Janet Cooper December 2016

We were certainly in the festive spirit after Janet had entertained us with her ‘Christmas Creations’ on Tuesday.

Her designs were inspired by  the Christmas pudding, the Christmas tree, the nativity scene,  and an innovative way to use baubles and a hanging basket  in addition to giving  us ideas for table  and general Christmas arrangements.  Traditional green and red colours were used but it was good to see others included such as pink, lilac and orange  together with glitter and spray!

Janet used a wide variety of flowers  including oriental lilies, chrysanthemums, anthuriums, roses, carnations, orchids, amaryllis and gerbera. There was even more variety in foliage – holly, ramnus, begonia, blue spruce, cupressus, eucalyptus, twisted hazel, fatsia, variegated mallow to name just a few.

Thank you Janet for concluding a really instructive, exciting and varied programme of demonstrations this year.

Janet has kindly agreed to us including a couple of photographs.






Workshop with Gill McGregor November 2016

Twenty members had another very enjoyable and instructive day with Gill on Saturday. We had two very different sessions;  the morning was spent producing a ‘contemporary Christmas screen using the lacing technique with a free standing arrangement’ and in the afternoon we used the caging technique ( and another way to use an aspidistra leave) to produce a Christmas coffee table arrangement.

Thank you Gill and also to Ann G and Penny for organising the day. Just a couple of pictures to give an idea of what was achieved.


Kathy Stangaard November 2016

We took a quick trip round London Theatreland with Kathy’s ‘All the World’s a Stage’  presentation this month.

Eliza’s (from ‘My Fair Lady’) hat was formed mainly from Black aspidistra leaves and avalanche roses. This was followed by a tropical ‘South Pacific’ arrangement.   Fatsia, manipulated pandanus leaves and plaited palms were the main foliage   together with heliconia , ginger flowers, Singapore orchids and cream anthuriums   I wonder how many of us have tried plaiting the palm holding it between our knees?!!

We had an Egyptian theme next with an arrangement including  raphis palm ,sunflowers, germini and  lotus seed heads together with sparkling twigs and contrasting turquoise baubles. A Hogarth curve design represented ‘Blithe Spirit’ using soft ruscus for the outline and then  enhanced by piccolo white eustoma and pink sweet avalanche roses giving an ethereal effect.

The ‘Sound of Music’ was represented by a parallel design. The foliage, grouped to provide contrast in texture, colour and shape, included fatsia, bergenia, garrya elliptica, variegated conifer and nutmeg bush. The verticals were formed from variegated carnations, Kermit germini and carnations together with aconitum.The final arrangement represented the Globe Theatre using soft palm, Anastasia chrysanthemums, box and anthuriums.

The designs were very varied in colour, design and shape; all equally attractive and they   formed a lovely final stage display. Together with an entertaining and humorous commentary which was also instructive and displayed Kathy’s knowledge and love of floral  art we all had a very enjoyable and inspiring evening. Thank you Kathy.


Sandy Bailey October 2016

We were delighted to welcome Sandy Bailey back to Bedford for our Open Evening this year . ‘Verve, energy, liveliness and sparkle ‘ is the Oxford dictionary’s definition of pizzazz and  Sandy certainly   provided us with that with her ‘Floral Pizzazz’ presentation. Her creativity with containers, flower material and staging were inspirational.  The inclusion of music added to the atmosphere of the evening.

The display  at the end of the evening looked stunning with six wonderful but very different designs enhanced by additional and complimentary arrangements that were ‘prepared earlier’.  Sandy has kindly agreed to allow us to share some of the designs – we will let the pictures speak for themselves

Thank you Sandy for a wonderful evening and to everyone else – committee and helpers who contributed to make the evening such a success.


All Saints Flower Festival October 2016

The Society contributed to the Flower Festival at All Saints Church, Queens Park Bedford, over the weekend of October 1st . They also completed window arrangements  depicting  harvest in Scotland and Wales together with  candlestick arrangements. Many thanks to Sandra, Linda , Lynda  and Jane for their time,  effort and expertise – it was much appreciated by everyone.


Doug Howard September 2016

We welcomed ‘A Man and his Box of Flowers’ this month  as Doug  Howard  demonstrated and explained his love of flower arranging and how he came to combine this with his ‘day job’ as a barber. We also recognised how he is enjoying his retirement and how his travels and activities are providing inspiration and influence on his designs.

Throughout, it was Doug’s passion for and knowledge of foliage  ( as well as beautiful flowers) that I remember most from the demonstration – I would have been delighted if I had won several of the designs before a single flower was added  (sadly I didn’t!).

