Liz Earle on using Christmas flowers to boost your wellbeing
We’ve followed the work of best-selling author, TV presenter, charity campaigner and farmer Liz Earle for many years, impressed not only by her inspirational ideas about natural beauty and nutrition but also by her support for The Sustainable Food Trust and The Soil Association. Several years ago Liz returned to her roots, converting a derelict dairy farm in the West Country into a thriving organic, pasture-fed farm where she lives with her husband and five children. As fellow-farmers, we too use organic and sustainable techniques, and our mission since horticulturalist Rosebie Morton founded The Real Flower Company in 1995 has been to grow flowers naturally, without the genetic modifications that destroy their scent and full beauty, as well as employing sustainable techniques such as the rejection of pesticides and the use of drip irrigation to avoid soil erosion and waste. One of Liz’s more recent ventures is Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine, which offers advice and inspiration to make you look and feel great – including ways of using flowers and foliage to spread comfort and joy at the chilliest time of year. So who better to ask about using flowers to boost your wellbeing this Christmas?
How does decorating your home with seasonal flowers and foliage have a positive impact on your wellbeing at Christmas?
"We all know that having seasonal flowers and foliage in the home has the power to make us happy. Flowers and greenery can help lift our mood or bring us joy on a special occasion. Within the home, flowers are a brilliant way to make an un-loved corner feel much more inviting. There’s actually plenty of research that shows flowers have a positive impact on our wellbeing. A 2008 study, for example, found that a group of hospital patients in the US who had flowers in their room felt less anxious, were more positive about their recovery and needed less post-operative care than patients without plants. During the darker months over winter, when we tend to spend less time outdoors, I think bringing botanicals into the home is particularly important as it really helps to keep us connected with nature."
And what is your own Christmas decorating style?
"I’d describe my farm’s interior style as modern yet relaxed, with a classic foundation. I like things to be comfortable and welcoming, particularly over the Christmas season with all the family at home. I like tapestries, linens and faded chintz – the lived-in look is for me, as I want people to feel relaxed as soon as they step through the door. So I hope my festive decorating style reflects this. I love to adorn the rooms with botanical evergreens I’ve brought inside in barrowloads, such as holly, ivy and fir, with a few red berries for a pop of colour. Aromatic herbs such as rosemary and bay add a subtle scent. I love the fact that arrangements using evergreens always look full and decadent, but are incredibly simple to maintain and last well even with the heating on and a log fire burning all day."
To lift your Christmas spirits, discover our full collection of Christmas flowers, door wreaths, table centrepieces and garlands here.