Frankfurt Christmas Market 7th December 2013


An outing not centred around flowers was a bit of a departure for us, but our trip to Birmingham Christmas market went very well. Special thanks to Rosemary who rallied her friends’ support to make the trip viable. You know, flower club people are such nice people.

Surprisingly, the market was not easy to find , but I have sent a message to say that as non-locals we would have appreciated more way-finding information.

On the whole the stall holders were friendly and helpful, and I think the market was representative of the flavour of the markets in Germany. It is true that there were several stalls of the same type, but the same often applies to any British market. As a group we enjoyed the delights of German mulled wine (Gluhwein), grilled sausages, pretzels, gingerbread, crepes and chocolate covered marshmallows. There were hand made wooden toys, Christmas decorations and jewellery for sale as well as a number of other different craft stalls. With music to listen to and street entertainers to watch, the time passed very quickly and it was late in the day before we realised our feet were aching.

A good day out.

PS. To make you smile –

Sheila asked one of the stall holders whether they sold a particular type of German rum and was told they only had French wines!!

A few photographs give an indication of the atmosphere  (with thanks to Ikuyo for her contribution)

Christmas Tree Festival December 2013

Thank you and well done to Lyn J and Doreen W  for entering a BFAS tree in the Christmas Tree Festival at St Pauls.

The lights inside the church from the sixty- one trees made it very difficult to take photographs which do justice to our tree but just a couple are included.

Julie Woods December 2013

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.