A variety of colour and texture was provided within the foliage and he also showed us several techniques of leaf  manipulation. Heuchera, bergenia, fatsia, eunonymous, aspidistra, mahonia, larch, steel grass and several different ferns and palms  are just a few examples of the foliage he used. His arrangements were then enhanced by roses, carnations, gladioli, chrysanthemums, agapanthus, gerberas, lisianthus, calla lillies and dahlias.

There was also variety  in size – from a coffee table  design using just three gerbera to his final arrangement which was a stunning centre piece on the stage.

Doug has kindly agreed that we can share the pictures of his designs.


Members evening August 2016

Now a regular feature of our annual programme, almost two thirds of our membership enjoyed an evening of flowers, friendship and fun.

Flowers and accessories from Sales Table profit  meant everyone could make an arrangement using 5 stems of flowers and midelino sticks. The photos show the variety of designs and the talent we have within the Club.

Friendship: a generous and tasty ‘bring and share’ buffet from the members.

Fun:  a tombola for charity funds and a table quiz to challenge even the most knowledgeable plantsman.

Thank you to the hardworking committee for all the planning and preparation.

We know we have done well when someone says ‘I think we should have two of these a year’!


Clare Allen July 2016

We were delighted to welcome Clare Allen of Skipp’s Florists this month as she had kindly filled in at short notice when our booked demonstrator was indisposed. Clare  presented ‘Anniversary Jewels’ with all the flowers and containers depicting the wedding anniversary colour

We started  with a grouped arrangement representing Silver wedding using  dried pussy willow, antirrhinums, lisianthus , alstromeria,  stocks, menthol and sweet dolomiti roses.  We moved on to Ruby and Clare talked about having movement through the design. This included palms,  mahonia, beech, cotinus, clove carnations, red germinii and rubena lilies. The arrangement and movement was further enhanced by mechanics of  red wire netting with sequins and voile flower heads.

A beautiful hand blown blue glass dish was the base for the Sapphire arrangement. This included baby blue eucalyptus, brunia foliage and a variety of blue flowers .  Surprisingly,  the  arrangement was enhanced by the final addition of pink phlox and dulcet roses. A useful tip:  hydrangea are so thirsty use an orchid tube!

Next came Golden;  a flat design consisting primarily of lemon and cream flowers   including alstromeria,  stocks and  crème de crème roses. Steel grass was used to ‘cage’ the arrangement. Fifty five years signifies Emerald;   lime green carnations and Bloom Anastasia chrysanthemums  were used together with ferns, baby blue eucalyptus, molucella, dracaena and glittered coral fern.

An eye-catching and glittering container for the finale representing a Diamond wedding. This was a layered arrangement using alstromeria, alchemilla mollis, white campanula, tanacetum,and beautiful Duchess paeonies.

Thank you Clare for sharing your expertise during the evening  whilst producing stunning arrangements.



Theresa Rodrigues June 2016

We were delighted to welcome Theresa Rodrigues to our June meeting when she presented ‘From Root to Bloom’. It was also good  to see so many members who had braved the tremendous  thunder storms and flooding  to attend the meeting.

In contrast to the weather outside it was lovely to be transported to Malaysia and hear of Theresa’s background and  return visits to her homeland with her family.  There were floral designs representing a childhood memory of a fishing village off the Malacca Strait, the  Petronas Towers, the Night Market in Kuala Lumpar, the Island of Eagles and the  lusciousness of the Botanical Gardens.

All the  stunning, vibrant  arrangements really depicted the landmarks she was describing and  were in wonderful, complimentary containers. Many different types of flowers  were used    including both cymbidium and Singapore orchids, gloriosa lilies, anthuriums, lilies, tuberose, strelitzia and my favourites – tulipa ricocco and a double hydrangea ‘Beauty Pageant’. Foliage was  just as varied and was representative of the  verdant rain forest. Theresa kindly agreed to share one photo with us – guess which landmark this was!

Thank you Theresa for a very enjoyable evening sharing your skill  and your love of flowers with us- we hope you and all the audience had a safe and trouble free journey home.

Workshop with Gill McGregor May 2016

Over twenty members attended the workshop  at Bromham on May 7th.  A  member’s comment of ‘I had a brilliant day and Gill was fantastic, such an inspiration with all her great ideas’ sums up  what was a  really enjoyable and instructive day.

Thank you to Gill  and to Ann G and Penny for organising the day. Just a couple of pictures below to indicate what  some  of us achieved.