Adding Colors to Your Life

Students Learn How to Make Floral Arrangements


Photo by Rachana Kommineni

Senior Kate Alex carefully places her burgundy daisy mum inside her carved pumpkin. According to Alex, throughout her journey in Floral Design, she has learned many things about floral which she didn’t know before, like how the arrangements were in different time periods and how to identify which colors look good together. “I am a very organized person, so throughout the class, I am able to learn how to pick and choose my flowers, so that they are in an orderly fashion,” Alex said.

Rachana Kommineni, Reporter

Flower bouquets are not reserved for flower shops anymore. In Floral Design, students learn this unique skill to create living works using daisies, marigolds, roses and leaflets.

As a testament to the class’s popularity, after taking Floral Design 1 last year, junior Cary Evans said that she chose to take floral design again because she really enjoyed the teacher, Shannon Butler, and has developed a love for flowers and making beautiful arrangements. They have learned a lot of new skills, such as how to make fancy bows, preserve flowers, basic design skills and lots of other crafting things, along with how to make a floral arrangement. 

“A life skill I have learned is just to go with the flow, in order to enjoy the experience,” Evans said. “When you’re doing something so unpredictable, it’s easy to get stressed and worry about every little thing having to be perfect but, if you do that it’s not going to turn out exactly how you want and you’re just going to be disappointed. This is probably the most difficult part of the class for me, so I’m definitely still learning it.”

This year, the Advanced Floral Design class has made homecoming proposal signs and homecoming mums and garters. They have also done two fall arrangements, one to take home and one for the flower subscription, which is a business that Advanced Floral runs where teachers and some parents pay and they get three arrangements for the months of October, November and December. Additionally, they have just finished making 3D flower shops. 

“My favorite thing was either the mums or the two arrangements,” Evans said. “The mums are just something I enjoy making, because who doesn’t like making over the top mums? Also, the arrangements are fun because we get to use the skills we have been learning about, plus we get to mess with pretty flowers.”

So far this year, the Floral Design I class has only done a few arrangements this year, but senior Gracie Bear’s two favorites were the pumpkin floral arrangement and making mums at the beginning of the year.

“Those two were my favorite because I was able to combine the skills Mrs. Butler had taught us, and my own creativity to make the designs the best I could,” Bear said. “I have so far learned floral tools and mechanics, color theory and different forms and their meanings.” 

After taking floral design last year, senior Abby Castelli chose to take Advanced Floral Design so that she could keep working with flowers and learn more about different styles. The difference being that this year, they get to do more arrangements and are more free to do what they want.

“I chose floral design because I needed to take my fine art credit, and I have always loved flowers,” Castelli said. “When I went in person last year, I was able to learn so much more about flowers and their arrangements that I never knew before, making the class more interesting.”

Last fall, the Advanced Floral Design class did all of the arrangements for Biology and Environmental studies teacher, Shawntel Driver’s, wedding. The Advanced Floral Design class created all the bouquets, table centerpieces and boutonnières. This year, Driver is holding a party for people who couldn’t go to the wedding because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the floral students will be helping out again.

“Last year with COVID, it was really nice to just keep it in house to have people that I trusted and knew rather than trying to find somebody outside, and when I talked to Miss Butler, she told me what her plans for the class were and that she really wanted them to go this route and it fell right in with my plans,” Driver said. “It was a great practice for them and some of the students were in my class the previous years.”

The advanced floral class earns commissions to do events and make arrangements. They started out with floral subscriptions for teachers to purchase. By word of mouth, they expanded to weddings. They created the center pieces for the Christmas party for the school two years ago, one wedding last year, one wedding next week and one lined up for May. They also have the Williamson County Youth Fair in December, which three students signed up for to do the floral arrangements for, as well as the Greater Leander Project Show in January. 

“We did a mini wedding for Mrs. Driver in her backyard, and this week, she has the big wedding, so we created the bouquets and boutonnières and two big centerpieces for that,” Butler said.

In the Floral Design class, they get a knowledge based floral certification, while the Advanced Floral Design class gets a hands on certification, and if they are a senior in Advanced Floral or Practicum Flower Design, they get a level two hands on certification, which is higher skills. 

“The certification would be a great addition to your resume regardless of what field you take, and it looks good to employers for you to have certifications because it shows that the student put the initiative towards obtaining that,” Butler said. “I honestly think it is more fun to work at a floral store or HEB floral during college instead of at a fast food restaurant, and having a certification would bump you up a notch as far as possibly getting that job.”