Bloom Where You're Planted
Inspired by Flower Fever, my friend Amanda and I carried out a community project to add a little brightness to some person's day.
The quote "bloom where you're planted" came to mind as I thought about what message I could relay. Although the source of this quote isn't very clear, I've heard it a number of times, and it's always resonated with me. I think of beautiful flowers blooming in hard and not-typical places, and that's the visual I wanted to demonstrate.
After buying a bouquet of flowers at A Village of Flowers, we started looking for places to place them. We first used the beautiful and bright dragon mural in Hillsboro Village as a backdrop for some photos and then realized there was a perfect place to hang one of the flower sets. It was the non-bright spot on the wall and had a rough feel to it.
As we continued walking to find the next place for the flowers, a couple girls saw our bouquet and asked where we got the flowers. After telling them to check out A Village of Flowers, we also mentioned we had left one just a little further down for anyone that finds it first. They got so excited about it and ran over to it! We could hear them playfully arguing about who gets to keep it.
That little moment gave me the confidence that this was a project worth doing. Seeing how happy they became about getting some free flowers made me realize that this was a good project, and there was nothing bad about placing flowers for people to pick up.
Isn't that strange that I was scared to do this? It definitely put me out of my comfort zone a bit, and I had a fear that people would scoff at the idea or think it was dumb. But really, what did that matter? I didn't even see most of the people that took the flowers, or any of the ones who didn't take it. And the people that didn't want them wouldn't take them anyways. It's interesting how fun, good things can be scary at first. You just have to power through it! And bring a good friend like Amanda along to encourage you and make it all the more fun.
The next spot wasn't too far from the first. It was a traffic cone with litter in front of it and a not-too-pleasant-looking puddle. It made the perfect vase.
And yes, we cleaned up the litter after.
Walking around a bit more, we found a pile of rubble on the ground behind a restaurant. We also considered the port-o-potty nearby but decided that this specific flower seemed perfect for this setting.
This next one was hard to let go of. It was the rose of our dreams. Fully bloomed and the most beautiful colors. I really wanted to keep it to be honest, but felt it would bring more joy to whoever found it.
An ashtray outside seemed to be the perfect fit against the brick wall. People's focus was more on getting inside the restaurant so whoever found this one would have to take a second look or be out on a smoke break — this was one of the stronger visuals to me of a flower blooming so beautifully out of [cigarette] ashes.
The next one we had to use tape for to secure it. We finally utilized a literal trash can with the metaphor of flowers blooming out of the trash.
Amanda saw a woman look at it and take it later before we went to place our next flower. I don't know why it came as a surprise to me when I find that people had actually taken flowers, but it continued to feel like a reassurance that this was a good idea.
The next one is my personal favorite. Mostly because when I saw the parking pole from a distance, I could already visualize the face chomping the flower. It had a character to it that I loved. And the colors just get me every time.
We really took the next one to the flower-level thinking. Using a water main, we placed the flower on top of it. It seemed fitting to place the flower with water. It also kind of looked like a memorial with the flowers on the ground like that. Hopefully with the tag someone picked it up.
Our last flower was placed near to where we parked. The storm was coming, and we started feeling drops of rain. Finding this parking space block with a hole deep enough for the flower stem to fit into was a small miracle. The little bird liked it too.
Going into this project with just the idea I wanted to do something with flowers and "bloom where you're planted" and somehow sharing that message was enough to create what this became. We didn't pick out each location beforehand, we made it up as we went. And it made it more fun. Sometimes I overthink things, and one of my goals with these kinds of projects is just to make it happen in any way I can, and to go with however it's developing.
How are you blooming today?
Bonus: Here's a little compilation of the Instagram story I posted from that day: