How many times have you bought an interiors, gardening, or “how to” book, flicked through its photos and then placed it lovingly on a coffee table never to pick it up ever again? I am definitely guilty of that. House Of Flowers by Ashlee Jane, however, will certainly not fall into that category! It’s one of those rare gems that delivers in spades. If you are interested in floristry and have a love of bringing the outside in, then you won’t be able to put this little slice of floral heaven down.
House Of Flowers – By Ashlee Jane
Ashlee Jane’s first book is as inspiring as she is and right from the introduction I was hooked. I love the fact that becoming a florist, let alone creating a huge online community via Instagram, was never actually part of her plan. Although she has always had a passion for flowers, she worked in corporate sales and loved her job. The catalyst was a wreath-making evening. One that she had to force herself to go to after a very long day at work.
How happy am I that she pushed through her tiredness to attend that floristry evening! The wreath-making class sparked something inside of her that changed her life forever. Nine years on and not only does she have a tribe of over 340,000 like-minded people who follow her. Ashlee Jane’s @the_suffolk_nest has become a blossoming business selling seasonal wreath kits, tools and vases and faux and fresh flowers.
Her weekly video tutorials are watched by thousands of avid learners. House Of Flowers is yet another example of her generosity for sharing her knowledge and passion. It just goes to show you: always say yes! Always push yourself to do the thing you are too tired to do. You never know what it could spark in your imagination and where your future could lead.
If you have a passion for floristry and want to learn more…
Now, if you’ve followed my instagram account for a few years and been an avid reader of my blog, then you won’t be in the least surprised to know that I have a bit of a passion for everything floral myself. Anyone remember the Pride steps from 2020 with the plethora of rainbow blooms? I have no desire to run a floral business like Ashlee Jane. However, I do have a huge passion for creating beauty in my home and celebrating the seasons with botanical bonhomie.
It doesn’t end with flowers either, let’s not forget the 149 pumpkins, or the 14 Christmas trees. The point is, I share a passion for the botanical and adore bringing the outside in whenever possible. The benefits to our mental health, let alone the amount of joy blooms bring throughout the year, is enough to enlighten the heart of even Ebenezer Scrooge himself.
What I love about House Of Flowers more than anything is that Ashlee Jane hasn’t presumed that we know anything. So, she really goes into detail and starts from the very beginning. It’s cleverly written in such a way as to make me more than a tad excited to be purchasing all of the floristry tools she recommends. In fact, I’d go as far to say that my excitement levels were a tad on the abnormal side. Over-excited child, high on E numbers comes to mind.
Tools of the trade
I did spend about ten minutes staring at the bird’s eye photograph (flatlay in fancy Insta language) of the tools, implements and gadgets required to make a floral sensation. I had always wondered how certain blooms stayed fresh on a wreath, or garland without using the dreaded floral oasis. Water vials and flower picks – who knew? If you are at all like me, then you will be on her website within seconds purchasing everything you need to become the next horticulturally creative superstar.
There’s some really interesting information about which vase/bowl is best for different types of display. A lot of it seems obvious after reading it, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that make a difference. The golden nuggets of knowledge she delivers on how to condition your flowers is a game changer.
30 Floristry projects!
Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Ashlee has given us step by step instructions on how to create 30 floristry projects. From a simple hand-tied spring bouquet to a Peony mantle and even a dried floating installation – there’s so much inspiration. Literally a floral wet dream right there! My favourite project has to be the foliage stair garland. I will definitely be turning my hand to that this Yuletide.
One of my favourite chapters in the book is about finding inspiration and nurturing your own style. Since finding out I had blood cancer in 2010 (now very much in remission), I have a far greater appreciation of the world around me. I don’t mean the wider world, I mean what is right in front of your nose. I used to go through life not really noticing the small things. Droplets of glistening dew on spring cut grass, or the kaleidoscope of crimsons, rusts and ochres as the last vestiges of summer fade into fall. Inspiration is all around us, it’s everywhere. You just have to notice it. I wrote a blog post about mindfulness a few years back, if you’re interested: What is Mindfulness?
Ashlee gives us her insight into where her inspiration comes from and it very much lies in nature and the world around her. She speaks of studying how the sunlight moves throughout our homes during the day and how that affects the mood. How can flowers complement the structures and interiors we already have? Throughout the book she nurtures a desire in us to want to fill our home with nature. Her book is an honest and heartfelt journey from beginner to floristry master. Her enthusiasm for taking us all along with her is contagious. If there’s one book you buy this summer to ignite your creative spirit this is it.
House Of Flowers can be bought from all good book stores – follow this link for a selection.
For more inspiration as well as where to find all the tools, vases and blooms that Ashlee Jane discusses in the book, click here: The Suffolk Nest.