It has been 12 years since I took a semester course during my senior year of high school in flower arranging.
I wish I could tell you I took the class because I had a burning desire to be a florist. I wish I could tell you the reason was a love of flowers. But I really wish I could tell you that I took the class because I had some insane foresight into my future endeavors that somehow, some way, it would be a helpful tool in my business enterprises.
In fact, it has been so long that the true reason has escaped my memory. More than likely, it was credits that I had to fill and I knew that arranging flowers would be a better way to float through my senior year than something, like, Statistics?!?! The class was held on the Clovis Adult Campus, and our dear teacher was Miss Betty. Five days a week, for two hours every day, she would attempt to instill a love of flora and fauna into her rowdy group of high school misfits. We were more obsessed with eyeliner than line-mass; how to fill our car with gas than how to make sure that an arrangement is filled with greenery; and our focal point was boys, boys, boys – not an orchid.
Miss Betty never wavered, bless her heart. And I am completely grateful that she didn’t. It was in that classroom that I discovered that I preferred the artistic minimalism of Japanese floral arranging. One graceful arc of three flowers with a smattering of greenery in a shiny black low vase. Also, I remember Miss Betty exclaiming that floral arrangements do not have to be one exact way – they are an artistic interpretation of one’s self. I liked that explanation; it made the art of arranging flowers seem less dowdy – not your grandmother’s vase of posies and babies breath.
When it comes to either gift wrapping, crafting or – now – flower arranging…I always take a modern and eclectic approach. Spikes on a gift – why not! Christmas stockings in hues of gray, orange and silver – but of course! And who says you can’t have a big head of kale as your focal point in a flower arrangement?
Thank you Miss Betty for sharing your wisdom and love of flowers. In a small, yet significant, way – you helped create the creative person I am today and for that I am eternally grateful!