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!


Summer Time Reflection at Flourish

How completely beautiful it is outside while I write this blog. I simply love Summer evenings. It feels like such a treat in this country to be able to sit outside in the late evening with friends, family and even to do some work. 

I have been reflecting over the last few months at Flourish Sussex Flower School. As always I would like to thank everyone that has attended one of our floristry workshops. I love meeting new people and to bring people together through creativity.

Someone asked me the other day was it just florists that attended the school. When I told them that I have a variety of people of all ages, from different careers they asked me why people come. I began to ask myself this question. I believe that for some of our classes there is a desire to learn something new, to create, to escape from every day to day stresses and immerse yourself in nature. I am a big believer in that working with flowers can be relaxing, there is something calming about working with natural objects, seeing varieties of colours and challenging yourself creatively.

Our 'Posy & Prosecco' classes and 'Vase to Table' classes have been  bustling with people. I always encourage everyone to not be restricted by too many traditional rules in floristry. I always tell my students to go with whatever they think looks beautiful. What this results in is all floral displays being different. 

Our open evening for our career courses is coming up in a few weeks and I am really looking forward to meeting everyone. Floristry can lead to so many different career paths. Whether you dream of opening your own florist shop, would like to work on events, would like to help friends and family with weddings or if you would like to develop a hobby. The career courses are jam packed with both practical and theory so I am excited to be teaching them from September at the school.

This year we have also launched our wedding flower page. I used to run a Sussex wedding flower business for eight years. I used to do between fifty to sixty Sussex weddings a year. When I got pregnant with my second son I had to step back from this business, so I am excited to be going back into this area of my work. We are taking consultations now so I am looking forward to meeting happy couple for 2019 weddings.

During August we will be taking a little break. As September arrives we will be in full bloom and running lots of workshops through till Christmas. On that note in September we will launch our Christmas courses, this will include Christmas wreaths, luxury wreaths, table centres and Christmas garlands.

If you would like to stay in touch with classes, offer and even a chance to win a place at our 'Introduction to floristry' class in October simply sign up to our newsletter today.

But for now I am going to sit back and have a glass of Rose and enjoy the summers evening, so I would like to share some of favourite photos with you all. Thank you for reading, enjoy these sunny days and I hope to see you at Flourish Sussex Flower School soon. xx


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One to One with Alicia

A big hello from Alicia! It's been a little while since I introduced myself, so I wanted to say a big hello to all our existing and new followers. I really hope you enjoy Flourish Sussex's page on both Facebook and Instagram. I set up the school to inspire others to become interested and fall in love with plants and flowers as much as I do, so a big thank you for following us. 


A bit about me!

I have been a florist for over fourteen years now. I live in Hurstpierpoint Sussex, with my three children, my husband and a sheepdog called Apple.  I have always loved nature and being outdoors. At school I was always drawn to the arts so it was a natural progression for me to end up doing something creative.

So how I got into floristry, I trained at a local college for two years. Although I learnt the basics here I felt it was restrictive and you very much had to stick to the rules of floristry. After this I headed to London where I trained at Jane Packer Flowers and McQueens. This was when my eyes were truly opened to the artistic world of floristry and my design head went crazy.

I set up a wedding and event business and did this for eight years until I became pregnant with my second son. The combination of early starts ,a toddler and a baby meant I had to let the business go and focus on my little family. 

I then went onto having a third baby, I like a challenge, and by the time my daughter turned one I began to dream of flowers, colours and designing again. My creative side was itching to get out again so I enrolled in further training at Tulipina Design and decided to bite the bullet and open my own flower school.


Flourish Sussex Flower School opened last October and the last ten months have been some of the most rewarding and fun times of my career.



I wanted to open a Sussex flower school where artistic designs was at the heart of it. Although we cover the basics in floristry, there is a strong focus on colour and design. We want students to find their own style early on and not feel restricted by traditional rules. We are constantly coming up with new and opulent designs that I get very excited about teaching in our classes.

We are also teaching students alternative methods to using floral foam. Floral foam is non biodegradable product that is used in the floral industry. Florists tend to use it to secure flowers in arrangements. But in recent years there has been a shift to stop using this product, something that I really welcome. I have never been a fan of it and have always prefered using chicken wire or floral frog pins, so this is an area I really enjoy teaching our students about.

