#14 EtherealInterview

01 Interview Maggie Coker
01 Interview Maggie Coker

   Withered
beauty

   Withered
beauty

02 Maggie Coker

Who’s Maggie Coker?

Botanical interior stylist Maggie Coker runs the inspiring blog @ragandbonemanvintage. Through her blog, she discovered her passion and love for dried flowers and plants. Maggie works regularly with @thegreenhousementality on botanical self-care workshops.
@ragandbonemanvintage

We applaud the current revival of dried flowers! For all we know floral stylist Maggie Coker has created the ultimate interior candy with recycled flowers. Just look at those amazing colours and captivating shapes________.

What’s your earliest memory of iconic flowers or plants?

“The earliest memories of flowers I have is from when I was six years old. Due to my mother being very sick and my father doing his best to juggle work and take care of me and my siblings, I grew up being an extremely melancholic child. As a result of the very little spare time my dad had, our huge back garden was often neglected but beautifully filled with wild flowers. Although amongst them were stinging nettles, which I was too afraid to touch. Once my Greek neighbour saw me staring into her gorgeous well landscaped rose garden - the totally opposite of ours – and I think she somehow felt sorry for me. She walked over to the fence and gave me one of the most beautiful wild roses I have ever seen to this day! Something changed in me. The scent of this rose actually lifted my spirit, it brought a slight smile to my face and inside I was beaming!”

What’s your favorite flower?

“The wild rose will always be iconic for me because it reminds me of the human kindness someone showed me when I was a shy and quiet child, at a moment in my life when I was unable to express what I needed. And it was somewhat symbolic for that time in my life too; ‘to enjoy any beautiful or pleasant thing, you must endure something difficult.’ The time I spent in the rose garden with my neighbour was a joyous, therapeutic time to ease the pain of having an extremely sick mother. My neighbour introduced me to the language of flowers. Now I use the rose in my aromatherapy chakra reading sessions to open my clients' heart chakra.”

03 Maggie Coker
04 Maggie Coker
05 Maggie Coker
06 Maggie Coker

What’s your earliest memory of iconic flowers or plants?

“The earliest memories of flowers I have is from when I was six years old. Due to my mother being very sick and my father doing his best to juggle work and take care of me and my siblings, I grew up being an extremely melancholic child. As a result of the very little spare time my dad had, our huge back garden was often neglected but beautifully filled with wild flowers. Although amongst them were stinging nettles, which I was too afraid to touch. Once my Greek neighbour saw me staring into her gorgeous well landscaped rose garden - the totally opposite of ours – and I think she somehow felt sorry for me. She walked over to the fence and gave me one of the most beautiful wild roses I have ever seen to this day! Something changed in me. The scent of this rose actually lifted my spirit, it brought a slight smile to my face and inside I was beaming!”

02 Maggie Coker

Who’s Maggie Coker?

Botanical interior stylist Maggie Coker runs the inspiring blog @ragandbonemanvintage. Through her blog, she discovered her passion and love for dried flowers and plants. Maggie works regularly with @thegreenhousementality on botanical self-care workshops.
@ragandbonemanvintage

05 Maggie Coker
06 Maggie Coker

What’s your favorite flower?

“The wild rose will always be iconic for me because it reminds me of the human kindness someone showed me when I was a shy and quiet child, at a moment in my life when I was unable to express what I needed. And it was somewhat symbolic for that time in my life too; ‘to enjoy any beautiful or pleasant thing, you must endure something difficult.’ The time I spent in the rose garden with my neighbour was a joyous, therapeutic time to ease the pain of having an extremely sick mother. My neighbour introduced me to the language of flowers. Now I use the rose in my aromatherapy chakra reading sessions to open my clients' heart chakra.”

“TREES ARE SANCTUARIES.
WHOEVER KNOWS HOW TO SPEAK TO THEM, WHOEVER KNOWS HOW TO LISTEN TO THEM, CAN LEARN THE TRUTH_______.”
— HERMAN HESSE

On what unexpected place do you like to put your flowers?

“I have dried flowers in every room. But I suppose to answer the question it would be places like the hallway. The wondrous flexibility of large dried palm tree leaves allows me to place them around the hallway to fit in with my warm tropical theme. Most of my plants live in my bathroom. My living room is also partly my home studio so it is filled with dried flowers and warm toned interior pieces. I quite like that despite having no plants in my living room, people still feel the green and cosy vibe that plants perfectly add to a living space.”

The smell of fresh flowers makes me feel...

“Optimistic! I am so inspired by the simplest things in life that generate happiness in me and others. Flowers are one of the purest and riches gifts from nature. They were put there to heal us, and make us happy. I think before we really started to study our brains and behaviour, flowers and plants were nature's doctors and therapists. I don’t think it is by accident that your sense of smell is the most powerful of your five senses. It has been proven yet and yet again that certain smells and aromas from flowers release the happy chemicals in our brains. I once read an article of an elderly Japanese couple, the wife had lost her sight and fallen into a depression, so the husband planted thousands of pink shibazakura flowers. When they bloomed he took her there. The scented blossoms had her in fits of laughter for the first time in years!”

