Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers- the Perfect Gift for a London Girl

If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for a London girl who seems to have everything, buy her a flower design course at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers.

Whether it’s a gift for Mother’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, a birthday, a wedding or shower, there isn’t a girl on the planet who wouldn’t truly love this opportunity. And love YOU for it!

However, I recently had the chance to take the full day Covent Garden Experience course as a guest, and I have to say it was one of the most valuable and fun experiences in my life.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

At 7:45am on a Saturday morning, I arrived outside the Vauxhall Tube Station and waited with 10 lovely ladies for the course’s instructor, Gillian. I learned that several girls had received it as a present from their husband, a few were brides to be (one of whom came all the way from Grand Cayman!) and the rest were flower fans who wanted to move their knowledge to the next level.

Gillian arrived promptly, and we began our journey to the New Covent Garden Flower Market. It’s where 75% of London’s florists buy their flowers.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Gillian gave us a tour of this ginormous facility and let us wander through the aisles at various times so we could witness how much was available.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers (3)

There isn’t anything you can’t find here.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers Flower Collages (1)

Gillian made sure we made a special stop at Dennis Edwards Flowers Ltd.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

We actually met Dennis, who is a total ROCKSTAR and lady charmer. He gave us each a complimentary rose. (Thanks girls for letting me borrow two for the photo!)

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

We took the tube back to the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers, located in St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Once we were all seated, Gillian began teaching us how to groom our flowers.

Simply put, Gillian is a delicate flower NINJA! The grace and ease with which she demonstrated techniques was captivating. This beautiful English Rose is also the author of a book!

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers (22)

Once she showed us numerous strategies, we each grabbed a bucket full of a flower or fern and began our task.

I worked mostly with eucalyptus. By the time I was done, my hands were very sticky but smelled divine!

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Once we all finished, Gillian demonstrated more tips for our bouquets. Her hands worked magic and made the process look extremely simple.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Then, she turned us loose to choose whatever we wanted among their infinite selection of flowers.

Here’s how I started:

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Gillian floated through the room as we all assembled our bouquets, and her exquisite patience and approachable demeanor made it easy to ask questions and less daunting to construct our masterpieces.

Here’s how I finished:

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Although I loved my bouquet, I think the other belles in the course far surpassed my humble attempt. Gillian instructed us to leave our bouquets in buckets filled half way with water so they could have a “drink” while we lunched.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

When we returned, she showed us how to trim the stems so we could perfectly package our flowers for an easy transport home.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

However, once they were sized appropriately, we learned a trick to keep them wrapped in water until they could be placed in a vase. (Surprisingly, cutting the cellophane was my most difficult task of the day!)

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

With our remaining time, Gillian taught us how to make a button hole (That’s a “boutonniere” for you Americans).

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

Throughout the course, I learned many tips and tricks for choosing, assembling and caring for flowers, including the MOST IMPORTANT rule to follow when creating an arrangement.

I’m not going to share everything I learned because that would ruin the allure of the course, but here’s one tip- buy a pair of these snazzy Japanese scissors for cutting stems. They have them at the Academy, and once I saw a demonstration with them, I became a believer!

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and look forward to taking more courses. I’ve also told every man I know that this is the guaranteed way to a woman’s heart! Surround her with flowers for a day and teach her how to make them last for a lifetime!

The pride I felt when completing my arrangement was enormous.

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers Covent Garden Academy of Flowers (29)

We all left absolutely thrilled with what we learned and what we had to show for our day.

Mr. Sunny and his family could not believe that I made the bouquet!

Aside from offering classes, the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers also makes arrangements for sale for businesses, holidays, special occasions or just random acts of kindness! This is one of the designs they were working on for a London hotel…

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

The next Covent Garden Experience course is offered at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers on June 28th. But, if you go to their website, they have tons of shorter evening courses that you can enjoy sooner. Some of them include: Mother’s Day, Tables for Home and Events, Christmas Arrangement and Contemporary Design.

I just can’t imagine why any person would struggle to think of the perfect gift idea for a lady in London, when the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers makes it soooooo easy!

Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

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    1. Angie, that’s exciting! The market is incredibly overwhelming. I really couldn’t include all the pictures I took there because the post was growing so big. I learned some tips about when it’s best to go, so maybe I can share them with you, if you’re interested.

  1. What a fabulous day! I would absolutely love to do this! I am terrible with anything thats grows from the ground. It reminds me of my grandmother, she tries to teach me how to arrange a gorgeous display…but mine never really amount to anything close to what she can do. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jamie, that’s fabulous that you have that experience and bond with your Grandmother. I hope you’re able to make it in to London for a course. Let me know and maybe I’ll join you for another one!

  2. What a brilliant idea for a gift!

    It’s so original and looks like great fun! Unfortunately I’m SO uncreative I think I’d struggle! I can’t even arrange a bunch of tulips from Tesco into a vase to make them look good! x

    1. Chloe, I’m the exact same! You would think someone who grew up in Florida, a tropical climate, would have a clue! Trust me, I have no talent whatsoever. Gillian, the instructor, was by far one of the best teachers I’ve encountered, and I’m a former educator!

  3. I shall place this spot on my “things to do in London” list!!!! Your flower choices compliment one another beautifully. I can almost smell the roses and the eucalyptus! Playing with plants and flowers awakens the creative side we never knew we had.

    1. Thank you, Patty! I think I can still smell the eucalyptus on my hands 😉 I wish I had been able to include the others’ bouquets because they really came up with beautiful arrangements. I just couldn’t fit all the pictures I took that day. The other girls in the course were really talented.

  4. Loved reading about this. It looks like a wonderful time and I am sure I would love every minute of it. Nothing nicer than gorgeous flowers. I will definitely keep it in mind.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Gina! I think it’s a great opportunity in London for those who have made their rounds to all the tourist attractions and really want something fun and meaningful to do. Let me know if you go. 🙂

  5. Wow, your bouquet does look lovely! Hard to think that it is your first humble attempt as you put it. Seems like this was so much fun! I love the idea of getting flowers as a gift for no special occasion, so you can be sure I will be visiting the Covent Garden Academy of flowers soon.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. This truly was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had in London. If they can teach me how to make an arrangement, I’m confident they can make ANYONE successful. I hope you enjoy your visit there!

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