You know how people talk about perks of the job with things like a work car or 10 weeks of holidays or international travel etc? Well my perks as a writer and digital content creator are EVEN BETTER THAN ALL OF THOSE. A few weekends ago I was invited to Villa Floretti – a working flower farm – down in Boneo to participate in a flower workshop with Dawn from Peninsula Wild Flower. I’ve been doing some copywriting for their new website and getting immersed in the natives brings forth sentences from my brain that would otherwise be mixed up in the garbled mess of teething and school pick up.
Let me set the scene. Villa Floretti is this incredible working flower farm filled with fields of natives. Beyond the fields is the sea and to add to the beauty of the farm itself is a barn, a dog called Olive and an onsite cook and flower picker called Richard Barassi who is on a T.V show. It is nothing short of magical with a side of the absurd as Olive greets each visitor with a little too much enthusiasm and the flower fields serve up impossibly beautiful King Proteas.
In our intimate group there were a couple of brides-to-be scoping out potential wedding flowers, one or two aspiring flower arrangers, a curious local and myself. We were accompanied by Dawn the head florist forager at Peninsula Wild Flower and the owner of Villa Floretti, Richelle.
We started the day with a sit down meal cooked by Richard of The Intolerant Cook fame. Chicken, carrots, asparagus and cake. There are only so many words in the English Language for amazing but oh mio dio, it was belissimo. After we’d cried “Salute!” and downed some Italian wine we set off for a guided tour through the flower fields.
By what felt like chance, we eventually came across a table set up in the middle of a King Protea field equipped with buckets and buckets of freshly cut natives, a pair of shears each and a whisper of magic in the air. As we took our places, Dawn expertly guided us through the process of arranging an abundant bouquet. Okay, an aside: Dawn is amazing. You will never meet anyone more humble and she will certainly not blow her own trumpet so let me. Dawn’s talent is almost other worldly. You can see her clear her mind and make working with flowers almost meditative. This woman worked with the Queen. The actual Queen. And did a royal wedding in Madrid. But she is the least pretentious person I know; she just genuinely adores flowers. I know, I want to be her too.
After offering one on one guidance to each participant we tied our bouquets together and headed back to the barn for some handmade chocolates. By this point I was on realestate.com looking up flower farms for sale and dreaming of a live in chef.
Alas, as I drove home down the sun dappled roads of the Mornington Peninsula the only thing that made returning to real life tolerable was the notion that I would return to the fields for the next workshop.
If you have not already, you MUST check out these classes. Give Dawn a call on 0431 029 345 to find out how you can book yourself in for a day of lusciousness.