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Florals Workshop: Basics

Blog

Florals Workshop: Basics

A. K. Lister

Five ladies -- including us Deans -- took Florals Workshop: Basics with Lily Peterson of Flowershop [top left] and all we got were these UNBELIEVABLY GORGEOUS ARRANGEMENTS to take home!  Not to mention a dose of the beautiful outdoors in the Academy Garden, along with tea, coffee, and Charleston's finest croissants by Cristophe.  Some of the flowers used in our arrangements were Pepper Berry, Spray Rose, Garden Rose Caramel Antique, Ranunculus, Kangaroo Paws, Smoke Bush, and painted leaves...all in warm Autumnal hues perfect for Halloween weekend.

 Q & A

We asked, Where can I find flowers locally? Lily answered: Horst in Charleston, or Whole Foods, which has their own farms so offer great prices and great specials (Mothers Day peonies, etc.)

What kind of vase should I use? A trapeze shape, which is very forgiving.  A smaller opening will give your arrangement more support, and heavy base will make it easy to transport.

How much greenery do I need?  How many flowers?  At least one green element (lots of it) and three different kinds of flowers, to start.

Is it OK to see the back of the leaves?  Yes!  When you are looking for that natural feel, it helps to have the contrast of matte and smooth leaves.

How do I water my arrangement?  Put the entire arrangement in the sink, directly under the faucet, and (without removing any flowers) let the flow of water for a minute or two refresh your vase.

Lily's Lessons

Don't let the shape of the flowers control you.  Remember, you are in charge!  Create a tight grid on the mouth of the (still dry) vase using floral tape to help format your flowers.

Start with greenery.  Clean the stems, cutting off any loose leaves, and don't be afraid to edit, removing branches, starting at the bottom.  Lily suggests working with a diagonal line for a loose, airy feel, which results in a grander arrangement.  Avoid the dense, compact, "soccer ball" effect which was so popular in the 90s.

Add three of your largest blooms.  Trim stems at an angle, which makes it easier for the plant to hydrate.  Cut to different heights and aim for a triangular arrangement.  Always, when you find that something isn't working, STOP.  Take a breath, remembering there is no such thing as perfection.  Regroup and come back to it.  Life Lesson #1.

Fill in with interesting pieces, adding color, texture, and filling in spaces.  Have faith!  It will all come together in the end.  Life Lesson #2.

Needless to say, everyone passed with flying colors.  Lily returns for Florals Workshop continued: Centerpieces on Wednesday 11/18 at 10AM, and Wreaths and Wine on Wednesday 12/9 @ 5:30PM.  Spaces will go quickly, so reserve yours HERE!

Xx the Academy