Workshop with top flower arranger a post-lockdown tonic

Julia Yates with a basket of beautiful blooms

Julia Yates with a basket of beautiful blooms - Credit: Jackie Nicholls

A recent flower arranging workshop held at Combe St Nicholas Village Hall, near Chard, inspired Axminster women – amongst them Julia Yates - to produce hand-woven baskets full of beautiful blooms.

The workshop began with the audience watching their tutor give a step-by-step demonstration. Then it was their turn to create a modern interpretation of a traditional basket arrangement with a “just picked” floral design. Using seasonal flowers and foliage, their creations had a natural, country garden feel. Beautiful ribbons were added as finishing touches.

A lovely gesture saw several women deciding to give their gorgeous baskets as special gifts to people who had helped them during the pandemic.

Award-winning Somerset tutor Jackie Nicholls, from Ashville Design, who teaches the workshops, said: “This was a long-awaited workshop – and at last, a step back towards normal life. I was overwhelmed by the continued enthusiasm for flower arranging on both the morning and afternoon sessions. It was great to be having so many laughs again and I was thrilled to bits with all the designs made. Congratulations to everyone who came along for some fabulous floral fun!”

Ashville Design is an established home-based floral business in Wadeford, near Chard,  owned by Jackie, an award-winning floral designer, speaker, teacher and demonstrator.

Jackie teaches relaxed, fun workshops for students of all ages on how to make modern fresh floral designs. She is a popular demonstrator, entertaining at a variety of venues, including The Royal Horticultural Society Rosemoor, Torrington, in North Devon.

She also regularly exhibits her artificial floral designs at numerous craft fairs and prestigious shows around Somerset, Devon and Dorset, including Taunton Flower Show, Buckfast Abbey, Axe Vale Festival, The Yeovil Show and The Great Dorset Steam Fair.

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For details of upcoming workshops visit or call Jackie on 01460 67795 or 07906 259 683.

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