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Seeds of change

Escape the routine and embrace your creativity at this sanctuary for the soul
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Seeds of change

This article first appeared in our Women: time for action issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 02 July 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

‘Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’

Jane Bradley, founder of Brook & Earl Mindful Floral Design, has lived by this mantra for the last few years; today she would say she is doing the impossible – and loving every minute of it.

Jane left her career in the corporate world so she could dedicate her life to looking after elderly family members. The decision was tough, but it was something she felt compelled to do.

Despite adapting well to her new carer role, Jane eventually noticed a big void; ‘Being creative is in my DNA and it just felt like something was missing’, she explains. ‘I felt like I was losing myself and everything I stood for.’

Finding a happy place

Jane found her ‘happy place’ at a wreath-making course just before Christmas in 2016. ‘During that couple of hours, all the worries and problems I was facing just drifted away’, she says. ‘That’s when I knew I needed to get back to my creative roots.’

Over the following years, Jane retrained and rekindled her love of nature and floristry. It was a natural choice: Jane is from a family of gardeners and has tended her own garden, growing and planting her own flowers, since the age of six.

Supporting women

Jane’s company, Brook & Earl Mindful Floral Design, creates natural floral designs for weddings, events and all life’s other moments and celebrations.

It provides understated yet wildly elegant floral designs from the highest quality blooms – but the company isn’t just about flowers. ‘We’re about nature and wellbeing’, Jane explains, ‘and we’re about supporting and empowering women.’

Jane’s experience left her with a clear sense that she could use her skills to help others. ‘That’s why I set Brook & Earl up as both a floristry and a
creative, mindful space for workshops’, she says.

Through creativity, mindfulness and floristry, Jane nurtures a safe and creative sanctuary on the beautiful Broughton Hall Estate, tucked away on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire.

Brook & Earl mindful floristry

‘When I found my studio on the magical Broughton Hall Estate, it was like all the stars aligned. At last everything was falling into place. Brook & Earl is my floral sanctuary for the soul. It’s exactly what I imagined when I set out on this floral journey.’

Founder of Brook & Earl Mindful Floral Design

Workshops with a difference

Jane has created a space full of happiness, calm and creativity where time can stand still. It promises to bring you back to nature and back to now, with an invitation to share Jane’s journey by slowing down to find your thoughts and find yourself.

Brook & Earl runs workshops with a difference; visitors can forage for their own foliage or flowers, take a mindful walk around the walled garden, weave wreaths in the woodlands or experience guided mindfulness at the fire temple.

The events are an antidote to life’s storms; ‘The world swirls us around, never stopping, never slowing’, Jane explains. ‘The heady busyness of life keeps us moving and pushing forward, filling each year, month, week, day, hour and minute with a never-ending to-do list.’

The goal of the workshops is to help people explore new things and pursue creative pleasures – including writing, painting and hand-lettering, as well as creating beauty from fresh-cut stems of flowers and foliage – while surrounded by the beauty of nature.

We know flowers and plants can boost wellbeing, and after a few precious hours in this sanctuary – with everyday worries left far behind – you are guaranteed to feel relaxed and inspired.

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