I’ve never been great at “chilling out”. I’ve always got a million things running through my head, and I genuinely struggle to sit still. I have to do something — that’s why I knit while I watch Netflix or endlessly scroll on my phone. Enter the LEGO Botanicals range with the bold claim it can help with “mindfulness” and prevent burnout.
To really give this a go, I went all out on the chill front. I opened a bottle of fancy wine (and by fancy I mean not from ALDI and clearly gifted to me) and I put on the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice (yes, the Keira Knightly one, because it always soothes my soul).
I was prepared for this thing to take me hours, if not days. The “756 pieces” printed on the front of the box felt pretty daunting. But then I haven’t built LEGO in a long while, so is that a lot of pieces or is it a quick build?
The beauty of the Botanicals kit is that the hundreds of tiny pieces are bagged into three stages for different sets of flowers. So if you’re worried you won’t have enough time to finish the whole lot or don’t want your dining room table overrun with LEGO pieces for ages, or you’re worried about losing a tiny petal in amongst the hundreds of pieces strewn out — fear not.
The first bag is the easiest of the flowers. You start with the daisies, which are pretty simple. I smashed out two in no time. Confidence up.
Then it’s on to the roses, which look kind of robotic tbh. They’re probably the least realistic of all the LEGO flowers. You have to pay close attention to the images in the instruction booklet because a few of the pieces are similar in shape. One looks like the bonnet of an old school Volkswagen Beetle. This stage also introduces the angled stem — got to make things look (kind of) natural, plus you don’t want all your flowers poking straight up in the vase when you’re eventually done.
The flowers get more and more detailed as you progress there are snapdragons, poppies and asters to build — but they’re broken up by some of the simpler-to-make grasses, so you don’t just give up in a huff.
I still had a bag to go by the end of Pride and Prejudice, so of course, I pressed play on another soul movie — The Holiday. I was maybe half-way through this delightful rom-com by the time I finished the last LEGO flower. Pretty chuffed with myself.
Now came the surprisingly fiddly part — getting all those freshly built flowers to sit right in a vase. My hot tip is to go with a clear glass vase so you can see all the LEGO stems, otherwise you’re hiding your hard work. It takes a bit of patience, even with the inspo on the box. But once you’ve got everything into position, they don’t move — or die.
I slept very well that night, and in the (sober) light of morning, the vase of LEGO flowers looked glorious sitting in the centre of my dining table. Plus I now have some bragging rights every time a visitor says “that’s cool!”