If you’re visiting the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week, make a note to visit stand number FD584, where you’ll find this simply magnificent exhibit of floral art, which was designed and created by four talented flower arrangers from Aldershot Floral Design Club in Hampshire: Janet Arm, Linda Brown, Valerie Clark, and Jean Warren.
Congratulations to Valerie Clark, Janet Arm, Linda Brown, and Jean Warren from Aldershot Floral Design Club, the Floral Art Judges at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, have presented Aldershot Floral Design Club with a Silver Medal, for their lovely floral art exhibit!
I’ve often wondered how each flower club came to be chosen to create a display for prestigious events, such as the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Valerie Clark, who is the Chairman of Aldershot Floral Design Club, and the Team Leader of the flower arrangers that created this showpiece explained, “Aldershot Floral Design Club, were approached by the Surrey Area of NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arranging Society) to form a team of four members, to do a stand at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. This was to be a promotional stand for NAFAS, to publicise the NAFAS Blackpool Festive Flower and Food Show, which is being held later this year.”
Where do you start when it comes to devising and constructing such a large and complex floral art exhibit such as this? Valerie explained, “At our first meeting we all put our ideas into the pot, and started the process of deciding how we could interpret this show. It was a joint decision that we would have a tower, as you can’t go to Blackpool and not notice the tower! We then thought of all things associated with Blackpool, so we came up with the idea that we would create four ice cream type cones, using different coloured flowers to represent different flavours. As it was a food show as well, we are each doing a basket of food with flowers, i.e., one of fruit, veg, wines, and one of ingredients of pasta, pulses etc. Next came the sea, so we have infilled with a seascape, which connects the tower with the arrangements.”
Being such a large exhibit it must be difficult to visualise the whole display, were you able to have a practice run Valerie?
“After several meetings where we put together our stand and collection of items, we did a mock up of the stand to see how it would look. Obviously, until you have all the beautiful flowers and foliage to work with, you are never quite sure how it will work, but when we did our mock up using a few garden flowers, we were pleased with how it was taking shape.”
Valerie kindly told me more details of the Aldershot Floral Design Club’s exhibit: “Our cones which are metal stands covered in material to look like ice cream cones, we then have a base of white double Chrysanthemums and Ammi majus to create the look of the ice cream, then each of us will choose our own flowers to depict the flavour! The baskets of food will compliment the colours. Jean, one of our ladies, has made fishes, and Jean’s son Stephen Clark, has made us a seagull. We will be using driftwood, shingle, shells, and of course seaside type flowers: Eryngium, Limonium, and grey foliage and succulents to give the impression of the coast.”
Aldershot Floral Design Club
I was keen to find out more about NAFAS and the Aldershot Floral Design Club, kindly Valerie Clark explained, “NAFAS was formed in 1959 and is split into 21 areas around the UK. We are in the Surrey Area, where there are 45 clubs, you can find the Surrey clubs listed on the Surrey Area website. Most clubs meet one a month, and have a demonstrator to show us new ideas, creating designs using beautiful flowers which are then raffled at the end of the evening.
Aldershot Floral Design Club, is one of the largest clubs in the south of England. We hold monthly competitions within the club, and hold an Annual Competitive Show, which other clubs are invited to compete at. We run flower arranging workshops, for Beginners and Progressers, so whatever your experience, we have a class for you.
We have a sales table of flower arranging sundries, as well as a trading table, where you can purchase the ‘Flower Arranger’ magazine, and information leaflets on our subject. We also arrange outings to gardens and hold many social events. Aldershot Floral Design Club meet at the Princes Hall, in Aldershot, on the first Thursday of the month.
Flower arranging is something you can start as a child, as there are junior workshops, and you can carry on forever, making lots of friends on the way.”
NAFAS Festive Flower and Food Show 2017
If you’re interested in visiting Blackpool for the second NAFAS Festive Flower and Food Show, which is held at the Winter Gardens, Church Street, Lancashire, FY1 1HL, from the 9th to the 11th November 2017, and would like further details, please click here. Information for disabled visitors wishing to find out about the accessibility at the venue where the NAFAS Festive Flower and Food Show is held can be found here.
For more information about the Aldershot Floral Design Club, details of their meetings and contact information, please click here.
*Special thanks to Janet Arm for her photographs of Aldershot Floral Design Club’s floral art exhibit, and thanks to the steward at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, for taking the team photographs. Each photograph is individually credited.
Other articles that may interest you………….
To read about the growers of British grown cut flowers and the florists who champion British grown blooms, please click here.
To see the magnificent floral arrangements created for Chelsea in Bloom 2016, please click here.
To see an overview of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, please click here.