Monday, November 4, 2013

Learn to arrange flowers

I love fresh flowers (hint to my hubby if you're reading this)! There are numerous studies which show that having a bouquet of fresh flowers can elevate mood and reduce stress levels. Ordering flowers from a floral shop on a regular basis can get pricey. Learning how to arrange flowers is a skill that will come in handy and save you lots of money. There are so many occasions where flowers are appropriate - holidays, births, illnesses, engagements, showers, birthdays, etc.

Most community colleges offer continuing education classes. I took HORT 4000 - Fundamentals of Floral Design from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE. I also took HORT 261 - Floral Design 1 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They're not like typical college courses. They were very fun and hands on. Every week we made a new bouquet to take home. We learned about color, lines, shape, texture, space, care and handling, managing a floral shop, marketing and critiquing of floral designs.

Here are some of the arrangements I have made:

Very first arrangement
Darn cat. Always chewing on my flowers.
I know they don't look as nice as a floral shop's, but the majority of people won't know the difference.

In HORT 261, we had to design a floral plan for a wedding. It was great practice for my own wedding where I did all of the flowers. See that blog post here. Below are the flowers that we ordered from Sam's Club.

I spent most of the day before the wedding arranging them. We had fresh flowers literally everywhere and it only cost us around $300. The same arrangements done by a florist would have cost at least $2,000 and we wouldn't have had as much flexibility. I was glad that I had a couple of floral classes under my belt before the wedding. Numerous people asked which floral shop we hired - little did they know!

Now whenever I need flowers for an occasion, I swing by Sam's, HyVee, or Walmart and pick up a bundle for $10-$15. I keep vases (who doesn't have a million vases lying around?) and ribbon on hand and arrange them when I get home.

The skills you learn in class can also be applied to other types of arranging like silk. Here I am working on a Halloween bouquet. I went to Micheal's the day after Halloween and got all of those items for 80% off. I learned how to do different bows in class and it's one of the skills I've used the most.

Still need to add the goolish flowers and decor

So get out there a take a floral class! Recruit a friend or family member to take it with you. You won't be sorry!

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