3 November 2022
'Gardens by the Bay' by Theresa Rodrigues
We were delighted to welcome back Theresa Rodrigues for our November meeting with her intriguing title ‘Gardens by the Bay’. We were to imagine a 12-hour flight to a tropical island, hot temperatures and driving to an iconic hotel that featured in the BBC Two programme ‘Amazing Hotels’. Singapore was our destination which brought back very fond memories for me as I had stayed at the hotel in 2014.
Theresa’s first arrangement was inspired by the hotel which is located along the Marina Bay waterfront and features three cascading towers topped by an extraordinary Sky Park, resembling a surfboard, complete with infinity pool! To depict this Theresa chose a horizontal design which was raised on top of a tall stand and into prearranged foliage she placed Irises, white Avalanche Roses and Coral sprayed silver to resemble the sky and water.
From the Sky Park you can get an excellent view of the ‘Gardens by the Bay’ which brings to life Singapore’s vision of creating a City in a garden. The three distinctive waterfront gardens span 101 acres and were designed with the underlying principle of sustainability. Theresa’s following four arrangements each focused on a particular garden. Inspired by the architecture of the Esplanade Theatres in the East Garden and a conscious effort to reduce the use of floral foam, Theresa had produced a 3D structure using bamboo and sticks. Into this she interwove flowers as if she were producing a hand tied bunch.
One of the key highlights of the ‘Gardens by the Bay’ is the grove of soaring, surreal structures known as Supertrees. These sustainable vertical gardens span 25 to 50 metres in height and house over 162,900 plants of over 200 species. Many of these trees have photovoltaic cells in their canopies to harvest solar energy. This was to be the inspiration for Theresa’s final design. Known for her creativity she produced her own version of a Supertree, a tree trunk covered with moss into which she had incorporated succulent plants. She then produced an all-round arrangement on the top followed by lights twisted around the trunk.
The six arrangements were very individual with excellent & varied choice of flowers and foliage, including Calla Lilies, Cymbidium Orchids, Strelitzia’s, Protea Pincushion, Cock’s Comb, Ginger, Gerbera & Roses.
A very interesting demonstration ending with a beautiful display of arrangements.
Note for your diary: Our Annual General Meeting will be held in Clophill Village Hall Committee Room
at 7.30pm on 5 January 2023. All are welcome.
1 November 2022
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - November Newsletter
I hope you enjoyed the demonstration by Gill McGregor. I thought her designs were great and how she is able to keep talking, create and also instruct all at the same time is amazing.
On 3 November we have Theresa Rodriques coming to demonstrate again - her title is ‘Gardens by the Bay’.
On 1 December our demonstrator is Lee Berrill who is very artistic and creative. His title is 'Made for Xmas'. Tickets are £6 for members and £10 for visitors and will be available at the next meeting and I know they are selling very well.
There will be festive refreshments and a special sales table
The Charity Table was popular at the last meeting with scarves and jewellery.
**Bags will be the focus in November. If you have any unwanted bags – handbags, toilet bags or even larger bags that you think will tempt others please bring them to this meeting – on a ‘Sale or Return’ basis. So that if they are sold the money will go to our Charity fund but if they are not sold please take them home again! This will ensure a good turnover of items.
**In December we will feature Anything Christmas.
We are holding a Christmas Wreath Workshop on 29 November – just in time for Advent.
The cost of £35 will include all the materials to make a natural wreath using spruce, seasonal foliage, dried fruits, cones, wires, tuition and refreshments.
The venue is St Mary’s Church, Clophill 10 am – 12 noon.
Please contact me if you are interested, either directly or via the contact tab on this site
Home Counties Area of NAFAS are holding another virtual competition before Christmas entitled ‘The Festive Season’.
This can be any style of arrangement – a table design, a festive wreath, a contemporary arrangement or something interpretative. The advantage of this type of competition is that you can do it at your leisure, photograph it and then email it to the Area media Officer. I am attaching all the details with this newsletter.
