Mindfulness meets Floral Design at Riverdale Farm


Spring blooms from the garden at Riverdale Farm

Farmer/florist Helen Leighton grows beautiful flowers for her Floral Design work

After a year of uncertainty, I once again had the pleasure of hosting a MedArtation Workshop at our farm in early October 2020 with the delightful Nia Connop of Extend OT in Perth. We ran 2 workshops on Saturday with a happy group of ladies mostly from a allied health or education background.


Our early spring blooms were a mixed of native and exotic species, with plenty of colour choice to appeal to all tastes. Nia prepared delicious, individual grazing platters for our guests to enjoy throughout their session. Maisy enjoyed the extra attention from our guests. It was wonderful to be able to harvest beautiful blooms from the garden after months of hard physical work that is needed over winter to ensure a continuous supply of fresh flowers over spring, summer and autumn.

Mindfulness with Nia Connop of Extend OT for MedArtation at Riverdale Farm, Albany

Delicious grazing plates at Riverdale Farm

Each session began with Mindfulness lead by Nia from Extend OT. Nia is passionate about mindful living and sharing with others the benefits of slowing down, tuning into the body and mind and noticing what is happening around you. Personally I find the combination of working with flowers both gardening and design, works as a perfect mindful activity. Research shows that gardening, time in nature and being around plants reduces stress, just as the active practice of mindfulness can. Gardening is a sensory activity that nurtures our creativity. A book I can highly recommend for more on this topic and the benefits to our mental health is 'The Well Gardened Mind' by Sue Stuart-Smith.

Nia Connop from Extend OT leading participants of MedArtation through a Mindfulness session at Riverdale Farm

Following the session with Nia, I led the ladies through a brief demonstration of how I like to create a simple table centre with our home grown blooms. My daughter Abbey and I were on hand to offer assistance and suggestions to the ladies as they worked on their creations.

Sherbert toned ranunculus from the gardens at Riverdale Farm

Set up and ready for MedArtation at Riverdale Farm 2020

Anemones grown in the gardens of Riverdale Farm by farmer/florist Helen Leighton

Spring garden gathered blooms from Riverdale Farm

Floral Design Workshop for floral enthusiasts at Riverdale Farm

Conversation flowed easily amongst these relaxed women from both the Great Southern and beyond.

Beautiful student work at Riverdale Farm, Albany

MedArtation at Riverdale Farm with our spring garden gathered flowers

Home grown spring blooms from Riverdale Farm

Work in progress at Floral design workshop at Riverdale Farm

Spring blooms at Riverdale Farm

Beautiful student work from MedArtation at Riverdale Farm in collaboration with Extend OT

Relaxed ladies at the end of their time at Riverdale Farm with their delightfully individual creations to enjoy at home. I love the different choice of floral material unique to each of our guests.

MedArtation participants with their floral creations to take home and enjoy at home.

Relaxed after a delightful afternoon of Mindfulness and Floral Design at Riverdale Farm

Garden gathered flowers at Riverdale Farm

*Note to allied health providers and teachers. These workshops are tax-deductible and contribute to your CPD hours!

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