Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Say it with flowers - learning a new skill with Julie Davies

If you've been following me on instagram (if not why not ? Go on do it now - it's ok I'll wait) you will notice I've been posting photos of flowers a lot recently. I love flowers and have been taking an online course with Julie Davies that is designed for busy mums (and dads of course) who want to learn how to make the best of flowers. 

I was keen to take the course as I wanted to learn a new skill and taking it online was so convenient for me. You can take as little or as much time as you like and do the homework as and when it suits. There are tasks like preparing flowers, choosing colours and thinking about what flowers mean to you. The practical tasks are fun and result in lovely arrangements - hopefully. 

The first week's homework was arranging flowers in a straight sided jar. I chose some lovely carnations in co-ordinating colours and used one of my favourite vases in a rectangular shape. 

Finished tank arrangement 

Flower foam was introduced in the second week and Julie showed how to soak the foam before use and then how to shape it for the teacup arrangement. I loved watching the online videos of Julie demonstrating skills and showing how to do things. I'm a visual learner so it was really helpful for me to see how it's done before having a go myself.
I chose these lovely blooms 

Flower foam
teacup arrangement 
Overhead view 

Then we did an experiment about what to feed our flowers. I took four clean jars and some simple clean stems. In each jar I put a small amount of water and then added sugar in one, lemon juice in another, bleach in the third and kept the fourth as plain water.

After a week I observed how the flowers had coped in their different containers.


I found it really interesting that the blooms that fared best were those in water and sugar. Those in bleach and lemon seemed to dry out and looked a bit poorly. That really surprised me as although I've heard that sugar feeds flowers I've never tried it before. I'm not saying it will be a regular thing, but it did give me food for thought.


One of the containers I love the most is this metal jug that I use to make small arrangements or to place little bunches of roses from the garden. The task in week three was to arrange flowers in such a way as they would look like you'd just carried them in from the garden. It was tougher than I imagined as the wide mouth of the jar required some thinking so the flowers didn't 'gape.' I was quite pleased with the finished result though.

My jug vase 
Jug arrangement 

The final week was making a hand tied posy. This is my second attempt as my first was a bit clumsy looking. I'm delighted with this as it makes a simple supermarket bunch look really special. Julie also showed how to wrap the posy so it looks really pretty and professional.

Hand tied posy

I'd recommend taking Julie's courses as you get to be creative, your home will be filled with beautiful flowers and you can take your time to do the tasks as and when you can fit them into your life.

I didn't spend a fortune on flowers. All of mine came from Lidl or Aldi and the flower foam was from Hobbycraft and was really cheap. All the vases are my own and I've collected them over the years.

You can try a mini course for 5 days to see if you would enjoy doing a course with Julie. There is so much support online in her facebook group  and on twitter and I loved sharing my work and seeing what others had achieved.