Christmas Wreath Workshops in Sussex

We are excited to announce that our wreath school is back for the third year running. We are hosting a series of Christmas wreath making workshops in Sussex at our Sussex studio based in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex.


Kick off the festive season with Flourish Sussex. Our Brighton floristry courses are run from Randolphs Farm which is about a twenty minute drive from Brighton and Hove. Our Sussex Flower School offers traditional making wreath workshops. Join us at the delightful Gun Room, nestled in the South Downs. Be greeted with a glass of warm mulled wine and spiced mince pies and learn how to create a traditional mossed based wreath.

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The Details:

  • Dates: Sunday 1st December, Tuesday 3rd and Thursday 5th December

  • Times: Sunday, 9.30-12.00, 1.30-3.30, 4.30-6.30. Tuesday & Thursday: 10.00-12.00 & 7.00-9.00

  • Location: Randolphs Farm, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex

  • Whats included: All materials, wreath ring, foliage, decorations, mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas tunes!


Get creative this Christmas time with Flourish Sussex Flower School!!

Summer Sale. 25% off all our One Day Masterclasses. Use promo code: SUMMER19 on checkout!


Our summer sale is here! We are giving 25% off our One Day Masterclasses. These lovely classes are for anyone who loves flowers, no experience is necessary.


On our One Day Masterclass students will be shown two demonstrations, get to create two displays, enjoy a lovely lunch and learn a few tricks of the trade along the way.

The Wedding Day Workshop

The Wedding Day one day class is a fantastic class for anyone who wants to learn how to create the fundamental designs in wedding floristry. Guests will be shown and will get to create a garden style bouquet, a table centre display and be part of a group ceremony installation. Guests will also see a demo by Alicia on how to create a foam free urn display.


Foam Free Staircase Garland

This October we will be hosting our first off site workshop. Join us at beautiful Great Ote Hall to learn how to design and create a foam free stair garland. Guests will be greeted with tea coffee and refreshments, you will learn the tricks of the trade and create a show stopping display. Guests will also have lunch in the beautiful dining room.


One Day Christmas Masterclass

Why not treat yourself this Christmas time and come to our One Day Christmas workshop. Guests will be shown how to create a dried Christmas wreath, using beautiful seasonal foliage and accessories. After a seasonal lunch students will be shown and will get to create a foam free table centre . We will then put our displays together to create a festive display.

Enjoy 25% off all these workshops. Offer expires on the 9th September. Book today!

Leading Ladies & Flowers

I am excited to be launching a series of workshops running throughout the next academic year at Flourish Sussex Flower School. These workshops are all inspired by the Little Minds, Big Dreams books. I have bought my children a few of these books, in the hope it will inspire them to work hard and dream big!

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I find myself completely inspired reading these stories of these amazing entrepreneurial women, striving for what they believed and took their creativity to vast levels.

To celebrate these leading ladies here at Flourish Sussex we will be running a series of table styling classes inspired by these designers. From September through to July 2020 we will be running workshops inspired by Coco Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo.

Guests will be welcomed with a glass of bubbly followed by a talk about these designers and a look into their work and life.Then a demonstration will be given of an arrangement or table centre piece that has been inspired by these women’s work. and then students will have the opportunity of creating their own.

Once all students have completed their designs, we will turn to table styling and we will create a striking table display fit for any special event.

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Our first workshop will be inspired by Coco Chanel. If you love monochrome floral designs this workshop is for you. We will be working with crisp white layered roses, seasonal flowers and dark foliage to create a bouquet which will then be presented in a black hat box. We will use candles, along with orchids to decorate the table. All guests will get to take home their arrangement, enjoy a glass of fizz and learn some tricks of the trade.


For early 2020 we will looking at the funky style of Vivienne Westwood, then as spring approaches we will be inspired by the beautiful paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe before finishing off our series of workshops with a summer workshop inspired by Frida Kahlo.

A fantastic series of workshops all designed to get your creative flare going. No experience necessary, just a love of flowers, art and creativity.

LOCATION: The Gun Room, Randolphs Farm, Hurstpierpoint.

TIME: 7.00pm-9.00pm

Price: £55.00, includes all materials

DATES: Coco Chanel & Flowers: Tuesday 12th November

Vivienne Westwood & Flowers:: Wednesday 4th March 2020

Georgie O’Keeffe: TBC

Friday Kahlo & Flowers: TBC

To keep up to date with our latest workshops sign up to our newsletter today.

Summer at Flourish


June seemed to whizz by and I find myself nearing the middle of July and I think it may be time to stop, slow down and reflect on the first part of 2019. As always I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has come to the school, looked at our website, read this blog. I am so passionate about what I do and look forward to the next couple of years as I hope to grow the school even further.

We have had a wonderful few weeks at Flourish Sussex from Masterclass’s to our first One Day Wedding Workshop, to our Vase to Table all about Peonies . We have welcomed back some previous students and meet some lovely new flower enthusiasts.

Tomorrow night is our last workshop before we break for summer. For our Posy and Prosecco workshop we are focusing on eco friendly wrapping. More and more I am becoming so aware of what I am using at the school and I want to encourage students to think about this while they are working. If we all do our little bit for the planet I know it will make a big difference.

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We had the most wonderful fair day. We are very lucky here in Hurstpierpoint to have a wonderful high street. Hampers is run by the lovely Bob and it sells all kinds of yummy things. I wanted to create a foam free installation for fair day and Hampers was the perfect shop to use as our backdrop. Our secret garden consisted of a meadow of flowers, a tree made from branches from Hurstpierpoint trees, a homemade teepee, wheelbarrow and accessories. Some lovely ex students of Flourish helped create this beautiful scene and it was much admired by onlookers.


Our Foundation for Beginners course starts this September and this year we are running two courses, a five day intensive and a ten week evening course. The course covers everything you need to know in order to create the fundamental designs in floristry. We leave more traditional methods of floristry at the door and embrace art, design and style development to ensure students reach their potential. To read more click here.

