September 2012 - Mary Clarke
September: The summer has flown past. As a club, we visited the Rose Garden at Drum Castle in July and August found some of our members making their way to Brechin where we enjoyed a Flower Festival in the lovely setting of the Cathedral. We were made very welcome by the members of Brechin Flower Club and as well the beautiful floral arrangements we were treated to delicious coffee and home bakes.
The first demonstrator of our new season, which now runs from September to June, was Mary Clarke from Dunblane and her title was “Flowers and Medicine”. Mary is no stranger to Aberdeen and, although she has never demonstrated here before, it was here that she first took classes in flower arranging. Her teacher was the late Jean Martin, a past member of this club. Jean taught flower arranging right into her eighties and her classes inspired quite a few of our current club members.
Mary’s first arrangement was a tribute to the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing. Green “Anastasia” chrysanthemum, “midori” anthurium were complemented by red roses and carnations, some well-placed accessories completed the arrangement.
A contemporary design was next with a structure of willow and phormium. “Aqua” roses arranged in a vertical line and gyp completed this stunning yet simple modern arrangement.
Having spent some time working for a large pharmaceutical company Mary had an interest in the old fashioned containers used for early medicines, she explained to us why ridged and coloured glass was introduced while she produces a beautiful arrangement on top of a clear glass vase. Manipulated aspidistra covered the floral foam and rosa “Avalanche” was placed amongst it. Any available space was filled with gyp and pearls fixed to midilino sticks added a finishing flourish.
Throughout the evening Mary entertained us with stories from her nursing background. Her arrangements reflected her knowledge of the medicinal value of plants and the continuing development of this natural resource by scientists today. An arrangement using plants which could be poisonous and a beautiful cascade of palms, monstera leaves, yew and bergenia filled with green carnation, anthurium and a stunning orchid completed a most enjoyable evening. This was Mary’s first time demonstrating in Aberdeen, we enjoyed it very much and hope we will be able to welcome her back in the future.