Last Updated on July 1, 2021
Discovering New Covent Garden and arranging flowers like a pro!
If you are anything like me, when someone presents you with a bouquet of flowers you find your ‘most user-friendly’ vase (the one where you can just bung everything in), lop a bit off the stems, fill the vase with water and sprinkle with the food they give you, then bung everything in and shuffle it around a bit. Cutting everything to the same size seems like a good idea – and I usually manage to pull off at least some of the excess foliage. But, that’s the extent of my flower arranging.
Blooming Haus are professional florists, normally setting up displays for weddings, big events or restaurant openings. Actually, the sort of things that shuddered to an abrupt halt during the pandemic. Regrouping a bit, although they are now back working for weddings and corporate events again, they’ve created a series of masterclasses, designed to help people like me do something a little better. I went along to find out more.
Based just around the corner from New Covent Garden Market, the Blooming Haus classes start off with a visit to buy flowers. That in itself is a lesson. We learnt that the best day to shop for flowers is Tuesday, followed by Thursday – because that’s when most of the deliveries arrive. If you are super keen, you should try to get there early in the small hours of the morning. But, even at 7.30 am when we sleepily made our way there, the vast warehouse is full of stunning flowers.
Everything seemed to be around half the price you’d pay in a normal supermarket and considerably less than florist prices. And, of course, everything is super fresh (Michal taught us to check the ends of the stems were freshly cut and green to be sure). But, you do end up buying in volume – you can’t pick one or two roses and one or two chrysanthemums to go with a few sprigs of foliage – for the most part, you are buying a bunch of 10 stems of the same colour and type. But what a great way to fill your home with flowers!
Back at the Blooming Haus workshop, we were given an introduction to flower arranging. A few tips from master florist Michal Kowalski
- Fill your bowl or vase with water and feed. We were told to use baking soda and a tiny bit of bleach if we didn’t have a proprietary feed
- Then ‘line’ your vase or bowl with foliage that you’ve trimmed neatly
- Trim your stems and remove every bit of foliage that would otherwise be under the water
- Arrange your flowers in groups of 3 or more of the same type.
- Don’t try to make every stem the same length – it will look dated and too formal.
- Try to have a colour palate in mind – a colour wheel helps if you need a bit of guidance.
Once you’ve finished your arrangement, then remember it will need more water every few days. If you are using a vase, then a complete refresh of the water is a good idea, along with trimming the stems again. If you are arranging the flowers in a bowl for a tabletop display, then you can simply top up the water.
Of course, there’s a lot more to learn – and the team from Blooming Haus were around as we built our own flower arrangements helping to tidy up our efforts.
We had a great time making a whole variety of different displays and even got to take them home with us at the end of the session. With a few adjustments, mine lasted for ten days, resplendent on my coffee table and bringing a warmth to the whole room.
What makes the Blooming Haus Masterclass so special is that you get to do everything – from picking the best flowers to buy through to learning how to estimate the length of stem that you need. And, there’s plenty of coffee and pastries to help keep everyone buzzing.
Priced at £150, the Summer Masterclasses take place on Friday 9th of July and Friday 6th of August. There will be more classes throughout the year with seasonal variations to include autumn harvest events and wreath making at Christmas.
For further class details and information, just visit www.bloominghaus.com. I could see this being the perfect event for anyone who will be catering for a wedding, but also a wonderful gift for someone who has just moved into a new home.
Blooming Haus started as a small pop-up shop in Chelsea. The vision of Master Florist Michal Kowalski and his business partner Michael Dariane, the duo has since blossomed spectacularly as ‘floral engineers’, carving themselves an outstanding reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative and fashion-forward floral design studios with strong roots in sustainability. What makes these classes so special is that you get an insight into how to create truly unique and stunning arrangements of your own. They are genuinely inspirational – and I can’t wait to try my next arrangement.
If you are simply looking for flowers to your door, we love Freddies Flowers.