Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club members create floral tribute to NHS
Members of the Herts & Essex Boundary Flower Club have turned their skills into support for the NHS.
They have been making wreaths, known as 'rings of hope', as a symbol to recognise the efforts of the front-line staff fighting coronavirus – and the lockdown has prompted some ingenious designs.
It blossomed from an idea posted on one of the NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) Facebook pages for members to create a green door wreath which then evolved to add a blue bow to show support for NHS workers. The original idea came from Katherine Kear, chairman of the Three Counties and South Wales area of NAFAS.
Herts & Essex club member Beverly Moore, who lives in Bishop's Stortford, explained: "The green ring symbolises unending and everlasting love, the cycle of life and hope. Green is for renewal, balance and progress. The blue ribbon is for the NHS.
"Throughout the UK, members of NAFAS and of NIGFAS (Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies) have been decorating their doors to show support and bring some cheer to passers-by.
Several members of the local club have taken up the challenge. "Without the opportunity to go and purchase flowers during lockdown, members have used garden foliage and have come up with novel ways to introduce blue to the designs," said Beverly.
Beverly often has flower arrangements outside her home in Bishop's Gate for neighbours and the postman to enjoy. She used rattan spheres and a hand-knitted scarf in her wreath as well as Viburnum tinus, hebe, conifer, euonymus, osmanthus and choisya.
Ann Jones, who lives in Sawbridgeworth, used pittosporum, choisya, rosemary, forget-me-not and daphne.
In Hunsdon, Betty Deeks used conifer to cover her ring and added muscari, forget-me-nots and ribbon.
Claire Beckmann included rosemary for remembrance in her design and added a rainbow. With a selection of foliage in her Hunsdon garden, she was able to add two types of euonymus, Arbutus unedo, Aucuba japonica, bamboo, choisya, Portuguese laurel, lonicera 'Baggesens Gold', leylandii and corkscrew hazel.
Sally Cantes used laurel, euonymous, saccocca, rosemary, box and choysia from her Furneux Pelham garden. The trimmings were odd bits of blue ribbon tied into bows, wooden hearts and sparkly blue Christmas decoration stars. She said: "Ribbon for colour, hearts for love and stars because NHS staff are stars."
Amanda Anderson's ring includes cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' which were placed in water tubes covered with yarn. Felt, wood slices, wire spheres and buttons add texture and interest. She lives in Tonwell.
Tricia Pratley, chairman of the Herts & Essex club who lives in Manuden, created a bow using blue poly bags, covering a straw-covered ring with soft ruscus left over from a pedestal she created weeks ago. She reused spheres from a raffle prize at one of the club's events. She said: "Nothing goes to waste as a flower arranger!"