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Master Floral Designer

Master Floral Design logo.

Master Floral Designers learn all the basics of floral design, including proper care and use of fresh flowers, dried flowers, and numerous mechanics and accessories. Discover and understand what makes a floral design beautiful! The MFD program was created to help consumers of floral products learn how to use them properly and enjoy them at a greater level. It is open to beginners as well as those who have some experience designing with flowers. We welcome participants from throughout the U.S. to be a part of our program!

The program is led by Dr. Jim DelPrince, MSU Extension horticulture specialist. Dr. DelPrince has taught floral design at Mississippi State, which has one of the country’s leading floral management programs, since 1992. He is a Laureate Member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and was granted the AIFD Service to the Floral Industry award in 2016.

Master Floral Designer certification consists of three phases. Participants must follow the program in numerical order (from Phase I through III). Some may elect to complete only Phase I, or Phases I and II, finding that these fulfill their educational needs. We encourage participants to complete all three phases to earn the certificate from MSU Extension.

Phase I consists of weekly video units within our Extension learning platform. These lively video programs explain all basic floral design topics, and the end-of-unit quizzes will test your comprehension. You will receive the companion text, Principles of Floral Design by Pat Scace and James DelPrince, used in many floral design courses in high schools and colleges in the U.S. and Canada. The book is filled with design ideas and clear explanations of floral care and handling techniques, along with design principles and how to work effectively with design elements. It also has links to flashcards, exercises, and games. If you desire, you can follow along with the Phase I video demonstrations to create your own floral designs. Phase I is offered twice per year, during the fall (August–November) and spring (January–April) semesters, and provides the theoretical basis for understanding floral design principles and mechanics.

Phase II involves creating all the basic floral designs via hands-on, intensive classes directly with Dr. DelPrince. You can register for Phase II intensives upon successful completion of Phase I. This studio course will meet four consecutive days at an MSU Extension office/center. During that time, each participant will learn how to make bows, corsages, hand-tied bouquets, symmetrical and asymmetrical designs, topiaries, and more. Phase II intensives are posted each semester within the MSU Extension registration portal.

Phase III requires completing 40 hours of Extension volunteer service, putting what you learned into action. This service component can involve various nonprofit activities that promote the benefits of floral design. For example, some previous projects include teaching others how to create a specific design, floral design for places of worship, promotion of the MFD program, designing for community spaces, and many others. Successful completion of 40 approved volunteer hours is necessary to achieve the Master Floral Designer certificate. Reports are due February 8, and certificates are awarded in early March every year. After the certificate program, Master Floral Designers are encouraged to keep an active status by conducting and reporting 20 hours per year of education and/or volunteering to remain active.

Ready to take the next step and commit to a certificate program in floral design? Register for classes.

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Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design March 20, 2023

MERIDIAN, Miss. -- Gardening and floral design enthusiasts and professionals can enjoy a floral design demonstration and reception at Merrehope in Meridian. Petals & Prosecco will feature Jim DelPrince, a horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He will show attendees how to make 19th century-style mantel garlands.

Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design, Flower Gardens January 31, 2023

BILOXI, Miss. -- Gardening and floral design enthusiasts and professionals can enjoy a public lecture by Martha Whitney Butler, a Bay St. Louis floral designer. Butler will deliver a floral design demonstration that includes techniques based on sustainable floral design practices, as well as her experience in art history and the use of antique and vintage floral containers.

Green garland on a table.
Filed Under: Floral Design December 9, 2022

I love Christmas decorations. There’s just something about the twinkly lights and greenery that makes my heart flutter. Over the years, I’ve experimented with making my own garland and arrangements from evergreens and other plants.

A red bow rests on a log with evergreen foliage in front of a candle.
Filed Under: Floral Design November 7, 2022

A Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulturist will demonstrate evergreen Christmas decorations in the Hernando town square Nov. 12. Jim DelPrince, who works in Biloxi at the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center, will be part of the “Dickens of a Christmas” market in downtown Hernando.

collage of cornucopia designs
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design, Flower Gardens October 31, 2022

The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, is most often associated with Thanksgiving. It is generally depicted with the fruits of harvest overflowing its horn-shaped form and serves as a reminder to be thankful and grateful. If you like do-it-yourself projects, making your own cornucopia is an easy project.

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A woman wearing a white coat stands behind floral arrangements and a bucket full of flowers.
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Portrait of Dr. James M. DelPrince
Associate Extension Professor

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. James M. DelPrince
Associate Extension Professor