Saying it with flowers

March 24 2017

Gold medal-winning garden designer Louise Bastow has set up a new initiative to teach people the art of flower arrangement.


Gold medal-winning garden designer Louise Bastow has set up a new initiative to teach people the art of flower arrangement. 

Louise uses locally grown and foraged flowers and plants for her monthly ‘kitchen table’ flower arranging workshops. An Easter Wreath is the subject of her next class, held on April 12, at her house in Redland.

She has been interested in plants since she studied History of Art as a student and felt drawn to the beauty of the shape, form and colour of flowers, and how they were painted in still life. 

Louise said: “There are so many different shapes of flowers - they change over time, and how you combine them together changes them from a single stalk to a whole combination. 

“The courses are aimed at all age groups - people who have an enjoyment and appreciation of flowers but who haven’t had the time or the opportunity to refine their arrangement skills. The joy of working with flowers is that it is incredibly relaxing. There’s a lot of well-being that people get just working with natural products - I find that flowers instantly lift your mood.”

The  starting point for one of Louise’s displays is the foliage. She explained: “I know how all these shrubs grow and it’s useful to have a variety of texture. My display today has some glossy holly, holm oak with a slightly silvery underside, oak leaf hawthorn and some ivy with its seed heads attached. Probably a typical florist would snip that off but I like to include it as it tells you what stage of the year it is. The twigs have their little buds at the end and add some movement to the arrangement. Woven through it are some deep burgundy hellebores, pink and white hellebores, plus dark red scabious, white roses and two little Ammi heads.

“The joy at the workshops is that everyone will have their own flowers but the arrangement that they come home with will reflect their own, individual creativity. It’s really lovely to see how people come up with things that are just them.”

Louise runs regular monthly kitchen table workshops at her home in Redland from 7pm-9.30pm. Come along to try your hand at simple hand-tied posies, table centres, herbs and summer flowers, seasonal wreaths and gift bouquets.

There is a workshop on gathered and foraged posy making and table centres at the Folk House, Saturday 22 April, morning and afternoon, £28 each. 

Flower arranging with a seasonal lunch is also on the menu at The Ethicurean, Wednesday April 26, 10-1pm, £60 including drinks and lunch.

Bell's Diner, Weds June  21 from 10.30-2pm, a gathered and foraged posy making workshop followed by a set three course lunch with drinks for £50.

For further details contact Louise on 07929 253942 or email Visit uk for details of all the workshops.