‘What a good demonstrator we had this
evening. All the arrangements so different and flower colours so carefully
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
We had a lovely, enjoyable outing to the NAFAS Diamond Show in Islington this month. There was so much to do and to see that it is impossible to do the show justice here – flowers were everywhere in the Design Centre and shop windows had been decorated in nearby Camden Passage. The photos below give just a very small flavour of the day.
We were pleased to welcome Jane back to Bedford again this month. The designs represented things that delight us hence her title ‘A Box of Delights’. We had representations of pancakes, coffee and Turkish Delight, as well as the pleasure we get from the garden and from looking at the moonlight.
There was a wide variety of beautiful flowers (including stocks, gerbera, sunflowers- with and without the petals, clematis, lisianthus, peonies, callas, roses and pin head protea) and foliage (including fatsia, winter flowering honeysuckle, beech, rosemary, bergenia , phormium and eucalyptus). The mechanics used were also varied; foam free using a grid made from tape, the use of minimal floral foam, a hand tie within a frame made from twisted tendrils from a kiwi plant in addition to more traditional mechanics in lovely containers.
The stage at the end of the evening was also a ‘delight’ with beautiful, different and colourful designs and there were many happy raffle winners.
Thank you Jane for an instructive, entertaining and enjoyable demonstration. Thank you also for allowing us to post a couple of pictures
We had a relaxed, informal
evening this month when over fifty members participated in our ‘hands on’
members evening. The theme was ‘recycling and no floral foam’ . Originally we
all thought it would be a challenge but mechanics included pin holders, chicken
wire, pebbles, twigs, marbles, structures made from midelino sticks and
sand. Containers varied from treacle tins and decorated milk containers to
teapots as well as traditional containers. The stage was transformed from a ‘take your pick of
five roses’ to a lovely, diverse and varied
display of arrangements demonstrating the creativity and skill of our members.
During the evening we took the opportunity to ask members to
complete a questionnaire to get their ideas and comments on how we might
take the society forward. We enjoyed a
delicious bring and share supper and had more opportunity to chat to fellow
members than at a usual meeting. We finished the evening with a plant quiz – a
male insect (four letters) seemed to be the clue that caused most difficulty!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to a very successful and enjoyable evening.
We were pleased to welcome Jenni Baker back to Bedford and were grateful to her for filling
in as our original demonstrator
was unable to come.
Jenni’s theme was ‘The Feminine Touch’; she produced six designs which represented
the life and work of six influential ladies – the presentation was made more
interesting as we had to guess the lady involved from the clues Jenni gave.
We started with the bright colours (orange lilies, deep pink
mini gerberas and Mario roses) representing the ceramic artist Clarice Cliff; we then moved on to a white
design (avalanche roses, stocks and gypsophila) representing the white garden
at Sissinghurst and the work of Vita
Sackville West who was a poet and novelist as well as a garden designer.
Next came Mary Quant (or Barbara Mary Blunkett Green), the
Welsh fashion designer with a parallel
design using red carnations, mini gerberas and Anastasia chrysanthemums against
a copper wire frame filled with black and red sisal. (One of several complementary
accessories produced by Jenni’s husband) Then, a real change with
yellow gerberas (for daisies) and bluebells representing the countryside
and the work of natural scientist and writer Beatrix Potter.
Modern sculpture by Barbara Hepworth was the theme for the fifth design – anthuriums and carnations against a background of phoenix palms and willow structures filled with florist wrap representing sails. The presentation wouldn’t have been complete without the influence of a flower arranger and the last design represented the work of Julia Clements . This lovely arrangement included pink aqua roses, cerinthe, and chrysanthemums together with a wide variety of foliage laurel, soft ruscus, euonymus, pussy willow, pittosporum and redwood.
Thank you Jenni for an interesting and entertaining evening – thank you also for allowing us to share pictures of your lovely designs.