Lovely Classical Arrangement Made in A Watermelon For Summer From Rittners Floral School in Boston

Hi Everyone.

Summer has many different associations ranging from swimming in the pool to outdoor picnics. We thought you might enjoy this lovely classical vase arrangement made in a watermelon base. Perfect for the summer season! The design is rich and opulent. Classical floral art!


Wonderful Book On Gardening History & Personalities

I bought “The Brother Gardeners” by Andrea Wulf (Vintage Books/Random House, 2008) with the intention of bringing balance to our floral school library. I felt that a source dealing with the history of gardening and movement of botanicals across international borders might be an interesting addition to Rittners Floral School library and add a different kind of perspective.

I am a floral design educator. The origins and movement of plants is interesting, but it is not something that I have ever considered of primary concern.

I must admit that when I started to read this delicious little book, my entire perspective changed. I could not put this wonderful book down! Wulf documents how a group of individuals introduced to Britain, all kinds of botanicals from such places as the Americas and the Pacific, and in so doing,  changed the gardens of England.

What really makes this book so wonderful is that Wulf makes the various individuals and their personalities come remarkably alive.

We get a wonderful portrait of the business relationship and growing friendship of farmer John Bartram of Pennsylvania and British merchant Peter Collinson, and how they introduced all kinds of plants to Britain. We experience the wonder of Bartram searching what was at that time the American Wilderness for new and different botanicals, constantly taking trips farther and farther from his home, in spite of all kinds of dangers (including war). In our world where products can be shipped globally within hours, and communication is instantaneous we get an appreciation of just how difficult it was for these guys to both communicate and safely ship botanicals across the Atlantic.

Just when you think the book is as good as it can be, it gets better.We get a wonderful appreciation for Philip Miller whose Gardener’s Dictionary took gardening out of superstition and approached it in a methodical, practical scientific way.

Then there is Carl Linnaeus, whose sexual system of classifying plants gave some English Botanists indigestion as they envisioned the plant world to be one big horticultural orgy! Of course it didn’ t help that Linnaeus was a conceited, arrogant self promoter. ( This wasn’t the portrait that I got in my Botany classes in college where Linnaeus’ name was almost associated with sainthood!) Later it was interesting to see how he named various botanicals after friends and enemies.

We get to vicariously explore the Pacific with Captain James Cook, and Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.

Even Captain Bligh (of Mutiny on The Bounty fame) ends up in this marvelous little book. We all think of him as the rather anal fellow whose crew mutinied against him, and placed him into an open boat all the while throwing breadfruit plants overboard…..Bligh did manage to navigate that 23′ boat with no charts almost 4,000 miles back to civilization. (Yet how can you feel sympathetic with a guy that Marlon Brando –playing Fletcher Christian– didn’t appreciate? ) What I never realized, was that Bligh actually returned to the Pacific, accomplished his mission of getting breadfruit to the West Indies and returned to Britain with more than 1000 living flowers, shrubs and trees… At that time one of the largest living collection of plants brought into Britain from abroad.

Without a doubt, beg, borrow or best of all buy this book! It is a wonderful, fascinating, compelling read—one that you will certainly savor and enjoy. It holds an honored spot in our library.

AWESOME Summer Diploma Floral Design Course To Start July 26th @ Rittners Floral School in Boston!

This course is ( as we say in Boston… ) wicked awesome!!!

Our passsion for teaching floral designing here at Rittners Floral School in Boston, MA. definitely shows in this exciting diploma program.

This one is designed for folks who come to us and say, “I want a terrific course in floral designing….I need to learn it quickly because I’ve got a spouse and five kids and the house will blow up if I am away too long!! … or “I only get vacation time for a few weeks, and I need something that will really teach me floral art during that time, so that I can get back to my job/life, etc….”

We only offer this intense three week workshop once each year, this season from July 26-Aug 13th.

One major obstacle that folks encounter when trying to learn floral art quickly, is that all too often short programs are presented a la carte in piecemeal sections. That can be confusing and more costly over time. Not so in this program. This course is designed specifically for folks who would like a well organized, well thought out and well planned program teaching floral art skills in a format of short duration.

It is one of our most popular courses and attracts folks from all over the country. Although it starts simply assuming no prior background it is very practical as it includes intermediate and even advanced floral skills.

I especially look forward to teaching this course each year.

Have some well deserved fun and learn practical money making skills in this hands-on workshop floral art course. No prior background is necessary. Amaze your friends,family and acquaintances with the gorgeous floral art that you will bring home! Earn bragging rights. Make them all envious!

Visa/MC accepted.
For more information Click HERE!!

More Musings About Independence Day @ Rittners Floral School

I love fireworks. I especially love the fireworks that are displayed here in Boston as part of our July 4th celebration. About five hundred thousand folks (give or take a hundred thousand or so) gather along the Charles River, & listen to the Boston Pops July 4th Concert. This happens each Independence Day but a few blocks from Rittners Floral School. ( Can’t beat our location! ) The crowd is happy and the mood is always good. After the War of 1812 Overture, and a slightly overly long wait, we get to see the heavens light up! I try to photograph the fireworks every year.  Photographing fireworks  doesn’t come easy for me. I think that for me, photography of flowers and floral design is much easier….. But I have noticed one thing about many of the fireworks that we all “Ooo and Ahh” about. Many of them look like beautiful flowers!

Perhaps that is one reason we all enjoy watching fireworks displays so much!

Liberty Tree @ Rittners Floral School in Boston

Rittners Floral School is located in Boston. It should come as no surprise that we are very conscious of time of things both past and future. Paul Revere’s house is here in Boston….(No he hasn’t been there for a while). The Old North Church still stands here as well…. Five signers of the US Declaration of Independence attended my high school here in Boston. (Their handwriting is much better than mine!)

So with a colonial tradition here in Boston, on July 4th we think of all kinds of things that occurred back in the 1700s.

One symbol of the resistance to British rule in North America was a very famous tree called the Liberty Tree. The Liberty Tree was actually an elm tree that was near Boston Common, actually  within walking distance of our school. People assembled at the Liberty Tree to express their displeasure with British policy and the Crown. The tree itself became a symbol of support for liberty. Many other towns followed Boston’s lead and had their own liberty trees (and in some cases Poles!) It even became a symbol on early colonial flags.

Eventually the liberty tree was cut down by loyalists (A rather nasty thing to do! But loyalists were folks who were loyal to the Crown…) and eventually what was left became known locally as the liberty stump!

We thought it would be kind of neat to feature our own Liberty Tree here as we commemorate July 4th here in Boston. Our liberty tree is not an elm. Instead our interpretation includes boxwood and even a little holly. Perhaps something that could be used not only for July 4th but also for a patriotic little tree used during the Christmas season. The use of red, white and blue in this tree mirror the colors of the American Flag….which is also included in this design featuring an American Flag on a mug.

Here in Boston, we enjoy fireworks, barbecues and a wonderful sense of history on Independence Day. We hope that your July 4th holiday is also a pleasant one.