weblog and information

News and Views

The article submitted for inclusion in the next News and Views is  attached  for anyone who may be interested in reading it.  News and views 2017

‘Merry Christmas’ by Tony Brown

Dark and cold it may have been outside but inside the Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton, it was bright and colourful and full of Christmas spirit.

Floral demonstrator, Tony Brown, certainly brought the ‘glitz’ to his presentation of ‘Merry Christmas.’

He reminisced about family, friends and things loved and some lost as he arranged his flowers and foliage into spectacular designs. His containers ranged from the top of a wooden arch from a garden trellis ( to denote a sledging hill which he used as a child) to wooden baskets and troughs, painted urns and a monumental metal Christmas tree for the finale. His enthusiasm for flowers was a joy to witness. He wove and placed brilliantly coloured gerberas and carnations, with deeply coloured roses and lilies and chrysanthemums which were set amongst  a variety of foliage- solid forms contrasting with trailing fronds and delicate leaves for maximum effect.

To add bling and the spirit of Christmas, Tony dotted a variety of accessories nestling and recessing into leaves which were shaped and sometimes gilded to catch the light. Sparkly pink butterflies flitted across a  framework of metal and gilded leaves and twigs.

Tony surely surpassed himself to create masterpiece after masterpiece.

What a pleasure it was to sit and enjoy the evening!

Car Boot Collection by Lynn Sharpe

Lynn Sharpe, our demonstrator for October brought it all.

She had scoured car boot sales to purchase anything that she could turn into a container for her floral arrangement.

She first presented us with a large bowl made from dried Water Hyacinth. Amidst tales of how she became interested in flower arranging as a child, she worked to match the tactile quality of the dish with variegated Holly, Solidago stems and Fatsias which she had enhanced with gold spray, also bought at a car boot sale. She finished it all off with burnt orange Roses, Mini Gerbera and orange Asiatic Lilies.

A suitcase appeared and was used as the base for her next design. It was filled with a mixture of Red Robin and Phoenix Palms with red Carnations and Gerbera which she  mingled with yellow Roses. What else to accompany the demonstration but tales of cruising and visits to faraway places.

A  love of gardening was the inspiration for her next design for which she used a wicker basket. She filled this with different forms and textures by using Phormium, Euonymous, and the more robust Rhododendron leaves. Nestled amongst  ornamental Brassica were pink Gladioli, Gerbera, Roses and Chrysanthemum. Delicate fronds of the purple Pirouette Clematis added flow and movement.

Wicker urns and a child’s brick trolley took Lynn down memory lane and lead us last but not least to the use of a stack of wooden boxes to create the pomp and circumstance of a wedding cake. She added a touch of silver bling to Carnations, Roses and Lilies all in white to evoke a family celebration.

Lynn kept us amused and entertained us for two hours.

‘These are a few of My Favourite Things’ by Eileen Barraclough

Yorkshire’s Eileen Barraclough’s dry sense of humour brought our September demonstration to life.

‘These are a few of My favourite Things’ was based on Eileen’s favourite, unbreakable containers, structures, flowers and plant material. The wood which takes up a large part of her garden restricts what she can produce so she focusses on growing evergreen plants which ensures that she has an all year round supply of foliage to use in her work…….although this seemingly did not prevent her from once obtaining Bergenia leaves from a  neighbourhood garden which she mistook for public ground!

Her first design took shape accompanied by hilarious tales of various remedies against the invasion of slugs (some exploding) and snails (some garlic filled).

This initial arrangement set the scene for what followed. It incorporated textured foliage with lilac Gladioli which were then complimented by the vibrant green of the Anastasia and finally topped by a deep purple Orchid which was used as the focal point.

After this, arrangements ranged from the simple to the elaborate using metal and wooden accessories.

Grasses were teamed with foliage, spray roses, black eyed Susie, Carnations, berries, various Avalanche roses and Hydrangea heads to name but a few.

Eileen’s favourite pastime is entering flower arranging competitions so it was not surprising that her most used stand appeared on stage. The metallic structure leant itself to a dramatic design which was framed by shaped fronds of the palm leaf. Add to this, tales of her life size blow up dummy dressed in her husband’s clothes which she used as a travel companion when driving to her demonstrations and Eileen ended the evening with much laughter and provided a real tonic to all who came to watch.

 

‘Titanic, Ship of Dreams’ by Nigel Whyles

July Open Demonstration at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton.

Plant material and flowers were carefully selected by Nigel in order to create historical meaning and to set the scene of the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

He cleverly used an elongated design to represent the length and proportion of this massive vessel. Blue Delphiniums were ingeniously used for the water line of the hull, and white Oriental Lilies represented the White Star Line, whilst tied bundles of Bear Grass gave height for the funnels.

