4th Edition

Lisbon, Sintra, and Mafra


May 2024

May 28th-June 3rd, 2024

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 "

Book Your Spot Here!

We open 8 spots only for our retreat in order to keep it small, personable, and sustainable for local culture.

If you have questions before booking, reach out to Chelsea at hello@frolic-blog.com!

See booking form for terms. We can accommodate dietary restrictions. Upon booking you will receive some information and a form about what you are looking for from this retreat and with this we will customize the itinerary to meet the needs of the group. A signed travel waiver upon booking will be required as well as a contract. 


-Bring an extra suitcase to check or leave room for the clippers, vases, and other items you will receive during the workshops as well as for any souvenirs you'd like to buy.

-Schedule in time before or after the retreat to see any landmarks, or sites that you have your heart set on seeing. You can schedule in 2-3 days in Lisbon or Sintra before or after the retreat.

--Bring shoes that are comfortable to walk in, long pants, hat, sunglasses, windbreaker. The weather can change from quite hot to windy and cool and we will be out and about foraging on trails and around the village. 

-If you do have any limitations around mobility or walking please check in about that beforehand. We keep hiking to a minimum but it is quite an active experience with some options for hiking and longer walks. Sidewalks, trails, and steps in the places we will be are uneven and not always predictable.

More Questions?

Why travel with me?

Hello! I am Chelsea! A floral designer (for 20 years!), a prop stylist (I´ve styled shoots for Williams-Sonoma, Bon Appetit, New Balance, Kinfolk, and more!), photographer, writer, social media maven of all things floral, an author, and an American abroad. After traveling solo for 10 months with a very small backpack, I re-located to Lisbon, Portugal and it is where I´ve made my home for eight years. I believe in travel that is culturally and environmentally sustainable. That means: small groups, meeting locals, wandering away from the guidebook, trying new things, and respecting the pace of your location. Everywhere I travel, I look for flower shops, meadows, and wildflowers.

Why am I hosting the Flower and Garden Retreat in Lisbon?

In my eight years in Lisbon I've met an astounding number of women, usually traveling solo, landing in Lisbon, looking for creativity, inspiration, and a fresh perspective on life. I've been involved with numerous retreats by now and hosted dozens of workshops, tours, and events. The connections, ideas, and inspiration I've taken from these conversations, classes, and encounters, have been life-changing and empowering. I love creating uplifting events with flowers, food, and groups of inspiring women.

Is this retreat right for you?

If you are looking to travel deeper, travel slower, and connect with a creative group of women this is the right experience for you! If you are looking to learn a new, meditative, way of working with fresh flowers for your own wellness or eventually your own new career, this retreat is right for you! If you love gardens, green spaces, alongside city discoveries, this is the right experience for you. If you are looking to reach out of your comfort zone and infuse your life with a new, European experience and learn a bit about the Portuguese slower way of life, this is the right retreat for you! Introverts welcome!

This retreat is probably not for you, if you are looking to hit every historical spot in your guidebook (you can schedule that in before or after!). It is probably not for you if you don´t have an open mind toward new cultures, people, and being in a group dynamic. This is probably not for you if you are looking to have six days of intense floral design school (instead, check out our floral career retreat!), instead it will be a slow travel retreat with a focus on flowers and gardens.

What is included?

All flowers, tools, supplies, vases (you can take your vases and flowers (can be dried or pressed) home! Be sure to allow room in your suitcase for these. 

Transfers to Sintra, gardens and farms and most local transportation except during your free time.

All lodging

All meals except two dinners and two lunches,.

All workshops, tours, lessons, guided walks and coaching.

A special travel guide with my recommendations for your down time.

What is not included?

Transport and meals during free time on your own

Airplane ticket

More questions?

Shoot me an email! hello@frolic-blog.com

8 spots available

Book here

Photos by Chelsea Fuss and Valentina Marukha

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