For flower arrangers or for people who have never done floristry before we offer taster classes including: 'Posy & Prosecco', 'Vase to Table', 'Masterclass Hand- Tied', 'Flowers for the Home', 'One Day Masterclass' Then we have more specialist courses if you want learn something specific such as 'Introduction to Wedding Flowers' 'Two day Wedding Flowers', 'Sympathy Designs', 'Large Scale Displays'. Then we have our career courses coming this September. These are split into beginners, intermediate and advanced. Our career courses run both in the evening and day to fit around people with busy schedules. Fancy becoming a sussex florist? Why not give it go!


So a big thank you to all of you for your support. I love what I do and it's been so wonderful meeting some many flower enthusiasts over the last ten months. If you would like to keep up to date with what is going at the school and all the latest offers simply sign up to our monthly newsletter.



To check out all of our floral workshops that we run at our studio in Sussex please visit our workshop page and we hope to see you soon. 

Flourish Sussex Flower School: Wedding Flower Course

Have you ever dreamt of being able to create beautiful flower displays for a wedding? Has a friend asked you to create wedding flowers for her big day? Are you a sussex florist that needs confidence and would like to offer your clients beautiful and exciting displays? Why not come to our two day wedding course in October, for inspiration and time to create.


At Flourish  Sussex Flower School we have a created a two day course specialising in teaching you how to create beautiful, elaborate and striking wedding flowers. Set in the South Downs near Brighton, Plumpton College, Hurstpierpoint, you will find Flourish Sussex Flower School's floral studio.

We will greet with you pastries and lots of teas and coffee's and then get ready for two days of creativity.

On day one Alicia will give a talk about how to plan for a Sussex wedding. How to conduct a wedding consultation, how to budget and plan for the event. What flowers are available at different times of the year and there will be a focus on looking at colour and texture to create artistic inspired deaigns.

On day one at Flourish Sussex Flower School you will create bridal flowers including a free flowing bridal bouquet and a bridesmaid posy. We will also teach you how to make garden style buttonholes and look at different ribbon options.

In the afternoon students will also be shown and will create a table display made using a floral frog in a footed bowl. (Please note although the flowers can be taken home the footed bowl and floral frog are not included in the price).

We will also take photos of your arrangements and these will be emailed to you once the course is complete.



Then on day two at Flourish Sussex Flower School, wedding flower course we will decorate the studio as if we were getting it ready for a wedding, without the pressure! 

As Sussex wedding florists you will create aisle flowers and two urn displays to sit on plinths. We will also create as a group a garland, we will dress a table as if it was for a wedding and create a large group arch way.

We will take lots of photographs which we will email to you after the course.



The wedding flower course at Flourish Sussex Flower School is on Friday 19th October and Saturday 20th October, 10.00am-4.00pm, at our studio at Randolphs Farm in Hurstpierpoint. The class is limited to eight people, so to book your space or for more information click here. So if you have ever wanted to create beautiful wedding flowers why not come and give it a go?



Beginners Course in Floristry


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with flowers? Frustrated with your own career and would like to try something new? From September Flourish Sussex Flower School is running floristry career courses.

We have designed courses that teach you all the basic principles, with our own artistic flare. The courses are split into three different levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced.

If you are starting out our beginners course will teach you all the essential skills that you need in floristry and we will guide into creating your own style.

There are three different options for the beginners course: a six week evening introduction course, a twelve week evening course and a four day intensive course, all starting this September.

You will learn to create a hand tied bouquet, plus many wrapping options, there will be an introduction to wedding work, large scale urn displays, funeral work, event presentation, styling, photography, flower varieties, theory, including social media, building your own business and brand.

The courses are run from our studio at Randolps Farm in Hurstpierpoint. Classes are limited to eight people so you can have hands on help by our teachers. All flowers are included in the price. You will get a Flourish Sussex Flower School notepad and pen, plus a selection of floristry tools to get you going. We will take photos of your work and email high res images for you to use on your website and portfolio.

Floristry is such a beautiful, rewarding and an incredibly industry to work in. Why not give it a go and see for yourself.

