The darkness surrounded Boyd County’s Career and Technical Center Thursday evening, but the crack of the door opening into the agriculture room led way to brightness and fun for local community members.
Boyd County horticulture teacher Joe Childers hosted a floral design class along with three student assistants. About a dozen ladies came out for the evening to learn how to make a fall centerpiece with live flowers just in time for their Thanksgiving meals.
Childers had examples prepared and made another along with the attendees as he explained the steps beginning with primary flowers and working with geometry to build a basic shape — a shape that would be built upon throughout the night.
Childers said he likes to work with geometry, mainly creating triangles and filling the centers. He begins with primary flowers and creates large triangles with a center flower and four on either side to begin a “half beach ball shape” then adds greenery to give depth and hide stems.
Secondary flowers create smaller triangles within the shapes he has already created. This helps add balance and keep the design symmetrical, so everyone around the “Thanksgiving turkey table” gets an equally beautiful view of the centerpiece, said Childers.
Filler adds depth and helps fill holes in the centerpieces as well as adding contrast.
Over the course of the evening, Childers explained where the flowers are grown and the types of flowers available. He shared tips on working with large flowers versus small bunches.
Childers’ family owned a local greenhouse at one point and have worked in the industry. Childers himself has worked as a florist. He recalled stories and gave “flower shop tips” throughout the night.
Many of those in attendance have worked with Childers or had taken classes with him while in school at Boyd County. The group chatted about projects past and those with which they share memories.
Four generations of women sat at a table creating centerpieces together. Janet Ingles, Shelly Lemaster and Audrey Holley all worked together to create coordinating pieces for their holiday tables. Mia, of the fourth generation, colored and played, holding tight to a few flowers she had picked for herself. The women were proud and excited to have all four generations together creating at the holidays.
Everyone in attendance shared updates on their lives, family and friends, creating friendships alongside floral designs. The class was hosted by the Boyd County Horticulture Program.
It was a welcoming atmosphere where questions were easily asked and answered. Childers gave suggestions on how to fix any issues with the centerpieces. Childers gave industry tips on how to use wire to save flowers with stems that are broken or drooping.
He shared how to make boutonnieres out of spare flowers cut too short and how to keep from having wasted flowers or greenery.
Each one of the ladies took a different approach to their centerpieces, using different combinations of flowers, greenery and filler. Even when the combination was similar, the approach created contrast and difference between each person’s centerpiece.
The ladies in attendance laughed at their mishaps and encouraged each other the whole way through. In the end, they all walked out with a beautiful centerpiece unique to their own artistry and work.