Ponderosa Workshop


August 5-9 2018


Once upon a time there was a Château that served as a thirteenth century fortress, a fifteenth century castle, an eighteenth century palatial château and, after decades of neglect, an abandoned ruin upon a forgotten hilltop. Now with the tender care of the Waters family from Australia, Château de Gudanes is being lovingly restored into a place for people to come and find rest, inspiration and restoration for themselves.  

Château de Gudanes regularly hosts workshops of their own, and for this special week we're adding our Ponderosa schedule, combining forces to bring you two workshops in one! A Ponderosa Château workshop experience that is unique from any other workshop we are offering this year. We will be joined by the brilliant Jacob Brooks of Brumley and Wells who will be photographing the event and your creations.

Together we will spend unbelievably beautiful days at the Château creating life long friendships and incredible floral art. We will explore the local culture & cuisine, sleep in beautiful rooms, nourishing us body and soul while we learn the art of floral design amongst the restored (and still being restored- don't mind a little dust!) walls of our incredible home for the week.

In this beautiful place we will dig deep into the heart of creativity, encouraging each other in the process of finding our place and our voice in the world as artists. Exhilarating, life giving, life changing. These workshops are the driving force behind the Ponderosa Team and our Partners. We love to see lives (and businesses) transformed by the power of encouragement and community, and that’s why we do what we do! 

This workshop is designed for new and experienced florists as well as photographers, stylists, creatives and dreamers that want to grow and expand their skill set for more flexibility and creativity in their work. 

This workshop at the Château will challenge and inspire you, and if you come with an open heart you will be changed. Not by magic, but by being around the incredible community of like minded souls that bravely choose the venerable path of learning, friendship and adventure.

Learn More


• Transportation to Château de Gudanes from Toulouse, transport for all outings and transportation back again to Toulouse at the end of the workshop! 

• 4 nights and 5 days shared room accommodation (double beds) and shared bathroom facilities (private room for couples)

All meals: 

• Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by international and local chefs

• Unlimited beverages - house wine, house spirits (the drinking kind), house beer and non-alcoholic

All materials for the workshop including: 

• Apron & Welcome Gift

• Flowers 

• Silk ribbon

• Beautiful floral scissors 

Hands-on floral design instruction and learning

Group discussions 

Pre-workshop 1:1 session with Katie Davis

Group tours and outings led by Karina Waters of Château de Gudanes

Mini hands-on photography session “Photographing your flowers for social media”

Professional headshot by Jacob of Brumley and Wells

Beautifully styled photo shoots on location with the Ponderosa Team and Jacob of Brumley and Wells

Ability to use images from shoots for portfolio, website, and social media.

Use of the Château's facilities including tennis court, pool, bicycles and wifi in selected areas

Complimentary laundry facilities for own use


Once you’ve signed up for the workshop we’ll add you to our private Facebook group to be able to get to know each-other before the event begins.

Day 1 | Arrive and Welcome! Get to know your new flower friends

• Let's meet in Toulouse at the Capitole Square at 10am

• Walk to the monthly antique market and visit the Jardin de Plantes

• Lunch at a local bistro in Toulouse

• Drive to the Château together

• Magic carpet cocktails on arrival 

• Chateau BBQ on the terrace


Day 2

• Breakfast at leisure

• Group discussion | The art of intuitive business owning

• Château de Gudanes Historical Tour & talk

• Foraging for bouquets on grounds

• Lunch

• Floral demonstration & Hands-on Session | Wild and romantic editorial bouquet

• Dinner at Daniel's place - a local french cuisine bistro

Day 3

• Breakfast at leisure

• Hands Session | Finishing the editorial bouquets

• Foraging Hike at Plateau de Beille

• Picnic Lunch

• Group Discussion | Creating beauty in the hard places

• Return to the Château for a relaxing afternoon

• Floral Demonstration and hands on floral session | European Hand-Tied Bridal bouquet

• Sunset Bridal Editorial photo shoot with Jacob of Brumley and Wells

• Candlelit Château dinner


Day 4

• Morning yoga session in the Château atrium

• Breakfast and Group Discussion | The Artist's Heart

• Floral demonstration & Hands-on Session | Dutch Masters Still Life Arrangement

• Lunch at LaCube a local farm to table restaurant in town

• Dutch Masters still life editorial shoot with Jacob of Brumley and Wells

• Wine tasting and aperitifs

• Candlelight Farewell dinner in the Salon de Musique

• After dinner | Group reflection


Day 5 | Au Revoir Mes Amis

• Breakfast

• Goodbyes at 11am

• Travel back to Toulouse to arrive at 1pm

‍*Schedule subject to change slightly


Guests are responsible for all travel arrangements to get to the workshop (including airfare and car rental/train fare/etc.)

We will be meeting as a group in Toulouse at 10:00 AM on August 5th, and you will be transported to the Château as a group.

Please feel free to email with any questions.


Closest Airport: Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS)


Accommodations at Château de Gudanes are included in the price of this event for the nights of August 5, 6, 7, and 8, 2018. 

All accommodations are Shared Room (Double Beds, One person per bed). Shared bathrooms are available on the main floor.

Couples who book will have a private room.

Please note that the Château is under active restoration (no noisy construction during our stay) and the rooms will be in their gorgeously raw state, there will be a little dust, and the owner recommends closed-toe shoes. The rooms, linens, and furniture will be clean and lovely, and you will have access to the common rooms and grounds throughout our stay.

We will also have access to the pool which is just steps away from the house, so don't forget your swimsuit!


We highly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel & personal insurance in case of injury, natural disasters, flight issues, or cancellation.



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