Today we're welcoming a new season with the South of Chile's favourite florist: meet Andrea Riquelme.
Andrea literally grew up among flowers, her parents founded a pioneering nursery garden when she was still a baby. She's one of those supernatural, spectacular persons: her genuine cool, her infinite knowledge of Chile's flora, her dedication as a creative entrepreneur and the way she mothers her son Santiago, she blows me away every time.
We shared some special moments together when I was visiting Chile in January. Wanting to recreate her universe, we had a talk about her life, her love for flowers and what spring means to her.
Since when are you a gardener? What does gardening mean to you?
I make gardens for over thirteen years now. Besides for gardening being my day-to-day job, I feel a deep connection with the earth and nature. When people say ‘make time for yourself’, that’s what I feel when I’m gardening: I’m creating time and space for myself, being part of nature.
Do you have a favourite flower?
They’re all my favourites (laughs)! But as I live in Patagonia and the winters are harsh, I think I would choose those that announce spring: the Japanese cherry tree (Prunus serrulata), Magnolias, fruit trees and any type of bulb flower: tulips, daffodils, hellebores and hyacinths.
What does a regular day in your life look like?
My day starts early bringing my 4-year old son to school. Half of the week I work at our family’s nursery garden Quilarayen, where I do all types of work: reproducing plants, watering, pruning, weeding, and so on. The other days I work from my home, garden and flower shop. I make flower arrangements, answer emails, collect seeds, cut grass, enter some wood, ... I don’t stop, there are always a million things to do. My son is with me during most of the day, and besides from the tiredness that motherhood brings along, he’s actually great company and he helps me to stop and look at the world from a different perspective. When I’m not working, I play the ukelele or I read (usually about flowers). I love ending the day with my journal, to reflect upon my thoughts and organize my life a bit. I’m an Aquarius, and my head is always filled with thoughts and ideas. It’s really pleasant, therapeutical and challenging to try to gather them and express them through writing.
What is Spring like in the South of Chile?
As life itself, spring shows us what winter has left behind and opens the way to what can be reborn. It’s waiting for light, slightly timid yet present, it’s about birds being born, seeds that are sprouting, the earth that is awakening and water that is evaporating. It’s the cycle of life.
What can you tell us about the rosehip?
The wild rose is a true mother plant. So many other rose varieties come from the ‘rosa mosqueta’, as we call her in Chile. As a mother plant, she is strong, resilient and has endless beneficial properties. There’s not a field in the south of Chile that doesn’t have a bit of rosehip here and there. It’s truly an exceptional plant.
What is your beauty ritual like?
I’m not the type of girl that has extensive beauty rituals. I work outdoors all day, so I don’t wear any jewelry or makeup. I love how MAIWE’s products sneaked into my daily habits. When I enter the house after spending a whole day in the garden and I use The Rosehip Oil Serum, I feel like nature is giving something back to me. It closes my daily cycle beautifully, and it has brought so many benefits to my skin.
SHOP ANDREA'S FAVOURITE
Rosehip Oil Serum
Rosehip Oil Serum is a youth-preserving serum rich in vitamin A and C
and essential fatty acids that will boost collagen formation, moisturize
and naturally exfoliate your skin while reducing sun damage, scars,
fine lines and acne.