Fiona's flower filled journal

Fiona writes about recent exciting events, beautiful weddings and floral classes and workshops

Large Urn workshop on a Yorkshire Flower Farm

Read all about the fabulous time we had in May when I co-hosted the Large Urn Workshop for florists with Sarah Winward 

All images courtesy Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography see here to read all about the day x 

Yorkshire workshop with Sarah Winward

I am so excited to announce a collaboration with Sarah Winward in a few weeks time.  An afternoon of flower filled fun here in Yorkshire, UK on 31st May 2017 12-4pm at Holme Flowers near Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Sarah Winward by  Kate Osborne  

Sarah Winward by Kate Osborne 

A relaxed, half-day workshop on a flower farm where you will forage for dramatic branches, work with flowers grown on the farm and design your own giant urn.  There will be lots of lovely Yorkshire tea and home made cakes and all on a working farm so lots of cows, sheep and all that entails!!!

Sarah is one of my all time favourite designers and I feel so privileged to be working with her, her work is hugely influential around the world. If you've ever pinned a drool-worthy image of a floral installation or stunning bouquet, chances are that Sarah has created it!

Sarah WInward urn by  Erich McVey

Sarah WInward urn by Erich McVey

Sarah Winward by  Erich McVey

Sarah Winward by Erich McVey

Sarah Winward urn by  Kate Osborne  

Sarah Winward urn by Kate Osborne 

Sarah and Fiona foraging in the Cotswolds

Sarah and Fiona foraging in the Cotswolds

I first met Sarah down in the Cotswolds a couple of years ago, after watching her design incredible bouquets and striking urns, we bonded over a morning foraging the hedgerows for wild clematis and huge urn making.

We have kept in touch since and I have been longing to show her the beauty of the rugged, wild and earthy Yorkshire. I've often driven down our tiny lanes bursting with May blossom, just big enough for my van, across the windswept moors purple with heather, or by the local huge craggy rocks with determined little ferns bursting through and thought 'Sarah would love this' and made mental notes where I would take her (I'm afraid I've forgotten half of them!). And rather fabulously she is now actually coming up and I just know she will love it all.

From the tree lined valleys here in my little piece of heaven in West Yorkshire, through the local 'wuthering' Bronte moors and creative towns of Hebden Bridge and Saltaire, up to the more gentle and picture postcard prettiness of North Yorkshire with it's array of market towns and farming folk, Yorkshire has so much beauty to offer and such a varied landscape, each beautiful in it's own very different way. I am so excited to see Sarah's reaction to it all!


Fiona Pickles urn by  Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn by Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn by  Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn by Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn and Sarah Winward bouquet by  Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn and Sarah Winward bouquet by Erich McVey

So, Sarah and I have put together a very relaxed yet inspirational half day of flower-filled creativity for anyone who just wants to share their love of flowers and enjoy a bit of "impulse designing" with us, this is a fabulous opportunity to get to work with one of the world's leading floral designers while she is over in the UK.

The orchard at Holme Flowers

The orchard at Holme Flowers


Wednesday May 31st 2017 at Holme Flowers, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire 12-4pm

Holme Farm is a beautiful working farm run by three sisters, Wendy, Sue and Jayne and is located in a delightful and secluded hamlet in rural North Yorkshire. 

We will work in the picture perfect orchard underneath one of the apple trees, right at the heart of the farm and just a short walk from one of the flower fields. There will be chickens at our feet and cows chewing the cud, gazing on quizzically, while the gang of orphaned spring lambs gambol about playfully and get up to all sorts of mischief  nearby



12 noon Arrive for a light lunch served under an apple tree in the orchard*.

A chance to meet and chat to everyone in the most idyllic of settings. Enjoy a relaxed lunch of locally reared meats, local cheeses, fruits, breads, biscuits, English wines and soft drinks as well as home made biscuits and cakes. And of course lots of Yorkshire tea.

After lunch Sarah and I will demonstrate our urns, then we'll all head off to one of the flower fields before meandering down some of their many lanes or across open fields to forage for interesting foliage.

You will then choose your vessel and create your own floral masterpiece in the beautiful orchard. 

4pm goodbyes where you can take your urn home, along with a little gift from Sarah and me

Photos throughout the afternoon by fine art photographer Holly of Belle and Beau Holly has been internationally recognised as one of the best Fine Art Wedding photographers in the UK with accolades from The Telegraph and Photo Professional Magazine. She is also the author of ‘The Fine Art of Wedding Photography‘. 

Tumble down walls

Tumble down walls


To book a place please e-mail Fiona at and she will reply with payment details. Places are strictly limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

Demand for this half day workshop is expected to be very high and early booking is HIGHLY recommended.

