Floral Design Day–2011

Feb 28th is Floral Design Day.

Floral Design Day was proclaimed by Governor Weld in 1995. It was originally intended to celebrate a special birthday of Carl Rittner, the founder of The Rittners Floral School in Boston.

Rittners Floral School in Boston is one of the first private modern floral design schools in North America. Carl Rittner introduced the application of modern educational techniques and theory to teaching floral art as an art form, over sixty years ago. The standard way of learning floral designing up to that time was through lengthy and often unpleasant apprenticeship approaches. (Some unfortunate souls still try to learn floral designing that way!)

What better way to celebrate Carl Rittner’s life and accomplishments than by a holiday celebrating floral designing. But the holiday has evolved beyond a birthday celebration…. Floral design as an art has developed for thousands of years, and in the context of the 21st Century, is more vibrant and varied than ever, with an even greater assortment of tools, approaches and techniques available to the floral designer today than ever before. It is certainly worthy to celebrate as an art.

Regardless of changes that occur in our society the natural beauty and appeal of flowers is still as strong as ever. Their design can can be both intricate and incredibly enjoyable….. Viewing and enjoying their design is quite satisfying. And there is still a difference between a floral designer who really knows what s/he is doing, and the hobbyist who simply drops a few stems into a vase and poses.

Floral art remains an incredibly vital and dynamic way to express feelings and to shape space and create atmosphere. Important events in our life such as courtship and marriage and the various holidays of the year, rely upon floral designers to make them extra special.

An impressive body of knowledge  has been accumulating, proving empirically that flowers are not just a luxury. Indeed, they have very tangible benefits for human well being such as decreasing anxiety, reducing depression, and making people feel so much better. At Rittners Floral School we have found that even the process of learning floral designing can be therapeutic in its own right…..

In our opinion the the need for floral art to bring about positive social good remains stronger than ever before.

Best of all, floral designing is fun!

We wish you a very happy Floral Design Day 2011

Let’s Stop And Smell the Roses!!!

I love teaching all the various techniques and styles of floral designing, but once in a while, there is one style or approach that I particularly enjoy sharing. Such was the case in yesterday’s Day Class in Floral Design. The lesson was a Dutchess Flower, in particular the Dutchess Rose.

I love teaching this one. The Dutchess Rose is a composite flower. That means that it is a large flower that is created by hand using the petals of many flowers. It is a labor intensive design. It is also an expensive design as it uses a lot of petals. It can be carried as a wedding bouquet or incorporated into more complex wedding bouquets. Not all floral designers want to deal with this one. Not all are capable of doing one of these. I am particularly happy that the current crop of students at Rittners Floral School Day Class are very talented. They were ready for this advanced design and attacked it with their customary flair and enthusiasm! The results were awesome!

The bottom line is that I believe that flowers, floral products, services and floral designing enhances peoples lives in many ways….I believe that floral designing can and should be used to make people happy. It should be used to make their environments and events in their lives special. That is our whole reason for being. It underlies everything we do and teach at Rittners Floral School. This means that  I feel just as happy when teaching cutting edge floral art or classical techniques. Either supports our premise that floral design as an art can and should have positive social impact.

I get great gratification when I teach wonderful people who in turn can do great things with flowers and floral art. The Dutchess flower is a good example of one of many techniques that my students will take away with them as they go out into the world to make peoples’ lives better through floral designing.

How To Make an Elaborate Valentine’s Day Flower Arrangement From Rittners Floral School in Boston, MA

Expressions of love can take many forms. In this brief floral design demonstration we show how to take varied floral items such as roses, carnations, lilies, hypericum berries, ivy vine and eryngium to develop a very rich looking and lovely floral expression of love.

Please also check out the Rittners Floral School Valentine Resource Center for more goodies!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Rittners Floral School in Boston, MA.

More On The Health Benefits of Plants

One of the pleasures of owning a floral school is developing our floral school library.

