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Flowers as a hobby for relaxation

The art of floral arrangement uses plant materials and flowers to create eye-catching displays. Devyani Sampat, an Omani woman of Indian origin, has perfected this art and is now teaching local womenfolk a few tricks of the trade from her vast experience.
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“Flowers are like my children; they have a beauty of their own. Cultivating flowers as a hobby helps me to de-stress,” says Devyani Sampat, an Omani national residing in the Sultanate of Oman for over 50 years.

An enthusiastic lady, Devyani today is popular among the floral community in Muscat. She has been demonstrating Ikebana and European style flower arrangements for over two decades.

Frangipani (Plumeria) flowers hold a special charm for her as this is especially available all over the Sultanate of Oman. The scent of the flower fills the air and is used in perfumes, warm oils and even medicines.

Inspired by the flowers, she formed the Frangipani Flower Arrangement Group in Muscat in October 2009.

Post Covid-19, she has plans to host a ‘flower fashion show’ using fresh flowers and unconditional natural materials like dry, fresh leaves, pods, twigs, seeds.

Hibiscus, Frangipani, Tuberose, Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus, Anthurium, roses, have a special love for her as these flowers are grown in the Sultanate of Oman.

Devyani is of the view that hobbies bring us joy and enrich our lives.

According to her, flowers promote positive stress. “This is needed for our daily lives and provides a healthy amount of challenge. They also help us to be more patient, increase confidence and self-esteem. Hobbies challenge and help us stretch our boundaries,” she explains excitedly.

She makes it a point to remind me that life is more than just running around on constant routines. “Each of us needs a hobby to keep us mentally active and joyous. We owe it to ourselves.”

While making any floral arrangement, she spends quality time and handpicks each and every flower according to the theme and mood needed to create them.

“I believe in quality in whatever I do and attaining perfection is my goal,” says Devyani who attends various conventions in Japan and is connected to the famed Sogetsu School of Japan. As a student of Ikebana Sogetsu School of Japan she has attended various conventions in Japan gaining deep knowledge on floral arrangements.

What started as a likelihood for bonsai plants during a visit to India, was destined to change her concept towards plants and flowers.

From using farm pink roses, marigold, to making garlands for temples, she has a way with life.

She now has taken the task of teaching Omani ladies about the various aspects of making floral designs, which is now online due to the pandemic.

“I am sharing with my students what I have learnt all these years through careful attention and dedication and perseverance,” she adds.

She plans to open retail shops in the interior areas, and also promote this as a home industry which will be of help during festivals like Eid, Diwali, and Valentine’s Day.

Devyani says flowers stay in vase fresh if conditioned properly for two weeks during winter, tending to its foliage and cropping leaves carefully.

She has visited many world flower shows and given demos in India and the Sultanate of Oman.

Devyani is also connected with National Alliance for Floral Associations (NAFA), World Association for Floral Artists (WAFA) and World Flower Council (WFC).

“I want to create awareness about this hobby and want to educate those interested about Ikebana, floral art and mold more floral artists,” concludes Devyani.

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