“TREES ARE SANCTUARIES.
WHOEVER KNOWS HOW TO SPEAK TO THEM, WHOEVER KNOWS HOW TO LISTEN TO THEM, CAN LEARN THE TRUTH_______.”
— HERMAN HESSE
07 Maggie Coker
08 Maggie Coker
09 Maggie Coker

Flower- & plantcast

Pampasgrass, Carnations, Roses, Hydrangea, Palmleafs, Craspedia, Lunaria Annua, Protea, Achillea filipendulina, Statice, Sinuata, Staghorn, Cynicus, Cherryblossom, Anigozanthos flavidus.

The smell of fresh flowers makes me feel...

“Optimistic! I am so inspired by the simplest things in life that generate happiness in me and others. Flowers are one of the purest and riches gifts from nature. They were put there to heal us, and make us happy. I think before we really started to study our brains and behaviour, flowers and plants were nature's doctors and therapists. I don’t think it is by accident that your sense of smell is the most powerful of your five senses. It has been proven yet and yet again that certain smells and aromas from flowers release the happy chemicals in our brains. I once read an article of an elderly Japanese couple, the wife had lost her sight and fallen into a depression, so the husband planted thousands of pink shibazakura flowers. When they bloomed he took her there. The scented blossoms had her in fits of laughter for the first time in years!”

“FLOWERS ARE ONE OF THE PUREST AND RICHES GIFTS FROM NATURE. THEY WERE PUT THERE TO HEAL US, AND MAKE US HAPPY_______.”

When I see peonies...

“I want to fill my whole house with them, they are such happy fluffy flowers. I recently started drying my peonies and I have to say I love the results. They add nice touch of colour and volume to a dried bouquet you want to appear more vibrant.”

What’s the most stunning piece of flower art that you’ve ever seen?

“The work of Claire Basler and Japanese artist Azuma Makoto, both very different in style and direction. Claire Basler is a French artist. Her work is breathtakingly beautiful. I could look at her work for hours. She paints the most magical murals on walls and vases, using oil paint and other techniques. Her studio looks so dreamy, I don’t think I have seen anything like it. Florist Azuma on the other hand takes bold and daring risks. He gives you a fresh modern approach on how flowers can be displayed in industries such as fashion. Azuma looks deeply into the life of flowers and has so much respect for them. I can totally relate to his sentiment of wanting to know more about preserving flowers, giving them best care while working with them.”

Without flowers/plants my home feels...

“...like someone else's, or like I have been robbed. Before I worked with flowers I bought flowers at least two to three times a week.”

10 Maggie Coker
11 Maggie Coker
12 Maggie Coker
13 Maggie Coker
“FLOWERS ARE ONE OF THE PUREST AND RICHES GIFTS FROM NATURE. THEY WERE PUT THERE TO HEAL US, AND MAKE US HAPPY_______.”

When I see peonies...

“I want to fill my whole house with them, they are such happy fluffy flowers. I recently started drying my peonies and I have to say I love the results. They add nice touch of colour and volume to a dried bouquet you want to appear more vibrant.”

What’s the most stunning piece of flower art that you’ve ever seen?

“The work of Claire Basler and Japanese artist Azuma Makoto, both very different in style and direction. Claire Basler is a French artist. Her work is breathtakingly beautiful. I could look at her work for hours. She paints the most magical murals on walls and vases, using oil paint and other techniques. Her studio looks so dreamy, I don’t think I have seen anything like it. Florist Azuma on the other hand takes bold and daring risks. He gives you a fresh modern approach on how flowers can be displayed in industries such as fashion. Azuma looks deeply into the life of flowers and has so much respect for them. I can totally relate to his sentiment of wanting to know more about preserving flowers, giving them best care while working with them.”

12 Maggie Coker
13 Maggie Coker
“SOME PEOPLE CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT MAKE UP, I CANNOT LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT THE SCENT OF A ROSE AND MAYBE A HINT OF JASMINE_______.”

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Photography
Maggie Coker
@ragandbonemanvintage

Without flowers/plants my home feels...

“...like someone else's, or like I have been robbed. Before I worked with flowers I bought flowers at least two to three times a week.”

My floral scent

“At the age of eleven, it was the first time I lied to my dad. I told him I was going to my friend’s house, but actually I was working at the local florist. That didn’t last long by the way... I got fired the second week for being too shy!”

What’s the most memorable installation with flowers you remember?

“I love the Detroit flower house, it’s a community project that challenges people’s perception on what is beautiful and still of use. The project was an amazing idea brought to life by a very creative team. I was truly inspired by the artist‘s vision, it made people look at a rundown abandoned house as something to be seen as beautiful. I also think it is brilliant that it is now used as a flower garden. A true message of hope.”

In what other ways do you use flowers/plants?

“When we style big weddings we try to save as much flowers as possible before the client throws them in the dustbin. We also encourage people who throw big wedding parties to consider donating their flowers after the event to old people's homes or hospitals, or to use dried flowers in as many areas as possible. I myself only use recycled flowers in my flower crown-arrangement workshops_______.”

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Photography
Maggie Coker
@ragandbonemanvintage

A selection from Maggie Cokers timeline, @ragandbonemanvintage