top of page

Flower School 2023

After hosting our last workshop of the year on Saturday 16 December, it's time to reflect on all the workshops we have hosted in 2023, the people we have meet and gotten to know, the beautiful flowers we grew, and all of the enthusiasm, artistry and energy our students have brought to our studio. Our flower school is a haven of creativity, full of flowers and sparkling energy, where people come to learn something new, relax in a calm environment, be creative, brush up their floristry skills, start a career in sustainable floristry, meet with like minds, or to simply be around flowers. There have been many highlights and unforgettable moments, so many flowers, and so much breathtaking work made by seasoned florists and beginners alike.


One-to-One Masterclass: Floral Accessories, March

The workshop programme began on 15 March with a bespoke one-to-one class with a florist who wanted to develop her skills in making floral accessories for weddings and learn how to make them without plastic, wires, or glue. We gathered lots of spring flowers, early buds, larger headed blooms for focus, and delicate sprigs of foliage. Anemone, muscari, narcissi, heather, and hellebore; all of which are perfect for making small accessories. We made a set of boutonnieres, a comb, and two wristlets finished with our botanically dyed silk ribbons. The session was finished off with a styling and photography session to gather images for our student's portfolio, and of course, admiring all of the beautiful creations made!

"As a florist I, I benefited greatly from Days of Dahlias approach to sustainable floristry and design. Highly recommend spending the time to visit and work with Lauren and Louisina. I did the one to one session. Loving workshop space!"


Sustainable Floristry Career Course, April

In April, we invited our first floristry career students for a week long course covering all of the practical and business skills required to launch a creative and sustainable floristry businesses. We welcomed students from across Scotland and England and together we made bouquets, floral accessories, table designs, and large scale installations. We hosted break out sessions covering how to plan events, weddings, photography, branding, marketing, insurance, pricing, and how to run a sustainable business. By the end of the week, we felt like family and we have been watching proudly as all of our students have gone on to start their own businesses, develop their skills further, take on their first wedding bookings, sell flowers they have grown from their gardens, and even deliver their own workshops. One of the main takeaways from this workshop, was how much we all love narcissi and how underrrated they are as a cut flower, with the course being held in April, this was definitely a narcissi moment!

"Days of Dahlia's career course was 5 days not only filled with practical flower fabulousness, but some thought provoking sessions on the practicalities of setting up a small business and important considerations for doing so. I liked how guidance was given for different sustainable floristry techniques but I was given the time and space to start to develop my unique style in a supportive environment. The hospitality offered throughout the week to keep the creative juices flowing was also excellent and much appreciated. Also, a small note to anyone considering doing the floristry career course with Days of Dahlia, I would say ‘just do it’! If there is something in your gut telling you to do the course then make it happen and you will not regret it.  Working with flowers, foliage and being inspired by nature is so good for the soul. Do it and do it for you!"



Garden-style Bouquet Class, June

June was awash with roses, poppies, lupins, sweet peas, allium, astrantia, geum, aquilegia, and more. June is the month we delight in the sheer abundance and frothiness of the garden at its very best, with the first flush of roses a joy to luxuriate in, their perfume sweet and heady. What better way to celebrate this flourish with a bouquet class. We taught our students, all of whom were complete beginners on this class, how to put together a garden-style, handtied bouquet. The craft of making it look as though it has been effortlessly "scooped" from a garden is surprisingly difficult. The technique of the spiral is one of the most technical skills to learn in floristry and is a foundation which is useful across a range of designs. It is also a technique which we find often overwhelms most of our students but with a very simple breakdown of placement, an awareness of your body, and a rhythm, it becomes second nature very quickly. Our students left in disbelief of just how beautiful their creations are and how lost they became in the process of making it, with car boots filled with flowers to take home and hearts full of pride.


