Grow to Grow, not to Show



It's an old wive's tale: In like a lion and out like a lamb. Could this winter, er' I mean spring, have been anything but? 

Every February, islanders reap the benefits of Canada's mildest climate (woot-woot! And the longest growing season might I add) by sewing seedlings and nurturing starts in their basements, greenhouses, and husband's junkyard shops. 

Utterly bone-chilling and to our dismay, Mother Nature dropped a botanical-bomb - forcing us to zip up our smelly parka's, scrape windshields with our least-admired credit cards, and forgo our springtime planting well into March. 


Is global warming to blame? Or is there something bigger (or smaller) at play? Let's get reminded of the things we know for sure:

  • Ah springtime -  the most exciting part of the year! In every direction you look, there's new life sprouting up in every nook and cranny. I mean, who wouldn't love a warm cup of tea in the greenhouse at such a relaxing time of year. 


  • All zen things aside, the early season is also an extremely busy period (for everyone!) and requires A LOT of hard work. For those of us who grow our own plants, each and every individual seed is placed in it's own tiny little hole-home like an ant and it's army. Thousands upon thousands of those little guys get nestled into their own garden cubicles with their sole responsibility to grow, and grow big!


  • The process itself is highly rewarding with hundreds of spunky seeds soon to sprout into gorgeous blooms.


  • It's really fricken' hard work. Nuff' said. And not for the mild of heart. 


  • Oh and global warming, Yeah - it's real and it's here to stay. Which begs the question, can we grow lemons year-round on Vancouver Island yet? Seriously, recycle and be energy efficient though. 

So, what can we do to remedy these wintery-blues that have begrungingly pushed back the growing season on Vancouver Island? Well, let me tell you...

  • Grow to grow, not to show! That is our mantra this year.  And what I mean is, find your element - sing to yourself in the greenhouse, belt it out. Or perhaps... blast your Ed Sheeran in your headphones? If that's your jam. Get that garden-dirt under those french manicures - and leave it there. Display it proudly at Sunday brunch. Let the haters, hate and the lovers love. Gardening should feed your soul, not your instagram feed. 


  • Failure is not an option - it is the only option. You will have wilted plants, you will have botanically-challenged flowers, your homemade concrete planters will come out as deformed blobs, and you will learn from your mistakes. Growing is empowering and simply going through the natural process is all part of the learning curve. Hey, even the experts fiddle with tough starts, finicky species, and down-right junky soil from suppliers. 


  • Do it for you! Be happy, be healthy, let the fresh air - earthy smells, and personal plants invigorate your day, and make time for yourself. Tell your significant other to get lost - go walk the dog - you have ever important growing to do! See what I did there? Both personally and organically. 

With another trend-infused season upon us, expect to see traditional weddings making way for whimsical and fairy tale weddings. A sense of elegance and luxury is undeniably in the air. People, and especially young people, are less focused on gathering 'things' and rather nowadays, they are fixated on gathering 'experiences' and memorable ones at that! 

We are seeing less conformed and tightly designed bouquets and more loose, organic arrangement designs that stretch out horizontally in dazzling displays. A particular favourite are the thrashed and wild accents expertly placed among the select choice of florals. There are fewer rules with this method and more room for personalization, which can add a distinct style to your arrangements. Your friends will be green... with envy! - See what we did there ;) #pantone2017 

Is it really a competition though? Well, on an artistic level, you bet it is! It's more of a blank canvas that Van Simone will fill with your ideas. Ya those ones -  the ones you had engrained in you from when you were in kindergarten. From your grandmothers and mothers love stories to the gentlemen of a bygone era. But really, it's about community over competition. Every designer has something different to offer. Van Simone Floral offers wild, emotional and untamed florals that capture every-day love stories. We are in the business of capturing the madly in-love, the real, the raw and the forever. 

We are seeing more and more customization to florals arrangements these days,  and the interesting thing? It's all so badass and progressive! Evolution of trends is what keeps the world spinning' round and round. 

I'll let you in on a little secret, we are really digging the petal-like leaves of eucalyptus loosely woven into a bouquet and featuring metallic elements delicately intertwined. A gorgeous accent to this style is long, cascading ribbons. Shimmering perhaps? Layered in complementary colours that add the magical notion that your spirit and wedding is a special one!

Not sold? I don't blame you. We each have our own special characteristics and styles. Sometimes we never share them with anyone, and why would we? It has to be special to just us, right? Sometimes getting up for that speech or important meeting is utterly dreadful. The beautiful thing about a Van Simone floral is this: We can envision, create, and build whatever scandalous and bodacious creation you can throw our way! Try us!


Seriously, we are getting more and more orders for 'throwaway-boquets'. By throw, I mean beast-mode fast-balled into crowds of screaming ladies wanting that one-in-a-lifetime love. I'm not kidding. We even had a bride request three bouquets, one for her... the flower girl, and one for her eager husband. Because hey, the guys can't just stand around all day right?

Most of us live life worrying about what other people think, what they'll say, and how many likes our throw technique gets on Facebook or Instagram ... because if it wasn't on Instagram, it didn't really happen - right? I'm here to tell you - who the 'F' cares. If you want - no wait -  if you need two bouquets, heck lets make it three! - then gosh darn girl, you'll have it. It's all up to you beautiful!

Deciding what we want, and deciding to act upon those desires is what sets those apart from just imagining, to actually experiencing those gifts. 

Let's dig a little deeper since we're on the subject of florals and fashion. Have you ever wanted to do something fun for YOUR wedding or a best friends wedding, or even just a sister's birthday party but you were too scared to just go for it? I'm talking all chips in - no hold-em! 

Yeah, I have too (let's keep that a secret) - k thanks. 

100 red balloons floating to florals? Hell ya.

Flower-succulent crowns for all of your bridesmaids - Why not? White rose pedals spread around your ENTIRE venue? I think we can make that a reality! Van Simone russles' up new ideas, new designs, and new themes to the Island. In fact, we really couldn't do it without you. Shameless plug here - please drop us a line, we would love to hear more from you, your stories, your interests, your inspirations and your creative plans! 

Ok, I'll say it - If you dare to mix lipstick red with a bubblegum pink colour palette - yeah, we'll do it.  But we'll do it and create the trend of the year! Give us a try ;) 

So what is the take away here? Or as my fretful business-friend would say, "but what about the big picture"?  I think the picture, big or small, no matter how you frame it - it is to never stop being creative. Free your soul. Collaborate with others. Share experiences. Call your grandmother. Become a story teller and an even better listener. When Monday morning rolls around, bring flowers to your humble co-worker, not your result-driven boss. Make time for you, and your happiness. 

Is that inspirational enough? I hope so - and I mean it. We want to connect with you!

Sometimes people ask, what's the best part of being a floral designer, and I say - What isn't?

It's the natural beauty, the creativity, the people, and the stories that make it all happen. A bouquet is just a beautiful bouquet - It takes the seedling, the nurturing, the sunlight, the water, the journey, the struggle and finally, your glowing smile and obvious love - in that final shot -picture perfect, to bring it all together! 

Happy spring gardening and growing, my friend.

May your soils be rich and the love in your life even richer!