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Stockton Heath Flower Club held the July meeting on the 3rd of July at Appleton Parish Hall, writes Debbie Jones of Stockton Heath Flower Club.
The demonstrator for the evening was Shelagh Roberts of Wrexham. Her demonstration was entitled Seven Wonders of Wales, based on an old anonymously written poem regarding 7 places of interest around Wrexham. Pistyll Rhaedr and Wrexham Steeple, Snowdon's Mountain without its people, Overton Yews Trees, St Winifred's Well, Llangollen Bridge and Gresford Bells.
Pistyll Rhaedr a beautiful waterfall, cascades an impressive 240 feet in 2 stages. First over a rocky cliff to a stone basin, then continuing its fall under a natural arch of stone, which has been described as falling gracefully like this beautiful threads. This was captured beautifully in a trailing arrangement in 2 parts consisting of variegated foliage, white lilies, western hemlock, white stocks and finished off with delicate ferns which gave the impression of spray coming off falling water.
Wrexham's steeple is the tallest building in Wrexham and will stay that way, as no new building may be built any taller than the highest point of the tower of the medieval church of St Giles. Height was needed to represent the tower and this was done using the exotic tall pink ginger. Sweet William, spotted laurel and alstromeria completed the effect filling out the lower portion of the arrangement.
Snowdon's Mountain without its people was represented by a predominantly green arrangement. Variegated foliage, shamrock chrysanthemums and green carnations represented the lush expanses of the mountain pastures perfectly.
Overton Yew Trees, a series of 21 yew trees planted over the centuries years in St Mary's churchyard and dates back to the 13th century. Although the trees themselves were not represented in the arrangement, Shelagh conversed about occasions when special picnics are held in the churchyard and created a small brightly coloured arrangement of sweet william and calla lilies to represent one of such occasion.
Winifred's Well was very interesting, story and arrangement, not least that poor Winifred had her head cut off by a local chieftain in a rage after she spurned his advances. It was said that the healing well sprang from where Winifred's head landed in a deep hollow after rolling down a hill. Miraculously though she lived after St Beuno reattached her head to her body. Shelagh joked there was a bit of a bloody mess, and so all blooms were of reds, deep purples and pinks creating a compact yet rather splendid patch of bloody ground.
Llangollen Bridge a 14th century wonder was represented by a construction with lucky bamboo and alliums as the supports of the bridge, with the addition of shamrock chrysanthemums, red ginger and coloured twig material to fill as the arches.
Gresford Bells dating back to 1714 are known for the purity of their tone. A bell shaped container filled with pink snap dragons (what else would you use to represent Wales?) Portuguese laurel, pink carnations and glorious pink hollyhocks took us to the end of our journey to the Seven Wonders of Wales.
Shelagh took us on a whirlwind journey, on which we learned about 7 historic Welsh places well worth the visit, on the way we heard about Arthurian legends, popular folk stories and the medieval history of the churches in the area. It's amazing what you can learn relaxing, watching a flower arranging demonstration.
The next meeting will take place at Appleton Parish Hall, Dudlow Green Road, on Tuesday 7th August at 7.30pm. The demonstrator will be Kathleen Williams of Oldham with a demonstration entitled "Collections". Why not come along, take a seat with us and relax for a couple of hours, watch the demonstration and you may get a few new ideas. Visitors are welcome.