In early June, K came across this Brooklyn Based post and decided that we needed to do some flower arranging before I headed out of the city. The most appealing class was the one at Stems Brooklyn. For $50, you get two drinks, because it is attached to the bar Sycamore, a lesson on arranging flowers and you get to take your creation home. Sold.
Fun fact about me: You may recall that I was in FFA. What you may not know is that one of the events I competed in was floriculture. We learned how to do many basic arragement types, identify a lot of different flowers and plants typical in the floral industry and were tested on business basics and language. Yep. I did that. It was really fun and I think I have a medal or something from placing in the top ten at state one year. [You may hand me the top geek award at anytime] We went around to different flower shops in the area to learn and I seriously considered becoming a florist. Hell, I still think about it. I was very close to taking some classes at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens last year to see what is was like, but my job got in the way. It’s just really fun.
So as you can guess, you really didn’t need to add the drinks to get me to take this class. I reached out to Suzanna, Stem’s owner, to book Melissa, K, Christine and myself for her next class. She does a class about twice a month and it is about two hours long with 12 of us in the class. The flower shop is in the front of the bar, so if you just want to go to the bar, you get to walk through the collection of beautiful flowers first and this is where we had our class.
The tables were set up with mason jars of water and garden shears for each person. Suzanna started by going through how to compose a couple different arrangements that we could do with our vases, the rounded, visible from all sides look, or the front design, which is meant to be seen only from one side. She went through the basics of cutting and preparing flowers for a vase then she lets us pick out our flowers. Suzanna sources most of her flowers locally, so they were all flowers and foliage in season right now in New York. She only had one item, eucalyptus, that was not local and it is such a neat looking plant, how could you not want it in your bouquet?
We each picked six or seven face flowers and foliage pieces. She had some beautiful flowers for us to use and some great pieces of foliage. I had trouble picking, but I knew I wanted an A line front design with big focal flower in the center. I went for a huge white chrysanthemum as its focus and taller, thin flowers to build to the top with the foliage pieces to create the A shape. It turned out pretty good. My foliage didn’t want to stand up as straight as I wanted, so it’s not as peaked as I would like, but I still really like how all the flowers fit together and the over all look.
I think the best part of floral arranging is how easy it is to edit your design. Don’t like something? Take it out, move it, cut it shorter, replace it. You can continually edit it. If part of your bouquet starts to die, pull out the dying pieces and re-cut and arrange the surviving pieces into something new. I used to get a bunch of flowers ever week at the farmers market, and have stopped doing it, but I think I need to get back into the habit, having flowers around just brightens everything up and with my refresher course I have no excuse to not get going on it. If you have a chance you should definitely grab a friend and head down to Stems for a class, you won’t regret it!
PS: Check out Melissa’s post and photos here!