Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day Three: April 14, 2011

We think we went to "flower heaven" yesterday. Our day began with a tour of Katrein's garden which she describes as a "woman's garden". She designed her garden, which has a dozen different rooms with vistas of the adjacent fields with cows and sheep. This photo of one garden room is filled with forget-me-nots which turn to a sea of lavendar during the summer.

We were served lunch in Katrein's charming and creative home prepared lovingly by her mother and daughter. Our afternoon was filled with demonstrations by Katrein and Gudrun. They created arrangements inspired by the nature surrounding us--armatures from lichen covered branches and mass arrangements with knobby twigs and flowing garden material. Gudrun taught us techniques with bear grass and aspidistra. We made bouquet holders and woven armatures from bear grass.
One of the most wonderful things about this trip is that we have been treated as special guests in our instructors homes. We have become friends through our shared love of flowers and gardens.

Day Two:April 13, 2011

One of the ladies at lunch said, "Pinch me, I cannot believe this is real!" That summarizes how we all felt. We arrived for a full day of workshops at a quaint school in a picturesque Belgian village with sheep, goats and beautiful gardens. We learned about working with wool, hemp, brown egg shells, and lovely flowers. We were taught how to create containers out of linen paper, wax, bark, and twigs. Our instructors were Haruko Nado and Gudrun Cotteniere. We had a lovely lunch, cooked by Gudrun, who was a chef, before she was trained by Daniel Oost. Our instructors drove us through little villages. We finished the day with a gourmet feast overlooking a river with beautiful fields complete with a sunset.

Monday, April 11, 2011

We celebrated our first lunch together overlooking the Gent canal. Note the view.

Here is Haruko, one of our instructors placing the most beautiful tulips on our tables. Tomorrow we start the day with a class taught by her.

After a full day with a walking tour of Ghent, boat rides in the canal, shopping and of course dinner, the ladies are sound asleep.

Just finished a fabulous week in Amsterdam with Joe, Laura Caroline and my parents. The weather was glorious. Sunshine everyday except one. Walked all through the city extensively everyday learning its nooks and crannies for our Flower Arrangers Tour. The whole city was out and about enjoying the weather.

Flower update: Muscari everywhere in vast quantities. Yellow is the color of the year at Keukenhof.

Waiting in Gent for my ladies to arrive. Hotel is set on beautiful canal with 14th century buildings. Keep your eye on my blogs about the tour.