Most of us are very familiar with the saying "Stop and Smell the Roses" but do we really take enough time to actually do it? Before I was introduced to mindful practice it is something I would have heard alot but did I ever really think about it - or actually do it?? While the meaning of this well known phrase is to slow down and take a moment out of your busy life to pause and notice the beauty around you, I have also found that actually physically stopping to smell flowers can be such a mindful experience in itself. There really is something so uplifting to walk into a florist and stand and notice the beautiful shapes, colours, textures and above all the wonderful scents that surrounded us. Or how lovely is it to treat yourself to a bunch of flowers? It doesn't have to be an elaborate bunch but giving yourself a simple bunch of daffodils is a way of practicing self love and going out picking wild flowers with your children is such a great way of practicing mindfulness and can be so therapeutic. I have also always loved trips to Dublin and been in awe of the flower stands on Grafton Street...each one as beautiful as the next but while I noticed and admired them I was always rushing to the next shop so I never really paused long enough to really notice them.
Less 'formal' flowers such as tulips have always been favourites of mine, and I adore flowering plants such as baby's breath (Gypsophila) and sweet pea as they have such a beautiful innocence about them. Another flowering plant that has become more common in florists are hydrangeas. I adore their shape and colour and always remember when my aunt who lives in the US introduced me to the world of Martha Stewart 20 years ago I fell in love with how she used hydrangeas in beautiful wreaths and place settings. So much so that my aunt made 2 beautiful wreaths from cream hydrangeas as a wedding gift to put in the church the day I got married and I also had boxed hydrangeas as the centerpiece on every table.
It's funny how a flower can remind you of someone or remember an occasion and giving someone a bunch is something that can mean so much - even if it's a simple bunch of daffodils. When I visited Avoca Rathcoole recently I was so excited to discover one of the prettiest florist ever! I was a little hut-like garden shed with the name Joeanna Caffrey written over the awning. Joeanna's creativity is evident from the second you set your eyes on the first bunch of flowers you see.
There was a beautiful range of flowers and as it was close to easter some stunning easter wreaths tastefully decorated with speckled duck eggs. There were also some shrubs in lovely baskets and of course there were my favourite - hydrangeas laced in beautiful tin containers! Each one blooming next to each other as if they were all cheering each other on! It really was such a lovely place to visit - while it's space was small there was a bench outside that encouraged me to sit down for moment to admire it all before I decided on which hydrangea was coming home with me!
Joanna also has stores in Avoca Dunboyne and Kilmacanogue and if they are anyway near as beautiful as the one in Rathcoole then I would highly recommend a visit - even if you just stop to smell the roses.