My Beginnings as an Environmental Artist
When I think about the things in my life that have always been constant it’s nature and flowers, and my connections to them. Flowers have always been important, an easy way to bring nature into my home especially when I lived in the city. Going to the flower market was a special occasion, like going to church, the church of flowers. I was, and still am, intoxicated by their colours, shapes, fragrances, and ability to capture my heart and imagination.
I’d go home, heart full, with a precious offering for my home. I was horrified and devastated, to learn that the flowers I’d been buying every week at the flower market were grown, tens of thousands of miles from me, with pesticides and many times child labour. It was sad to make the choice not to buy these imported flowers any longer. It would take another couple of years before a solution presented itself.
One of my earliest memories is of walking to school and veering off the sidewalk, into people’s yards and picking flowers. I can still feel the sun on my face, hear the birds and see the cherry blossoms waving from the trees…and beautiful tulips and daffodils calling out to me from garden beds.
I’d arrive at my Grade Two classroom with a fist full of flowers for my teacher and a complete sense of oneness, of belonging. I grew my first ‘real’ flowers when I was 13 and a member of the 4H Garden Club - it’s when I fell in love with dahlias.
As an environmental artist, I work with deep intuition and dreams to connect to sites and the memories they hold. Many times the messages have come through flowers, plants, trees, animals, the Spirits that call the site home.
The way I feel when I’m working at sites echoes the feeling of being 7 again and picking flowers to share with my teacher. A sense of belonging, of being absolutely where I’m meant to be, with no separation between me and the natural world that surrounds me.
The First Time I Saw Alchemy Farm
When I first met the property we would later call Alchemy Farm it was through divine chance…really, it felt like the movies. I was driving home when, in the distance, a shaft of sunlight suddenly appeared from the overcast sky, and lit upon a purple tree in the middle of an impossibly green field.
Every once in a while a moment takes shape that completely transform your life–that shaft of sunlight was one of those moments. I was so overwhelmed that I pulled my car over to gaze at it in wonder. I’d be driving that route for a few years and had never noticed the field, nor the purple tree standing sentinel.
A couple of weeks later I drove to check out a new real estate listing that had come on the market that day. I was greeted by magic, by golden fairy lights at the driveway and I rushed home to tell my husband we had to see the property as soon as possible.
The next day we were walking the property, and emerged through the trees below the house, down into a large field, and there was the purple tree. I was awestruck. We continued our tour entering a magical alder forest filled with giant Jurassic-size ferns.
I stopped as everyone else went ahead. I closed my eyes and asked to be given a sign that this was the place we’d been searching for – I opened my eyes to find an owl feather at my feet. We bought the farm that day.
Becoming a Flower Farmer
One of the first things I did at the farm was plant flowers - zinnias, strawflowers, gomphrena, amaranth, poppies, bachelor’s buttons, cosmos and more. I became a flower farmer…but in truth, it is so much more than being a farmer. For years I’d been writing and talking about helping pollinators.
The perfection of the spiral, the circle, the journey of my life became clearer. The flowers I planted served a dual purpose, first as food for pollinators and other Beings, and secondly as "flower" for human souls.
The Energy of Flowers
We had no plans to have a farm when we bought the property. We just fell in love with the energy, with the potential. Had we known what we were really getting into we might not have just jumped in. I didn’t start out with any plans of being a flower farmer, the land, the earth, the spirits that have welcomed us have dictated that.
The joy on the faces of the first people I ever sold flowers to at the farmers market made me realize that I was entering a sacred place where my deep yearning to work directly with the Earth to create long term sustainable environmental art that reconnects people to Nature was unfolding.
As I’ve worked with the flowers from choosing the seeds to germinating them and tending them, transplanting them and caring for them, I’ve worked with their energy. Each flower species feels different, they each carry a deep and ancient energy that manifests as flowers.
Like us, they are made of stardust and dinosaur bones, of incantations, the breath of our Ancestors, that have travelled the Earth for eons. They are sacred beings, part of the circle of life that we all belong to.
Just before moving to the farm I finished my first oracle deck, the Eco Heart Oracle based on experiences I’d had working at sites creating environmental art projects. The Alchemy Flower Oracle is born from my direct work, and experience, with flowers that I've grown. They, and their energy, are being sent out to you as messengers, to reconnect you with your intuition and ancient ancestral memories, to the natural world and your heart’s longing for healing.
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