Lonely Bouquet Day May 5th 2017

Members took part in the Lonely Bouquet initiative on National Flower Arranging Day.  We know of bouquets left on post boxes, park benches, bus stops, on pavements  and  at supermarkets. It makes it worthwhile when we receive comments such as this:

I have just found a beautiful bouquet at the  bus stop. After a week from hell this is like a magical gift to me. I will enjoy and look after it, thank you xx💐’



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Julie Woods May 2017

It was a great pleasure to welcome Julie Woods this month to present ‘A Tantalizing Cocktail’. Julie is a member of our society and also an area demonstrator for both  the Home Counties and  East of England areas of NAFAS. Her contact number is 01223 262902.

Julie was inspired by the book ‘Hollywood Cocktails’ for this presentation – which links the cocktails with mainly black and white movies. Designs were linked with films such as ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, ‘High Society’ ‘ Blue Hawaii’ and ‘ Top Hat’.

A wide variety of flowers and foliage were used; this included lime green griselinia, pittosporum, black thai leaves, a variety of viburnums,  chaenomeles, eucalyptus, papyrus, photinia, spiraea,  arum italicum together with anastasia chrysanthemums, tulips, ornithogalum, roses, carnations, stocks, hydrangea, anthuriums and cymbidium orchids. Many of us were very envious of the amount of garden material Julie had managed to pick from her own garden.

All designs were  very varied in colour, design and shape; all equally attractive and together with  their very distinctive containers  formed a lovely final stage display at the end of the evening.

Thank you Julie for a very enjoyable demonstration , your love and expertise of floral design shone through and your hints and tips very much appreciated – as was your knowledge of cocktails – it was a good job there were no samples available!!

A couple of pictures below give a flavour of the evening



Rehka Naidoo April 2017

We had a very enjoyable evening when Rekha Naidoo visited us on Tuesday with her ‘Life Begins with Flowers’ presentation.  We travelled through life with arrangements representing Christenings, Bar mitzvahs, the Teenage Years, an Engagement Party, a Jamaican wedding and  Pearl Wedding Anniversary. The designs were all colourful, different in shape and included  several different cultures. The flowers and foliage also reflected this- gypsopholia, roses, pincushion protea, green cymbidium orchids, chrysanthemums, heliconia, ginger flowers, carnations and anthuriums together with aspidistra, papyrus, laurel, ruscus, fatsia  and a wonderful bunch of different types of tropical foliage – to name just a few. All of the designs were embellished with Rekha’s love of beads, ribbon wooden balls, diamonds(!) – all types of bling.

Rekha has kindly allowed us to include a couple of pictures – thank you.



Lynda Stamp March 2017

Our first floral demonstration of 2017 was ‘Chasing Rainbows’ presented by Lynda Stamp. Lynda’s love of floral art  and her abundant  knowledge of all kinds of plant material was evident  as she produced designs concentrating on all the colours of the rainbow.The designs  were varied in shape and  texture and  and she has kindly allowed us to include a couple of pictures from the evening. We have chosen red, orange and yellow but all the arrangements were  equally stunning .

The tropical red design  included  palms, a selection of tropical leaves and skimmia together with anthuriums, helaconia and red carnations. The vibrant orange arrangement included orange roses, proteus and gerberas with a variety of foliage and silvered palms in a metal container with orange and pink canes providing movement.

The yellow arrangement was more contemporary with the container made using egg boxes (as paper mache), chicken wire and rope. A couple of fatsia leaves and contorted willow were placed before  butterfly  orchids (still in their tubes) were woven around and through the structure.

At the end of the evening the stage looked stunning  filled with beautiful, colourful displays  as we  listened  to  ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and watched  bubbles floating across the stage.  There were some very happy and lucky raffle winners!

Thank you Lynda for providing us with a wonderful start to our year.




February 2017 AGM Janet Cook

During the business part of the evening, all the officers’ reports highlighted the very positive development of the society over the last year.   Committee, volunteers and all society members were thanked for their continued support and we are pleased to welcome two new members onto the committee for next year. We were also delighted to present a cheque to Doreen Boyles for £500 for the Bedford Daycare Hospice.

Following the formal aspects of the AGM we  welcomed  Janet Cook who spoke on ‘From Floral Art to Fabric Art’; it was good also  to welcome several visitors who joined us after the AGM.

Janet was  originally a member of our society but her passion is now textile art. She started making quilts in 1988, after being captivated by Mennonite quilts in Canada. She has exhibited quilts at many international shows and has won several major awards, including two Championships at national level. Her quilts have been chosen to represent the British Isles in exhibitions in Canada and America.

