December 2013 - John McDonald
December was our Club’s Open Night and it was a delight to welcome John McDonald, florist at Gleneagles Hotel, to Aberdeen on a cold, snowy evening.
John’s first arrangement was a simple but stunning design of silver twigs with full stems of white phalaenopsis, a real showstopper in five minutes!
Gold mesh gave a strong background to the next arrangement which contained dogwood and fir. ‘Grand Prix’ roses added impact and were contrasted with carnations and gerbera in shades of red. Gold glittered pine cones complemented the red flowers and added a touch of sparkle to the arrangement.
Another instant impact design from John next, three amaryllis and a stem of ilex, stylishly bound and placed at an angle in a huge glass jar, repeat three times for a striking contemporary display, as can be seen in the first image.
In contrast to the upright arrangements, the next was a long horizontal design. The three placements had a tropical feel containing anthurium “Midori” and calla lilies, which were linked with lichened twigs and swirls of steel grass; rose hips added another contrasting element to the arrangement.
Christmas doesn’t have to stick to the traditional colours to be festive and this was demonstrated in the next arrangement. A background of palm and salal was quickly filled with purple liatris, a glorious orange gerbera, bright pink carnations and green hypericum. Gilded ruscus and grasses introduced a festive element to this fabulous display.
The next design really appealed to those of us who love contemporary work. A wonderful palm swathe was the background to tall sprays of mallus; into the base of the design bright red roses, red carnation and green hypericum were blocked together and sprays of rosehips erupted from all around.
John’s next arrangement started with a wreath ring; silvered twigs added height and the ring was packed with white “Anastasia” and white lilies, silver baubles were hung from the branches and we thought the design was complete - we were wrong. The design was placed on a tall stand with more flowers and baubles flowing downwards to complete this dazzling arrangement.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree and we weren’t disappointed; a frame constructed from an old stand, some shimmering fabric and rattan strips was covered with heads of cymbidium orchids. The lights were switched on and Christmas had arrived.
John’s arrangements for our Open Evening were superb; his charming, relaxed manner and entertaining conversation, coupled with his generosity to our raffle prizes, made for a wonderful evening and it would be a delight to welcome him back to the Club at any time.
Our Open Night brought to a spectacular close what has been a marvellous year for Aberdeen and County Floral Group, our members celebrated their Emerald Anniversary, were involved through our President, in the gold winning Chelsea exhibit, competed at Shows locally and nationally and welcomed demonstrators from all over the country to our Club. We look forward to seeing all our members for our first meeting of 2014 in February.