Last Wednesday evening I did something that I had been hoping to do for a long time, and attended a Moxom & Whitney Flower School evening in their gorgeous storefront in the Ori Building, Braddon.
For those of you not familiar with they name, Moxom & Whitney is Canberra’s most dynamic Florist by-far, and I have rapidly come to think of theirs as the only sensible place to purchase flowers in the ACT. Located in the heart of Braddon’s Lonsdale Street Traders precint in the heart of Canberra, Moxom & Whitney is a luxurious oasis of indulgence. Co-owned by Lou Moxom and Belinda Whitney, the duo deliver blooms with a unique, organic wholesomeness that is distinctly creative. As soon as I heard about their Flower School evenings I knew that it was something that I needed to do, and so I recently booked myself in for the Wednesday evening course.
The evening kicked off with drinks and nibbles in among the flowers. Literally. We sat on chairs among the buckets and vases of fresh-cut flowers and listed to the lovely Rachel talk us through some flower care and arrangement basics, and then she and assistant Tory answered any questions that we had. The spread of drinks and nibbles that the team put on was truly staggering, and any thoughts of needing to buy dinner afterwards were qucikly dashed. The evening was very relaxed and informal, and the Moxom & Whitney team were incredibly knowledgeable but also very welcoming and down to earth.
Then it was time for the good stuff! We headed out back into the makeshift flower school where vases awaited us containing three types of flowers: Roses, Stocks and Ranunculus. Each vase was different, and we got to snap up the vase that best appealed to our personal tastes. I was immediately drawn to the bright orange of the ranunculus in my vase, and the pale lilac of the roses. I am also an insanely vocal fan of Stocks, and so any colour would have done. We had four huge buckets of foliage on hand to choose from, and we were able to choose from the four varieties as we thought would best suit our bouquet. I went for magnolia foliage as the backs of the leaves are an orange-brown that paired nicely with the Ranunculus, and a pale blue-white gum with a purple undertone that matched my roses.
Then the real fun started. Rachel talked us through two different ways to attack the construction of our bouquets, and then we had free reign. Rachel and Tory were both on hand to help guide us with the selecting of flowers and foliage, placement, and recognising the gaps. We worked in the Moxom & Whitney style, which was described as rounded, organic and soft. It was actually a lot more work than I had anticipated, and my hands and arms were starting to ache by the end of the night after the constant twisting, snipping and holding aloft. It was also really relaxing and inspiring in ways that I never would have anticipated, and I spent my time at Moxom & Whitney in a bit of a trance.
To be honest, despite having a (HUGE!) bouquet of flowers that I cut, styled, arranged and wrapped myself to take home; I didn’t want to leave Moxom & Whitney. It’s a little weird to admit to, but I wanted to just set up camp and move into the store!
There is something so magical and luxurious about the art of Floristry and the buying of flowers, and the Moxom & Whitney experience is one that I cannot possible recommend enough. If you’re looking to treat yourself (and your senses) to a visual and olfactory delight, or you have someone tricky to buy for in your life, this is a fantastic option that not only supports an amazing local business but also gives you a gift that is more and more sought after in our increasingly disposeable society: an experience and a memory.
What – Moxom & Whitney Flower School
Where – Moxom & Whitney shopfront, Ori Building, Branddon ACT
When – Check the website HERE.
Cost – $150 a head (includes flowers, use of workshop and more nibbles and drinks than you can handle. Seriously.)