Nigel created the experience of sailing on this special ship in each of the ensuing designs which set sail at the height of this gilded age of style.

He evoked the sophistication of fine dining in table centres of predominantly white Avalanche Roses. In the next design, came the yellows of mini Gerberas blended with the radiating and uplifting colour of the majestic Sunflower. These were fixed to grids to represent the hopes and dreams of the different classes of people who set sail on the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

Nigel even ventured into the realms of the film entitled ‘Titanic’, using the glossy texture of the Swiss Cheese plant and the leaves of that iconic plant of the era, the Aspidistra to form the structure. The petals of the purple Veronica and the delicate lilac of the Ocean Song Rose unfurled to create lovely shapes amongst the foliage .

The wild jagged leaf shapes topped with white Mop Head Hydrangeas next took us into the path of the icebergs before Nigel completed his journey with a celebration of the scale and glory of this opulent accommodation on the sea. Leather Leaf and Mottled Fatsias gave form to the outer shape of the arrangement whilst the lovely Gladioli rose above a bed of crisp green Anastasia Chrysanthemum and deep red Carnations, the latter depicting the rich luxurious, velvet décor of the vessel.

No other passenger ship has ever captured the public imagination like the Titanic. Throughout his demonstration, Nigel cleverly used his own imagination intertwining grandeur, luxury and romance with tragic historical facts to give us a night to reflect and remember.

 

‘This is Me’ By Vanessa Wellock

Vanessa Wellock travelled from Yorkshire to combine floral creativity with an outgoing sense of fun. And what a success she made of it!

Her demonstration was entitled ‘This is Me’, I can do what I like, when and how I like!

Her first arrangement was a combination of Clematis and Lisianthus in purple and white with Global Campanula to create transition in a setting of lime green foliage. Finishing off with Earl Grey Roses, it was stunning.

Vanessa’s lively and down to earth manner continued with arrangements combining different textures of flowers and foliage which even included a dock leaf to create in her words, ‘designs with a punch’.

Traditional gave way to modern structured designs weaving Calla Lilies and the deep rich colour of Ascot Roses to contrast with green Anthuriums, purple Stocks and hot pink Gerberas which were all set in enclosed spaces shaped by Flexi Grass.

Her hand tied bouquet in a spiders web of wire and wool provided variety, whilst she finished off the evening with a dramatic and monumental wire structure filled with Hypericum, Red Robin, and Golden Roses topped with the wonderful green Orchid.

It was a pleasure to listen to her stories and her tips whilst she created her spectacular designs.

Visit To Derek Armstrong

32 of us visited Derek Armstrong at his home in Carlisle for an evening meal, followed the next day by coffee, a demonstration and lunch.

This was a really enjoyable two days as you will see from the photos.  On the way to Derek’s we visited Houghton Hall Garden Centre for lunch and a little retail therapy and we discovered that the hotel for the evening was also on a retail park –  more retail therapy.

Our evening meal with Derek was delicious.  The next day we had a small demonstration from Derek with the designs being raffled off.  A super buffet lunch followed.  We then made our way home.  the journey in each direction was a breeze with no traffic hold ups.  Thanks to Linda, Ann and al the committee for their hard work.

Lonely Bouquet Day, May 5th 2017

An Important Notice;-

Flower Club members are joining forces with the Women’s Institute to flood the streets with Lonely Bouquets. Both NFAS and The WI are taking part in the annual NFAS event to celebrate National Flower Arranging Day.

1000s of Lonely Bouquets will be left for people to find in streets, villages, towns, cities as a random act of kindness to make a stranger smile.

Wherever you are in the country, look out at any time of the day, for Lonely Bouquets in cafes, behind benches, on walls, and on steps. Send your Lonely Bouquet selfie to NFAS or the WI and let us know where you found it.

 

 

20th Anniversary Celebration

We celebrated our 20th Anniversary (China) with Afternoon Tea at Morley Hayes.  Before the Tea we were treated to a Fashion Show by Notty Hornblower of fashions from the Downton Era.  A wonderful afternoon enjoyed by all.

 

Photos show the past Chairmen cutting the Cake together with a picture of the cake which was made and decorated by our member Gill Mills.

A Jewellery Collection by Jean Fordham

Those of you who attended the demonstration by Jean Fordham will agree that it was full of sparkle as she translated her stories of vintage jewellery into a variety of arrangements. She set ‘Diamonds in Platinum’ adding shades of white and green. Her ‘Flamingo Brooches’ in green, white and purple was inspired by jewellery specifically designed for the Suffragette Movement. Her ‘Bead Collection’ contrasted with her ‘Metals in Silver.’

Travelling further afield for her last two pieces, Jean’s arrangement entitled ‘Indian Jewellery’  was widely different to the design incorporating the deeply rich red Naomi Roses in ‘Rubies of Myanmar, which evoked admiration from us all.