Great Advice

A very dear friend of mine retired a few years back. While we were chatting one afternoon I asked her – “Ridgely, I’m 20 years behind you in this journey, what advice do you have for someone in my shoes?”

She didn’t skip a beat – keep learning she said. Always, keep learning new things. Thankfully I love to learn….it wasn’t anything she had to convince me of – but every time I sign up for a class – I think of her advice – thank you dear lady!!

The class I took this weekend was Floral Design on a Budget given by a lady, Cheryl Jackson, who has owned a flower shop in my tiny town, Everson, for 25 years, she’s taught in the “big city”, Bellingham, at the Community College for several years. I’ve used her for several events throughout the years I’ve lived in Everson-the kids’ proms, tolos, sweet 16 birthday surprise flower deliveries, tea party center pieces, dad’s funeral, my second wedding, and probably several other things. She is amazing at what she does, her bouquets are always done with so much thought and are always beautiful. So when I found out she was teaching the class, I was more than ready to learn a few tricks from her!

My friend Sarah & I…she was sweet to keep me company!!
My first time using floral foam!

A few items of interest were….

I had no idea that Carnations are part of the Dianthus family….but it was a duhh moment for me – but it’s not like anyone was born knowing these things?! How was I supposed to know that? What I’ve learned so far, has been picked up in bits and pieces by the reading on the back of the packages, the internet and a book by Floret Farms. Thankfully, I’m also taking Floral 1 & 2 from Cheryl, so I will be learning lots more!

I didn’t know that when you have a half opened Carnation you could squeeze the little neck – I think they are called cormex? and open up the Carnation a bit more.

I met some new people, one of them has the same name as my niece-Starla! She is planting a flower garden this year, she has both books by Floret and is inspired to grown and learn! Another lady, Janet, had some great advice on how to keep my mom active and engaged, she was very kind! I invited both of them out to see the gardens this summer, it is always nice to show people around the place when they come for a visit. We shall see what happens.

I’ve heard the term “grown not flown” for a while now, and didn’t think much of it, heck, I’ve used it once or twice on my Instagram, but never really considered it. Interestingly enough….turns out that indeed, our flowers come from two markets – California or Canada. Again, what was I thinking, that perhaps Seattle had a mysterious place where they grew all sorts of flowers year round?! I know it’s possible to grow things in a heated space and what-not, but there seems to be a certain magic lost when it’s from an artificial source per-sey.

I also learned a few things about pricing, there’s so much more to learn I’m sure!! I will be a bit more careful on my pricing this year, but not entirely sure what that means!! Once I take the other classes I’ll know more. Apparently part of the class is going to florist and purchasing our own materials, it will be an interesting experience!

The last notable item was the building of the structure of a bouquet. It’s called an armature-Cheryl had us build one out of twigs – to save money because the leather ferns that are typically used are $1 a stem, and it often takes 8 stems to make the base. Sadly, they are not anything I can grow, but she did suggest some alternatives that maybe I can find in the back woods – huckleberry for one, and I don’t remember the other one, my notes aren’t close by right now! We also worked with Wax Flower, which I love, but cannot grow here….but I think Chinese-Forget-Me-Nots are close, but I’m not doing them this year….so far lol!!

That about covers it for the class I took last weekend. Honestly it was a little stressful, I have a certain idea of what I wanted mine to look like and it didn’t turn out that way, nor did it turn out the way that other people’s did 😦 but Joe thought it was really pretty. With all that being said….I’m looking forward to the wedding work class coming up at the end of March, it’s three nights total. The Floral 1 class starts on Wednesday nights, while the Wedding Work one is going….so it will be a bit busy for a few weeks 🙂 but I’m up for it! Learning something new and expanding my horizons!

Thanks for stopping by, I have a few new things in soil from this weekend, but I will update that on Thursday, until then – stay healthy and happy!!

2 thoughts on “Great Advice

  1. Ridgely

    How fun! If we still lived there I would have taken the class with you! I love to arrange flowers, I have limited knowledge, but I was happy with the ones I had to make for Joshs Moms memorial service 2 years ago. His sister just dumped several bunches of flowers down on the counter and I was supposed to make arrangements! Everyone though a florist did them, so I was tickled! Keep on learning dear friend!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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