If you’ve been following my 30Before30 list you’ll know that at Number 7, was learning how to arrange flowers. However, rather than submit myself onto a local college course, I enquired with a local floral stylist here in Stamford whose arrangements had completely stolen my heart.
When I had spotted these vibrant, wild bouquets in my local deli; which were in a style I had never seen before, I was instantly intrigued as to who was creating this floral artistry.
Quintessentially Wild is the name that was given to me, and whilst I hadn’t got a clue if they did workshops, I thought what have I got to lose, they’ll say no and that’s the worst of it.
So, I sent the lovely Jennie at Quintessentially Wild an email telling her of my 30Before30 challenge and if by any chance she would be able to enlighten me as to how I can create floral art.
Luckily for me, the big fat answer was absolutely, so I booked a 121 workshop with Jennie and began counting down the days.
Being green fingered doesn’t come naturally to me, or at least I thought from all the house plants I kept killing off.
My introduction to getting more green has been spurred on by my very talented sister-in-law Tessa, who runs The Olive Garden, a community garden in Peterborough where we often volunteer. So as you can imagine, I was slightly nervous for my workshop because I’ve always felt completely hopeless with flora.
When the day came around, I needn’t have been nervous. The workshop took place at Jennie’s beautiful British cottage which was just blossoming with all that you can expect from a quaint English country garden.
Putting my mind at ease, Jennie first showed me the traditional way of creating a bouquet, and then it was onto arrangements.
What I adore most about Jennie’s approach to arrangements is that it doesn’t follow any rules. You don’t have to know colour schemes, or the names of every flower (phew), or follow any particular shape or form. Jennie teaches in such a holistic way that you go with the flow and find what feels right for you. It’s creative play at its very finest. And it enabled me to choose colours and learn about foliage that I would have perhaps ignored previously.
As someone who loves to be creative, it was such a thrill to learn something new and find a new hobby that could not only help me make my home more of a sanctuary, but that could also change the way I see things in such an inquisitive manner.
Jennie truly helped me open my eyes to all that was around us, as she continually encouraged me to look at everything and really see its shape, texture, colour, and movement. Something that felt like a very mindful practice, and made me feel completely relaxed.
Aside from the treasure trove of spectacular flowers that Jennie had purchased especially for the workshop from a grower, we also went foraging for twigs, foliage and any wildflowers that could be added to the arrangements. Again, such a new way of taking in what’s around you and truly being aware of your surroundings.
Once a few arrangements had been completed, Jennie served lunch in her gorgeous cottage. With a homemade quiche, locally sourced delights, and a homemade cake by the uber talented Jennie. (Seriously, her skills have no bounds!).
Both my heart and stomach felt full.
We continued the day, creating grand arrangements fit for a stately banquet, and small arrangements ideal for dining, and papped away at the creations.
Flower arranging may seem decadent, and something only reserved for those who can pour their money into bouquets that die only a few weeks later. But Jennie showed me that actually an arrangement can be created from anything.
My eyes have been completely opened to the world around me, and like Jennie quite rightly pointed out, it’s a truly mindful practice, because all you’re thinking about is the arrangement, and what’s around you that may work well. Every time I go for a walk now or potter in the garden I feel like I’m seeing things for the very first time.
You don’t need to buy lots of expensive flowers, or even lots of flowers, to create an arrangement that brings the outside in.
Taking this workshop with Jennie has completely transformed the way that I look at all the flora around me. Looking at shapes, textures, the ways things move and dance.
I am in such awe of Jennie and her talent, and I cannot wait to practice what I have learned.
Jennie is not only a creative soul, but she has a wonderful personality that blooms as much as the flowers in her work.
As well as an incredibly experience, you also get to take the arrangements you create home, which meant my house was filled with wild beauty for weeks, which I adored and feel it’s going to have to be a new feature.
If you’re seriously considering treating yourself, or a friend to something different, then this is a workshop that will completely revive your creativity.
A big thank you to Jennie for spoiling me and opening my eyes to a new world. Forever grateful.