What a great way to start the week! We’re constantly amazed by the generosity and kindness shown to the BB community by our wonderful floral industry friends. Today Françoise Weeks, Woodlands Designer & Botanical Haute Couture Artist, is stopping by with a gift for one very lucky BB reader!
Feeling lucky? You might just find yourself spending 3 days with Françoise in her private Portland, Oregon studio learning her wedding floral design techniques! Françoise is gifting a seat in her Wedding Design Workshop on June 5-7, 2017 to the winner of a drawing scheduled for this Friday right here on Botanical Brouhaha.
The workshop will be limited to 5 students to ensure an intimate atmosphere conducive to asking questions and learning techniques under Françoise’s guidance. Content is geared for all abilities and the focus will be on stretching yourself to be open to new ways of thinking about botanical materials. Workshop topics will include:
Day 1: Reception Flowers
What all is involved in consultations, proposals and contracts? Françoise leads a lively discussion that begins day one. Following this she demonstrates many techniques and mechanics and shows a variety of ideas on design elements for the reception – centerpieces, arrangements for buffets and mantles and cake decorations. You will get a chance to interpret these ideas and create 2 centerpieces, choosing from a plethora of seasonal flowers and textures.
Day 2: Personal Flowers
How does Françoise come up with new ideas and promote her passion? Become comfortable with designing flowers for the wedding party, including the bridal and bridesmaid’s bouquets, flower crowns and botanical jewelry.
Day 3: Ceremony Flowers
Here you’ll get a look at the intricacies of sourcing, ordering and pricing flowers. Find out why streamlining workload is essential. Design elements for the ceremony, including chuppah decorations and altar, candelabra and pew arrangements. *Day three begins with a trip to the Portland Flower Market.
Françoise Weeks | Gwendolyn Severson Photography
For a chance to win the seat in Françoise’s workshop, simply leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen by random drawing on Friday, April 14, 2017 at noon (CST). The winner will be announced on Botanical Brouhaha later that afternoon.
(Note: The winner is responsible for travel and lodging expenses. The 3-day workshop is valued at $1300)
Françoise Weeks | Ron Weeks Photography
Thank you, Françoise, for your constant generosity and inspiration. We’re grateful for you, friend.
Good luck, BB readers!
What are your favorite berry varieties for using in bouquets? How do you insert them into the bouquet if the stems are short? Any special care instructions?
Privet Berries | Clare Day Flowers
Privet berry is a favorite in winter as it works so well with evergreen and shades of white. Also juniper berry.
Indian plum is a plant that is prolific here in the PNW that I adore. It has gorgeous yellow berries that ripen to a burnt orange.
Clare Day Flowers | Red Leaf Studios
Indian Plum | Clare Day Flowers
Unripe blackberries and raspberries are probably my favourite. We have thornless blackberries on our farm and they are amazing!
Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)
I adore using berries in my work! And something neat is available almost anytime of the year. Some of my favorites are snowberry, privet, ornamental raspberry, and tinus viburnum.These typically come on long, sturdy stems, except for the tinus, which can be a tad short. Short stems are wired and taped and inserted into bouquets and centerpieces. Tinus has strong, leathery berries, and tough leaves, so it’s just fine applied this way.
I adore snowberry, but sometimes the berry clusters are too heavy, so I often pluck a few berries off, and lighten the stems up as needed. Privet is amazing- when it’s in its prime, the berry clusters are full and have a beautiful cascade to them.
I’m not above painting privet if it comes to me green…Design Master’s “flat black” does a convincing job turning them into the deep blue/black that everyone loves so much. I make a “spray guard” with a scrap of paper by tearing a small hole in it, inserting the berry clusters through it, and spraying one cluster at a time. I don’t want to paint the stems or leaves black. Tedious, but worth it!
Ornamental raspberry is another favorite, and one I grow. The berries are gorgeous, and the canes grow up to 10’ tall! The foliage is strong, and I love using the new growth in crowns and other wearables. I do take care to pluck off any ripe berries- I don’t want to add anything to the bouquet that could cause a stain.
Susan McLeary (Passionflower)
We use a lot of under-ripe blackberries, viburnum berries, porcelain vine, and green blueberries in our designs. If the stems are short, we just use florist tape to attach a wooden pick to the bottom to make it longer. The beauty of berries is they really don’t need water if being used in event work so you don’t need to fret over getting the stem down into the vase to drink. I especially love using berries in small personal items like boutonnieres and corsages.
Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)
My favorite berries to use in naturally styled bouquets are ones that have a nice drape to their shape. For more of a statement I like something like Privet Berries or Pepperberries which are fuller, and I love Snowberries, unripen Blueberries or raspberries for a more delicate addition. For the bride who likes a more tailored bouquet I like to tuck in Silver Brunia, Ivy Berries, or ivory Hypericum to add some texture.
Beth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)
I absolutely love berries… but mostly for the foliage! Black currant branches age beautifully in the autumn, their leaves turning a lovely mustard gold before going brown. Ditto for strawberry leaves but instead of gold, they give you a lovely mottled burgundy show. I love raspberries both for the foliage and the berries. All of these (except for the strawberries) have nice long canes/branches that make for lovely structure within an arrangement. Although they are on the short side for hand-held bouquets, I love plopping strawberries along the bottom of table arrangements and compotes- they can hang nicely below the other flowers, which shows off the beauty of the fruit.
Emily Avenson (Fleuropean)
My favourite berries….
Privet Berries and Hedera Berries are awesome – love the black!
Also love Viburnum opulus – the fleshy red, in season.
Of course love Solanum berries, but they are considered invasive so have to be very careful when using them – but the shades of blue/lavender in the fall is heavenly!!
I love berries a lot but not in bouquets… I am always afraid that the berries would go ugly when they start wilting or fall off and stain the bride’s gown. There is one variety I use a lot though in the end of summer, which is snowberries, just love love them. To get a berry look, I also use seeded eucalyptus, which is super safe even in the hottest summer months.
Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)