Last week the lovely Max Hurtaud from Belgium visited the Fragrant Garden in Aalsmeer to give a workshop to a group of British Florismart florists. It was a great day. After an introduction about the beauty of the scented garden roses from Tambuzi by Arnold from Parfum Flower Company, the group of florists went ahead making a beautiful centerpiece design.
Max Hurtaud is a French Master Florist based in Brussels. Flower lover since his birth, he said to his mother when he was 3 years old: “I want to be a florist to make bouquets for brides and for my mum!” and he has never changed his mind. In 2015, after 7 years of studies at a floristry school near La Rochelle, his home town, and a work placement in England, he decided to go to Brussels. A good place for florists according to Max. Eclectic is his work, Max is always trying to find new ways to create. He doesn’t want to do the same and wishes to surprise people. Max Hurtaud won 3rd place in the Belgium Floristry Cup in 2016. Visit the Max Hurtaud Facebook page here.
Florismart offers an online marketplace to provide access to products from the best growers and suppliers. This platform enables florists to order anything from any supplier – Florismart makes sure it all gets delivered as one. This gives florists a far greater choice than ever before and a competitive edge. As a florist, you can buy with complete peace of mind, Florismart is entirely non-biased, has great relationships with growers, exporters, and other suppliers, but no alliances. Florismart claims to be there solely to cater to the florist’s best interests. Florismart allows florists to compare the best market prices. Read more about Florismart here.
The Workshop at the Fragrant Garden in Aalsmeer
The Fragrant Garden, a very creative place, close to the auction center in Aalsmeer, was filled with thousands of amazing scented roses. Many gorgeous arrangements were made by some of the very talented florists the night before.
Firstly, there was an interesting informative talk from Arnold Wittkamp, about the company Parfum Flower Company, the rose varieties of Tambuzi, the conditioning, and the supply chain.
Laura Rose Brown, who was one of the Florismart Florists said on Facebook:
Here’s a few tips we picked up:
– Altitude of where the roses are grown affects the rate the flowers open and the thicker the stems. Higher Altitude makes larger slower opening roses, eg. Ecuador and Columbia. Whereas roses grown in Kenya (Tambuzi) have thinner stems and open faster, this is arguable better for bridal work as the thin stems make them more easily manipulated in a bouquet and they open faster.
– Kenyan grown roses have a much smaller carbon footprint than Dutch as they are grown in naturally occurring heat and lots of sunshine. This lack of heating and artificial light (as in Dutch greenhouses) far outweighs the carbon emissions from the flight.
– Conditioning tips: Dutch like to treat them with respect and care (the analogy was as if its a dying person at the end of life) Calming music, not shoving them in the vase, be delicate and gentle (they suggested classical music ??) and when you receive them cut a good 3-4 inches off the stem, leave them in their packaging and place straight into clean water for min 6 hours but ideally 24 and they will be transformed. They become more sturdy and open softly, you can removed guard petals if you want but Arnold says he used it as a selling point (look how natural and Garden like these roses are with their guard petals on). Removal of stems is best done with a mat or towel (the sort you get in the pub was his suggestion) to gently blunt the thorns rather than removal which damages the stem.
– Lengthy flower chain eg. Lots of middle men wholesalers and suppliers and delivery people can be an issue for florists getting hold of scented roses as people who don’t know how terrible they look sometimes pre conditioning may think they’re damaged or substandard and throw them away. You might ask your wholesaler to order you a wrap of David Austin roses for a wedding and on the Thursday they call you to say sorry they were substandard and we couldn’t get any replacement. Really they were fine but they looked damaged to the untrained eye of the person in the wholesalers or the person supplying them. With Florismart we minimise this chain which means we have better chance of getting these gorgeous blooms.
-Scented flowers are by nature only expected to last around 5 days and we should always make our customers aware of that.
The Centerpiece by Max Hurtaud
The incredibly inspiring Max Hurtaud, who was also super friendly and hilarious, gave a step-by-step informative workshop on how to create a centerpiece. Using new skills like moss covering cardboard frames and suspending them around an oasis block using Craspedia balls. The florists used the black oasis, leaving it uncovered at some places, which was new to many.
The Florists then learned how to created wire candle holders by burning the ends of 4 grouped wires in a flame to make them hot enough to insert into the base of the candle. They then bound them together with decorative wire to make a candlestick. The Florismart Florists inserted the candles and added LOADS of scented roses of any variety and color they could wish for into the Oasis. Florists were instructed to keep the stems straight as if they were growing and keep different head heights. Two lotus seed heads were then used to create a central point of interest, Max said the designers had to get sensual with them (he’s soooo French!!) and they had to appear to have a loving relationship.
Laura Rose Brown:
It was great fun and I was completely in awe of his passion and creativity and also just completely overwhelmed by all those different scented roses.
Max Hurtaud’s demonstration
After lunch, Max showed the Florismart Florists new ways to create another design. A cascading (bridal) bouquet. You can see it in the pictures above.
At the Fragrant Garden, we love to welcome more florists like the Florismart-florists-group. Are you also interested to offer a group of florists from your country an inspiring workshop at the Fragrant Garden?
Get in touch with us at +31 (0297) 361 006 or email [email protected].