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’.      

Vikki Traherne December 2017

Vikki Treherne’s presentation of ‘Sparkling Winterland’ put us in the mood for Christmas and the two mainly white designs certainly prepared us for the expected white weather we might expect this weekend! As well as colours, flowers and foliage traditionally used for Christmas, Vikki also included pink roses, calla lilies and veronica in her arrangements and wonderful colours in a ‘Winter Sunset’ design. We learnt many tips including dyed eucalyptus, manipulated palm and the use of insulation board. We also heard entertaining tales especially of her trip to Barbados. Thank you Vikki for an enjoyable evening and for allowing us to share a couple of pictures. Thank you also to everyone who generously donated to and then participated in our very successfull bottle stall; the proceeds of which will go to our charity. A very Merry Christmas to everyone and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2018 – see you all for the AGM on February 6th.  

Lisa Seabrook November 2017

We welcomed Lisa Seabrook of Daventry this month presenting ‘Green Finger Flower Arranger’. Beautiful flowers and colours cheered us up on a dark dismal November evening and there were very happy raffle winners at the end of the evening which always signifies everyone had enjoyed the demonstration. The designs represented Lisa’s love of both gardening and floral art: they included the use of a wheelbarrow (a design for remembrance), ‘off to do our watering’, ‘autumn digging’ and a windowbox. We were also given many tips useful to both gardeners and flower arrangers including the making of a beautiful poppy using a sprayed poppy seed head and sweetcorn leaves. Thank you Lisa for an enjoyable evening and for allowing us to publish pictures of your designs below.  

Lee Berrill and Alan Smith October 2017

There was a feeling of expectation as members and friends arrived this month as we had promised everyone a very entertaining evening as well as watching some inspirational flower designs. Judging from just three of the comments we received from members, Alan and Lee certainly delivered!: ‘Fabulous evening and what fantastic arrangements, unbelievable’ ‘Last evening was the best we have ever seen. We do so hope they are invited back again soon.’  ‘It was spectacular & Lee & Alan are such showmen with huge talent. Loved it.’ The evening was so varied; we had horizontal, vertical, Dutch parallel designs, we watched Alan and Lee working both individually and together, we heard tales of their visit to Barbados, we appreciated the craft work and containers that enhanced their designs but above all we were aware of their knowledge and love of flowers and foliage as they produced six wonderful arrangements. Each design was individually magnificent but when the designs were put together, the final stage looked spectacular.  There were many happy raffle winners. The standing ovation at the end of the evening signified everyone’s enjoyment and the audience’s appreciation of Alan and Lee’s enthusiasm, vision, skill and presentation. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you to everyone including committee members and helpers who contributed to make the evening such a success.    

September 2017

It has been a really busy first week of September for BFAS As we started our Autumn programme, it was lovely to be transported back to the warmth of the Italian sunshine. For any of us who have visited Italy we were taken on a reminiscent journey at this month’s meeting when Linda Smith presented ‘The Italian Job’.  Through her designs we visited Rome and Venice, we   experienced the opera, a gondola ride, the colours and light of Tuscany and of course the wonderful Italian gelato ice cream in addition to hearing about the antics of a rather fast travelling taxi driver. The  beautiful arrangements used a wide variety of flowers, foliage, textures and shape  and were enhanced by interesting ‘Italian’ props.  Linda has kindly allowed us to share one of the designs below. Grazie Linda for a very enjoyable evening.     We have also helped at two events this week; we produced twenty two table arrangements and two pedestals in red, yellow and white for the Fire Service Awards evening – these were then safely transported from Kempston to a venue in Luton by the Fire Service. For Heritage weekend the Friends of Bedford Cemetery (Foster Hill Road) held Open Days with, amongst other activities,  the Chapel open for people to study the cemetery records. They were also acknowledging the help they have received from National Lottery Funding.  We provided arrangements in both chapels and the ante room in addition to some table decorations. Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to all the events this week – a few photographs are included below.