March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.
Spring flowers filled the Danube Seniors Centre on April 28, at the 47th anniversary meeting of the Bond Head-Bradford Garden Club.
It was the club’s first full membership meeting since COVID hit over two years ago, and although social distancing, masking and proof of vaccination were still in effect, about 40 members attended the general meeting, to celebrate the anniversary and participate in a special Flower arranging workshop with floral designer Teresa Aukema of MidValley Gardens.
“Welcome back. Welcome to April and our 47th anniversary of the Bond Head Bradford Garden Club,” co-president Mikki Nanowski said, thanking the club’s Executive and volunteers for “working through COVID, behind the scenes, trying to keep the club going.”
Nanowski also noted that thanks in part to a $1,000 government grant to support non-profit organizations during the pandemic, the club was able to subsidize the cost of the floral workshop for its members.
Members and guests then settled down to create their own spring floral arrangements, under Aukema’s guidance.
She’s the fourth generation of the Hanemaayer family to be involved in the retail and wholesale floral business founded by her great-grandfather in the Holland Marsh, and as the mother of two young boys, she said, “I absolutely hope that one of them is going to take over the flower arranging, as the fifth generation!”
She began by identifying each of the elements provided to the participants by MidValley Gardens: a container, foam block, leatherleaf fern, sprays of Hypericum berries, daisies, ‘focal flowers’ including a Gerbera, green Hydrangea and a spray of lilies, a tulip, sea lavender, purple statice.
Then she built her arrangement, explaining every step.
“I like to make a structure, and fill in as I go,” she told the gardeners – arranging ferns around the outside, setting the tulip in the centre and using the Hypericum berries to create a triangle, then filling the remaining spaces with “focal” flowers.
“Start playing with your flowers – filling it in any way that you want!” Aukema said, encouraging each participant to create a unique arrangement to take home.
Among her helpful tips: use garden shears instead of scissors, to cut the flower stems. “Kitchen scissors pinch,” and can prevent the flowers from taking up water.
In addition to the workshop, members enjoyed 47th Anniversary Cupcakes, and applauded as the club’s executive presented bouquets to members who have supported the club – Gladys Fieldhouse for her tireless work organizing the club’s flower shows; Dianne Russell for her unstinting volunteer efforts; former president JoAnn Norton, who was unable to attend; and to reporter Miriam King for her coverage of club events.
Coming up: The Bond Head Bradford Garden Club will be holding its annual Mother’s Day Bake Sale and Plant Sale at the Bond Head Community Centre on Saturday, May 7 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to come out, to purchase perennials and annuals contributed by the members, Pansy Baskets – a perfect Mother’s Day gift, as well as cookies, squares, tea biscuits, butter tarts and more.
And on Thursday, May 26 the Garden Club will be holding ‘Plants, Stems and Hidden Gems’ – a plant sale, yard sale and jewellery sale raising funds for the club, at Danube Seniors Leisure Centre, 715 Simcoe Road, 7 p.m.
Membership in the Bond Head-Bradford Garden Club is only $15 per year, $25 for a family membership. The club meets monthly from April to November, taking a break in July and August for the summer. For more information, visit the garden club’s website.