National Demonstrator: David Thomson His Title: 'Flora Mania'
On 2nd May David Thomson, the National Demonstrator, was at our May Open evening with his chosen title ‘Flora Mania'. David worked to a floral pallet, using one colour for each arrangement: pink, yellow, peach, cream, purple and finishing with an amazing African Sunset. The colours ranging from soft pale to dazzling bright dark, soft and dense textures.
A large willow basket was used for an arrangement in pink. Gerbera, Oriental Lilies, pink white and Aqua Roses, together with Eucalyptus and various greenery. Next, tall bright yellow Sunflowers, Calla Lilies, Carnations and Roses, Goldheart Ivy, Fatsia Japonica leaves and Euonymus made a stunning display in a tall iron container.
A sphere made from woven wood contained terracotta Antirrhinums, Gerbera, Roses in shades of peach. Aspidistra leaves woven and curled into different shapes gave depth to the arrangement. Following that a large bamboo urn covered in mother of pearl buttons contained white Delphiniums, creamy white Arum Lilies, Honey Bush (blue grey leaf), Snowflake Gerbera, Avalanche Roses and Orchids. A creamy delight.
Black Tia Leaves gave height to a mauve pot, Rosemary, Hebe, purple Alliums, Antirrhinums (snap dragons), Dancing Cloud Roses, Clematis and Vanda Orchids completed a purple design.
Lastly, we were shown the delights of an African Sunset. A three-foot urn in brilliant yellow, black and brown held yellow Gladioli, Ginger Lilies, orange Gerbera, pink Anthurium, orange and yellow tipped Heliconia and Gloriosa Orchids. Various greenery completed an amazing design.
Four designs had a twin making 10 arrangements for our raffle, the amazing final design was won by our Vice Chairman. David's arrangements were beautiful, his chatter entertaining, we hope he will return soon.
Our meeting on 6th June is with Audrey Balderstone and Geoffrey Fox and their demonstration entitled 'Fun with Flowers'. Do come and join us at Clophill Village Hall, the evening commences promptly at 7.30pm.
The Club has been very active with workshops, classes and the usual monthly demonstration.
In April Jo Poulter from Peterborough was the demonstrator at our monthly meeting. Her title was ‘Picture this …’ and each arrangement interpreted a famous painting, including Venus, Monet and Van Gogh. There was a variety of styles using some lovely flowers.
We organised a workshop for Ampthill Brownies to make a design for Mothering Sunday. Each Brownie had their own ideas and although they all had the same materials they were all different. There must have been some very happy mothers in Ampthill.
We visited Clophill Pre-school to make arrangements with the children for their mothers. They used yellow baskets filled with daffodils and blue grape hyacinths, or Muscari as one little girl very knowledgably corrected us with the botanical name! It is always a pleasure to visit the Pre-school and the children enjoyed the experience.
Our Flower arranging classes have been popular with amazing results from the beginners to the more experienced. Some of them entered the Houghton Conquest Horticultural Show in the Flower Arranging competition and seven of them received an award.
The Club is staging ‘Brides & Blooms’ a Flower Festival at Silsoe Church on 7 ,8 and 9th June. Every aspect of wedding will be depicted in flowers. See the article and poster below, for more information - it will be well worth a visit .
Carolyn Cranswick Chairman Clophill and District Flower Club
"Brides & Blooms" Flower Festival at St James the Great Church, Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4DP
Members of Clophill & District Flower Club will be working with friends of St James the Great Church to stage the floral arrangements at this Flower Festival. All proceeds will be given to Friends of Silsoe Church.
Make a note of the date and come and enjoy what will be a wonderful celebration of Weddings, Anniversaries and, of course, flowers!
Demonstrator: Doug Howard His Title: 'Colourful Creations'
On 7th March 2019 we had a very enjoyable demonstration by Area Demonstrator, and a Club Committee member, Doug Howard from Stotfold (ably assisted by his wife, Janet). Doug’s title “Colourful Creations” was echoed in his multi coloured waistcoat and tie! As well as his love of colour, Doug’s love of different foliage ran through the whole demonstration.
He first used lovely spring flowers – iris, tulips, anemones with pussy willow - and seasonal variegated foliage.
After an arrangement of yellows and oranges including exotic kangaroo paw, Doug completed a tall narrow purple and cerise creation, with liatris, gerbera and carnations.
After a lovely arrangement of various foliage and pink anthuriums, we were off to Italy which Doug and Janet visit regularly. They will be celebrating their golden wedding this year so his final arrangement was of golden roses, white orchids, freesia and carnations.
Useful Tip - Doug told us that used floral foam can be rejuvenated by placing it in a bucket and carefully pouring boiling water over it. It can also be put in the bottom of plant tubs as it will release water slowly and help to make watering less frequent.
