When was the last time you did something for yourself? Something that requires time and commitment, just for your own pleasure or sense of achievement?
A Pretty New Hobby: HOW TO ARRANGE FLOWERS
I’ve always loved flowers, and did a day course in flower arranging when I was pregnant with Ava. But then Ava arrived and all my time was taken up. So I was excited when Julie Davies (The Florist That Teaches) offered me a space on her online flower arranging class Flowerstart to review*. She’s just been named British Florist Association Florist Tutor of the Year, and I feel that her win is well deserved.
Can AN ONLINE CLASS REALLY Teach Me How To Arrange Flowers?
I wasn’t sure how much I’d really learn from an online course, so I thought about what I wanted to do:
- Be able to do more than just put flowers in a jug or vase: how to turn a normal bunch of flowers into something more Instagram-worthy
- Get the most out of every bunch of flowers I get, even if they’re just cheap ones from the supermarket
- Be able to pair flowers and foliage myself, not just rely on what the shop gives me
The introductory video
As I have a massive cupboard full of all my craft supplies, my husband turned a little pale when I told him I was starting yet another project. So when I watched the first video, I was pleased to see that I wouldn’t need to buy anything, (apart from fresh flowers, obviously). I already had scissors, tape, a vase, jug and teacup. Phew.
THE COURSE: DID I LEARN how to arrange flowers?
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my progress over the past month or so. This was my starting point: just to arrange my flowers how I would normally. Or plonk them in a jug, in my case. This is used as a benchmark to see how far I’d come in four weeks of learning how to arrange flowers.
I used asters from The CoOp and I wasn’t overly keen: they were the only ones I could find but they were only £2.
I reused them for my second assignment. I was supposed to do one vase, but I had so many flowers left that I made three. I used jam jars but have since bought a few straight edged containers from Tiger for a couple of pounds each. Amazingly these three jars only took me about half an hour. I was worried about investing my time in a course as I am so busy already. But I was pleasantly surprised I could achieve some pretty good results in a short time.
This is my favourite style of arrangement so I’ve had another go.
You can watch Julie’s YouTube videos or read her step by step instructions with pictures, or both. I did both for the next assignment, which was an arrangement in a vintage tea cup using flower foam.
Next came another arrangement in a jug. I hope you can see the improvement from where I started?
These flowers were for my mum for her birthday so I had to get them to her house. Luckily I had my little helper Ava to hold them steady in the car!
The last homework is a handtied arrangement. I tried this twice with different flowers. The first attempt looked nice before I put it in the jug…
When I put it in the jug, I realised the heights were all over the place and it didn’t look right at all, so I had another go.I realised I had kind of got it inside out, with the greenery in the middle instead of encircling the blooms. It is tricky, and I had to have a few goes each time, but I was pleased with how they turned out on the second attempt:
Julie encourages you to add your photos to her Facebook group, so she can give you advice and critique your work (in the nicest possible way, it’s not school!) It’s also nice to see how the other people in the class are doing. This feedback is really useful and makes you feel like you’re part of a little creative community.
I had one more attempt at the hand tied bouquet and I can see the progress I’ve made from my first assignment. I feel like I have achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time.
Will I carry on arranging flowers?
The short answer is YES! Of course! For some reason I was a bit reluctant to start each arrangement. I got the flowers and put them in a jug of water, but couldn’t begin arranging them straight away. Really strange. But once I got over that I was fine and really enjoyed the arranging – I think it’s my perfectionist tendencies getting the better of me.
So although I haven’t found it easy, I have learned such a lot. I think I’ll be able to build on these skills and grow my confidence by trying different flowers and containers. I’ve realised our garden is distinctly lacking in the greenery department – I had to keep popping to my mum’s to steal some for my arrangements. I am putting in a request to our head gardener (Ryan) to grow some, pronto! Julie pointed me in the right direction when I asked her about what to plant.
Reasons I love flowerstart: the online flower arranging class
You can book on to Flowerstart online. The course is £99 which I think is good value, as it works out at just under £25 a week and you learn so much,
For me, there are several reasons this online flower arranging course appeals to me, as a busy working mum:
- I can do it in my own time, and at home (no babysitting required!)
- I can watch videos, and/or read the tutorials
- I can join the Facebook group for feedback on my arrangements, and also to see how the order people are getting on
- It’s only three ‘bite-sized’ tutorials a week, over four weeks, so it’s not a massive time commitment
- It doesn’t require any new equipment
I’ve achieved my goals and more, so I am looking forward to having more flowers around my home.
So what do you think to my progress? Do you think I have come a long way? Would you ever do an online class for flower arranging, or something else? I’d love to hear what you think!
I think the course would also make a great gift, why not Pin my post for later?
*I was given free access to this online class so that I could review it, and the opinions are all my own, as always.