A look into Arroyo Grande High School’s floral design class

What in Carnation? Floral design class spreads the love with surprise bouquets springing up all around the school!

Pema Secrest, Reporter

Recently, bouquets have been popping up all around campus, appearing in classrooms and brightening up our teachers’ days. The flower arrangements are a product of Arroyo Grande High School’s floral design class, run by Ms. Lemons. 

Photo of a bouquet by Reitsma.

Her goal is just to break even with the costs of shipping the flowers in through the creation of a flower subscription for staff. 

“The class runs on a subscription, a way to break even on everything. So a lot of staff members in the district and on-campus buy into this subscription and it’s basically $10 a month,” Lemons said. “They get an arrangement that shows up out of the blue and they don’t get a say in what it is or when it’s coming. With the extra arrangements, we’ll send them to teachers on campus.” 

This service is a win-win for everyone on campus. Not only are these bouquets an excellent way for the floral design students to get hands-on experience designing bouquets and see peoples’ reactions to their beauty, but they also get to be rewarded for their talent and hard work by receiving funding for their class. People might underestimate floral design because it’s manipulating flowers instead of working with more typical tools. This misunderstanding comes from the lack of knowledge about the intricacies of floral design. 

Image of a bouquet from Reitsma

“We learn all the art principles just like any other art class but we use flowers instead of paint and paper,” Lemons said. 

Floral Design is all about creating a piece of art that looks flawless from 360 degrees plus the aerial view—not an easy feat to achieve.

 With a scroll through the Principles of Design by Professional Certified Florists Program, you can see just how many rules a bouquet must follow. Texture, Balance, Space, Patterns, and Color must all be taken into account to make a successful botanical display. 

This class will give students credit for Visual and Performing Arts and is graded on participation, not artistic skill. The students are given an example bouquet to mimic and learn from. 

“It’s easier to copy things than it is to come up with your own piece of art,” Lemons said. 

Recently students designed the floral arrangements at a banquet for Mr. Neff. 

“All the kids did the centerpieces,” Lemons said. 

This allowed for some real experience in a fun and supportive setting.

 “The focus is the kids getting hands-on [with] the flowers and [gaining] some experience,” Lemons said.

This hands-on mindset is apparent to her students and is a reason why she is Riley Reitsma’s favorite teacher.

A huge part of floral design is flower identification and it is something students will be quizzed on every week through Kahoots. However, most learning is through actual arranging where you learn how to use the principles of Floral Design.

“Balance is key, first you take a base or a tray [and] put in floral foam, then add greenery, and then you flowers,” Reitsma said.

Overall it seems the classwork is manageable and makes for a very fun class. If you have any desire to add some variety to your school day or to express some creativity, consider taking Floral Design.