A day spent learning a new skill is mindful and mind full (in a good way) living. This month, Rebecca Frank learns flower arranging.
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.
Seasonal vase classes cost £185 and are suitable for any level of experience. One-to-one classes are also available; vervainflowers.co.uk.