Back in the depths of winter my New Year’s resolution was to spend time this year improving my photographic and floristry skills. To that end I booked myself on a three day One to One course with Georgia Miles of the Sussex Flower School.  June seemed like an eternity away back in the short cold days of January, but time always speeds by and it seemed somewhat surreal to be packing last Monday for my short break away.

Having negotiated the first hurdle of leaving my family to fend for themselves and the long drive to Sussex, I spent a very comfortable night in the beautiful new home of  kind friends who had agreed to put me up for the duration of my stay. I awoke on Tuesday with something of the ‘first day of school’ feeling in my stomach and set out on my way, not really knowing what to expect or how I would find Georgia.

I had no need to worry – a very warm welcome was awaiting me from the delightful Georgia Miles. The school was easy to find and easy to park at (always a plus!). Cups of tea were plentiful, along with a constant supply of shortbread biscuits.  Georgia was great company and I knew immediately that my three days were going to whizz by.


We spent the first morning chatting about all things flowery, covering a wide range of flower related topics. Georgia shared a huge amount of information with me and I took copious notes, which I now need to sit down and work through. Throughout the course she was instructing me to ‘write that down’ and I have lists of books to buy, websites to visit and floristry supplies and suppliers to investigate.

After a delicious lunch it was down to work. The first task was the hand tied bouquet, complete with tissue paper wrapping and an aqua pack . I was able to take my pick from the buckets of flowers Georgia had chosen for the course and for this one I started with the stunning blue delphiniums and pink rosa “Smiley Sensation”, which was also beautifully scented. I often produce small spiralled arrangements, but always worry about working on a large scale so this was the perfect opportunity to learn.


Other ingredients I chose were Leucanthemun, Bupleurum, Cornflowers, Soft Ruscus and Eucalyptus. Georgia taught me how to hold the stems, place them and turn the bouquet, so that I ended up with a perfect spiral of stems and a bouquet that could stand up on its own. After tying it, I learnt how to make the tissue wrapping and an aqua pack. She finished it by teaching me how to tie a lovely bow. It is amazing the difference it makes to the appearance of a bouquet when it is properly wrapped. Here is a picture of Georgia with my finished bouquet.


This first creation was to be a gift to my hosts, so I took it back to their house and photographed it whilst I waited for them to return from work. I was worried about whether they would have a suitably large vase, but on their return a straight tall blue vase was produced into which the bouquet fitted perfectly.


After a delicious supper in a local pub, I went to bed eager to get on with Day Two of my course. Hopefully I will find time to share this with you tomorrow.