Bouquet Improvers Class, June

Our Bouquet Improvers class was a new addition to our programme for 2023. We felt there was a requirement for a more advanced class and a place for our previous bouquet class students to graduate to, a place to experiment with shapes, sizes and to refine bouquet making techniques. With the beautiful flowers of June continuing to delight and provide, our students developed their expertise, dexterity and proficiency in creating a range of handties in our highly gestural, intricate, garden-inspired style. We discussed how choosing the right flowers goes a long way in the outcome of your arrangement, we debated foliage or no foliage, and celebrated "fillers" such as daucus carota, agreeing it was an unfair term for such a beautiful flower. We also covered the 'hand vase' technique where stems are inserted into the a circle created by the thumb and forefinger, as well as a combination of the spiral technique and the hand vase. Our students created two beautiful bouquets finished with our botanically dyed ribbons and we all agreed that bouquet making is a practice that we make a commitment to constantly improving and always enjoying along the way. Let the flowers be your guide.


One-to-one Masterclass: Wedding Flowers, June

In mid June, we hosted a bespoke one-to-one class for a florist who wanted to "up her game" in creating flowers for weddings. We worked on bouquets, cake flowers and foam free table designs with a focus on creating all of these designs for weddings. We discussed working to client briefs and maintaining a commitment to sustainability and locally grown flowers. I remember this day especially because it was gloriously sunny and the flowers we cut for the class was one of my favourite harvests of the year with vases full of scabious, chamomile, campanula, poppies, ox-eye daisies, alchemilla mollis, allium, astrantia, roses, and lots of wild grasses. Fun and froth!


Botanical Dye Workshop, July

On a warm and sunny evening in July, we hosted a workshop on how to dye natural fabrics in a variety of soft and botanical colours with flowers, plants, food waste, and other natural materials. Students embarked on a guided foraging trip in our flower field before returning to the studio to learn natural dyeing techniques with the plants and minerals collected. We demonstrated the hot and cold dye methods, the bundle dye method and how to make a ribbon from a length of your dyed fabric. Botanical dyeing with plants and flowers is a beautiful and ancient tradition and a great way to discover a natural and sustainable way of working with colour and textiles. It's a joy to teach our students to develop their own dye practice and create a library of unique colours. There is something deeply special about creating your own colour palette and engaging with natural materials and ancient processes which are herbal, restorative and nourishing to the skin. We foraged, cooed over beautiful flowers, got into our science minds and discussed mordants, metals and modifiers, we made dyes, and marvelled at the magical alchemy that produces pink from dock leaves!


The Cutting Garden, July

A special date in our flower school calendar is "The Cutting Garden", a workshop which is focused on the farm and garden, growing flowers, and arranging them. We began the workshop in the flower field, cutting flowers together before gathering in the studio to condition and arrange them into wild, garden-inspired vase designs. We all agreed that there is a place for and beauty in weeds! A sustainable, seasonal and garden-inspired floristry practice involves having a conscious awareness of your materials; knowing exactly where they came from and how they were grown. Being attuned to those materials, the season and the landscape that yields them requires listening, patience, and respect. On this workshop, we even had students attending for a second year running! It was wonderful to welcome them a year later and hear about developments in their own gardens and floristry practice.


Sustainable Floristry Career Course, August

Our second career course of the year took place in August, making the most of the midsummer flowers and made memorable by warm weather, al fresco lunches and a trip to the village pub for a final celebratory meal together. Our students' aspirations included making their flower shop more sustainable, preparing to take up floristry as a career, to gaining confidence, to achieving practical skills in arranging naturally grown flowers. The week included lots of making, deep conversations, learning, and making future plans with so many beautiful arrangements and memories made. If the stars of our April career course were the narcissi, the stars of August were definitely the rudbeckia and the sweet peas with a few dahlias starting to tentatively bloom. All week, the studio was full of flowers, hard work, discussion, learning, laughter, and pride. We love the connections that are made when you share a passion. with others and spend consecutive days together being creative, sharing stories, and eating meals together. It's a privilege to host so many people in our tucked away part of the world. We created a lot of beauty on this week together and its an honour to support our students on their route to sustainable careers in floristry, whatever stage they may be on that journey.