Lucie Loves... Lifestyle // Karis tries her hand at a Valentine's Day Floristry Workshop with Jamie Aston


In aid of keeping love alive this Valentine’s Day, I was invited to a floristry workshop held by florist to the stars – Jamie Aston and Tesco Head Florist – Michelle Buck. En route, I said to my friend, how it all sounded rather glamorous – apart from the Tesco association! When I think of supermarket flowers, I pictured garish Gerberas in plastic buckets of water… rather than high-end bouquets. But it turns out I was about to be proven very wrong!

When you enter Jamie’s workshop, the floral scent hits you immediately. It was sensational, and smelt so fresh (although, I did spot a bottle of Diptyque Rose room spray which may have helped!. The shop was decorated with beautiful bouquets featuring roses, lilies, and orchids. You name the flower and it was there – and they were all from Tesco. The flowers were so far from the brash looking ones I had imagined, and I felt a little embarrassed to admit my initial association. Even Jamie, couldn’t believe his luck that he got to work with such fresh flowers; he admitted that since Michelle sources the flowers straight from the farm rather than a market, Tesco’s flowers are even fresher than his.

The workshop began with Jamie and Michelle demonstrating two floral arrangements, drawing inspiration from Tesco’s new Valentine’s range. Jamie and Michelle made it look so simple. The arrangements start with an oasis - a foam like structure which you pierce the stems into. The idea is to start with your biggest flower and work your way down. It’s also all about the angling, as you need some flowers facing out and some facing upwards. The star of the show was Tesco’s hero flower – the Naomi rose. Naomi is a deep red, bursting rose, with layers and layers of velvet petals.

After the demonstration, it was our turn to have a go. It was nice to have experts on hand to give a little guidance, but I enjoyed putting my spin on the arrangements – my personal motto was ‘more is more’. I used as many roses as I could fit into the oasis – after all it’s not every day you have a near unlimited supply of beautiful flowers on your hands! I was quite impressed with my efforts, but even more so by the quality and beauty of Tesco’s range of flowers.

Have a look online or in store today for Valentine’s Day - Flowers at Tesco – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! In aid of keeping love alive, Michelle also let us into her top tips for keeping flowers alive at home:

Michelle Buck’s Top Tips for Keeping Flowers Alive at Home.

  1. Check for freshness – Always check the water that the flowers are standing in, it must be fresh and not smelly or gungey. Check the leaves on the flowers and make sure they are not yellowing or wilting
  2. Give them a trim – Once you have removed your flowers from the packaging remove lower leaves and recut stems with a sharp pair of scissors
  3. Cut at an angle – Cut your flower stems at a 45º angle. This creates a larger surface area for the flowers to drink
  4. Use a clean vase – Always make certain you clean your vases – dirty vases harbour bacteria. A simple wash in hot soapy water and a little bleach will eliminate the bacteria
  5. Give them a nice home – Never leave your flowers in direct sunlight or in draughts
  6. Keep away from fruit – Keep fresh flowers away from ripening fruit, it gives off a gas called ethylene and will cause your flowers to lose their longevity
  7. Avoiding stains - Try to remove lily stamens so they do not stain furniture or clothing. If you do manage to get lily pollen on your clothes do not rub it, simply take a piece of cello tape and dab the pollen away
  8. Bleach for longevity - If you do not have suitable flower food you can use a tiny amount of household bleach in the water.

Words ~ Karis // Photos ~ Tesco

Read more posts by Karis O’Leary-Smith