Roundhill Flower and Garden Club

In April we held another of our ‘Members’ Night’ meetings where various club members demonstrate to the audience. Whilst the evening is based on floral art, such meetings can also include other skills which are of interest and provide an element of education as well as entertainment.
One element of this meeting was a very interesting demonstration on how to wear a Sari. It was given by an Asian member who is of Indian Gujarati heritage. She told us of the history of the garment along with an explanation of various fabrics used for either day wear or those to be worn for a special occasion. The member had brought along a selection of her own Saris and blouses, some with very intricate beadwork and embroidery, plus a variety of accessories that would be worn with the garment. While today we normally associate a sari with soft flowing fabrics, it was fascinating to learn that at one time, in India, women would actually starch a cotton sari so that the front folds held firm in stiff pleats.
A second member gave a demonstration of how to make different styles of ribbon bows for use in decorating a gift or presentation bouquet, or for inserting directly into a floral arrangement.
A wide variety of ribbons are available in an array of different fabrics and it is often the texture of the fabric and method of edging to the ribbon which dictates how it can be used. For example, a wire edge fabric ribbon can be manipulated far better than one with a traditional woven edge – they hold their shape both in terms of large loops plus the ability to be crimped for added visual interest.
Some fabric ribbons can be made into the shape of a flower, either by wrapping and folding to replicate a rose, or by cutting strips, then layering and binding in the centre for an open flower effect. We were shown how to make the big multi-loop bows out of waterproof ‘florist’s ribbon’ which can also be split into narrow strips and curled.
Finally, after time for tea/coffee and socialising, a third member gave a floral demonstration on the theme of an Easter design. Using pussy-willow, roses, tulips and alstroemeria set amongst a base of evergreen foliage, he incorporated bright orange and red with a hint of yellow.
Some members from Roundhill, along with a few residents of Syston, have since had the opportunity to visit the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in Worcestershire. It was a great day out, expertly organised by one of our long-time members and her husband. The beautiful scenery around the Malvern Hills was stunning and the show itself provided a purse-emptying opportunity to buy garden plants of all shapes and sizes.