“Learning never exhausts the mind.” - Leonardo Da Vinci
I think at any time in your career, there is absolutely learning to be had. There is nothing more inspiring than meeting like-minded people, learning new techniques and using florals you haven’t used before. Via Instagram, I learned about Litha, an England workshop organized by Jo from Jo Flowers and Madison from Hart Floral (two amazing designers). I love England, have always wanted to meet florists from other countries and the “syllabus” sounded amazing, so I reserved my spot without hesitation. What resulted were several “pinch me” moments over four days!
The workshop took place at gorgeous Bylaugh Hall in Norfolk, about 2 hours by train from London. Bylaugh Hall is a mansion designed by the same architect who created the Houses of Parliament and Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle.
All our meals were excellent and made by Bylaugh Hall’s French chef, Ronnie Cockett. The Bylaugh staff made us feel cared for during our entire stay.
The highlight for me were these two large, floral installations we did as a group. Large scale work are intimidating at times, so it was priceless to learn how Madison approach these floral creations. She is so creative and uses her background as fine art painter often in her floral design work.
Jo and Madison also demonstrated how they create centerpieces and bouquets. We then made ours and had photoshoots. Like I said, workshops allow you to use some flowers you may not have used before. With England being a country of gardeners (like Jo), we used the most beautiful blooms and had access to amazing local roses, cosmos, phlox, etc. For the first time ever, I used corncockle (aka agrostemma).
Lastly, one of the great things about workshops is making flower friends. It was an international group, so I met florists from several countries, including Finland, Malaysia and Australia. Hope to visit them all one day!