A very special day at Zita Elze Flower Design Academy read more
Zita Elze has been wowing the floristry world with her visionary approach to floral design since winning the Design and Decoration Award ‘Graduate Garden Designer of the Year‚Äô in 2003. Her famous ‚Äėliving‚Äô floral embroidery won her a silver-gilt medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011 (see jaw-dropping wedding gown below) and she recently worked on the gothic flowers on set of the recent Great Expectations adaptation. Her string of achievements however is not what defines Zita but her absolute passion and intrepid approach to floristry that makes her truly unique.
On Saturday morning we showed up fresh and eager to her floral Workshop ‘Flowers for the Home’ at her intimate Design Academy in Kew. Not entirely sure what to expect, Zita’s fresh, free and dynamic approach to floral design was at the root of her teaching approach. The class consisted of a small group of just 5 students, which gave us all a rare chance to get to know Zita‚Äôs world, pick her brains and get to know a lovely group of people who each had their own different motivation for being there.
Encouraging us to truly express our own unique personality through our floral design, the class started with Zita inviting us to pick a word from a pre prepared list of adjectives that we felt best described our feelings at that time. From establishing this we were welcomed in to her stunning florist (just a few doors down) to select the blooms and foliage, entirely with this mood in the mind. This not only gave us a concept to work with but also encouraged us to express feeling through flowers in an entirely true and individual way. Casting aside the rules of traditional floristry, Zita gave us the freedom to be personal in our approach (which lent itself really well to a beginner such as myself) without being consumed by rules or boundaries. This freedom not only bolstered our confidence but was hugely liberating and most of all a lot of fun!
Zita and her lovely team outside her florist
Spoilt for choice inside Zita‚Äôs enchanting florist
Fellow student Sue with her chosen flowers
In a Q&A on Flowerona‚Äôs blog Zita Elze explains her teaching style‚Ä¶
‚ÄúI would love to say everything comes directly from the soul. I really do not think of a recipe on how to put a design together, rather I let it happen naturally. It‚Äôs amazing what your sub-conscience can do for you. This may sound a bit woolly but with some training it can make miracles.‚ÄĚ
Once we were had gathered our beautifully reflective flowers, we headed back into the Design Academy to get hands with preparing our blooms and crafting our arrangements either in vases or as hand ties, with the help of Zita‚Äôs insightful tips and techniques.
The results were so different and each in their own way sublime. From feelings ranging from ‚Äėthoughtful‚Äô and ‚Äėserene‚Äô to ‚Äėstormy‚Äô and ‚Äėfragile‚Äô can you guess what feeling / adjective each of the student creations represented?
We kicked off the day with a beautiful morning spread of pastries, fresh fruit and macaroons and rounded off the class with a giant loaf of individually prepared sandwiches from Paul and some healthy nibbles. This was also a lovely chance to chat with Zita about her exuberant background and plans for the future. You can catch one of Zita‚Äôs new floral embroidery designs again at this year‚Äôs Chelsea Flower Show. We can‚Äôt wait to see what she creates next!
You can find more information about Zita‚Äôs flower school here. All materials are provided, along with the flowers of your choice from Zita‚Äôs shop. Arrangements can be taken home, along with knowledge of how to use floral design to capture the important emotions of life and the ambience of special occasions.
The academy offers long and short courses, including Zita‚Äôs signature Floral Embroidery technique; an in-depth study of Wedding Design and her innovative Concept and Design class. All taught by Zita herself.