It is the month of May and it still feels like winter, but to cheer us up we had “A Night on the Town” with Shirley Henderson.


Born in the USA, Shirley has lived for many years in the UK; she became an Area Demonstrator whilst living in Bathgate but has recently migrated south to live in Market Harborough, England.


Shirley's 1st arrangement



Planning a night out usually begins with a bit of retail therapy so Shirley took us shopping, a very stylish pink and black striped bag, obviously from one of the better boutiques, became the container for her first design. The leaves of arum italicum were arranged around the edge of the bag and pieris gave a contrasting foliage shape, pink roses picked up on the colour in the pieris and the beautiful white Anastasia chrysanthemums added that “WOW” factor. A sprinkling of pink germini completed the arrangement which was finally placed amongst a variety of stylish carrier bags.

Shirley's 2nd arrangement




So, what had we shopped for? Perhaps it was that little black dress. Something as classic as the LBD requires a classy arrangement and Shirley gave us the classic Hogarth Curve on a tall black container; ruscus provided the framework for the shape, red roses alternating with green carnations followed the line, amaryllis gave weight to the centre of the design and a cymbidium orchid was the finishing touch.    



Shirley's 3rd arrangement



Shirley’s next container was covered in tiny, light reflecting, bronze tesserae; this was our “bling” to go with our LBD. Phormium, fatsia and cupressus were the background foliage, leucodendron “Safari Sunset” contrasted with yellow tulips and orange "Leonites" roses; alstroemeria completed the design which was accompanied by a smaller lower placement.



Shirley's 4th arrangement



Now we were set for our night out and, as Petula Clark sang, we were ready to go “Down Town”. Shirley started this design with strelitzia surrounded by bunches of coloured midilino sticks which looked like neon tubes. Large leaved foliage, fatsia, bergenia and laurel was added to the design and the whole arrangement was finished off with blocks of brightly dyed chrysanthemum in all the neon colours. Again, as the song says “the lights are much brighter there, you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares” - we certainly did.



Shirley's 5th & final arrangement

Having taken all that time to shop, put on our glad rags and go to town we were all ready for a cocktail. A giant cocktail vase appeared before us. A fringe of palm trailed over the edge, skimmia and choicia provided a foil for the flowers. Lisianthus gave height and their colour contrasted with the beautiful lilac Anastasia chrysanthemums. White spray chrysanthemums and pink carnations completed this confection and some silver ting made a sparkling swizzle stick. A matching cocktail vase was placed alongside.



We all enjoyed Shirley’s demonstration and her friendly chatty nature, we hope she settles into her new home and enjoys creating her new garden which will provide her with many of the ingredients for her future floral demonstrations.