7 July 2022
"A Taste of Summer" by Beverley Short
On a warm July evening we enjoyed the inaugural visit of Beverley Short who had made the journey from Shakespeare country to entertain us with the appropriately titled “A Touch of Summer”. It was indeed a balmy evening - a nice respite from another day of barmy British politics dominating the news!
Much of the earlier chatter was about our own news, many people were still talking about the 45 +1 year anniversary dinner of the previous month which was a great success! And talking of success, another topic of conversation was the news that our member Linda O’Toole had gained a first and second prize, and runner-up in Best in Show, in the National Virtual show “Chasing Rainbows”; this is an amazing achievement – really well-done Linda!
Beverley regaled us with stories about her recent cruise up the Amazon - fantastic sightings of sloths, dolphins, a tarantula, and of giant waterlilies - not all in the same place!
Members enjoyed her six presentations, which included memories of Beverley’s time in Australia at the time of the fires in 2019 - twisted willow on a black trellis, combined with palm leaves and burnt forest colours of fire red gerberas, protea and burnt orange roses, evoking the raging fires and sad destruction which was heart-breaking to see at first hand.
Another design was three placements on a trellis using purple liatris and statis, with lime green chrysanthemums to illustrate the Wimbledon colours!
The fifth arrangement of blue delphiniums and yellow roses
in a tall blue vase was very striking.
Beverley commented on the current discussions at national level regarding the use of non-biodegradable floral foam versus other methods of support for flower arranging, none of which are totally satisfactory. No real replacement for foam is available on the market just yet and foam is not allowed for use in the big national shows. Quite a problem for the future of flower arranging as we know it today.
As the end of the evening members came back into the real world, wondering how many more government ministers had resigned whilst we were watching the show! Was this all “Much ado about Nothing”, or “A Comedy of Errors” ?
We have a break in August, so our next meeting is on 1 September when Alan Smith will be demonstrating at our Club with the title "Autumn Glory". Look forward to seeing members and welcoming visitors then.
9 June 2022
On 9th June the current members had a very special evening to celebrate the 45+1 Anniversary of Clophill & District Flower Club.
On arrival they were greeted with a glass of fizz and had the opportunity to meet up with friends and to look at an exhibition of flower arrangements from the past four decades.
Styles have changed over the years with influences from Europe, leading arrangers and contemporary design.
A delicious buffet meal was served with more drinks. The tables were decorated with sapphire blue and white flowers.
Then after dinner everyone was entertained by various members, past and present, giving their reflections and reminiscences of Club activities over the past years. We were joined by our Area Chairman Audrey Balderstone and past Chairman Judy Pitts.
The Club was started in 1976 by Barbara Hudson but many of the existing Committee were founder members. The Club then moved to the old Village Hall and now to the ‘new’one. The Club has flourished over the years and now has 76 members from a wide area. It has had many successes such as winning medals at Chelsea, winning competitions in the Home Counties Area and exhibiting at many Flower festivals, including Westminster Abbey.
The Committee for 2022 along with a past Chairman, Judy Pitts
The Club is very active and regularly arrange the flowers for weddings, dinners and other special occasions. Part of the income is donated to charity. Each year we give an average of £1,000 to local charities.
We, also, hold workshops and classes and organise trips to gardens and flower Shows. Our aim is to entertain, inspire and provide a warm, friendly Club for all who love flowers, floral design and enjoy the company of friends
Our next meeting is on 7th July with a demonstration ‘ A Touch of Summer’ by Beverley Short, coming from
Stratford-upon-Avon she is making her first visit to our club.
The meeting starts promptly at 7.30pm at Clophill Village Hall. Visitors are very welcome.
5 May 2022
'For the Love of Flowers' with Tony Brown
Every May our members are treated to an extra special demonstration by a nationally qualified demonstrator. On 5th May Tony Brown from Market Harborough came to entertain us to show his love of flowers and garden plant material. This will be the last opportunity for him to visit Clophill as he has now decided to retire after 40 years of travelling the world arranging flowers.
