Flower magic with Bloomen

I’ve been wanting to learn the art (and science) of floral arrangement for a while now. Ever since I started making my paper blooms for Dottieshop, I found myself struggling with how to position blooms together, whether in a small bunch or a bigger bouquet. Thanks to a friend, I discovered Daryl and Hema, the amazing couple-team behind home-based florist Bloomen!

I decided to sign up with Bloomen after checking out various options on the market, because I was won over by their beautiful arrangements on Facebook and Instagram (@bloomen.co), quick and clear email replies, and the fact that I could have a private and customisable session with them.

Finding their home-based studio was pretty easy, and I was welcomed into the most enchanting, cosy home. Think brick walls, wood flooring, a wall full of US car license plates and flowers, flowers everywhere! It was love at first sight.

I had requested to learn two kinds of hand bouquets – the traditional rounded bridal bouquet, and a more free-form, rustic style. Daryl and Hema had taken the trouble to specially get fresh flowers for the session, and wow, the colours were amazing!

First, I learnt the names of the various flowers, as well as how to prepare each one for use. Interestingly, about half the time is probably spent preparing the flowers – and I realised I have not been “looking after” the flowers I sometimes buy from the market well, which is why they usually don’t live very long!

Peachy-orange garden roses from Kenya – these are GORGEOUS!!
The difference in size between the garden rose and the spray roses.
Red roses, also from Kenya, and cream eustoma from Taiwan
Wax flowers – such a pretty filler
The fluffiest and lightest of them all – rice flowers

For instance, I learnt that you should strip the flowers of their leaves if you are intending to arrange a bouquet. This reduces the “leaf clutter” around the stems, and also means that more water goes up to nourish the flowers when you put them in water. I also learnt to de-thorn the roses, and how to help the flower heads open up more. You should also pluck off any browned petals before using the flowers. And lastly, there is something called “flower food” which you can pick up from most major florists, e.g. Far East Flora, and add to the water to give the flowers extra nutrients. This helps them last longer – sometimes up to two weeks!

All these blooms just for ONE bouquet. Wow!
Removing the leaves and choosing which flowers to begin with…
Ta-da! My first bouquet! Swoon…

Thanks to Daryl and Hema’s patient demonstrations and clear instructions, I was soon able to grasp the basic spiral technique, and composed my first bouquet. I was so excited when I finished it – my first proper bouquet!! And the colours were just perfect – all pinks, peaches and cream.

We took a short break between bouquets, where I got to know the couple a little better and admired their beautiful home. Daryl and Hema’s shared passion for flowers began some years back, and it was in the midst of planning their own wedding (which included designing ALL the floral arrangements themselves!!) that Bloomen was born. For the past 1.5 years, they have been crafting all manner of unique and beautiful bouquets for their customers, and it was clear from my time with them, that a lot of love and attention to detail goes into making each one.

So anyway, on to the second bouquet. This was a more unstructured kind of style, and I found it more challenging than the structured round one. We used a more autumny-palette this time – lots of oranges, reds, greens and some cream – and a really light and cute filler called rice flowers. Thanks to Daryl’s help, I managed to create this gorgeous piece. (No photos of the process cos it was pretty dark as it was storming outside!)

I love how it turned out kind of heart-shaped.
Side view – a good florist remembers to make the side of the bouquet look as beautiful as the front. We also placed some blooms at the back, so that the one holding the bouquet has something to look at when she looks down 🙂
With Hema and Daryl. Daryl made that last bouquet himself in, like, 8 minutes?! Meanwhile, I probably took at least half an hour to make each one. Heh

By this time, my arms were seriously aching from holding the bouquets. It’s a real arm workout I tell you! Florists must have such toned arms… But gazing at these two creations… it was all worth it!

Unfortunately, when I got home, I realised I didn’t have any container that could hold the wide bouquet safely without it toppling over. Sob sob… So I had to deconstruct it this morning, and fashioned two smaller bouquets from the blooms. I was quite proud of myself that I managed to construct them using the spiral technique that Daryl had taught, and I think they turned out pretty ok looking for my first try with no help. 🙂

Dining table strewn with flower debris with T-rex keeping a watchful eye…
Bouquet #1
Bouquet #2

Thank you so much, Daryl and Hema, and I look forward to practising lots more at home, and definitely getting a bouquet from Bloomen in the future too. Keep making floral magic, and keep the dream alive!

If you’d like to arrange for a private/group workshop with Bloomen, you can contact Daryl at daryl@bloomen.co

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