20-28 MAY
The Hall & Gardens will be closed for a private event 20-28 May • Our shops, cafés & estate walks will remain open

Connecting with Nature

As well as the more traditional floristry skills, resident artisan florist Rachel of Catkin Flowers is gifted in her ability to bring people together with plants for wellbeing and growth. The positive effects of nature on our mental wellbeing are abundant and Rachel has a couple of gorgeous floral exercises for you to try at home for a bit of loveliness during lockdown. 



You might find this powerful exercise helpful if you are feeling a bit stressed or mentally blocked:


  • Take a few deep breaths and go into the garden (you can do this with photos of flowers as well) and really focus on the flowers around you.
  • You will find you are drawn to a particular flower. It might jump out at you straight away or you might keep coming back to it. Turn off your gardener/florist head, it doesn’t matter if it’s a colour you don’t normally use, just go with it.
  • Pick the flower and sit with it for a bit (or look at a picture in a magazine or on screen), really look at it and focus on it for a few minutes.
  • Then do the same again and this time pick a flower you really don’t like. And I don’t mean that the colour is a bit off or garish – you feel an aversion to it.
  • Put the two together and then find one or two other flowers, (no more than two) that bring the two together, that make it work as a whole. Then sit with it for a while, again really observe it.


On a superficial level, it’s a great creative, mindful exercise and really helps me to get over creative blocks. On a deeper level, it’s working with your energy and the energy of the flowers to help to balance and give you what you need and it can tell you a lot.


This result of my exercise (urn arrangement photo 1) tells me many things, but what brought me up short was that red anemone (my aversion ) is telling me, among other things, that I am fearful of sharing my unique skills with my community. So, I’m sharing that for me, working with flowers goes way beyond using them for creativity – it’s a powerful tool I use for working with energy and balancing and restoring.




Is there a colour you keep being drawn to? I’m surrounded by so many colours – pinks, whites, lilacs, greens, but my eye kept landing on blue. Beautiful bluebells, forget-me-nots, alkanet, cerinthe – my eyes kept zooming to these in the midst of everything else. I don’t dislike blue – bluebells are one of my favourite things in the world – but I’m usually drawn to warmer colours – pinks, peaches, coral, orange, so I obviously needed to listen to it. I made this (urn arrangement photo 2) and realised that the message was about communication and the narrative in my head – so I’m cutting out all the ‘shoulds’ / ‘need tos’ / ‘why haven’t I’ / ‘why can’t I’ from my internal dialogue. Apart from any intuitive message it’s another good creative exercise – notice what colour your eyes keep resting on and work with it in whichever creative form works best for you. And yes I know these flowers aren’t all blue but that’s where it started so it doesn’t really matter where it ends up!


Have a go and please let me know how you get on – share your pictures with me on Instagram by tagging @catkinflowers.


– Rachel Petheram of Catkin Flowers


Find out more about Rachel and follow Catkin Flowers on social media for a regular dose of loveliness.

Facebook | Instagram


Flowers can be incredibly powerful as Julie Montagu found out on her visit to Rachel’s cutting garden last year as part of the Smithsonian Channel TV series ‘An American Aristocrat’s Guide to Great Estates’. WATCH NOW

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