I feel quite strongly that at Christmas you don’t really need flowers. There are so few blooms around at this time of the year, that any you do buy will most likely have come from abroad. Instead, I like lots of greenery – deck the halls with boughs of holly, and all that – and there is plenty that you can do with leaves, given how many different varieties and colours there are in Britain.
It’s worth spending an hour or two learning how to make your own Christmas decorations out of whatever can be found outdoors. They always look much prettier than anything shop-bought – and if you use aromatic plants, they will make the house smell delicious. Here are six courses worth booking before Christmas…
This is one of my favourite florists in London; Anna and Ellie’s flowers are always wonderful. This course teaches you how to moss your base, and then add seasonal foliage and pines, to create a traditional wreath. Comes with mulled wine and a mince pie. £85. Book here.
Before I became a journalist, I worked as a florist at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers. Gillian Wheeler, and her daughter Fleur, know so much about flowers. Their courses focus on the essentials and will give you the technical knowledge you need if you would like to make decorations for tables, doors or mantelpieces. The Academy also smells divine at this time of the year, thanks to all the spruce, cinnamon and oranges. One day, £220; two days, £390. Book here
Rebel Rebel, who run floral courses in both Hackney and Tuscany, tend to offers flowers that are a little less traditional. This workshop will teach you how to use foliage to make something a bit different, but which still has a festive feel to it. £85. Book here
The Bristol Flower School is running lots of workshops this winter. They’ll show you how to make a wreath, and how to wire it properly, so that it lasts until the new year. A sad, dying wreath isn’t a pretty sight so it’s worth learning how to make one that can survive for a few weeks. £50. Book here
There are still a few places left on Chloe Robinson’s popular wreath making classes, which are held near Manchester, in Altrincham’s covered market. The style is rustic and seasonal, using plants such as ivy and eucalyptus. £45. Book here.
If you would like to use flowers this Christmas (not everybody loves greenery quite like I do), Freddie’s Flowers is hosting a festive flower workshop at the Pear Tree Cafe in Battersea. Afterwards, there’s a three-course dinner. £50pp for dinner and flower arranging. Book here.