“When you wanna say I love you, say it with flowers. When you wanna say I miss you, say it with flowers...”
For flowers have a language all their own. We use them to send so many messages; we’re sorry, don’t worry, well done, congratulations.
Members of Burnley Flower Club, who have been speaking through flowers for decades, invited me along to their Christmas evening and it was fascinating to feel the language of flowers as trays of blooms became beautiful works of art.
The 56-year-old club is currently going bloomingly well, although a year ago it was a different story. The town’s only flower club was on the verge of closing down due to falling numbers and no-one being willing to take on positions of responsibility.
But step forward the current chairman Christine Turner and a committee who have breathed new life into the group which has more than 40 members and meets on the first Monday evening of the month at the Central Methodist Church in Burnley town centre.
I arrived to be greeted with a mince pie and a glass of something, after all it is Christmas. But what a warm welcome went with it from the large all-woman gathering, although men are made just as welcome.
There was a sense of relief as Christine explained that the booked speaker had been taken ill and they had had to find a replacement with a few hours notice.
Step in Burnley flower arranger Wendy Graveston, who is the vice-chairman of Pendleside Flower Club, and had agreed to help out.
She was provided with the original speaker’s flowers and accessories and a few suggestions!
What followed was fascinating as Wendy had to “create on the hoof”, as she described it, while giving us an entertaining and amusing commentary and passing on tips as she worked.
A few minutes later a plain oasis in a brick tray, assorted greenery, a few red carnations, a flower that looked strikingly like an amarylis and a poinsettia had been transformed into a striking display for a fireplace. A colourful array of different blooms with lilies as the centrepiece, rounded off with “a bit of bling”, and arrangement number two was complete.
A piece of wood was the basis for a festive shades-of-red number complete with Christmas baubles. A dull grey urn was seemingly effortlessly transformed into a wonderful Christmas floral extravaganza.
There was an arrangement based on a snowflake using large white pom pom crysanthemums, arrangements with cinnamon sticks, pine cones, Christmas baubles and time flew as seven, to my mind amazing, arrangements had been created.
The most dramatic of which being appropriately entitled “The Three Kings”. Wendy had been provided with the blooms for this but had no idea how the original speaker intended to create it, so had to use her own interpretation. The end result was a dramatic three in one arrangement - which actually mirrored the Three Kings who came to see Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem. It was not what I would choose to have in my living room, but was a drama in flowers; speaking to us about the story of Christmas in the language of flowers.
I love flowers but they held no fascination for me, until now. Now I know they speak their own language, and all have meanings.
Geranium signifies comfort, Hollyhock ambition, Honeysuckle generosity,
chrysanthmum slighted love and of course the rose signifies love, while forget-me-not is true love.
Some members just go along to watch, others to get ideas for their own creations, some just because they love flowers. As the verse ends....”For they can speak, I know you will agree, that heaven created them for you and me.”
If you would like to learn more about Burnley Flower Club call Christine Turner on
07742382995 or Sheila Bradley on 428774.