A persistent fantasy of mine has always been to run away to the romantic city of Paris and open up a flower shop. I've never worked with florals before, I could not tell you what is in season right now, and I definitely am not an expert arranger; yet the fantasy continues. There is something so relaxing about working with flowers, whether it is the lingering scent that fills the room, or the brilliant display of color and texture. So when my dear friend Claudia invited me to join a class at Flower Girl, I leapt at the opportunity, dreaming of my soon to come striped awning covered petite boutique.
Flower Girl is a flower shop located in New York City's Lower East Side neighborhood, run and created by the lovely Denise Porcaro. Though small in size, the shop has an incredible energy; a mixture of natural wood, hanging glass terrariums, and of course, an over abundance of flowers. The centerpiece of the shop is a large rough-hewn wooden table, the perfect backdrop for creating a beautiful mess.
Every month Denise and Claudia hold an intimate class (more closely resembling a garden party) with a theme reflecting the current season. For May, the start of the warm, summer months, outdoor concerts, and general frolicking about, the theme was flower crowns. The class consisted of seven women, some who knew each other, with most working in some sort of creative field. We were offered prosecco and and an assortment of snacks and mingled before the class formally began, enjoying a soft breeze through the open door.
To make a flower crown, there are four basic steps:
1. Create a base
2. Fill in with greenery
3. Add your floral focal point
4. Try it on and fill in
We began by measuring our heads with a moss version of floral wire. Denise advised doubling one measure to add texture to the crown. We then added in a base layer of greenery including thistle with purple accents and pistachio greens, securing them with snipped bits of colored wire. This step was the start of the differences in each of our crowns. Some of the girls favored a lush base, with leaves extending widely out, while others placed their greenery at strategic corners or angles. We had a choice of different florals, and leaning towards a natural, Grecian look (in Claudia's words, my "Maid Marion look") I went with chinch and lavender. As someone not naturally inclined to DIY, I found the process of creating the flower crowns relatively easy.
As Denise was quick to advise us, the crowns evolve as you create them. So just keep adding in different combinations, and although it might not be what you had originally envisioned, you will still end up with something beautiful.