Our demonstrator Alison Cooper started her career as a florist and now runs a wedding/ flower business but she loves flower arranging. Several years ago she became designer of the year at our NAFAS annual show but this was her 1st face to face demonstration since the start of the pandemic. I think it is one she will remember as the only time she has had a 1950's background for her flowers. Because of this some pictures may feature flying ducks or fancy wallpaper behind them, my apologies. Ashton Hayes theatre group are holding their play hence the stage and all it contained.
Alison's subject was "A Form of Nature" and for each design she concentrated on an aspect of natural life. Design 1 was simply designed in a bowl containing wire. It was a flowing design of tulips, alstomeria, snapdragons and a pale ranunculi with some green Viburnum blossom and mixed foliage. This was a celebration of flowers in their simplicity.
Design 2 which I was lucky to win in the raffle was mounted on a board. The base for the flowers was a piece of designer board with some floral foam and clay. The overall effect was orange but there were red anenomes, red berried skimmia , yellow narcissus as well as the feature flower which was orange proteus from South Africa.
30 pink carnations stood to attention placed head to head in a sort of curved semi-circle. Through the heads twisted wire was swirled and then some tall pink alstromeria and snapdragons were added. This produced a Dutch style of design which Alison called a murmuration. Apart from the colour it looked very like the birds when they group so dramatically in the sky.
When Alison took her test 12 years ago she used a slab pot which came into use again as the base of the forest floor. To it were added bark, cones and branches. The foam was covered with many aspidistra leaves and the design was completed with yellow roses and mushrooms which produced a very attractive design to represent the subject fungi.
On stage there suddenly appeared an ugly, rather large heap made from soil stone and wood but before we had time to be surprised orchids were hung from the inside to produce a grotto effect. A very quick design.
The humble hexagon was the subject for the final design which was more traditional with white genista, tulips, daffodils, pink carnations and viburnum. Some foliage was dried and she used palm leaves cut into geometric shapes. She talked of hexagons in nature and to finish off she had a 2nd similar design mounted on a see-through hexagon with other smaller ones hanging inside and a bee in the centre. This could have looked quite stunning had there been more space. The raffle and refreshments followed and we headed home after a very entertaining evening.
April 13th will be our next meeting at 7-30pm in the main hall of the community centre. Visitors are very welcome to join us to see Heather Hayes show us her interpretation of "Pot Luck"
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