How to ID Cut Flowers

If you are completely new to plants and flowers, it can be overwhelming to learn how to identify flowers. You will need to have a good library of flower ID under your belt before you begin work at an event company, flower shop, or working with your own clients. It is also helpful if you just want to delve deeper into floral design as a hobby. Knowing flower ID will help you place orders with your flower shop, local flower market, or growers. If you’ve never spent a lot of time with flowers before, it is difficult to know where to start learning to recognize flower varieties.

Most florists learn flowers through familiarity, shopping, and working with floral ingredients everyday. We find our favorites, that work for our recipes. We find the color varieties that speak to our brands. The truth is though: WE DO NOT KNOW EVERY SINGLE FLOWER! Flower varieties will vary per your climate, your local offerings, and the seasons. We are all learning, all the time! Nobody knows every flower and every plant. We are constantly learning and researching.

That said, you must have a good library of flower ID under your belt if you want to work with flowers professionally or even as a hobby.  I often tell students, the best way to get started with floral design is to make one arrangement per week. In the sourcing of the flowers, working with the stems, and researching, any questions you have along the way, you will begin to become comfortable with identifying flowers. 

But here are a few more tips to get you started:

If you are not sure where to start with flower identification, I recommend searching through flower supplier catalogs to start learning the basics. Here are a few:

Florabundance

Fifty Flowers

Peterkort Roses

Most florists do not have a degree in botany, but it is a great thing to study and will help you identify plants, particularly if you have an interested in foraging. To get started on the basics of botany, learning leaf shapes, and flower petal arrangements I recommend these books:

Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants

Botany for Gardeners

Botany in a Day

Be sure to follow over at our flower school Instagram as we post a new flower ID each week!

P.S.

In our Floral Foundations course we introduce you to 50 cut flowers. Each flower has a guide that includes common and Latin names, best use in arrangements, conditioning methods, and botanical drawings and photographs to help you identify the flower. 


Easter and Springtime Tabletops

Taking a few moments to make an Easter or weekend lunch or dinner table pretty for yourself, housemates, or family, is a lovely way to sink into some joy! Tabletops have been an absolute favorite over the years for me to style. I have styled tables for Kinfolk, Williams Sonoma, Bon Appetit, Rosanne Inc., and so many more! I’ve also styled many personal tables whether it is a springtime lunch for one or for a big family gathering. Over the years, my style has become more casual, unfussy, and quite frankly undone. I mean, who is really going to have an urn on their table? Bringing in a sampling of nature to complement your meal brightens your meal and makes the table a happy place to be. 

1. Keep things simple! Arranging a few cherry blossom branches that complement the green of your spring salads can brighten up a table.

2. Keep the food the focus. 

3. Keep centerpieces tall and airy (like thin branches and blossoms in glass vases) or low and rambling, like a vine growing around your entrees!

4. Don’t overthink it! What is blooming on your balcony? What is the neighborhood florist offering this week? Keep your centerpieces seasonal and local!

5. Add plants and intersperse them with stems.

6. Make a low, lush centerpiece in a bowl. (Join us this Saturday to learn how!)

7. Mix and match. Keep a subtle color scheme and mix prints and patterns on your linens and plates.

8. Consider adding edible flowers into the mix: lilac water with dessert, nasturtiums on your salad, or violets or pansies on a cake!


Photo credits: All photos by Chelsea Fuss for various clients and all photos photographed by Chelsea except photo 1, 12, 14by Lisa Warninger, 2 by The Bounty Hunter and photo 3 by Aran Goyoaga.


Spring Wildflower Wreath

On Monday, we had our last live flower class for March. We made spring wildflower wreaths! This is the demo. Making a wreath with wildflowers, grasses, and seasonal blossoms is a wonderful way to welcome a new season. In this particular class, I went over braiding and weaving methods to make a fresh wreath. Using no wire or twine, I wove this wreath together with fresh materials.

Decorate a wedding, event, or just your front door with a wreath like this. The circlet will dry and then you can continue to add materials in to the wreath. We also went over how to keep it fresh for an event or special day. If you celebrate Easter, this can be a lovely way to liven up the day! Tie it to the back of a chair, on a door, decorate a patio, or balcony. Just keep it in the shade and mist it. 

To get the latest live class schedule, sign up to our list here.

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