I've really enjoyed teaching the floristry workshops this spring. It's amazing how different all the arrangements turn out, even when we're all working with the same ingredients. Everybody has their own style and something to add. There is usually a broad spectrum of experience within the group, but that really doesn't seem to matter. Every one is there to have fun with flowers, pick up some handy tips and hopefully feel inspired to create some arrangements with their own garden ingredients.
The day starts with a few demonstrations of how to create a hand tie. I show 2 different techniques and talk about how to create texture and keep the bouquet looking soft and natural. After that, each person is offered their own bucket of garden flowers to create a hand tie bouquet to go home with.
After a coffee break and a slice of Rachel's home baked cake, I talk through different containers. I explain what makes the perfect jug and give a few 'cheats' on how to make the 'not so perfect' jug work. I give a couple of demonstrations of larger arrangements, before arranging flowers into a tea cup. Everybody gets their second bucket of flowers and a tea cup to work with.
By this time we're all ready for our hard earned (ha ha!) lunch, usually prepared by both Rachel and Ash with garden ingredients and served from our flower studio. So far, the weather has been kind enough to allow to lunch outside, which has been lovely. Rachel is usually around to give everyone a garden tour and a few planting tips. Our final creation in the floristry workshop is a ribbon wrapped corsage, which really does show off everybody's individual style. Mine usually ends up a bit on the large side, when working to my own brief, I can't seem to hold back. When it's time to end, it's quite a sight to see all the ladies proudly wearing their corsages, carrying off armfuls of flowers. I do hope they wear their corsage all the way home, even if they stop for petrol and coffee!