John Chennel December 2015

We were delighted to welcome so many members and friends to a packed hall for our Christmas demonstration.
We were all certainly ‘ In Festive Mood’ by the end of John’s demonstration; the stage looked stunning with a variety of colour (not always traditionally associated with Christmas) , shape, texture and design. John’s knowledge and enthusiasm shone throughout the evening and all of us now have ideas on how ‘to make designs bigger!’
Thank you John for bringing our Emerald Anniversary celebrations to a spectacular conclusion.
A few pictures below remind us of a wonderful evening as we wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, successful and healthy 2016.


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Emerald Dinner November 2015

The hall looked welcoming and attractive as we arrived for our meeting this month. There was an expectant and relaxed atmosphere as over 70 members and friends gathered to celebrate our Emerald Anniversary; 55 years of Bedford Floral Art Society ( originally Bedford Flower Arranging Society). With attractive table arrangements, emerald green accessories and hand painted menu cards for everyone the tables looked very inviting. After a delicious meal, the cake cutting and the toast we enjoyed a flower arranging demonstration by Pat Davies who continued the celebratory and emerald theme with three very attractive and different designs.
The arrangements were raffled together with additional prizes generously donated by local businesses and individuals. As usual, our sales table looked stunning and members bought in anticipation of Christmas.
Many thanks must be given to everyone who contributed to make the evening so successful and enjoyable including the many members who ‘entered into the emerald spirit’ by wearing something green.
We hope the Society will continue to flourish and develop as we look forward to celebrating with ‘diamonds’ in five years.




Jonathan Moseley – October 2015

We were so pleased to welcome many friends and visitors to our Open Evening and to see a packed hall for Jonathan Moseley’s ‘In Special Celebration’ presentation as we continued to celebrate our Emerald Anniversary year.
Jonathan’s knowledge and obvious love of flowers and plant material was evident throughout and his commentary was entertaining, interesting and humorous – there was a very relaxed atmosphere to the evening even when there were gremlins within the sound system and lighting!
All the arrangements were very different but equally stunning. The containers varied from milk churns and wire work baskets to straw rings as we celebrated events from parties to Autumn. Many varieties of garden foliage were used and the flowers included strelitzia, orchid, gerbera, sunflowers, roses, gladioli, lisianthus to name a few – we could almost fill a side of paper if we listed them all!
All six main designs were embellished by additional, slightly different arrangements which meant there were very many happy raffle prize winners at the end of the evening. After adding other artefacts and small arrangements, the final stage was a magnificent display of stunning flowers.
The standing ovation at the end of the evening signified everyone’s enjoyment and the audience’s appreciation of Jonathan’s vision, skill and presentation.
Thank you Jonathan for a wonderful evening and to everyone else – committee and helpers who contributed to make the evening such a success.


Dulcie Lofting September 2015

We were treated to a wonderful evening of contemporary designs from Dulcie this month. Her passion for flowers and plant material was obvious throughout her commentary and we were also given lots of practical advice and tips e.g. how to manipulate calla lillies, making fish tails together with a smaller leaf from one black Thai cordyline, using coloured floral foam as part of a design rather than covering it with foliage.
Dulcie started the evening reading us a passage from How to do the Flowers by Constance Spry – this was written in 1952 but the comments are as relevant and pertinent to contemporary designs today as they were to the arrangements of more than sixty years ago.
The title of the presentation was ‘Simplicity’ and a common theme throughout the evening was the small number of flowers used in each arrangement but always positioned and grouped to give maximum effect.
Each of the six designs were very different but equally striking. We have included three photographs and two of them show only one component of larger arrangements. (we don’t want to spoil the impact and enjoyment for other flower clubs!)
The first picture shows the use of coloured floral foam together with fasciated willow, blue gentian, fatsia leaves and Anastasia chrysanths. Aluminium wire was used to create an enclosed space. Next we have a complete design; a vertical spathe with two placements using Virginia creeper linked by rubus triclor. The only flowers Dulcie used were mango calla lillies to create shape and flow. The colours in the final design were spectacular ( the picture below shows the middle component).
The stage looked stunning at the end of the demonstration and a comment from a member ‘ the Open Evening will have to be good to beat this one’ really sums up the pleasure and inspiration you gave us all Dulcie – thank you.


