Hello! My name is Mary Mello from the greater Chicago IL area. My occupation is Science and Technology Color Specialist at PPG in Oak Creek WI.  I have worked in the color science industry for over 25 years. Color has been one of my life’s passions, my second is gardening and flowers. Lot of grief and sadness in the past 6 years left my heart and spirit broken. This botanical floral art was my diversion and therapy to recover.

I began to create these flower bowls floating in water, initially using the flowers that had fallen on the ground the night before. Than it became a morning ritual for me making each one better than the next. Using the textures and colors of the flowers became my muse. I now have experience joy like never before. The textures and silkiness of the flowers, and the color mixtures are endless. I will do one or two a day. I now use it as a meditation practice before starting my day. All the flowers are from my own garden a mix of annuals and perianal. Using my color knowledge I learned about the pigment colors of flowers.  Which are produced by Anthocyanin producing blue, purple, red, and pink colors, depending on the individual pigment molecule and the pH it is exposed to. Flavonols are responsible for pale yellow or white colors. Carotenoids create colors on the “warm” side of the spectrum – yellows, oranges, and reds. I will also mix in herbs like spearmint, sage, rosemary and basil leaves in some of the floral designs, the aromas are heavenly. I also use beach stones, Pine bark, rocks, and leaves to add additional depth. Some arrangements can take 10- to 30 minutes on average. I will use about 5 to 10 different flowers in each arrangement.  I photograph each and display them on Instagram and Facebook with music adding more interest to the floral design of that day.

My garden consist of many flowering plants, trees, and herbs. Some of the notable examples are listed below:

Azalea (Rhododendron; Ericaceae), Basil (Ocimum basilicum; Lamiaceae), Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta; Asteraceae), Butterfly Flower/Milkweed (Asclepias Syriac; Apocynaceae), Chicory (Cichorium intybus; Asteraceae), Cezanne and Aotearoa Clematis (Clematis; Ranunculaceae), Columbine/Granny’s Bonnet (Aquilegia; Ranunculaceae), PeonyDahlias (Dahlia; Asteracea), Daylily (Hemerocallis; Asphodelaceae), Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides; Rubiaceae), Garden Pansy (Viola; Violaceae), Garden Knockout Roses (Floribunda poloyathina; Rosaceae), Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii; Asteraceae),Giant Onion flower (Allium giganteum; Lilaceae),Ginger tulip (Curcuma alismatifolia; Zingiberaceae),Golden rod (Solidago; Asteraceae),Helen’s flower/sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale; Asteraceae),  Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos; Malvaceae), Hydrangea or hortensia (Hydrangea; Hydrangeaceae), Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Balsaminaceae), Lady Washington (Geraniums; Geraniaceae), Magnolia (magnolia sieboldii; Magnoliaceae), Mandevilla (Mandevilla sanderi: Apocynaceae), Marigolds (Calendula officinalis; Asteraceae), Peony(Paeonia; Paeoniaceae), Petunias (Petunia; Solanaceae), Rhododendrons (Rhododendron ferrugineum; Ericaceae),Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus; Malvaceae),Sage (Salvia officinalis; Lamiaceae),Spearmint (Mentha spicatas; Lamiaceae),Star gazer lily (Lilium; Liliaceae),Sunflowers (Helianthus; Asteraceae),Sword Lily (Gladiolus; Iridaceae),Tulips (Tulipa; Liliaceae),Verbena (Verbenaceae violets; Violaceae),Wild carrot (Daucus carota; Apiaceae),Wisteria Blue Moon (Wisteria sinensis, Fabaceae), and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium; Asteraceae)

In the near future I hope to one day teach this as a meditative practice for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety and sadness especially children. I am currently learning more about herbal healing using Epsom salts, infused with flowers and herbs. I will be using Reiki to infuse my products with uplifting energy. I am also incorporating the colors of the Charka energy centers as guided affirmations and colors of my products. My new exploration of healing products will be called my “Botanic Flora Apothecary”.  I would like to provide all natural products like, aroma oils, anointing oils, bath salts, natural soaps, sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, blooming teas, bees wax products, honey, lip balms, candles, smudge flower sticks, fresh flowers, and dried flowers, to infuse into products you want to create. The colors of all the flowers and herbal scents would be uplifting and stimulating the mind, eyes, nose, and heart. The flower essence would be an experience in itself.  I hope to grow this idea into a business and continue to use flowers and herbs for healing others. I feel we are now living in a time when we need to find kind and compassionate remedies to fix our emotional state of mind or disease. My direct contact with nature, and sunlight has done wonders for my heart, spirit and soul. I am happy to connect and learn to help others that understand the benefits of natural remedies for healing using flowers and flower essences. I just recently earned a certificate of completion, for an online course for Naturopathy Studies.

I have attached my floral art work from the last 2 months below:

A. My beginings with flora art work

B. My midsummer harvest with sunflowers

C. These colors were inspired by my recent vacation to Riviera Maya-Mexico 

D. My soaking salts infused with flowers and herbs

E. Fall Color Wheel inspired 9/11/21

F. My flower garden and my angel memorial to my parents  

Posted by Shweta Dixit