October 2012 has arrived at speed and already we are feeling the autumnal season upon us, which was reflected in the magnificent colourful designs created by Audrey Foster, our Demonstrator from Whitby, whose title for the evening was “Re-Use and Recycle”.
Audrey first visited us during the summer month of June 2008 on her first tour of Scotland and it was a great pleasure to welcome her back, albeit during the winter season but Audrey told us this was compensated by the wonderful autumn colourings she saw on her journey North.
As we now live in a throw-away society, Audrey was inspired to use containers and materials that can be used again and again and therefore began her first arrangement with a recycled ‘Oasis’ ring which had been packed with a floral foam block, halved and cut to size to fit. Skimmia, hebe, conifer, dried hydrangea, dried and dyed iberis and the last of summer hosta leaves were randomly placed at a low level around the ring with large headed green chrysanthemums interspersed through the foliage and green carnations grouped in clumps. To compliment the hydrangea heads Audrey placed side shoots of echinops through the design. Once complete the ring was placed on the floor in front of a screen which Audrey suggested could be created from vine, ivy, cornus or salix with fabric and ribbon woven through the plat material. Audrey had also attached test tubes to the screen from which hung additional hydrangea and chrysanthemums.
Audrey had attended a wire workshop and for her second design was re-using the wire frameworks which she staggered across a floral foam block that had been placed in a large red, shallow dish. The frameworks, which could also be converted to a wall hanging perhaps with test tubes, was made with sticks covered in post box red raffia and a reel of matching red aluminium wire wrapped around, in and out of the sticks, finally stamping on it structure to secure it. Fabulous strong physalis were placed alongside and in-between the wire frameworks creating vibrant autumnal colourings. Audrey demonstrated how the “lanterns” could be opening up by turning back the petals to make a different form. Large headed orange gerbera enhancing the richness of the arrangement were also placed through the design with their heads turning in various directions. A big favourite of Audrey’s – tree ivy – was used to cover the floral foam at the base of the design. A few carthamus heads were scattered through the glossy green leaves of the ivy with large black berries to detract from the boldness of the base.
A large, strong cardboard washing powder box covered in a black hessian type fabric was recycled by Audrey to use as her next container. A tray of floral foam fitted perfectly onto the top of the box. Flat, black wooden sticks were place at angles, complemented with white larkspur alongside the sticks. To add depth to the design Audrey added white ‘Avalanche’ roses at similar angles. At the base of the criss-cross design fatsia leaves with their “fingers’ cut down, were inserted, concentrating to one side and large white spider chrysanthemum heads were tiered down the other side standing out against the black container. To balance the bold base, beautiful silver grey senecio was inserted to create a contrast.
Audrey decided to reuse a tall container that had been passed on to her from a friend who had taken early retirement from demonstrating. Large, tough, Cycas palm leaves which had dried to a parchment colour were dramatically placed at various angles. Audrey had given the Cycas a touch of green spray. Bergenia leaves from Audrey’s own farm garden, like most of the foliage used this evening, were placed downwards to balance the design. Purple liatris was staggered down the centre of the design. Large purple cabbage heads were placed to one side and beautiful ‘Aqua’ roses were placed on the other side complimenting each other. To finish the arrangement Audrey used glossy choisya leaves around the base interspersed with hypericum berries. A small placement was added to the foot of the tall container which included the ‘Aqua’ roses and cabbage heads.
For Audrey’s final design she used a clear, tall glass vase filled with lime green and orange coloured ‘Oasis’ pieces which were recycled from previous arrangements and could not be used again as floral foam. Radiating from the centre large, glossy palm leaves floated in all directions with five large anthuriums placed across the design. Physalis centred the arrangement to add another texture. Deep red, rich Grand Prix roses were interspersed through the palms and anthruiums concentrating in the centre with a downward tier. A change of texture was incorporated with Abieskoreana fir (displaying cones on top) placed at the inside base to cover the mechanics and give depth to the design. Red carnations were recessed into the sides of the design contrasting with the shiny palm and rough fir.
We enjoyed a wonderfully relaxed and colourful evening and hope it will not be too long before Audrey returns North again to share her talent with us.