'A Summer Study'

June 6th and 7th 2017

Botelet Farm

Cornwall, UK


This June we will be hosting a floral workshop with Sarah Winward.  Join us in the beautiful Cornish countryside, be inspired by the wild grasses, hedgerow flowers and many textures of green to be found in the lanes and meadows here in early June. We are so pleased to be working with Sarah and look forward to sharing ideas and creative inspirations on this residential, two day course with a small group of up to 15 people.  

 Sarah Winward, Becca and Maz, picking in our gardens 2016: Images by Taylor & Porter Photography


We are Becca and Maz and we have been growing our own flowers for weddings and events, photo shoots and workshops for six years.  We started growing because the UK wholesale market just didn't have the flowers we wanted to use.  We are so inspired by nature and all that goes on over the garden wall that it seemed like a natural way to go about reflecting all the seasonal change and diversity around us all the time.  Since then we have developed a style that is a little bit wild, natural and, we hope, stylish to boot. 

Sarah Winward's joyful, clever and fresh use of colour, texture and seasonality.  

Sarah Winward's joyful, clever and fresh use of colour, texture and seasonality.  

We are also in awe of a handful of American designers and photographers whose work is spine tingling atmospheric. Sarah Winward has been our flower hero from the start and we definitely not the only ones to take a huge amount of inspiration from her work and her ethos.  Using wild and garden flowers and being truly creative with her work Sarah is a style leader among florists far and wide.  We are so privileged to be able to work with her on this workshop, and hope that you will be as excited as we are to be able to spend some time in her company.  To be able to see an artist at work is a rare opportunity as nothing compares to really seeing the thought and process involved as it all takes shape.  Come, and we promise you will never see flowers in the same way again! 

Allen Tsai

Allen Tsai


Allen Tsai creates beautiful images and will be here with us through-out to document the process and to take portfolio images of all of your work.  Allen is a destination fine art film photographer and his images are ethereal and beautiful. He brilliantly captures flowers in all of their beauty and will leave us with images we are sure to treasure for a very long time.  


Botelet Farm, a scattering of stone cottages nestled in a  green valley, flanked by an Iron age hill fort, grassy meadows and ancient woodlands, will be our home for two days.  Accommodation is on site in two cottages and two yurts.  The chill of early morning kept at bay by wood-fired stoves and  cosy blankets.  Experience the best night's sleep you've ever had, under starry skies with air so fresh and clear you feel refreshed just breathing it, drink water from the underground spring,  and wake energised with new ideas and creative energy.  

Botelet Farm


A bountiful breakfast is provided by Botelet Farm, with home made jams, breads, and granola with fresh eggs from the hens found scratching about the garden.  A home made lunch will be provided each day.  The cottages are self-catering and so we will stock your fridges with goodies for you on the first night whilst you settle in. Dinner on the second night will be a collective affair, where we hope to set the table together and decorate with our own flowers before sitting down to discuss the days events over home-cooked food.  


Botelet Farm


Summer skies busy with insect life and swooping House Martins stretch out into balmy evenings as we approach mid-summer.  Early morning mist evaporates like quicksilver, leaving behind a trail of jewel-like droplets on every stem, cobweb and rose petal.  We will celebrate the bursting forth of life that is June here in the county we call home.  Weather permitting we will wander the hedgerows and collect ideas and mementos, we will visit Geoff at Grow Park who grows the most amazing range of shrubs and flowers in his huge garden.  With flowers from our farm, and foraged branches, wild flowers and a trip down the lane to Grow Park to pick our own, this is a fabulous opportunity to push your skill level.  Stress is the enemy of learning (? well, that is what I tell my kids!) so we hope to be able to offer two days in the most relaxing place we know with one of the most inspiring floral designer out there right now.  