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As the summer holidays approaches we are looking forward to creating some truly beautiful wedding flowers for Kat and Jim. We don’t do many weddings here at Flourish but Kat, her mother and father all came to a workshop and when they asked me if I could do Kat’s flowers I jumped at the chance. It is going to be beautiful wedding filled with Summer roses, grasses, delphiniums, peonies, hydrangeas, herbs, with a sprinkling of blue.

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As we look towards the Autumn all our day classes are now up on our workshop page. Our foam free stair garland at Great Ote Hall is our first off site workshop and promises to be a spectacular day. After the success of our summer wedding workshop', we will be holding a winter One Day Wedding Workshop where students get to create winter wedding displays. Our usual classes such as the Hand Tied bouquet half a day class is back as is the Masterclass.

Dare I even say it but our Christmas wreath workshops have been planned so they will be going up first week in September. But if you fancy spending a day creating some beautiful Christmas displays why not join us for our Christmas Masterclass where you will create the most beautiful dried luxury wreath and a beautiful winter table urn.

But for now lets get some vitamin D and enjoy this beautiful weather. From us all here at Flourish we want to wish you a wonderful July, may the sun keep shining and the flowers keep filling our fields with, colour, shape and texture.

Children's Floral Workshops at Flourish, this September!

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We are excited to be launching a series of children’s floristry workshops, this September, to encourage children to get excited about nature and enjoy the out doors.

When I am not running my flower school, I am first and most importantly a mum of three kids. Isaac 7, Luca 5 and Aurora 2. I try as much as possible to get my children to play outside. I have two boys after all and their energy levels are off the scale. So whatever the weather, rain or shine we are outside so they can walk, run, jump and do anything to burn off their energy.

However they also love games on the ipad and the tv. I am trying to teach them about screen time and why being glued to these screens isn’t healthy, but it is difficult. Because of my job I want them to love nature and with the summer months coming it is easier to get them more interested in being outside.

I started to think about ways that we can encourage our children to get creative outdoors. I love the idea of building dens, mud kitchens and this is where my inspiration for Flourish children’s workshop has stemmed from.

On Saturday 21st September we will be running a series of children’s floristry workshops, to get kids working with nature. From 9.30am-10.30am, we will be running a ‘how to make a Fairy or Elf Garden’ for four to seven year olds. From 11.30am-1.00pm, we will be creating floral disco balls with eight to twelve year olds. Finally from 2.00pm-3.30pm we will be making floral festival crowns for twelve to sixteen year olds. These classes are all aimed to get children excited about working with nature, learn about flowers and foliage and get to take something home which is beautifuL, that they have made.

Fairy or Elf Garden

For ages 4-7 we will be running an hours workshop to get your little ones excited about nature and design a garden of their very own. A talk will be given about our environment and what things we could do outside to get green fingered. I will then give a demonstration on how to create a fairy or elf garden, then children can create their own, with parents help.

Each student will get to take home a goodie bag with a floral headband, and some seeds to get them inspired to create , as well as some instruction on how we made the design.

A cup cake and squash will be served during the workshop.

Parents are invited to stay.

Price per Child: £22.00


Floral Disco Balls

For ages 8-12 we will be creating floral disco balls. There will be a talk about flowers and foliage, seasonal flowers that are available and where we can buy them from. Then I will give a demo on how to create a floral disco ball and then it will be over to the students to create. Hands on help will always be there.

Each student will get to take home a goodie bag with a floral headband, and some seeds to get them inspired to create , as well as some instruction on how we made the design.

A cup cake and squash will be served during the workshop.

Parents are invited to stay or drop off their child if they wish.

Price per Child: £22.00


Festival Floral Crowns

For children aged 13-16 our festival crowns are a great way to get your kids interested in flowers and design. A talk will be given about flowers, seasonal availability, where we can source flowers and if floristry is something that they would be interested in finding out more in the future. Then I will give a demo on how to create a floral crown and then it will be over to the students to create their own headdress.

Each student will get to take home a goodie bag with some decorative floristry wire and ribbon to get them inspired to create , as well as some instructions on how we made the design.

A cup cake and squash will be served during the workshop.

Price per Child: £22.00

These class’s promise to get your little ones excited about nature and get them off their screens and into nature. If you have a question about any of the workshops contact us today or to book your child’s place click on the link.


Routes into floristry: Flower school, college or learning on the job?

When embarking on a career in floristry or expanding a hobby in floral design one of the first questions that people ask is where can I train in floristry? Where can I find floristry courses in Sussex? I remember asking the exact same question nearly sixteen years ago!

I started my training at Plumpton College. I did a two year diploma in floristry at Plumpton. The course started my passion for my flowers, but it wasn’t until I went to Jane Packer Flowers and later McQueens that I realised that colleges are not just the way we can train in this industry.


For me although my floristry course at Plumpton College taught me the basics in floristry, I felt throughout my time studying floristry at Plumpton I concentrated more on trying to create arrangements that fitted into the City of Guilds criteria so that I got a better grade, than concentrating on my own floristry style.

When I started out in floristry there were no other options in Sussex to study floristry apart from colleges such as Plumpton College. Flower schools were very much a London thing. I thought it was imperative that I had a diploma and that no one would hire me without it. As my career progressed, I worked for two florists before opening up my own wedding and events business and during that eight years, no client ever asked to see my diploma, they hired me because of my style of floristry not because of the qualification. It made me question; is there a place anymore for qualifications in floristry? The fact is the industry is evolving and now London is not the only place that puts less emphasis on qualifications and more on students style development.


Learning on the job is how most people got into floristry, many years ago. It often started with years of conditioning before the apprentices could touch a flower. I have to admit I completely admire florists who are self taught. For me I feel the need to learn. Even now in my sixteenth year I yearn to learn more, to see how different countries flower arrange. I don’t think you can ever stop absorbing knowledge. My dream one day is to go to Japan to learn the floral artisan of ikebana, but that will need to go on the back burner for some years.

