Flower ar­rang­ing

SPEND A DAY LEARN­ING A NEW SKILL. MIND­FUL AND MIND FULL ( IN A GOOD WAY)

The Simple Things - - LIVING | LIFE SKILLS - BY RE­BECCA FRANK Sea­sonal vase classes cost £185 and are suit­able for any level of ex­pe­ri­ence. One-to-one classes are also avail­able; ver­vain­flow­ers.co.uk.

AS SOME­BODY WHO loves flow­ers but knows lit­tle about pick­ing or as­sem­bling them, I signed up for a sum­mer vase work­shop to learn more about the types of flow­ers and gain con­fi­dence in my artis­tic abil­ity. In­dia, the young, pas­sion­ate founder of Ver­vain Flow­ers, is based on the farm and nurs­ery in Worces­ter­shire, where she grew up and now grows the ma­jor­ity of flow­ers for her wed­ding busi­ness and work­shops.

We start with a gar­den tour while In­dia ex­plains her in­for­mal and in­tu­itive style of floristry, love of gar­den roses and irises (“I know they only flower for a few days, but when they do, it gives me the best feel­ing so I grow them any­way!”). Our class­room is a large barn filled with buck­ets of the prettiest sum­mer blooms in un­usual va­ri­eties and shades, from deep pur­ples to apri­cot, all freshly cut and ready for us to play with. Af­ter In­dia has demon­strated, we set to work – a ce­ramic bowl from a lo­cal pot­ter has been pro­vided in which to cre­ate our own dis­play. I fid­dle around for ages cre­at­ing a shape with my fo­liage be­fore mov­ing on to the fun and slightly nerve-wrack­ing bit of choos­ing and adding my flow­ers. The beauty of the plants and the fo­cus re­quired soon dis­tract me from what every­body else is do­ing and I be­come com­pletely ab­sorbed. Af­ter a Mediter­ranean-style lunch in the gar­den, we head back to tweak and pho­to­graph our dis­plays and to ad­mire each other’s work. I come away keen to grow more of the flow­ers that I love, both for my house and gar­den, and with the lib­er­at­ing at­ti­tude that – whether I re­ally know what I’m do­ing or not – I can al­ways just give it a go.

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