Muddy masters the art of the nonchalant hand-tied bouquet, with fab local florist Miranda Hackett at Pentillie Castle.
Last week was British Flowers Week – a celebration of UK growers and florists – and to mark the occasion, super-star florist Miranda Hackett hosted a special workshop at beautiful Pentillie Castle. We wandered the castle gardens, ate lunch in the sunshine and learned to create relaxed bouquets. Frankly, days out don’t get much more civilised!
Read on to find out all about it and scroll to the bottom for details of future workshops.
We began the day over coffee and an informal talk from owner Ted Coryton about the history of the castle and gardens, including the legacy of Humphry Repton. Repton was one of the great English landscape gardeners of the 18th Century, widely regarded as the successor to Capability Brown and he was commissioned by Ted’s ancestor John Coryton in 1809, to work his magic on the Pentillie gardens.
Ted’s wife Sarah then took us on a tour through the castle’s beautiful woodland gardens, cutting a variety of foliage for the workshop later.
Fittingly, the workshop was held in the Repton room and focused on wild and relaxed bouquets, using English flowers. Our buckets contained blousy garden roses, love in the mist, scabious and stocks – as well as our freshly cut Pentillie foliage.
First, we laid out and prepped our stems then began our bouquets with the strongest foliage (also good for supporting any snapped flower stems). Miranda taught us a twisting technique to build up our bouquets, varying heights, inserting flowers in fairly random order and we all ended up with unique and very natural-looking, hand-tied arrangements.
The group had a range of experience – from my complete novice status to a lady who’d done numerous floristry courses – and Miranda made the workshop really accessible for us all. I feel totally confident to try out my new skills at home.
The half-day ended with a two-course lunch on the castle terrace, overlooking the gardens and Tamar beyond.
The fresh, summery menu included Catch of the Day, Orzotto, Fennel & Bouillabaisse Sauce or Dandelion Gnocchi, Wild Garlic & Summer Vegetables, followed by Summer Pudding or Pentillie Chocolate Mess.
You may recognise Pentillie Castle from Sky 1 series Delicious, starring Dawn French and Emilia Fox and there are lots of opportunities to visit throughout the year, if you fancy a nosey.
You can stay in the castle’s 5 star, boutique B&B accommodation, drop in for afternoon tea (on certain days) or dinner (currently on Thurs nights) or even have your wedding here. Coming up in July, there is an outdoor production of The Tempest and The PenGrillie BBQ Festival held in the castle grounds – but stay tuned to the Pentillie Castle website for the latest events.
More workshops with Miranda Hackett Flowers…
Flower Crowns and Wristlets, Port Eliot Festival, 28 Jul – SOLD OUT
Late Summer Florals, Botelet Farm, Cornwall, 23 Sept (£65pp)
Festive Wreath Making, National Trust Cotehele, Cornwall, 5 Dec (£65pp)
Festive Wreath Making, Botelet Farm, Cornwall, 7 Dec (£65pp)