It's a blooming marvellous idea

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 November, 2010, 12:00am

With Christmas approaching, flowers can add a touch of beauty and elegance to festive gatherings of family and friends. If you would like to do something special, a flower-arranging course can provide you with the ideas and skills to prepare the right arrangement of colour and form for these special occasions.

Theresa Lam, principal of the Hong Kong Academy of Flower Arrangement (www.hkafa.com.hk), suggests that people with no previous experience do the elementary course, European floral arrangement concepts. Students will learn how to best use the different seasonal cut flowers and foliages, and where to place them in their daily environments. Design concepts for making table flowers, corner arrangements and welcoming designs will be covered, and flower care and the use of colours.

There are two stages to this course - EFA 1 (12 hours) and EFA 2 (13 hours) - so you can complete EFA 1 first to determine your level of interest before deciding to complete EFA 2. By completing the course, participants will learn 25 modern European designs. Classes can be taken once or twice a week and are taught in English. The course costs HK$4,500.

'Different styles of flower arranging create different effects,' Lam says. 'Flower arrangements can be very effective in creating a warm atmosphere at parties with friends. People can learn how to design a bouquet or floral gift for their friends' birthdays, or as a house-warming present or festive gift. Some of our students even prepare wedding bouquets and corsages for members of their family.'

Other popular elementary level courses offered include wedding bouquet arrangements and florist bouquets and floral gift designs. Both are 16-hour courses and cost HK$4,500 and HK$3,800 respectively.

By completing these two courses and the European floral arrangement concepts course, students are able to apply for a comprehensive florist diploma issued by the International Academy of Floristry. If you choose this course, the discounted cost is HK$8,820.

For people who want to make simple arrangements in different containers at home, a course called freehand vase arrangements techniques is available. It can be completed as a two-day intensive course and costs HK$2,800.

The Institut de Artflor (www.idartflor.com) offers courses for the hobbyist and career-minded participant. It offers two hobby courses - trendy floral bouquets (15 hours) and planted arrangements (20 hours). The courses cost HK$1,700 and HK$2,000 respectively. There is a HK$1,200 materials fee for both courses.

The institute runs a course for people who would like to develop careers as professional florists or run businesses. The course is conducted at City University's School of Continuing and Professional Education and is called professional flower practice and shop management. It is a part-time course completed in eight months and costs HK$27,000, with a materials fee of HK$8,000.