Lancer Spotlight 2/4/22: Flower dissection, arrangements, boutonierre, and corsages – Horticulture 1 learns the basics

by Caroline Hobson, Editor-in-Chief


On February 3, Mrs. Pat Beachy’s Horticulture 1 students dissected large carnations to get hands-on experience learning the different parts of a flower. Each student was able to cut a carnation open, rip out the petals, find the reproductive systems, and get an in-depth look at the individual parts that cause a flower to grow and spread their DNA.

Both Horticulture teachers Beachy and  Mr. Tom Hawthorne believe in experiential learning.

“I believe in hands-on interactive learning for horticulture. Teaching from a book can only show you so much, but it is better to experience making arrangements, boutonierres, and corsages yourself to grow your skills,” said Beachy. 

After the students cut their carnations open, they identified each part of the plant, what it was used for, and then taped it down to their plant ID sheet to show their findings. This added to the students’ knowledge of how to properly care for their flowers and how to pierce a carnation correctly.

The flower dissection project also helped the students learn about using all parts of the plant, and that nothing is really considered waste in the horticulture department.  The carnations that were cut open were recycled from Horticulture 2’s leftover arrangements to make sure that no fresh flowers were wasted. 

Beachy teaches her class how to “think like a florist” by keeping costs low and pricing work properly. A big issue that the horticulture department suffers from is waste due to improper care of flowers, which is why Beachy always has oasis available, and multiple water buckets to keep flowers fresh for days. 

“We’ve already learned a lot so far. I learned ways to wire a flower and use accent flowers to create a visually appealing piece. We’ve also learned a lot about what it’s like to be a florist and what to expect in that line of work,” said senior Mikeah-Anthony Smith. 

Horticulture I also focuses on growing the students skills of how to identify a plant and how to properly take care of it. Many plants are used in arrangements or are found throughout the weekly assignments and check ins.

“I’ve learned a lot about different kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. I liked learning about how to wire different flowers and how to use them in a corsage. Mrs. Beachy is really insightful about how to arrange the flowers and is really good about teaching us how to place them so that they look professional and put together,” said senior Olivia Fullarton.

Almost every day students have the opportunity to make a boutonniere, corsage , bow, or arrangement during class. The favorite among students is being able to take home everything they create.

“I love being able to make something almost every day. It’s so much fun and I really like giving things to my friends and parents so it’s good that I have a lot of floral arrangements to give them,” said Smith.

Students are also taught how to create color schemes for their arrangements and find proper accent flowers that add to their pieces. There is a lot of creative freedom within the class to mix and match ideas. Each corsage and arrangement also contains an accent bow that students learn how to make from the ‘bow queen’ [Beachy] herself. 

“I love the freedom that we’ve been given in the class and the options to choose our own flowers. I really like seeing what unique flowers work together and getting to choose which ones I like most. I also like the addition of the bows because it makes the arrangement a lot fuller,” said freshman Erin Hatley.

This semester, horticulture students will  learn to make larger arrangements to hopefully sell in the horticulture wholesale that is hosted in the spring.

“I’m really excited about the future of this class. It motivates me to get to school on time because I am so excited to have horticulture first period. I am really looking forward to the sale in the spring so that Horticulture 1 can make more arrangements and have our work shown off,” said Smith.