5th Edition

Lisbon, Sintra, and Mafra


May 2025

May 23-May 29th 2025


Immerse yourself in the springtime abundance of Portugal in May.

Jacaranda. Wisteria. Wild roses.

Join me for a seven day creative and cultural retreat in Portugal, learning all-natural flower arranging and foraging, walking formal and country Portuguese gardens, touring flower farms, and tasting locally-made cheeses, breads, and jams.

Our Itinerary

(subject to change)

We will begin our stay at Aldeia da Mata Pequena, a family village, restored to historical accuracy, where we will forage for wildflowers and enjoy meals and wildflower arranging together and stay in private countryside cottages.

The village will be our home base with free time to explore Mafra, Sintra and Lisbon on both guided and informal itineraries. You will forage for wild flowers for both arranging and eating, pick flowers at local flower farms, dine at an organic farm, have a tour of a secret garden in Lisbon, and relax in the Portuguese countryside, embracing a slower pace for 7 days.

We will stay all nights at Aldeia da Mata Pequena, a small village in Mafra. The majority of our activities will be outdoors. Transfers are provided for day excursions to Sintra and Lisbon.

Day One

 Meet at the  Aldeia da Mata Pequena village for an opening, outdoor lunch.

Introduction to the village and settle into your cottage.

Enjoy snacks and treats while you make a small arrangement for your cottage.

A traditional Portuguese dinner will be served at the main cottage.

Day Two

Breakfast by Aldeia da Mata Pequena.

Foraging for wild edible with Fernanda Botelho.

Lunch from a local vegetarian cook who uses the freshest local garden ingredients combined with our wild edible creations.

Flower arranging hand-tied bouquet workshop.

A lesson on native flowers with local native flower expert, Joao Ferreira.

An outdoor Portuguese meal.

Day Three

 Breakfast by Aldeia da Mata Pequena.

A field trip to a local organic farm where we will have a workshop and lunch.

Flower arranging lesson back at the village, learning low bowl arrangements and tall compositions.

An outdoor garden-fresh meal.

Day Four

Breakfast by Aldeia da Mata Pequena.

A visit to a local flower farm to learn about flower growing.

Lunch at an organic farm.

Flower arranging lessons in the village.

A vegetarian meal made from local Sintra produce.

Day Five

Breakfast by Aldeia da Mata Pequena.

Transfer to Lisbon

Explore Lisbon secret and public gardens with a guide.

Lunch and dinner on your own.

Day Six

Breakfast by Aldeia da Mata Pequena.

A free day to explore Sintra or Lisbon on your own. We provide transport to Sintra and back.

Lunch and dinner on your own.

Day Seven

Breakfast by Aldeia da Mata Pequena.

Transport provided to Lisbon.

Testimonials from the Flower and Garden Retreat

"We had such a wonderful time and it truly exceeded all expectations. The details were all so thoughtful and curated, and the consideration taken for all the activities showed in every location we visited. This was absolutely worth the money because Chelsea’s expertise and attentiveness and curation of guest educators was exquisite. I would absolutely attend another retreat of Chelsea’s."

"The Flower and Garden Retreat was absolutely magical - I learned so much, had such a peaceful and relaxing week, and came home creatively energized and inspired to do more with flowers.Chelsea and Paula are amazing and incredibly thoughtful hosts. Spending the week with them was like spending a week with smart and talented friends who want to show you a slice of the best things Portugal has to offer - from the gardens and wildflowers to the pastries and fresh seafood to a friendly debate about the best gelato - all while also teaching you about sustainable floral arranging and working with native and foraged materials. And you get to do it all in a stunningly gorgeous village! 

 Chelsea is a born teacher who is able to introduce and explain new techniques and styles in an easy to follow way. Her suggestions and feedback on arrangements helped me improve my craft, and also gain confidence in my own abilities. Her insight into flower sourcing and working with sustainable growers is invaluable, and she has clearly thought deeply about how she approaches her work and the field. Whether you're a novice or an experienced florist, I think you can learn a lot from Chelsea. 

 The guest instructors Chelsea brings in are deeply knowledgeable and their passion for their field (be it edible and medicinal flowers, native plants, crafting with nature, garden design, floral farming, or urban gardening) is infectious. It's truly impossible to not be inspired after the retreat!Every day of the retreat was creatively energizing, thought provoking, and a whole lot of fun. I learned so much that I've brought home to put into practice, and I would go again in a heartbeat."

"It was a wonderful week of exploration and inspiration. The food was amazing! The fresh baked bread, soups and authentic Portuguese menu daily was very special. 

Having guest speakers/teachers was fun and educational they were all easy to listen to and learn from with very practical advice & tips on how to take our love for gardening/flowers to a new level. I loved how relational they all were and willing to share their expertise so freely. 

Everyday was filled with new experiences and diverse in content/activities which I loved; having traveled so far I wanted to see and experience as much as possible. Chelsea and Paula have a gift for hospitality and paid extraordinary attention to many of the little details that made us feel welcomed, safe and excited for our next adventure. 

Our group was small so we all got to spend time sharing our stories with Chelsea who was willing to listen and offer advice on how we could best use our own talents to take next steps as floral designers and gardeners. Thank you Chelsea & Paula for an amazing week and sharing your love for floral designing, gardening and all thing’s Portuguese with me …Beijinho "