As manifestations brew upon the brightest moon, a backstory for where my work first grew...
"When I grow up, I want a floral life." It wasn't put so well as a kid, waiting knee-deep in Yiayia's garden boots for Papou to meet me at the Roses. But in words and images of youthful whimsy, I remember the seeds of that dream: Sunflowers as tall as my grandfather, rainbow-dipped heirloom tomatoes, dizzying Begonia leaves, Spring Pansies, and my grandmother watering blooms of every hue. My grandparents carved out a brick-lined garden back then, a magical place that defied in splendid, fruitful glory the concrete of a city home's backyard. It was there that I dreamed of a botanical future; of each day renewed with green; of a garden like theirs.
Now I have a garden of my own and Leila + Olive is my garden of art, sprouting up from the illuminations of blooms to growth yet unseen. Each work in my collection is a stop along this botanical journey, a creative moment of transformation, indelibly sprouted from the past while tethered to truths dreamt of a vining future.
On this Full Moon, I am so grateful to have you be a part of this lifelong, botanical journey, and am so excited to share all of the garden flowers and art that will soon bloom.
Along with the Full Moon's glow, Summer's brightest bloom has been the Passion Flower: an otherworldly palette of nebular petals, earthy green, and celestial yellow. I've been tending to this vining perennial for the past six years, leaning into its nurturing nature, grounding myself in its strength, seeking it out as family - a homegrown bloom, rooted in terracotta pots, quietly revealing its petals in the Summer Sun, a most wondrous (visual and symbolic) gift.
The Pythia Botanica Oracle calls upon Passion Flower to persist through fleeting fears. "Endure," it reads, "when the act of outlasting all mistrust, fear, doubt, hesitation, maturity and derision arrives as your most profound celestial blessing. Blooming when you choose will be your finest proof."
The Ophidia Rosa Tarot finds us grounded among this bloom and inspired to unburden ourselves of past peril. The Chariot says that being "armed with strong roots and the brightest of blooms," makes us one with "the ground, we carry no wounds."
I often call upon this flower, giving thanks and channeling its meaningful magic into my life. Whether that's pulling a card from the Pythia or Ophidia decks, illustrating this bloom in sketchbooks (and haphazardly taping those budding drawings to my wall), or simply spending time outside with this enchanting plant. Art can be a spell; gardening may be, as well.
In an ever-imposing world, I hope you, dear reader, are "blooming when you choose," casting spells for brighter futures, and leaning into the mysterious magic of the natural universe.