Lionel Clark August 2015

There were lots of very happy ladies this month as several of Lionel’s arrangements consisted of ‘duos’ so there were more raffle prizes than usual! They were all beautiful but also of a size and design that we could learn from and try to reproduce at home. Lionel’s love of plant material and gardening (especially the challenge of getting a cutting to take!) was obvious and a very wide variety of foliage was used throughout.
The first arrangement was in a traditional jardinière with golden privet, conifer, purple lisianthus and tangerine gerbera. Lionel’s presentation was entitled ‘In Touch’ and he used a glass container for the second design. Rubus, fern and variegated forsythia were used as the background foliage, Anthuriums were positioned ‘away from the other plant material’ to give the impression of flight and then hypericum berries were clustered in the centre.
Lionel reminisced with tales of his childhood and the family tricycle as he produced his ‘Touch of nostalgia’ design using yucca, white hebe, choisya ternata, ballota and euonymous before adding lime green carnations which followed the movement of the yucca stems. We were ‘In touch with the Orient’ for the fourth design using oriental style containers. Dry material gave height with wonderful hosta leaves, bergenia and phlomis leaves. This arrangement was completed with magnificent cymbidium orchids.
A vertical design using roses was next with a broad base of foliage (principally crypotmeria and skimmia) A horizontal arrangement was added to the front– using mainly the same foliage and flowers with the addition of some bottle brush. .
A Touch of wood was the last design using a central piece of wood with complementary arrangements either side. This had a link with the theme of gardening which had run through the entire presentation. A wide variety of texture, form ,colour and foliage was used including harlequin berberis, variegated wiegelia, white marbled laurel, phormium leaves, garden hypericum, echinops and fatshedera. Montbretia, gladioli, lilac stocks, pink lilies, pink carnations and red button chrysanthemums completed a beautiful final arrangement which included colours of all seasons.
Thank you for an enjoyable evening Lionel – hope the journey back to Braintree was uneventful.


Jane Fox July 2015

A lovely Summer’s evening and we were again transported to foreign climes with Jane Fox’s ‘ Come fly with me’ presentation. We started off with an arrangement representing a flight in ‘Just Jane ‘- a restored Lancaster bomber. Jane explained the history and restoration. Palm pods represented the aeroplane’s wings with pale delphiniums for the blue sky and white lilies for clouds. The design also included fatsia and laurel leaves together with hydrangea heads, avalanche roses and alliums.

After a calm flight we arrived in Barbados with Jane telling us lots of interesting facts and experiences from her holiday there. But we were also looking forward to the next WAFA World Show which is being held on the island in 2017. A beautiful piece of driftwood, palms, pittosporum, hosta and croton leaves formed the background for loves lie bleeding, lilies and pale pink roses.
We were off to the beach next with a beautiful yellow design (sand and sun) using antirrhinums, sunflowers and yellow fresco roses with cream carnations (to lift the other colours) against a background of palms, cotoneaster, choisya and hosta foliage. The container this time was made of lily grass decorated with jacaranda seed pods and the design incorporated canes bound with rope to give height and a piece of driftwood.

A vision of flying fish playing in the waves was the inspiration for the fourth design. Foliage including
fishtail palms, pittosporum, croton, fatsia and sweetheart plant leaves were used with strelitzia, larkspur, burgundy carnations and orange Gemini gerberas to produce a stunning arrangement.
Sunsets on holiday always seem to be memorable as was the next design based upon a sphere of wicker. Cotinus foliage, Joseph’s coat of many colours and black Thai leaves formed a background for hypericum berries, tangerine high and mighty roses and anthuriums .
Coming home is always very important and the colours of Britain were represented in the last arrangement using conifer, pine, laurel, pittosporum and hostas with green goddess gladioli, Anastasia chrysanthemums, and euphorbia.
The use of a wide selection of flowers and foliage produced a stunning stage display at the end of the evening and together with Jane’s obvious love of floral design and her informative and knowledgeable commentary ensured everyone had had a very enjoyable evening. Thank you


