For our first live meeting of 2022, thirty seven members and four new members braved storm Dudley and met up at Bishampton Village Hall on Wednesday, the 16th February where we were delighted to welcome Chrissie Barnes from Elmley Castle. Chrissie calls her business, The Enchanted Florist and works from home, mostly carrying out the varied requirements of brides. She gave us a demonstration on zoom back in February last year and has been very busy since.
For her first design, Chrissie admitted using Oasis in a shallow round container into which she had already placed varying foliage including fern leaves and eucalyptus . She added delicate pink chrysanthemums, snapdragons and hellebores and in contrast stems of bright fuchsia-coloured anemones and lisianthus. Next, Chrissie demonstrated ‘mossage’ as an alternative to using oasis, which consists of a gentle variety of chicken wire formed and tied into a tube stuffed with moss and kept damp. This was placed in a wooden meadow box into which she placed leatherleaf ferns and twigs of birch. The flowers were pale blue delphiniums with asparagus fern and Avalanche white roses whose petals she had opened out, stems of a new cream alstroemeria, pale peach gerberas with white ranunculus and white lisianthus. She suggested that this box could be laid on the floor at the base of the pews, and quite a few lined up together would look very effective.
Chrissie’s third design was a soft and gentle bridal bouquet using an egg she had made from chicken wire. Into this she threaded stems of large and small leaved eucalyptus – there are seven available varieties of eucalyptus – together with peach spray roses, pink ranunculus, white lilac, sprigs of a bright pink clematis and again the fuchsia coloured anemones. Having trimmed all the stems, she wrapped coloured satin ribbon round them which she tied very cleverly to show not a knot but formed a comfortable handle for the bride.
As an idea for Easter, Chrissie then produced a grapevine ring around which she wrapped carpet moss including sprigs of bleached ruscus, twigs collected on the dogwalk and bulbs of mascari and crocus all wrapped in and peeping out from the moss. She added stems of pussy willow and little clumps of sempervivum (house leek) and then added quail eggs stuck on to the wreath with floristry glue.
For her final design, Chrissie used a willowring – she suggested a glass vase containing a candle could be placed in the hollow centre of the ring - in which she placed three small glass vases. In between these, she added mascari bulbs removed from their pots and clumps of bun moss and finally into the glass vases she put cut-down tulips and lisianthus and then added tendrils of ivy into the moss.
Throughout the whole demonstration, Chrissie who is the mother of four boys, kept us amused with her lovely chat and infectious giggle. Members who won the arrangements in the raffle were delighted and even more so, two of the new members who were with us for the first time.
Our next demonstration is on Wednesday, the 16th March at 7.30 p.m. at Bishampton Village Hall and we welcome all visitors. For more information, call 01905 936477