How to arrange store-bought flowers at home

Michael Gaffney is a celebrity flower designer and founder of the Chicago School of Flower Design. He is in town for a special in-store Bloomingdale's appearance on Saturday. He is going to show us some flower arranging tips and fill us in the hottest trends this fall.

The Chicago School of Flower Design offers students an array of programs about the various aspects of the flower design industry. Students can approach the course period with the goals of pursuing a hobby in flower design or to acquire the skills for becoming a full-time professional. The school is located at 452 N. Ashland, Chicago, Illinois 60622. Classes are held two times a week and run for three hours long. Each student is supplied with fresh flowers and supplies. All materials and flower designs can be taken home to enjoy. To register, please call 877-322-BLOOM (5666).

1. Cut the stems on an angle before arranging, Use a sharp floral knife when cutting stems to prevent damage, it also allows your flowers to absorb more water
2. Add a splash of bleach to extend flower life
3. Remove any foliage that will be underwater
4. When you start arranging, always set a focal point
5. Do not be afraid to use unusual types of containers as your flower vase, this adds personality and character to your creation
6. Change the water, re-cut stems and mist flowers daily to prolong the life of your arrangement and prevent a bacterial buildup

Michael will be at Bloomingdale's Home & Furniture store at 600 N Wabash on August 27th from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. to perform a fall floral demonstration. Those who attend will take home a one-of-a-kind arrangement (one per customer, while supplies last) created by Michael himself.

BOOK INFO Gaffney's first book, Design Star, to be released this fall will feature tips, advice, and photos of his work throughout the years.

Classes are held Tuesday and Thursdays from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Saturdays are open for group classes. For pricing and additional information about Michael Gaffney and the Chicago School of Flower Design, please visit

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