Pilar Zuniga Foraging for floral design materials, England St. Giles

The landscape at St Giles, England

Photo By Maria Lamb

 There's so much to include from our time a the Ponderosa Workshop in the English countryside this past April. From the incredible history of the location at St Giles and our gracious hosts, to the beautiful scenery and food and the beautiful spirit of our workshop leader Katie, there's almost too much to share.  I'll try my best in this installment to share more details of the wonderment that was the Spring 2016 Ponderosa Workshop in England. Here's a quick low down of the beauty we experienced and the creations that were made:

Katie foraging at St Giles Ponderosa and Thyme workshop

 All Photos by Maria Lamb. Films scans by Photo Vision Prints.

Katie was our lead. She showed us her design techniques, coached us on design, and took us on foraging expeditions at the St Giles House grounds.  The gardens and grounds were amazing, and instilled in us a connection to nature and beauty. This all allowed us to link ourselves to the materials that we were using and in turn, the creations we would later produce.

Swans at St. Giles House

Look, a swan.

The grounds were a wonder and held magic at every turn.  We couldn't help but be inspired by the natural wonder we saw here.  From swans floating in the lake, to a beautiful horse's face: It was absolutely peaceful and beautiful.

Horse at St Giles, Winborne St Giles

Photo by Maria Lamb.

We learned from Katie's expertise, and the muse that we found at St Giles. Connecting with our design senses while sitting in the library that housed historical texts and antique paintings.  It was almost unbelievable.

workshop attendees listening in the St Giles Library

Listening in the library.

Dining room at St Giles

The Dining room decked out by Katie and the crew.

Apart from all the learning and creating, we had time to enjoy each other's company and get to know our new friends. We ate in the amazing dining room. And we ate delicious and inspiring foods.

Pear and cream dessert at St Giles

A poached pear dessert. All photos by Maria Lamb.

The details that were shared with us to make it a special experience included gifted bottles of bath salts, hand made handkerchiefs, spools of Silk and Willow ribbons, beautiful aprons by Portland Apron Company and colorful foraging baskets.

Tea and bath salts with Silk and Willow ribbons

Beautiful hand made bath salts, calligraphy and vintage handkerchiefs from Katie's family and silk ribbons.

Handwoven African Baskets

Floral design in the library at St Giles, photo by Maria Lamb

Designing in this magnificent library at St Giles. Aprons by Portland Apron Co. All photos by Maria Lamb.

We created, and created some more. We laughed. There was plenty of time spent making hand tied bouquets, vase arrangements and designed scenes for photo shoots.  Something that I loved about the design techniques we used: we never used floral foam.  It was so refreshing to use more eco friendly methods to create urn arrangements. And since I never use it anyway, I was pleased as punch to never have to touch the stuff.

The huge overflowing urn arrangement I made (with no flower foam). Photo by Maria Lamb

The huge overflowing urn arrangement I made (with no flower foam!). Photo by Maria Lamb.

Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green with hand tied bouquet at Ponderosa Workshop

Me with my giant bouquet. Photo by Maria Lamb. Window light. Photo by Maria Lamb.

And we had models show off our work.

Model with watering can and Florals by Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green

Modeling session with Maisy to highlight our work. Photo by Maria Lamb. Dress by Lady Evelyn

Model Bride with mossy branch bouquet by Pilar of Gorgeous and Green

Photo by Maria Lamb. Dress by Lady Evelyn. Silk Ribbons by Silk and Willow.

We made friends and connections with people all around the world. We'll be forever linked with these friends and continue to find inspiration and support from each other.

Two florists at St Giles England, photo by Maria Lamb

All Photos by Maria Lamb.

Ponderosa Workshop attendees at St. Giles House in England

Group photo.

We had a blast, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Love to you all, Pilar G&G

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