Design Workshops

Learn the basics of floral design with friends . . . for a group of six or more, we can host a fun, informal workshop at your location or ours. We start with taking apart a pre-packaged bouquet from a supermarket or big box store and redesigning the contents in a beautiful centerpiece. Then we design a centerpiece from fresh flowers. Learn types of flowers, basics of design, how to care for arrangements, and creative ways to arrange your garden flowers.

Contact Nancy at [email protected].

Women of the AAUW

Holiday design for Milwaukee Art Museum Garden Club workshop.

Learn Garden Style Floral Design at a Hands-on Workshop

I will be teaching a series of workshops this fall at the Creative Arts Oasis in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  If you have always wanted to know more about design concepts, techniques used by professionals, and basic tools for creating your own garden-style floral designs, consider a hands-on workshop.  Learn how to use flowers from your garden, farmers’ market or supermarket to create your own amazing arrangements.  The fall series includes three workshops:  Compote Garden Design, Festive Fall Design and Holiday Design.

For more information and to register, go to The Creative Arts Oasis.


Garden Bouquets – Walk Around Designs

One of my favorite things to do is to walk our property and snip a few flowers from the gardens around my house.  Usually this is an evening activity after a long day working in the garden or arranging flowers for an upcoming event.  Walking around means designing on the go . . . so the result is usually colorful, loose and informal.  In late July, zinnias are the most prolific, but there are also coneflowers, daisies, phlox, and hydrangea to choose from.  Soon there will be the stars . . . dahlias!





Visiting Flower Farms in Skagit Valley

In June, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Skagit Valley in the state of Washington, home of many small flower farms.  These farms are owned by flower entrepreneurs who supply local floral designers and event planners with beautiful, locally grown flowers and greenery.  Part of the ‘slow flower’ movement, these farms support local economies and embrace environmentally friendly farming and marketing practices.

I was so excited to participate in a floral design workshop at All My Thyme rose farm owned by Dawn Severin.  Our co-host and floral instructor for the day was talented floral designer Alicia Schwede, of Flirty Fleurs.  Find both on Instagram @allmythme and @flirtyfleurs respectively.

The professional photography is provided by Becca Jones at B. Jones Photography,

We created a garden-style arrangement with greens, roses and other flowers all sourced from Dawn’s farm.  The style is loose, creative, and dramatic.




Dawn, left, and me with my arrangement. We used a compote container, chicken wire, and water. No foam used here!

Love this shade of orange

One of Dawn’s roses, another favorite of mine

Cosmo type flowers in the field.

Greenery included maple branches and lady’s mantle


Gerbera Daisy Centerpiece for a February Luncheon

A February luncheon at a historic German restaurant calls for elegant yet natural elements.  Gerbera daisies were the focal point surrounded by thistle, spray roses, and Green Trick dianthus.  Natural twig balls with a winter white color palette, a frame of bear grass and some variegated greens complete the design.

Twelve centerpieces . . . same recipe, each a little unique

Luncheon at Mader’s, Milwaukee, WI

Holiday Workshop Centerpiece

In December, I hosted a floral design workshop for Milwaukee Art Museum Garden Club members.  We created a holiday themed centerpiece using fresh roses and holly plus some foraged items from my garden.  I preserved Limelight hydrangea blooms with a water/glycerin mixture and then spray painted them with a burgundy wine color.  The pine cones are lightly painted copper and gold.  Other items in this piece are lotus pods, grapevine balls, and small colored ornaments.

Natural elements include cones, lotus pods, dried


Burgundy carnations were grouped in threes for greater impact

Marches aux Fleurs, Vieux Nice

The old, historic section of Nice, France, has a wonderful flower and produce market.  I always learn something new when I visit floral shops, markets, and growers.  Many of the flowers offered at this market are grown locally in neighboring cities and towns in France.  For ten euros, I was able to purchase a huge bouquet of roses and lisianthus.  Tres jolie!

I also noticed the straw/raffia bouquet holder used by many of the vendors.  It was wired with a handle to easily arrange the flowers.  Of course, I brought one home.

Greenery Wedding

It was such fun to create greenery themed wedding florals using seeded eucalyptus, myrtle, ruscus, and magnolia leaves.  White flowers . . . roses, freesia, and veronica . . . complemented the natural, bohemian style of the bride.

Greenery and white spray roses decorated the homemade cake


Bridesmaid bouquets


Head table with all the bouquets waiting for the wedding party plus greenery garlands


Head table


Centerpieces were simple green and white in glass vases



Rose and Twig Designs: MAM Garden Club at Art in Bloom

The Milwaukee Art Museum hosts Art in Bloom every year.  It is a very popular event where area floral designers interpret artwork on display with dramatic and creative floral arrangements.

As a member of MAM Garden Club, I was pleased to design two of the arrangements on display in the Garden Club booth at Art in Bloom.  One of those was selected by an area artist as subject matter for an original painting that was later auctioned for charity.

I used tropical flowers in these arrangements including king protea, kangaroo paws, pincushion proteas and agapanthus.