At the September meeting of the Cheviot Valleys Flower Club, we welcomed Lizzie Harrat, who was our demonstrator for the evening.
She began her demonstration, Ode to Autumn, using a large, flat, round base with a container placed at one side and a tall wicker lady, to represent Mother Nature, beside it.
The theme of the design was garden produce.
Using light-green-coloured foliage, including variegated privet and Solomon seal which she placed upwards beside the lady and some out at the front, she used bergenia leaves at the base, then filled in with bay, variegated ivy, adding small crab apples.
The flowers were placed through the foliage and included small sunflowers, lime-green chrysanths and yellow rudbeckia.
She trimmed the lady’s hat with a ring of yellow mimosa and added one yellow pepper, one green pepper and one of both colours, which also had mimosa in them. She put some in the lady’s basket.
For the next arrangement she showed us how to do a dried swag to look like a sheaf of wheat. Using a shovel for the base, she put in pieces of dried wheat, arranging them to form a sheaf and added pinned moss over the centre, then put silk roses and hips on the moss and finished with a raffia bow.
The third design, to represent the lines from the Keats poem Seasons of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness, used a pottery urn and a triangular design. She placed tall pieces of rubifolia, with variegated hosta leaves around the centre. Senecio was used to follow the line of the rubifolia, with michaelmas daises and dusky pink roses through the middle. Other flowers were pink astilbies, pink hydrangeas, pink lisianthus and burgundy calla lilies. At the base of the urn, she put some green and black grapes and the poetry book.
A design to represent a bonfire was next. To make it glow, she used red sisal and bark sprayed black placed round a container into which she put foliage including weigela, forsythia and strawberry leaves, then added hips, some peach roses with red edges. In the centre, she put a green candle with large orange gerberas between the roses. Bright orange streamers which looked like flames, dyed pussy willow and a large spider completed the bonfire.
The fifth design was a long swag which had cupressus and ivy covering the oasis with trails of ivy out the edges. Red crab apples and rubiflolia berries were placed among the foliage, three bunches of wheat tied with raffia were angled across the foliage, then small orange and green chrysanths and roses were put in groups, with ivy to fill in. She had a similar ring made with the same foliage and flowers, both to represent a harvest.
For the final design, a table decoration, she used a rectangular tray with cupressus, box and ivy as the foliage. To this she added variegated privet at one end and variegated ivy at the other, then hosta leaves along the edges. Various leaves including strawberry were grouped together with pieces of forsythia placed upwards.
A group of four orange roses placed upright at varying heights with rust-coloured chrysanths beside them were put at one side and dark red carnations and more chrysanths at the other. In between, she placed large poppy heads and small, green chrysanths. Some hypericum berries, green midelino sticks put into the design in curves and pieces of fine grass completed the main design.
Joan Rasmussen gave the vote of thanks on our behalf for the stunning designs.
The Christmas demonstration is on Wednesday, November 29, at 7.30pm in Whittingham Memorial Institute when John Dalton will present The Holly And The Ivy. Tickets, £8 to include refreshments, are on sale from Pat Hall on 01665 574017 or Iris Hunter on 01665 578358.