Attending a floral workshop and becoming even more obsessed with flowers (if thats possible?)

As a stylist, a big part of my job is propping shoots with flowers and plants. Although I have never had any form of training, I have always loved working with flowers and am secretly a frustrated florist at heart. This was confirmed after my first ever floral workshop in November at Kirstie Allsops Handmade Fair, when my friend Lynsey and I attended a Christmas wreath making workshop with the Fab – U – Lous Kitten Grayson.

You can imagine my excitement then, when I was invited by fellow blogger Old Fashioned Susie, to attend a floral workshop she had organised with amazing florists Frog, based in Manchester’s uber trendy Northern Quarter. Now when  I say florists, Frog are much more  than that. They actually brand themselves as Floral Artistry, which is exactly what they do, creating amazing floral designs for private customers, events and fashion and bridal photo shoots. We couldn’t have been in better, more experienced and professional hands.

Frog is run by David, a wonderful, charming and quite eccentric French man, and I know he won’t mind me saying that! Along with his team, we were warmly greeted into his showroom and introduced to Susie, who was going to take us through our paces. Before I go on to tell you about the workshop, I must tell you that the showroom is no ordinary florist shopfront. Inside it is dark and seductive, accessorised with Abigail Ahern Lamps and vintage mannequin heads, animal skulls spilling with flowers and stuffed parrots dangling from industrial lights. As I said no ordinary florist.

After all the bloggers had introduced ourselves to each other, David & Susie, led us downstairs to the workshop space. The workshop had all the atmosphere and ambience of a creative studio where magic happens. A light bright space filled with buckets of fresh flowers, fairy lights trimming the walls & Ibizan chill out music playing.



Each one of us had been supplied with an apron, scissors and florists tape as well as fuel to help us along with our work in the form of Champagne and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. As we chatted and sipped our bubbles, getting acquainted with one another, Susie, our tutor for the day, explained she was going to teach us how to make a hand tied spring bouquet and foliage garland.


Susie was an excellent teacher, showing us the techniques required to achieve an effortlessly looking hand tied bouquet and letting us into tricks of the trade to keep flowers fresher for longer. Some of the pictures I took of her are a little blurred as she moved quickly threading and twisting the flowers to achieve a bouquet that not only looked good from all sides and above, but from inside the vase as well, with symmetrically arranged stems. 


There was such a wide selection of flowers to choose from and we were allowed to choose as many different types as we wanted, no restrictions at all!


This was Susie’s finished bouquet then it was our turn! 

Work in progress! 

After the bouquets were all finished, much harder work than Susie made it look, I might add, we were taken through the steps of how to achieve a professional looking foliage garland, which could be applied to various seasons, Christmas etc or turned into a simple headdress.


The workshop ran for three hours and I can’t recommend it enough. Susie said they run regular workshops for all types of occasions and events, from bridal flowers, to workshops for hen parties and birthdays. It’s such a lovely way to spend an afternoon or evening, meet new people and learn a new skill and you come away with the most beautiful memento of your day! 

Full details of future courses can be found here or ring and speak to one of the lovely Frog staff members for further details.

Here’s the bouquet & garland I made and I couldn’t have been happier with it.


Thank you again to Old Fashioned Susie and Frog Flowers for such a wonderful, inspiring afternoon.



  1. Old Fashioned Susie 26 April, 2016 / 5:31 am

    Aw I want to do it all again this weekend!! Great post! And great to see you again x

    • Karen Barlow 2 May, 2016 / 4:00 pm

      It was a great day, thank you so much for organising it Susie x

  2. Karen 27 April, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Your photos are beautiful, Karen!
    Really enjoyed reading this & it was lovely to meet you x

    • Karen Barlow 2 May, 2016 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you, i'm still practising with my camera, not as easy as it looks but I had a great day too & it was lovely to meet everybody x

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