I’ve been interested in the no floral foam movement for a while now and have integrated some designs around this idea into the first year of tutorials for the Young Blooms flower school.
There are two nofloralfoam accounts that I follow on instagram that recently had been asking participants to fill in a survey around using floral foam and one of the questions was something like ‘was I aware of what was actually in green foam’.
The short answer is I didn’t have a clue really and so this is the reason for this blog post. If you have a minute take a look here and read through the contents of what is in a block of floral foam. It’s quite shocking reading and I didn’t have any real understanding, for a material I choose to regularly use to include formaldehyde smoke and sulphur dioxide makes it a bit worrying.
The thing I find most interesting on my part is that in not using oasis, you have to choose not to use it. As a florist its the easier mechanic to access, you use it without thinking. To not use it, you then have to experiment with ideas to see what works, what holds up, whether you feel confident that it will hold up for events etc. It certainly feels like more of an effort to get round it.
My journey into this whole movement started with archways as seen below, the mechanics behind this design is relatively straight forward but its taken me a number of attempts to get it looking right.
I also attended an event at the garden museum back in the summer that was hosted by the marvellous Shane Connelly. He’d gathered a group of florists who were on the most part aiming to cut down their use of floral foam, some who were just using British grown flowers and others who were looking at going down the route of lowering their use of single use plastic. Overall it was inspiring evening. The most useful point I took from what Shane shared was how in choosing not to use floral foam we have to allow ourselves to make mistakes, because in a way you are in uncharted territory. As I talked above, when you are rethinking mechanics then you have to allow for things not to work first time around.
In the new year I’m holding a no floral foam aisle workshop, it might sound like a mouthful but you can learn how to dress an aisle with flowers without using floral foam, we will using a design similar to the above picture. There are still spaces available so if you’d like to book, you can do so here. People who have come to recent no floral foam workshops, commented on how its been important to have space to play and create, understanding whats possible and also learning from others is really important.
I’m beginning to delve further into options for no floral foam designs and have been pleased to find the wholesalers I use are beginning to stock helpful materials like the picture below.
Along side the flower school, I’ve started a Youtube channel. The aim of it is to provide helpful tips and tricks, so you can see my experiment with the above container on the channel. The end result is below, so if your interested to subscribe to the channel and get involved.