Mmmmmmmmmmmm (long intake of breath) I love the smell of flowers and tend to buy them for the home. There's nothing better than a nice, fresh cut of beautiful roses or my favourite tulips to add a pop of colour and lighten up the mood. I adore flowers but arranging them?? Ha, that's something I've never even attempted to do, so when I was approached to review one of the flower arranging classes at The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers in St. Martin's Courtyard I thought, why not! Thinking I was gonna make a floral mess I couldn't have gone alone and so I invited the lovely Sam Lennie, fellow blogger of Bright Space to come along and share the experience with me.
As soon as we arrived we could really smell the fragrant scent of roses and carnations amongst a floral splash of colour. Not only does the Academy run as a florist, but they also sell home fragrances and bits for the home, which are so pretty. Take a look below....I really like these vintage style bottles, great for adding character to your mantelpiece or to a shelf that's proving a bit of an interiors bore. These lanterns are also so sweet. They're so delicate, which I like and with a few scented candles, make a great addition to the home.
So after having a little obsessive moment upstairs and wanting to buy everything in the store, I headed downstairs to the workroom full of creative energy to start arranging. Madeleine Mukherjee our floral master and in effect my tour guide into the world of arranging, carefully showed us how to arrange our foliage into the oasis (get me with my technical talk). The class went at a steady pace, which I found refreshing as it's so easy to get lost in concentration and trying to take it all in. Madeleine was great at explaining all the various types of foliage, when to use it and to what effect. Once all the explanations were out the way we were then let loose to design and create.
Sam and I got stuck-in straight away (but to be fair I think with all the excitement I was too busy chatting away - Oops). That said I completely enjoyed designing my floral display and I liked the fact that the information was so easy to take in. I found it quite therapeutic actually as there are no particular rules to arranging flowers from a creative view-point. Once you've mastered the technical stuff such as making sure your leaves hang over the base and mastering the direction of your leaves it's pretty much up to you with how you arrange it. The class was about three hours long so not too short or lengthly and there were plenty of cups of tea to be had.
Towards the end it was great to be able to go round the workroom and see each of our creations. There was so much talent in the room from all different backgrounds, experience levels and ages. I couldn't believe how many different types of foliage and flowers I used in my display. In my flower checklist I definitely had to add some eucalyptus, lemon blossom and of courses the English rose! After a mini break and a good cuppa tea, Madeleine went on to show us how to display our creations. I never really thought of standing it on a round vase but it really does work effectively (and it was my HOP Favourite). Likewise you can stand it on a candlestick display - great during Christmas. Another great way to display your flowers is to stand them on a cake stand and pop a candle in the middle. It gives such a beautiful effect.
All-in-all, we had a fab time and learnt so much. Being a floral novice I didn't expect to be able to create such an amazing display in such a short space of time. It just goes to show that with a good teacher and a well structured course you can create some fantastic displays. I would certainly recommend that you take a course like this if you're looking for some floral inspiration or why not spritz up your home for the summer and take a peek at their creative range of courses at their summer school.