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.
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.
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.
There isn’t anything you can’t find here.
Gillian made sure we made a special stop at Dennis Edwards Flowers Ltd.
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!)
We took the tube back to the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers, located in St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden.
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!
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!
Once we all finished, Gillian demonstrated more tips for our bouquets. Her hands worked magic and made the process look extremely simple.
Then, she turned us loose to choose whatever we wanted among their infinite selection of flowers.
Here’s how I started:
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:
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.
When we returned, she showed us how to trim the stems so we could perfectly package our flowers for an easy transport home.
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!)
With our remaining time, Gillian taught us how to make a button hole (That’s a “boutonniere” for you Americans).
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!
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.
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…
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!