Visit to Beth Chatto’s Garden

On Saturday 31 July, a group of us gathered together to go on a coach trip to visit Beth Chatto’s gardens just outside Colchester.  After weeks of dry and fine weather it was dull and drizzling with rain and by the time we reached the M11 an hour later it was really raining!

However, once we arrived at the Garden, the sun was making an effort to shine and after lunch in the cafe we set off to admire Beth’s extensive and varied garden.  It was very peaceful and easy to while away a couple of hours before going to the Plant Nursery where there were hundreds of different plants available to buy.  I think nearly everyone on the trip returned home with a plant or two (or more!) as the luggage compartment of the coach was full of plants! I just wish my garden was more like Beth’s ………!

NAFAS National Show, Harrogate 9th & 10 July

Well what a lovely day I had at the National Show on Friday.  It was a hot and sunny day and I’d almost gone off the idea by thinking about how hot the halls were going to be and how crowded.  But in fact the Harrogate International Centre is very spacious and although there were a lot of people there it didn’t seem too crowded.  I was glad I made the effort, some of the arrangements were truly stunning.  After wandering around for an hour or so, I decided to give my feet a break and went into the NAFAS Education section where a learning session was just about to start on using sticks in Continental designs.  It was very interesting and I picked up some useful tips.  I also bumped into Penny from our Committee in there! (Many of you will know her from the Book Stall!) Later, as I was in Harrogate town centre on a break for lunch, I bumped into Pearl also from our Committee (Raffle table supremeo!)  What a small world it is.

In the afternoon, I went to see a demonstration by Michael Bowyer entitled “Hallelujah”.  A really spectacular show. 2 hours of Music, Dance and Singing accompanied by some wonderful flower arrangements.  There were dancers from Pakistan, songs from famous shows and all types of music.  It ended with a comedy sketch based on The Full Monty which saw Michael ripping off his trousers while his team of helpers hid behind large umbrellas!

I took so many photos during the day but have chosen just a few to give you a small flavour of the day.  If you really want to find out what it’s like, you should make a date in your diary for next year when it will be held in Torquay on  22 – 24 September.  It sounds like a good place for a weekend away!

This first set of photos are some the class entries in the show ranging from traditional pedestals and country gardens to a really bright and bold class called ‘Pandemonium’

The final photos are just a few from Michael Bowyers show.

Jane Ellis – “The Seeing Eye”

On Tuesday 6th July we were joined by Jane Ellis, a recently qualified area demonstrator.  Jane created 6 colourful arrangements along the theme of “The Seeing Eye” and in one of them she used some Florigene Genetically modified carnations in ‘Moonlite’ – a lovely shade of strong mauve.  She also showed us some interesting manipulative techniques with Snake Grass and included a variety of interesting other techniques including one that caused gasps from the audience when Jane removed all the petals off some bright yellow sunflowers before placing them in her arrangement!  The results of her endeavours can be seen below.