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British Academy of Floral Art

Muddy says: Fancy yourself as a floral designer? Whether you’re planning a career change, or just wanna brush up on your petal power, The British Academy of Floral Art have a course to suit you. Secateurs at the ready!

This indie flower school at Dunchideock near Exeter, run by master florists Julie Collins and Tina Parkes, has won awards at Chelsea Flower Show, demonstrate to florists all over the world, and are friendly and patient to boot, delivering practical professional and amateur level courses, intensively or part-time, so you can fit it in with a busy life.

Even if you belong to the chuck-it-all-in-a-vase school of floristry, I promise you will love a day or half-day with the lovely team at BAFA. I am, and I did (a hand-tied posy workshop, since you ask) and it’s the most wonderfully mindful, relaxing day EVER as you snip and preen, surrounded by fresh botanical scents and other snipping, preening ladies, in their pretty whitewashed studio or cutting garden outdoors.

Lately the BAFA team have, erm, branched out, to deliver 10-week cutting garden courses, where you can learn one-day a week how and which blooms to grow at home, as well as three-day retreats at exciting venues, including at Muddy fave Deer Park Hotel. Book in with mum or a friend (they do vouchers), to dip your toe on a floristry taster or wreath-making workshop. If you’re serious about becoming a professional florist or floral designer, you can sign up for courses in starting your own business, wedding floristry and more, and work your way up through their bespoke levels. Need to be flexible? You can even do a course online – get a feel for how it all works with their useful online films here. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Devon