The Sustainable Flowers Workshop


sustainable flowers workshop

"There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more." -- Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day

Join us on September 16-17, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta at The Commons in Inglewood for a one-of-a-kind workshop for florists, flower farmers, gardeners, and creatives of all sorts. The sustainable flowers workshop will provide you with training and information from leading professionals in the fields of eco-floristry, flower farming and growing, and sustainability. We have assembled some of the best in the business - experienced designers, growers, planners, and thinkers - to walk us through what it takes to be sustainable.

Enhance your floristry skills, cultivate your knowledge of plants, and create a toolbox of mechanics that will allow you to create foam-free installations for weddings, events, and everyday. In the company of florists, flower lovers, flower farmers, and gardeners, we will create magical beauty using all locally sourced flowers from Alberta and B.C. We will feature stunning blooms grown by some of the most talented growers in Alberta, showcasing all that is possible here in our challenging (but endlessly rewarding) horticultural zone 3.

The goal of this workshop is to create a supportive and encouraging environment within which to learn innovative techniques for creating floral displays that celebrate the ultimate beauty of nature, while also minimizing waste. We will provide you with the tools you need to advocate for sustainable floristry methods with your clients, as well as information on how to support local flower growers and reduce the need for imports in your floral practice. You will also have the opportunity to learn about sustainable growing methods from leading flower farmers here in Alberta.


day one

Be prepared to be amazed by the eco-prowess of the sweet and sassy Tobey Nelson of Tobey Nelson Weddings + Events. Based on Whidbey Island, Washington, Tobey is the original eco-florist. Having worked entirely foam-free for almost a decade, Tobey is an expert at teaching everything you need to know to make ALL of your arrangements and installations foam-free.

Tobey has a BSc in Horticulture from Michigan State University and has studied with Gregor Lersch, Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Susan McLeary and many others. Tobey practises sustainable floristry, with the goal of being environmentally-friendly at every turn.  She aims to encourage floral businesses to embrace a “do no harm” mentality, and think about choosing better-than practices. Informed personal efforts made toward sustainability are something that Tobey champions - taking small steps towards considering the environment and society in our work. In addition to sustainable practices, Tobey is also a local flower advocate - choosing local and seasonal flowers first.

You will learn foam-free mechanics for hanging installations and large floor-based arrangements. The techniques you learn will provide you with the tools you need to create foam-free floral installations for your weddings, events, and special occasions. Learn how to “MacGyver” your way into creating floral masterpieces. All of the techniques learned will be easily transferrable to some of the more complicated creations of floral practice - arbors & chuppas, stunning backdrops, and large free-standing feature pieces. Feel confident with your new skills and be proud of learning how to tread more lightly on this Earth with foam-free techniques.   

day two

Day two will start with a community breakfast at The Commons in the dynamic community of Inglewood, during which we will meet and mingle with sustainability experts, flower growers, and slow flower enthusiasts. This day is all about dissecting sustainability and figuring out how we can best apply it to our businesses as florists, growers, and gardeners. You don’t have to have participated in day one in order to hang out with us on day two.

Day two is a speaker series designed to provide you with the tools and information you need to make your business sustainable - environmentally, economically, and emotionally.

We will address questions such as: What does sustainability in floristry, flower growing, and small business ownership mean? What economic, environmental and social implications are there for us to consider?






When Mon From September 16, 2019 to
September 17, 2019

8:15 am - 6:00 pm
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The Commons Calgary

1206 20 AVE SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 1M8

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