Janet’s love of and enthusiasm for her craft shone through as she showed and talked us through many of her exquisite designs. She has gained inspiration for her work from so many places and situations: the local North Bedfordshire countryside, her family pets, mosaics in Westminster Abbey to buildings, people and the culture of many different countries to name just a few.  Together with humorous anecdotes, we had a very enjoyable evening – thank you Janet.

Janet Cooper December 2016

We were certainly in the festive spirit after Janet had entertained us with her ‘Christmas Creations’ on Tuesday.

Her designs were inspired by  the Christmas pudding, the Christmas tree, the nativity scene,  and an innovative way to use baubles and a hanging basket  in addition to giving  us ideas for table  and general Christmas arrangements.  Traditional green and red colours were used but it was good to see others included such as pink, lilac and orange  together with glitter and spray!

Janet used a wide variety of flowers  including oriental lilies, chrysanthemums, anthuriums, roses, carnations, orchids, amaryllis and gerbera. There was even more variety in foliage – holly, ramnus, begonia, blue spruce, cupressus, eucalyptus, twisted hazel, fatsia, variegated mallow to name just a few.

Thank you Janet for concluding a really instructive, exciting and varied programme of demonstrations this year.

Janet has kindly agreed to us including a couple of photographs.






Workshop with Gill McGregor November 2016

Twenty members had another very enjoyable and instructive day with Gill on Saturday. We had two very different sessions;  the morning was spent producing a ‘contemporary Christmas screen using the lacing technique with a free standing arrangement’ and in the afternoon we used the caging technique ( and another way to use an aspidistra leave) to produce a Christmas coffee table arrangement.

Thank you Gill and also to Ann G and Penny for organising the day. Just a couple of pictures to give an idea of what was achieved.


Kathy Stangaard November 2016

We took a quick trip round London Theatreland with Kathy’s ‘All the World’s a Stage’  presentation this month.

Eliza’s (from ‘My Fair Lady’) hat was formed mainly from Black aspidistra leaves and avalanche roses. This was followed by a tropical ‘South Pacific’ arrangement.   Fatsia, manipulated pandanus leaves and plaited palms were the main foliage   together with heliconia , ginger flowers, Singapore orchids and cream anthuriums   I wonder how many of us have tried plaiting the palm holding it between our knees?!!

We had an Egyptian theme next with an arrangement including  raphis palm ,sunflowers, germini and  lotus seed heads together with sparkling twigs and contrasting turquoise baubles. A Hogarth curve design represented ‘Blithe Spirit’ using soft ruscus for the outline and then  enhanced by piccolo white eustoma and pink sweet avalanche roses giving an ethereal effect.

The ‘Sound of Music’ was represented by a parallel design. The foliage, grouped to provide contrast in texture, colour and shape, included fatsia, bergenia, garrya elliptica, variegated conifer and nutmeg bush. The verticals were formed from variegated carnations, Kermit germini and carnations together with aconitum.The final arrangement represented the Globe Theatre using soft palm, Anastasia chrysanthemums, box and anthuriums.

The designs were very varied in colour, design and shape; all equally attractive and they   formed a lovely final stage display. Together with an entertaining and humorous commentary which was also instructive and displayed Kathy’s knowledge and love of floral  art we all had a very enjoyable and inspiring evening. Thank you Kathy.


Sandy Bailey October 2016

We were delighted to welcome Sandy Bailey back to Bedford for our Open Evening this year . ‘Verve, energy, liveliness and sparkle ‘ is the Oxford dictionary’s definition of pizzazz and  Sandy certainly   provided us with that with her ‘Floral Pizzazz’ presentation. Her creativity with containers, flower material and staging were inspirational.  The inclusion of music added to the atmosphere of the evening.

The display  at the end of the evening looked stunning with six wonderful but very different designs enhanced by additional and complimentary arrangements that were ‘prepared earlier’.  Sandy has kindly agreed to allow us to share some of the designs – we will let the pictures speak for themselves

Thank you Sandy for a wonderful evening and to everyone else – committee and helpers who contributed to make the evening such a success.


All Saints Flower Festival October 2016

The Society contributed to the Flower Festival at All Saints Church, Queens Park Bedford, over the weekend of October 1st . They also completed window arrangements  depicting  harvest in Scotland and Wales together with  candlestick arrangements. Many thanks to Sandra, Linda , Lynda  and Jane for their time,  effort and expertise – it was much appreciated by everyone.