Sustainable Woodlands

Floristry Reimagined


Welcome to Sustainable Woodlands

I don’t know about you, but I fell in love with flowers at an early age. My mother loved to buy flowers from the farmer’s market in Belgium, or cut them fresh from her own garden. I began helping her arrange them as a child. I was fascinated by everything floral—from designing centerpieces for my parents’ dinner guests to watching seedlings grow on the windowsill in my father’s study. Simply put, the world outside has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.

So what does any of this have to do with sustainable woodlands? Well, these past few years, a growing number of florists in the industry have become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of floral foam: an element of design that has been crucial to our field for the past 60 years. After doing a little research, it was easy to see why. Did you know that one block of floral foam is the equivalent of ten plastic shopping bags? This little green block is non-biodegradable, non-recyclable and toxic to both humans and animals.That being said, its popularity is understandable. It's lightweight, easy to cut and mold, and holds up to two quarts of water. It's the perfect water source. Knowing all of these things though, I got to thinking. I wanted to ditch the foam without losing any of the benefits, and what I've come up with are foam-free designs that have structure, shape, and above all, they support materials that require a water source.

I’ve translated these mechanics into four gorgeous woodland-inspired centerpieces, all ready for your next large-scale event, special occasion, or intimate dinner party. These lessons were designed to inspire, teach you new mechanics, and help you build your repertoire so you may offer more to your clients and grow your knowledge of, and confidence in, floristry all while being a bit kinder to the world around us.

Let's start at the beginning

What will this course teach you?

If you haven't taken any of my previous courses, don't worry! Sustainable Woodlands is totally accessible to all ranges of floral design experience and skill. In this course, you will learn how to create four unique foam-free centerpiece designsThese lessons were developed using my latest mechanics and techniques to create structure, shape, and above all, to support materials that require a water source...all without using floral foam.

I hope this new series will spark your curiosity and open your eyes to seeing the possibilities of environmentally conscious design.

Want to see what you'll master?


Much more than your average vase, this piece turns the ordinary into something extraordinary by using some chicken wire and an abundance of woodland foliage.


For this one, I've created a centerpiece involving wooden discs, joined to support a natural water source and a variety of botanical materials.


Bringing the natural world to your table in its purest form, I've created a design highlighting one of my favorite design materials: bark.


Woven reeds provide the height and drama for this centerpiece, but there's a few materials used here that you may never have thought of: tomatoes and romanesco.

“Françoise has taught me to be curious, to cultivate my artistic voice and I've really learned to see the floral and plant world with new eyes. She will inspire you and continue to elevate the world of floral design ever more!”


Susan McLeary

How about that free lesson?

Learn how to create your own woodland vase, foam-free and structurally sound. Water source included! If you've never taken an online course with me before, this is a great opportunity to get a look into what to expect.


“It's hard to put into words how fantastic Françoise is as a teacher and a designer. She's truly changed the way I look at floral design. There's no one that looks at botanical materials the way that Françoise does.”


Alison Ellis

I can't wait to see what you'll make!

These four foam-free woodland lessons will inspire you to see with new eyes and to tap into your own passion for floral design, all while gaining confidence in becoming a more environmentally conscious creator within the natural world.

This is a wonderful time of year to find and use woodland materials and to practice and share your creations with family, friends, and clients. Taking time for yourself to pursue what you love and learn new skills is a fantastic way to reinvigorate your passion and expand your floral offerings.

Post your design creations on social media, and use the hashtag #francoisewoodlands for a chance to be featured! Voilà!


Don't forget to check out my other courses!

From Woodland Design to Botanical Wearables, I have a wide selection of online tutorials to explore. All of my courses will help elevate your craft, with a continued focus on the underlying mechanics that make every design creation truly sing.