For more information and to book your place please visit our website:

To reserve your place you can pay a non refundable 25% deposit up front and then the rest of the balance is due six weeks before your course starts.


It's competition time!

To celebrate May we are giving away four spaces at our 'Vase to Table' workshop,

This workshop is jam packed with creativity. You will get to see a demonstration by head floral designer Alicia and get lots of inspiring ideas on how to create flower displays in your home. Then you will have the opportunity to create your own seasonal vase display. The vase is also yours to take home. As a group we will then create a large scale display, dressing a table with floral displays as if we were getting it ready for a party.



All you have to do to enter the competition is post a photo of something inspired by flowers that you love on either Facebook or Instagram and tag us in the photo (@flourishsussex on Instagram or @flourishsussexflowerschool on Facebook.

The deadline is on the 17th May. We will announce the winner on the 18th. 

To read more about the workshop click on the link Vase to Table. Good luck!

Floral Wedding Shoot

Back in February Flourish Sussex Flower School collaborated with a number of talented business women to create a fashion and floral photo shoot. I am a big believer in supporting other women in business and it was such a great experience to bring these ladies together and create a shoot that showcased our work.

Gill East is a makeup artist and hair stylist, Emily Webster is a very talented stylist, Lucy Webb is a costume designer, Jessica Wong has a background in publishing and Bryony Creed runs her own nursery and was our model for the shoot.

The aim of the photo shoot was to look at different bridal styles and combine them with our influences and the latest trends in our fields.


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The first shot presented bridal elegance. The dress was fitted with a lace body and a tulle skirt all made by Lucy Webb. Her hair was curled, down and natural.

For the flowers I used a combination of warm peaches, pinks, creams and a splash of yellow. The flowers were designed to give a warm feeling which complimented Bryony's complexion.

The urns and the bouquets were all free flowing, allowing flower movement to take place. I used a combination of English roses, ranunculus, carnations and seasonal foliage to create the designs.



Our ballerina shot show cased girly romance with a touch of glamour. The dress had a lace bodice and a large tulle skirt all designed and made by Lucy Webb.

The flower content was designed to be bright and colourful. Combining magenta, coral, wine, violet, peach, yellow, cream together to create a truly opulent look. All the urns were created using floral frogs or chicken wire and were completely foam free. I used a combination of roses, carnations, orchids, anemones, berries, ranunculus and blossom to create the displays.

Her hair was tied in a top knot, all designed to reflect the look of a ballerina.


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This winter shot ,which turned out to be my favourite shot of the day, was inspired by Swan Lake. I had the idea to create two arrangements one representing the white swan and the other representing the black swan. The flowers were designed to drape over the fireplace and entangled together to represent the conflict in the Swan Lake story.

Emily Webster styled the shot with candles, lace and vases to reflect the idea of winter.

Bryony wore a Jenny Packam wedding dress. Her hair was curled and designed to be half up and half down with a black bow.

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This was such a great experience and I am so thankful to everyone involved in creating the set of lifestyle shots. A special thank you to Becca for letting us use her beautiful home and to Pete Webb our photographer for capturing the beautiful moments.

Flowers: Flourish Sussex

Hair and Make Up: Gill East

Styling: Emily Webster

Costume Design: Lucy Webb

Model: Bryony Creed

Marketing and PR: Jessica Wong

Photographer: Pete Webb

Sussex Wedding Flowers at Flourish

Flourish Sussex has launched its own wedding flower service. Flourish Sussex Flower School's head floral designer Alicia Barker has a background in wedding floristry and here she discusses this new branch to the business and how Flourish can create your dream flowers.


When I was training I very quickly was drawn to event flowers in particular wedding flowers. For me flowers transform a wedding. A venue can look completely different once colour and texture has been added. I very much see a venue as a blank canvas, that we as floral designers can transform to meet our clients wishes. It is so exciting meeting a couple for the first time and hearing their ideas and through the many months leading up to the couples big day transforming these ideas into a reality.

I ran a wedding and event floristry business for eight years. We worked across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, arranging wedding flowers in some of the counties most beautiful wedding venues including Ockenden Manor, Spread Eagle Hotel, The Grand, South Lodge Hotel, The Ginger Fox, Pangdean Barn, Ashdown Park Hotel , Hotel du Vin, Bailiffscourt Court, The Walled Garden Cowdray, Upwaltham Barn to name but a few.

