Flower arranging is no longer the preserve of the WI or Swiss finishing school attendees, in fact flower arranging classes and workshops are on the upswing– part of a swell of enthusiasm for all things homemade.

Flower arranging. A skill that all Swiss finishing school attendees should master and regular attendees of the local WI excelled at. Yet, fast-forward twenty years to a blossoming millennial DIY culture and it looks like history is changing. A quick scroll through my Instagram feed reveals photo after photo of artful floral centrepieces, chic hand-tied bouquets and rustic arrangements of garden-grown blooms. It seems flower arranging is the new big thing.

Tapping into this trend is Victoria Davidson, founder of East Lothian-based Secret Garden Events Florist. Working with Amanda Farnese-Heath, a food stylist, photographer and chef, they have created a winning combination of flowers and food as the basis for a series of workshops run in East Lothian.

Past workshops have been held at Gilmerton House’s Butlers Residence and Smeaton Nursery’s delightful potting shed. Guests are shown how to create floral masterpieces under the expert guidance of Victoria. Victoria’s passion for flowers is evident, in fact every available vessel in the workshop is stuffed full of flowers. Themes for the workshops vary, with Victoria taking her lead from the seasons. Over the summer guests were invited to create stunning arrangements using seasonal mixed pinks including waxflowers, peonies and veronica. Victoria said “Everyone created something which was absolutely beautiful and unique to their style – some were very neutral whilst others used masses of rich deep reds and vibrant purples as a base for their display.”

Victoria’s passion for flowers is rivalled by Amanda’s passion for food. Amanda cooks everything from scratch and likes food that reflect the seasons. And, depending on the workshop, guests will be treated to either a delicious array of mouth-watering cakes or a scrumptious sit-down lunch. Victoria and Amanda will be holding workshops, this Autumn on 16 November at Smeaton and 14 December at Gilmerton House.

Victoria also offers bespoke workshops for people in their own homes. Here she can cater for five to six guests and design the workshop around a particular style. Alongside the upcoming autumn workshops, plans are in place for a Christmas Workshop to be held at Archerfield Walled Garden. Victoria, working with freelance florist Aoife Doolie, will teach participants to create willow-based wreaths with gorgeous seasonal foliage. A step away from the traditional Christmas wreath and one that’s bound to be Instagram ready!


SECRET GARDEN FLORAL WORKSHOPS | Smeaton’s Glass House 16 November | Gilmerton House 14 December | Christmas Workshop, Archerfield Walled Garden 7 December | www.secretgardeneventsflorist.com | e: vic.davidson@virgin.net | t: 07812142494

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