The £499 is for one place only and is non- transferrable and non-refundable


The hamlet of Holme is about a 10 minute drive from junction 50 of the A1/M and a 15 minute taxi ride from Thirsk station-  full directions will be sent out to all attendees beforehand.


*We have an indoors wet weather back up plan in case the weather isn't kind.

Fiona Pickles in the orchard at Holme Flowers

Fiona Pickles in the orchard at Holme Flowers

Details confirmed for Gathering Blossom Workshop.

If you have signed up for the newsletter this will be old new to you, but if not (and why not?!) I have great pleasure in releasing details of the Gathering Blossom workshop. 

Gathering Blossom
An Arts and Crafts inspired floral workshop

Tuesday 25th April 2017 10am-4.30pm

An inspirational day of art, flowers and flexing your creative muscles. Head off into the fairytale tangle of woods, bushes and masses of cow parsley to forage,  Watch a large scale design being conceived and created by Fiona Pickles as she talks about the process, how she works and what inspires her and her designs.  Learn about styling and creating enticing images for Instagram whilst finding what works for you. Meet and interact with likeminded creatives wanting to charge up their creative batteries before the new season hits and inspire each other as you put it all into practice.

Aimed at

Floral designers and artists wanting to adapt their style to embrace a loose, unstructured and free-form style

Creatives wanting to gain more understanding of the floral process

Artists wanting to paint with flowers

Florists wanting to improve their Instagram gallery

Lovers of spring flowers just wanting a day up to their knees in British flowers and foliages making a mess in someone else's house

Fans of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Edgar Wood and Frederick William Jackson

The day includes:

 Foraging amongst the extensive and wonderfully overgrown grounds for foliages and blossoms

Large scale demonstration by Fiona using locally grown flowers

Time for you to design and create

One to one and group time with Fiona 

Opportunity to style areas around the venue

Social media and styling advice

All refreshments and lunch

Pictures taken throughout the day by Holly of Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography available for your use

Video of the day available for your use 

Welcome bundle 

All equipment provided



Exclusive access to Briarcourt in Lindley West Yorkshire, a large privately owned residence designed by Edgar Wood, a leading light in the Arts and Crafts Movement. 

Established as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, The Arts and Crafts Movement stood for traditional craftsmanship over mass production, embracing the beauty of the materials and the workmanship of the makers.  A perfect sentiment that sits well with my ethos and way of working.  


A mural at Briarcourt painted by Frederick William Jackson, a founder member of both the Manchester School of Painters and the Staithes group of painters. His paintings include 'Gathering Blossom', hence the name of the workshop!


Foraging in the grounds

Foraging in the grounds

Lunch in the panelled dining room

Lunch in the panelled dining room

Dress the inglenook fireplaces and original windows

Dress the inglenook fireplaces and original windows

Each booking is for one person only and cannot be cancelled once booked.

NB Briarcourt is a working and large scale renovation, including all the areas we will be using, This is in no way a finished venue, but a lifetime project for Vicky and Duncan, who live there, to restore a beautiful and historic house back to it's former glory. Please don't expect a polished, finished venue. Part of what makes this experience unique comes from seeing a real piece of history (and an utterly beautiful one at that) being restored to its former glory, if you don't mind bare floorboards, unfinished rooms and a bit of peeling paint you are in for a real treat!



Make a difference

For every place booked £15 will be donated to Clem's Garden, a not for profit social enterprise currently being set up within the grounds of Briarcourt - see below for details:

"Clem's Garden will be a not for profit social enterprise run mainly by and for older people who don't have a job or a family life to channel their care, nurturing and experience into. By everyone working together to grow and sell organic cut flowers for a nominated charity, we hope to help in some small way to provide a vehicle to help address the epidemic of loneliness, boredom, and low self esteem too many people face, especially in later life. As well as bringing happiness to the customers who will enjoy our beautiful seasonal flowers, we hope to cultivate friendships and confidence in the growers who volunteer here."

A minimum of six students is required

Book Now

Gathering Blossom - A spring workshop

Amazing windows, panelled walls, fireplaces big enough for small countries to huddle around, un renovated and peeling walls beautiful beyond belief, original and full-room mural from a Staithes Group artist, Arts and Crafts architecture.

And the flowers of course, don't forget the flowers. Picked from my gardens and other local artisan growers and foraged from the tangled, overgrown, fairytale wilderness outside this magical place.

A small group of like minded floral artists and creatives gather excitedly waiting to design, create and weave their magic about this amazing place.

This will be the 'Gathering Blossom' workshop in April. (Named after a painting by the Staithes Group artist, Frederick William Jackson).

More details (including where and when!!!) and priority booking to newsletter subscribers, so sign up now ....

I can't wait for you to see this place!!!