Monday, March 8, 2010

Flower School

My tulips freshly cleaned:

Laying them out:
Michael demonstrated with white tulips:
Here he's cutting them to fit into the vase:
Here he is 'fluffing' the flowers:
Ta da:
Ta da: My final arrangement:

I recently had the pleasure of attending flower school with reknowned celebrity florist Michael George who is often featured on Martha Stewart.  Prior to class I actually had no idea who Michael was nor did I know what the class would entail-I just knew I loved flowers and thought a flower class could be fun. Plus, I buy flowers for my house and parties all the time and have a hard time putting them together at home.

The class was amazing and ended up being semi-private as there were only three of us. We were each given 4 dozen tulips of the same color since he specializes in monochromatic floral arrangements and he said that the first trick to flowers is to make sure you have a lot of them (even if they're cheap). One dozen doesn't get you far, so at least go for 3-4 dozen if you want to make a statement (which I of course always do).

First step: Clean the flowers (and this doesn't mean to rinse them with water), it's to take off the excess petals with a special maneuver with your thumb that's unfortunately hard to describe.  He likes to keep the top most petal intact which will grow when the flowers drink the water. 

Next, he taught us to 'feel' the flowers which means to figure out which way the flower moves naturally so you can make the arrangement on the table before placing it in the vase.  Place the straighter flowers in the center, and the ones that sway to the left (place to the left) and the same for the right ones.  You want to make a pyramid of flowers so that there will be color in all directions. 

Once you're finished, you pick up the flowers with both hands and slightly twist them in a counterclockwise fashion.  Then place a clear rubber band around them so you can cut them to fit into your vase.  'Fluff' the flowers when finished so they're moving in all directions and place them into the water.  They improve with age... Mine opened up on the 2nd day I brought them home and they are just magnificent.  You'll see them in my next post.

The class ended with high tea served in beautiful china with little meringue cookies. It was quite the experience!

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