Pig House - home for our floral class

Pig House - home for our floral class


Over two days we will work on using seasonal and foraged flowers and foliage, taking inspiration from the seasons and the landscape.  As we are all staying together there will be ample time to chat through questions and ideas, and such a small group means each participant will get plenty time to talk though any questions they might have, from running a successful business to growing your own extras, to using colour and texture.  

We will work on making large urns and table arrangements and styling on day one.  On day two we will focus on 'personal flowers', bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and the rest, then move on to large scale installations in the evening.    

Sarah will talk about her always inspiring and truly beautiful use of colour.  We will talk about texture, seasonality, foraging and growing and achieving that garden wild look.  As we design our own large arrangements in situ around Botelet, we will discuss the importance of using the particular character of the place you are in, and the personalities of the flowers and the people you are working with.  Later we will move on to styling and table flowers as we prepare for dinner, and talk about the importance of photographing your work.  

Sarah's bridal bouquets must be some the most admired anywhere in the world. We will pick apart the mechanics and ideas that go into making bridal bouquets and compare methods and techniques before guiding you through the process as you make your own on day two.  We will have lots of time for you to ask questions and get lots of guidance on skills and techniques for developing a style that is beautiful and unique to you.  In the afternoon Sarah will show us how to make instillation flowers with out using floral foam, and share her techniques for achieving a wild 'i'm just-growing here' look. 

On all our workshops we want our guests to go away feeling like they have had a holiday, and also learned a huge amount of new things.  We want to create an environment where you feel free to experiment and ask lots of questions, to try new things and make new friends.  We love seeing how different styles develop and emerge, and really want to push your creative boundaries so you come away with the confidence and skills to make flowers more beautiful than you ever thought possible.  

Image of Sarah's floral arch by Erich McVey

Image of The Garden Gate's bouquet by D'Arcy Benincosa


Your creations will be professionally photographed by Allen Tsai, a destination Film Photographer, which will make a fantastic addition to your portfolio.  Pick up some tips about how best to capture your arrangements for social media and get more ideas about how to get editorial.  Botelet Farm is very photogenic and has appeared in Elle Decoration and Red Magazine among others. We will be free to explore and find pretty windowsills, mantles and patina'd doorways in which to build and photograph our arrangements.  

The Leach Pottery, St Ives

The Leach Pottery, St Ives

We will also make first use of our new co-designed vase produced in collaboration with Leach Pottery, St Ives.  We have admired their trademark simple stylish ceramics for years and we are delighted to be able to use these vases to design flowers exclusively for this workshop.  Each participant can take home their Leach vase as a gift from us.   We will discuss everything from using the right vessel and mechanics to inspiring our clients and working with them to produce really amazing events.   

Arrangement one of Sarah's compote captured by Kate Osbourne Photography


16:00 check in at Botelet Farm on Monday 5 June 2017

Day 1 on Tuesday 6 June - commence at 10:00 after breakfast.

- Centerpiece arrangements

- Styling a table demonstration

- Photograph centerpieces

- Lunch 

- Large urn arrangements

- Photograph large urns

- 1 hour business discussion and Q & A

- Shared dinner and informal discussions.

Day 2 on Wednesday - commence 10:00 after breakfast.

- Floral arch demonstration

- Business discussion and Q & A

- Lunch

- Bouquets

- Photograph bouquets

- Departure 16:00


£1920 per person for a shared room 

£1980 per person for a single or double* room (*single occupancy only)

Your rate will include two nights accommodation at Botelet Farm, Monday nights dinner which we invite you to prepare from a generously stocked larder, Tuesday night catered dinner, breakfasts, lunches and refreshments throughout your stay, a garden visit, snips and vessel gift, film photography for your portfolio and of course all the floral ingredients.


If you would like to join us on this course please email Becca: thegardengateflowercompany@gmail.com

Numbers are limited to 15.  The course fee is due in full at the time of booking and the course is non-refundable and non-transferable.  Please ensure you can attend prior to booking.  

Image by Taylor & Porter Photography