NAFAS Diamond Show August 2019

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.

Jane Ellis July 2019

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

Members Evening June 2019

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.    

Jenni Baker May 2019

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.

Workshop April 2019

Over twenty members enjoyed a busy and challenging day at a workshop led by Gill McGregor. She showed us how to be creative with laurel leaves in two very different designs. A few pictures below of the first arrangement – thank you for a very instructive day Gill

Jo Poulter April 2019

We were delighted to welcome Jo Poulter back to Bedford this month.

 Designs featured an arched window, a copper circle, a traditional triangle, a hand tie in a ‘cube’ bag, a traditional triangle, a star and a spiral – a demonstration which certainly lived up to its title ‘All Shapes and Sizes’. There was something for everyone – traditional and contemporary – large and small;  and certainly ideas which could easily be adapted to use  at home – something which  many of our members appreciated.

Flowers included delphiniums, stocks, daffodils, muscari, iris, sunflower heads (with and without the petals), roses, gerberas, chrysanthemums, antirrhinums – we were introduced  to a lovely different coloured rose ‘Golden Mustard’. There was just as wide a  range of  foliage and accessories used.

Jo gave us an interesting commentary throughout with hints and ideas together with entertaining stories. Thank you Jo for a very enjoyable evening. There are just a couple of pictures below.

March 2019 Sharon Badger

For the first demonstration of the year we welcomed back Sharon Badger who took for her theme ‘A Vision for the Future’.  

Sharon’s arrangements reflected turning points in history.  The first represented ancient history and mythology: Aphrodite (red roses) and Roman roads (canes) .  This was followed by an asymmetrical design reminiscent of the Edwardian period with palms, ferns, white spider chrysanthemums and carnations, and red tulips. The third very striking and structural arrangement with yellow roses as the main flower echoed the days of Art Deco styles.  Next was a flamboyant, psychedelic and energetic arrangement depicting the 1960s, using sunflowers, orange carnations and red mini gerberas. The final arrangement using white anthuriums and silver bear grass was a delicate and glittery futuristic design.

Thank you Sharon for sharing your expertise. It was a wonderful display and much appreciated by both longstanding and new members.

Ann Gray

It was with great sadness that we learned of Ann’s illness  and  her subsequent death on  February  9th . Ann had been a member of the Bedford Flower Arrangement / Floral Art Society  for almost fifty years and had served in almost every office and role  within the society.  In   2000 she was invited to become a vice president of the  Society due to  ‘your enormous contribution to the Society which has been much valued ‘. She was a talented teacher and ran flower arranging evening classes in the local area for many years.  A vast number of our members (both past and present) were introduced to their love of flower arranging at her classes  and she has continued to encourage and motivate us  all over the years. She was also a well respected judge, often officiating at local shows including Young Farmers Rallies where she again motivated and inspired young people.
Ann was well known and respected in the wider ‘flower world ‘, especially in the Home Counties area of NAFAS where she was an area teacher and area judge.  As well as BFAS she supported many local clubs especially their Open Meetings.  She also attended Odyssey 21 and  Designer 3 Group who delighted her last year when they  invited her to be their President.  She  was a very creative and accomplished flower arranger always willing to embrace (and pass on) new ideas and trends.  She was also a very keen and knowledgeable gardener; she could  identify  almost any flower or piece of foliage and was always willing  to ‘pick and prune’ to help demonstrators and arrangers enhance their designs. These were just two of her interests; others included  the church, upholstery, holidays, fine art and good wine – a lady who lived life to the full!
The affection in which Ann was held by everyone was evident by the packed Church at her Service of Thanksgiving  . We shall miss her greatly and we extend our sympathy and condolences to her family and friends.

February 2019 AGM

BFAS is still a flourishing and successful club! – this was reported at our AGM by officers’ reports. We have a membership of over 90 and have welcomed several new members this year.  We  have had a varied and successful programme including inspirational and entertaining demonstrations, an enjoyable and instructive workshop with Barbara Collins, a visit to Ely Cathedral Flower Festival and a practical members evening when we again realised the talent and expertise we have within our membership. We continue to provide weekly flowers in the Faith Room at Bedford Hospital. Committee members were all thanked for their hard work throughout the year especially on meeting the challenge when three demonstrators  had unavoidably cancelled at short  notice. Volunteers and members were also thanked for their contribution and hard work. We were delighted to announce that a cheque for £475 would be sent to Magpas Air Ambulance as a result of charity fund raising throughout the year.

Following the formal part of the evening Rachelle Merrill gave us an illustrated talk entitled  ‘Home Grown Talent’ . She concentrated on three areas: Why Buy British flowers? The  Flowers from the Farm organisation and Merri Flowers. Merri Flowers is a local small business focussing on growing and selling Christmas trees and British flowers; they like to provide customers with personal experiences e.g. tagging your chosen Christmas tree and selecting blooms of your own choice.

We look forward to starting our programme of demonstrations on March 5th when Sharon Badger will present ‘Vision of the Future’.

Kathy Stangaard December 2018

There were lots of baubles, lots of silver birch, lots of glitter and lots of laughter during our Christmas demonstration ‘ Joyous Noel’ with Kathy Stangaard! Add to this some lovely Christmas music and of course beautiful flower arrangements; a very enjoyable evening was had by all and we went home in a relaxed but festive mood – thank you Kathy. Thank you also for allowing us to share pictures of the arrangements.
The designs were varied in shape and colour resulting in a beautiful, final stage display. There was a wide variety of both foliage and flowers. Flowers included roses, chrysanthemums, germini, clematis, anthuriums, carnations and a tropical selection. There was traditional foliage associated with Christmas such as blue spruce , pine, and silver birch (coloured or glittered) together with bergenia, fatsia, viburnum, aspidistra, palms, ruscus and pittosporum (to name a few!). Accessories included cones, a candle, and of course, baubles. There were many happy raffle winners.
Thank you to everyone who generously donated to and then participated in our successful ‘hamper raffle’ the proceeds of which go to our charity.
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 2019 – we look forward to seeing you at the AGM on February 5th.