Mark Entwistle Open Evening October 2021

Mark’s first visit to BFAS and Home Counties was a great success.  He is known as The Floral Enthusiast  and he certainly lived up to the title.

Each of his  designs focussed on either a primary or secondary colour and as he worked he explored the meanings and associations of that particular colour.   The first arrangement was an orange theme and the colour meaning….  creativity and enthusiasm, sums up Mark very well. 

His  skill   in using so many different flowers,   colour tones , form and space in each arrangement demonstrated his creative  and artistic abilities.     For example in the ‘yellow’ design he included  lilies, antirrhinums, lemon ice gerbera, moonwalker roses and craspedia together with dracaena Florida beauty against a background of bright yellow mitosanarka twigs

The audience was treated to a masterclass. 

Emma Remington September 2021

At a flower club you meet old friends and make new ones and this month Emma Remington made a first visit to BFAS, but we hope it won’t be the last. Emma describes her style as ‘ contemporary country floral design’. The light touch and informality were appreciated by her audience.

Trees are important in all our lives and Emma’s arrangements were inspired by her connections with them and memories around them.  

Emma used a vast array of  flowers and foliage  to create five very different  designs including  two foam free arrangements ( it is always interesting to see the new and creative  ideas  for mechanics).    She gave us many tips  and new ideas along the way  –  including a new way of opening up rose flowers,  using spare rose leaves to create depth, cotoneaster to provide movement  and threading carnations onto aluminium wire.

Emma kindly agreed to share photographs with us.

Thank you for a very enjoyable evening, Emma

Sophie O’Keeffe August 2021

We were back! It was great to see everyone again and with  a few covid protocols in place we had a happy and relaxed evening when Sophie O’Keeffe presented her  ‘New York, New York’ demonstration.  This enabled members to reminisce about   their own memorable visits to the Big Apple and allowed others to dream about travelling again once the pandemic is finally over. Inspired by a whirlwind visit to New York Sophie gave us lots of facts  as we visited, through her arrangements, the iconic Statue of Liberty  and the tranquillity of Central Park. By contrast the design reflecting the exciting and brightly lit Times Square was  bold and vibrant . No visit to the big city is complete without admiring the amazing skyline and drinking a Cosmopolitan Cocktail. Sophie has kindly said we can share her designs – can you decide which one is which? The variety  of designs both in form and colour gave an impactful display on the stage at the end of the evening.

A lovely selection of  flowers and foliage, all beautifully conditioned,  were used including delphiniums, roses, larkspur, eustoma, calla lilies, anthuriums, antirrhinums, dahlias, aspidistra, fatsia, soft ruscus and euonymus– to name a few.

BFAS’s first meeting and Sophies’s  first demonstration for almost eighteen months  – thank you for a delightful evening Sophie.

Visit to Shuttleworth Swiss Gardens September 2020

It was great to catch up with some BFAS friends this week many of whom hadn’t met  each other since our last meeting at the beginning of March. We had so much to chat about we didn’t really do justice to the Shuttleworth Swiss Gardens but they were looking lovely in the sunshine as you can see from the pictures below. We still don’t know when we can meet again as a Flower Club but in the meantime stay safe.

Doug Howard March 2020

‘What a good demonstrator we had this evening. All the arrangements so different and flower colours so carefully chosen’

This  comment  summed up everyone’s reaction as we welcomed Doug Howard back to BFAS to present ‘Brilliantissimum’ – the first demonstration of our Diamond Anniversary Year. There was a relaxed atmosphere: he gave us useful tips, introduced us  to dynamic balance  (see Summer 2019 Flower Arranger) , to new plant material  (Jatropha Firecracker) and sundries ,  gave an interesting and entertaining commentary whilst using his skill to produce a  display of varied and colourful floral designs ( there were  two non foam designs including the use of a pinholder) – the stage certainly  looked ‘brilliant’ at the end of the evening.

This year we have also reintroduced ‘Your Turn’ when members interpret a title and  bring along their arrangements – this is not a competition and not judged but designed to share ideas . The title was ‘Spring around the Corner’.  There were some beautiful and inspirational arrangements. We were pleased with the number of responses and thank members who participated  – we are always delighted with the talent and expertise we have amongst our membership. Our next Your Turn is in July when the title is ‘Summer Gardens’.

What a ‘brilliantissum’ start to  our Diamond Anniversary Year – thank you Doug for starting it of so well.

AGM February 2020

It is always good to welcome a  large number of our members to the AGM. 2019 was another successful and varied year for the Society .  The demonstrations had been inspirational and enjoyable and  there had been a challenging workshop run by Gill McGregor. We had an interesting and enjoyable visit to the NAFAS Diamond Show in August.  A  members evening when the theme  ‘recycling and no floral foam’   saw a wide variety of mechanics and containers used which resulted in many beautiful arrangements. We also asked members to complete a questionnaire which gave us their ideas and comments on how to take the society forward. Everyone was thanked for their hard work and help during the year – members for their contributions, volunteers and committee members. 

