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The Vintage Bouquet Bar in the Pearl, San Antonio

supplies for the flower arranging class at the Vintage Bouquet Bar
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supplies for the flower arranging class at the Vintage Bouquet Bar

Who knew that making a floral arrangement could be this easy and this much fun? Everything was in place at San Antonio’s Vintage Bouquet Bar to make it happen.

One rainy afternoon  I took a group floral design class at The Vintage Bouquet Bar in San Antonio. It was fun, relaxing, and a chance learn something new.

This shop is in the Pearl, the hip area on the site of a former German brewery that has been transformed into its own neighborhood. There are independent restaurants, specialty shops, residential units, and the upscale Hotel Emma. The weekend market features area producers on Saturday and adds artisanal foods and prepared foods on Sunday.

Ashley Mauricio-Flores at the Vintage Bouquet Bar
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Ashley Mauricio-Flores at the Vintage Bouquet Bar

Farmer-florist Ashley Mauricio-Flores used to sell flowers from her farm at Pearl Weekend Market. When there was an opening for a shop she successfully presented her concept to the board of directors for the coveted spot. And now she is following her dream with a place to share her passion for creating whimsical floral arrangements.

At a time when most flowers are sourced from Ecuador, Ashley uses as many seasonal locally-grown flowers as possible. Many are from Vintage Heart Farm, which she runs with her husband about forty minutes outside the city.

We sat at long tables, equipped with everything we needed. There were some basics to go over first.

Ashley Mauricio-Flores at the Vintage Bouquet Bar
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Ashley Mauricio-Flores with chicken wire at the Vintage Bouquet Bar

We learned about building a foundation for stability, The use of the green foam known as Oasis is avoided here in favor of reusable things like  chicken wire, scrunched to fit the container, or floral frogs, those devices with metal needles or holes that keep the flowers in place. For clear containers, a taped grid across the opening can do the trick.

Since we were making a full arrangement, we learned how to weave the many stems through one another, thereby avoiding the need for anything else at all.

intertwined stems, Vintage Bouquet Bar
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intertwined stems, Vintage Bouquet Bar

But first we needed to strip the stems of all leaves and needles that would be below water to minimize bacterial growth and keep the flowers fresher longer. We made a fresh cut on every stem, cutting at a 45 degree angle and below the knobby nodes to maximize water uptake. We were told to keep bacterial growth down by changing the water daily and recutting stems that show any darkening.

And then we were ready to learn the fundamentals of floral arrangement. It is much more than gathering some pretty flowers!

Our buckets contained about 40% greens, the backbone of the arrangement, for texture and interest. We learned about palette setters, statement florals or focal flowers, a whimsical element, and filler for the voids. Primary, secondary and tertiary  colors…it all sounds complicated but falls into place with a class like this one.

flower arrangement side 2, Vintage Bouquet Bar
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my flower arrangement side 2, Vintage Bouquet Bar

flower arrangement side 1, Vintage Bouquet Bar
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my flower arrangement side 1, Vintage Bouquet Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And best of all, the arrangements were ours to enjoy ourselves  or to brighten someone else’s day.

The classes are popular so it is best to book well in advance. Reservations are nonrefundable but transferrable. Gift certificates are available

The Vintage Bouquet Bar is at 303 Pearl Pkwy, Suite 104, San Antonio, TX 78215.

 

 

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