A Creative Retreat

Portrait of Carol Jillian with model and flowers

We are celebrating our 50th anniversary in the garden. Floral Design Institute is hosting a Creative Retreat at the Oregon Garden and Resort September 8 through 11. This extraordinary four-day event will feature six celebrity floral designers and artists plus the entire team of Floral Design Institute Instructors. The featured designers are Brenna Quan AIFD, Carol Jillian FDI, Katie Davis, Shane Meehan FDI, Jenny Thomasson AIFD, PFCI, EMC and Francoise Weeks.


The experience will include an opening reception spotlighting the incredible Wearable Botanical & Floral Couture of Carol Jillian FDI. A graduate of Floral Design Institute, Carol is a recognized master of her art form. Participants will have the opportunity to model Carol’s creations. Professional photographers and models will be present making this a premier photo opportunity.

Portrait Francoise Weeks

The next day opens with optional yoga in the garden and a meditation garden walk followed by a hands-on program by the internationally acclaimed Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture floral artist, Francoise Weeks. Participants will create designs to be displayed in the Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House. Following a guided tour of the spectacular Oregon Gardens, there will be an exclusive reception in the Gordon House where participants may view their individual designs artistically placed in the venue of a Frank Lloyd Wright House. Professional photographers, writers and members of the press will be present for this remarkable design event.

Portrait Katie Davis

Following the optional meditation and exercise activities, Tuesday opens with a hands-on Northwest Garden Bouquet program by the outstanding Oregon floral designer Katie Davis. In less than a decade, Katie has grown into a world renowned designer known for her luxurious, romantic, playful and sensual arrangements. While her designs are breathtaking, her holistic approach to floral art is inspirational to her clients world wide.

Portrait Brenna Quan

Following lunch, a hands-on Northwest Forest Exotic Bouquet program will be presented by the gifted floral designer Brenna Quan AIFD. With background as a professional dancer and a love for flowers, Brenna creates powerful designs filled with emotional expression. She loves floral design competition and has won numerous international design awards. Professional photographers will be present during the day to photograph participant’s designs with professional models in outdoor settings created by the FDI team of instructors.

Portrait Shane Meehan

The opening Wednesday program features the talented Shane Meehan FDI with a hands-on Boho Woodland Style Large Structure program. A graduate of Floral Design Institute, Shane has quickly evolved into an awe-inspiring event designer. He is tireless in his search for unique materials, eccentric structures and unconventional venues perfectly fitted to his clients.

Portrait Jenny Thomasson

After lunch, the amazing Jenny Thomasson AIFD, PFCI, EMC will present a hands-on Exotic Forest Structures program. Jenny is an enthusiastic student of floral design having studied and competed throughout the world. Her passion for design explores an incredible use of materials, plants and flowers, pushing boundaries and promoting floral design as an art form in a fresh and astonishing way. Professional photographers will be present during the day to photograph participant’s designs with professional models in outdoor settings created by the FDI team of instructors. The final evening will feature a picturesque dinner in the Bosque Garden, a final celebration of floral art and personal rejuvenation with new-found friends, fellow designers and artists. 


Throughout the week David Kesler AIFD, PFCI, FDI and Leanne Kesler AIFD, PFCI FDI will share practical insights on Photography, Videography, and Social Media Strategies. The Floral Design Institute team of instructors will be on site to assist participants with the hands-on designs. Professional photographers will be present to photograph the participant’s designs with professional models in outdoor settings created by the FDI team of instructors. Professional writers, bloggers and members of the press will be present and will be sharing their stories with the media. Registration includes an opening evening wine & hors d'oeuvres reception, a wine reception in the Gordon House, complementary breakfast for resort guests, three lunches and a final night reception and dinner. The Oregon Garden Resort and Spa has a room block with a special rate of $129.00, single or double occupancy through August 9. Special spa discounts are available for all participants.

A waterfall and stream in the Pacific Northwest

Creative Retreat Schedule Preview 


Sunday, September 8 


5:00PM - 8:00PM Opening Reception 


Spotlighting the wearable botanical and floral couture of Carol Jillian FDI 


Enjoy a glass of wine and light hors d'oeuvres in this spectacular kick-off to the Creative Retreat. Meet and mingle with celebrity designers, the FDI instructors, industry leaders and fellow Retreat participants. The evening will feature designs by floral couture artist Carol Jillian. Don’t forget your camera. The reception will be a Social Media dream. Professional models will be wearing Carol’s creations. Professional photographers and writers will be present. There will be floral couture designs to try on and photograph in styled settings.


 Monday, September 9 


7:00AM - 8:00AM Garden Meditation 


Optional sessions in Yoga and Shinrin-yoku will be available for all participants. 


9:00AM - 9:30AM Opening Greeting 


Leanne and David Kesler will open the Retreat and preview the days ahead. 


9:30AM - 12:30PM Morning Session 


Woodland Design Workshop featuring Francoise Weeks 


Today features a once-in a lifetime floral design experience. Floral artist Francoise Weeks will lead a hands-on Woodlands Design Workshop. With the assistance of Francoise and the FDI Instructors each participant will create their own Woodlands Design. Each design will be moved to and displayed in the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Gordon House. 


