Sparks - the Blog of Interior Designer Schuyler Samperton

The Little Flower School of Brooklyn Comes to LA!

So far, I’m a big fan of 2013. I realize that it’s pretty early in the game, but I’ve already knocked out one of my resolutions.  A few months ago, I read that the Little Flower School of Brooklyn would be teaching a class in LA, and I watched and waited for the registration notice like a thirteen–year-old girl trying to get Justin Beiber tickets.

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be one of twenty students, and it was AMAZING!  I first learned of our teachers Nicolette Owen and Sarah Ryhanen through the glorious book, Bringing Nature Home.  I had never seen such gasp-inspiring beauty before, and was completely mesmerized by the stunning arrangements. We gathered in a loft downtown, and the fun began…

Over a decadent assortment of goodies including tangerine juice, organic chocolates, cheese and marcona almonds, we all introduced ourselves, and named our favorite flower.  PS – Ranunculus were by far the runaway favorite!

“Place cards” were personalized snips!

Another party favor which would prove to be my nemesis…

Our charming and informed teachers revealed a slew of helpful tips like how to maximize a flower’s intrinsic beauty, which flowers look together (and which don’t), as well as how to prep your flowers and container. We were then treated to a demonstration by Sarah, who created a magnificent arrangement in what seemed like five minutes.

Armed with a head-spinning amount of knowledge, we were then instructed to select our blooms (whatever spoke to us!), and we were off! Each one of my fellow flower enthusiasts (many were professional florists – even one from Texas) made the most gorgeous creations. I however, new to this whole thing, made a few mistakes -

Nicolette and Sarah had warned us about the perils of the slipping frog, and sure enough, I had issues because I chose too many heavy blooms, and my whole thing was just TOO BIG.  Yikes…

I managed to get my leviathan home, (one extremely wet car seat later), and then I spent the next several hours trying to make it fit in my apartment. I went to bed a touch discouraged, but awoke with Nicolette’s  words ringing in my ears…”you can always just start over,” so start over I did!

I took the entire thing apart, and approached the new incarnation with a fresh attitude.

Gone were the dark and moody branch-like blooms that Sarah so kindly called “wild and magical.” Instead, I created a lighter, more dainty piece that in the spirit of Downton Abbey’s third season premiere would look smashing on Lady Mary’s dressing table!

I concentrated on a softer palette of carnations, agapanthus (Nicolette called these “little firecrackers,” anemones, jasmine vine and some delightful little wild flower-looking thing whose name I unfortunately can’t remember.

My new version fits perfectly on my coffee table, and I still have room for a remote AND a candle!!!

The Little Flower School will be teaching in Petaluma in May, and I strongly encourage everyone to check it out. Class was a total thrill, and an amazing way to start off the new year.

4 Comments

  • January 9, 2013 - 6:02 am | Permalink

    Schuyler, your second arrangement is gorgeous, too! What a pleasure to work with so many passionate flower enthusiasts! And a great way to start the new year – absorbing the genius of Sarah and Nicolette! Beautiful post!

  • January 9, 2013 - 6:02 am | Permalink

    Your arrangement is so pretty Schuyler!
    I would love to go to a class like that. “Bringing Nature Home” is a lovely book and very inspiring. Thank you for reminding me to pull it off the shelf.

    Happy New Year!
    xx SP

  • Sandy
    January 9, 2013 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful! I want to take this class!

  • January 10, 2013 - 1:25 am | Permalink

    Ok…this post was exactly what I needed! Loved your honesty about the whole thing as well as the excitement of being able to participate in something so fun like this! I would LOVE to go to any flower arranging class as that is the one thing I am not confident in at all! You did a great job! Thanks for sharing this!

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