If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I’m beginning to obsess over flowers. My Monday series, “Let’s Learn About Flowers” started as a way for me to “force myself” to learn more about the flowers I come into contact with as an event planner (and up my event planner street cred, if we’re being honest). I’m still not a flower expert, but I think I’ve graduated from the “let’s look at pretty pictures” to “let’s start actually working with flowers” stage.
As part of my day job as a nonprofit event planner, I get to manage a team of fabulous planners. Last week we had the opportunity to take a floral design class as a team (read: team building!). The class, which was held at Helen Olivia Flowers in Alexandria, Virginia, was tailored to meet our needs – what are some basic floral arranging tips and techniques and what are some basic arrangements that we can make without spending an arm and a leg (remember the nonprofit part?).
The class was incredibly informative. Rachel, the owner and our tutor, showed us several arrangements. Then we had the opportunity to make our own. What I learned about myself is that I’m super competitive – actually, I knew that already – because I really wanted my arrangement to look as lovely as everyone else’s. In reality, one of my favorite parts about all six of us making “the same” arrangement was how different they all looked. Mine was a bit “taller” than I wanted because I couldn’t push my hydrangea down as far into the oasis (foam) as I wanted, but I was still pleased with the look. This is what my arrangement looked like “in progress” with the final product in the bottom right hand corner. By the way, you should follow me on Instagram so you could have seen this in real time!
I learned a ton about arranging flowers that night – I jotted down some tips to share with you:
- Hand tying hydrangeas – since hydrangeas are so top heavy, you can hand tie a bouquet in your hands (obviously) and tape it together with a floral tape so they will sit nicely in your vase and not topple over. I actually used this tip this weekend!
- The whole idea of cutting flowers under running water is a myth! Who knew?
- Use shears instead of scissors to cut flowers – scissors will actually squish the stems
- Since flowers are often dehydrated when you buy them, you need to rehydrate them. For hydrangeas, Rachel recommended submerging in lukewarm water for 30 minutes.
- Blow on your roses to open them! I never thought to do that before but it makes a big difference!
For even more photos and tips, head over to my colleague Brittney’s blog, Hosting & Toasting. Brittney also kindly let me share her photos with you! Thanks Brittney!
If you live in the DC area, I highly recommend taking a class at Helen Olivia’s! Rachel offers different types of classes or can tailor a class to your needs. She even does bridal showers – what a fun idea! For more information on classes, click here.
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