Repost: Article by The Frederick News Post
Plant, Flower Classes Are in Full Bloom During the Pandemic
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are staying home more, whether their work remains remote or they don’t travel as much. One of the hobbies that has taken off during the shutdowns has been caring plants, which can brighten up a space while providing fresh oxygen.
“I think people have decided to beautify spaces in their homes, and I think that is why the plants and succulents and all different types of plants have really taken off since COVID,” said Ory Webster, owner of Ory Florals in New Market. “People want to read a good book next to a gorgeous area of plants that they have grown themselves.”
Not everyone knows how to take care of plants though. As a way to help new plant enthusiasts, several area plant and flower shops have begun offering classes on a variety of greenery and florals.
Webster got the idea for classes after people reached out to him for one-on-one sessions. Around the holiday season, he hosted a wreath-making class and creating a table centerpiece.
“They are beginners, so I am trying to show basics, and we are building as we go,” Webster said.
His most recent class, held in late January at Adventure Park USA, focused on different ways to make hearts out of plants, including bear-grass and traditional eucalyptus.
When participants come to classes, many are hesitant and think they won’t be able to do the project.
“Each and every one of those people walked out with a huge self sense of pride, carrying their bouquet or tree or arrangement or whatever it is with the biggest smiles I have ever seen in my entire life and all of them saying, ‘I can do this,’” Webster said. “For me, that was the most amazing part of the whole process. It was seeing their faces change as they see themselves doing it and actually watching the progress and seeing them finish it and seeing how they go from doubtful to positive. It is just the best feeling in the world.”
He has plans for additional upcoming classes, including bow making; creating a bridal bouquet, corsage and boutonniere; as well as a “bring your own container” workshop to fill with floral arrangements.
Kaitlyn Makers, owner of Take Root in Frederick, also started hosting classes to teach people about the various ways plants can be used.
“In my shop, I primarily sell the plants and the pots and some accessories to go with it,” she said. “I wanted to be able to hold classes to bring those elements together and teach people not only about plants and how to plant certain types of plants and care for them but also incorporate that in an artistic way.”
Some of the classes she has hosted include creating a desert terrarium and dried flower frames. She plans to teach additional classes that explore different types of terrariums, coco-damas and basic houseplant care with an artistic flare.
“It is so exciting to see people so excited to either put their hands in dirt or learn how to arrange flowers,” Makers said. “I think over the last two years, a lot of people have been trying to do more home-decor type stuff. Having ways to get together with groups of friends they haven’t seen or take a break outside of work and de-stress and not only be able to create something but to create something that can look beautiful in your home, I think, has been the perfect storm for classes.”
Makers enjoys seeing people come together for classes, whether they sign up solo or in a group of friends.
“It is always fun at the end of class, everyone’s terrarium or flower piece is completely different from each other’s,” she said. “It is just really neat to see how people take the general concept and are able to turn it into their own. It has been really fun getting people together and seeing their artistic sides come out and what they are able to create with the supplies given to them.”
When best friends Lindsay Moe and Jessica Neumann opened their plant shop BUDS in New Market last year, hosting succulent and crafty classes was a part of their plan. Classes such as flower pot arrangements, a succulent pumpkin, and succulent Christmas tree have been quite popular.
The pair are planning on future workshops, including make-your-own terrarium, a succulent fairy garden and succulent wreaths.
“People are really looking for a reason right now to get together with their friends and find an activity to do because the pandemic has put a lot of separation between people,” Neumann said. “I think a lot of people have grown to love plants during this time, too, so it is kind of the best of both worlds, to get together and do some fun things with plants and dive into some of their passions.”