Demonstrator: Gill McGregor Her Title: 'The Romance of Spring'
For the first meeting of 2019, we welcomed Gill McGregor back to the club on 7th February with her demonstration entitled ‘The Romance of Spring’.
Gill’s first arrangement reminded us of our recent snowfalls. Alongside two owls she used evergreen foliage and white spray chrysanthemums in groups at the base adding contorted hazel catkins, blue iris and a few daffodils and tulips. Next a two-placement design with heart-shaped wire structures clearly indicated Valentine’s Day. Gill chose to add ferns, aspidistra and Fatsia leaves, lime green hypericum berries finishing with red roses and red anthuriums.
We were then shown the art of a ‘mirroring design’. Using a black raised rectangular container and working from the centre point, Gill added various large plain leaves and ferns of the same size to each side. Finally, two small white ornamental cabbages were placed at the centre and pale pink Singapore orchids completed the design – all radiating out from the centre. After a break for refreshments, the fourth arrangement was to celebrate Chinese New Year – 2019 being the Year of the Pig. Peach Avalanche roses, yellow broom and tulips along with ferns captured the feel of China and the addition of red leucospermum represented fireworks.
Whilst she chatted to us, Gill swiftly plaited a fern leaf and two of these were incorporated into the next arrangement which included large orange gerbera. We were reminded the importance of conditioning all materials before flower arranging and, in particular, how a few drops of bleach in the water before adding the gerbera will improve their lasting qualities. An upcycled emerald green top hat became the base of the final arrangement and once the Bells of Ireland and pale green carnations were added it was clear this would be to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Pale coloured proteas and hard Ruscus placed in groups completed the design.
It was a very enjoyable evening. We were delighted to be entertained by such a talented NAFAS demonstrator/teacher/judge as well as an author of Floral Art Books. For further information do take a look at her website: www.gillmcgregor.com.
In January we held our AGM which is always a very social evening where we look back over the past year a look forward to this year. We had another very successful year as our membership increased to 92, making our Club one of the largest in Home Counties. We will continue to welcome more members and visitors to our monthly meetings.
During 2018 we had 3 day trips – one to the National Flower Show at Hylands House, a visit to RHS Wisley and then to Ely in November for the Christmas Craft and food Fair. We continued to hold our popular classes and joined in other community events.
Each year we raise money for a local charity by arranging flowers for weddings and a stall at our meetings. In 2018 we raised £800 for research and support for patients with Bowel Cancer at Bedford Hospital, in remembrance of one of our members who was treated there in 2017.
We have a great programme planned for 2019 with lots of demonstrations, two flower festivals and some weddings. Our classes will begin again in February. Everyone is welcome and you will find we are friendly and well organised.
More information is available on other parts of our website or phone Gillian 01525 860539 or Carolyn 01462 815433
6 December 2018 National Demonstrator: John Chennell His Title: "The Magic of Christmas"
We held our popular Christmas demonstration on 6th December given by John Chennell who dazzled the large audience with a stage filled with large designs based on a Christmas Magic theme.
He is a great plant lover and he used a wide variety of lovely evergreen foliage and some beautiful flowers. There were 14 lucky members of the audience who won a prize in the raffle.
1st and 2nd December 2018 Alternative Christmas Tree Festival Clophill Methodist Church
December was a busy month again for the club. We created a stunning exhibit at the Alternative Christmas Tree Festival – see photographs. The ladies from our popular classes made 53 trees all based on a cone shape but decorated with different materials. Some were fresh foliage and flowers whist others had artificial decorations. They were displayed around the altar area with lights and cones and created great interest and admiration.
The Flower Club also made a large floral tree in pink and purple– see photograph, that showcased our skills and talents.
Our meeting on October 4th was advertised as ‘A practical evening with a difference’ which was code for a workshop/ dabble evening. These crafty evenings have become a very popular, sociable and enjoyable fixture on our calendar and over 40 members attended. Our chairman, Carolyn Cranswick, introduced the evening and explained that it was an opportunity to learn new creative skills. Five different practical activities had been organised by the committee, supported by two members. The evening consisted of card-making, decorative bows for flower arrangements or parcels, corsages/brooch making, wrist corsages made using manipulated wire.
After demonstrations by the activity leaders, each group settled down in earnest to an evening of chat and creativity. All the resources were supplied by the club and many participants managed to complete two, if not three, of the activities. The results were very impressive and many were surprised to find that they had hidden talents.
Dates for your diary: 6th December: an open evening with another favourite. National demonstrator John Chennell returns and closes the year with ‘The Magic of Christmas’. Why not join us for a relaxing and entertaining evening whilst gaining some ideas for your own Christmas decorations. Tickets: £6 members, £10 visitors, including mulled wine (or soft drink) & mince pies, are available from Committee Members or Gillian Hill (01525 860539). Venue: Clophill Village Hall Time: doors open at 6.45pm for a prompt start at 7.30pm
3rd January 2019: our Annual General Meeting will be held in Clophill Village Hall Committee Room at 7.30pm. All are welcome.
