By Jill Brooke
Andrew Thomas is the perfect messenger for Giving Tuesday.
I reached out to this talented Ohio-based florist not only because he was named one of the 125 best florists in the world by Florists Review Magazine. No, it is because of the work he does with flowers in natural settings. He literally does a deep dive into this topic.
Since we both believe that kindness is in our “nature” and nature teaches us connections to each other, especially through flowers, he gave me these beautiful images to use to illustrate the concept of giving.
And like the Greek god Hermes, he is a messenger for flowers conveying a range of emotions to soothe the human spirit.
“Flowers are given to express all emotions including generosity,” says Thomas, whose shop is based in Wooster, Ohio, and apprenticed for Lewis Miller Design in New York. “There is a mystical element to any kind of flower that in my opinion man alone didn’t create.” Indeed, flowers when given, along with charity, are elevating the best in human beings. Both the giver and the receiver benefit. Plus, his designs do make you swoon and bring out the connection between nature and man. After all, love is so ephemeral.
The concept of Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea to just do good. Over the past ten years, the idea has grown into a global movement that is inspiring hundreds of millions of people internationally to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity. People are encouraged to give to nonprofits that work to do good. An estimated $3.2 billion will be given away.
Of course, some are more generous than others. In her research for her book “Be the Change,” exploring philanthropy, Lisa Endlich noticed that those who were most generous were the ones who realized their success had a component of luck.
Although giving flowers to express emotions of gratitude occurs every day, helping people when words can not, having a special day each year does focus the lens and prompts more giving. I love that idea- though I do find a way to be generous every day. In fact, in my hallway is a sign that says, “Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today.”
Andrew Thomas also lives by this motto and his flower designs reflect that emotion. Consider how much effort went into these photographs to express this sentiment. Not only diving into the icy cold water around the U.S. but having to hold up these flower vessels at the perfect level so a photographer could capture the moment. Oh, and there was luck involved. He had to support the flowers without the blooms tumbling into the water and destroying the precise placement of all the flowers. It’s man working with nature.
Here are his 5 favorite images that illustrate the symmetry between flowers, nature and giving.
This was taken at dusk and the sky matched the cosmos and berries.
The sweet peas were so delicate and the white urn so Greecian but elegant as well.
This one had more fall themes with the use of a basket vs. an urn.
Tulips are a fresh addition that drapes like moss over rocks.
Although this image isn’t in the water, it shows the connections we can find by looking at nature and bringing out the best in our talents and spirit.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine.