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By Debbie Jones
Stockton Heath Flower Club held the November meeting on the 6th of November at Appleton Parish Hall.
The demonstrator for the evening was Keith Smithies of Colwyn Bay. His demonstration was entitled "Lets Pretend", reminiscent of the coming season and reiterating the saying that Christmas is for kids and its great fun to pretend (I'm so glad I'm just a big kid at heart), Keith's arrangements all had sparkle and glitz. Just what is needed to get into the Christmas swing.
First we had an arrangement that would not be out of place as a centrepiece at a Christmas party or a glamorous occasion. A low woven basket with a glittered twig wreath in the centre was the base. Inside which was placed oasis to take the wonderful array of blooms in two seemingly different arrangements. One included a spray of tall blue campanula the other the slightly shorter purple spiky headed leatris and then the blushing pink roses linked the two, a thornless species bred in Japan called Aqua. Bracken, fern and skeleton maple leaf added the foliage, texture and interest while for sheer Christmas glitz, gold raffia balls and a sequinned scarf was added for material texture and completing the link between the two separate parts of the arrangement.
Next we had the golden glow of Gold Spike yellow roses arranged to weave from one side to the other on a diagonal going one way. Molucella laevis a tall feathery green plant was arranged to weave on a diagonal going the other way. All in all a stunning and vibrant display including pieces of variegated ivy and the red berried hypericum to fill in space and add texture Our next arrangement was reminiscent of a fully flowering trough covered with a sprinkling of snow. Graceful, with a glittering sprinkle of frost, silver birch was used as a spiky backdrop to give height and western hemlock was draped over the front of a silver sprayed trough. Crisp white lilies were arranged on one side and white Gerber's graced the other side. Connecting the two were crisp white chrysanthemums with a few ornamental white cabbage for interest and a sprinkling of snow over the edge of the trough in the form of sprays of white orchids Our next arrangement was quite stunning. Between you and me I think every lady in the hall was clutching their raffle ticket, desperately hoping that their ticket was the first one to be pulled out of the draw so that they may choose to take this glorious spray of colour home. Foliage used was aspidistra leaves folded into curls with the stem stabbed through the leaf to keep the curl in place. The blooms used were a very pretty small lilac arthurium and bold purple falls of orchid. Sprigs of western hemlock gave the centre body. Finishing off, steel grass was folded back onto itself into the arrangement making it look somewhat like the rings of Saturn circling the small but perfectly formed spray.
The next arrangement was perfect to try in a large urn shaped vase. It was bursting with blushing pinks, starting with 3 huge striking amaryllis called Hercules interspersed between black sparkling Matsui sticks. Different shades were added by way of pink snapdragons and berry filled sprays. Greenery and texture was added with the use of pine twigs with small cones attached and the glitter was added with large glittery reddish artificial leaves.
Our last arrangement of the evening was totally fantasy. An arrangement that would not have looked out of place on Kylie's Showgirl tour. A curtain of green and blue sequins fell from a trumpet shaped glass vase. Greenery was added by two varieties of ferns, one strong and well defined and one frilly and feathery. The blooms were yellow roses but with a green edge to the outside petals intermixed with green anistasia chrysanthemums and to finish off, strands of steel grass added movement flowing over the edge of the vase.
Keith showed us not to be frightened to mixed fresh with artificial. You could get some dramatic results. A great tip when arranging at home, don't strip off every leaf when arranging. If there are a couple of leaves still attached, the bloom will still be able to catch sunlight and so will not die straight away. It could add days to the life of you cut flowers. Why not give it a try Flower Club Meetings take place at Appleton Parish Hall, Dudlow Green Road, on the first Tuesday of each month (except January). Why not come along, take a seat with us and relax for a couple of hours, watch the demonstration, you may get a few new ideas or win one of the arrangements. Visitors are always welcome.