In the midst of a busy and fairly stressful lifestyle, it's easy to lose sight of oneself. I find that sometimes I'm barely even conscious of what I am thinking of feeling during my waking hours, until I start feeling anxious, or some part of my body starts to ache (or if I look up from 30 minutes - my commute - worth of Bejewelled and realise I have just spent the time stressing myself out rushing against the timer in the game!).
Which is why mindfulness is such a great movement to go mainstream in recent years. It's super simple - focusing on the here and now and being intentionally aware of our being. I did a health check up at work recently, and there was this breathing exercise which is used to test how ones emotional and neurological/physiological systems interacted. 5 minutes of starting at a slowly bouncing ball and breathing in and out per bounce slowed my heart rate right down! Amazing. And what better thing to combine with plants, which are also known to be good for mental health and overall well-being.
I was having a think about my The Joy of Plants DIY post on the plant of the month, the potted rose, and decided that what I really needed (and what many of you probably need too?) is a super quick+easy mindfulness related DIY. What better way to enjoy the beautiful plant as well as have something you made to display them in?
Potted roses are such gorgeous things - they are the miniature version of the normal rose bushes you see in lovely country gardens and cottages. If, like me, you exist in a little flat in a big city (but want to live as though your residence was Versailles), the potted rose is the perfect option. It is also known as a patio rose or miniature rose, and fits right at home in a little space. They tend to be able to be planted in a normal garden too, so if you do have an upgrade at some point, you can take them with you and pop them in your garden.
By the way, I made the mistake of Googling "potted roses" when I was trying to purchase some for my flat. I ended up getting some really expensive ones (just under £20/pot) which are actually meant for replanting into a garden (and not many flower heads in bloom). If you are hoping to find some patio roses, you can go to Columbia Road Flower Market in London (Sundays, 8am to 4pm), the New Covent Garden Flower Market (Mondays to Saturdays, 2am - 9am*), or Marks & Spencer's flower section (£5/pot). They are much more affordable - I bought 3 pots for £10 from Columbia Road - and the only real challenge is trying to get all the plants home!
For this painted container DIY, you will need:
Potted roses (any number)
Pots/vessels (larger than the pot the plants came in, unless you want to re-pot the flowers)
Chalk paint/Acrylic paint (and primer)
Paintbrushes (varying sizes)
I would recommend doing this without distractions (e.g. background telly or chatting with a partner/friend/stranger), so you can benefit from the mindfulness aspects of the DIY.
1. Choose a vessel that is either larger than the plastic container your roses came in. If you are tore-pot the rose plant, roots, soil, and all, into your new DIY pot, then any size will do! Leave the roses out of these stages of the DIY, though. I picked a few galvanised metal pots.
2. Pick a colour or two of chalk paint. Chalk paint is great because it sticks to any surface - glass, metal, ceramic, etc. If you do not have chalk paint but want to paint on glass/ceramic/metal/sealed wood, acrylic paint will work but you need a primer (which makes the surface sticky) as a base coat. I decided to use bright yellow/red colours to give my pots a festive feel.
3. Mindfulness step: Be patient! Focus on the lines that your brush is making, and feel how the paint spreads on the surface under the bristles. Think about the vessel you are holding and how it feels on your hands. Notice how the bristles on the brush move, the weight of the paint when you dip the brush into the pot, and how the colours evolve as you paint more layers on. You can experiment with adding water (chalk and acrylic paints are water-soluble) to change the texture of the paint you are using. This is where the apron comes in handy. My DIY got very drippy at this stage!
While the paint is drying, have a look at your beautiful roses! Notice the petals, and the scent. I LOVE scented flowers, so all my floral plants have some kind of fragrance. Yum.
4. Once the paint has dried, pick another paintbrush, but a smaller one this time - this is for painting words or patterns onto your pot! I decided to brush letter (in blue) "Joy of Plants". This requires a lot of focus, so again, good for mindfulness, just like in those colouring books! You can paint patterns, write phrases, or just leave them be. It's up to you.
5. The fun step: When everything has dried, place the potted roses in your newly bespoke vessels. You can style your indoor rose garden however you like to cheer up a spot in your home! I placed mine by the window in the study (good to have plants/green when working), but also have a bunch of plants around my fireplace.
Hope you enjoyed that!
This sponsored collaboration was done for The Joy of Plants.
Images and styling: Courage & Dash