On Tuesday evening we had a lovely Christmas meeting with Lorena Dyer from Coventry who delighted us with a selection of Christmas arrangements based on everything from a box of chocolates to an evening at the ballet! Lorenena’s designs were full of bold colours and after just a couple of hours, she had filled the stage. A few photos from the evening are below….
A group of us had a lovely day yesterday at the Church Hall in Kempston Rural when Laura Leong came down to lead 2 Christmas themed workshops – in the morning we did ‘Traditional with a Twist’ – where we were offered a choice of making either a beautiful holly leaf door wreath or a cone shaped ‘christmas tree’ arrangement in an urn. The afternoon session was entitled ‘Contemporary Christmas’ and again we had a choice of what to create – either a wire frame that we had to form from wires and string covered wire – (quite intricate but we all rose to the challenge!) that we subsequently decorated with berries, ivy, dried fruits, baubles or anything else that people had brought along and the second one was a modern decoration on a wreath frame. Some people did both the morning and afternoon session, some did just one. Laura made all four arrangements plus a couple of others and they were raffled off – she also showed us some other little techniques such as how to make a lovely 5 pointed star using wire wrapped around a ruler. I’ve just been out in my garage having a go at that now! I think we all learned something new, as well as enjoying the social side of the event and look forward to the next workshop – whatever it may be!
Janet Cooper from Northamptonshire gave us a step back in time with her demonstration entitled “My Colour Palette”
Back to our roots as flower arrangers with the NAFAS Colour Wheel as her inspiration. Among the arrangements she used elements of the colour wheel to create a Monochromatic Design (tones of all one colour) and then a Polychromatic Design using all colours as if we had just been given a mixed bunch from the Garage or Supermarket, but of course with the added extra an Orchid! Good use of texture and forms within her arrangments and ideas that could be scaled down to
enhance any home. A wonderful evening with so many arrangments to take home for the lucky raffle ticket winners.
We had a lovey morning yesterday at Christ Church Hall in Goldington where under the expert guidance of the two Ann’s from our Committee we met to get some hints, tips and advice on how to create the perfect pedestal. Everyone attending had been asked to not spend more than £10 on flowers as this was felt to be the amount allowed by many local churches for doing the Church flowers. After just 2 hours, the hall was filled with a huge variety of colours and styles of pedestal arrangements – all beautiful – and we’d all had an enjoyable morning too. Many thanks to Ann P and Anne G for organising it so well.
What a pleasure to welcome Jayne on the 4th October for our open meeting , and what a spectacular evening it was with such wonderful arrangements. Beginning with the urn, for the foliage Jayne used weigillia and trailing ivy and fatsia leaves. For the flowers Jayne used pale pink roses and powder blue delphinium and carnations, and lime green chrysanthimums.
In her second arrangement Jayne used a type of conifer called ‘thauja’ , and said that ”it the sent of apples and pinapples. For the flowers Jayne used the zedbra grass and yellow rose and also gladiolis, and the bright sunflowers and also the brassica.
Jayne’s third arrangement was the imaginative butterfly with the wings that she made out of damp twiggs to form the shape and then let it dry out, the arrangement was in a cone sprayed with lots of glitter. Some aspidistra leaves and fatsia leaves, and also the phoenix palm. Then placing the the lovely open pink lily’s, and the cerise gerbera, and roses before finally adding the cymbidium orchid.
For the fourth arrangement, Jayne used a metal round frame, which she had addapted in the middle Jayne has used a wreath wire and secured it with the fabric , and had made swirls out of wire and used bullion wire to infill these showing different textures in the design. Again phoenix palm was used and choicer . Then adding a green cymbidium and the pale green anthurium with just a hint of pale pink on them almost as if painted or sprayed on, and green blooms.
The fifth arrangement was also in a metal interlocking frame again which Jayne had used with sisal and leaves cones sequences and glitter and sceleton leavesand sprayed. Using the smoked bush leaves and the seed heads of crocosimia. The flowers that were used were cherry brandy roses and chinese lanturns.