Area AGM/Lunch and Demonstration is being held on 16 November at Spotlight Theatre in Broxbourne. Doors open at 10am and there will be stalls to browse before a short AGM at 11am. This will be followed by a hot two course buffet lunch and then a demonstration by Jacqui Arnold (National Demonstrator) with her title ‘Jingle all the Way’.
This should be a lovely day. Tickets are still available at £36 and can be ordered at our Club and we will try to organise transport if you would like to come.
* * * * * * *
Home Counties Area of NAFAS
Another exciting virtual competition for members of Home Counties
Entries should be emailed to Rekha Naidoo (Media Officer) to the email address below
from Monday 21 November to Monday 5 December
The photographs will be collated into a file and sent numbered anonymously to Area Judges.
The winners will be informed, and the results will be published on the Area website.
Title: ‘The Festive Season’
An exhibit. Fresh plant material should predominate but artificial material is permitted.
Size 60cm x 60cm x 90 cm height
The design should be photographed with a plain background.
Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 December
using The Festive Season as the subject
Please include your name, telephone number and your Flower Club
* * * * * * *
Looking forward to seeing you again,
With my best wishes,
Chairman of Clophill & District Flower Club
7 October 2022
Come to a
Christmas Wreath Workshop
on Tuesday 29th November - just in time for Advent
***The cost will include spruce rings, seasonal foliage, cones, wires, ribbons,
tuition and refreshments.
***Please bring a pair of scissors and your own choice of decorations,
either natural or artificial, to make your wreath unique
Please contact me if you would like to attend
Carolyn Cranswick email@example.com
01462 815433, or via the Contact tab on this site.
Venue: St Mary’s Church, Clophill, MK45 4BJ
The Flower club will give a donation to the church for use of the venue
20 September 2022
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - September Newsletter
Since we last met it has been a very sad and emotional time with the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, culminating with her funeral yesterday. A moment in history filled with ceremony, sorrow, pageantry and spectacle that has been compulsive to witness. It brought people together, both the great and the general public and brought out the best in us. You may be interested to know that members of NAFAS arranged the flowers in Westminster Abbey and Shane Connolly (Florist to King Charles III) created the final wreath.
I have been informed that Alan Smith who came to demonstrate at our Club on 1st September also died about a week after coming to entertain us. He said he was retiring but this must have been very sudden. I have sent Lee Berrill, his partner, a card from us with our condolences.
Congratulations to Linda O’Toole who gained a 1st Prize at Houghton Conquest and Shefford Shows. Well done to others who entered the Floral art classes – it was a shame there were not more entries.
Linda and Ann Swain have been told that two of their Christmas designs will be featured in the next issue of The Flower Arranger.
Earlier this month members of our Club arranged wedding flowers in Campton. It took two days to decorate the Church and the marquee and two teams of 8 and 9 arrangers. It is always fun to work together and meet the challenges of 22 designs in the Church including a beautiful arch around the door and 14 very large table arrangements and two large flower rings that were suspended around the marquee posts. The results were stunning, and it earned a large amount of money for the Club and our charity funds.
Area AGM/Lunch and Demonstration
This is being held on 16th November at Spotlight Theatre in Broxbourne. Doors open at 10am and there will be stalls to browse before a short AGM at 11am. This will be followed by a hot two course buffet lunch and then a demonstration by Jacqui Arnold (National Demonstrator) titles ‘Jingle all the Way’. This should be a lovely day. Tickets are £36 that can be ordered at our Club and we will try to organise transport if you would like to come.
Next meeting on 6th October
Our next meeting is with our favourite Gill McGregor – ‘Floral Flair and Fantasy’. She is a very experienced and talented designer, so I hope you are able to come.
Scarves and jewellery will be the focus for the Charity table. If you have any unwanted items that you think will tempt others please bring them to this meeting – on a ‘Sale or Return’ basis. So that if they are sold the money will go to our Charity fund but if they are not sold please take them home again! This will ensure a good turnover of items.
The next month it will be Bags and in December we will feature Anything Christmas.
