Faith Flowers and Green Academy Announce the Second European Flower Tour
April 10 to 20th, 2012
A Ten Day Adventure in Belgium and Holland
Filled with flower arranging, gardens & unforgettable experiences
Join Laura Iarocci and Isabel Gilbert Palmer for a unique and intimate
exploration of the European flower world. Our tour is for flower arrangers of
all skill levels. Our instructors welcome you as their special guests.
European Flower Tour Highlights
* Take Floral Design Classes in the Belgian and Dutch countryside
* Learn techniques of traditional & contemporary European design
* Visit studios, private gardens and small villages not included on ordinary tours
* Make Excursions through fields bursting with tulips and spring flowers
* Tour Keukenhof, the world famous tulip garden open only 8 weeks each year
* Explore Amsterdam, Gent and Brugge, with city tours, shopping & museums
• Have a private tour of Aalsmeer, the world’s largest flower auction
• Tour Floriade international horticultural expo held only once every ten yearss
* Shop flower markets, boutiques and wholesalers with cutting-edge products
* Enjoy a food lover’s paradise, lovingly prepared lunches, special local restaurants,
pastries and coffee
For information, call Laura Iarocci at (404) 578-0950 or
European Flower Arrangers Tour Itinerary
Flower Arranging Classes: Specially selected designers lead us as we explore and practice
current European design styles and techniques. Our instructors are published authors and
lecturers and demonstrate floral design seminars globally. The classes focus on arrangements
for parties and the home. Each day we drive through the beautiful countryside to our classes.
We stop along the way to visit secret gardens, hidden churches and favorite floral shops. You
will enjoy a lovely lunch, coffee and pastries.
The Flemish are known “foodies”. Special group dinners will be planned for some evenings.
Other dinners will be on your own to allow flexibility in dining and pricing. We will give you
restaurant suggestions and make reservations where necessary.
Wednesday, April 11th: Our amazing adventure begins at noon in the medieval city of
Ghent, the original “flower city”. We meet Green Academy Belgium at a Welcome Brunch
overlooking the Ghent canal. We take a walking tour of Ghent with the remainder of the
afternoon free to explore your new home.
Our Belgian home will be the Marriott Ghent, a four star hotel located on the River Lys in the
historic section of Ghent. A gourmet breakfast is included each day.
Thursday April 12th: We attend our first class at the private studio and home of Geert
Pattyn, a leading international floral designer. We visit his personal garden and see
demonstrations of his designs. We journey to Green Academy for an afternoon hands-on workshop
with Haruko Noda, a fabulous Japanese/Belgian designer. We dine as a group at a
special restaurant tucked away in a small, chic village.
Friday, April 13th: We take an early morning excursion to a Belgian wholesaler where we
see materials not seen in the U.S. Our next stop is Poelman and deWilde, a working Belgian
shop for floral demonstrations of hand tied bouquets. An authentic Belgian lunch at a private
home. We return to Ghent so that you may shop at its fine linen, lace and chocolate shops.
Saturday, April 14th: Gudrun Cottenier, Director of De Groene Verbeelding Flower School,
has organized a full day for us with a workshop that includes flowers for celebrations and fine
food for entertaining. We will workshop together to decorate a special place with her. We will
finish our day with a cooking demonstration and supper prepared for us by a leading lifestyle
chef. Gudrun will pair a complimentary contemporary and seasonal table setting
Sunday, April 15th: Enjoy an early morning excursion to the Ghent Open Air Flower Market
with champagne, oysters and music. We visit a beautiful private garden for a tour of a special
“woman’s garden” and lunch. We spend the afternoon in Brugges, Belgium, one of the best preserved
medieval cities and a UNESCO world heritage site. Dinner will be on your own at
one of Brugges’ many exquisite restaurants.
Monday, April 16th: We spend a full day touring Floriade, the World Horticultural Expo held in
the Netherlands only once every ten years. Beginning in April 2012, horticultural and floral
exhibits from over 100 countries will be set in a specially constructed park of over 160 acres.
