Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Wars have been fought over flowers. Novels have been written about tulip-induced mania. People have been beaten to death with dahlias*. So, it was with some trepidation, that I attended my introduction to floristry class on Saturday (I previously mentioned it here).

I had pictured myself sitting in a sun-filled room - possibly with a bluebird on the windowsill – while a Martha Stewartesque guide helped a select few to create dreamy, hand-tied bouquets (probably tied with rustic looking twine and wrapped in beautiful vintage paper) from white roses and baby pink peonies.

You know that sound in the movies where the needle gets scratched across the record and everything comes to a halt? Make that sound in your head now.

What I actually experienced on Saturday was twenty beginner florists in the back room of a wholesale shop at the flower markets, a lesson on how to make a box display using very bright blooms and an instructor who looked like a bikie.

Our teacher was great and an award winning florist to boot. I struggled a bit with the lesson format as we all stood in front of the instructor’s bench while he took us through the box arrangement from start to finish before sending us off to do it at our own benches. I have a memory like a sieve and most of what I had been told was already in a puddle on the floor by the time I got back to my bench. As a result my finished arrangement was decidedly less than perfect. But I promised to post a pic so here it is, along with some other images from the day:

My arrangement is supposed to have more of a dome shape and the flowers should be a bit closer together but I’m giving myself a score of “not bad for a total novice who barely remembers her own name”. I have always wanted to take a bloom wrangling course and I’m very glad I did. I don’t think I’ll pursue any further formal study on the subject but I picked up lots of useful tips (and scored a rose thorn stripper thingo) and do feel a bit more confident to tackle casual arrangements at home. I also learned to appreciate carnations which I am very pleased about as they have been subject to my Dianthus-based bigotry for far too long.

After the class, Andy, Agatha and a picnic basket whisked me off for a lovely lunch at the Sherwood Arboretum. The sun shone, birds sang, fluffy clouds obligingly turned themselves into dragons and islands and Agatha squashed a red grape into my white skirt. Happy days.

If you think it’s time to do more of what makes you happy, there are lots of classes and courses to choose from. These are some of the many, many courses available right now around Australia as well as in book, CD, DVD and online format:

Flying Trapeze Lessons

Colloquial Mongolian for Beginners

Learn to play the Ukulele

PADI Digital Underwater Photography

Hula Hooping Classes

What are you waiting for? Find your “thing” and sign up today!

*This may or may not be true but there is no evidence to prove it did not happen.


  1. That arrangement looks great and I'd be really proud if I'd made it- nice work!

    Colloquial Mongolian for Beginners sounds pretty fun but if anything I'd probably be interested in some sort f baking class...as sad as that sounds. Perhaps I'll take your advice and look into it for a little bit down the track.

    Hope that grape stain came out :)

  2. Um, I would be SUPER stoked to have made or to recieve that beautiful arrangement. Go you!! Don't worry, our art classes were always like that and I was the only nutter scribbling maniacally in a notebook, because otherwise it would all just fold like a house of cards once it came to giving it a go myself.

    Having done the flying trapeze classes, I reckon I might turn my next attentions to French and maybe some more art. I love Adult Ed!!

    And I rate Sard Wonder Spray when it comes to stains. Good luck!

  3. You're very kind girls. I have to say I do like the clashing colours of the hot pink and orange and am a convert to the purple carnation, it certainly works on the flower selection front (which I can't take credit for sadly!)

    Nat: Adult Ed rocks and if I wasn't slaving away at my studies already I'd definitely be signing up for something - probably Spanish classes.

    Siobhan: I will happily join you at a baking class, I'd love to do that.

  4. I LOVE orange and pink together - I curated an Etsy treasury using those colours once such is my devotion. In fact I think my love of orange and pink is only usurped by pink and green.

    You did a brilliant job and a picnic to boot - sounds like a top day

    becks x

  5. Thanks Becks. Orange and pink together are fab - I saw a lot of that combo when planning Siobhan's baby shower and if her twins had been girl/girl that's the colour scheme I would have gone for :-) Can we still see your Etsy treasury?