#10 FloraHistoric Beauty

flower tales

These colourful dreamy images by Kreetta Järvenpää are inspired by a floral still life by the Belgian artist Léon de Smet and were specially created for The Green Gallery. Lose yourself in their natural beauty_______.

01 Kreetta Järvenpää

Flower still life – Léon de Smet

02 Kreetta Järvenpää

Flower still life – Léon de Smet

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Instagram @kreettakreetta

Léon de Smet (Gent, 1881-1966)

is a Belgian impressionistic painter who loved to experiment with expressionism and pointillism. He lived in a wooden bungalow, amongst the flowers he loved to bring alive on canvas. His compositions are well balanced, his colour palette a bit muted and he created beautiful work containing an inspiring and lively diversity of colours.

“I love Léon de Smet’s painting and the idea that it’s a corner of someone’s home. But who’s home is it? Who’s living here? What do the things I see tell about their owner(s)? How does this home reflects the life that’s being lived there? Generation after generation objects remain but people change like the flowers on the table. I love the vintage and the flowers and I love to hear all their stories.”

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Cast of flowers

Different kind of Tulips: Rococo Parrot, Princess Irene, Icoon, Orange Princess Ranunculus, Icelandic Poppy, Delphinium, Grevillea, Forsythia, Chaenomeles, Alstroemeria, Freesia, Baby Blue Eucalyptus.

“My mom had a very big garden with a lot of flowers, vegetables, berry plants, apple trees and plum trees in it. I did not like it so much because we had to help her harvesting and maintaining it, and it was a hell of a lot of work. We were paid by row for pulling weeds though. And the money was a very good way to motivate me. But I swore ‘I will never ever have a garden’ because it’s so much work.

Guess what happened; We now live in a house together with a few families and we share... a big garden! Last year I started a flower garden for the very first time (lost count on how many tulip bulbs I planted last autumn) and I’ve been growing tomatoes and herbs. I think somehow I’ve always felt that flowers belonged to my mom. They were her. When I grew up I loved flowers, but I’ve never given it much thought, until my mom suddenly passed away in 2016. Ever since I feel the need to work with flowers and make them a part of my life. I think this way I want to keep my mom closer to me and I admit I just love working with flowers. They make me fall into my own ‘space’.

I sincerely think flowers are the most beautiful example of life. They are very fragile and need a lot of care. The time they have here is a short one. Sun, wind, storm, heat, rain, cold can easily kill them. But unlike us they are born pretty, live gorgeously and even die beautifully________.”

Kreetta’s favorite flowers:

Fritillaria Persica (Persian Lily), Icelandic Poppy, Coral Charm Peony, Butterfly Ranunculus, Tulips, Lilac, Delphinium, Anemone, Dahlia, Double Akileija, Cherry tree flowers - too many...

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Kreetta Järvenpää

Kreetta Järvenpää is an artisan and aesthete who creates beautiful photos from flowers, food and people with natural light. A storyteller based in Helsinki (Finland) who cherishes authenticity, surrealism and a good composition. She makes flower arrangements in a very rich baroque way. Her productions are published in Asun magazine and she worked with companies like Marimekko and Mustila Garden. Her beautiful inspiring blog is called gretchen gretchen.

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Spring flower DIY ornament from Kreetta

This DIY is great if you like to decorate your home or party dinner table in a slightly different way. With only a couple of flowers, some corn stach, water and baking soda you make something beautiful. It’s easy to make and ecological, no plastic involved.


1dl corn starch, 1 cup baking soda, 1,25dl pure water

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Boil over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken and gets a smooth texture. Remove from the heat. Put a damp cloth over it. Let it cool for a while. Make sure there’s enough moisture in your dough. It’s hard to make pretty ornaments when the dough is too dry. So keep your dough moistured. I kept mine in the damp cloth. This dough is the easiest ever to bake. Thickness of the dough should be about at least 5 mm. You can decorate with some flowers now. Use a spatula for lifting your pretty ornaments on to the baking sheet. The final result is delicate so be careful.

Make your ornament with a...

rolling pin, cookie cutters, glass or use your imagination, whatever works, plastic or wooden board with baking paper, stick to make holes, spatula, to decorate use fresh or wilting flowers

After you have created your ornaments, they can go into the oven (75C degrees) for about 1 hour, but I recommend you let them dry overnight in a room temperature or as long as they need to air-dry (the oven might change the colours of the flowers). The drying time depends on how thick they are. Of course you can play with colours from spices, watercolours or proper food colouring but I like pure white with flower petals. Simple and beautiful.

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Rosanne Loffeld

Video, Photography, Concept & Styling, Editing
Kreetta Järvenpää

Film Music
Aria - Goldberg Variations BWV 988 / Kimiko Ishizaka

Thanks to
Helsingin Kukkatoimitus Oy