I think learning on the job can offer so many advantages if you have a generous employer. It can give you hands on experience and you can find out what it is really like working for customers and the pressure that comes with creating wedding flowers. Unfortunately I do find many training florists frustrated that they are stuck doing all the necessary jobs but usually not the most fun ones and their flower arranging is limited.


I feel very fortunate that I have experienced all three types of training, my training at Plumpton College in floristry, flower school training at Jane Packer and McQueens and experience on the job. For me nothing compared to the training I had at Jane Packer and Mcqueens. Rules and marks were thrown out the window, instead there was a guidance on how to create technically but encouragement to develop your own style. Surely this is what floristry is all about? We want to see individual florists. No two weddings are the same, so surely we don’t want florists to all be making the same displays?

This is what we encourage at Flourish Sussex Flower School. We teach students the fundamental designs so that all arrangements are technically correct, but then we embrace individual style and expression. Our students are artists and we want all displays to be different and individual to their creator.


Flourish Sussex Flower School offers the ultimate training for a career in floristry. We offer The Foundation Course which covers all the fundamental designs and theory in floristry. Our courses have been designed so they fit around peoples lives, so students can choose from a five day intensive course to a ten week evening course. Once the basics have been mastered we offer a The Wedding and Event course. This course takes designing and creating to another level. All the dramatic displays you see on Instagram you will learn on this course, so you can go away feeling confident , ready to offer your clients all the latest designs.

We also offer hands on experience for our students. Flourish Sussex Flower School take on a small number of weddings each year and students are welcome to help create wedding flowers under the guidance of head floral designer Alicia. This experience has proved so valuable with previous students. They are able to get that first hand experience of creating wedding flowers, without doing it on their own.

The school is all about first hand experience, artistic and style development and ensuring students concentrate on their own designs as opposed to grades. We also offer payment plans so that students can spread the cost of their course. To find out more click here.

If you want to find out more about the training courses we offer come along to our Free Open Day on Thursday 27th June where Alicia will give a talk about the courses that Flourish Sussex Flower School run. To sign up for the open day contact us today.

Never in a million years did I expect the experience to light a passion which keeps growing. Alicia is not just a wonderful teacher but inspiring too. She encourages you to explore your own creativity helping you to achieve your best designs. The atmosphere she creates within the class is one of relaxation and fun which is great . I would certainly recommend Flourish Sussex Flower School to anyone where ever they see their flower journey going.
— Joy (Course, Foundation for Beginners & Wedding & Events Course)

Finalist in The Muddy Stiletto Awards Sussex!


I am a big supporter of local businesses so I love the whole concept of @muddy_sussex It’s a little black book of all things Sussex, places to eat, visit, things to do with kids. It’s a great concept and I love the fact that the awards celebrate local businesses.

It’s a huge honour to of been selected as one of the top florists in Sussex. I am a big believer in all things creative. In a world that can be high pressured & sometimes stressful, creativity is so important for the mind. It has been such a joy welcoming so many students that are seeking a creative outlet. We love what we do & we love bringing a bit of floral joy to you all. 

If you like our page, have been to class, are a supporter of local businesses we would love your vote to win the Best Florist category. Simple click on the link and vote for Flourish Sussex Flower School in the best florist category. ✨


The Foundation for Beginners Free Open Day & Evening, Thursday 27th June

Come along and find out more about the The Foundation for Beginners, starting this September at Flourish Sussex Flower School.

Alicia will give a talk about the floristry courses we offer, what arrangements will be made, what theory work is covered. There will be opportunities for guests to ask questions.

Guests will then get to see a demonstration and then they will have the opportunity to have a play with a few flowers.

The Foundation for Beginners is ideal for those who want to expand their hobby, start a new interest or for those wishing to enter the floristry industry.

Alicia teaches all the class’s and brings her wealth of experience into each design workshop. Traditional floristry methods are left at the door and colour and design takes over.

You will leave confident and would of mastered all the basics in floristry once you have completed The Foundation for Beginners.

PAYMENT PLANS are available to all. All flowers and foliage are included in the price.

Options to choose for a five day intensive class or a ten week evening class.

Arrangements which are taught include: hand tied bouquet, buttonholes, free flowing bouquet, sympathy wreath, table displays, event work, large installations, seasonal group display, urn arrangement.

Everyone receive a cut flower guide book on arrival.

To register for either our open morning or open evening please fill in your details and contact us here.

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Easter Table Tutorials with Nido UK


With Easter fast approaching, as a mum of three I have started to think about the big day. I am trying to occupy the children during the Easter holidays, getting the right balance of lazy days without them getting bored, I can never get the balance right!. Although Easter seemed like a far day in the future, it is now coming round rather quickly and I am suddenly thinking about the big day, what plans to make, eggs to buy, what to cook & my favourite bit what will my table look like!

I love Easter, probably because I love spring flowers. I adore all the seasons, but when you see pockets of colour appearing after a cold, dark winter, I can’t help but feel excited.

For most people I do appreciate with juggling everything, how your table looks might be the last thing on your to do list. But if you have a little time to spare what a treat for your family and friends to sit at a ever so pretty table full of spring flowers and Easter crafts.


I decided I wanted to create a series of tutorials showing people how they could create an Easter table with ease. My good friend Hayley who is behind the Instagram account Nido Uk has a great eye for interiors and all things crafty. I have wanted to collaborate with her for some time and her house was the perfect backdrop to create three different looks for Easter.


We chose to create three unique table displays. Brights-a simple, child friendly design. Pastels-a feminine display which could be easily adapted to Mothers Day, baby shower, hen do, wedding, any special event. Lastly monochrome-industrial, chic and all about grey, black and a white palate.


For the florals with the brights table centre, I used botanical wrapping paper from Rifle as my inspiration board. Although this table was meant to appeal to a child’s eye, if you are anything like me you still want your table to look ever so pretty, even if it is aimed for the kids. I pulled out some of the colours of the print and used poppies and ranunculus in glass bottles to create a simple, bright and cheerful design.

Accessorising it with a collection of colourful candles and some easter chicks, it had to be done, we created a fun, pretty and ever so easy table centre for Easter breakfast.


