When lightening strikes, there is illumination and just like that, suddenly I am filled with light and energy from an idea… “Oh, we have to decorate hats with fresh flowers!” I exclaimed to the girls. The notion filled me with life, and the imagination of the beauty was so great, I just had to do it, right then, right there.
It is my natural inclination to put flowers on and with everything so it was only a matter of time that flower hats evolved as part of my repertoire. Fresh flowers on hats feels really fun and flamboyant and perhaps a tad eccentric! There is a celebration and extravagance to it, and it seems like the prefect way to see out summer. Just by wearing a flower hat I felt like I was having a party.
Floral hats throughout history have been loaded, with both flora and connotations. From Edwardian Ladies, to Flower Power Hippies, floral hats are a representation of time, era and fashion. Wearing flower hats has been isolated almost entirely to females, and speaks largely of privilege and abundance. Those that wear and make flower hats, seem to have that one precious thing we all desire, time and relaxation. Flower hats are synonymous with leisure and special and important occasions, of a boat ride on a pond, of an outdoor picnic luncheon, of Sunday church, of carefree lounging about or a memorable event. One does not do hard busy work in a flower hat…
Which got me to thinking about trends and what they represent, and as a woman wearing a flower hat in 2014, what does this mean, and what do I want it to mean. Still it means much the same as it always has. I have time, and I am privileged, but what I want it to mean is that I am a thinker and I love nature. If I am allowed to be completely open and delight in my own ideas I have this vision of a group of women in flower hats, like the sufferagettes, standing together to make change. Of course we don’t have to wear hats, but we all know, these hats say so much, and of course we need to shade our faces when we protest, which is why I suggest hats instead of flower crowns. Are you all in? Want to march the streets to save the earth? Lets just start banning stuff. Oh the list is long…
If you happen to be the type that has opportunity to wear a flower hat, let’s use this time ladies for employing the intellect, and for discussions about the greater good. Put on that flower thinking hat, and think of the changes that can to be made in the larger world as whole, starting first in our homes and our bodies… join me in the imagination! Now a street protest might not be your cup of tea, but with a little thought you might find yourself saying, “Oh yes, I can make potpourri!” After all, flower hats and potpourri really do go well together.
A long time before modern chemical air fresheners, bouquets of fragrant herbs, spices and flowers were used to revitalize the household atmosphere. They have a recorded history of over 6000 years. During the Middle Ages in Europe, bathing was rare. Homes had little or no plumbing. There was very poor ventilation in buildings and homes. In order to deal with odors, fragrant herbs were strewn on the ground so that they could be trampled and crushed by people, releasing fragrance into the atmosphere. People discovered that long lasting fragrances could be produced from herbs, flowers and spices, mixed together and aged with fragrant oils, to increase quality of life and wellbeing. These herbal mixtures were placed into small bags and hung in wardrobes, for both a pleasing aroma, as well as keeping moths and bugs away. They became known as potpourri sachet. They had a purpose to keep out a musty odor of drawers and closets as well as encouraging sleep, absorbing cooking odors, soothing infants and treating illness.
All summer long, we have been saving the flowers from our art and craft. Flowers left over from making crowns, flowers from making mandalas, cutting flowers for the vase, and now, we are adding the flowers from hat decorating. Many of the flower are not particularly aromatic, but look so pretty dried, and combined with aromatic herbs and spices along with the bright coloured flower makes a pleasing mix. Elle had the wonderful idea to add mint leaves, which has made this batch smell very up-lifting.
I have been putting the fresh petals to dry in an air tight metal container, and sitting it on top of our fridge in our kitchen as it is a very warm dry spot. There is often bugs and insects in the flowers, so having a lid on the container is a good idea for inside the house during the drying out process. We will be adding lavender and spices and putting it in little bags to give as gifts to friends. While our potpourri batch does not have a specific recipe or purpose, it opens up a dialogue about how if we grew particular herb and flowers, we could use them for special things. Our potpourri is very beautiful and it is teaching the girls about saving, making and creating from things we have, and about extending the life and purpose of the flower post bloom. We can look at this “rotten pot” as is the translated meaning of potpourri and be pleased for all the beautiful ‘living’ that it represents.
Elle is wearing – Vintage Hat, Dress by Soor Ploom
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Flowers from our garden, and thank you to my neighbours for getting new windows and creating a pretty back drop.