It was obvious how much he loves flowers from the way he handled them and talked about their qualities. He is a very knowledgeable gardener and he gave us lots of tips during the evening. His use of colour was evident in each arrangement, blending orange and purple with a splash of pink or purple, blue and pink to compliment an unusual tall vase.
Tony used a large selection of flowers including roses, carnations, lilies and lots of hydrangeas. He recommended using pot grown hydrangeas as they are cheaper but to immerse the blooms in water to keep them hydrated.
To condition other cut flowers he always singes the stems before plunging them into deep water. There were alliums, stocks and chrysanthemums in other arrangements with lots of beautiful foliage.
All Tony’s designs were traditional in style and large with two placements – one that he did on stage and another he then brought on that he had created earlier.
By the end of the evening the stage was spectacular filled with flowers and colour.
In June the members will celebrate the Sapphire Anniversary of the Club with a special meal and floral entertainment. Guests will include our previous Chairman Judy Pitts – there has only been three chairmen in 46 years!
Chairman of Clophill & District Flower Club
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - April/May Newsletter
Last week was very busy as it was the Area Member’s Day on Wednesday. A large group of our members attended and really enjoyed the day. In the morning Helen Chambers gave an excellent illustrated talk, followed by a delicious buffet lunch and a demonstration by Alan Beatty in the afternoon. He was easy to watch and listen to and the large stage was full of beautiful designs.
On Friday Ann Swain and I staged an exhibit at Lilley Church Flower Festival. We interpreted the Queen’s Coronation in the altar area – in fact we incorporated the altar into the design as the Royal coach! We made all the regalia including a beautiful cloak decorated with plant material.
The Festival was open 30th April and 1st May from 10.30am to 4.30pm
5th May is our Open Evening with a National Demonstrator – Tony Brown from Rugby - with his title ‘ For the Love of Flowers’.
Tickets are still available - £6 for members and £10 for visitors. This should be an excellent evening, I hope to see you then.
Our Sapphire Anniversary 45 + 1 will take place on Thursday 9th June 6pm for 6.30pm.
This will be a special evening for members only with a cold buffet and an evening of flowers and reminiscing over our 45 years. Please sign for a ticket at the next meeting. We would like everyone to wear something blue.
Plant Stall at Clophill Fete on 14th May.
We will be having a stall at this community event and would like to have donations of plants and help on the day. The profits will go to the Charity fund.
Refresher Day for Competitors and Judges 12th May at Sundon Park Baptist Church £10.
This is a day for anyone interested in Show work – either virtual or actual. Lots of ideas and advice on entering shows. Details at the Club on Thursday and on the Area website.
Flower Show at Hylands House on 20th – 22nd May.
The theme for the competitions is Alice in Wonderland. If you would like a schedule please contact me. Celia and Gillian (Trips-R-Us) have now cancelled the trip that they had organised due to lack of support.
Trip to Nostalgia – A Festival of Flowers at Ingatestone Hall, Essex, on Friday 22nd July.
Leaving The Green at 9.am returning at approximately 6.30pm. There will be lots to see with floral exhibits, a Floral Art Competition demonstrations and trade stands. Tickets £10, coach fare £20 = a total of £30.
Please register your interest at the next meeting.
There is also a residential weekend in Leicester ‘Together Again’ in September.
All details are in The Flower Arranger and on the NAFAS website. There is a Virtual National Show 2022 ‘Chasing Rainbows’ in June. Schedules are available next month at the Club or give me a call. All you need to do is photograph your design and send it in.
See you soon, with my very best wishes
7 April 2022
On a lovely April evening Barbara Collins from Peterborough came to demonstrate at our Club meeting. She should have come two years ago but had to postpone her booking due to the restrictions. Her demonstration lifted our spirits as the title was ‘Brighter Days are Coming’ and her designs and flowers were bright, reflecting happy times and she kept us amused by some interesting stories and observations.
