Flower Design founder Michael Gaffney shares his eye-catching secrets

The founder of the nationally acclaimed School of Flower Design is launching a four-week program in San Francisco, kicking off Oct. 1. The school is located at 640 Brannan St. in the heart of the Flower Market.

What is the purpose of the school? It’s a course designed to teach effective design principles to enable new people in the industry to design like professionals.

What is flower design based on? It’s based on structure, mechanics and the architecture of a beautiful bouquet. Flower design is like a Rubik’s cube, only easier. It’s based on lots of formulas and patterns.

What if students don’t have any experience working with flowers? The majority of students are nouveau designers and when they graduate we often find them jobs working for event companies in New York, on movies, doing editorial work … there are all sorts of avenues.

What kind of flowers do you most enjoy working with? I love doing classic English garden looks. I love stock — it’s like a fat lilac, very fragrant. In the ’80s everyone liked exotic and tropical, now everyone likes English-looking flowers.

What flowers are the best to learn with? For classic work — roses, Gerbera daisies, dalias. For contemporary work — birds of paradise, equisitium and galix.

What are currently the most popular or in-demand flowers? Dahlias, succulents and always, in America, roses.

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