I believe that creating a garden and tending to it on a daily basis all year round offers you a unique opportunity to live more in tune with the changing seasons. I believe it is the best way to transform and maintain your health, both physically and mentally, and connecting with this beautiful planet that we all depend on.
Growing beautiful flowers feeds your eyes and soul, and growing organic vegetables, fruit and berries nourishes your body. Being in charge of a piece of land, even on a very small scale, allows you the opportunity to create a space where nature and wildlife can thrive, thus enriching the natural world and giving you so much abundance in return.
Getting your hands dirty, and the whole process of growing, can literally heal your body and mind after trauma, depression, or the stress of modern life.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” - Margaret atwood
Sigridsminde is an organic flower farm, B&B, wedding venue and smallholding on the Danish island, Ærø, run by photographer Camilla Jørvad.
Sigridsminde is at the centre of our family's desire to live a slow thoughtful life in harmony with nature and the changing seasons, and being as self-sufficient as possible.
For those who do not speak Danish, Sigridsminde means In memory of Sigrid. Sigrid was a kind hearted woman who my father-in-law when he was very young and came to be a very important person in his life. The family still clearly recalls how Sigrid used to walk around in the garden in the last few years of her life, with her head scarf and apron on, feeding the chickens while making her distinct chuck chuck sounds. It was always in the cards that the farm should stay within the family and I had always wanted to live in a place similar to where I grew up. The farm became a shared dream for my husband and I.
In the spring of 2014, some research in local archives revealed as expected that the farm did not have a name. So we found a carpenter who specialized in hand-cut wooden signs and had a little 'ceremony' where we named the house 'Sigridsminde' in honour of the woman who embodied many of the values we share. Every time we enter our driveway and see that wooden sign, it reminds us why we have chosen the life we have.
Over the years I started to feel that this big house and this amazing little spot on earth could be more than just a home for our family. And we have lots of ideas of how we can share the joys of living here with other people.
I share this seaside slice of heaven with my husband, Bjarne, our two kids, Ida & Emil, and a steadily growing number of animals.
All photos of us by Maria Fynsk Norup
For almost a decade, my work as a sought-after destination wedding photographer took me far and wide around the world.
By the end of 2014, more than 15 years of stress turned into a 6 month long depression. My collapse was caused by a combination of events outside my control and unhealthy lifestyle choices: the never-dealt-with emotional baggage of a traumatic youth involving my mother's mental breakdowns and hospitalisations; becoming a mother myself and caring for two small children, while starting and running my own business and living out of a suitcase every summer; ignoring every sign to slow down and completely neglecting my own physical and mental health. In the end my body simply gave up. I was done.
I had the option to medicate my way out of my depression or to handle it myself, by making dramatic changes in the way I treat myself, the way I eat, my work and my life in general. I chose the latter, and for almost 6 months I didn't eat sugar or gluten, I went to bed much earlier each night, and I cancelled or said no to everything in my life and business which was not absolutely necessary to stay afloat. As an ambitious people pleaser, learning to say no but thanks has been one of the toughest and most valuable learning experiences of my life, and is a constant work in progress.
By the end of 2017, depression snuck its way into my life again, and I have had to start over with my healthy habits. Now I say no a lot. I do my best to take care of my body's most basic needs, sleep, hydration, healthy and consistent meals, fresh air and frequent breaks. I don't try to remember anything in my head anymore, I write everything down. I've had to teach myself to just sit and do nothing now and then. And it is especially important to live my life true to my core values, to create an everyday in tune with the seasons where work and play blend into eachother and just become LIFE! An everyday where I have replaced my feelings of sadness, frustration and powerlesness about things beyond my control with action, intention and beauty.
Having my hands deeply burried in the soil growing flowers and vegetables is my happy place. Capturing what I see with my camera makes me feel like this is what I was meant to do.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn