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Professional Dutch Floral Design Program – Boerma Instituut Philadelphia

Mike Boerma Boho Bouquet

For the first time in the history of the Boerma Instituut, we will start to offer our complete Professional Dutch Floral Design Program in the United States of America. If you’ve always dreamt of studying in Europe to become a Professional Florist, but never had the possibility to cross the ocean for whatever reason, now is your chance! We are bringing the program to you!

What is the Professional Dutch Floral Design Program?

The Professional Dutch Floral Design program, or DFD Program for short, is a vocational training program designed to bring someone with 0 floristic skill an knowledge up to the level of a Professional Florist.
That is quite the feat for a 20-lesson day program!

It is an intensive and cohesive program that is the result of 40 years of tweaking and adapting over 3 generations of Floristry teachers.

It teaches you all the necessary basic skills you need to work in a flower shop, but of course can also be applied to freelance floristry.
Think about Bridal Bouquets, Sympathy designs for funerals, Hand tied bouquets using a variety of techniques (like the famous spiral-tied technique).

Handtied Bouquet
Making a Handtied Bouquet

The program is highly focussed on technique and craftsmanship. You will learn to create the perfect bouquets and crisp flower arrangements in a wide variety of styles.

Of course, there will also be theory; From color theory to the golden rule of design.
Plus there will be nomenclature, as it is essential to know the names of the flowers you want to work with.

Important is to know that this is a fundamental training program, the focus is on creating a solid foundation of skill and craftsmanship.
The teacher will show you how to create and arrangement and together you will create the pieces in a step-by-step fashion.

We feel that the best group size for a hands-on floristry program is about 15 students max. This limited group size allows for enough individual attention.

Ajour Wreath

Two Parts, One Program.

For ease of scheduling, the program is split into two parts. 10 days in Autumn 2024 and 10 days in April 2025.
Part 1 starts September 30th and ends on October 11th, 2024
Part 2 will start in April 2025

When you register for the Professional Dutch Floral Design program, you register for both parts as part 2 builds upon skills learned during part 1.
Aside from that, part 2 contains the exam.

Classes are from 09.30 to 16.00, though some days we might finish 16.30.
During most days we will usually create 2 arrangements. Some days there will be a third subject or otherwise theory in addition to that.
There is a half hour lunch break at about 12.00 and a coffee break at around 14.00.

In between Part 1 and Part 2, you will get a multiple homework assignments, to keep up your skills and continue your growth in between these two parts.
These assignments are then discussed by zoom meetings.

A number of arrangements and Styles learned during the program:

Hand Tied Bouquets
Mixed, grouped, linear, mille fleurs, parallel, open silhouette (boho), ajour and a hand tied bridal bouquet.

Bridal Bouquets
Biedermeier, Teardrop, linear, pomander,

Men’s, ladies, tiara.

Funeral Work
Teardrop, linear, cross, wreath.

General arrangements
Ajour wreath, open silhouette, Dutch gardens, Biedermeiers, linear-, level-, parallel- and vegetative arrangements, ect, ect.


Cascade Boeket in vaas
Cascade Bouquet in Vase

What’s in the exam?

The exam consists of 2 parts. Nomenclature and practical. For the Nomenclature you will need to learn 100 flower names.
Approximately 25 random names from that list will be tested. The practical part consists of 5 subjects, to be created in 5 hours total.
The tested subjects are: Bridal Bouquet, Funeral Arrangement, Dutch Garden Style, Linear Flower Arrangement and a Handtied Bouquet.
Furthermore, during the program you will be tested on corsage making skills.

When you pass the exam, you will receive a Professional Dutch Floral Design diploma from the Boerma Instituut.
This diploma certifies that you have the skills to create fundamental flower arrangements that you need to be able to make in a flower shop.
It also proves that you can recreate designs that are shown to you, this is especially important if you want to work for event florists.


Linear Bouquet
Linear Hand Tied Bouquet

Is the DFD program for me?

Have you always dreamt of becoming a florist? Then the answer is a resounding yes.

Are you at a point in your life that you want to switch careers? Then again, yes!

Have you been working in a flower shop for years, but you have no fundamental training? Then also yes!

Are you a competition florist for the last 5 years and are you looking for something to bring your floristry to the next level? Then probably not. However, we do have the perfect program for you!
Namely, the International Master Florist Program taught by Gregor Lersch.


Students during day 1 creating their first radial flower arrangement.
DFD students during day 1 creating their first radial flower arrangement.

What is the Boerma Instituut?

The Boerma Instituut is an international floral design school located in Aalsmeer, Holland.
It was started by Theo Boerma a third generation florist, father of Jacqueline Boerma, the current director of the school and grandfather of Mike Boerma, who will be your teacher for this program!

The Netherlands is a country famous for it’s flowers, both as an export product but also for it’s skillful hand-tied bouquet making.
Aalsmeer is also the location of the biggest flower auction in the world!
Over the decades the school gained a lot of international renown. It has become a household name for it’s great fundamental floristry programs.
As a result, people travel from all over the world to study floristry at our school as early as the early 80’s.


Mike Boerma and two Students with Bridal Work
Mike Boerma and two Students with Bridal Work

Where is the program held and who is teaching it?

The location is just across the river from Philly, in Pennsauken New Jersey at Pennock Floral.
It’s only a 15 minute Uber-ride to the city center of Philadelphia, which has tons of fun places to have dinner or visit on the weekend.
Also very easy to take a bus to New York from Philly if you would like to have a day trip on Saturday or Sunday.

The program is hosted by Bill Schaffer and Kristine Kratt from Schaffer Designs at Pennock Floral Pennsauken.

The program is taught by Mike Boerma a 3rd generation floristry teacher and 5th generation florist.


Student Creating a Boho Style Design.
Student Creating a Boho Style Design.

Program Cost

At the Boerma Instituut we firmly believe that education should be affordable and accessible to all. This is why we try to keep our course fee low, but still keep our quality high.
Therefore the full program costs $4950,- which is € 4673,- euro
This is for all 20-days and includes all flowers/materials you need, coffee/tea, lunch and the exam. This means we have no hidden fees making your program more expensive than you thought.

It does not include the hotel, we recommend staying at the Hilton, as it’s the closest to the venue. There’s also free parking for those that come by car.
If you are joining this program with a friend that you could room up with, you can save some costs.
Here is the link of the hotel.

Of course, AirBnb is also an option, that could perhaps be shared amongst students.

Tools are also not included. So please bring a knife, pruning shears and a wire cutter. If you prefer to travel light, or perhaps you’ve forgotten to bring any tools, we can also arrange a set of beginner tools for a small price.

When comparing our pricing with other programs from other schools, please make sure to check if they include all the materials as well.
Many schools actually do not include flowers, lunch and exam in their course fee. This might make those programs look more affordable at first, when actually they are not.


Succesful Exam Students September 2023
Amazing students of the September 2023 Class after passing their exam!

I’ve passed the exam, what now?

The Professional Dutch Floral Design Program is the perfect foundation for any florist’s career.
Of course, being a true craft, it is a profession with a life-long learning journey.
Now that you possess great fundamental floristry skills, you can study further and master advanced techniques and styles.

For those that want to become true Floral Designers, we have the Advanced Dutch Floral Design program.
That program focuses more on creativity, creating your own bases and structures and applying advanced theory.


Student creating a Linear Design
Student creating a Linear Design


If you have any questions regarding this program or anything related to it, please let us know.
You can always e-mail us at mike@boerma.nl or bill@schafferdesigns.com

Boerma Instituut Youtube Channel

Want to get to know Mike Boerma a little bit before you join the Professional Dutch Floral Design program in Philly?
We have a Youtube Channel on which we do a livestream every other week.
Sometimes we post some shorter edited versions of these vids as well!

Here you can find a playlist of Mike Boerma’s livestream edits in particular.


Terms & Conditions

The minimum group size for the program to be possible is 8 students.
Furthermore, you can find our standard terms & conditions here.

Mike Boerma Boho Bouquet

September 30 2024 @ 09:30 - April 7 2025 @ 16:30

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September 30 2024 @ 09:30
April 7 2025 @ 16:30



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Professional Dutch Floral Design Program Philadelphia 2024
Part 1: September 30th 2024 Part 2: April 2025
14 available