Workshop with Ann Swain October 18th 2014

On Saturday October 18th several members and friends attended a workshop run by Ann Swain. The emphasis of the day was on stems – we only used 1-3 flowers all day! This was a challenge for some of us who feel we are less creative and artistic than others.

During the morning we concentrated on decorating a flower stem suitable for a modern bride to carry or to place in a narrow vase.  For the afternoon we decorated stems we had collected from our gardens – the results, as Ann had predicted were experimental and very individual.

We had all arrived ‘with the kitchen sink’ of accessories including wires, sisal ,wire mesh,  ribbons, wool, buttons, preserved plant materials  and lots of glue and all thought we hadn’t the right materials but it was amazing what was produced.

Thank you Ann for a very enjoyable and ‘different’ workshop , for your encouragement , ideas and positive,  constructive criticism. Thanks also to Ann G for organising it.

A few photos  below but they do not  do justice to the skill of the participants and the individuality of the designs.


Barry Grey October 2014 – Open Evening

Delicious  refreshments, the chance to buy tickets to win an arrangement, a stunning sales table, and  the opportunity  to support our charity (both by purchasing from the  well stocked  plant stall and the charity raffle) all added to the expectant and sociable atmosphere prior to the demonstration.

It was delightful to see so many visitors in the packed hall including area officers, members of local flower clubs and friends from as far away as Hereford.  Barry was given a very warm welcome. He is an international demonstrator and one of Britain’s most celebrated floral designers. He began  the evening by reading his own poem ‘ To tread a quiet pathway’.

Each of his arrangements represented a line or phrase from his reading:

  • Garden pathway-flowers within its borders
  • New hopes can be found
  • Snow shall fall and frost shall freeze
  • Blistered heat does scorch the air
  • Journey on a quest
  • For labours past
  • Stretch a dream to its limits far

Many varieties of garden and florist foliage were used ( the licuala palm was amazing) and flowers included his trademark orchids, nerines, carnations, Ecuadorean roses, strelitzia, lilies, proteas, and anthuriums  (to name a few!) to produce stunning arrangements ……….. but let the pictures below speak for themselves!

The demonstration was drawing to a close  and music resounded around the hall. The  audience sat spellbound as  Barry arranged a cascade of flowers in the centre of the stage – keeping his promise  at last year’s area meeting to  give us a stage full of stunning  flowers.

The standing ovation at the end of the evening signified the audience’s appreciation for his skill, vision and presentation.

Thank you Barry for a wonderful evening and to everyone else who contributed to make the evening such a success.