It was great to see so many members and visitors at this first meeting of the new season recently.
The speaker/ demonstrator, Jean Hopkins of Apple Tree Flowerswas fairly local as she runs a business using her garden in Brown Knowl near Broxton. There she produces bouquets and flower arrangements using, as much as possible, her home grown flowers.When she started her business she did a floristry course so she is well able to make the designs needed.
During the evening she showed us 8 designs but then went on to use up all the flowers she had brought making bouquets of all shapes ,sizes and colours to allow the whole audience to have a flower design to take home.
All the flowers used for the 8 designs were from the garden and it was a joy to see English flowers looking very natural. Jean is trying to stop using floral foam for holding her designs as it shortens the life of many flowers and is not good for the environment. Instead she forms a structure with foliage which holds the flowers in place. She collects containers from charity shops which allows her to give away the container with the flowers.
Design 1 was in a glass vase with beads to help hold the flowers. This arrangement had teazles, hydrangea, larkspur, phlox and asters amongst foliage.
She then made a hand tied bouquet look easy to make – but I know it isn't!! In shades of pink and purple she used dahlias, cosmos, Japanese anenomes and asters.
An old fashioned jug with choysia as foliage and dahlias produced a lovely design.
Jean did break her rule and put the next low design into foam using pittisporum and grasses with small sea holly and dahlias.
A tall brick red vase looked very attractive holding twigs and grass with very deep red and brighter red dahlias.
Pieris and hydrangea gave an attractive look with some accents of yellow in another vase.
In a low sided glass bowl, she used foam to give a garden effect to a mixed colour low table design with nigella seed heads used effectively with zinnias and small dahlias.
Finally she had 3 glass containers with string around them which stood on a wooden base and contained various mixed flowers. This was an idea that had been used for tables at a wedding.
A very different evening from usual but wonderful to see what can be done with garden flowers.
Jean worked so hard and so fast that we felt tired when she finished. She even worked through the tea/ coffee and cake.
On Oct. 11th we meet again to see Jacqueline Owens interpretation of "A River Runs Through It"