12:30PM - 1:30PM Tulip Tribe Luncheon 


A delicious lunch will be provided onsite. This is another opportunity to mix and mingle with your Tribe. 


1:30PM - 3:00PM Afternoon Session 


Social Media Experts Panel 


Following lunch, Leanne and David Kesler will moderate a panel consisting of celebrity designers, professional photographers, writers, publishers and industry leaders as they discuss Social Media trends and techniques. 


3:00PM - 4:00PM Garden Tour 


You are invited to a private narrated tram tour of the eighty acre Oregon Gardens. The tour will feature more than 20 specialty gardens showcasing the diverse botanical beauty that can be found in the Willamette Valley and throughout the Pacific Northwest. The tour will end at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Gordon House. 


4:00PM - 6:00PM Wine Reception 


Gordon House Tour and Reception featuring Woodlands Designs. 


Indulge in the history and the beauty of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Gordon House in a tour lead by Gordon House docents. Then revel in the beauty of the Woodland Designs that you created as you see them styled and displayed within and around the Gordon House. Professional garden writers and photographers representing several publications will be covering this unique and exciting event. This will be the first time that floral art has been displayed in the Gordon House. Francoise Weeks will be present celebrating her new book, “The Herbal Recipe Keeper” with a book signing. Professional photographers will be photographing participants and their designs. Wine and light hors d'oeuvres will be served. 


Following our private reception, there will be another private reception featuring your creations for the members of the Oregon Garden, Gordon House and the gardening press. 


6:00PM - 7:30PM After Hours with the Tribe 


Designer Wine and Chat with Carol Jillian. 


A bonus design session and intimate opportunity to chat with Carol Jillian. 


Free Evening to relax, network, and explore the area. 


Tuesday, September 10 


7:00AM - 8:00AM Garden Meditation 


Optional sessions in Yoga and Shinrin-yoku will be available for all participants. 


9:00AM - 12:00AM Morning Session 


Bouquets - Bespoke Garden Style featuring Katie Davis 


Bouquet Design Tuesday begins with a breath-taking hands-on program by the world renowned floral artist Katie Davis. With the assistance of Katie and the FDI Instructors each participant will create their own Bespoke Garden Style Bouquet. Participants will be able to have their designs professionally photographed in uniquely styled settings. 


12:00PM - 1:00PM Tulip Tribe Luncheon 


A delicious lunch will be provided onsite. 


This is another opportunity to mix and mingle with your Tribe. 


1:30PM - 4:30PM Afternoon Session 


Bouquets - Exotic Forest Style featuring Brenna Quan AIFD 


The afternoon features the amazing floral designer Brenna Quan AIFD leading a hands-on program Exotic Forest Style Bouquets. With the assistance of Brenna and the FDI Instructors each participant will create their own Exotic Forest Style Bouquet. Participants will be able to have their designs professionally photographed in uniquely styled settings. 


4:30PM - 6:00PM Social Media Intensive 


There will be gorgeous styled settings created in the garden and professional photographers to photograph your flowers with models. This is your opportunity to participate in the creation of spectacular images for websites, social media and portfolios. 


6:00PM - 7:00PM After Hours with the Tribe 


Designer Wine & Chat with Katie Davis and Brenna Quan AIFD 


An intimate opportunity to chat with Katie and Brenna 


Free Evening 


Wednesday, September 11 


7:00AM - 8:00AM Garden Meditation 


Optional sessions in Yoga and Shinrin-yoku will be available for all participants. 


9:00AM - 12:00AM Morning Session 


Structures - Northwest Bespoke Garden Style with Shane Meehan FDI 


Statement Piece Wednesday begins with an innovative hands-on program by the talented floral artist Shane Meehan. Assisted by Cory Meehan and the FDI instructors, you will participate in the creation of an amazing, on-site installation of a Northwest Bespoke Garden Style Structure. Think big, fabulous, and amazing as you design this floral statement piece on a grand scale. 


12:00PM - 1:00PM Tulip Tribe Luncheon 


A delicious lunch will be provided onsite. This is another opportunity to mix and mingle with your Tribe. 


1:30PM - 4:30PM Afternoon Session 


Structures - Northwest Exotic Forest with Jenny Thomasson AIFD PFCI 


The afternoon features the amazing floral designer and large scale mechanics expert Jenny Thomasson AIFD PFCI. She’ll lead you through the design mechanics necessary for creating innovative statement pieces for any setting. Participants will collaborate on the construction of a unique, one-of-a-kind statement piece of amazing fresh flowers. 


4:30PM – 6:00PM Time to prepare for the final night 


We’ll all dress for the occasion in Portland hipster style…all black, of course! This is your opportunity to pull out that little black dress, favorite pair of black slacks, or rush to the store for a new black ensemble. Yes, we all need an excuse to buy a new black outfit. 


6:00PM - 7:00PM After Hours with the Tribe Designer Wine & Chat with Shane Meehan FDI and Jenny Thomasson AIFD PFCI 


An intimate opportunity to chat with Shane and Jenny 


7:00PM - 9:00PM Closing Dinner Gather with your Tribe and reflect on a grand event. Beginning at sunset, dinner will be held in the beautiful Bosque. This elegant evening will be filled with new friends, beautiful flowers, reminiscing and delicious food. What a grand opportunity for networking and socializing with your Tulip Tribe.