Hello Flower Friend

January News

Happy New Year and welcome to the January issue of Flower Thoughts.   

What's Your Colour of the Year?

Each new year is often accompanied by various 'Colour of the Year' announcements - but which one is 'THE' colour?  Two of the most prominent sources for these announcements for the floral industry are Pantone and Thursd.  Maybe it's a coincidence that the annual colour pronounced by each is from the red side of the colour wheel - or maybe it is a confluence of influences from the broader design world that is steering the choices in the direction of red.  Pantone's colour for 2023 is Viva Magenta.  Thursd has nominated Passion Red as the colour of 2023.

Pantone describe their 'Colour of the Year' as an "animated red", a shade rooted in nature and expressive of a new signal of strength.  Viva Magenta is inspired by the natural dye camine, which is derived from cochineal.

Thursd decribe their 'Colour of the Year' as a deep rose red, and offer an accompanying palette that will work harmoniously with Passion Red, including bright peach, warm cream, earthy brown, lavender and dusty turquoise.

A common colour to focus on can help contrate our efforts to understand how colour is used and appplied in various contexts.  Colour is so often a personal and subjective issue - maybe the best practice is to keep abreast of these colour trends and look for what they can teach us about our own use of colour.  Maybe choosing our own annual colour would be a good companion focus - adding some structure to our individual learning about colour.  What will be your 'Colour of the Year' for 2023?

Click below to learn more about the 'Colours' of the Year:

Pantone - Viva Magenta
Thursd - Passion Red

Design of the Month

January's design of the month is by Laura Leong and has much to intrigue the eye - a weaving technique, counterbalanced mechanics, a carefully coordinated selection of materials, decisive asymmetry and a container I'm sure many of us would like to have in our own collections.

Laura Leong is a skilled teacher, designer and mentor who has worked consistenlty to create her own signature style. Laura is a highly popular UK based designer and has competed at international level, including representing the UK at the Europa Cup (2016) and the Interflora World Cup (2019).  She has many prizes and accolades in her portfolio.

Laura created this composition for the last task in our Design Directions course - a long design, one with downward directed proportions.  The Passiflora flowers and draping vine, the Phalaenopsis orchids and the woven texture combine to offer a strong visual impression. 

See more of Laura's work here:

Laura Leong Florist - Instagram

Five Ways with One Container

Do you have a container that you:
a) Love to use?
b) Find challenging to use?
c) Need to use?

Our One Container, Five Elements course might be just what you need - and it starts next month, on 9 February.

For each practical task in the course, you design and create an arrangement of your choice using the same container.  Each time the focus is on a specific element of design, so throughout the course we get to explore line, colour, texture, form and space, while also (as ever) balancing all the elements
and principles of floral design to achieve a successful and harmonious result.  We have found that spotlighting one element at a time really increases our awareness of just how interrelated the elements are - so it's full of challenges that can be both exciting and frustrating.

Participants in the program work at their own level of experience - the aim is to grow as an individual designer, not to compete against other participants. It was wonderful to watch the amazing variety of struggles, successes and growth in our last course. I personally found the 'texture' task very provocative - it made me think in new ways, to consider texture from different perspectives, and it increased my skill base which will be useful for future projects. We never stop learning.

We begin the course by analysing our containers via five elements.  For each task we respond to the elements as we have identified them in our container and create a design that either contrasts against or expands upon what we have found.

For the course examples, I used containers that I already on hand and techniques that I already knew.  I might use the next course as an excuse to buy a new container!


One Container, Five Elements starts in February and runs until 25 May.  It includes 6 online meetings or recordings (your choice) and five practical tasks, with three weeks between each.

The registration fee is $590 ($AUD).  You can register and find more details by clicking the button below:

Learn More - One Container, Five Elements

Above:  The chosen container amd task examples created by Irene McINdoe for our most recent One Container, Five Elements course.

Chelsea Flower Show

Almost all 'flower people' have the goal of visiting one of the world's most iconic flower shows - the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London.  It's a wonderful mix of floral design competitions and exhibits, cut flower displays and gardening presentations.

The northern hemisphere's pre-eminent flower event returns in March 2023.  No matter how you enjoy flowers, the show has something for everyone. 

22 - 28 May 2023
Royal Hospital Chelsea
London  UK

Access more details and tickets here:

Chelsea Flower Show Website

Below:  A spectacular display of Hyacinth in Chelsea's Great Pavilion at a past show.

Learning to Lean

We've launched our latest eBook, A Lesson in Leaning. The pages explore the concept of organising materials around an angled axis and cover two design variations in the featured style. As with our previous instructional eBooks, this one contains commentary on the technical and theoretical information required to make your own version, illustrated with images and sketches that further explain how the designs were constructed.

You can purchase and download a copy via this button:
A Lesson in Leaning - eBook

Flower Thinkers Facebook Group Grows

Since we launched our Flower Thinkers Facebook Group a little over one month ago it has grown rapidly, providing lots of insights and chatter.

Our 'Question of the Week' has provided immensely popular, and armed with a new list of "essentials" that I need to acquire for my floral toolbox - who knew that a toolkit is not complete without brown eye shadow, an awl or bradawl and a pastry brush?  It seems there's a lot we can learn from each other. 

Haven't joined Flower Thinkers yet?  Click on the button below - the group is an inclusive community for all who create with flowers.

Join the group here:

Become a Flower Thinker

Still Thinking Festively?

If you missed our Festive Thinking program, there is still time to catch up. The Christmas period may be over, but there is lots of good all-season learning to be had in the course content - information on techniques and insights into creative processes.   

Based around star shape the complete content covers over 20 floral designs by myself and a team of Contributing Designers - an abundant package of insights and inspiration for the festive season and beyond.

Watch, learn and enjoy  - the program fee (AUD$35.00) includes:

  • Video tutorial  - 4 designs (access to 30 January 2023)
  • Two (2) eBooks based on the tutorial concepts  (download & keep)
  • Design discussion video - 17 designs (access to 30 January 2023)
  • Detailed Analysis eBook (download & keep)
Information & Access - Festive Thinking

I'd love to have your questions about our offerings or about how Flower Thinking can help you reach your own floral design goals.

Ask Me Your Questions

Thanks for reading. I hope your weeks ahead are creative and fulfilling.



PS.  See links to our other courses down below.

Our Other Courses

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Alstonville, NSW 2477, Australia  

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