It gives me a good excuse to buy books dealing with a wide range of subjects, to read and enjoy them, and to let others know about goodies that relate to our common interests.

It takes a lot to impress me though. There are books, and there are books!

Some time back (Oct 2010)  I had the pleasure of reviewing “How To Grow Fresh Air” by BC Wolverton. Wolverton explored the healthy aspects of plants in terms of how they help to purify air and contribute to a more livable environment. I love that book.

Well, he’s at it again!

This one is called “ Plants: Why You Can’t Live Without Them.”

Along with co-author Kozaburo Takenaka, Wolverton provides a wonderful summary of just how critical plants are for human health and well being. Chapters like “Is the Air Indoors Making You Sick,” Plants: Nature’s Air Purifiers,” ”Medicinal Plants, “ and more make their points in a succinct and appealing manner. (Be warned: The chapter on indoor air pollution made me not want to do any renovations in my home without careful and considerable examination of home construction materials). The benefits of plants in terms of reducing indoor air pollutants is discussed and documented as are many areas in which plants contribute to human well being.

When I was an undergraduate, one of my favorite courses was one called, “Plants And Man.” It dealt with the benefits of plants and the social aspects of horticulture. This book reads like a far more interesting and useful update of the subject for the 21st Century.

Wolverton and Tekenaka, in part wanted this book to provide a written legacy to their descendents of their contribution in making our environment a better place.

It is my hope that this book gets widespread attention, and that their legacy encouraging the use of plants to improve our environment, go far beyond the written page.

Buy this one. Encourage your local library to buy it, and encourage others to read it. It provides an excellent documentation of why plants and floral materials are so critical for human well being. It’s timely and important.

Teleflora Superbowl XLV Commercial—Interesting!

I really look forward to Teleflora’s superbowl commercials. They are witty, edgy and push boundaries. The nasty talking flowers in past ads that were drop shipped really produced a few chuckles! (And I enjoyed seeing them showing up at other occasions too!) Anything that promotes the local florist is good as far as I am concerned.

I have to admit that i had some rather mixed reactions to this year’s Superbowl Commercial. On one hand, I can see many people finding it offensive. I certainly didn’t show it to my youngster. Nor will I.

On the other hand, the clueless fellow’s reaction was very typical of some guys.

He had a need to express himself  ( His “heart told him” to send it). Isn’t that what sending flowers is all about? He was expressing his emotions, his obvious appreciation and his affection. That’s also what floral designers help people do. They meet the emotional needs of their customers, and help them express themselves when words (quite obviously) fail.

The floral design itself is gorgeous. Faith Hill played her part wonderfully. If this were real life, let’s hope that Kim, the girlfriend, has a great sense of humor and really loves the guy. I am sure she will love the flowers ( if she doesn’t throw them at him!)

Edgy, adventurous and cutting edge. Definitely adult humor…. Although this stodgy Bostonian tends to prefer a little more class in his commercials, I have to admire the folks at Teleflora for having the guts to try this.  If it gets folks’ attention and sells more flowers and floral designs all the better. It will definitely be interesting to hear what some of the enclosure cards say this year…..

I’d be curious to hear from some of you how you react to this ad!

The Thrill of Victory…The Agony of Defeat! Flowers For Superbowl XLV From Rittners Floral School

The Thrill of Victory…. The Agony of Defeat!!!

Trumpets blaring…….Those modern gladiators are about to go out to do combat…… WE LOVE IT!!  (Well, here in New England we would probably have loved it more if the Patriots were involved! But still…….)

Floral design is a mirror of our culture……a reflection of our loves, our desires and aspirations. It reflects our holidays, our sense of the passage of time through important life cycle events…Floral art helps us to embellish and make our interior environments special…Football and sports are but one aspect of our culture and civilization……..It should come as no surprise then, that floral art can be stylized to root for our favorite team……or to make our homes even nicer for Superbowl parties.

YESSSS……HERE AT RITTNERS FLORAL SCHOOL IN BOSTON…………..We love football……………..Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone!