Covent Garden Flower Academy / 3

Day 2 was my first ever trip to the flower market! The Mecca of florists, and it totally deserves the reputation! I was completely over whelmed by the colours, the diversity, and shear amount of flowers, vases, containers, foliage, props, beads, wrapping, tools, accessorise, ect ect to see. The best I can do is to show you.

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I have thousands more but sadly I think I’ve already overstuffed this post, so I’ll pop them up on Instagram for you if you’d like to see more.

After the market we went back to the Academy and proceeded to learn about conditioning, and how what you do depends on which flowers and foliage you’re using, and what you’re using them for. For example, if you’re preparing roses you snip off just the tips of the thorns, and leave the stems long after cutting the bottom inch off at an angle, making sure that you place them in a tall container that will support them full of clean water. You then start to remove the leaves, you would leave more if they were being left in their container on display, leave only the top two for a hand tie and if using for weddings you remove all the leaves.

After conditioning we were shown how to make a hand tie by Madeleine and then proceeded to make our own. We were given an autumnal colour pallet and only a certain amount of blooms to choose from and set to work. I am naturally right handed, but it seems that when it comes to hand ties I spiral like a lefty, but apparently that fine and I have a very neat compact spiral so it’s fine. I loved making the hand tie, I found it oddly relaxing and rhythmical, despite the fact that the colours we used aren’t ones I am naturally drawn to and we used some flowers an foliage that pushed me out of my comfort zone…an ornamental cabbage for example. I was also lucky enough to be told that by Gillian that I am a natural, and when Madeleine asked if I had even done a hand tie before, and I obviously said no, she said for a first one it was brilliant and she wouldn’t be above putting it in the shop. I could have exploded with pride! Can’t wait for next week! We’re doing wiring, I wonder how mine will hold up.

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(Images, By Bethany)

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