September 2018

We were very disappointed that our expected demonstrator could not come at the last minute due to illness and hope she is feeling better very soon. However we did utilise the beautiful flowers that she had already purchased. The evening’s theme changed from ‘Around the World’ to ‘Turning a Bad Day into a Good Day’! A very big thank you to all committee members who worked hard both during the day and the evening but particularly to Ann and Sandra who shared their talents and expertise with us to present some beautiful arrangements - a few pictures are included below.

John Chennell August 2018

It was a very hot evening last Tuesday so we were delighted to welcome a good audience of members and friends to our successful Open Evening – held in August for the first time. Due to the extreme weather this year John Chennell admitted he had had to to change his ideas from when he first gave us the title of ‘Shades of August’ over twelve months ago. Consequently we saw seed heads, foliage and flowers more reminiscent of Autumn being included in his arrangements. As always John’s love and knowledge of gardening shone through and we appreciated his tips on design and mechanics. He used a very wide selection of home grown garden material including poppy and phlomis seed heads, shrub honeysuckle, honesty, fennel, horseradish and silver elaeagnus. Flowers included sunflowers, larkspur, agapanthus, roses, asters and delphiniums – a real mixture of Summer and early Autumn. A wide variety of arrangements provided a stunning stage display and the vote of thanks incorporating the words ‘fantastic, fabulous and phenomenal’ summed up the audience’s reaction and appreciation. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the evening in any way – from preparing refreshments at 5pm to clearing the stage at 10pm. The refreshing refreshments on a very hot evening were very much appreciated. A couple of pictures below give an indication of John’s talent and expertise.      

Vikki Hease July 2018

It was a pleasure to welcome Vikki back to Bedford. We enjoyed listening to glimpses into the life story of a fictitious couple (un- named as yet) as she presented beautiful arrangements for ‘Treasured Moments’ in their lives – we began with their engagement and finished with their pearl wedding anniversary. The designs included traditional and contemporary arrangements and used a wide variety of flowers and foliage ( much from Vikki’s own garden) including pittosporum ‘Oliver Twist’ ( a new variety to many of us), fatsia, ferns, hebe, evergreen jasmine and manipulated phormium and aspidistra leaves. Flowers included carnations, roses, alostromeria, antirrhinums, hydrangea, dahlias, paeonias, freesias and orchids. Other ‘items’ included apples, carrots, peppers, herbs and pieces of orange floor cloth! Thank you Vikki for a very entertaining evening – we look forward to welcoming you back another time for ‘Treasured Moments 2’ to find out what else happened to the family. Thank you also for allowing us to include a picture of one of the designs.      

Visit to Ely Festival June 2018

Over thirty members enjoyed a visit to Ely Cathedral Flower Festival ‘Kaleidoscope of Life’. It was a beautiful day and the arrangements certainly matched the weather. The cathedral looked spectacular and really celebrated the skills, artistry, love of all things floral and imagination of flower arrangers. It was lovely to see work from one of our members. Thanks to Jenny C for organising such a successful outing. Just a few pictures of the hundreds taken by members below.    

Clare Allen June 2018

The theme of Clare's ‘Stepping into Summer’ presentation was an English summer garden and her arrangements used seasonal flowers which the audience welcomed and enjoyed. Hydrangeas, delphiniums, lisianthus, Solomon's seal, roses, dahlias lilies and gladioli amongst others were used to create attractive colour combinations and designs. 'Hot' colours were used for the first arrangement which depicted the garden border and then the mood became more reflective and we relaxed into the lazy days of summer. Designs on a cake stand, in an enamel jug and in a statement piece watering can (coveted by many of us) followed. The final, beautiful arrangement in a giant flower pot completed the scene. Owner of Skipps in Biggleswade, Clare is an award winning florist and as she created her designs she talked about her work and also gave us some useful tips for getting the best from the flowers we buy. We were very grateful to Clare for giving us time from her busy schedule as she kindly filled in at short notice when our booked demonstrator was indisposed. Thank you Clare for a lovely evening. We appreciated your creative talent and the speed and deftness you used to complete each design.

