 – Introduction to the Power of Flowers
Part 2 – Floral Healing through Preparation
Part 3 – The Art of Ikebana
Part 4 – The Meditative Reflection of Flower Petal Mandalas

How to Pick Your Flowers for Floral Therapy

Here are three ways you can pick your flowers for your flower arrangements.

Two hands amongst small white flowers

1. Forage Your Own Local Seasonal Floras

If you are in an environment where you can go pick your own flowers, it’s highly recommended to venture outdoors. Studies show that being out in nature, even for a little bit, can have numerous mental and physical benefits. Picking your own local seasonal flowers also helps from an ecological standpoint. Similar to the slow food movement, a movement called snow flowers is emerging as the floral industry grows into an international mass-producing market. It’s the idea that sourcing your flowers local in consideration with the flower’s natural bloom cycle keeps carbon footprints low, contributes to sustainability, and promotes ethical business practices within the floral industry. This means both you and nature can mutually benefit from floral therapy by choosing to forage wildflowers in the area.

2. Choose by Color

A hand holding multi-colored leaves

Perhaps you are looking to convey specific mood effects from your floral selections via color. In that case, I recommend a read through The Subconscious Mind and Effects of Different Colors. This article will help you pick and maximize specific color benefits. Vivid bright colors will boost your mood, while low saturated colors may give you a sense of relaxation. Often, your gut intuition will guide you to the color you most need in your life right now. If you need a little more help in visualizing color combinations, use sites like Adobe Color where you can use a color wheel. It can even extract color palettes by uploading your favorite image.

3. Choose by Flower Meaning

A book filled with floral postcards

Flowers have had their own symbolism and language throughout history. In the Victorian era, they were used as a common language to discretely send messages to each other. Flowers effectively served as a symbolism of one’s feelings, like letters, with complex meanings conveyed through details on how the flowers were being handed. Similarly, flowers have been used in paintings to reference spiritual and emotional meanings by many painters. Each culture can interpret the same flower in different ways, just like the meaning of colors can vary depending on where you are in the world. Articulating the meanings to your flower arrangements will add another level of depth. If you deliberately choose flowers that overall create a positive message, it can act as an encouragement and reminder when you look at it.

A potted plant placed on a desk with a computer and notebook

Additional Tips for DIY Floral Therapy:

  • Along with your flowers, make sure to pick out some other floral elements such as leafy branches, vines, or fancy ornamental grasses if you can. These pieces will help you create a more dynamic design beyond your traditional round bouquet.
  • If you still need help picking flowers, you can always visit your local flower shop and see if a florist could give you advice. Ask what flowers are in season, which one’s last long, and perhaps for some color coordination help.

How to Choose the Perfect Vase for Floral Therapy

Vases as interior decor.

The vase will be the foundation of your flower arrangements, a key piece contributing to the overall aesthetics in the end. The choice can be as easy as reusing a glass wine bottle or a thoughtful process of picking something you would consider an art piece on its own. Either way, choose something that sparks joy just by looking at it. That way, when you are too busy to display flowers, they still function as an interior object that beautifies your space. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to afford a vase, don’t worry. In Part 4, we have flower arrangements that won’t require any vase at all!

Recycled Materials and Thrifting

Recycled glassware as flower vases

Don’t feel overwhelmed about choosing a vase. It can be as easy as finding something in your cupboard. For the frugal, eco-conscious, or the person who’s always on the move, I recommend finding your perfect vase from recycled materials or thrift shops. An article by Chemical & Engineering News mentions that only one-third of the annual 10 million metric tons of glass waste in America gets recycled. A used wine bottle, jar, glass cup, or thrifted piece is an excellent choice to exercise eco-friendly practice while being economically kind to your wallet. Don’t underestimate the beautiful results these pieces can create, just because they’re easily affordable. This display base also matches with rustic, industrial, or vintage interior looks.

Choose by Aesthetics

Flowers in a glass jar placed on a dining table next to a phone

Are you committed to investing in a unique piece that functions as a beautiful interior object, or do you know precisely the kind of flower arrangement aesthetics you’re going for? If you are a busy person constantly on the run, perhaps you want to use a few simple flowers with a minimal look. In that case, get a vase with a narrow opening. If you want dynamic flower arrangements to make a significant impression, then you’d want a vase with a wider mouth to fit in all your florals. The length, color, and material of the vase can all be parts for consideration. A vase that you truly love on its own as a decorative, upon gazing, gives our headspace a moment of pause to enjoy, relax, and trigger various emotions. Looking at art is proven to have physical benefits to your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels too. A stroll through your local art market or looking up designer’s and artist’s works will give you a wide variety of choices. An artful vase will surely reap positive benefits even when you don’t have time to place flowers in them.

Girl with a bouquet of flowers standing in front of a bridge

Now that you’ve given thorough consideration of your primary materials, it’s time to move on to the actual flower arrangements in Part 3- The Art of Ikebana!

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If you’re looking for more tips on how to care for your mental health, check out some of our past blog posts!