I’m about to tell you about an amazing flower arranging workshop I went on a while back, so please don’t be misled by the title into thinking that all we did for a day was a bit of ‘faffing’, because the girl who taught us was super-talented and she in no way faffed! It’s just that I seem to find it almost impossible to resist a bit of alliteration, especially when it comes to titles. And faffing is actually a bit more accurate for what I personally do at home with flowers when not in the expert hands of a florist.
But, before I proceed…instead of apologising yet again for the lack of recent blog posts…I’ll assume that you now fully expect me to take FOUR (!!) months to compose my next article, and instead, I’m going to apologise for the floral turn this blog seems to be taking. My last post was about flowers, this one obviously is, and my next post is going to cover the recent flower show in my home town of Knutsford. So, you might be forgiven for thinking that I’m actually an aspiring florist, rather than an interior designer! I’m not. I’m terrible at flowers. Not that I’m not terrible at interior design. But there’s levels of terribleness, and my flower arranging wins.
After mentioning in my last post that I really wanted to make much more of an effort with my flower displays at home, rather than just unwrapping a shop-bought bouquet of flowers and plonking them unceremoniously in to a vase, it was a very happy coincidence that the lovely Susie, from the fabulous blog Old Fashioned Susie, invited me and a few other local bloggers onto a workshop she’d organised at Frog Flowers, the talented florists based in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. I was so excited, as I love going on creative courses, and being surrounded by other creative people who are like-minded; but in addition I was going to get to play with flowers all day long and learn how to elevate my skills from ‘faffing’, to full-on flower arranging. Theoretically anyway.
As already mentioned, the workshop was held at Frog Flowers, a floral artistry studio which creates amazing arrangements and floral sculptures for weddings, special events, fashion shoots, art installations and anything else that catches their creative eye. At first, I wondered at their name, until, on the day of my workshop I was welcomed by the most friendly and charming and smiley French man called David, who immediately made me feel….happy!! He has that effect, he’s so warm and inviting. And as the founder and business owner, the penny dropped in my little old head as to why the business is called Frog Flowers, which I think is a lovely name.
The studio is really cool, which you would expect from a creative business located in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, known for its bohemian and artistic culture. On entering, you are surrounded by dark painted walls, exposed brick, flocked animals, vintage mannequins, copper pineapples, parrots and flamingos, and the odd skull or two. All very atmospheric and a wonderful way to display their plants and flowers. But then it’s on down to the basement, where the flowers can be kept a little cooler, and there’s space for tables and chairs, and an array of vases and twine, where the action happens. In our case, “The Flowers At Home Workshop” action.
Our lovely teacher for the day was Suzi, one of Frog’s floral artists, and after settling us down with a glass of prosecco and the offer of a tasty doughnut, she got to teaching us how to create a hand-tied bouquet from an absolutely HUGE array of flowers. Frog are very generous in their workshops, because not only do you get to keep the gorgeous vase you make your arrangement in, they allow you to use as many flowers as you like. And give you prosecco. And give you doughnuts. And give you Suzi who is lovely and knows everything there is to know about flowers.
Suzi demonstrated how to make a spiral-type bouquet which she held in one hand, fed flowers into at an angle with her other, secured with twine, placed in a vase, and on cutting the twine, released the most beautiful bouquet ever, which sat perfectly in her vase. It required almost no faffing whatsoever! And it was stunning. Then it was our turn and we all realised how deceptively easy the talented Suzi had made it look. And also how strong her hands must be as it was really really hard holding, and turning the bouquet. But God, it was fun. And I think for novices, we all turned out rather lovely arrangements which I think, secretly, we were all rather proud of.
This took up most of the three hour workshop, with the latter part being taken up by a mini foliage-garland tutorial. It was the best Saturday afternoon I’ve had in ages, and I couldn’t quite believe it when they allowed us to take our arrangement and the vase home with us at the end! I highly recommend it, so if you are local to me and fancy some flower arranging lessons yourself, then head on over to their website and check out their workshops diary. For one like mine, on a Saturday afternoon, from 1pm-4pm, with all materials and refreshments provided, it will only cost you £75, which I think is incredible value for money. And you will just have the most amazing day out, doing something creative and fun.
© Carnival Of Colour 2020