Today was a special meeting as not only were we having our regular meeting, we were celebrating the 89th birthday of one of our members, Anneke, we sang Happy Birthday in Dutch, French and English for her. The birthday cakes were made by Françoise.
Sue brought along a guest, Rens Korting, who is trained florist and used to make the flower arrangements for the Apollo Hotel in Amsterdam.
Rens showed us how she made the flower arrangement that was presented to Anneke, and gave us some useful tips:
- Oasis should never be forced to absorb water, it should soak up the water by itself.
- When you want to use a flower with a semi-hard stem, first make a hole with a small stick into the oasis, leave the stick in and as you put in the flower, you remove the stick.
- Some leaves do not have strong enough stalks to put into the oasis, in that case you use flower arrangement wire (thin one), put it into and out of the leaf close to the central nerve, pull it through so you have a bit of the wire sticking out, twist it together with the rest of the wire, and voilà you have a strong leaf to put into the oase.
- The same can be done with a flower, push the wire through the base of the flower, again twist the two ends of the wire together. cut it to the right length and push it into the oasis.
- If you use a flower made up of small florets and you want the florets closer together, push the wire through the florets, again twist the two ends of wire together ready to be put into the oasis.
- With pine cones it is the same thing, one end of the wire is circled around the scales of the pine cone and meets up with the rest of the wire, again it is twisted together, ready to be put into the oasis.
Elisabeth gave an interesting presentation on the larvae of a moth introduced from south America into southern Europe that is decimating the palm trees on the Mediterranean coast and now inland as well. More info will be be posted on the blog by Elisabeth.
Sue covered "Jobs for the month". Special mention was made of how to protect your pots from frost. More on this subject will be posted on the blog.
The last item of the day was "what flowers in autumn". Members were asked to bring with them cuttings of plants that were still flowering in their gardens. We had quite a selection. I've arranged the plant names by colour:
White: Bellis perennis (Common Daisy), Choisya ternata, Potentilla fruticosa "Abbotswood", Solanum jasminoides (Climber).
Pink: Abelia x grandiflora, Cosmos, Hibiscus syriacus "Lavender Chiffon", Lagerstroemia (deep pink), Nerium oleander, Salvia greggii "Lipstick"(Coral pink), Salvia x jamensis "Raspberry Royal", Sedum spectabile (Ice Plant).
Blue/Purple: Aster novai-belgii "Chequers", several other Asters, Buddleja davidii "Empire Blue", Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Perovskia, a creeping rosemary from Corsica, Salvia farinacea, Salvia "Indigo Spires".
Yellow: Buddleja x weyeriana 'Sungold' a cross between B. davidii x B. globosa, not Buddleja madagascariensis that we saw in the Hanbury gardens, Bupleurum fruticosum, Coreopsis, Helianthus, Potentilla fruticosa "Elizabeth"?, Sternbergia lutea (Yellow Autumn Crocus.
Orange: Calendula officinalis (Marigold), Echeveria "Topsy Turvy", Gaillardia, Pyrancantha berries (Firethorn). Rose (yellow-orange), Tropaeolum (Nasturtium), Zinnia.
Red: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Roses in several shades of red, Salvia microphylla, Salvia microphylla "Hot Lips".
The grey conifer used by Rens in the flower arrangement is I think Cupressus arizonica var. glabra.