Paradise Found details

Paradise Found: A Floral escape

escape – verb: to slip or get away, from confinement or restraint; 

gain or regain liberty

September 30th-October 3rd 2019


Fiona Pickles and Brigitte Girling

Saltmarshe Hall


Image - Barnaby Aldrick

Image - Barnaby Aldrick

Imagine an archetypal English estate that dates back to the Norman Conquest of 1066 coupled with a stunning 19th century listed Georgian country house straight out of the pages of a Jane Austen novel.

Picture a river flowing gently by, just a stone’s throw away (don’t jump in this one though, Mr Darcy, it’s very wide and rather fast flowing!).

Seventeen acres of rolling parkland full of ancient trees and hidden wildlife, alongside a beautiful old walled garden, grand herbaceous borders, sweeping lawns and numerous woodlands.

This is Saltmarshe Hall.

Image - Barnaby Aldrick

Image - Barnaby Aldrick

Saltmarshe Hall is located in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England and is where Brigitte of Moss and Stone and I will be ready and waiting to share our Paradise Found Floral Escape with you.

We will wake to the sound of birdsong, the scent of garden roses and the rush of the nearby meandering river. We will forage from the parkland, pick from the formal gardens, immerse ourselves in flowers and dine each evening in country house style.

Join us for a four day immersive experience, carefully designed to teach you our design philosophies, our thought processes, colour theories and the practical skills required for a huge variety of floral pieces.

You will create small delicate considered individual works of art for a table, large, voluptuous urns, imposing, gravity defying floral installations and you will also experience how to make our signature style bouquets.

Along with our resident photographer Holly of Belle and Beau and resident stylist Sundari Ferris, we will discuss how to use social media to grow your business and the need to know fundamentals of floral photography and how to effortlessly style your work for maximum impact.

Image - Belle and Beau

Image - Belle and Beau

No matter what stage you are at in your floral journey Brigitte and/or I will have been there in some form or other, so this is a fabulous opportunity to benefit from our experiences. This will be as close as you get to plugging straight into our brains and downloading it all!

As ever, we will be working without the use of floral foam and we will host a group “Foam-free forum’ where we can all discuss and share our thoughts, techniques and ways forward for foam free working.

Fiona Pickles - Image Belle and Beau

Fiona Pickles - Image Belle and Beau

About Fiona

Fiona has been in the floral industry since 2005, having re-trained after a career in the Print industry. Starting Firenza Flowers in the days before social media, Fiona knows first hand just how hard it was to establish a new business, without a shop and now relishes the fabulous opportunities social media offers floristry businesses,

Having established a career as a very successful and extremely busy wedding florist, Fiona stepped away from this world in 2015 to pursue her own, very individual style of floral design.

Fiona now works almost exclusively with British flowers and is heavily influenced by her lifelong love of the garden, growing many of her own flowers at her West Yorkshire home.

Specialising in large, dramatic floral installations, Fiona now spends most of her time teaching other florists who want to learn Fiona’s techniques and style. She also designs and creates large scale pieces of ‘floral art’ as private commissions, working mostly with hotels, gardens and stately homes.

Brigitte Girling - Image Belle and Beau

Brigitte Girling - Image Belle and Beau

About Brigitte

Having always loved flowers, gardening and being outdoors Brigitte often felt in her previous life as a school teacher, usually stuck in an over warm classroom, that something was missing. She loved encouraging learning but yearned to engage with the natural world and be more creative on a daily basis.

So after retraining as a florist and spending many years honing her craft as a freelancer, Moss & Stone Floral Design was founded over three years ago. This allowed her the freedom to follow her heart and work with the seasons, using locally sourced British flowers in a very natural, garden style providing considered, floral art for weddings and events.

Brigitte's love of teaching continues as she passes on her knowledge, skills and love of flowers to the many guests she welcomes to her Suffolk studio where she runs floral workshops and classes. 

Holly Rattray

Holly Rattray

About Holly

Holly Rattray is the owner of Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography, and is an internationally acclaimed fine art wedding photographer.

She has received recognition for her beautiful, delicate, romantic photography with accolades for her fine art style from The Telegraph and Photo Professional Magazine.

Her fresh luminous photography is regularly featured in editorial worldwide including Brides Magazine, Style Me Pretty, Wedding Magazine, Wedding Sparrow, 100 Layer Cake, Magnolia Rouge, Once Wed, Hochzeitsguide and many more.'

Sundari Ferris

Sundari Ferris

About Sundari

A self titled atmosphere designer, Sundari is a creative stylist and art director based in South Buckinghamshire.