She began with a Spring ‘window design
using pussy willow and yellow and white tulips.
Then she brightened the stage with a large design using yellow gerbera and orange protea that made us think about exotic holidays.
Barbara reminded us of occasions we have missed during the past two years and she ‘took us to Wimbledon’ with a green and purple interpretive arrangement and stories of visiting and watching the tennis.
She next created a beautiful hand-tied bouquet that everyone wanted to win in the raffle . . . . .
. . . . . .before her final design that was in pastel pinks using roses and anthuriums.
In May we have an Open Meeting with a National Demonstrator from Rugby coming to entertain us and we hope that members and visitors will continue to enjoy our excellent demonstrations and friendly atmosphere. In June we are celebrating our 45+1 years' Anniversary when members will have a social meeting and reminisce over the past years.
Chairman of Clophill and District Flower Club
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - March 2022 Newsletter
I think Spring is here now and it is lovely to see all the spring flowers, blossom and buds in the gardens. It certainly lifts the spirit when there is still uncertainty and devastation in the world. Nature is very resilient and it brings so much joy and hope.
I am very pleased that so many of you have visited the Club in the past two months and we now have 62 members and hopefully more to join. It is lovely to see you and have a chat and catch up. This month we enjoyed Lesley Sturdy’s last demonstration to our/her club and she certainly made it a special one. We went around the world and her designs showed her wide range of skills and knowledge. She really gave us a treat with beautiful flowers and foliage. If any of you took photos, Lesley would like to have a record of her demonstration so please send them to me.
On 7th April we welcome Barbara Collins to our Club, she is an experienced and excellent demonstrator. Her title is ‘Brighter Days are Coming ‘ – most appropriate!
5th May is our Open Evening with a National Demonstrator – Tony Brown from Rugby with ‘For the Love of Flowers’. Tickets are £6 for members and £10 for visitors and will be available at our next meeting.
Our Sapphire Anniversary 45 + 1 will take place on Thursday 9th June 6pm for 6.30pm. This will be a special evening for members only including a cold buffet and an evening of flowers and reminiscing over 45 years. Please sign for a ticket at the next two meetings. We would like everyone to wear something blue.
We voted at our meeting on 3 March for our 2022 charity and it was decided to support the Central Bedfordshire Women’s Refuge. The Charity stall is the main source of income so if you are able to contribute any good pre-loved items and helping Jean it would be appreciated.
Plant Stall at Clophill Fete 14th May. We will be having a stall at this community event and would like to have donations of plants and help on the day. The profits will go to the Charity fund.
Area Members Day will be held on 27th April at Spotlight, Broxbourne. There will be an illustrated talk in the morning by Helen Chambers about British grown flowers, followed by a really good buffet lunch and a demonstration by Alan Beatty from N. Ireland in the afternoon. It will be a super day – tickets are £28 and you can book a place at the April meeting.
Refresher Day for Competitors and Judges 12th May at Sundon Park Baptist Church £10 . This is a day for anyone interested in Show work – either virtual or actual. Lots of ideas and advice on entering shows. Details at the Club.
Living Crafts at Hatfield House 5th-8th May is an excellent show to visit and NAFAS Home Counties will be holding workshops on each day.
There is also the Flower Show at Hylands House on 20th–22nd May and the theme for the competitions is 'Alice in Wonderland'. If you would like a schedule please contact me.
Nearer to home, Houghton Conquest Garden Club are holding their Spring Show on 2nd April and it would be lovely if you would enter – Contact Linda Payne on email@example.com for details.
There is also a residential weekend in Leicester ‘Together Again’ in September. All details are in The Flower Arranger and on the NAFAS website. There is a Virtual National Show 2022 - ‘Chasing Rainbows’ in June. Schedules are available next month at the Club or give me a call. Applications for a place need to be in between 23rd-30th April. All you need to do is photograph your design and send it in.