Rayna Shiach June 2015

We were all looking forward to our holidays by the time we had been on an aeroplane, visited Dubai, enjoyed a drink, sent a postcard and then travelled back home during Rayna Shiach’s presentation ‘Happy Holidays’.
The first design representing the flight away ( accompanied by interesting stories of Rayna’s time as an air stewardess) used manipulated aspidistra leaves, pittisporum, akito roses and lisianthus. The Burj Khalifa Tower (height 2717’) in Dubai together with the sunshine was the inspiration for the next arrangement using eucalyptus and yellow cybidium orchids with cellophane being used to represent the glass of the tower.
We all enjoy a drink of pink champagne on holiday and this was represented by using cypress papyrus for height), manipulated phormium leaves and choisya together with pink and white carnations and dedronium orchids.
The purchase of an ‘exotic bunch’ was used to create the ‘wish you were here’ postcard arrangement. The bunch contained unknown ‘pig face’ , heliconia and ginger lilies and used with pandanus (screw pine), phoenix palm, lady’s finger palm and cordylines.
We celebrated coming home with a lovely arrangement using variegated pieris, cupressus, High Society roses, orange carnations and purple lisianthus.


Vicki Hease May 2015

We were certainly looking forward to the summer months ahead after Vicki’s ‘Alfresco Summer’ presentation – we could all associate and reminisce with the activities Vicki described – many from her childhood. A real feature of the evening was the amazing variety of plant material used (from cow parsley to pipthanthus nepalensis ) – it is impossible to mention them all.
Everyone enjoys a barbecue which was the inspiration for the first design, flames represented by broom, cherry brandy roses and flame red freesias together with bronze single spray chrysanthemums.
An exotic beach was our next port of call – a basket decorated with scallop shells contained an arrangement using bergenia and calathea leaves, grasses and rolled aspidistra leaves together with pink carnations (some rolled in bergenia leaves), white and pink oriental lilies. The inclusion of sea urchin shells on lily stems finished off the design beautifully.
Bright yellow gerberas representing buttercups and white lisianthus for ox-eye daisies set the scene for the Summer meadow arrangement which also included raspberry canes, cow parsley, phlomis and honeysuckle foliage. A picnic in Kent was next (with memories of primus stoves in a biscuit tin!) in patriotic red, white and blue using garrya ellipitica and rosemary with red Naomi roses, sweetheart roses, gypsophila and lavender blue freesias.
We visited a carnival for our fifth design – a multi coloured arrangement with mixed coloured gerbera, green and mauve striped carnations setting the vibrant scene against a collar of fatsia leaves with pittisporum, euonymus, and euphorbia. Throughout the design Vicki made creative use of cup holders, parts of a door curtain, glitter and baubles.
Finally we moved into a gazebo on the lawn for fine dining. This exotic arrangement used a large variety of foliage including manipulated iris foetidissima (stinking iris) leaves . Flowers included tellima, dolomiti roses, lilac, pulsatilla seed heads, gypsophila, white lilies, parrot tulips, September flower and cymbidium orchids.
The stage looked stunning at the end of the presentation. The design were varied in shape, texture and colour and there were some very happy and lucky members going home with beautiful arrangement . Thank you Vicki for a very enjoyable, entertaining and informative evening and for  travelling all the way from Suffolk for your first visit to Bedford.



Members Evening April 2015

The photographs we’ve chosen this month depict a very busy and sociable atmosphere in the hall as we participated in a ‘hands on session’ at our ‘Fun, Friendship and Flowers’ members evening.
There was initial frustration from some as we attempted unfamiliar skills manipulating aspidistra, phormium and ivy leaves – plaiting, pleating, folding, stranding, shredding. Thanks to Sandra for demonstrating some of the basic ideas and spending time patiently with groups around the room. Gradually everyone relaxed and many interesting and different forms were produced.
After delicious refreshments produced by Linda and a short time to socialise with other members it was time to incorporate our leaf manipulations into a spring design using a plant pot. Everyone was given tulips and daffodils and could include their own foliage and accessories. As Easter was still in our minds there were lots of twigs, chicks, nests and eggs!
We always knew our members were talented but the display of almost fifty very varied and beautiful arrangements on the stage at the end of the evening really showcased their expertise.
Thank you to everyone who showed enthusiasm during the evening and to those who worked hard to make the event so successful.

Flower arranging class March 2015

Although there were only a few members  at the  ‘refresh your skills’ class everyone thoroughly enjoyed the session – all producing a vertical design. When all put together  there was a  lovely parallel arrangement ! With many thanks to Ann G for giving her time and expertise.

2015-03-16 20.11.43 (2) class March 2015.jpg