Darkness surrounded the Boyd County Quarry and Tech Center on Thursday night, but the crack in the door opening to the agriculture room set the stage for the light and enjoyment of members of the local community.
Boyd County Horticultural Professor Joe Childers led a floral design class with three student assistants. A dozen women came over for the evening to learn how to make a fall centerpiece with live flowers just in time for their Thanksgiving meals.
Childers had prepared examples and did another with the participants as he explained the steps starting with the primary flowers and working with geometry to build a basic shape – one that would be built up overnight.
Childers said he enjoys working with geometry, primarily creating triangles and filling in the centers. He starts with primary flowers and creates large triangles with a center flower and four on each side to start a “half beach ball shape”, then adds greenery to give depth and hide the stems.
The secondary flowers create smaller triangles in the shapes it has already created. This helps to add balance and keep the design symmetrical, so everyone around the “Thanksgiving turkey table” has an equally beautiful view of the centerpiece, Childers said.
Fill adds depth and helps fill in holes in centerpieces while adding contrast.
During the evening, Childers explained where the flowers are grown and the types of flowers available. He shared tips on working with large flowers versus small bouquets.
The Childers family owned a local greenhouse at one time and worked in the industry. Childers himself worked as a florist. He remembered stories and gave “florist advice” throughout the night.
Many of those present worked with or took classes with Childers while studying in Boyd County. The group discussed past projects and those with which they share memories.
Four generations of women have sat down at a table to create masterpieces together. Janet Ingles, Shelly Lemaster, and Audrey Holley all worked together to create coordinating pieces for their holiday tables. Mia, fourth generation, colorful and playful, clutching tightly some flowers she had picked for herself. The women were proud and delighted to see the four generations creating together during the holidays.
Everyone in attendance shared updates on their lives, family and friends, making friendships alongside floral designs. The class was organized by the Boyd County Horticulture Program.
It was a welcoming atmosphere where questions were easily asked and answered. Childers gave suggestions on how to fix the issues with the centerpieces. Childers advised the industry on how to use wire to save flowers with broken or drooping stems.
He explained how to make buttonholes with spare flowers cut too short and how to avoid having wasted flowers or greenery.
Each of the ladies took a different approach to their centerpieces, using different combinations of flowers, greenery, and fillings. Even when the combination was similar, the approach created contrast and difference between each person’s centerpiece.
The ladies present laughed at their misadventures and encouraged each other along the way. In the end, they all came out with a beautiful centerpiece unique to their own art and work.