I love using colour in my work, but sometimes simplicity is called for. Hayley loves monochrome tones and her house is a lovely example of how to bring this colour scheme into your home.

For the flowers Hayley had a lovely zinc planter and in there I recreated plants, using cut flowers in terracotta distressed pots and covered the mechanics with moss.

On the table, Hayley added her fabulous concrete eggs and monochrome bunnies, to give a beautiful and industrial look to the display..

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For our pastel table centre I used a mixture of pink flowers with some whites and a touch of blue. I created small t-light holders full or flower clusters and small urns to surround the large urn display for the centre of the table.

If you are interested in learning how to create a display such as this why not come along to our Summer Wedding Floral workshop in June. Learn to create a bridal bouquet, buttonholes and a small urn display. For more details click here.

All of looks can be seen on either Flourish Sussex Flower School or Nido Uk’s Insta TV channels. We hope you enjoy them. Hayley and I love all things pretty and we would love to inspire some of you to get creative this Easter time.

From all of us here at Flourish Sussex Flower School we would like to wish you a very Happy Easter!

Spring Has Sprung at Flourish Sussex Flower School


To celebrate spring, get 15% off our One Day Masterclass’s!

I love spring time, don’t get be wrong I love winter too., but as soon as you can hear the birds, you start to see pockets of yellow, blue and white popping up everywhere, I can’t help but feel excited.

What better way to celebrate this glorious season than to spend a day creating with nature. Book one of our one day masterclass’s and use the code SPRING19 on checkout to get 15% off.


This spring we have lots of floristry courses taking place at the flower school. Our floristry courses include: Hand Tied Bouquet Masterclass and our Celebration of Spring one day workshop.

We are also looking forward to welcoming potential students to our career open evening. The open evening is designed to give information about the floristry courses and career courses that we run here at the Sussex Flower School.

Instead of focusing on more traditional methods of floristry we prefer to teach more artistic inspired floristry. Letting students develop their own style and be as creative as they wish to be.

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Our step by step tutorial on how to create a spring door wreath is now up on our facebook and instagram page.

In other news Flourish Sussex Flower School will be collaborating with Nido UK to create some online tutorials on how to create three different looks for your Easter table.

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Lastly look out for our giveaway which we will be running on our Facebook page, for your chance to win this beautiful cut flower guide book by he amazing floral designers Darroch and Michael Putnam. All you need to do is make sure you have signed up to our newsletter and introduce as many friends as you like to our Facebook page.


So I will leave you with this image, combining two of my loves; flowers and ballet. I wish you a wonderful spring.

Sussex Floristry Courses

Have you ever dreamed of working with flowers? Do you long to be creative and know more about how to arrange flowers in the home? I remember asking myself all of these questions, nearly sixteen years ago. My journey into floristry wasn’t an obvious one. I was working in a PR company, a little frustrated of being at a desk. I had a creative background and sitting at a computer from nine to five didn’t suit me.

I remember helping set up the PR events and there I had to speak to some of Londons top florists and they turned our clients wishes into a beautiful reality. I was in love with floristry from that moment. My mum bought me a book by Paula Pryke and Jane Packer and I decided to quit my job and start on my floristry journey.


My training began at a local college, where I did a two year diploma, but it wasn’t until I headed to London and enrolled in a career courses at Jane Packer School of Flowers and later at McQueens, that my eyes were truly opened to the type of floristry I wanted to do and eventually teach others.

I ran a wedding and events business for eight years before taking a break to have my second son and then my daughter.

Once my daughter was six months old I dreamed of working with flowers once more. I had taken a training course with Tulpina Design and I knew I wanted to teach artistic designs, natural movement displays and up to date floristry,


I wanted to open a floristry school in Sussex that offered career courses, bespoke workshops, ongoing training to professional florists and fun, informal classes for flower enthusiasts. A Sussex flower school that wasn’t just about traditional methods, but encouraged students to break the rules and push themselves artistically. I had a desire to create a flower school that taught students to look at flowers and foliage and create natural inspired designs. From here Flourish Sussex Flower School was created.


When I was creating The Foundation for Beginners I wanted to create a bespoke course that covers everything I would have wanted to know when I was training at my local college. The course is very practical. With students being shown how to create some of the most popular designs in floristry. After these step by step demonstrations, students then get to to create: hand tied bouquet, bridal posy, free flowing bouquet, buttonholes, corsages, group table display, meadow arrangement, urn display, sympathy wreath and seasonal display. We also cover the theory too. Looking at ordering, buying from a wholesaler, buying sundries, how to plan and run a wedding.

This course is all about giving students the foundation in floristry before going onto more specialist courses later on. It is so important that students master the basics and The Foundation course for beginners at Flourish Sussex Flower Course offers this in a fun, informative and relaxed environment.

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With The Foundation course we also include payment plans, which previous students have found very useful. Payments can be made monthly, or a bespoke package can be created for you.

There is a choice of attending the course in either the evening or the day, so you can choose which training course suits your lifestyle.

Want to find out more? Why not come to our free open evening in March, where I give a talk about the course in further depth, give a demonstration and you get to have a play with a few flowers, oh and have a glass of prosecco of course!


Finally here is a quote from one of our students who completed The Foundation Course in 2018:

‘I recently finished a 10 week beginners course at Flourish Sussex Flower School and I would thoroughly recommend it to any one. It was extremely enjoyable week after week and learnt something new every week. Alicia is extremely talented, knowledgeable and very approachable. It was great to meet a bunch of liked minded students.

The flowers, foliage and techniques used were all amazing. I truly feel I have learned a lot and the course inspired me to start my own business.

This is a great all round course and can't wait to do more.’  

Happy New Year!

How glorious was it to wake up on the 1st of January to a cold crisp day, well that was the certainly the outlook in Sussex. I sometimes find it a little challenging in the lead up to the New Year, the anticipation of everything to come, but now that 2019 is here I am so excited to be getting back into work and opening the school up to all the different seasonal flowers that will be coming to the flower markets soon.


