I LOVE looking at the floral arrangements put together by my friend Syukri Kadola when he posts them on Facebook. They are so elegant and beautiful to look at and perfect as a decorative piece or to heighten the celebratory mood for the special occasion, be it a wedding, birthday, or anniversary statement.

Syukri is the owner of Bloem, a boutique design service specializing in creating fresh floral arrangements for any setting and occasion. Pronounced as ‘bloom’, Bloem means ‘flower’ in Dutch. Aside from creating exquisite floral arrangements, Bloem also helps clients recreate interiors by styling, restoring and decorating them.  

So when he invited me and my kids to a floral workshop conducted by himself, I jumped at the opportunity!

The Divine Nature of Beauty

The workshop began with a very informative introduction to The Language of Flowers. Did you know that poppy flowers can help you sleep? If you or your kids have trouble sleeping, drink some water-soaked with poppy seeds (available in most provision shops) and you will be guaranteed a restful sleep. We also learned about the significance and roles that flowers play in history like the selection of poppy in Flanders’ Field poem and the choice of Protea to represent the African Rugby Team.

Then he fascinated us by sharing about the magical number!

Did you know that PHI (pronounced pie), the mathematical number of 1.618, appears in all structures of nature? Watch this fascinating video of how nature is all about balance.

The aesthetics that is pleasing to one’s eye connect us to our emotions and appeals to our visual senses. Syukri shares that our brain actually records and stores what is beautiful to us. And when we see something that resembles it, our brain sends us alert signals. Hence the expression that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

The Floral Arrangements

With that in mind, Syukri sets us working on creating the perfect bouquet. I let the kids choose from the array of flowers available. When it was our turn to get some attention from Syukri, I found him to be very patient with the kids and a very good instructor. He gave very clear and concise instructions on how to cut the stems, the length to cut it, and where it might go well. As he instructs, he was able to sift out the children’s intentions and tickle their creative ideas.

You can see in the photos below the kids were focused and diligent in working on their floral arrangements. The Curcuma (ginger plant) and Blushing Bride were central to their bouquet. But the Fatsia (star leaves) and Pom Poms (mini chrysanthemums) were trickier to handle as it takes time to insert them into the sponge of the arrangement.

With a secret tip from Syukri, the kids manage to insert the fragile poms without an incident. They were quite pleased with the arrangement. The kids had to get up in front of the group to present their arrangement. I thought it was a good exercise in public speaking and a bit of show and tell.

Interestingly, the kids had each picked a male and female flower — my son the Curcuma (male) and my daughter the Blushing Bride (female), thereby giving this arrangement a very nice balance similar to the PHI effect we had seen in the video earlier. The green fern leaves, an addition by my son also gives it a nice backdrop.

If you are keen to order flowers from Bloem and find out more about their Junior Flower Workshops, head to Bloem’s website.

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