Flowers have no rules, no barriers and they simply just are.
It’s New Zealand Flowers Week until November 17, and ‘the power of flowers’ is the theme for 2019.
The theme was grown from a notion; flowers transcend all languages, religions and cultures. Flowers have infinite emotions, grown without bias or definition and we repurpose flowers to accommodate our emotions. Flowers are shared in times of deep sorrow, as a reminder of comfort to whoever needs it most, they’re also received and shared in times of great joy, to celebrate new life and when honouring success – flowers have no restrictions and their power is beautifully immeasurable.
Rebecca Jones, NZ Flowers Week Group Marketing Manager, says, “this year’s theme was birthed when reflecting on how integral flowers have been to our country in recent times. Here in New Zealand we’re so fortunate to have expert local growers and florists who create our first-class floral industry and make coming together with flowers a possibility. Few realise how talented us Kiwis are when it comes to florals so we’re thrilled to once again be championing and cherishing all of the amazing people at the heart of our industry.”
Incredibly in New Zealand the floral industry employs around 10,000 people Jones says. “And through the United Flower Growers auctions anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 stems of flowers are sold per week, depending on the season. That’s a lot of flowers – and a lot of power if you will!
“For the local industry to continue to blossom, it’s imperative Kiwis choose NZ-grown flowers. That ‘buy local’ message very much stems to our local growers and florists. Together we need to reinvest in our roots and grow from the ground up.”
This year’s theme also speaks to the power of flowers on a scientific level, with a Harvard Medical School study finding people feel more compassionate towards others, have less worry and anxiety and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in a home.
As part of this year’s celebration several florist artists from around the country were given a word and each invited to create a floral installation inspired by that word. Chikako Shiraki of White Tree Floral Design in Auckland (main image and below) created this stunning arrangement to represent ‘joy’. “As a florist, seeing the joy that people experience when they receive flowers and the emotion associated with giving flowers; makes me feel that we provide an important service to our community,” says Shiraki. “The combination of colour and design in my installation hopefully demonstrates the power that flowers have in creating and changing emotions instantly.”
Kerri Murphy from The Twisted Willow in Wellington created a tunnel with three hoops to express ‘sorrow’, reflective of the three stages of our state of mind in a sorrowful state and the journey people go through from darkness to light. “The concept I decided to base my creation on was mental health and the sadness it evokes in many of us. My three rings represent the mind and its journey from darkness to light when we are in a depressive state. I personally suffer from depression and know many others who suffer that are close to me. I hope that this concept helps people understand and relate to mental health on a different level,” says Murphy.
Kath Parkes, senior florist at Mrs Bottomley’s Flowers in Christchurch created a beautiful garden inspired by Nostalgia. “So often someone will say how a flower reminds them of a special person in their life – often a grandparent. Sometimes it’s the scent, which is very powerful at evoking memories and transporting us back to a place or time, but sometimes it’s the flower itself and remembering it growing in the garden. My installation is a garden that triggers positive associations with the past – with gardens of the past, or with the people who created those gardens,” says Parkes.
NZ Flowers Week 2019 will incorporate several nationwide activations and leading florists who will create installations specific to the ‘The Power of Flowers’ theme. Find out more here.