Visiting with Francoise Weeks, Portland, Oregon

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a three day Woodland Design Workshop with the one and only Francoise Weeks! Tomorrow I will post the designs that I got to create in her class, today I just want to tell you a bit about Francoise and why I wanted to take her class.
I’ve followed Francoise for years, her work is so intricate, natural, different and unique. I’ve considered studying with her for awhile, it was a matter of deciding which workshop would push me out of my normal designing. Her website has a few different workshops profiled, but it was the Woodland Design Workshop that caught my eye. Using branches, sticks, moss, lichens, leaves, pods, mushrooms, berries to create an arrangement is so intriguing:

flower classes portland oregon

Jamie Bosworth Photographer

So it was decided, I would take her Woodland Design Workshop, plus it just seemed so right for the Pacific Northwest! I drove up the California Coast into Oregon, feeling inspired by the towering Redwood trees, ferns growing alongside the road, and waves crashing into the coast. I arrived in Portland on a Sunday and stayed at the Bluebird Guesthouse (recommend!), awaiting the arrival of my friend, Janet of Floral Verde. I felt so lucky to be taking Francoise’s class with Janet, Janet is the Queen of designing with succulents!

succulent and rose bouquet

Designed by Janet of Floral Verde

Janet and I quite enjoyed the neighborhood we stayed in, just a few blocks from Francoise’s studio. We patronized the local small restaurants and found the shopkeepers to be so friendly and enjoyable. We’d walk to Francoise’s studio and stopped at each yard to look at the mosses, flowers and trees growing, such a pretty neighborhood.
Walking up to Francoise’s studio was awesome! I couldn’t wait to see it in person and I have decided that I want to build a studio just like her’s!

flower studio
floral design studio

Stepping inside her studio was absolutely delightful, on one wall were benches filled with buckets full of an assortment of flowers, branches, and foliages:
assortment of flowers

assortment of foliages

Plants and foliages

Little bits to use in our designs, so much to look at & so inspiring:
mushrooms and brussel sprouts

furry succulent

I thought this was really cool, Francoise’s husband created this for her – it’s a corsage design bar!
corsage bar

Francoise showing us how she starts her designs, Janet and I were enthralled watching Francoise work. Her mechanics are impressive, these arrangements are not going to shake out of place during transport!
florist at work

This was just a little tidbit of my time in Oregon and spending time with Francoise .. tomorrow I will share the arrangements that Janet and I designed!

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  1. I had the pleasure of getting a tour of Francoise’s studio a few years ago with my friend Linda and my daughter. We toured her studio and garden then we chatted with her about our love of flowers. It was Spring time and she was working on planting hostas in her woodland garden. At the time I had no idea of all the different kinds of foliage you could use in floral design I was amazed. I think she was just starting classes and I am hoping to take one in the future.

  2. Alicia, it was great to have you and Janet at the studio for 3 days! It was so much fun sharing ideas and mechanics and watch both of you creating such fabulous arrangements! Thank you for spreading the word!!!