It must be five years since we last welcomed John Dalton to Aberdeen as our demonstrator for the evening.  His theme was “The Holly and the Ivy”, a reminder perhaps that Christmas is not very far away.

John's first arrangement 



John started off with a large glass vase filled with cellophane.  The foliage used was bergenia, ivy with lovely berries growing on it, fern and phormium.  Added to this foliage was a “mixed exotic bunch” from the wholesaler - these are always interesting as you never know quite what they are going to contain, in fact this one even included red sponge and a bunch of tiny bananas which really added a striking element to the arrangement.  In addition helliconia, dendrobium and carnation were placed throughout with a few baubles giving just a hint of Christmas to the finished arrangement.


John's second arrangement






Next the three wise men arrived.  Mahonia aquifolium, fatsia and skimmia formed the background foliage of this design, yellow roses, yellow germini and a lovely lemon carnation were the flowers and the whole arrangement was set off by the beautiful figures of the three wise men.  A little casket brimming over with trinkets completed the finishing touch.



John's third arrangement




The container for the next arrangement was a stunning gilded casket which John used to create a continental style arrangement of alstroemeria, pink roses and striking cerise carnations.  An interesting choice of foliage including fabulous hellebore leaves gave depth and variety to this arrangement.



John's fourth arrangement





An elegant white candlestick gave height to the next design, a mixture of small fluffy evergreens highlighted with the white backs of seneccio were the basis for this traditional triangle.  Cream roses, white carnations and freesia all contributed to this graceful arrangement.



John's fifth and final arrangement




John then emerged with a really attractive ceramic container consisting of a figure lying on its back holding up a bowl.  Variegated ivy, hellebore and fatsia were amongst the mixture of foliage in this arrangement.  Sugar pink Anastasia formed a line through the design and they were complemented by pink roses and carnations in a darker shade.  Finally, anthuriums which toned beautifully with the rest of the flowers were added.  We all thought this was the final arrangement of the evening and were delighted when John then produced a matching pedestal which set it off beautifully.




It was lovely to welcome John back to Aberdeen where his arrangements and the comical stories he told about his life made for a very entertaining evening.