Looking forward to seeing you again,
With my best wishes,
Chairman of Clophill & District Flower Club
1 September 2022
'Autumn Glory' by Alan Smith
'Autumn Glory’ was the title of the floral demonstration given by Alan Smith at the September meeting of Clophill and District Flower Club. He created six beautiful designs, 5 of which incorporated Autumn colours depicted by sunflowers, lilies, dahlias, carnations, gerbera, wild clematis, anthuriums and teasels to name but a few. The sixth design was a ‘special’ to celebrate our Sapphire Anniversary during the Covid lockdown but which we celebrated earlier this year as 45+1. The sapphire blue was created by use of tall blue gentians, purple lisianthus and carnations and blue hydrangea all displayed in a deep blue earthenware pot.
Throughout the demonstration, Alan was his usual bubbly self, telling us of his experiences since becoming involved with NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arranging Societies) in the 1970’s, his travels to the USA and to the World Show in Barbados and the many people he has met on his travels and through his keen competitive spirit at National and local shows. Alan has been a favourite and regular demonstrator at our club but this, sadly, was his last visit as he is retiring – we all wish him well.
As with all good demonstrators, Alan passed on lots of tips on design – the use of structure, appropriate setting, driftwood, the use of recession of shorter flowers pushed deep into a design to give depth, placement of focal flowers and the preparing/conditioning of plant and flower material before use.
Did you know that gerberas only like being in shallow water – in deep water they build up bacteria on the stems and die.
Foliage for the designs was provided by Alan and also flower club members from their gardens – aspidistra, fatsia, bergenia, ivy and hosta to name but a few.
As always, the designs were raffle prizes at the end of the evening, the winners choosing the design they wanted – or were able to carry home.
Visitors are always welcomed at our meetings. On 3 November, we have Theresa Rodrigues with her demonstration entitled ‘Gardens by the Bay’ and then for our 1 December Open Evening we have Lee Berrill with his demonstration entitled ‘Made for Xmas’.
For further information, see our website www.clophillflowerclub.com
13 August 2022
To all my friends at Clophill & District Flower Club - August Newsletter
I hope you are coping with this heat! I am spending time in the coolest part of the house so I thought I would keep in touch with you. I am struggling with the high temperatures and so are the plants in my garden. I water my pots and baskets but the borders have to look after themselves. I just cut off the crispy leaves and tidy around them.
Our next meeting is on 1st September with Alan Smith – “ Autumn Glory”.
This should be a very good evening as Alan is a very entertaining, experienced demonstrator.
I have details of some local shows that have Flower Arranging classes. It would be great if you plucked up the courage and had a go to enter. They all have some simple titles for novices and some for those with more experience.
If you need further details please give me a ring or email.
Houghton Conquest Garden Club Summer Show in the Village Hall - Saturday 3rd August
Entry forms from Margaret Whalley 01234 740892
Class 60 ‘Queens Racing Colours’ – an exhibit with accessories incorporating the
Class 61 ‘Your Choice’ – an exhibit using flowers from your garden or a bunch up to £10
Class 62 ‘ Afternoon Tea’ – a petite exhibit in a teacup
Class 63 A jubilee corsage
Barton- le Clay Horticultural Show at Barton Village Hall - Saturday 10th September at 3pm
To be staged by 12noon Schedules from Barton Parish Council Phone Suzanne 01582 883990
Class 89 ‘ A walk through my Garden. An exhibit using garden flowers or a bunch costing no more than £10
Class 90 ‘ Pretty as a Picture’ - An exhibit incorporating a picture frame
Class 92 ‘ Remembrance’ – A petite exhibit
Shefford Craft and Produce Show in the Methodist Church Hall , Shefford - Saturday 10th September 2pm
To be staged by 10.45am Schedules available from me
Class 40 ‘ Ruby Anniversary’ An exhibit
Class 41 ‘Remembrance’ An exhibit
Class 42 ‘ an arrangement on a raised container
Class 43 ‘Tea Time’ A petite exhibit
A challenge and something to think about as you avoid this heat!!
I hope to see you on the 1st September
With my best wishes,
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