“Sticks and Stems”

On Wednesday, April 18, thirty-six members of Pershore Flower Club and two visitors gathered to welcome Elizabeth Gordon from the Swansea area. She is to be our new Area Chairman.

Living in the country and being a farmer’s daughter, she based her demonstration on sticks and stems. Her first design used stems of red dogwood “borrowed from her neighbour”, together with green orchids, aspidistra leaves folded to imitate what she called coxcombs and coiled laurel leaves all inserted into two blocks of oasis wrapped in laurel leaves and covered with preserved moss. For her second design, she used a shallow square basket with two blocks of oasis attached to a plant pot saucer. This was a “spring border” design with a selection of plant material forming the base with Aliums standing tall in the centre, with sprigs of cherry blossom, tall blooms of iris and pink tulips, sprigs of eucalyptus and stems of narcissi. She placed curls of tulip leaves and small sprigs of eleagnus at the base of the design and then to our delight added a few sticks covered in pink and purple ribbon decorated with buttons. It was beautiful. Next she produced a home-made willow frame making a basket, to which she placed sticks of pussy willow, fatsia leaves, finger palms and phormium leaves in varying shapes. She added seven stems of large gold chrysanths down the centre, blocks of yellow tulips on one side and yellow gerberas on the other. Arum Pictum leaves were added to the bottom of the design with a small amount of acuba (variegated laurel) and then two sprigs of orchid. For her fourth design, Elizabeth produced a “small” terracotta pot – about two feet tall! She used tall orange mitsumata sticks, phormium leaves and fatsia leaves again at the side of the oasis on top of the pot, together with some sprigs of finger palm. To add a touch of sunshine, she used five tall sunflowers in a line down the design. To this she added a line of orange gerberas and a few blooms of “Tesco extra” roses to pick up the colour of the pot. Then she used coral-coloured tulips placed at an angle and two “manipulated” phormium leaves with a few extras to add more interest. Elizabeth’s final design used a low base of varied foliage, with tall pink antirrhinums up one side and horizontally on the other side, together with leucadendron ‘safari sunset’ also some upright and some horizontal. She placed two stems of alstromeria in the centre with blooms of shocking pink gerberas infilled with eucalyptus and ivy and finally with a few bright pink roses, small sprigs of pink orchids and a few sticks of magnolia. Elizabeth’s designs were beautiful and varied and her bubbly personality and chat very entertaining.

The next meeting is on Wednesday, May 17 – visitors very welcome at Bishampton Village Hall at 7.30 p.m. DINAH WOOD

Caption: Elizabeth Gordon with her 'sticks and stems' designs, which were beautiful and varied.