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Blooming marvellous! Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club trio create Westminster Abbey displays





Members of Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club created a special display in Westminster Abbey.

President Carol Giffen, chair Nicky Thompson and Leoni Braz travelled to the capital to show off their skills, representing the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).

Before they arrived, they were unaware of the blooms they would be using.

Leoni Braz beside her display in Westminster Abbey
Leoni Braz beside her display in Westminster Abbey

They found phormiums, yellow eremurus, white roses, white and purple lisianthus, two types of yellow chrysanthemums, fatsias, aspidistras and monsteras waiting to be transformed into imposing displays.

Because of the abbey's close links with NAFAS, the trio were asked to help decorate the church for a service of thanksgiving to mark the 450th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's School in Barnet.

On March 24, 1573, Queen Elizabeth I granted a request from Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for a charter "forever to establish a grammar school for the education, learning and instruction of boys and youth".

All the president's stems: Carol Giffen with her floral design in Westminster Abbey
All the president's stems: Carol Giffen with her floral design in Westminster Abbey

Carol said: "The flowers were supplied by the abbey and we didn't know what would be there until we arrived.

"We each had 75 stems in all and they all had to be used. The final arrangements were about 10ft tall, with one on either side of the high altar and one down the nave.

"The colours of the flowers were the colours of the school – white, gold and blue."

Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month (except January) at Manuden Community Centre. Doors open 7.30pm.​ The club was founded in 1959 and in 2019 celebrated its diamond anniversary.

Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club chair Nicky Thompson next to her arrangement (63350947)
Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club chair Nicky Thompson next to her arrangement (63350947)

* Send your club news to the Bishop's Stortford Independent by emailing newsdesk@stortfordindie.co.uk.



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