Demonstrator: Lee Berrill His Title: 'All that glitters . . .'
Our members and visitors enjoyed a fabulous evening on November 1st at a demonstration by Lee Berrill entitled “All that glitters…..”. Lee from Northamptonshire said it would be a light-hearted look at Christmas.He featured baubles in many of his arrangements and confessed that he uses so many each Christmas that he buys them in bulk once Christmas is over each year when they are greatly reduced in price.He had made a huge bauble out of hula hoops and mesh fabric into which he arranged red gerbera, anthuriums and carnations.
He explained that his interest in flowers started from having to go with his mother to a demonstration because his father was not home in time to baby sit!After school he attended a City & Guilds College in Wales where he studied floristry, botany and other subjects before working at a florist in Luton.He now has his own business in Earls Barton.
As well as buying baubles in the sales, he advised that electrician’s cable ties are excellent for securing mechanics and that friends who have gardens with lots of foliage which he can cut are invaluable. His dog walking neighbour collects pine cones for him – he used over 400 in his next arrangement of yellow chrysanthemums and roses.
The design “Three Kings” was in rich purple and red carnations and gerbera with purple ostrich feathers. More baubles came next with orange flowers before a more traditional “winter” arrangement featuring cones, white lisianthus and lilies with blue cedar sprays. Finally, “Music”- three very colourful arrangements using holly, ivy and red & burgundy flowers, one on a drum, another around a violin and the final one with a harp – a spectacular end to a very special evening.
Demonstrator: Lionel Clark His Title: "Pick 'n Mix"
It was a very warm evening at the beginning of July when a full hall relaxed to enjoy a demonstration by Lionel Clark from Essex.
Lionel is a popular demonstrator who first came to Clophill in 1993 and this was his 11th visit. Sadly it was to be his last as retirement beckoned. In keeping with the season he started his demonstration called “Pick ‘n’ Mix” by producing a large basket which he proceeded to fill with foliage and yellow sunflowers.
A very tall slim glass vase was used next in which spectacular Anthuriums in cream and pink were arranged in a horizontal style. A small metal bike formed the basis of the next design, and then red roses in a vertical style in a tall red vase which was joined by another complimentary design - one he did earlier! Variety was provided with bright orange Gerbera. His final design was in a wicker chair which he thought was suitable for an early retirement. To this he added another smaller wicker chair with matching flowers which was for ‘visitors’ who came for coffee. The completed stage was a riot of colour with interesting forms.
The lucky raffle winners not only took the flowers home, but in most cases because Lionel was ‘down sizing’ were given the containers as well! We will be sad not to be able to welcome Lionel to Clophill again but to ensure he remembered us he was presented with a pen engraved with the club name.
We do not meet in August but everyone is welcome to join us on the 6th September in Clophill Village Hall, doors open at 7 for a prompt start at 7.30pm. At that time we shall have another floral feast when Alan Smith is presenting “Autumn Glory”. Why not come and see what is going on? We would love to see you and visitors are welcome at any of our meetings.
Our June demonstrator was Lorraine Saunders, her theme 'Magic Moments' were special moments throughout her life.
Her first design was Wedding Day, a display in pink. Two varieties of pink Roses and tiny buds of Pinks set in a bed of Ruscus atop a circle of pink tulle.
Two Princes was her second title (for her two boys). Bright Orange Espana Roses, Carnations and Eryngium (sea holly) depicted the boys love of sailing. Sails made from white midelina sticks completed the design. Phormium leaves pointed the way to the Half Marathon with bright yellow Gerbera, Aspidistra Leaves and Spotted Laurel.
A large wicker basket was used to arrange a summer garden complete with trellis for the Chelsea Flower Show exhibit. Big bright colours, mauve Stocks, blue Agapanthus and orange Carnations with various greenery completing the design. Her last arrangement the National Flower Show. A beautiful piece of wood used as the centre piece. Cocculus Laurel, Leather Leaf Fern and Eucalyptus Leaves together with lime green Anastasia Chrysanthemum, florets of pale pink Lisianthus and cream Avalanche Roses made a fantastic show.
Some of the designs had smaller second and third arrangements which completed the displays. Lorraine's stories of her wedding, the boys’ antics in boats, the hours it took her to complete the half marathon and her achievements in the flower shows kept the audience amused throughout the evening.
Our next meeting is July 5th our demonstrator is Lionel Clark. Lionel is retiring and this will be his 11th, and last, visit to Clophill. Don't miss him.