I am certainly one of those cliques and I always set myself targets and goals for the New Year. This year we are looking to expand the courses that we offer at the school. We will be offering two Foundation Courses in September for beginners. A day course and and an evening course. So if you have been wondering about floristry courses and thinking it’s time to give floristry a go, why not come to our free open evening in March where I will give a talk about the floristry classes and courses that we will be running for beginners. For more information about our open evening click here.


As the warmer months arrive we will be offering lots of seasonal courses, including our Celebration of Spring and Celebration of Summer workshops. These delightful floristry one day classes teach students about conditioning and working with seasonal blooms. For our spring class students will get to make a spring floral wreath and a table urn. Our Celebration of Summer workshop focuses on going foam free. We will show you how to create environmentally friendly floral displays and you will get to make your own table urn using a floral frog pin.

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New to 2019 is also our two day Wedding Retreat course. This course has been designed for anyone who has had some experience working with flowers. If you are unsure if you are suitable contact us here. These will be high intensity creative days where students will create the following displays: bridal bouquet, garland, aisle flowers, archway and hanging display. Students will come away feeling confident and ready to take on big events for themselves.

For more information about all of our workshops please click here. We hope to welcome you to Flourish Sussex Flower School very soon and happy 2019 everyone!

Happy Christmas from Flourish Sussex Flower School!

What an amazing year 2018 has been. I am honestly so overwhelmed by how the school has grown in a year. I have always thought that being creative is so important. It can act as an escapism in stressful times and I believe it is great for the soul to work with nature. It is good for the mind and for us to see what we can do when we set our hearts and minds to it.

I have been a florist for a long time now and I am still amazed by flowers. I can’t get over these wonderful natural objects that surround us and what we as floral designers can do with them.

I love what I do and I feel so lucky to be in this ever growing and inspiring industry. I will look back at 2018 as such an incredible and exciting year in my career. There have been so many highlights, but here are just a few.


I am so looking forward to 2019 and opening the school doors to more flower lovers. But for now I just want say a big thank you to everyone who has come to the school in 2018. Your support and your creativity is everything and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! x

Craft Tutorials

We are really excited to be launching our craft tutorials which will appear on our Instagram stories and Facebook page.

I always want to try and inspire people to get creative with nature and these tutorials are designed to be quick, cheap and creative.

There is a perception that flower arranging is expensive, but these tutorials show you that all flowers and foliage can be found in your garden, at your green grocers or on walks.


Each tutorial will give a step by step guide to create beautiful and simple floral displays for the home. They are designed to give you inspiration but to not be too technical.


We will show you the mechanics behind arrangements, the flowers, foliages that we will use in the designs and then we will show a step by step guide to create the display.


Our first tutorial is up now and guides you through the steps of creating a floral hanging basket. Our next one will be about how to create a natural inspired Christmas table.


We hope you enjoy these tutorials and we would love to get your feedback and see your creations, so please do tag us in your work! x

Ho Ho Ho from Flourish Sussex Flower School


The school has been bustling for the last six weeks with our beginners course drawing to an end and the start of our Christmas wreath workshops.

We had a very full studio on Saturday with three fully booked wreath workshops back to back running throughout the day. I want to say a big thank you to everyone that came and thank you for all your lovely comments, it means such a lot.

I am so excited for our next Christmas creative day on Thursday and I am looking forward to sharing all our photos from the day on our Instagram and Facebook pages.


2019 will be an exciting year at the school. We are launching new courses including a “Celebration of Summer, Foam Free Masterclass’. There is an ongoing trend in the floristry industry to be more environmentally friendly. Philippa Craddock highlighted this when going foam free for the royal wedding. Sometimes the methods can be more time consuming but it is so important to be aware of our environment and I am thrilled to be teaching this class, as this is an area I am really passionate about.

Students will be shown how to create a foam free table urn display and then they will be able to create their own, using a selection of beautiful British grown flowers. After a delicious lunch, Alicia will then demonstrate how to create a foam free table runner.


Another short course that will be coming to the school in 2019 is our two day ‘Introduction to Floristry’. Over the course of the two days students will be given a talk about the basic principles in floristry, conditioning, composition, colour and texture. A demonstration will be given on how to create a hand-tied bouquet, table centre display and a wired headdress and then students will be able to make these arrangements for themselves.

This is the perfect course for anyone who would like to dip their toe into the world of floristry and get inspired and creative.

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Our wonderful beginners career course is shortly coming to an end. These fantastic ladies have created so many displays over the last few weeks and covered a lot of theory too. Each one has become a fantastic florist and there will definitely be tears next week as the course concludes.

We will shortly be releasing a video about the career courses that we offer so if you have ever wondered about doing a career in floristry, why not come along to our free open evening in March, where we talk about the courses, you will see our studio, see a demonstration and have a play with a few flowers. To book your place click here.


But for now I must get back to wreath making, I simply love making wreaths! Thank you for reading our blog and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas from Flourish Sussex Flower School.

The Intermediate Career Course at Flourish Sussex Flower School

In January 2019 Flourish Sussex Flower School will be launching the Intermediate Career Course. This course has been designed for anyone who has completed our beginners course, or who has had previous experience in floristry. If you are unsure whether you are suitable for the course please contact us here.

This nine week or five week evening course is all about creativity, leaving traditional floristry rules at the door and pushing yourself artistically to create beautiful and individual designs. You will be taught tips and tricks and everyone will go away with an insight into how to create beautiful and elaborate displays.

Out of the nine workshops, eight of these are practical. Students will be shown demonstrations by head floral designer Alicia Barker and then students will have the opportunity to create their own pieces of design, with their own style and flare.

We will often put the arrangements together or work as group to create installations all of these will make perfect photo opportunities for your website and portfolio. As well encouraging you to take your own photos, we will also take digitally enhanced photographs and email them to you when the course has completed.


The Practical Work

The intermediate course is jam packed with practical work. We want students to go away buzzing with creativity. There is a big emphasis on colour and texture and as always we want students to develop their own individual style early own.

Here is a list of the practical work that will demonstrated and that students will create:

Artistic inspired bouquet. A free flowing, garden inspired bouquet will be shown and students will create.

