Haha yes I know, I know… the heading of this post has probably got confused with another website. Surely it can’t belong to The Wallace? Flower Arranging?? You’re not alone… quote from a friend of mine “not sure I can see you faffing around with flowers”
Well actually, it went like this. A friend of mine, Viv, said she’d like to know how to create a decent flower arrangement so she can help out with a friend’s wedding. I told her that in Australia Dave had always been the flower arranger – he used to get fed up with me dumping beautiful flowers into vases in the vague hope that they looked OK! Viv then suggested we do a flower arranging course. I heard myself saying “yes”.
That was months ago.
Every now and then one of us would spot a course somewhere and then consult. Usually the dates didn’t work or they were way too expensive. After all we were doing it for fun really. And then there was a Groupon offer spotted by Viv! I was a Groupon virgin so registered and we both bought a voucher. Then somewhat of a saga ensued.
I called the florist to arrange the lesson. I was told that I had to email. I emailed. I heard nothing. I called to be told that the florist owner deletes emails from his Blackberry and if the lady in the shop didn’t get to the email before him, they were gone. I was asked to email again. I did so. I heard nothing. I called and we ran through dates and what we wanted to do. A date was fixed. I also received 6 phone calls asking if we could change our dates. I said we couldn’t. They confirmed the lesson would be on that date. I received reminders from Groupon. Viv and I turned down invitations to other things (including in my case attending the Paralympic Opening Ceremony).
We turned up in Putney for our lesson. Sam (the owner) greets us with a look of confusion but said we must be the 4pm people and then muttering something else, asked why we were there. I waved my printed out voucher and reminder emails at him. He said he had no record of us coming in. We left our email addresses as he would contact us the next day with new dates. We went home cross!
No contact. A week passed. I suggested getting a reimbursement from Groupon. Viv took over organising it. We ‘eventually’ had a new date. It was today.
We turned up. We were expected. We were ushered through the shop to a workshop at the back where 5 other young ladies were waiting. As soon as we, 7, were alone, everyone commented about their experiences. They had also turned up to be told it wasn’t the right date. They had spent time emailing and calling to try to arrange it. Grrrr all round.
After an extensive health and safety lesson from Sam about how to use scissors, he left. A sigh of relief from all of us to be left with a terrifically capable and gifted florist. She was new to the florist shop (hmmm side bets on how long she lasts with him?).
We had a giggle. We learnt how to do a flower arrangement. We learnt lots of tips and tricks. Soak the oasis in water with flower food and a drop of bleach so it is fully absorbed before you start arranging. Tie it to the base. Start with the green foliage. Use lots of green stuff. Add ferns and eucalyptus leaves to make it more interesting. Spray with leaf shine! Then add your focal flowers. Use odd numbers. Try to only have 3 colours in total (inc green). Infill until you can no longer see any oasis.
We also learnt how to do some funky vase arrangements (Dave, I’m in charge when I pop over to Sydney!).
I think we did OK. You see, I can do phaffing… and even if I say so myself, I think I phaff quite well!
Mine was delivered to my friend H and a pic of her two little people with the finished arrangement… Hmmm although to be honest I’m not sure how long it will last as they were both fighting over smelling the freesias as I left!!
I’m sure the bride on Monday will be chuffed to bits to have Viv there to create some beautiful table arrangements for her wedding…. but by billy-o, we only just made the lesson before the wedding!
Viv and I have decided that we should share what we’ve learnt… except this time in her kitchen, one evening, with a few bottles of wine and some good friends. Now to arrange another outing to the New Covent Garden flower market early one morning to pick up the flowers.
PS As for Groupon… I’m not convinced!