Annual Client Appreciation Workshop

Pollen is hosting our annual Client Appreciation Workshop on Sunday, August 10th, from 11AM – 1PM.  Drink mimosas, learn about floral design, and create an arrangement to take home!

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This workshop is exclusive to past and current Pollen clients and their guests. The introductory two-hour class, taught at Pollen’s floral design new studio location, will cover:
– flower selection,
– cut flower care, and
– the basics of floral design.

Instruction will have an emphasis on working with seasonal farmers market flowers.  After some instruction and demonstration, each student will design a floral arrangement to take home. Students are encouraged to bring the vase they use most often, but please only bring vases that are under 10″ tall and with openings 5″ wide or less.  I’ll be demonstrating in a 5″ x 5″ cylinder.  These same cylinders will also be available if you don’t have a favorite vase you’d like to learn to work with.

To offer the most interactive instruction possible, the class is limited to 16 people, and therefore clients are limited to one additional guest.  Registration is $12 per person, and includes instruction, flowers, and the use of tools.

Tickets are $12 per person (just to insure those who register do attend) and can be found at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/775338

Second Annual Floral Design Workshop

Update 8/6/2013: The workshop is sold out.  To get first dibs next year, “like” Pollen’s Facebook page!

We at Pollen are excited to offer for the second time our Client Appreciation Floral Design Workshop, exclusively for past and present Pollen clients!  It’s a chance for us to say “thanks” to our clients and to catch up.  This year’s workshop will be held at our new studio in Avondale on Sunday, August 18th from 11AM – 1PM.

workshop setup

Pollen clients can bring a friend, drink some mimosas, and design an arrangement with locally grown flowers.

The introductory two-hour class will cover:
– flower selection,
– cut flower care, and
– the basics of floral design.

Instruction will have an emphasis on working with seasonal farmers market flowers.  After some instruction and demonstration, each student will design a floral arrangement to take home.  Students are encouraged to bring the vase they use most often, but should only bring vases that are under 10″ tall and with openings 5″ wide or less.  I’ll be demonstrating in a 5″ x 5″ cylinder to create a low and lush table centerpiece.  These same cylinders will also be available to those who don’t have an appropriately sized vase.

To offer the most interactive instruction possible, the class is limited to 16 people, and therefore clients are limited to one additional guest.  Registration is $15 per person, and includes instruction, refreshments, flowers, and the use of tools.

Last year was a blast, and we’re excited to be able to include a few more people this year in our bigger space.  I’m so looking forward to it!  Past and present Pollen clients can get more information and register here.

Floral Design Workshop = Success!

Shears, handouts, bunches of flowersYesterday, Pollen held its first ever workshop at Pollen’s studio, located in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.  Exclusive to Pollen clients (and a sidekick), students learned the basics of floral design, with an emphasis on working with farmers market flowers.

After some instruction and demonstration (and mimosas and bloody marys), the students designed their own arrangements.  I was so impressed by how well they did!

happy students
We worked with all locally grown flowers to create a low and lush centerpiece appropriate for a dining table.  The flowers selection included dahlias, zinnias, gomphrena, viburnum berries, lisianthus, cosmos, coxcomb…  Lots of bright and beautiful summer flowers.  I set up an area for students to take photos of their arrangements (then lurked behind them and took some myself).  Check out the students’ arrangements below and on Pollen’s Facebook page, where many of the students have posted photos of their work.

zinnias asclepias viburnum

dahlias, lisianthus, coxcombzinnias, sedum, asclepias, tansyI’m seriously impressed with their work!  If you are a Pollen client and missed it, have no fear, I’ll be doing it again next year.  I had so much fun reconnecting with my clients, meeting their friends and family, and seeing their pride in their new design skills!

If you aren’t a client (or if you are, and can’t wait until the next one exclusive to clients), there will be another workshop in a few short weeks.   Sunday, September 9, 2012, I will be hosting a workshop/fundraiser to help out one of my flower friends with the costs related to his recent cancer diagnosis and treatment.  You may have met my flower friend, Les with The Flower Garden, while buying flowers at the Green City Market.  All ticket sales go toward his medical costs.  This workshop is limited to just 10 people, so sign up quickly!   Get more information about the fundraiser/workshop (open to the public) and buy tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/256572

 

Hands-On Floral Design Workshop: A Fundraiser (9/9/2012)

If you saw our floral design workshop exclusive to Pollen clients, and wished you could take it, we have good news!  Pollen and The Flower Garden are teaming up to offer a hands-on introductory floral design workshop to benefit Les, The Flower Garden’s primo peddler of petals, to help with the costs of his recent cancer treatment.