Chair Back: chair back displays are a beautiful addition to any wedding or event. Students will learn to create natural displays in foam.

Chandelier: As a group we will create a floral chandelier.

Mantle Piece Display: Decorating a fireplace can really add to any event, we will create bespoke arrangements suitable for a mantle piece.

Dutch Masters: Using a floral frog pin, students will create a flower urn display, inspired by the Dutch floral artists of the eighteenth century. Please note the urns are not included in the price of the course.

Spring Table: Students will create individual spring arrangements and then as a group we will create a spring table.

Floral Headdress: Students will learn how to create a seasonal floral headdress.

Archway: As a group we will decorate an archway with seasonal flowers and foliage.


Theory Work

On the intermediate course we will also have a theory class where we look at the following areas of running your own business:

Website Building

Advertising & Marketing

Social Media

Business Options




Useful links and places to acquire materials.


Location & FAQS

The intermediate course is run from The Gun room, Randolphs Farm, Hurstpierpoint. All materials, including flowers and foliages are included in the price. Some containers are not included in the price, please see terms and conditions.

The course runs every Wednesday evening, 7.00pm-9.00pm. It begins on the 9th January and concludes on the 20th March, please note there are no classes on the 13th and 20th February. If you wish to sign up for the five week course, this concludes on the 6th February.

There is a maximum of twelve places on nine week intermediate course.

It is important that you have learnt the basics in floristry before you sign up to this course. If you are unsure please do contact us.

We offer different payments options. You can book directly through the website, or you can pay a 25% non refundable deposit and then the rest of the balance is due six weeks before the course starts, or you can pay half on booking, which is non refundable and then pay the other half two weeks before the course starts. If you would like more details about the payment options please contact us today.

The intermediate course at Flourish Sussex Flower School is a fusion of art, colour, texture, seasonal blooms and design. Try something new today and join us this coming January.

Back to School for September

As I sit here writing this blog it is the 26th August and it is freezing and raining hard outside! This has definitely made me feel excited about the Autumn and do I dare say the 'c' word?! I don't care I love Christmas and I am here busily planning all of our floristry workshops for the next term.

It is going to be a special and exciting term ahead as I welcome ten new students to the school for our first beginners course in floristry. The ladies will either be attending our six week or twelve week evening floristry course, here at our studio in Sussex. I have thought long and hard about the types of arrangements I would of wanted to learn when I first started out and what theory work I would of wanted to be taught. So here is a few pictures of some of the arrangements that the ladies will be making throughout the course:


I will be documenting their progress on our Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages. I am so excited to see what beautiful arrangements they will all be making. 

If you have ever wondered about a career in floristry or would like to take up a new hobby why not join us for our free open evening in March where I give a talk about what is involved in our career courses. For more information click here.


September sees our last Posy and Prosecco class of this year and it has completely sold out, so a big thank you to everyone that is coming. If you would like to keep up to date with up coming workshops why not sign up to our newsletter and receive dates and offers before they go live! Sign up here.


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I love Autumn, I love a wreath too. So I am delighted to be offering an autumn wreath class this year. Come and create with wonderful autumnal foliage and decorations. Make your front door stand out, a wreath doesn't need to be just for Christmas! For more information click here.

We have a few places left at our One day Masterclass in October. This is a fantastic way to see if you have got the floristry bug. You will learn to create a hand tied bouquet, plus a small table urn. Lunch for delicious Hampers in Hurstpierpoint is included in the price. For more details click here.

Well the rain is still pouring and I need to dig out my slippers and make a hot chocolate for my kids and it would be rude to not have one with them?!

Summer Days at Flourish Sussex


Then the rain finally came. After what has been a very hot, sticky few months, I think everyone was grateful for some rain, if not a down fall of it. Even though I do love the warm weather, working with flowers in the heat always presents a few challenges.

As the school holidays arrived I left the school for ten days and headed to Morocco with my family. I haven't been to Marrakech before and I fell in love with all the colours, patterns and the beautiful plants around me. Where we stayed had fields of ferns and huge olive trees everywhere, it made my olive tree at home look a little sad in comparison.

I always find holidays a great time to reflect, get inspired and make new plans. On this holiday I busily jotted down different workshop ideas in my journal that I hope to bring to the school in 2019/2020.



I am really excited about September, as we will be launching our beginnings career course. It was so lovely to meet so many flower enthusiasts at our open evening back in July and I am beyond thrilled that so many people signed up for our six week and twelve week beginners course. During these courses we will be covering an introduction to wedding work, funeral work, event installations, running your own business, flower availability, vase work plus many more key areas in floristry. It's going to be a great few months ahead and I will be documenting my students progress on our Facebook and Instagram pages

In 2019 our intermediate and advanced courses will begin. These courses take flower arranging to another level. I love creating large installations and pushing design boundaries and these courses are all about embracing these two areas in floristry.


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2019 also sees the launch of our wedding flower service. During my fourteen year career as a floral designer I spent eight years running my own wedding and event service. I love wedding work, it is an area of floristry that I am particularly passionate about, so it fills me with a lot of excitement to get back into this area of the industry that I love so much. So if you are getting married in Sussex and are looking for wedding flowers or a wedding florist why not get in contact now for a free consultation.


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As September will be here before you know it and just around the corner the leaves will start to change colour and we will welcome Autumn, the school will be running another 'Posy & Prosecco' evening in September and then our 'Autumn wreath' class will come in October. Both of these classes offer students a chance to come and learn something new and have a taster of the world of floristry.

But for now the sun is shining once more and August will be a juggling act for me trying to think of fun things to do with my three children and working at the school.

As always a big thank you to everyone that has attended one of our classes. I love what I do. For me flowers can be an escapism from every day to day stresses, a chance to put your mind to something creative and work with natural beautiful objects, which surely must be a good for the soul.

For now I would like to wish everyone a happy August and I will leave you with a few of my holiday pickings from beautiful Morocco.



Time to learn floristry?