It's such a privilege to be a part of any couples big day and I am so excited to be offering this extension to the school and I look forward to meeting lots of couples and creating some beautiful wedding flowers in 2019.

If you are getting married and don't know where to start in terms of your flowers, I always suggest to my clients to look at colour. See what colours you are drawn to and create a mood board, pinterest is great for this. From here we can create a palate together and introduce you to the vast array of flowers that are available at the time of year that you are getting married.

See below for a few different colour collages I have pulled together for this piece.

Pink , fuscia, blush, salmon, rose, rouge, magenta. 


Coral, magenta, strawberry, watermelon, lemon, apricot. 


Lavender, grape, mauve, iris, violet, lilac, wine. 


Snow, Ivory, cream, eggshell, ivory. 


Peach, salmon, watermelon, tangerine, cantaloupe, honey. 

If you are getting married in Sussex or Surrey in 2019 and would like to arrange a consultation with Alicia please fill out our contact form.

Have your hen party, birthday party or private event at Flourish Sussex Flower School!

I'm always excited to launch new pages on our website and this week we have just launched our private party page. After the success of our Posy and Prosecco workshops, I decided to offer a similar package for hen parties and birthday parties and other special occasions that you might be hosting in Sussex.



Whether you are planning a birthday party or a hen party in Sussex we have put together a great package that can be tailored to your needs. Guests are invited to come to a two hour workshop. A complimentary glass of prosecco or soft drink is served on your arrival at our studio in Hurstpierpoint. A floral demonstration will be given by head floral designer Alicia and then guests will have the choice whether to create a flower crown or a gift wrap posy. Please note all guests have to make the same arrangement and the choice must be made prior to your workshop.


 Example of a flower crown.

Example of a flower crown.

Guests can then add on additional drinks and nibbles at an extra cost.

If you are looking to do something creative for a hen do or birthday party in Sussex, Flourish Sussex Flower School will create an unforgettable experience for you.

For more information please fill out our contact form, including the date of your event and the number of people attending. Prices start at £30.00 per person, minimum of six people must attend. 

How to make a moss spring wreath!


Spring is such a favourite time of the year for me. I love seeing the little bulbs flowering, it feels me with excitement as I know Spring is on it's way!

I love making wreaths at any time of the year and these little moss based spring wreaths are a great, cheap and pretty arrangement that you can do at this lovely time of year. I made these with my kids. I love getting creative with my children and sharing with them my love of nature. These are quick and easy so let me show you how me and my boys created these little gems.



The first step is to get your tools ready. If you have ever made a Christmas wreath you will be using the same tools and materials to base your Spring wreath. I have used an 8 inch wire wreath frame, some strong binding wire and some florist scissors.



Next you want to take your moss and attach it to your wreath base in small ball like shapes. Keep going around it with your wire so it is completely covered.



Next you want to select, maybe from your garden, your flowers and foliage that you want to use. You don't need loads, as you still want to be able to see the moss underneath. I have chosen on this wreath to work with narcissus and primroses, rosemary, sage and a few sprigs from my olive tree.



You then want to arrange your flowers into small clusters with your foliage and then secure them to your wreath base with your wire. Place them where you want them and go around the frame with the wire until they are totally secure.



Once you have finished off your display it is time to add the ribbon. Take half of your ribbon under the frame to create a loop and then tie it at the top of the frame in a knot and then create a bow if you wish.



And there you have it! One spring moss wreath. A great little display to make with your children or to give as an Easter present.

To learn about the Sussex floristry courses that Flourish Sussex Flower School run please visit our workshop page. Not only do we offer career courses in floristry but we also run floristry workshops in Sussex for flower enthusiasts. If you are not sure whether to go to a Sussex florist college like Plumpton College or find a Sussex Floristry School read our about us page to see if Flourish has something to offer you and get in touch!

Stepping into Spring with Competition Time at Flourish!

To celebrate Spring we are offering the chance for eight lucky winners to attend either our Easter Wreath workshop or a private group chandelier class. 

For your chance to win a place at either workshop simply fill out our contact form with the caption "I love flowers' and the winners will be picked at random on Monday 12th March.

