Laura Bombier wants flowers to be a bigger part of everyone's daily lives. When you go shopping to pick up your daily essentials, a bouquet of flowers should be on your list, she said.
“Flowers bring joy and bring happiness and they’re good for the soul,” she said.
A longtime Lake of Bays resident, Bombier is a co-owner of The Flower Buddha, the floral company behind a two-metre-tall frozen-flower installation, put up this week on Dwight Beach.
Bombier started the company last summer with the hope of bringing joy into people’s lives through flowers, especially during the pandemic.
This year on Valentine’s Day, she and Katherine Seiggel, The Flower Buddha's in-house florist, handed out flowers on the streets of Toronto to anyone lacking a bouquet in their arms from a special someone.
“We talked about doing something up here because we spend a lot of time up here,” Bombier said, referring to Lake of Bays.
She got the idea to make a frozen flower installation in Lake of Bays after reading an article about Japanese artist and designer Makoto Azuma, who freezes flowers in ice.
Seiggel, from Toronto, has been a floral artist for nearly 20 years. She said arrangements like these are rarely seen outside of a wedding or party venue.
“It was just such a great idea," she said. “It would just make people smile."
Seiggel said she used around 500 flowers, including six different kinds, to put the installation together. She made its supporting structure out of foraged and organic wood. The arrangement freezes naturally out on the skating rink.
“I had an idea in my head how I wanted it to look, but when you’re working with Mother Nature … nothing ever comes out exactly how you want it,” she said.
It took Seiggel, Bombier and four of their other helpers six hours on Saturday, March 6 to put the arrangement together.
“It felt like we sort of gave birth to this thing and we didn’t want to leave it alone,” Bombier said. “We sat for an hour … until the sun set, with the installation."
Seiggel said she wanted to make something “bright and colourful” that lifted people’s spirits.
“People were coming and stopping by, and just the comments that we were hearing from people — it just felt so great,” Bombier said. They heard comments that the piece was “beautiful” and “a great idea.”
“People were surprised,” Seiggel said. “It’s just not something that you see every day."
The Flower Buddha is planning to launch its website in three weeks, with the hope of selling flowers at an affordable price and giving people options in building their own arrangement.
Seiggel said she and The Flower Buddha have plans to do other pop-up installations — what they're calling “floral flashes" — throughout the year.
“It was such a joyful experience,” she said. “I can’t wait to do the next one."
Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com