There is so much happening I can hardly get it all into one message so please if you want any more information on any of the above events, do contact me.
With my very best wishes
3 March 2022
On 3 March our demonstrator was Lesley Sturdy from Luton. Lesley is not only a long-standing Club member but also a NAFAS Area Demonstrator, teacher, trainer of flower arranging judges and a national and international flower arranging judge. Lesley and her husband had a three month world trip when they retired and all the above interests and travels were illustrated in her demonstration entitled “Around the World”.
Her first demonstration was a seascape to illustrate her trips to the South Seas and the Caribbean where she was called upon to judge the flowering arranging World Show at very short notice. She also talked about the wonderful gardens, plants and flowers she had seen in both these areas.
Next we were off to New Zealand with a white arrangement of roses and carnations which looked like a glacier sliding down a large piece of driftwood.
A long horizontal arrangement was added above – New Zealand being known as “the land of the long white cloud”.
Palm leaves and orchids
brought us to Singapore
Then we were off to India which she first visited to train flower arranging judges before the World Show held there in 2020. This was a vibrant arrangement of orange mini gerbera, red roses and purple lisianthus. She remarked on the wonderful hospitality and generosity she had received during several visits to India.
She then talked about her many family holidays in France while arranging a spiral of yellow roses with manipulated aspidistra leaves and gypsophila. Her final arrangement reflected her love of period flower arranging and design. She used a vase that had belonged to the great flower arranger, Constance Spry, as part of a design from the end of the Victorian era.
During the demonstration Lesley told us that it was her last demonstration to our Club as she is shortly retiring from demonstrating. She has been a major part of the flower arranging world for many years and will be missed by all. We wish her a long and happy retirement and look forward to seeing her as a member of the audience at our Club.
Our next meeting is on 7 April when we welcome Barbara Collins with her demonstration 'Brighter Days are Coming'
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - February 2022 newsletter
In January we held our AGM on Zoom as there were still concerns about Covid-19 and it was felt that it was an unnecessary risk to meet in a small room, especially as it was also a cold evening. The meeting went well, attended by almost all the Committee and one member - who represented all of you! The Committee members were all happy to continue and keep their usual roles and I am so grateful to all of them for the support they give to me and the Club.
We received the Treasurer's report and our finances are good, so it was agreed to keep the subscriptions at £38, as before. The Sales table had made a small profit and the Charity fund was just under £300 so it was agreed to top it up to £500 from funds. Chris has now sent a cheque to Wigs and Gigs, to help young people in the local area who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.
We now need to choose a charity for 2022 so I am asking for nominations of local charities to receive our support this year. Please let me know if you have any ideas and a vote will be taken at the next meeting.
Last Thursday, 3 February, we had a super demonstration by
She was very interesting, entertaining and different.
Most of her flowers were seasonal as they were British grown
and only one of her designs used floral foam - all the others were foam-free.
NAFAS News: We have been asked by NAFAS to promote a trip to 'The Gardens of Ireland' and another to Bath with the National Chairman. There is also a residential weekend in Leicester 'Together Again' in September. All the details are in The Flower Arranger and on the NAFAS website. There is a Virtual National Show 2022 'Chasing Rainbows' in June. Schedules are available next month at the Club or give me a call. Applications for a place need to be in between 23-30 April. All you need to do is photograph your design and send it in. There is also the Flower Show at Hylands House in May and theme for the competitions is Alice in Wonderland. If you would like a schedule please contact me.
Nearer to home, Houghton Conquest Garden Club is holding their Spring Show on 2 April and it would be lovely if you would enter:
Class 44 - Platinum - an exhibit (to reflect the Queen's Platinum Jubilee)
Class 45 - 'As you like it' - an exhibit with garden flowers or a simple bunch
Class 46 - A corsage
So you have lots of opportunities to practise your skills!
