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Floral Finesse

Mandi Post's thoughts on making Mother's Day special

Mandi Post was born and raised in Kona. She was part of the first graduating class from Kealakehe High School and received a double major in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of San Diego. She worked for SDG&E for almost 5 years before deciding corporate life wasn't for her. Soon after, she got married and moved back to Hawai’i. Her vision for a store was to create an ideal place to shop. That’s how Petals and Provisions started. Everything she offers is things she loves and wants to share. We sat down to hear about her floral expertise.

What are some of the local flowers we have access to on this island? 

We're so lucky here on Hawai'i Island – we have a gorgeous assortment of tropical flowers that grow abundantly. Some of our staples in the shop from local growers are protea, heliconia, ginger, anthurium, calathea, and orchids. We also have a growing selection of non-tropical "temperate" or "delicate" flowers. I come to depend on those flowers and growers to achieve our signature floral aesthetic. Incorporating temperate flowers like snapdragons, lisianthus, ranunculus, sweet pea, strawflower, statice, stock, etc., into our designs, gives movement and textures we couldn't achieve with tropical flowers alone. Blending these tropical and temperate flowers is a style called “Tropical Nouveau.” 

Tell us about your favorite flower and its significance to you.

It's hard to pick one, but I always end up on the peony. I love peonies. Maybe it's because we can't grow them here – why do we always want what we can't have? – I love peonies because of their fragrance, their colors, and the way they change so quickly from a tight ball to a fluffy pillow, to a massive and ruffly bloom. They're magical. My close second is the ranunculus which has a similar look and, lucky for me, does grow well in certain parts of the island. 

You have two daughters. What does motherhood mean to you? 

Being a mother is much harder than anyone could have prepared me for. When my oldest was a newborn, someone told me, "It doesn't get easier, it just gets different." I think about that all the time because it's so true! Being a mother means selflessness. I'm so grateful for my mother. She is truly the most selfless person I know and the absolute best example of what a mom should be. Being a mother also brings a hyper-awareness of how quickly time passes. I see my children grow and change so much daily. It's a constant struggle lately – having these time-consuming businesses and having young children. I don't want to miss out on any of the special moments.

What would you include if you could craft the perfect bouquet for your mother? 

I feel so lucky to get to share flowers with my mom. She took a floral arranging class years ago as one of her first hobbies post-retirement. I remember hearing all about how much she learned and how much she loved it. She has a beautiful garden and creates stunning arrangements from her fresh picks. I'm even fortunate enough to get some of her flowers and foliage to use at the shop. When I gift my mom flowers, I try to make it something that she doesn't grow herself. She especially loves proteas because they last and dry beautifully, so they always make the cut.

What do flowers mean to you and your family? 

Flowers have the most incredible ability to make people happy. Is there anyone that doesn't love flowers? My youngest daughter is my flower child. Ever since she started walking, she's loved to go out and collect flowers. She's 5 now and has recently started putting her flowers together in arrangements. I love seeing what she comes up with. As for me, I love the perishability of flowers. They're here for such a fleeting moment, which makes us appreciate them so much more. We all get gifts we don't like, can't use, already have, or grow out of. With flowers, we can enjoy them fully and when their time is up, they no longer take up that valuable mental or physical space – just a good memory.