In her first year of teaching floral design, Hope Sorrells, an agriculture teacher at Poolville High School, learned that floral design is an art and there isn’t just one right one. way to compose an arrangement.
âEven if it doesn’t look right today, we can always go back and try to do it again, and a little change to a flower or greenery makes a huge difference,â Sorrells said.
Floral design classes have become more popular in classrooms across the county, especially as the floral design programs at Peaster High School and Brock High School have just started this school year.
âIt’s actually become very important in FFA and agriculture,â said Tara Smesny, an agricultural science teacher at Weatherford High School, who has been teaching flower design for three years. âThere are actually teams; you can have a floral design team, so it has become very popular in the agricultural industry. It also counts as an art credit, so the students, if they don’t want to do theater, if they don’t want a choir or art, they can take this course, so guys really like it. who are used to doing practical things or girls who cannot draw, they can take this course and still be very creative.
Floral design teaches students the principles and elements of floral design and enables them to become certified to work in a floral store or department right out of high school.
Chandor Gardens horticulturalist Stephen Haydon said flower design classes weren’t available when he was in school, but if they were he would have considered taking them.
âA floral design class is a great introduction to the natural world for a young person,â said Haydon. âNot only will you learn more about flowers and plants, but you will also learn about many design principles. For example, the principles of size, shape, proportion, color and texture – to name a few – can all be transferred to a variety of creative design careers such as garden design, l architecture, graphic design, interior design and the culinary arts.
The courses also tend to incorporate elements of business and customer service for those offering flower arrangements for their communities.
For example, the Brock High School program receives community orders for the monthly flower arrangement, which teaches students business skills as well as arrangement skills, the agricultural science coordinator said. , Dave Marcath.
âThe students see the business side, the interaction with a client, so to speak, and then work on building the flower arrangement,â Marcath said.
Ellie Hanson, a junior student at WHS and in floral design, took the course to gain work experience, and she thought it would be fun. The class taught Hanson the value of hard work and good work, she said.
âFloral design, especially because we arrange for real people, you have to do it with quality and make it last, so you don’t want to just organize something,â Hanson said.
Floral design courses could lead students to part-time jobs while in college or to a full-fledged career as a florist, said Laura Horner, professor of floral design at BHS. Students also continued to use floral design as a side activity.
“There are a lot of kids who do this as a side activity, decorating trees, decorating people’s homes on vacation, not to mention that they could make their own flower arrangements and their own stuff just for themselves for the sake of it. save them money, âHorner said. âI had students who graduated and came back and we made their wedding flowers and it saved them quite a bit of money on their wedding flowers without having to pay a florist to design them. . â
Haydon said education in floral design can also lead to a job like hers at Chandor Gardens.
âMany of these gardens also have historic homes associated with them, which may require floral arrangements for the home,â said Haydon. âThe same goes for horticulturalists working for private houses. A large estate may even include its own cut flower garden.
Jade Schofield, an agriculture teacher at Peaster High School, said the floral design opens a door to the field of agriculture for students of non-traditional agriculture.
âIt’s great to see that as the industry evolves and our country evolves, that the classroom evolves with it because we want to be able to show the non-traditional agriculture student, so to the student who doesn’t grow up on a ranch or farm or even in a farming community like Peaster, but to show the student who might not have all of these backgrounds that he can still have a home here in our agriculture program because there is always an option and a place for them, âsaid Schofield.
Sorrells learned to teach floral design using materials from other teachers, such as Lubbock ISD’s floral design teacher, and through trial and error. While teaching floral design, Sorrells developed a greater confidence in the subject matter and a sense of arrangement alongside his students.
“I will make an arrangement in [another teacherâs] direction, and then I’m like “Yeah, I think that looks good”, and then the students come in, especially my introductory girls, they’ll come in and they’ll go with me and work the whole way through. process, “Sorrells said.” Sometimes that turns out really good, and sometimes we have to go back to the drawing board. “
Hanson said learning the different tools used in floral design work was one of the most difficult aspects of the class.
“People think it’s like putting flowers in a vase and saying it’s good, but you have to know what the tools are for because if you don’t you might crush the stem, and then the flower. is unnecessary, âsaid Hanson. .
Schofield said she enjoyed seeing her students become more confident in their flower arrangement skills through the Arrangement Project of the Month.
âThe very first arrangement, they’re scared and they don’t know what to expect and they’re hypercritical of what they’re doing, and they don’t have that confidence,â Schofield said. âAs the months go by and we each do, I really, really love to see that confidence grow and just the pride that they have in what they’ve created. It’s been a lot of fun and then how they start suggesting flowers to use, suggest different vases or different techniques that we should try, and just by really looking at them they blossom.
Teachers of Brock and Peaster’s new floral design programs look forward to the growth of their programs.
âThe kids really appreciate it; I wouldn’t be surprised if there were four or five sections next year, âsaid Marcath. âWe are looking to develop a full course of plant science in order to have horticulture courses and ultimately a greenhouse management course as well. “
Schofield encourages students to take floral design courses as well as other agriculture courses, as the course teaches problem solving, which is necessary in any workplace, she said.
âIn each class, the teacher will present a problem, then give the students the skills to be able to identify the problem, assess the problem, and then find a way to solve, evaluate, etc. this problem, âsaid Schofield. “We do that in the floral design, whether it’s me challenging them to create an asymmetrical triangular pattern or a symmetrical triangular pattern or even just a bouquet, where I give them a recipe and they have to follow that and they have to be. able to place the flowers in a certain way and say we haven’t had enough product, what do we do then? How to adapt to this?
Like Sorrells, BHS senior Abby Fairman described floral design as an art.
âI’m not artistic at all, period. I’m the worst designer, artist in the whole world, but actually I like to think I’m good at floral design, âFairman said. âFloral design is an art. ”