Paula Pryke Flower School Installment

Published November 18, 2012

I can honestly say that in my experience there is nothing quite like riding the London tube in the early morning rush hour. Next to a penny under a train, this was the worst
squish I could ever imagine. However, the early morning rides were worth it because at the other end was what I referred to as “my perfect haven”.

The Paula Pryke Flower School was an environment filled with visionary floral artists, beautiful vases like you have never seen and my most favorite thing of all…flowers.

Pryke’s 4-day Intensive Floral course is a wonderful way to learn how to work with fresh floral. If you have a passion for flowers then this may be the course for you.

Days 2,3 and 4 began with a trip to the New Covent Garden Flower Market located within the heart of London. This was truly an amazing experience. This is the largest fruit and vegetable market in the UK and boasts over 200 businesses offering a large range of floral and food to most of London’s restaurants and other retail outlets. If you are looking for fresh floral, this is the place to be.

After purchasing a large quantity of flowers we headed back to the shop to begin another three days of design. Many aspects were covered including wedding bouquets, bridesmaid posies, boutonnières, and larger table arrangements. The technical aspects were covered well with all the finer details of wiring, colour blocking and scale.

Many would agree that Pryke’s real talent lies in her ability to put colour combinations together. Her books clearly exemplify how she is able to imagine colours working harmoniously together in different forms. She also has a real knack for choosing the right container for the type of flower used. Students were able to learn how she chose her container based on the size and shape of the flower.

For the last day we had the fortunate experience of assembling a very large-scale event. The theme was “Enchanted Forest” and students were asked to assemble a wall of flowers, a large stationary candelabra and a hanging chandelier. Although the task appeared daunting at first, we took to the task with great enthusiasm and worked as team throughout the day. The results were beautiful and quite surprisingly a little easier than initially thought.

At the end of the day all efforts were toasted with a glass of wine and some heartfelt goodbyes. Four days of intensive floral work was completed and as difficult as it was to carry home all floral arrangements, the efforts were well worth it when I was able to find some very grateful recipients in the tube station and local markets. I will never forget the look on the young girl’s face when I gave her an orchid posie. Priceless.

For more information about Paula Pryke and her flower school visit her website at