An Exciting Collaboration with Russian River Flower School

We are delighted to announce an exciting collaboration with Russian River Flower school in Healdsburg, California and are very excited to be teaching McQueens Design: One-Week Course in September 2017. We have enjoyed a special relationship with RRFS founder Dundee Butcher for many years: she is a dear friend of McQueens and a former student at McQueens Flower School in London. We have been taking great pleasure in watching Dundee’s hard work and success pay off, and we are delighted to announce this unique collaboration across continents!

McQueens founder and MD Kally Ellis and Dundee Butcher founder of Russian River Flower School California
McQueens founder and MD Kally Ellis and Dundee Butcher founder of Russian River Flower School California

With McQueens Design: One-Week Course we have created a class that incorporates some of the crucial elements of our renowned four-week vocational course. Our week long course is designed for those with little or no experience and aims to start from the basic fundamental aspects of contemporary design, then progress to designs suitable for parties and events. The classes will be relaxed and informal and provide an insight into how McQueens has become so well known all around the world. Students also have the option of booking individual days of the course.

“We are very excited about our course in California,” says Emily Mathison McQueens Flower School head tutor. “We have selected some of our favourite elements from our courses in the UK, and the classes cover all aspects of contemporary design. I am most excited about working with gorgeous locally-produced flowers so the classes will certainly have a Californian twist! We will be working closely with the Russian River Flower School team and I am looking forward to welcoming the students to the UK later in the year.”

” I had the most amazing time at McQueens Flower School in London,” says Dundee Butcher, founder of Russian River Flower School. “I am very excited to be hosting this class now in my own school and I know our students are in for a magnificent experience.”

McQueens Design: One-Week Course

Cost for five-day course $2,000

Cost for days booked individually $425

Date 25 – 29 September

Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm

Day One: The Basics You Need To Know. Conditioning, Flower Care and the Hand-Tied Bouquet

With this class we will start with the basics and explore best practices with flower-care, conditioning, buying and how to get the most out of your flowers. We will also focus on the hand-tied technique and gift wrapping solutions with flowers for gifts.

Day Two: Flowers for Entertaining. Options for Table Centre Design

This class will focus on the design and creation of design options for dressing the table and flowers for entertaining. Using a range of containers we will look at the best way to create visual impact with flowers.

Day Three: Centre Stage: Focal Designs that Get Noticed

This class is dedicated to feature designs with the ‘wow’ factor. We will work on both classic and contemporary styles of focal display suitable for welcoming guests to a party or event.

Day Four: An Elaborate Table: Tall Table Centre Designs

During this class we will work on larger scale table designs for a more elaborate gathering, using height to create impact for the type of flowers that will be remembered by your guests.

Day Five: Let’s Work Together: A Large-Scale Group Project 

Working as a team the group will create a large-scale installation to create a stunning backdrop for the end of the course, followed by a drinks reception.

Click here for more information or book a place on the course

Dundee Butcher is a remarkable lady; we have had the pleasure of spending time with her in our class in London and her passion for flowers and for teaching floristry skills knows no bounds! We spoke to Dundee to find out more about Russian River Flower School and what students might expect about the collaboration with McQueens

Demonstration time with Dundee
Demonstration time with Dundee

We are very excited about coming to California! Tell us about your school.

Russian River Flower School is located in beautiful downtown Healdsburg, in the heart of the California wine country. We teach classes in our warehouse studio; it has lots space, is flooded with natural light, and is a really very inspiring place to work.

We use the MOST seasonally stunning flowers in our classes, sourced from our local farmers, who are happy to share their growing/ pruning/ caring secrets with our students. We are invited to tour and talk with these talented growers as part of our student’s in-depth floral education.

Our classes are hugely varied, from English formal to wild California, bouquets, wreaths, overhead installations, wedding work. We encourage curiosity and confidence and work with all sorts of foraged treasures!

When did you decide you wanted to teach?

After a number of years in the flower business in London, I decided to attend the career course at McQueens. My strong formal education with McQueens has been a springboard for developing and teaching different styles.

I find teaching flower design especially rewarding because I truly see people change. Not only do they learn design techniques but they become more confident, more curious and more aware – which means more alive! I feel like I have learned as much from my students as I have taught them.

The most amazing locally produced flowers
The most amazing locally produced Californian flowers

Why do you find flowers so inspiring?

Flowers are the medium through which we teach. They are such a strong spirit. I continue to be blown away by the surprises and beauty of nature. We have so many spectacular flowers grown right here in California. I have become increasingly interested in knowing our local flower farms and farmers, what they choose to grow, and how and why they grow them. They make our business so much richer. 

What is your personal style of flowers?

I would call my personal style a sort of unstructured formality, taking the best from my formal background and combining it with natural California in a loose and wild way. I love bringing what’s traditionally supposed to be ‘the outside’ in –  in the most beautiful and unpredictable ways. 

Enjoying the class at Russian River Flower School
Enjoying the class at Russian River Flower School

Russian River Flower School
105 West North St, Healdsburg CA 95448

Click here to book on the course