I have taken up flower arranging. No really. I was somehow manoeuvred into this situation by a friend with an odd sense of humour who added me to the local church's flower arranging rota without even asking me about it first.
"It'll be fun." she said. Faced with the beseeching and frankly desperate face of my friend (who also happens to be the priest with the shortage of flower arrangers) I gave in albeit not in the most gracious of terms and agreed that I would help out to relieve some of the lovely ladies who have been arranging for us for decades.
I warned that I know nothing about arranging flowers, deliberately buy the ones you can just plonk ready arranged into a vase and had very little enthusiasm for learning the craft.
Vicar friend smiled enigmatically and muttered something about bringing her Mum down to our neck of the woods for a flower arranging session. This, she thought, would serve as a fun activity for the experienced rota members and as a learning experience for the
I smiled enigmatically back and wondered how I could arrange to be busy that day, especially when I realised that the friend who had roped me in in the first place would be at work and genuinely unable to attend!
However the day dawned and it dawned on me not feeling very well. I had already dragged my mate Claire into the whole mess and she insisted that for my own personal safety I should join her at the flower arranging class so she could ensure I didn't choke to death on my Quinsy. Unable to argue due to lack of any useable voice I nodded and making the best of things bought some flowers as requested - just a £5 mix of roses and lilies from my local supermarket.
By the time the session started I felt really quite grim- too ill even to tackle the home-made cake on offer- but was couldn't help being drawn in as Vicar friend's mum got going.
She chatted about some basic do's and don'ts of arranging whilst efficiently creating the most gorgeous arrangement of foliage from a pile of what looked like compost heap material - a work of art before she had even added flowers!
She made an S-shape from greenery - known as a Hogarth Curve (get me bandying around flower arranging terms) then filled in the water-retaining spongey stuff, often known as Oasis, and then added a line of flowers. Ta-Da! A superb and elegant arrangement. I would show you the picture I took of it but it'll make mine look rubbish!
She explained that normally she would have spent much longer making sure it was balanced and filled properly but she wanted us to have time to have a go ourselves. Well I was certain that I would be absolutely useless and that my arrangement would be more Stig of the Dump than Chelsea Flower Show but following basic guidelines from Vicar's mum even I was able to produce something I was proud of. My fiver's worth of flowers ended up looking more like a £25 arrangement - well to me anyway.
|flowers all starting to open properly now|
I transported my Hogarth curve-based creation home carefully as proud as a toddler bringing home scribble from playgroup. My arrangement is still taking pride of place on my shabby chic-esque hall table and I am inordinately happy with it!
So the moral of the story is - given any opportunity, give it a go. Even if you think you probably won't enjoy it, or won't be any good at it, you never know, you might just find you enjoy the experience.
Oh, and by the way, religious or not, you'll probably find that your local church is short of flower arrangers too so if you actually have a genuine flair for this stuff why not go along and volunteer your services. You'll probably only need to give up a couple of hours a year and I am sure they will be very grateful. Team up with a friend and get creative!