Sunday, September 9, 2012
11AM – 1PM
Pollen
3717 N. Ravenswood Ave. #237
Chicago, IL 60613

REGISTER HERE

The introductory two-hour class, taught at Pollen’s floral design studio in the Ravenswood Corridor, will cover:
– flower selection,
– cut flower care, and
– the basics of floral design.

Instruction will have an emphasis on working with late summer, locally grown flowers to create a low and lush centerpiece suitable for a dining room table.  After some instruction and demonstration, each student will design a centerpiece of flowers from The Flower Garden to take home.

We’ll work with seasonal flowers such as dahlias, lisianthus, coxcomb, zinnias, gomphrena, and billy balls.  Students are encouraged to bring their own vase, and we recommend bringing a vase roughly 5″ tall and 5″ in diameter.  Vases will also be available for purchase.

To offer the most interactive instruction possible, the class is limited to 10 people.  Registration is required, and at $100 per person includes instruction, flowers, the use of tools, and refreshments.  All ticket sales help pay for Les’ cancer treatment.

REGISTER HERE

For Past and Present Clients: Hands-On Floral Design Workshop

As a “thank you” to past and current clients, Pollen is offering a hands-on workshop in basic floral design.  This workshop is exclusive to past and current Pollen clients*, who may each bring one guest. The introductory two-hour class, taught at Pollen’s floral design studio in the Ravenswood Corridor, will cover:
– flower selection,
– cut flower care, and
– the basics of floral design.

The class will have an emphasis on designing a low and lush arrangement with seasonal farmers market flowers.  After some instruction and demonstration, each student will design a floral arrangement to take home.  Students are encouraged to bring the vase they use most often, but please only bring vases that are under 6″ tall and with openings under 5″ wide.  5″ x 5″ clear glass cylinder vases will also be available for purchase.

To offer the most interactive instruction possible, the class is limited to 15 people, and therefore clients are limited to one additional guest.  Registration is $15 per person, and includes instruction, flowers, and the use of tools.

REGISTER HERE

*Not a Pollen client, and want to take the class? You’re in luck! We’ve just added another class as a fundraiser for a flower friend. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/256572

Cut Flower Care for Longer Lasting Flowers

Women resting on grass with bouquet in hand

Whether you picked up a bunch of flowers at the grocery store or you were delivered a hand-tied bouquet by a florist, following a few simple guidelines to care for your flowers will insure you get the longest life out of them.

1.  Strip the stems. Remove from the stems any foliage that will be under water.  Submerged foliage will decay and encourage the growth of bacteria.  The byproducts of these bacteria will clog the stems of the flowers and prevent the uptake of water.  No water = wilty flowers!

2.  Fill your vase with lukewarm water. Flowers draw water up the stem due to a process called transpiration.  Water evaporates from the surface of the leaves, decreasing water pressure at the top of the plant, and creating suction in the stems of the flowers. Essentially, a vacuum is created, and the stem draws water from its cut end.  It’s kind of like a syphon.  When cut flowers have been out of water, air is taken into the end of the stem and the vacuum is lost.  By using water that is warmer than room temperature, the water in the stem expands, the air gets pushed from the cut end of the stem, and the vacuum is again functioning!  Some flowers, such as spring bulb flowers, prefer cool water, but generally, you’re safest using warm water in the vase.

3.  Re-cut the stems before putting them in water. Using a sharp tool such as a knife or floral shears (ok, kitchen shears if you must!), cut at least a half-inch from the bottoms of the stems.  Cutting the stems at an angle increases the surface area exposed to water.

4.  Keep the arrangement out of direct sun, heat, and drafts. Flowers will last the longest if they are kept cool.  Being directly in the sun is tough on cut flowers.  Heat and drafts also speed water loss from the flowers, so don’t put the flowers on your tv or on a windowsill.

5.  Give them some TLC at least every other day. Every other day, remove the bouquet from the vase, clean the vase, fill it with fresh water, rinse the stems, and recut the stems before placing the bouquet back in the clean water.  If any stems begin to wilt, give them a fresh cut and they will usually perk right back up!  If that doesn’t work, remove any wilted flowers from the arrangement.

By following these simple steps, you’ll get the longest life out of your flowers.