It was Joan Palmer's 80th Birthday in January and she had
a lovely time celebrating.
Her house was decorated with bunting
and balloons and I visited with a large
pink arrangement from the Club.
She was thrilled.
Next month's meeting on 3 March is 'Around the World' with Lesley Sturdy. She is highly qualified and experienced and I know she will give a very informative demonstration. I hope to see you then.
With my very best wishes
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - January 2022 Newsletter
I hope you had a very happy time at Christmas and I would like to wish you a healthy and peaceful New Year. We all hope that things will get better and we can live our lives without restrictions or concerns for our health and safety.
John and I went to our daughter Claire and her family for Christmas and it was lovely to all be together again.
I was then busy with several members of the Club
arranging flowers for a lovely local wedding on
New Year’s Eve.
I have included some photos taken inside
the marquee . . . . .
. . . . . and at the entrance to the marquee
We used lots of white roses, stocks and lisianthus
to decorate the marquee and a big garland down
the staircase in the entrance hall of the adjacent house
Please note that our first meeting on 6th January , the Annual General Meeting, is CANCELLED.
The Committee and I have decided NOT to hold it at the Village Hall as we are concerned about the current spread of the virus and will be an unnecessary risk. Instead we have arranged a Zoom meeting for those of you who wish to join us as we reflect on the past year, elect the Committee and plan for 2022. Everyone is welcome to attend and as a member you will have received the zoom meeting details on an email. If you are unable to join the meeting please don’t worry as I will send you a report of things that have been decided.
Our Charity for 2022. We would like nominations for the Charity that the Club will support during the year. If you would like to nominate one please let me know and the members will vote on this in February.
Next demonstration 3rd February by Helen Chambers is entitled ‘The Best of British’ . Helen lives
near Spalding and is passionate about using the very best of British grown blooms, embracing seasonality.
It should be a very interesting and entertaining evening. Hope to see you there.
Wishing you a healthy, peaceful New Year that is filled with flowers, joy and friendship.
With my very best wishes
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - December newsletter
The Christmas Wreath Workshop which was held on 29th November was a great success and I was so pleased that there were 17 attending with many ladies who are interested in coming to the Club. They all created a beautiful wreath with every one different and unique. We had a very happy morning and were able to make a donation to St Mary’s Church and to our Club funds.
On 2nd December our Christmas Demonstration welcomed Lorena Dyer back to demonstrate to us and she was excellent. Her flowers and designs were lovely and the stage was filled with sparkly arrangements. It was so full she had to be a contortionist to get around them!
She was very entertaining and had us all laughing throughout the evening and sent us home full of the Christmas spirit and some were lucky to take home an arrangement.
It was so lovely to see so many members, visitors and friends at our December Christmas Demonstration. It was a shame that we had to limit numbers to 80 but we are all anxious to stay safe as this virus is not going away. At least we have been able to have some normality and see our friends and share some festive occasions.
I am delighted to tell you of Linda O’Toole’s recent success. She entered the National Chairman’s Challenge and gained 3rd place. The title was ‘Remember, Remember’ and she created a beautiful firework display in her usual style with very intricate work using seed heads, dried and fresh flowers. I am very proud of her as she likes a challenge and gives her time to express herself and represent our Club and Home Counties Area. Well done Linda!!
Now, we look forward to next year and hope that we are able to meet normally and enjoy the programme of demonstrations that Joan has organised for us. The Programme will soon be on our website and also you will receive it on your Membership Card in January or February when you renew your subscription.
Our first meeting on 6th January is the Social AGM when we reflect on the past year, elect the Committee and plan for 2022. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Next demonstration 3rd February by Helen Chambers. ‘The Best of British’ . Helen lives near Spalding and is passionate about using the very best of British grown blooms, embracing seasonality. It should be a very interesting and entertaining evening. Hope to see you there.
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a healthy, peaceful New Year that is filled with flowers, joy and friendship.
With my very best wishes