Recently I spent a really pleasant afternoon at a flower workshop held at Frog Flowers in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The workshop had been organised for a group of northern-based bloggers by Old Fashioned Susie. I’m not the best, most creative person when it comes to flowers, so I was excited at the prospect of picking up a few expert tricks of the trade.
Upstairs at Frog is the gorgeous florist shop and downstairs a basement studio where various floristry workshops take place. We were welcomed personally by owner, French born David Jayet-Laraffe and Susie who was teaching us (not Old Fashioned Susie, another Susie!).
Flowers, fizz and delicious doughnuts awaited us, what’s not to love about that?
Susie was really friendly and knowledgeable about her subject. She shared lots of tips including ways to keep your flowers alive for longer and showed us how to create a beautiful bouquet using a spiral technique. Essentially you grip the stems in one hand, turning them and adding more as you go, laying them on a slant – that way you create a lovely spiralling effect with the stems that will not only look nice in the vase but keep the arrangement stable. This is Susie’s gorgeous bouquet:
Then it was our turn and I have to say, after a while my hand was cramping up a fair bit, probably because I was working quite slowly, but also because we were encouraged to get lots of blooms and foliage – I could just about manage to hold them all!
There was such a wonderful array to choose from, too – we were really spoilt for choice.
Once I was satisfied with my arrangement I tied the stems with twine (and a bit more help from Susie) to keep them secure and placed them in one of the beautiful large glass vases that we were able to keep. Once they were in, the twine could be snipped off. My spiralling technique admittedly needs a little more work, but it’s a start! I thoroughly enjoyed the session.
After we had finished our bouquets, we grabbed a length of wire, our scissors, a roll of florist tape and various pieces of foliage to set about creating a garland of greenery. We watched Susie first who of course made it look easy! It was quite tricky wrapping the thin wire with the tape, as it was tacky to the touch, but I got there in the end and then started weaving the foliage along the wire and taping it in place. It was very therapeutic as we were all so focused on what we were doing.
The workshop ran from 1pm – 4pm and it was just such a lovely experience, I would highly recommend it if you fancy trying out a bit of floristry. You can find details of the various workshops on the Frog Flowers website – I hear the flower crown workshop is very popular, I imagine with wedding and festival season just around the corner! It was also really nice to get the opportunity to chat with Jen (Little Birdie), Rebecca (Carnival of Colour) and Karen Barlow – all of whom I’ve not met in person before. Karen (Well I Guess This Is Growing Up) and Sue (Old Fashioned Susie) I have met before, so it was great to see them again.
So here’s my bouquet and garland back at our house later that day…
A massive thanks to Frog Flowers for a wonderful and very inspiring afternoon.