Category Archives: Updates

Saturday, December 19th Holiday Floral Design Classes

xmas-flowers-candles-on-xmas-tablesPine, cedars and balsams with lots of berry.
Three designs and all materials included.
Bring a camera to take pictures and a basket to carry all your designs home.

Class in New York will be on New York City: Saturday, December 19th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm. Learn more

We will also be offering classes in:

  • Miami: Saturday, November 21st, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
  • San Francisco: Saturday, November 28th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm
  • San Diego: Saturday, December 5th, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Minneapolis: Thursday, December 10th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm
  • Milwaukee: Tuesday, December 15th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm
  • Chicago: Wednesday, December 16th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm

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The Macy’s Flower Design Show Coming Soon!

Don’t miss Mr. Michael Gaffney at the Macy’s Flower Show in Herald Square March 27th, 2015! This year the Macy’s Flower Show is being held in NYC March 22nd-April 4th and Michael will be there doing flower design demonstrations, hosting a free book give away and plenty of flowers, flowers, flowers for all to see!

For two weeks, the clothing and accessories at Macy’s won’t be the only colorful items on display by the iconic department store. Outside in Broadway Plaza, beautifully bright floral arrangements will announce this year’s Macy’s Flower Show. Special events including live music, kids’ activities and seminars will take place throughout the show. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit

We hope to see you there!!

For additional information about our upcoming semesters, school locations and more, visit us at:

2014 Art Basel Miami, The Strongest Edition Ever Held

Michael Gaffney was in attendance at this years Art Basel Miami and it received rave reviews as being one of the strongest editions ever!

Art Basel’s 13th edition in Miami Beach closed Sunday, December 7, 2014, amidst strong praise from gallerists, private collectors, museum groups and the media. Highlights of the show included the introduction of the new Survey sector, which brought 13 art-historical projects to the fair, including many rare works never before exhibited in an art fair context; and Art Basel’s staging with Performa of Ryan McNamara’s ‘MEƎM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet’ at the Miami Grand Theater. Solid sales were reported across all levels of the market and throughout the run of the show. Featuring 267 leading international galleries from 31 countries, the show – whose Lead Partner is UBS – attracted an attendance of 73,000 over five days. Attendees included representatives of over 160 museum and institution groups from across the world – and a surging number of new private collectors from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

In the floral ‘world’ there are strong ties to what is trending in art, as floral design is considered a form of art as well. Mr. Gaffney believes that to be a successful designer, it is important to stay informed on the trends and ‘whats hot’ when it comes to the newest art craze. As a designer, staying up-to-date on the different looks will help you tailor your floral designs to incorporate the different textures and colors in accordance to compliment what is hot, etc.

A tip to remember when working in the Art of Floral Design: An out-of-date florist, or one who becomes stagnant in the designs that they offer, will quickly lose the public’s attention as someone who will be able to suit their needs on any type of event, etc. that they are wanting to plan.

Tips & Tricks, Holiday Designing on a Dime

During the holidays is when I like to ‘wow’ my guests with beautiful centerpieces during parties and for hostess gifts as well. This can be a bit tricky, especially when working on a budget. The following are my tips and tricks for what I call ‘designing on a dime’:

1. During this time of year everyone loves their evergreen foliage, so this is my greenery of choice when starting my arrangements. Don’t spend tons of money buying greenery when you can either trim some from your yard or (with permission) from the yard of a neighbor. Some people do not know that Home Depot also gives away their Christmas tree trimmings for free. (There is usually a big bin in the tree lot area that the staff throws the clippings in)…So why buy when you can get it for free!

2. Evergreens last a long time especially when it is cool, so you will want to pick items that will last as long as your greenery when thinking about the color/theme of your arrangement. I would suggest going to your local Dollar Tree, Family Dollar or 99 Cent Store. Use ornaments, glittery sticks, berry picks, candles and the like to incorporate into your design. You can also re-use these items year after year. Don’t forget that you can use seasonal fruit & pine cones too, it doesn’t always have to be flowers as the ‘point of interest’ or ‘focal point’!

3. Container Choices….if you would like to use a nice decorative container for your arrangement, you can also find a variety at the stores listed above as well, but don’t forget your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You can buy a container and help a local charity all at the same time! Also, keep in mind that you can use a plastic dish or plate to place your floral foam on and ‘build’ your arrangement so that you cannot see the container at all. This is another affordable option.

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of ‘thinking outside the box’ to get those creative juices flowing…you get the picture. It doesn’t have to break the bank to decorate your home for the holidays! (and there’s no harm in letting your friends think that you did…what they don’t know won’t hurt them) ;0)

The American Schools of Flower Design offer classes at 9 locations across the country to help educate people in the art of floral design….you too can become a ‘Design Star’! For additional information click on the ‘About Our Schools’ tab on our website.

Article from Monsters & Critics about our own Michael Gaffney!

Michael Gaffney’s Flower Design Holiday Wreath Making Classes In New York City, Details!

Monsters and Critics – Living – Travel – Michael Gaffney’s Flower Design Holiday Wreath Making Classes In New York City, Details!


Michael Gaffney leads a class in floral design
Have you ever wanted to learn how to properly construct a wreath?