Daphne Grant May 2018

We were delighted to welcome Daphne Grant this month – she had very kindly agreed  to come with only  48 hours notice as our booked demonstrator was indisposed. Her title ‘A planting we will go’  so described Daphne’s obvious love of all things associated with flower          arranging and gardening. By the end of the evening we were all  very jealous of what a beautiful garden Daphne must have    – her variety, use, knowledge and love of  mainly home grown plant material  (much of which many of us will have in our gardens) was tremendous. We were introduced to another new foliage this month - photinia  pink crispy. Her containers, used imaginatively,  were also items many of us may have ‘collected’ around the garden including ‘Hoot’ the wicker owl, a trug,  a chimney pot, buckets and a hanging basket. These containers lent themselves to a variety of shaped designs. Flowers, mainly pastel shades, included alstromeria, tulips, roses, gerberas, white hypericum berries and lilies -  all complementing the foliage and the containers. There were many happy raffle prize winners – particularly appreciative of the manageable sized arrangements. The pictures  we have included shows the imaginative use of buckets and the photinia pink crispy. Thank you Daphne for a very enjoyable evening.        

Joyce Furssendon April 2018

Joyce promised that her floral designs would bring us some sunshine and they did.  By the end of the evening six delightful arrangements decorated the stage and each recorded an aspect of a special holiday.  Using a wide selection of flowers and colours we 'travelled' from the Greek islands to Goa via Amsterdam, Mauritius and Sri Lanka and finally back to  England. In interesting and varied containers, blue delphiniums, red and green anthuriums,  vivid orange and purple strelitzias,  pink gerberas and red roses portrayed the warmth of sunny climes and the cooler colours of green Anastasia and carnations,  orchids and white roses depicted the more temperate countries. Mainly garden foliage including phormiums, aspidistra leaves, box, yew, and cornus was used to good effect and complemented the flowers very well. Thank you Joyce for your lovely arrangements and also for introducing many of us to Nandina Domestica.   We are always grateful to members who help in any way at meetings; providing the welcome flower arrangement is one example - a picture of this months is below:  

Gill McGregor March 2018

It was a delight to welcome Gill McGregor back to BFAS on   a cold winter’s night but by the end of the evening and her ‘Spring Fever’ presentation  we were really anticipating a change in the weather and the Season! Due to the weather, Gill had struggled to source lots of traditional Spring flowers .  She used carnations, orchids, avalanche and ecuador roses, delphiniums, gerbera, chrysanthemums, strelitzia and daffodils (to name a few!) together with a wide variety of foliage. Throughout the presentation she showed lots of techniques especially leaf manipulation and she demonstrated tubing, coning, grouping and  plaiting   - there was something for everyone to learn – from our experienced arrangers to our brand new members. By the end of the evening the stage looked colourful, inviting and full of impact. Throughout the evening we were also entertained by her experiences in Singapore and we do hope she gets to Hawaii ! Thank you Gill for a delightful evening and for allowing us to share a picture of one of your designs.  

February 2018

It has been a busy first few days of February! The society contributed to the Candlemas Festival at St Paul’s Church in Bedford. There are just a couple of pictures below to show the design we did around the oak pulpit. It was based on the verse 'Though the approaching Spring is still a whisper, we celebrate her youth'. Thank you to anyone who helped in any way – it was great to welcome some different members onto the arranging team. It was good also to see the beautiful efforts of many members who were representing other organisations. A few days later it was our AGM. During the business part of the evening, all the officers’ reports highlighted the very positive development of the society over the last year. It was pleasing that the Society had been involved in producing floral arrangements for four community events – thus increasing our profile in the area. Committee, volunteers and all society members were thanked for their continued support We were also delighted to present a cheque to Sarah Russell for £500 for the Tibbs Dementia Foundation (Music4Memory) Following the formal aspects of the AGM we welcomed Victoria Diggle who gave us a very interesting illustrated talk ‘National Garden Scheme: horticulture, history and charitable giving’. Although many members are regular visitors to the gardens we all learnt something new especially about the origins of the Society and the amazing £50million that has been raised for charity over the years. Thank you Victoria. We look forward to our first demonstration of the year next month when Gill McGregor will present ‘Spring Fever’.