Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the location and the March date of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs' floral design class.
Floral design is understandably intimidating. There are thorns, after all.
It doesn’t have to be, said Linda Boland, a board member of the Augusta Rose Society.
“Everybody can arrange,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be difficult.”
Several garden clubs offer hands-on courses, workshops and events for beginners starting this month.
Even local floral shops can help, said Heather Colvin, the general manager of Martina’s Flowers and Gifts in Augusta.
“We encourage people to come and learn,” she said.
On Fridays, the shop offers some half-priced stems, which make for an affordable entry point into do-it-yourself floral designs at home.
“We have a lot of people coming in on Fridays to experiment and learn how to design,” Colvin said. “We tell people to bring their containers. We can help them find the right flowers for their vase.”
Colvin steers beginners toward easy-to-work-with flowers, such as hydrangeas or Alstroemeria lilies.
“You can grab a bunch and pop them into a vase and they’ll look pretty,” she said.
As hobbies go, floral design isn’t experiencing the heyday it once did, Boland said.
“It was big at one time,” she said. “There are just so many things to do these days.”
A series of workshops held by the Aiken Garden Club Council and the Augusta Rose Society teach traditional, contemporary and oriental rose arrangements.
They’re led by accredited American Rose Society judges who exhibit, judge and teach across the country, Boland said.
“They’re professionals. You can come in not knowing anything,” she said. “We want people to be comfortable with it.”
Another series of classes – Introduction to Floral Designs – is sponsored by the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs. Each week includes a demonstration at the Georgia State Floral Distributors.
“I think that anybody who comes will find something that appeals to them,” Boland said. “It’ll be a really fun day.”
Fun is exactly what arranging should be, Colvin said.
Rules of composition that guide traditional floral design. Arrangements, for example, are supposed to be 1½ times taller than their vases, Colvin said. So, a 5-inch vase needs 7½ inches of flowers, for an arrangement that’s a total of 12½ inches tall.
“But you can just throw a lot of those rules out the window,” she said. “You’ll still get something worthy of the dining room table.”