The Summer Solstice is this Thursday and I am looking forward to celebrating the calendrical mid point of the year, the longest day and the middle of the summer. This date has had huge significance for thousands of years. It is traditionally a time to celebrate light and sun, fire and warmth, growth and prosperity, fertility and abundance. I am currently planning a Solstice celebration for my kids (mostly new books, a nice meal, and making our summer list) and am having a few friends over in the evening to light the fire pit, eat snacks and talk. I don't have the capacity for big celebrations this year (busyness, tiredness, etc etc) but I do want to see my friends, fill my house with flowers, and mark it in a simple way.
Today (yes TODAY! I am flying by the seat of my pants, guys) Jess from One Flew Over Flowers and I got together to create a simple but super effective floral display together.
Whether you feast with 20 around a fire pit or just light a candle alone or with your partner, putting a group of vases of flowers around your home is lovely.
So earlier, without much of a plan, we burried our hands and noses into locally grown flowers and lost ourselves in a bit of floral and creative escapism, which felt necessary and nourishing today (when doesn't it?). It is also British Flowers week, something I feel pretty passionate about supporting, and these flowers were grown on Jess's flower plot (and a few in my garden). I try to avoid buying flowers that have been flown in from abroad (at great costs to the environment) and instead support the local growers around me, here in Kent. It isn't always possible, especially on some of my styling jobs, but I always aspire toward it.
Here is what we did, and some tips to re-create at home.
Keep it local. We used flowers that we foraged, were grown in my garden or on Jess's plot. Look for grasses, tree branches, in your garden, or see what your local market has to offer.
Try unusual ingredients. Yes, go for flowers, but don't forget grasses and tree branches either. If you have trees in your garden, snip off a branch or two and put it in a vase. It's still beautifully seasonal. The trees and the grasses are just magnificent at the moment. I am in love with copper beach, the tree leaves used here. Isn't that dark red colour beautiful?
Set a rough colour scheme. We chose a moody warm palette of dark red, brown, maroon and hints of pink.
Opt for lots of little vases. I always advise this because it is the easiest way of creating a super effective display. Put a few stems in small bottles and spread them out on a table or mantle pieces. Dot them in the bathroom and hallway table.
Stick to odd numbers. When arranging, stick to odd numbers. A single stem or group of 3 or 5 stems just looks more pleasing.
6 Simple Ways to Celebrate The Summer Solstice:
- Eat outside. A solo date with the setting sun, alfresco dinner picnic with your lover or a party with friends, there is simply no better way to mark the start of summer. A quick M&S picnic in the park after work will suffice, or an elaborate hand made feast would be wonderful too. Of course, a glass of something sweet and boozy will ‘help’ with those hippy, solar vibes...
- Go wild for flowers. Flowers are bursting from hedgerows and gardens, field and forest; so get out and pick some to bring indoors, or make some floral crowns?
- Watch A Mid Summer Nights Dream. I can’t wait for my next night in to watch this. Its one of my favourites.
- Fill your home or garden with candles. Fire is an important part of mid summer celebrations. Bonfires are lit to ward off night creatures; both real and imagined, and celebrate the essence of the sun. Candles are a quick and easy way to introduce it.
- Or…light a fire! if you’re lucky enough to be able to light a fire in your garden (safely, of course!) then tomorrow is the perfect opportunity.
- Take some time to reflect, soak up all of the extra solar energy, and revel in something so much bigger than ourselves. There is something rather life affirming about marking these things; connecting with ol’ mother earth and being humbled by the enormous, mind blowing and magical things she does.
So, Happy Solstice to you, dear readers! Are you celebrating?
Look out for a part two post at the end of the week!