The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Hi friends, hope all is well with you. It's Friday, hurrah! Today I wanted to share a few snaps from the most incredible course I attended recently - the Hand Ties & Posies class at The Academy of Flowers. They were so lovely and invited me to come along, and as a big flower fan I jumped at the chance! You've probably gathered I have a weakness for fresh flowers, and while my love for house plants is growing, I still have a tendency to kill them, so cut flowers are a safer bet! That said, I am definitely more of a 'snip the stems and pop them in a jam jar' girl, to keep things quick and easy. So I knew a course in more formal and artistic arrangements would be really interesting and give me lots of tips.

The Academy of Flowers in Covent Garden is a wonderful place to go, even if you don't go for a class. You can of course pick up some gorgeous flowers, they can build a bouquet for you, and they sell all sorts of sweet gifts too - everything from candles, to notecards to books. After class I spent a while perusing the shelves for extra stocking fillers. One of the most tempting things for me was the range of teeny tiny succulents they had, they were £1 and I couldn't resist of trio of little babies. Well, everyone know a succulent is a blogger's best friend, right?

Anyway, back to the class. I went armed with my camera as everything else was provided {though some folk were clever and brought an apron along with them}. We immediately set to work, getting cups of tea and settling in to learn from our lovely teacher. First up was learning the art of the hand tied bouquet. Now, these look amazing, and quite a challenge to make, and it was a bit of a fiddle but I was so delighted to {sort of!} get to grips with the technique. There was a fair bit to learn, and I definitely see the importance of preparing the flowers before arranging them, too. We all made a mess on the floor with the amount of stripping and snipping of the stems that we did!

When it came to arrange the flowers in the classic spiral of stems, as you can probably imagine it involved a lot of turning {always in the same direction}, and strategic placing of the 'hero' flowers and the greenery filler, too. It was so awesome seeing the class teacher assemble a bouquet as she made it look so easy! One thing I learnt that has stuck with me, is how important the filler and greenery is. I often overlook this and just opt for a bunch of flowers, but when building a lovely and full bouquet, a few stems of leaves can really make it look super. In class we used everything from oak leaves to eucalyptus. We had buckets of pretty, seasonal blooms to choose from, and I opted for classic roses and alstroemeria, along with some winter berries. After this we learnt how to securely tie them before then wrapping them and popping them in a gift bag. Here's my hand tied arrangement, I'm so proud of it!

After lunch {I popped to Bill's which is almost next door and always a good place to go!} we moved on to work with wire, to learn how to make a sweet hand tie posy, a little bit like a bridesmaid bouquet. Made up of a few rose stems {I chose five yellow roses} and a collar of green leaves, we learnt how to wire each flower and leaf stem, before then binding them together with floral tape. Having never used wire in arrangements before, I was chuffed with the result, and how quickly it all came together. {Please excuse this more grainy photo, the week I took these photos it was such gloomy weather!}

With Christmas around the corner, these courses are a great idea for gifts for your nearest and dearest. In fact, the day I went there were several folk there who had been gifted their class. One lovely lady had even been brought to the flower class by her fiance, not knowing at all where she was going, just that she needed an apron. How sweet is that?! There are lots of courses to choose from, from day courses like the one I went to right through to much much advance courses, so there is definitely something for everyone! I'd definitely be keen to go back to learn even more - it's so addictive!

The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

St Martin’s Courtyard, 9 Slingsby Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9AB 

Nearest tube: Covent GardenPhone: 020 7240 6359

Thank you so much Academy of Flowers, for inviting me - I had the most wonderful time!