LivingSocial is offering a class in hand tied floral arrangements, taught bySarah von Pallaro of Urban Petals and, on select dates through November at their D.C. event space at 918 F Street.  In the class, we first learned how to prepare the flowers for the arrangement, which I kind of already knew from my prior classes in floral arrangement. However, it was interesting to learn about some of the stylistic preferences of famous European florists, like stripping the salal (Gaultheria shallon) branch of all the leaves except the top leaf for hand tied bouquets.

Anyway, on to the fun.

After the flowers were prepped, we started with a rose held in our non-dominant hand with the base of the flower cradled between the thumb and index finger.  Then, always coming at angles, we pulled salal stems/leaves around the rose to frame it in.  Then we started to build the flowers and greens around to get a dome-like shape, turning the bouquet to continue with the angle insertion motion and making sure to mix texture in with "fluffy" flowers, like the solidago (or goldenrods).  The complete list of flowers used in our fall-themed bouquets is:

  • Orange unique roses
  • Bronze cushion mums
  • Solidago
  • Hypernicum berries

Before skirting...
Once the bouquet was big and full enough, we wrapped a rubber band around the stems and began to skirt the bouquet with seeded eucalyptus and bear grass, looped around to create nice ribbon-like accents.  The great thing is now you can either wrap a ribbon around the rubber bands to finish off the look, or just stick it in a vase.  Both are beautiful!
After skirting
By the way, Urban Petals has an inspiring business model.  After events where they have provided the floral arrangements, Sarah's team will return to the site to collect the arrangements and save them from being thrown away.  Instead, they are donated to non-profit organizations to brighten the days of people who may not get the pleasure of fresh flowers on a regular basis because they are working hard and foregoing large salaries in order to better the community and others.