Do you love flowers? Have you ever dreamt of working with them? Would you like to pick up a new hobby or help friends with events and weddings? Why not join us this September for our 'beginners guide to floristry' career course.

Although the course is called ‘career course’ you may just be here because you love flowers, and have a desire to learn more about your hobby. The beautiful thing about floristry is there are so many options. Whether you have dreamt of owning your own flower shop, would like to open a studio, become a wedding stylist, help friends and loved ones with their floral events or simply would like to try something new, floristry is a great industry to absorb yourself in. By working with nature, you can leave stresses at the door and immerse yourself in design, which is both therapeutic and creative.

My background

I have been a floral designer for over fourteen years. I began my training with a two year diploma at a local college. I then went onto training at some of the world's leading flower schools including Jane Packer Flowers, McQueens and Tulipina Design.

I ran my own wedding and events business for eight years, before stepping back to concentrate on my family.

I launched Flourish Sussex Flower School in October 2017 and it is been the most exciting year of my career so far.

My style is very much inspired by nature. I love to work with shapes of flowers and foliages. I try to have a focus on colour and I love creating elaborated designs. I am a big supporter of non floral foam displays. Although at the school we do teach displays that use foam, we feel it is important for students to learn to use other environmentally friendly mediums too.

Why choose Flourish Sussex Flower School?

We have created courses that are designed for people who have busy lives. One of the biggest drawbacks from my college course was that it was two days a week for two years, which was difficult to manage with work. We had to supply our own flowers, so we weren’t exposed to all the varieties of flowers and foliages that are available.

At Flourish we run career courses over a six week or twelve week period and a four day intensive course. This has been designed so that people can fit the courses around work and child care.

We also provide all the flowers, so you will get to work and see the seasonal varieties that are available. All you need to remember to bring on the day or evening is a camera, and if you are doing the four day course then your lunch. Everything else is included in the price.

Do you need training to become a florist?

There are many opinions out there on this particular question and there are some incredibly talented florists who are self taught. I however believe you can never have too much training.

I always compare floristry to being a chef and even if you have a good palate, if you have the necessary training you can take your work to the next level. Also like many things, sometimes things go wrong. If you have had significant training you can draw on your experience to stay calm and recreate a display using different tools and flowers. This is a skill that should never be underestimated.

Our Core Belief

At Flourish Sussex Flower School at the heart of the courses is design. We want you as the students to develop your own style from an early stage. We don’t want to restrict you with traditional floristry rules. We will tell you and show you all the necessary methods, but as a school we encourage students to be creative, to try new things and see what looks beautiful to them. By pushing boundaries and allowing students the freedom to just be creative will allow you as the designer to flourish. We don’t all our students creating the same design, we want you to all be individuals and find a style of floristry early on.

The Courses

The courses are split into three different levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced. The beginners course is designed for anyone who has no experience or is under confident with aspects of floristry. The intermediate is for anyone who has completed the beginners course or who has previous experience and the advanced is for existing florists or for those who have completed both the beginners and intermediate levels.


The Beginners Course:


Six Week Evening Course: 12th September-17th October (The taster course) 7.00pm-9.30pm

Twelve Week Evening Course: 12th September- 12th December, 7.00pm-9.30pm

Four Day Intensive course: 18th September-21st September, 9.30am-4.00pm

Course Outline:

Our beginners guide to floristry has been designed to give students a comprehensive insight into contemporary floral design and give students a hands on guide to entering the floristry industry.

 Our course provides students with the basic design principles in floristry, however we have a strong desire to teach students fashionable and up to date designs. While working with some truly beautiful flowers and foliage, Alicia will encourage everyone from an early stage to develop their own style and together she will encourage all students to reach their potential and beyond. 

There is a strong focus on colour calibrations and textures. You will work with the very best of flowers, locally grown and from Holland.

 As well as individual practical work, we will work as a group to create large installations. There will be lots of photograph opportunities!

 As well as practical work there is a strong focus on theory too. We cover planning an event, budgeting, working with wholesalers and an introduction into building your own website and working on social media.

 Everyone is supplied with a Flourish Sussex Flower School notebook and pen on arrival.

Sessions 1-3

 For the first three evenings we will cover the following: We will discuss flower availability and the importance of conditioning flowers. We will create a hand tied bouquet and students will learn to master the spiral stem. We will then gift wrap the bouquet. Students will be shown a variety of gift wrap options.

 We will turn to wiring and students will learn to wire buttonholes and corsages, as well as presenting them in a beautiful way for a wedding. Students will learn the traditional way of creating a buttonhole, as well as the garden style.

-Introduction to Wedding Work

You will learn to create a posy for a bride. We will look at ways of wrapping the bouquet with ribbon and the varieties of ribbon that are available.

Sessions 4-6

We will discuss planning for a wedding, looking at colour, design and proportion, ordering and costing, and how to reduce wastage. We will also give you an example of a bridal consultation and you will see examples of mood boards that are helpful when planning a wedding.

We will also look at using floral foam and eco friendly alternatives for an event.

We will create a free flowing bouquet for a bride, a popular design which has taken over the dated traditional wired shower bouquet.

Sessions 7-9:

Funeral work. We will discuss the importance of dealing with family members when they are grieving . We will look at the different displays that as a florist you can create for a funeral. Students will then create a double ended spray for a coffin. Students will also create a wreath of flowers.

Sessions 10-12:

We will then turn our hands to creating centerpieces for a table. We will create a natural vase display, suitable for a wedding and then as a group we will create a foam based table runner. Students will dress the table with t-lights and accessories as if it was a wedding.

We will give an introduction into running your own business, with a hand out containing information regarding building a website, social media, marketing and advertising.

We will create a simple pedestal display suitable for an event or church piece.

The course will finish with all students receiving a certificate and of course a glass of bubbly!

All flowers, foliage and materials are included in the price.

What else is included:

-Demonstrations by head floral designer Alicia Barker.

-A hand cut flower book to keep.

-A Flourish Sussex Flower School notebook and pen.

-Tips on how to work with seasonal flowers and foliage.

