"The Amen! Of Nature is always a flower" (Oliver Wendell Holmes).
Valerie Jensen of Paulden admits her love of flowers came from her grandmother.
"My grandmother worked at Watters Garden Center and as a child I remember her having a big flower garden. She would pick flowers from her garden and take them to people at her church and in the hospitals, and that is how I started loving flowers," Valerie said.
She started arranging flowers fresh out of high- school, and has been in the floral industry since 1988. She is now a free- lance designer, and floral designing is just her hobby because she is such an active lady.
After moving to Chino Valley in 1997, Valerie met and married her husband Jay. Now, with taking care of their three children, working at Highgate Senior Living, and being the treasurer for PACO, Valerie stays quite busy, but because of her love of working with flowers she always finds time to do her beautiful arrangements.
"I love working with all flowers, because I like pretty things and I enjoy creating. I especially like the flowers that have a nice fragrance, like lilies, roses, and stocks," said Valerie.
"Wedding work is my specialty. The most special arrangements for me that I've done were for my sister's weddings, my daughter's prom and arrangements I did for my father," she added.
Valerie's advice to those wanting to get into floral arranging is to start in a small shop.
"I first learned arranging by hands-on working in a shop. You learn how to hydrate, cut, clean and feed flowers, besides learning the arranging and how to insert the flowers so they drink and last," Valerie explained.
"Working with flowers is something I'll be doing the rest of my life," she said. "It is a craft you can pass on to the next generation, like my grandmother did me."
Valerie can be reached at 713-0659 or JaVa.firstname.lastname@example.org.