During an interview with Rakesprogress Magazine, we got the opportunity to discover more about our founder Michelle Feeney, and her love of nature and her garden. Never have we been so thankful for an outside space and for those lucky enough to have a garden or a piece of earth to grow in, we are counting our blessings in ﬁnding stronger connections to the earth. So, if you love nature as much as we do this article is an absolute must-read and we are so excited to be able to share it with you.
What does a garden mean to you?
Freedom, connection to nature, a calming constant, a sanctuary and now more than ever a meeting place. I have a London garden and a house in Worcestershire where we have 18 acres. This larger land has become the place where sky and earth meet, where weather of any kind becomes a painting and where my mind can truly expand. I feel the whole household are experiencing the garden rather than just looking at it. During lockdown we stayed in London and truly saw the seasons change, we went from Spring blossom to full Summer bloom but ‘lived it’ and enjoyed it and photographed it. Plus, we have installed lots of different bird feeders and have enjoyed observing how each species behave. Our surprise has been the parakeets, we literally have six come and feed at once, their loud screeching transporting us to far off climes!
What’s in your garden - describe your outside space?
My garden in London is large and quite formal and was originally designed by John Plummer - in the three years we have been here I haven’t changed it much. It has large white Annabelle and Villosa hydrangeas’ that dominate the lawns but hidden behind the hedges that frame them are surprises. I have an entire plot of my favourite hostas and another of roses. We also have stunning Dicksonia antartica ferns right outside the window which bring a touch exotic. In Worcestershire we planted a wild meadow over 5 years ago which this Summer has really blossomed and although we have missed lilacs and roses when we were able to travel, this year is bumper for butterflies. We have also planted an orchard! I asked everyone to buy me a heritage fruit tree for my 50th birthday! I really am trying to create legacy with this land.
When did you realise you were you first interested in gardens?
Forever really. Growing up we didn’t have a house with a garden until I was 10 but our Summer trips to Ireland dropped me into rural settings with home grown vegetables, haystacks and even peat fires. I was very aware of nature and the role we as humans are supposed to play. I have many favourite flowers! But Lilac has a particular place in my heart. For me, beauty is English heritage roses after the rain, the slightly lilting or fallen petals combined with the powerful scent experience. The role gardens play in transporting you through scent is incredible, it allows me to time travel as certain smells remind me of times in my life or places I have lived.
Who or what inspires you?
My children inspire me, my son Harry is 27 and my daughter Emma 16. They both teach me how to evolve for the future and both have visions for a more harmonious one with nature which inspires me to try and make a difference. In fact, both have unknowingly helped me visualise Floral Street as a vegan and sustainable brand.
I also feel really close to our latest perfume edition Arizona Bloom that was inspired by my trip to The Atacama Desert in Chile! I experienced its barren beauty and was so moved by its irresistibly contemplative ambience. It made me want to create a fragrance grounded in nature and capturing the feeling of total freedom with a natural high!