• Jennifer Wing

Flowers, nature, and the turning of the seasons are such a big part of Ojai Blooms

“Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive. But to be young was very heaven.” William Wordsworth ~The Prelude

Ojai is bustling with activity lately! The Ojai Tennis tournament just happened; people from all over the country come to Ojai to play world class tennis. It’s a tradition started by William Thacher that dates back to 1896. So the town has been crawling with athletes! In true Ojai community spirit, much of the proceeds go to improving community courts and to youth tennis programs. The participants and their families are treated to fresh orange juice and local Pixie tangerines in Libby Park…delicious! Yes, late April and early May is truly a beautiful time of year in Ojai. Wildflowers like Blue Lupin and California Poppy cover the hillsides. Sage and Matilija Poppies grow wild along the rock-wall lined, orange-grove scented backroads of Ojai. Not only are the wildflowers blooming, but the creek is flowing and, thanks to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy volunteers, the trails are beginning to be ready for hiking! Mother Nature is really showing off her stuff just in time for Mother’s Day! It is so fitting to celebrate the nurturing energy that is vital to motherhood during such a beautifully abundant season. As a mother and former teacher, one of my greatest joys is sharing nature with children. On this sunny Ojai afternoon, as I sit on my back patio, with Mother’s Day just around the corner I find myself admiring the subtle peach tones in the blooms on the beautiful, stunning Sally Holmes roses. A rose bush which never disappoints…when Sally does her thing, you know spring is here! Having just packed up my 10-year-old son for his school camping trip, I am reflecting on trust and nature. Children are born with an innate sense of wonder and a propensity to know and understand the world around them. This curiosity drives them ever forward on their quest to learn. As I walked through the meadow earlier this afternoon, watching the sunlight play off of the swaying grass, I looked down and saw a perfect little lady bug on a blade of grass. I was immediately brought back to a time when my oldest son (now 19) was a toddler. We were hand in hand going down our path through the trees to the meadow. I remember thinking that I wanted to remember this feeling of his little hand in mine as he walked with me down the steep path. He was wide eyed at the wonder of Mother Nature laid out before him. I held his hand and felt the light weight of it and the softness there. Then just that quick, he let go and began to run, as soon as the path was flat. We raced off together and stopped to look at the ladybugs climbing on the bright yellow mustard flower. At the time it was almost as tall as me. A forest of yellow with red dots to him. Childhood is such a magical time; it’s a chance to experience the world anew with each experience and adventure. At Ojai Blooms we’ve been working hard with wedding season upon us and Mother’s Day fast approaching. That said, we’ve also made a mental note to try to slow down and enjoy the adventure of our young business. A few weeks ago I took my friend’s daughter and my ten year old to a garden to explore and smell the roses. She said to me, “You know J.J. I have always liked roses but never really appreciated them as much as I do when I’m with you.” We laughed and smiled and continued on through the garden. But I put that memory in my back pocket. This Mother’s Day, throughout all of the hustle and bustle, we should all try to remain in the moment and capture these wonderful experiences in our hearts so that we may reflect on them later when our children are grown and we can feel that deep pang of love and sweetness again. Flowers, nature, and the turning of the seasons are such a big part of Ojai Blooms. We use the freshest most abundant flowers for the season that we can find locally. When we arrange flowers, we often think of the feelings they may stir in our customers, how they will feel receiving them. Maybe it’s a bride who will remember the smell of the garden roses in her bouquet. Maybe it’s a friend who wants to send peonies to her best friend for her birthday because they are her favorite. We recently had a gentleman order a flower arrangement and request that we use the same flowers that were in his wife’s bouquet when they got married 30 years before. Scents are one of the biggest memory triggers! Flowers and mother nature have powerful healing qualities too. I brought an arrangement to a friend the other day that had jasmine in it. After leaning down to smell its intoxicating scent, she recounted, with tears in her eyes, how the jasmine bush she planted as a memorial to her father got her through profound grief. It’s the ritual of it all, the turning of the seasons and the trust that the abundance and the nurturing power of nature will come through when we need it most and be that warm embrace that nurtures our souls. The current explosion of wildflowers is a metaphor of hope and renewal in Ojai. Let’s foster that hope and renewal, take care of and steward it, so that it will be there to nurture our children as well. In the joyous spirit of Springtime, Jennifer and Adonda

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