From wedding and event design through to fashion editorials across Europe - her work is known for its layered, romantic and feminine feel. Pulling much of her inspiration and design work from love stories, mythology and literature, Sundari works on evoking emotions and all the senses without her creations.

She spends much of her days painting textured backdrops, designing for her international clients and creating stories through editorials to inspire. 

“Often as a child, I would send myself off into the distant dream world and found myself exploring and creating stories constantly. I seek to ignite emotion in the individual be it within a table design or editorial. The design must have a story to tell to add something unique and truly special for the on-looker"

Image - Dominic Wright

Image - Dominic Wright


We will have full and exclusive use of Saltmarshe Hall and its extensive grounds from your arrival on the afternoon of Monday 30th, through to departure after another full day on the afternoon of Thursday 3rd October. 

You will have your own delightful room; either a suite or a spacious double, all with private en-suite. All the rooms are the absolute height of luxury, decorated in a beautifully understated way and include either King or SuperKing beds, bath robes and tea and coffee making facilities.  (interior images - Dominic Wright)

The rooms will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so if you want one of the glorious suites don’t hesitate!

What is included:

Your own private room and bathroom for three nights. Check in from 3pm on Monday 30th September.

Three nights luxury accommodation

Three breakfasts

Three lunches

Three 3-course suppers with wine*

Drinks and snacks throughout the day**

All tuition (see below for details)

All flowers, foliages and equipment



Vessel to take home with you

Professional images

What is not included

Transport to and from Saltmarshe Hall

Extra drinks purchased from the bar

Fiona and Brigitte foraging. Image - Belle and Beau

Fiona and Brigitte foraging. Image - Belle and Beau

Who can attend

Our escape is aimed at florists primarily, maybe you are wanting to update your skills, or maybe just invest a bit of time on yourself whilst learning new skills and meeting some amazing and like minded people. You don’t have to be a florist to join us though, maybe you are just starting out on your flowery journey, or maybe you are a creative keen to immerse yourself in flowers.

What we will cover

Our design philosophies, thought processes and colour theories 

Foraging and how to do it sympathetically (and legally!)

A delicate table centre - demonstration and create your own

A large urn design - demonstration and create your own

Large scale, foam-free installations - group activity

Free form, romantic bouquets

Floral photography masterclass

Styling masterclass

Brigitte and Fiona ‘ask anything’ group session

Group ‘foam-free forum’ 

Image - Belle and Beau

Image - Belle and Beau


A more detailed itinerary will be released to our booked guests in the run up to the escape.



You can choose to either pay in full now or in two instalments, pay £1,225 now to book your place and £1,220 by 9th August 2019.

Getting there

By car:

Saltmarshe Hall is about a 10 minute drive from junction 37 on the M62

By plane - the nearest airports:

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (28 miles)

Humberside Airport (37 miles)

Leeds Bradford Airport (55miles)

Manchester International Airport (89 milies)

By train:

The nearest train station is Howden (there is also a station at Saltmarshe with a very sporadic service)

Cancellation Policy

We have a very strict and transparent cancellation policy which applies in all circumstance, so please ensure you understand them prior to booking.

Before 9th August 2019: 50% charge applies

After (and including) 9th August 2019: 100% charge applies

NB If you are unable to attend for whatever reason, we cannot refund your fees, even if the place subsequently gets filled.

Exceptional Circumstances

We cannot be held liable for situations beyond our control, including (but not limited to) acts of war, acts of God, threats or acts of terrorism, civil unrest or unforeseen personal circumstances. We also can’t offer refunds for illness, flight delays or any other circumstances. Please ensure you have adequate insurance in place to cover for this.

Cancellation on our part

In the event of a teacher cancellation, every effort will be made to deliver the same content by another accomplished teacher. If we need to cancel the escape, we will refund the money you have paid so far.

We cannot be held responsible for other costs – such as flights or any other incidentals and strongly recommend you have insurance in place to cover this.

Booking the escape deems your acceptance of these terms.

* We want you to thoroughly enjoy your time with us, but not too much that you will be dancing on the tables, so we have included 2 glasses of wine per supper each, after this you have access to the bar where you can put further drinks on your room for you to settle at the end of your stay.

** Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided morning and afternoon, if you want more (we are confident you won’t have room for a single thing!) you can put it on your room for you to settle at the end of your stay

Image - Barnaby Aldrick

Image - Barnaby Aldrick

All images Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography except where indicated - interior images of Saltmarshe Hall = Dominic Wright Photography