Please note you must be free on Wednesday 28th March, 7.30pm-9.30pm to attend the Easter Workshop. 

Good luck!



Floristry Training in Sussex

I am often asked about my training and what is the best process to follow in order to enter the floristry industry. Sussex floristry college vs sussex flower courses. This is my background training story and what I often advice people.

I started my training by signing up to a six week evening floristry starter course. Here I developed a real interest in floristry and decided to quit my full time job and I signed up to a two year college course at Plumpton college. This was two days a week, where I needed to provide my own flowers and juggle training around my part time job.


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Plumpton College gave me a great foundation in the basics of floristry. When I did the course I was in my early twenties and had no other commitments. If I was trying to get into the industry today, it would be a different story. I have three children under the age of seven. I couldn't commit to two days for two years, I might however be able to commit to an evening course or build up my own programme with a school, selecting dates that suited me and choosing classes that I wanted to specialise in.



I then went onto train at some of the worlds leading flower schools, including McQueens, Jane Packer and Tuilpina Design. All of these schools heavily influenced my own style and that is something I have bought to my own school.

Flourish Sussex Flower School is a fusion of styles and creativity. As well as covering the basics, we offer artistic classes that teacher free foam displays, as well as event decorating and styling.


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Flourish offers floristry courses in Sussex to flower enthusiasts. I wanted a school that offered floristry training in Sussex but also offered floristry classes for anyone that simply loves flowers. Our career courses have been designed to fit around peoples schedules, buy offering intensive weeks and evening classes.

With our workshops we have also put on a number of fun, informal and affordable floristry classes, where people can come and enjoy flowers. That for me is really at the heart of the school. I want to share my love of flowers with others and I hope I can inspire people to keep coming back., as floristry training is on going. It's important to develop your style, learn new techniques and continue to be inspired.

Why not sign up to a class today at Flourish Sussex Flower School.

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Wonderful floral event!

I wanted to write a blog to say thank you to everyone that attended our floral open evening last week. 

I love flowers and I love sharing my enthusiasm about them with other floral enthusiasts.

The evening at Flourish Sussex Flower School was focusing on flowers in the home. Looking at seasonal flowers and foliage from the garden that you can arrange artistically, to create beautiful and striking displays for events you may be holding or just vases for you to enjoy at your home.



As well as looking at different vase options to arrange your flowers in, I also created a table runner suited for a dinner party display or an arrangement that I have made for many sussex weddings. 

We also looked at creating foam free displays and I discussed how I use chicken wire and floral frogs to create free flowing displays in my work.



Everyone got to create a floral t-light holder to take home with them. It was a wonderful evening with lots of prosecco, canapes and design. I am very much looking forward to planning my next one and I hope to see you all soon!



Floral Open Evening: Wednesday 31st January, 7.00pm-9.30pm

On Wednesday 31st January 7.00pm-9.30pm, Flourish Sussex Flower School will be hosting our first floral open evening, focusing on 'Flowers in the Home'. For just £10 a ticket, guests are invited to arrive from 7pm & have a glass of bubbles or two, with some yummy canapes.

Through out the evening we will have a selection of vases, ribbons, silk flowers and home accessories for guests to purchase at discounted prices.

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 Decorative vases, home accessories, candle holders, ribbons and silk flowers will be on sale at discounted prices.

Decorative vases, home accessories, candle holders, ribbons and silk flowers will be on sale at discounted prices.

Alicia will then give a demonstration on how to present flowers for the home in an array of different vases, whilst sharing with you a few tricks of the trade.

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 Floral demonstrations will be given by Alicia on the evening.

Floral demonstrations will be given by Alicia on the evening.

A talk will also be given about the other classes and courses that we will be running throughout 2018. The school has been designed so that it caters for not just florists, but flower enthusiasts and anyone who simply fancies trying something new in 2018. Some of the classes run in the evening, others are half day, whole days and then we have longer courses which specialise more intently on certain areas in floristry, including our career courses.

This is a great opportunity for guests to ask questions and find out more about the workshops and training that we offer.

Guests will also have the opportunity to create a dried flower t-light holder to take home with them at the end of the evening.

The open evening will take place at The Gun Room at Randolphs Farm in Hurstpierpoint.

Places are limited so to book your place simply click here.