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Celebrating the mystical nature of flowers with florist, Ruby Barber.


In their natural cycle, flowers endure the seasons. Leaves fall, harbouring the soil to rest and to regrow. But so too do we, as humans. Change inevitably arrives, sometimes we flourish and sometimes we fall. Regardless, unfailingly getting back up, we begin to imitate the natural world surrounding us.

We pay tribute to those that anchor their work in nature; the gardeners, the botanists, the arborists. Though we’d like to introduce to you an artisan florist, Ruby Barber, she arranges flowers as a visual language and when first viewing her work it became merely impossible to overlook the irreversible charm she grants with each bouquet.

Working for the likes of Gucci, Mercedes Benz and Lee Matthews, Ruby has indeed made a name for herself, but not under her name, rather her studio name, Mary Lennox, inspired by the protagonist from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Novel, The Secret Garden, a tale of nature and its rejuvenating qualities. Ironically so, Ruby’s first studio opened up on the corner of Sydney’s Mary and Lennox streets, home to the same building her fathers photography studio and mothers first art gallery.

Floral arrangement demands concentration. With the myriad of elements to consider; color, shape, size, the options seem limitless and to be able to pair, match and summon a feeling via display, is an art form in itself.

” They represent holidays, celebrations, meaning; so often putting into words what we cant.”


Currently, Ruby and her floral consultancy studio reside in Berlin. The disposition of her floral choices contrive a wildly contemporary approach, one we’ve barely seen before.

It is artists like Ruby that remind us how the naturalistic components of the world deeply effect our wellbeing. This is nothing new of the sort. Traditions of agriculture, planting and harvesting are ancient art forms and those that bring light and creativity to such practices, in the very industrial world we now live, is a breath of fresh air.

The smell of a flower or freshly cut grass, the soles of our feet grounded on the dirt is fundamentally ingrained within us. When we look for inspiration, we tend to look inwards, but what we bestow within in us is very much effected by the sensory appeal from that of which is around us. Here’s to Ruby, a rose amongst the thorns. 

To be further inspired, click here.

Images; Robbie Lawrence for Gucci, Becca Crawford for Our Food Stories.

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