A Christmas feel welcomed members and friends to our final meeting of 2013. Thank you to everyone who provided and bought items at the plant stall (with holly, evergreens, pine and wreaths) and the Christmas parcels stall. Both of these raised additional money for our charity Leukaemia Research Bedford Branch. The sales table again was attractive and well stocked with a wide variety of general and seasonal items
We were pleased to welcome one of our own members, Julie Woods, with her demonstration ‘Let the Festivities Begin’. The six arrangements were very different in colour, shape and design but all were enhanced by the inclusion of a wide variety of foliage and by the use of Christmas glitter, baubles and decorations.
The first design included aspidistra leaves, arbutus, variegated hedera and loops of bound steel grass as a background for ornithigolam flowers and lime centred gerberinas. A beautiful arrangement on a posy pad.
Red carnations, merlot spray chrysanthemums and poinsettia provided the colour for The Santa arrangement which also used birch twigs, elaeagnus, holly and yew, with bergenia leaves providing a quiet area for the eyes to rest. Santa was given a cracker as were several members of the audience who shared the jokes with us. The next design, for a table centre, used virburnum bodnantense, rubus tricolor, bay, holly and fern. The colours of the spray roses, Singapore orchids and lilies complemented the glass container filled with baubles and beads.
The next design had us looking forward to planning holidays in warmer climes but also reminded us of the spices we use over the festive season. Julie used a wonderful structure of her own design, which was decorated with apples, oranges, peppers and cinnamon to display pincushion proteas, spray roses and celosia with palm, gilded fatsia, choisya and monstera foliage. Carols and Nativity were the inspiration for the fifth arrangement in two baskets linked by woven phormium leaves. Amongst the foliage of cycas leaves, spindleberry, fatsia and euonymous, the beautifully coloured Gabriel anthuriums, large speciality chrysanthemums and cymbidium provided a wonderful contrast to the previous design.
The final arrangement used an aluminium trough container decorated with cones, reminding us of winter Christmas scenes. The varied and colourful foliage included rhamnus, curly leaved hedera, variegated viburnum tinus, contorted willow and arum itallcum. Together with snowy (cotton wool) twigs and silver leaves, it was a lovely display even before Julie added avalanche roses, brassica, longiflorum lilies and gypsophila.
Julie completed the final touches to her stunning stage display as Aled Jones sang Walking in the Air. An inspiring evening ensured everyone left the meeting feeling ready for the preparations and the celebrations ahead.