Sweet Smell of Flower Arranging Class Success

 Residents enjoy and benefit from eye-catching designs


For Steven Turner, directional divergences in flower arrangements are just part of the weekly fun he has enjoyed for some 12 years at John Knox Village, while lording over our popular Flower Arranging Classes.

The Longmont, CO-native has had an eye for floral design since he was 17, but it is during his weekly visits here he closes his discerning eyes, while cracking wise about everything from politics and the economy to international events and local food with the more than two dozen (mostly) women every Tuesday morning.

“There are a lot of CHARACTERS in this room,” Steven said, his arms dramatically sweeping across the Arts and Crafts Room in the Village Centre. “If there was a particularly good ’60 Minutes’ show Sunday night, I can count on a very vibrant discussion Tuesday morning.”

As owner of the busy Victoria Park Flower Studio (his delivery van can be seen nearly daily on the campus) there are many things this on-the-go entrepreneur could be doing instead of pairing Chrysanthemums with Crocuses or Petunias with Primroses Tuesdays starting at 10:30 a.m. sharp, but he would have it no other way.

“I’ve got a 15-person shop, and we are lean and mean, but coming here every week and working with these residents is so fulfilling,” he said. “I am one of nine children; I have been raised and always held the notion that I have a moral and social objective to work with our older generations. It’s something in my DNA, I suppose.”

While Steven doesn’t hold our resident-arrangers to any hard and fast decorating rules, he relishes the times when a color and shape combination clicks for a pleasing effect. By the end of class residents either take home their eye-catching creations or Steven and his Victoria Park team deliver Marigold masterpieces to our Health Center residents.

“Steven is an absolute inspiration to us,”’ Cassels Tower resident Marilyn Bowling said. “He has such an eye for improving our arrangements. Tuesday morning’s are a delight in no small measure because of him and these classes.”

Steven, who moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1985, worked several corporate stints with national floral companies before “burning out from the travel and bureaucracy,” he said.

So, what’s a floral-lifer to do? He acquired his own flower business.

“Looking back on it, I bought Victoria Park just as the economy was tanking, but I put my back up against the wheel and worked my tail off,” he said.

While growing his livelihood throughout the recession, Steven’s creativity never wavered and his work was recognized with Victoria Park’s induction into The Knot’s Best of Weddings Florist Category Hall of Fame in 2009.

“We have grown our business year over year and a large part of that success has been because of the wonderful people here at John Knox Village,” he said.

Residents enjoy being a part of his sweet smell of success, even with the occasional wayward flower.