There are five themed areas centered around the theme of “theater in nature” with a
sustainable gardens and buildings. We will have a private tour of Villa Flora, home to the
largest indoor flower show.
We drive in the late afternoon to Amsterdam where we will stay for four nights at the Hotel
Jan-Luyken conveniently located near the Rijks and Van Gogh museums. The hotel is a small
boutique hotel set in six restored Dutch mansions which have been restored and combined.
Breakfast is included each day. (www.bilderberg.nl/uk/hotels/hotel-jan-luyken)
Tuesday, April 17th: We will drive to the historic gardens of Aalsmeer where we will have a
hands-on-workshop with Rob Plattel (www.htaalsmeer.org). Rob is known for his creative
work with natural elements. We will explore the difference between vegetative and decorative
design styles. Rob will show examples, and participants will create two designs using flowers,
greenery and other natural material. The design possibilities using natural materials to
express personal creativity are limitless. Rob will help participants improve and gain insight
into their techniques. Weather permitting, we will take a tour of the historic gardens and a
canal boat ride.
Wednesday, April 18th: Rise for an early morning tour of Aalsmeer, the world’s largest flower
auction. We learn how flowers are sold at auction, packed and transported all over the world.
The majority of the world’s flowers are auctioned out of Aalsmeer every day. We will have an
informative, private guided tour.
We will have brunch at an authentic Dutch pancake house. You will then have the afternoon
to explore Amsterdam’s museums and shops. Consider touring the Anne Frank House or Van
Gogh museum. Amsterdam has many specialty museums such as Amsterdam Tulip Museum,
the Museum of Bags and Purses and the Hermitages. Isabel and Laura will offer an optional
tour of Amsterdam flower shops.
Thursday, April 19th: On our way, we will drive through beautiful tulip fields filled with spring
flowers. This should be the peak week for tulips in the Netherlands. We will have a guided
tour of Keukenhof Gardens (www.keukenhof.nl), a unique and world famous garden, one of
the most popular destinations in the Netherlands. It is open only eight weeks each year. We
will conclude our trip with a special farewell dinner.
Friday, April 20th: Return to the U.S.
A special air and transportation package can be arranged for $1500 per person from Atlanta to
Brussels and returning from Amsterdam to Atlanta. This package will include round trip airfare
and airport transfers. We will need a group of 10 travelers for the group air package.
Airport transfers can also be arranged upon request.
European Flower Arrangers Tour Team
Faith Flowers: Faith Flowers is the organizer of the European Flower Arrangers Tour. Faith
Flowers is a floral design company and flower school based in Atlanta, Georgia. Laura Iarocci
and Victoria Denson are the principals and instructors. They specialize in floral design for
weddings, churches and the home. They have won numerous awards for their work and are
featured in Judith Blacklock’s recent book, Church Flowers (www.faithflowers.net)
Green Academy Belgium: Isabel and Gudrun Cottenier formed Green Academy Belgium to
promote Belgian and European Floral Design worldwide. They bring together flower lovers and
florists from around the world to their studios to work with their creative, inspiring and helpful
floral design instructors. They have specially selected the instructors for this tour.
Isabel is a freelance writer for Flower Magazine, Garden Design, and Fleur Creatif. She has a
Flower World blog (http://florabee.wordpress.com/). Over the last five years, she has brought
her programs, “Found in Flanders and France” with leading European Designers, to the stage
at the American Institute of Floral Designers Symposiums. (www.greenacademybelgium.com)
Gudrun’s flower school is the oldest private flower school in Belgium, celebrating its 20th
anniversary this year. They teach over 400 students each year. She has published two books
including the runaway success Floristic Basics. Trained as a chef and florist, she brings a
natural and innovative approach to table décor.
Rob Plattel: Rob is an outstanding, talented and exceedingly likeable Dutch floral designer.
He has worked with groups from around the world. His sensitivity, observations and deep
respect for nature is evident in all his work whether bouquets or large events. This is a bonus
to spend a day workshopping with him. (www.naturalart.nl)
Please note that changes may occur as we refine the details to create a unique and wonderful
For More Information, please contact Laura Iarocci at (404) 578-0950 or