Floral design shares creativity through bouquet subscriptions

Maggie Smith
Paper flowers decorate Mrs. Stewart’s room as her floral design students make homecoming mums.

Bushels of dainty flowers hide within the glass doors of a darkened case, their precious petals chilled to perfection as they lay in waiting: will they be put next to the friendly rose? Will they be tucked happily beside a bloom of snowy baby’s breath? The fate of these plants is entirely for the floral design class to decide.

Mrs. Brooke Stewart has only been teaching floral design for upwards of two years now, yet her passion for flowers has been steadfast since she was younger. As a kid, she frequently helped her mother, an event planner, with the floral arrangements.
“What girl doesn’t like playing around with flowers?” Mrs. Stewart said.

After owning and eventually selling her own flower shop in Decatur, Mrs. Stewart went back to college to receive her masters and begin her teaching journey. After becoming the new floral design teacher last year, she wanted to find a way to help students who wouldn’t be able to pay the standard $100 fee for flowers and other class materials.

“[The fee] kind of deterred students from being in the class,” Mrs.Stewart said. “I don’t want to have to ask them to pay $100 when some people can’t.”

The solution? A bouquet subscription for the teachers’ benefit. Featuring three different packages, teachers have the option to receive three, five or eight floral bouquets throughout the school year for various holidays. A portion of each paid subscription goes toward the enrollment fee for her class.

Using blossoms from Greenleaf in Dallas, Mrs. Stewart orders what flowers they’ll need for every bouquet. Once the blooms arrive, each bouquet can be finished in as little as 30 minutes. According to Mrs. Stewart, her basic floral design class puts together the arrangements, but her advanced class gets to help run it.

Maggie Smith
Students in Mrs. Stewart’s advanced floral design class are putting together ribbons to make mums for homecoming season.

“I teach [my basic floral design class] as they go along,” Mrs. Steward said. “My advanced class also helps me teach them, and they do quality control once the bouquets are made.”

Many of the advanced floral design students enjoy how the skills they learn allow them the ability to give back. Senior Kateland Barwick mentioned how she’s already used the skills she’s learned during class on her own time.

“I’ve made my own mums and garters,” Barwick said. “I also made boutonnieres for my brother’s wedding. These really are skills you can use in everyday life.”

Like Barwick, senior Faith Carlin also plans to utilize her newfound floral arranging skills by creating the bouquets for her own mother’s wedding. Senior Peyton Erwin wanted to emphasize how having these skills could not only save money in the long run but give a creative outlet in the process.

“I’m able to help others and provide for others, especially for my family,” Erwin said. “I learned how to make arrangements here, and making them at home is cheaper than going out and buying them. I took this class for my fine arts— being able to express my creativity through flowers is much more in my comfort zone.”

Whether it be creating personalized wedding decorations or putting together homecoming garments, the students said they were very happy to have taken this class.

Mrs. Stewart said she wishes to encourage her fellow teachers to participate in the subscription not only because the flowers themselves are discounted, but purchasing the subscription will help the students pay for the class fee and support all the work they’re doing.

“They’re just as good quality, if not better, as something you’d get at a florist in town, and it helps our kids,” Mrs. Stewart said. “All the teachers that have this option are receiving bouquets made by their own students.”

Any interested teachers may contact Mrs. Stewart about the flower subscription through her email [email protected] or via phone at (940) 369-3125.