Vintage flower power
by Jodie Holloway
When Lynda announced that we were to be gifted a day in honour of Sue Ash to learn a new skill, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I have always fancied learning how to arrange flowers and The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers had a wonderful range of courses on offer. I opted for the Vintage Flowers course and was not disappointed.
The day started off with an introduction from our tutor, Gillian Wheeler, co founder and principal of the Academy, and from each of the students attending the course. Gillian went on to demonstrate the technique involved in starting off a hand-tied bouquet while
explaining about the flora that would make it up. Apart from learning the names of some plants such as Salal, Leather Leaf and Sea Mist, did you know that tulips continue to grow when they’ve been cut? This was a useful tip as it plays a part in where the tulips are placed within the bouquet – lower down means that when they grow overnight they don’t overtake all the other flora!
Gillian’s demo complete, it was then our turn to create a bouquet and it was a real treat to pick which of the beautiful flowers we would use – a range of elegant, soft colours of roses and tulips were available and brighter for those wanting to add a splash of colour. Sometime later and after a bit of a wrestle tying everything up, voila! I had produced my first bouquet.
The afternoon was spent creating a delicate vintage cup and saucer arrangement which meant that we working on a miniature scale using buds and shorter stems to create our display. Lastly, we were shown how to wire leaves and flowers to aid in crafting a vintage button hole. I made my way home with a smile on my face, happy with my efforts and with some lovely flower arrangements to show for it.
Now I can be like Elton John and fill my house with beautifully arranged flowers every day.
It was an educational and enjoyable day, which I can put into practice for client and other events, and I like to think that Sue would have approved.