A Covent Garden Experience: Part Two

I started the tale of my day with the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers last week, when I shared my photographs from the New Covent Garden Flower Market. Today, I’m going to continue with Part Two; making a hand-tied bouquet.

 

London florist, things to do in London

 

On leaving the market, we returned to the beautiful Academy where the learning commenced. Gillian Wheeler, the Academy Principal, left us in the skilled and experienced hands of Madeleine Mukherjee and Justina, who were to be our teachers. Madeleine has decades’ worth of floristry knowledge (and has made floral arrangements for The Queen, no less) and is a gentle, encouraging teacher who managed to impart masses of knowledge to her students through the day and never made me feel as though I was failing, even when I struggled. She’s incredible. Justina is equally lovely and caring in her approach to the students, and was really helpful in helping my shape my bouquet. They made a great team.

 

how to condition flowers

floristy in London

 

We learnt how to ‘condition’ the incredible range of flowers and foliage so they were ready for arrangement, and then how to create a hand-tied bouquet by holding each stem in our hand, choosing one piece at a time and ‘spiralling’ the bouquet around. The foliage, a vital backdrop to the floral stars of the bouquet, is decided upon first, and then once that is perfected, each flower is placed through the bouquet, before finishing with wired string and grosgrain ribbon. Although it look me much longer than other people on the course, I was completely engrossed in what I was doing. Although it’s harder work than people imagine. it’s easy to see how people fall in love with floristry, and the day definitely ignited a desire in me to continue learning.

 

Floristry course in London

Floristry in London

After our bouquets were finished, they were all displayed together and it was fascinating to see how everyone had created something similar, yet unique. Sisters, not twins, as Madeleine perfectly stated. We then went on to create a buttonhole; a fascinating construction involving several different types of wire and green tape, which I loved making. I think buttonholes will be the first thing I attempt to make at home.

making a rose buttonhole
I could go on at length about this course, and in fact, I shall definitely be writing at least one more post; with some of my key pieces of learning. But suffice to say, if you’re interested in learning floristry for fun or perhaps to change career, then The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers is exactly the place for you. It’s undoubtedly inspiring and educational, but more importantly, it seems to be a place with a huge heart too, which is so important when you’re choosing somewhere to study. I am already trying to work out how I might go back, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

And, you want to see my finished bouquet, don’t you? Here it is. I’m rather proud of my creation…

Learning floristry in London

 

Huge thanks to everyone at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers for my place on the course and the incredible tuition. 

All transport and accommodation paid for separately. 

6 Responses to A Covent Garden Experience: Part Two

  1. Manneskjur says:

    ooo Lovely! The sight of all those flowers does something to me!

    Floristry is one of those things that I always think looks easy – until I come to try and arrange some flowers and then I realise that it takes know-how and skill. Loving your bouquet – I bet you went home on the train with a huge smile on your face x
    Manneskjur recently posted…Making a Bow & ArrowMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Definitely – Madeleine made it look incredibly simple and it’s only really when you start that you realise exactly how skilled it is. I loved my bouquet – and then I really loved giving it to my mum 🙂

  2. Gemma says:

    I LOVE those dusky pink roses, really unusual! Your bouquet is beautiful, the colours work really well together, you must have been chuffed!
    Gemma recently posted…Our garden: July 2014My Profile

  3. Claudia says:

    your bouquet is beautiful and i think that working with flowers is a great way to spend the day
    Claudia recently posted…a garden updateMy Profile

  4. That is a lovely bouquet! I remember seeing the picture in IG when you had been on the course. The rose you used is one of my favourites the colour is beautiful
    Emma Greenwood recently posted…Bees and butterfliesMy Profile

  5. Your bouquet looks amazing! Like those grand flower arrangement you see on large hotel lobby. On the massive table and yet the only thing you see are the nice flowers. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the third part =) #hdygg
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

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