• avodahliving

Ponderosa & Thyme- A life giving time in Scotland.

I don't recall exactly how I came to find Katie Davis from Ponderosa & Thyme. I only remember that it was about the same time I started my masters studies in Expressive Arts Therapy and my passion for flowers was getting even stronger. From the very beginning I felt like we were kindred spirits, perhaps because of her moving story with dance, her way of living and seeing the world.

Learning from her was a dream of mine, so when she announced her workshops/retreats in Europe I got super excited! I wanted to attend one so badly!!! One day, she announced that she was giving away a scholarship for one of her workshops and I saw it as a open door, so immediately applied for it!!!

I ended up not winning the full scholarship but she generously gave me a partial one and I got so excited to join her in Scotland for 5 glorious autumn days.

There was no denying that the cost of the workshop seemed unattainable for me, but I have learned to not let money stop me from doing the things I feel called in my heart to do and that whatever seems impossible, with a little faith and creativity, is always achievable!

After many dinners prepared to raise the funds needed, my wonderful husband putting every franc possible aside and a generous gift from a friend (Noemi, I couldn't have made it without you! So thankful to you dear!), I made my way to Scotland on October 1st 2018 (not without a crazy nerve wrecking experience to get the visa before- Thank you Destiny for all your help!!!)

We met at The Taybank, a pub set on the banks of the River Tay in one of Scotlands most beautiful villages. A cup of tea around the table was the perfect drink to warm up and get first acquainted with Katie, her team members Sarah, Duncan, Julia and Sarah, as well as the lovely attendees Rosie, Toria, Mari, Sandra, Elina and Meridith.

We then headed to the venue, the wonderful Eastwood House , where Beatrix Potter and her family spent some of their holidays and where the Tale of Peter Rabbit was born out of a letter and deep love for nature.

And what a welcome we got there! I still can hear the bagpiper when I close my eyes and the memory sends goosebumps down my back. At that moment I only wished to have Simon by my side!

Its hard to describe what a marvelous unique experience it was, so I am glad that I have the pictures of Sam & Reid from Orange Photographe to help you see all the beauty that happened!

More than once I was overwhelmed by tears of thankfulness and the sheer sense of awe and wonder. I always feel the most at peace when I am near water, so being able to wake up and have an early walk around the river, while the autumn fog was still over the waters and the trees, was absolutely mesmerizing to say the least.

Katie's holistic teaching, the care given by her and all her team, the sense of community that reigned, the rich and raw conversations with such an authentic group of creatives, the delicious meals prepared by Nichola and Elizabeth, the calming atmosphere of the grounds, the tears and laughter in the classroom and around the table, dancing the night away with some gin afterwards with Katie and her team, practicing french with Nora, enjoying Mark's (Katie's husband) sense of humour...I could go on and on!

We had different hands-on floral sessions, learning to create wild dramatic editorial bouquets, bridal bouquets as well as installation shapes.

Besides that, we had different discussions about branding, business, social media, flat lay styling, creativity, self-care and the most encouraging one-on-one with Katie.

There were two photoshoots with the bouquets we created, modeled by Kirsty Low (it was so fun to help with make up and hair as well!).

The first one had an elegant and vintage vibe and the second one featured a dreamy 'Coming of age' story, for which we got to create a leaves installation inspired by our surroundings, in perfect sync with nature and without the use of floral foam!

For my first bouquet, I I wanted to mimic the colors and the feel of autumn and for the second one, I followed the image of red fire and the passion of flamenco dance to create a monochromatic bridal bouquet.

The Ponderosa & Thyme Workshop in Scotland will always stay in my mind and in my heart as one of the most amazing, restful, creative, life-giving times of my life. It helped confirm and affirm the foundation we were building for Avodah Living. My floral design has been definetely catapulted since, giving me not only techniques and skills, but more importantly the confidence to trust my creative intuition and my hability to bring beauty to the world.

I love Katie to pieces and I still keep learning and being inspired by her. Already looking forward for the book she is writing and to dance away with her again! ;)

What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.” -- Beatrix Potter