Jaynes final arrangement was a star made from chicken wire and sisal. gypsophillia was used to interperatethe stars, Jayne used open white lily’s and green carnation in this arrangement , along with aspidistra leaves that were sprayed in silver spray paint, and some phormium leaves, and large avalanche roses
Jo Williams from Northampton was our demonstrator for the September meeting. Her title was “A New Leaf”, and she did 4 arrangements which included a wide selection of flowers and foliage. Jo began the evening with an autumn themed design in an unusual container covered in russet coloured leaves. Her materials included a variety of foliage with bloom chrysanthemums and gladioli, and her final touch was a string of Chinese lanterns to run through the arrangement. Throughout her demonstration, and despite microphone problems, Jo continued to give us interesting tips and information about the different garden plant material she was using.
In her second design Jo used 3 very large blue hydrangea heads along with veronica and clematis to depict late summer; the blue of the flowers being lifted by Jo’s choice of Choisya “Sundance” as her main foliage. Her third design was seaside themed and was arranged in a very large shell container which Jo informed us would not be found on a beach but which she had obtained via the internet. She mentioned that she had a passion for ivies and introduced us to Hedera Helix Erecta which she used throughout this arrangement along with sedum and white roses
Her final design was done on an angled wooden stand and was symbolic of the New Zealand Tree Fern. Jo used a selection of leaves to depict the fern and then arranged large white and pink lilies, light pink tinged anthuriums and orchids. Jo then threaded a string of carnation heads through the arrangement before producing a smaller, matching “tree fern” arrangement which she had done earlier
On Saturday August 6th, 34 ladies from our club made their way to Chicheley Hall near Newport Pagnell. We weren’t quite sure what to expect as it was a new event and the pre-publicity had been quite understated but we are so glad we went. Chicheley Hall itself is a lovely old building and the flowers that decorated it were exquisite, I have never seen so many orchids anywhere before nor even flower arrangements on such a huge scale. Flowers filled every room of the house, and outside was wonderful too. There were floating arrangements on the pond, decorated trees, landscape art, and the local church was decorated too. There was a big marquee with continuous demonstrations by international designers including Gregor Lersch, Moniek Vanden Berghe, Damien Koh and mini demonstrations in another part of the house. It rained a little in the afternoon but nothing could dampen our spirits that day and if it is on again next year, you really should try to keep the date free to see it for yourself. A few photographs are below to just give you a little taste of what we saw at Chicheley Hall.
Gill’s last visit to our club was in 2007 so it was a great pleasure to welcome her back again for the July meeting. Her enthusiasm for flowers, flower arranging, floristry and foliage remains as strong as ever and was evident throughout her demonstration which was peppered with useful information as well as alternative ideas for some common household items. Can you spot the table mat, tie holder and bath scrunchy in the photos?
In the bath scrunchy arrangement Gill used Palm, Scindapsus and Pandanus leaves. I am familiar with the first of those but had to look up the other two the following day. In case you don’t know either – Scindapsus (Devil’s Ivy) is easy to grow as a house plant and Pandanus is a large genus of about 600 trees and shrubs from Asia and Africa, most of which have broad and dense leaves.
Gill’s sense of humour was a wonderful addition to the evening but there was an almost audible sigh of relief in the hall when both ‘homework tasks’ were allocated. We await to see if certificates are collected! (I’m afraid the significance of the last two sentences will be missed unless you were at the meeting).
On June 21st, approximately 30 of our members gathered in the centre of Ampthill to visit The Kings Arms Garden, a woodland garden of about 2 acres managed by volunteers on behalf of Ampthill Town Council. We had first heard of this garden at our AGM in February, when Joan Emsley, one of the volunteers, had visited our club to give us a talk and slides and many of our members had said how much they would like to visit it for real. The entrance is hidden away down Kings Arms Yard off the old Market Square and it’s difficult to believe that you are in the centre of a town once you are inside. We were met by 2 of the volunteers, Joan and Bryden, who gave us a brief talk on the history of the site and pointed out some of the more interesting plants to look out for before we all wandered around on our own. The threatened rain managed to stay away and we had a very pleasant couple of hours just a few miles away from home. There were plants for sale which many of us were unable to resist and an opportunity to meet up with other club members beforehand for a drink and a bite to eat so all in all it was a lovely evening. A special thankyou to Bryden and Joan who made the evening possible and also so enjoyable.
What lovely arrangements that Sue gave us, very cottage garden, and as Sue said ‘ she doesn’t have a wholesalers near to her so she goes to the supermarket’ so it goes to show that supermarket flowers are just as good, telling us stories of her life and how she met her husband , who showed us his love and passion for Scotland that he invested in a Kilt, and what a ‘bonny’ lad he looked too.