Sunday, January 13, 2013

Master Floral Designer Program

My Garden Club enjoyed a marvelous program this week by Master Floral Designer, David Benefield. His work has been published in Martha Stewart and Southern Homes and Garden magazines. He has over 30 years experience in the floral design business and is owner of Ann's Porch in Columbus, Georgia.

Monograms are a very popular item this year in wreaths and design. Even though it was after Christmas he brought this wreath to show and discuss. The ribbon on the wreath has been very popular the last few years but in his opinion this trend will not be here to stay.

Covering monograms with sheet moss is very easy and you can order the moss which does not shed from his facebook page.

We were all so intrigued by the green flower above. It is actually in the carnation family but he says he never suggests carnations to his customers because they would say no. I think they were so common for many years people didn't want a common florist flower and wanted something more unique. We all thought this was very usual and liked it immediately. It is called a moss carnation.

When I arrived and saw all his props and beautiful fresh flowers I knew we were in for a treat and I was not disappointed.

Sorry, I cut the head off of this arrangement he did in three minutes.

It is very hard to photograph as a program is being given because you do not want to distract and you are enjoying the program yourself. Here he shows how just by cutting a square of netting and then placing another in the other direction you can pull it up over a vase and tie with a ribbon to dress up any plain vase and give it a great presentation.
Then, a trick he likes to do with tulips is to pull the petals down and give the flower a completely different look. He told the story about playing a joke on a friend by changing his arrangement.

 David likes to use three or four simple rustic buckets filled with fresh apples, a few thistles, and hypericum berries down the center of a table runner for an effective centerpiece. 

As he put this arrangement together David talked about ways to make a big impact and use fewer flowers by using tall vases such as this. He added peacock feathers to the hydrangeas shown here but he did it so quickly and whisked it away before I could snap another picture. It was interesting how he pulled the stems to make the feather billowy.

In this arrangement done in two minutes all he did was put three white hydrangeas together and literally stick the roses in between the other blooms.

Added seeded eucalyptus that gave it such an elegant light and airy feel.

This arrangement started out with bamboo sticks attached to oasis for the base and also at the top.  He attached branches to simulate palm trees for a centerpiece at an outdoor party. He stated the sky is the limit of how many embellishments you could add.  Add moss to cover oasis still showing. The biggest tip that would work so easily was to pour grits all over the base to look like sand then scatter shells. He was so generous with ideas and tips for easy decorating. This is an inexpensive  and easy idea to tuck away!

We all wanted to buy his statuary that looked like cast iron but was light weight styrofoam. He said it was not for sale but he could have sold it a hundred times. You can see the vase in the background with the peacock feathers mentioned earlier.
He suggested using a statuary like this one on a sideboard at a party for an easy impact. He says you need one eye-catcher in each room. He advises his clients if you are on a budget to spend all your money in just one arrangement. It should wow your guests and they will remember it.

He continues to build adding color and texture.

David mentioned a super tip of sticking a camellia in a grape for moisture in places hard to use oasis.
This was a hit using simple flowers. Advised to use this on a garden gate to invite your guests into your garden. One of our members purchased this on the spot for her garden gate.

Making a guide out of tape makes arranging easier and is simple.
This was one of the neatest ideas to me. Take the top off an ornament, hot glue it to greenery, fill with water and add a posy. Suggested to use at each place setting at a table or down the center of the table. Inexpensive and easy! The twine like ribbon shown was a new product he carries that is durable and looks nice.

I loved these sweet vases. Wish I had been one of the lucky ones that received these as door prices.

The green ribbon is another new product he uses in the bottom of clear vases to hide the flower stems. It has a great flexibility that drapes gracefully in a vase.

I love this picture. David gave all the flowers away and Gardeners do love flowers and were happy to receive them.

One of our members did this fresh arrangement from things in her yard for the food table. She is a very talented designer also. You may remember her beautiful garden here.

As you can see we enjoyed yummy food!

