How Flower Arrangement Helps People Relieve Stress
In our chaotic world, it’s not easy to find moments of calm and mindfulness. But to ease the tension of everyday life, nature lovers in search of peace flock to flower arrangement classes.
âI have always loved flowers. I love what nature does to the soul, âsays Jan Barstad, owner of Thistle floral design to McKinney.
It’s no secret that flowers lift your spirits and improve your mood. Like works of art, they arouse emotions. Color and scent combine to alter moods, bring smiles and create feelings of comfort.
Florists have long understood the harmony of flower arrangement and offered workshops in the art. Why the rapid growth of classes now?
âSocial media gives people a platform to watch other people. They see what other people are doing and how beautiful it is,â says Sonya Eudaley, owner of Earth flowers in the Bishop’s Arts District.
Formerly a closed group, the floral industry no longer keeps the secrets of art for itself. Designers and store owners share their knowledge and expertise with volunteer learners.
âThe industry has opened it up to other people. People have an idea of ââwhat nature can do for them, âsays Barstad.
The burden of perfectionism has also disappeared. An inventive art, floral design creates arrangements as individual as the people who make them. The artistic process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. âPeople are intimidated because they think there is a certain way to do it. It’s not necessarily true, âsays Eudaley. âIn a class, we talk about the elements of design. You think, âI can do this. “
A relaxing practice
Spiritual therapy, flower arranging is a relaxing and contemplative practice. The hands-on activity forces students to focus on the flowers and the creative activity in front of them.
âOnce you focus on what is in front of you, it is the beginning of the meditative process. You can get lost in the sheer wonder of what nature creates. If you focus on the beauty of flowers, you will forget about your day. It’s liberating, âsays Eudaley.
‘It’s a tall flower’
Instructors walk participants through the design process, explaining the varieties of flowers, the properties of greenery, the impact of composition, and how shape, color and texture influence the design. In some workshops, participants have the option of choosing which specific flowers and greenery to include.
“It’s magical. It takes you away from the stress of everyday life. It’s a flower effect,” says Barstad
As the activity deepens, it not only calms the mind, but also promotes therapeutic well-being. Flowers form a unique bond with the human spirit. Tactile and aromatic, they stimulate the senses causing positive sensations.
âWhen you’re surrounded by all this beauty, it’s almost like a drug. It uplifts your mood. When you’re done, it feels good. You catch yourself doing something right and you keep that self-confidence, âsays Eudaley.
“Alive and green”
Classes in the Dallas area range from an introduction to floral design to teaching workshops in succulent potting, forest arrangements, or festive flowers. Included are a variety of floral and non-floral items, tools and supplies needed for cutting and crafts, a vase or other container, and packaging to transport the completed arrangement. The fresh flowers and greenery are purchased locally at wholesale flower markets and include a mix of stems.
When creating arrangements outside of class, workshop participants may find flowers at farmers’ markets or at local specialty grocers. Greenery can even come from a garden or a field.
“Search when you can.” If it’s alive and green, bring it into the house. Never leave the house without scissors, âsays Barstad.
Registrations fill up quickly for seasonal courses. Half-day workshops offer snacks and drinks, while full-day programs offer lunch. Evenings can offer wine.
âI want them to be empowered when they leave the classroom. Almost everyone who takes the course can’t believe how well their arrangement went, âsays Eudaley.
Nancy Baldwin is a freelance writer for Plano.
Tips for flower arrangement
Here are some tips from Barstad and Eudaley for organizing flowers at home:
Buy a fresh bouquet:
Check the background for darkness.
Look inside the bouquet for signs of mold.
Make sure there are no veins on the petals.
Make sure the bouquet is cold.
Turn the bouquet over to see if the petals or leaves fall off.
When composing the bouquet:
Start with a clean container and tools.
Remove the leaves below the water line.
Create a grid using florist tape or wire mesh.
Cut the stems daily with a knife at an angle.
Alternate smooth and textured elements.
Place items draped around the collar.
Store the arrangement in a cool place.
Change the water every three days.
Thistle Floral Design: Downtown McKinney. 972-658-4376. thistlefloraldesign.com. Call for location of courses. Upcoming classes include wearable flower art, fall garden-style compotes, forage flora, and the woodland flora driftwood centerpiece. $ 95 to $ 125.
Earth Flowers: 214-242-9533. dirtflowers.com. Upcoming class in an introduction to floral design, terrariums, how to throw a party. All classes $ 147, $ 10 off for every friend you bring, BYOB. Classes are held at House of DIRT, 408 W. 7th Street, Dallas.