I wanted to take some time out and not jump into uni straight after A-levels. Me and exams/revision have a habit of not going together particularly well, as I find them quite stressful. Therefore, I decided why not do something just for the fun of it and enjoy it, rather than doing it just for the career prospects, which is so commonly drummed into us now. I’ve had an interest in flowers for quite a while, having done my 2 weeks work experience in Y10 at a florist. That really sparked my interest, and I don’t think I ever got it out of my head that I wanted to do something floristry related later in my life.
I enrolled for one year to do my Level 2 Certificate in Floristry. It was once a week, for a full day on the Wednesday, and I did truly love it. That was my ‘me time’, and looked forward to it every week. It took place at a local agricultural college and so it was really in the country. I couldn’t even ever get a phone connection or internet signal! We would come in on the morning, have a quick catch up, and then set to work prepping the flowers our tutor had brought in. They would then be put in the Cold Room to stay fresh whilst we did our theory work. Then after lunch, we would have the practical session, where we would watch the tutor’s demonstration and then have a go ourselves.
We also had the occasional trip, which added to the fun. We went to a local flower market wholesaler, where the amount of flowers is just astonishing. It even has different temperature rooms for all the different flowers to emulate their specific climates. Then there was the wholesaler for sundries, which stocked things such as cello, floral foam and ribbon. It is a bit like IKEA, but focused on Florists and Crafters. Although they add on the 20% VAT at the end, so everything looks super cheap and so you grab one of everything, and then when you get to the till, you realise the total is a little more than you were expecting!
And finally, at the end of the year we entered a Floristry competition in Harrogate. This was fantastic. We were in the beginners class, where the set theme was Blockbuster movies. I chose Pirates of the Caribbean (although I’ve never seen the film myself) and made a pirate ship. Much to my surprise, I actually came 2nd. Our college actually took all places of 1st,2nd and 3rd, and so we were also in the local newspaper. I felt very proud and my rosette and entrants badge sit happily on my wall.
It was also such a mix of us on the course, as we were of different ages and experience, as some had a background in horticulture. We got on well, I’m always the quiet one in these sort of things, but it was great to chat and be part of such a nice group. It was so different to school, and I would encourage everyone to have a look and see if there was a part time course or some form of adult learning that they would be interested in.
It does sound great, but there was one downside for me-The Peacocks. There was a mini zoo, but it didn’t include anything too wild, rather animals like snakes, lizards, goats and meerkats. Members of the public could visit and the students studying Animal Management helped with the running. All good stuff, but we are missing the point that they also had peacocks, and peacocks can fly. Peacocks can fly out of their pens and be unknowingly round the corner with their beady eyes. (Ok, I am being a tad dramatic!) But they seriously did creep me out, although everyone else though that they were ‘Just Lovely!’
There was also the famous ‘rat incident’, but it’s all a bit yucky and I’m trying to show how nice it was. Although, it did highlight how I’m really not well accustomed to country life!
So yes, studying Floristry gave me not only more experience with the practical skills, but also my general knowledge in all things floral, which I hope to share along the way.