We were delighted that we were able to present a cheque for £1096 to Bedford Hospital Charity (Primrose Car Scheme) which we had raised in memory of Ann Gray. The Primrose Cars make  over 1000 patient journeys  each year  transporting patients from the Bedford area to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for their radiotherapy treatment. We were pleased that Ann’s son, Peter, was able to join us for the presentation.

After the business part of the evening we welcomed Claire Pick from Bedford Borough Council who spoke to us about the beautiful flower planting along Bedford Embankment and other public areas in the Borough. We did not envy the gardeners planting 43000 tulip bulbs in just a few  days!

We look forward to 2020, our Diamond Anniversary year, which starts on March 3rd with Doug Howard presenting ‘Brilliantissimum’ and includes two open Evenings and a celebratory Dinner.

Jacqui Aldous December 2019

It was a cold, frosty evening  which set the scene for our  BFAS  December meeting on Tuesday together with a very festive sales table, a plant stall with seasonal foliage and  Christmas refreshments. In addition to producing  beautiful seasonal designs  Jacqui Aldous  kept us very entertained with her humorous stories  as she presented her ‘Christmas Magic’ demonstration.  By the end of the evening we were certainly in a relaxed and festive mood and we all left feeling more ready for the preparations and the celebrations ahead.

The designs were varied in shape and colour (not always traditional Christmas colours)  resulting in a beautiful, final stage display.  There were tributes to John Denver and The Muppets , Jacqui’s favourite NAFAS demonstrator (we won’t spill the beans who!) and to her favourite Christmas show in addition to the more traditional themes of  Winter Wonderland and The Night Before Christmas.

Jacqui used a vast selection of foliage including various varieties of pittosporum, rosemary, arbutus, eucalyptus, skimmia and the expected holly and spruce. Flowers included eustoma hot lips, carnations, mimosa, agapanthus, delphiniums, roses, chrysanthemums, clematis and orchids. ‘Christmassy’ accessories  which embellished the designs included baubles, apples, peppers, cones, reindeer, silver birch and red glitter twigs. This only gives a flavour of the arrangements which we have tried to show in the pictures we have included below. There is also one of  the first complete design – thank you Jacqui for a allowing us to include those and also for a very entertaining evening.

Thank you also to everyone who generously donated to and then participated in our very successful bottle tombola the proceeds of which go to our charity.  Many of you have also taken quizzes – thank you – this is the first of several  proposed fund raising activities.  

 We have had a varied and interesting year; demonstrations, workshops and visits – thank you to everyone who has worked hard in any way to make this happen.  A very Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2020 – we look forward to seeing you at the AGM on February 4th as we also look ahead  to  our Diamond Anniversary year.

Teresa Rodriguez November 2019

It was another damp, dismal evening outside but we were transported to Singapore by Teresa’s presentation ‘Flowers by the Bay’

Everyone associates orchids with Singapore and they were the main feature together with gloriosa in the beautiful first design. Using a wide variety of flowers and foliage in lovely containers  we then had arrangements representing landmarks in the city including the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and its infinity pool,  the heritage gardens,  the cloud forest and the supertrees.

Thank you Teresa for an interesting and informative evening and for allowing us to share pictures of your lovely designs – they really tell your story better than I can write it!

Yvonne Tan October 2019

It was damp and dreary outside, but Yvonne brought some sunshine to the stage with her arrangements inspired by her ‘Holiday in the Sun’ in Cyprus. The arrangements reflected various aspects of the holiday experience: the first glimpse of the island from the plane, the food and drink, and a boat trip. Some of the representations within the designs included phormiums as kebab sticks, calla lilies and plaited palms as waves, cordylines as sails and red gladiator roses as meat.

As always, there was a wide variety of shape and design in the arrangements  with  beautiful flowers, foliage and containers. We were introduced to a new type of    gerbera called pastini with curly petals.      

The presentation was friendly and entertaining – managing a Segway and swimming from the boat were two interesting stories and members went away from the evening with a smile on their faces! Along the way Yvonne offered advice and ‘hints’ such as how to ‘curve’ calla lilies, different leaf manipulation and which flowers to cut straight rather than slanted.

Thank you Yvonne for an enjoyable evening and for allowing us to include pictures of your arrangements.

Pauline Foster September 2019

We were delighted to welcome Pauline Foster to Bedford for the first time this month.

Her presentation was ‘Dressing the Dandy’ which reflected her interest in costume and history.

She delighted us with six very different designs – traditional and contemporary – which included Beau Brummell, Edward VIII (and his golfing interest), James Bond (Diamonds are Forever), Matadors and Madame de Pompadour.

The wide variety of arrangements used  beautiful containers complemented with accessories  which also reflected Pauline’s love of craft. There was also an extremely wide variety of  beautiful flowers, combination of colours and foliage.  Foliage included periwinkle, hostas, laurel, heuchera, bergenia, tillandis air plants, cordyline, conifer and eucalyptus. Flowers included  clematis, spray roses, delphiniums, crocosmia, chrysanthemums, callas, orchids, carnations and pin head protea.

The stage looked beautiful at the end of the evening and there were many happy raffle winners – thank you Pauline for an interesting, informative and entertaining evening.