The art of the flower pot
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 October 2012
If you think putting a bouquet together is as simple as picking out a few flowers, think again.
The art of floristry is a precise skill that is guided by basic rules and principles, as Frankie Davison, owner of Flower Pot, explains.
“Every arrangement is a triangle, even if it looks like a circle of flowers, because you always use odd numbers of flowers,” he says.
“And depth is another rule. You need your eye to wander through the arrangement. Your flowers should not be at the same level. You should be looking into the arrangement rather than at the outskirts.”
Learning the craft involves getting to grips with different designs, knowing flower varieties, moulding wire to complex shapes and, quite crucially, understanding colours.
“You need to know your colours, what colours should be put together and what should not be,” Frankie says.
Light pinks should not be stuck with bright oranges, for instance, and a bouquet of red, blue, white and yellow flowers wouldn’t be snapped up in a hurry.
Frankie has been a florist for nearly 20 years and took over Flower Pot just four years ago, continuing its 40-year heritage in Gravesend.
Just recently the shop moved from Pelham Road South further into town to Windmill Street.
As well as the main shop Frankie was insistent on having a space to offer classes in floristry.
He says: “It was a well known florist. I had always gone past it and liked it. But it was quite old fashioned. We decided we needed to modernise it and part of that was having a purpose built classroom.”
While selling their imaginative bouquets downstairs in the shop, upstairs is a hive of hands learning the craft.
He offers Christmas classes – for learning how to make Christmas wreaths and table arrangements, “funky pumpkining” around Hallowe’en time, children’s parties and wedding workshops for brides who want to do their own flowers for their big day.
There is also a £1,500 career course where Frankie spends every day from 9am til 3pm with one student for four weeks teaching them all the basics of floristry and giving them a chance to work in the shop.
“It’s ideal for someone who has been out of work for some time and wants to retrain,” says Frankie.
There is always an occasion for flowers, but times are hard on local businesses, especially florists given the surge in internet delivery businesses such as Interflora.
So what is the key to survival in the competitive florists’ market?
“In floristry you need to be different. You can’t be an everyday florist, you have to be better than online, better than the supermarkets and create something that customers like and keep coming back for.
“That’s what makes us different. Personal service, value for money and something created by a specialist,” he says.
For more information on courses see www.flowersgravesend.co.uk.