Thank you David for your informative and very interesting program. We feel very fortunate that  you shared your knowledge and experience with us. Please check out Ann's Porch on Facebook. He says when he posts something on Facebook he gets orders right and left. David will be speaking to the Alabama State Garden Club State Convention in April in Eufaula, Alabama.

Our club, The Daffodil Garden Club hosted this event and invited Flower Lover's Garden Club and Azalea Garden Club to join us.

Our vice-president, Gail plans wonderful programs like this one all the time and we are so grateful to Gail,  and Rhonda, our president for their great leadership and to the other officers that work hard to make our club a good learning experience and an enjoyable group to be a part of.

Linking to Seasonal Sundays, Metamorphosis MondayTabletop Tuesday,  Wow Us WednesdayOpen House Thursday and Foodie Friday.


  1. That was so much fun to read. I loved the sweet apple buckets. And those hydrangea bouquets!

  2. Gorgeous arrangements and the food... oh, my! Thank you for sharing, Bonnie! blessings ~ tanna

  3. Hi Bonnie,

    This is an informative post full of great ideas! Garden clubs are such a wonderful institution , I think, and with so many women working outside the home now, I hope they don't fall by the wayside and disappear. My MIL belonged to a local garden club for years. She does really pretty floral arrangements, and she said she basically learned from her garden club experiences. Back when I was working in my office job, I wanted to be in a garden club, and now that I'm home, I just haven't followed up on that.

    You're right, it is hard to take pictures of a program like this because you don't want to miss out on any information for yourself, and it looks like this gentleman was really moving quickly through his demonstration. You did a great job though, and thanks so much for sharing with us. I especially like the hydrangea and rose bouquet (gorgeous), the cone of flowers for the garden gate, and the idea of using a Christmas ball/ornament to hold a flower for the table.

    The food looks yummy, too. I think I spy a glazed lemon pound cake on the table(?), one of my all-time favorite southern desserts. Have a wonderful day, Bonnie! :)



  4. I am so glad you and your club members (and graciously invited guests!) had such a good time and learned so much! I attend these kinds of seminars regularly that are sponsored by the wholesale places I shop here in the Kansas City area. I love to learn in this setting! It all moves very fast, though, as you said. It's hard to keep you camera at the ready when you're trying to pay attention to what's going on up on the stage! I agree with David that the mesh ribbon will be on its way out soon. It's a fun look, but I don't think it will be around much longer. Too bad! :-( I LOVE his lightweight cherub! I wouldn't mind having 4 or 5 of those for myself!!! All the food looks wonderful. What a great way to spend an afternoon!!!

  5. Oh how fun is this. So many wonderful arrangements and looks like such fun. Thanks for joining TTT. Hgus, marty

  6. I love to see arrangements made and these look wonderful! Thank you for sharing and for visiting me. Big hugs,

  7. thank you so much for sharing this great flower arranging tutorial! So many great tips and ideas here, I have been pinning away! Interesting about the mesh ribbon, I am getting tired of seeing it everywhere, but it sure is fun to work with. I love what he did with it on the vase however.
    Great post!

  8. Wow! What a treat, I know you had a blast. All the pictures are so inspiring, and that food look soooo good. hugs ~lynne~

  9. I love the little arrangement with the apples! I'll bet you gathered so many great ideas that day. I love flowers but I'm not so good at arranging them. I usually just buy a few different varieties and hope for the best :)

  10. Oh, I would have loved this. You know me, I do little more than stick flowers in bottles, but I love beautiful, creative arrangements. It's good to see this fella threw in some pretty simple ideas. You will incorporate them, won't you?

  11. Wow! What a treat to see an expert in action. Thanks for sharing with us. Love the goodies!...Christine

  12. this looks like so much fun and the flower arrangements are glad you posted this..I really enjoyed seeing all of your pictures..

  13. Oh Bonnie...I would have LOVED to have been there and seen his wonderful ideas! What fun~ such great tips & talent! I love those wonderful moss carnations, I've never seen them! The camellia in the grape is great idea! Thanks for sharing this!


Your comments are so encouraging and make my day. I would love to know what you are thinking.
Please consider following by email or Bloglovin'. Thank you for reading my blog.