What do you get when you put 25 ladies in a room along with an avalanche of beautiful, faux flowers, an excessive amount of cake and a setting fit for Jane Austen?
Beaming, happy and rather proud of ourselves, we’d all spent an enjoyable day making our own floral wreaths. We’d all had zero experience in wreath making at the start of the day and you can tell how pleased we are with our finished wreaths. Led by Rachel (in blue, centre) who owns and runs the Secret Garden Company, it was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in a long time.
The workshop took place at Rendcombe college, the most beautiful venue and 238 acres of stunning grounds. The college is where Rachel’s daughter learns ballet in the week and her husband works as part of the horticulture team on site, therefore choosing Rendcombe as the venue for the workshop naturally makes sense.
Arriving I was greeted by an abundance of cake and samples of the floral arrangements that Rachel makes, including this enormous beauty displayed in the entrance fireplace at the doors of the college, it has real impact and is a show stopper.
I found myself sat next to Tracey, who was an Instagram competition winner and together we got down to making our wreaths. I’d opted to make a ‘Gardenia’, which consists mainly of white and cream flowers. There was a huge selection of other flowers to choose from and you were able to pop up to a central table piled high with other flowers if we wanted to add in different flowers in to our wreaths. We were all gifted goodie trugs! The trugs contained a generous selection of goodies from Cheltenham Cakery and Knitty Knots amongst others.
To have a day to myself to do something creative and chat to like minded people was so enjoyable, I found myself absorbed into what I was doing and can see how Rachel’s business grew from its original beginning as her own wedding flower project, to the hugely successful business she has now.
We paused during the day for tea and cake breaks. I’ve never experienced so many cakes to choose from, we were truly spoilt! Rendcombe also laid on a tasty lunch selection with either salmon, salad or roast pork available – plus further tea and cake throughout the afternoon.
The actual process of wreath designing requires some patience yet its fun and actually very absorbing. I was stunned how quickly the workshop went and really lost myself in the fun of putting my wreath together. Taking the time to ensure you have a balance of texture and large and small flowers is one of the main tips I picked up from the day. Rachel’s patience and skill helped to guide all 25 of us in to producing our own beautiful wreaths, you can search the hashtag (#thesecretgardenworkshop) to see samples from the day – along with the images below.
It’s hard to tell these gorgeous flowers aren’t real, testament to the quality of the flowers Rachel sources. I’d never made a wreath before this workshop and assumed it would be pretty easy, it’s much harder than you think and I now really appreciate the effort and time that goes in to all the arrangements Rachel so lovingly makes. To start with I did prick my finger a couple of times when the fiddly wire got the better of me however after about twenty minutes we all found ourselves getting in to the swing of things and the day passed quickly and productively. I enjoyed my wreath making workshop with Rachel from the Secret Garden Company so much that I’m going back again for her Christmas wreath making workshop (Christmas wreath workshops are scheduled for the 27th October, 17th November and 15th December. Email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org to book).
I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop, and highly recommend it, do contact Rachel if you’d like to book, its a hugely enjoyable day and you get to take home your hard work! And here’s my finished wreath!