-All flowers and foliage to take home.

-You can ask Alicia lots of questions about floral designing and working in the industry.

-Refreshments, including cake, tea, coffee will be provided.

-Take as many photos as you like of your work and Alicia's work to take home with you.

-Ribbons from Kate Cullen will be provided.

-The opportunity to become part of Flourish's community and join our private Facebook page where Alicia shares advice, design tips and posts videos of her designs (Available from September 2018).


-An information pack from the days arrangements so you can recreate at home, along with a few floral goodies.


The Intermediate Course

Course Dates: The Nine Week Evening Course: Wednesday 9th January - Wednesday 13th March : 7.00pm-9.30pm.

The Four Day Intensive Course: Tuesday 19th March-Friday 22nd March 9.30am-4.30pm

Our intermediate career course has been designed to lead on from our beginners course or for those who have had previous experience in the floristry industry.

Our course introduces innovative designs and there is a strong focus on style development. We draw on fashion, trends, nature, artists to inspire our work and push boundaries to create show stopping installations and floral arrangements.

There is a strong focus on colour calibrations and textures. You will work with the very best of flowers, locally grown and from Holland.

As well as individual practical work, we will work as a group to create large installations. There will be lots of photograph opportunities!

As with the beginners course, there is a strong focus on theory work, as well as practical. During the intermediate course we look at running your business. We look at building your own website, social media, managing staff, looking for premises, budgeting and marketing.

Everyone is supplied with a Flourish Sussex Flower School notebook and pen on arrival.

Session one to two:

We have an introduction talk about the course and then students will create a show stopping large trailing bouquet. Students will be shown an effective way of photographing your bouquet.

In session two we will create a textured wreath suitable for a funeral.

Sessions three to four:

Hanging installations are always a show stopping part of any event and during session three and four we will create a foliage foam chandelier and then an eco friendly floral chandelier. Students will be able to take home their floral chandelier and re use their grapevine wreath again and again.

Sessions five to six:

On session five we will leave the practical work and there will be a business talk. This will include discussing advertising, marketing, social media, staff, premises. All students will take away an information pack.

Before session six students will have some homework! They will need to create a mood board inspired by the Dutch Golden Age,  in the late 18th century at the wonderful paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Ambrosius Bosschaert, and Roelandt Savery. A talk will be given about this era and how we can draw on paintings for inspiration in our floristry work.

Session Six:  students will work with a floral frog pin to create an art inspired free flowing display. All work will be photographed and the images will be available for the students portfolio.

Session Seven: students will also create a free flowing medium urn display, suitable for a wedding or event.

Session Eight: we will look at creating eye catching fashion statement headdresses. These statement pieces will be works of art by the time we have finished!

Session Nine: we will finish the course by as a group creating a group archway. There will be lots of opportunities to take photographs. All students will receive a certificate on completion of the course with a glass of bubbly.

Theory work includes:

-A talk will be giving about running your own business. We will look at budget, costs of running a shop. Social media, marketing and advertising, as well as building your own website. This is an introduction and we advice all students to sign up to our one day business class.

All flowers, foliage and materials are included in the price.

What else is included:

-Demonstrations by head floral designer Alicia Barker.

-A Flourish Sussex Flower School notebook and pen.

-Tips on how to work with seasonal flowers and foliage.

-All flowers and foliage to take home.

-You can ask Alicia lots of questions about floral designing and working in the industry.

-Refreshments, including cake, tea, coffee will be provided.

-Take as many photos as you like of your work and Alicia's work to take home with you.

-Ribbons from Kate Cullen will be provided.

-The opportunity to become part of Flourish's community and join our private Facebook page where Alicia shares advice, design tips and posts videos of her designs (Available from September 2018).

-An information pack from the days arrangements so you can recreate at home, along with a few floral goodies



The Advanced Course

Dates of Course:  Evenings, 7.00pm-10.00pm 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July. Day 9.30am-4.30pm Friday 28th June and Saturday 30th June.

Our advanced floristry course offers the ultimate floristry training. This jam packed floristry course in Sussex is designed for existing florists and those who have had significant training.

This course is split across three evenings and a Friday and Saturday day.

Evening One:

Students will create a flower wall as a group.

Evening Two:

We will dress a table with tall floral displays suitable for an event or wedding.

Evening Three:

We will dress candelabras and discuss different designs that can be used.

We will look at the importance of setting up scenes to take beautiful photographs. All photos will be available for students to use on their websites and in their portfolios.

An information pack will be taken home giving business advice which we will go into detail about creating a website and focusing on social media.

Friday & Saturday:

We will decorate our studio as if it was a venue for a wedding. Students will work out how many flowers can be put into different displays and then as a group we will create the following:

-Bridal bouquet.

-Garden style buttonholes and corsages.

-Aisle flowers.

-A large floral archway.

-A hanging display.

-A natural garland.

As a group we will dress a table, with floral displays, high and low and with accessories.

Students can take as many photographs as they like.

This is a great course to gain lots of experience creating a wedding without the pressure of a 'real' bridal party.

The days start at 9.30am and conclude around 4.30pm.

The day will be concluded with a glass of bubbly and a certificate.

All flowers, foliage and materials are included in the price. Please note that although students will be able to take all flower arrangements home, some of the morning's flowers will be used for the afternoon's displays.


Six week beginners course: £275.00

Twelve week beginners course: £550.00

Four day intensive beginners course: £550.00

Nine week intermediate course: £575.00

Four day intensive intermediate course: £575.00

Advanced Course: £650.00

To discuss payment options please contact us here.

To find out more visit our workshop page or contact us today.



Competition Time!

We are giving away a place at our 'Introduction to Floristry' workshop on Thursday 11th October, 9.30am-3.30pm. All you need to do to enter the competition is to introduce a friend to Flourish Sussex Flower School. Simply fill out our contact page with your details and the email address of your friend and then your name will be added into the ballot for a chance to win a place.

Ts & Cs you must have permission from your friend to share their email address with us.

Closing date 26th July 2018 and the winner will be announced on the 27th. Good luck!