Floral Design

Pleasanton Gardens Meeting Room
251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Meets the fourth Thursday of the month September through May from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. unless stated otherwise. Design members are willing to drive others who do not wish to drive at night.

The group accommodates all levels of abilities; class participants work on different styles of design. You can just come and observe too. Bring your own container (no clear glass) or purchase 2 basic black containers for $20 and use them throughout the year.

For more information, please contact Lynn MacFarland at FloralDesign@lavgc.org.

Our designs will follow the Handbook for Flower Shows, using the Elements of Design and the Principles of Design.

Creative Design emphasizing leaves

Thursday, February 23, 2016 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

We will be creating a creative design primarily using leaves. The idea is to be low budget (no excursions to the grocery store). Explore your yard or ask your neighbor for some cuttings. We will be learning how to change leaves - cut, weave or manipulate. Bring either the black square container, leaves of different sizes, shapes and textures. Optionally, you may wish a few flowers or dried material. I will be bringing some leaves, especially phormium, but it would be great if you brought extra to share.

You will need:

  • Container: black square (the pair of square and rectangular containers cost $20 and are used throughout the year.)
  • If you have Phormium tenax and Phormium colensoi (New Zealand flax), please wash and bring long flexible leaves. We will be manipulating and weaving them.
    Do not cut the central shoot form the flax plant when harvesting. This weakens the plant.
    Do not cut in rain or at night- the foliage will be hard to work with because of the added moisture.
  • Bring bold leaves, e.g. Aspidistra (cast-iron plant), Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia or paperplant), Fatshedera lizei (tree ivy or aralia ivy) or Philodendron. Search your yard or ask your neighbor.
  • Bring other leaves with contrasting colors and or textures, e.g. conifers.
  • Optionally, bring a few flowers - no more than 5 - fresh or dried or other dried forms.
  • Bring your kenzans (pin frogs) or other mechanics to keep the plant material in place.
  • Shears
  • Double sided tape, wire and wire cutters (don't go off and buy them, I will be bringing them, but if you have your own it will be faster.
  • Words of Appreciation. After we create an arrangement to bring home, we appreciate each other's work based on the elements and principles of design.
  • Your imagination and a desire to have fun!

Field Trips

Thursday March 9, 2017 Bay Area Floral Arrangers Guild host Katsuko Thielke, "Katsuko's Way"

Meet at JC Penny Home Store (near the American Red Cross) at 8:30 am to car pool to San Mateo Garden Center, 605 Parkside Way, San Mateo. We should return home by 3 PM. Donation to driver $5.
Guest fee: $5
Presentation: Katsuko Thielke. Creative design - less is more
Bring a brown bag lunch.

Friday March 9, 2017 Furyu hosts Katsuko Thielke, "Send Me No Flowers"

Meet at JC Penny Home Store (near the American Red Cross) at 9:00 am to car pool to Campbell Methodist Church, 1675 S Winchester Blvd., Campbell. Donation to driver $5.
Guest fee: $10
Presentation: Katsuko Thielke. Creative design using no flowers
Bring a brown bag lunch.

March 18 and 19, 2017 Ikebana International San Francisco Bay Area Flower Show

Show is from 10 to 4 PM. Admission is $10 (pre-paid $8) includes demonstrations.
Saturday March 18 meet at JC Penny Home Store (near the American Red Cross) at 8:30 am to car pool to the County Fair Building (Flower Hall) in San Francisco. Donation to driver $5.
Bring a brown bag lunch. On the way home we may make a stop at Soko Hardware in Japantown.


March 14 and 19, 2017 Bouquets to Art

Whispers of subtle charm, gasps of beauty-art is in lively conversation with nature during Bouquets to Art. Wander galleries awash with colorful flowers from March 14 through 19, 2017, with a preview gala on March 13.

NOTE: Photo free Wed-Fri from 9:30 am-noon.

Clara B. Rees Iris Society (CBRIS) Spring Show, "A Symphony of Color", April 1-2 Noon to 5PM, Westgate Mall, San Jose

The show is located at the Westgate Center at the corner of Saratoga and Prospect in San Jose. Their mission is to proudly display our blooms to the public to promote iris culture and awareness. The show is sanctioned by the American Iris Society and is judged by trained and certified judges within Region 14.
The divisions are Horticulture, which can include seedlings, Educational exhibits, Youth, and Artistic arrangements. The public is welcome and encouraged to enter as well. The Youth Division is limited to persons under 19 years of age. For the Artistic Division, one or more iris blooms must be used in each design and should be the dominant flower in the design. Ribbons and rosettes are awarded for First, Second, Third Place and Honorable Mention and Best in Show.

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
5th April to 9th April: Wednesday to Saturday 10 AM to 7 PM; Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show is a 5 day at the San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. This event showcases products like opportunities to learn about landscaping, gardening, growing & preparing garden-fresh food, designing with flowers and creating fantastic garden spaces in your home, school and community etc. in the Horticulture & Floriculture industry.

Upcoming Flower Shows to Enter

Filoli Flower Show

Enter the Filoli Flower Show which will be Thursday June 1 - Sunday June 4
For more information go to http://www.filoli.org/flower-show/. Please contact flowershow@filoli.org for additional Flower Show information or to request an entry form.



Thursday September 22, 2016 Vertical Design.

Thursday October 27, 2016 Horizontal Design.

November 2016 NO MEETING. Happy Thanksgiving!

December 2016 NO MEETING. Happy Holidays!
Wreath-type design is often seen during the holidays. You are welcome to the lesson and ideas from the internet.



Thursday January 26 Basic Design

Thursday February 23 Creative Design primarily using leaves

Thursday March 23 Design using Wood

Thursday April 27 Design using a Recycled Container - Earth Day

Thursday May 25 Tentative


June/July Alameda County Fair - Please enter your designs.


The National Handbook describes both Creative and Traditional styles. These are not design types, but how you present your plant material. Creative designs use contrast and dominance with plant material and voids to create rhythm (positive and negative space or "plastic organization".) We are going to concentrate on the two elements of design (size and space) and particularly appreciate contrast, dominance and rhythm. All elements of design and all principles of design should be followed. Look at art and apply the principles to your creative designs.

Ikebana has many schools of floral design. For more information see Ikebana International San Francisco . They meet on the 3rd Friday during the day.

Previous Meetings and Events



Design and Schools

NGC Flower Show School Required Reading

Floral Styles and Designs
Styles of Flower Arranging - pictures

Flower Shows