Visit to Chatsworth 10th May 2014

The weather was iffy, but the company was good and it was generally agreed to be a lovely day out.

With limited time we made straight for the House on our arrival. There were many beautiful and inspiring  floral arrangements in the rooms and corridors with both traditional and contemporary designs on display; plenty of wonderful photo opportunities.

After a quick bite to eat it was time to queue for the demonstration. It was good to swap notes with members from other flower clubs as we waited.

Jonathan’s demonstration was first class.  An innovative and talented designer, Jonathan kept our attention for the whole 75 minutes and his passion for his work was obvious. He worked quickly, deftly and with precision, yet was able still to talk eloquently about Chatsworth’s history, the preparations for Florabundance, the gardens, his designs, the plants he used and give us  a few tips too.   The end result was super -the stage looked stunning at the end of the presentation.

There were six arrangements for raffle prizes and two of them were won by people from our party! Off stage the arrangements looked wonderful of course, but BIG.  We had the benefit of a 49 seater coach  so the arrangements could have a seat each ( there were only 23 of us), but  we had to remove some of the taller stems  in order to get them home safely.  See picture below.

We managed by the skin of our teeth to get enough support to make this outing possible so  thank you very, very  much to all those members and friends who came.





Members Evening May 2014

It was a very different meeting this month entitled ‘Fun, Friendship and Flowers’. The aim was to  encourage as many members as possible to take part.

Almost fifty members participated in a ‘hands on’ practical session. The completed arrangements were so varied that it was difficult to realise that everyone had been provided with the same container, midelino sticks, five flowers and some broad leaf foliage. These were supplemented with up to three items of the members’ own choice – twisted willow, extra foliage or flowers, aluminium wire, sisal and butterflies to name a few! The colourful and attractive designs on the stage at the end of the evening really showcased the expertise and talent within the club.

There was also the opportunity to watch demonstrations by members Sheila and Hazel. They produced a pedestal arrangement and church windowsill design using a wide variety of flowers and  foliage (mostly from their own gardens) as well as providing lots of practical tips along the way.

There was also social time to enjoy refreshments and a chat and the committee are grateful for the effort taken to complete a questionnaire; the results of which will inform us as we plan for the development and future of the society.

Thank you to everyone who showed enthusiasm during the evening and to those who worked hard   to organise the event.

A few photos below  give a flavour of the evening.

Joyce Furssedonn April 2014

We welcomed Joyce to BFAS on April 1st .  The foliage, almost all from her own garden, provided a wonderful variety of colour and texture as background to the designs in   her  Pic ‘n ’Mix demonstration. I’m sure many of us were inspired to be more adventurous with the foliage we grow and use.

The first arrangement was in a picnic basket. The foliage in this design was from her garden and included   cupressa, sundance choisya, juniper and cristata ‘The King’. The flowers were   peach carnations, spray chrysanthemums picking up the colour of the basket , mini gerberas and roses.  The smaller accompanying design had us reminiscing about pic ‘n’ mix sweets which Joyce had kindly placed at the base for our enjoyment.

The next three arrangements were bold statement containers:  two metal structures and a snake basket. Green balls and black bamboo were used to enhance the metal containers. The  focus of the second arrangement was longiflorum lilies and palms with green carnations, conifer and senecio. The third design was a vibrant arrangement of pink gerberas and anthuriums.  The shape of the design was further enhanced by trimmed trachy palm leaves, variegated box and hypericum with phormium leaves   providing height. Eucalyptus bark gave an interesting texture to the design in the snake basket  together with  contorted willow, phormium  and nadina  domestica. Spray carnations and  orchids were stunning against this foliage.

A parallel arrangement between two pieces of   stylised ladder sculptured wood used Cotoneaster and  dracaena leaves with aliums, tulips and red anthuriums. Paddy’s Pride formed the basis of the final design with stems of cornus   providing  height.The green and white design used green carnations, avalanche roses, Anastasia chrysanthemums, green anthuriums and gypsophila. This arrangement was displayed within a wooden framework which Joyce acknowledged was the handiwork of her husband.

‘Fun with Flowers’ was a phrase Joyce used on several occasions and her enjoyment in floral  art  was reflected throughout her demonstration.

A few photographs  are below with apologies that I forgot to remove the (wrong) date from the pictures.

Daphne Gramt March 2014

Daphne introduced herself as a glassaholic and the wonderful array of containers she used in her ‘Georgeous Glass demonstration certainly confirmed her love of the material. The vases in varying shapes, sizes, colour and origin were a small part of her ever growing collection.

Her first arrangement was in a beautiful turquoise blue container with frilled edges. Eucalyptus, euonymus, epimedium and pussy willow formed a wonderful background for this white design using tulips, anemones, giant chincherinchee and alstromeria.

The second design, a Hogarth curve, in a beautiful dusky pink candlestick style container was vibrant in colour using cerise carnations, eustoma ,pink gerbera, pink roses and wax flower with viburnum tinus, arbutus  and Berry Marmalade heuchera foliage.  The third design, a long, low arrangement in Daphne’s ‘flying saucer’ container was designed as an all-round arrangement using ‘Cream Wave’ phormiums, yellow roses and tulips. The smooth leaves of the acuba and the wrinkled pittisporum  gave contrast of texture.

The next container reminded us of the peeling layers of an onion and included curled, plain and cream striped aspidistra leaves, choisya, and fatsia as foliage. Leucadendron formed the central point of the design with greenish carnations spiralling around it. Anastasia chrysanthemums completed the arrangement.

The red stems of prunus luctanica (Portuguese bay), together with cotoneaster, arbutus and fatsia formed the basis of the fifth design which was in a black and white vase similar in shape to a Yard of Ale glass. Red leucadendron, scarlet carnations, spray roses, red parrot tulips and scarlet gerberas completed a stunning arrangement.

An L shaped design was the final arrangement which picked up the pink tints in the glass container. ‘Red Devil’ phormium leaves (with rolled ends), skimmia and bergenia leaves provided the foil for pink lisianthus, roses(with a hint of pink), mini pink gerberas, mini amaryllis and pink anthuriums to add a touch of drama.

Daphne provided us with a most enjoyable evening producing six lovely designs – all equally desirable as raffle prizes.  Each design was a different shape and colour combination and included a variety of foliage which most of us have in the garden –  and all enhanced by her Georgeous Glass containers.