Deck the halls, doors and tabletops with DIY wreaths and floral arrangements.

Branching Out

Written by Leah LeMoine Category: Lifestyle Issue: December 2016
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We’ve all been there: You see a neat holiday craft idea online, watch a few YouTube tutorials, try it yourself and then collapse in a weepy, wine-addled heap when your creation ends up looking like an honorable mention in a kindergarten art contest. Prevent Pinterest fails from sabotaging your spirit this season by learning from the pros at Cactus Flower Florists, where the Luoma family and their dexterous designers have been spreading flower power for nearly 45 years. They offer DIY workshops at their five Valleywide locations, providing instruction on everything from wreaths to festive tablescapes.

The workshops (which start at $45) evolved from Cactus Flower’s popular “tinsel training” home visits, where designers provide one-on-one assistance in tree trimming and holiday decorating. “We kind of patterned it after cooking classes I used to take at Sur La Table and Sweet Basil [Gourmetware & Cooking School],” says Eric Luoma, who, with his sister Kristina, owns the business their mother started in Scottsdale in 1972. “It was just always fun to be part of that little group, and you can watch everybody else and get tips from them... It’s a totally low-stress environment. People will bring wine, they’ll bring friends. It’s a very fun atmosphere.”

A perennial Southwest holiday favorite, Luoma says, is Cactus Flower’s succulent class. “We’ll take these fresh succulents and show them how to make an arrangement, combining holiday ornaments with succulents and some fresh flowers. It really is a nice touch.” And, under the guiding hands of the pros, it’s blessedly fail-proof.

Cactus Flower Florists

Five Valley locations: Scottsdale, Phoenix, Glendale, Chandler, Carefree