Seasonal and holiday wreaths can be exquisite of Costco overwrought nightmares, and having the know how to make a beautiful decorative centerpiece or hanging wreath is a life skill that will serve you well and save loads of money.

The set of the Home and Family Show (Airing on the Hallmark Channel) is where we have enjoyed watching decorating tips on evergreen wreaths and table decor with Mr. Gaffney. Founder of 8 flower design schools across the United States, Michael showed hosts Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines how to create a beautiful wreath to hang on the door of the Home and Family House located at Universal Studios, Hollywood. “These designs can be done by anyone with just a little instruction on using the pin cushion method,” Michael said, while demonstrating the designs to the Hosts.

For those unable to attend the NYC classes, Michael Gaffney’s flower schools, you can visit Michael’s Los Angeles School website at: or San Diego here

East coast people and those traveling that way can head to the Hyatt Union Square New York will be offering fall wreath arranging classes with experts from Michael Gaffney’s New York School of Flower Design for hotel guests and the public over four upcoming Sundays. Participants will design custom wreaths using cedar, pine, balsam, pine cones and berries, perfect for decorating your home for the holidays or for giving as a hostess gift.

The classes will be held at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM on the following dates:


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday, December 14. 2014

Sessions will cost $40 for the general public (hotel guests are invited to attend free of charge); space is limited and RSVP required to All materials and tools are included in the cost of participation, participants keep the wreaths they design.

For more on Hyatt Union Square New York:

For more on the New York School of Flower Design:

Holiday Design Workshop is almost here!!

Hey all!! Ever bought those great magazines at the register in your local grocery store and flipped through all of the pages full of beautiful holiday decor & flower arrangements? Have you ever thought to your self, ‘Man, those are beautiful, I wish I knew how to make my arrangements look that good..’

Now you can!! Don’t miss the New York School of Flower Designs annual Holiday Design Workshop! During this exciting event, students will create 3 popular holiday designs using a variety of fresh evergreens, beautiful flowers, berries and more!

All tools, flowers and materials are provided. The cost of this event is $200 per person and pre-registration is required. Space is limited, so don’t hesitate to reserve your seat today!!!!

Date: Nov. 15th, 2014 (1pm-4pm)

To register, call; 760-310-3193 today!

NY Fall Semester is in Full Swing

Students have started ‘getting their feet wet’ this week in the art of floral design.  Today marks the end of their first week of classes in the Fall semester and the room is buzzing!  Several designs such as beautiful hand-tied bridal bouquets, Classic American and English design styles were covered this week in classes.

At the NY School of Flower Design, we run semesters 4 times a year (Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall) so if you missed the start of the Fall semester, never fear…..enrollment for the winter semester has begun.  Don’t miss you opportunity to learn over 24 styles of design from the master, Mr. Michael Gaffney!  There are 2 options for enrollment.  You can use our convenient online registration form and pay your deposit via Paypal OR you can call 1-877-322-5666 and enroll over the phone.



Flower Design Tip: Working with Hydrangea

Hydrangea is one of the hottest flowers used in event work and this trend has been going strong for quite some time now. There are some who may shy away from using this beautiful flower in their arrangements because of the fact that they tend to wilt fairly easily. ….NEVER FEAR, we are going to list some tips on how to properly prep this flower so that it looks great in your designs throughout your event.

After you bring home your hydrangea there are a few steps you should follow to prepare this flower before you use it in your design:

Design Tip #1: Remove all of the large leaves on the stem of the Hydrangea. The big leaves suck up a large amount of moisture that would otherwise be going to the petals of the flower.

Design Tip #2: Fill your sink or bath tub with water, trim the bottom of the stem and submerge the whole flower in the water for approximately 10-20 minutes. Flowers absorb water through all surfaces of the flower including the petals, stem, bark and leaves….not just through the bottom of the stem as some might think. Ever had wilted, rubbery celery in the refrigerator and soaked it in a bowl of water to make it crisp again? It is the same concept with the Hydrangea.

Design Tip #3: While the Hydrangea are soaking in the tub, fill a bucket with fresh water and add a liberal amount of Alum. Alum is a spice used for pickling and can be found on the spice rack at your local whole foods or grocery store. Alum forces water up the stem of the flower and makes the blooms of the flower nice and hard. Remove the flower from the water, gently shake off the excess and place the flower stem end down into the bucket.

Design Tip #4: While the Hydrangea drinks the Alum & water mixture, spray the bloom of the hydrangea with Crowning Glory. Crowning Glory is a wax based spray that seals the pores in the leaves, stem and petals of the flower preventing the loss of moisture through the flowers pores. Crowning Glory is distributed by Oasis Floral Products and is sold at your local Wholesale Flower Market or on

Your hydrangea is now processed for use and will look beautiful in your designs for a prolonged period of time!

Fall Semester Starts In Two Weeks!

The fall semester at the NY School of Flower Design starts in two weeks! Don’t miss your chance to reserve a seat in class, spots are filling up fast! The fall is the perfect time of year to take flower design. You will learn how to create beautiful designs and centerpieces just in time for the holiday season!

Want to enroll? Call 1-877-322-5666 today!