In recent years, Chester Garden Club has had a number of requests from the community for help in creating floral arrangements for special occasions. Last summer, a few members had the pleasure of decorating the historic Captain’s House at the request of a Chester bride whose wedding reception was held at the inn.
In the morning, working quickly with floral material gathered from local gardens, Myra and Margaret began sorting the different types of foliage and blooms to use in containers destined for both outside and indoors.
Containers of various sizes were used to create floral arrangements for the tables set up inside the dining room.
Joined by Brenda and Sidney, the team used several tall standards flanking the edge of the large deck to create cascading arrangements of delicately coloured blooms that epitomized the light and airy spirit of summer in a seaside village.
By the time the wedding party and their guests arrived from the church, the entrance to the inn had been enhanced with garlands hanging from the wrought iron railings and overflowing floral arrangements in large baskets on either side of the stone steps. Encouraged by the bride’s appreciation, the Club has accepted another commission for a wedding to be held in Chester in the coming summer.
Guest Speaker Jill Jeddrie was warmly welcomed by Esther Amiro at a recent meeting of the Chester Garden Club. Jill used beautiful photos projected from her computer to illustrate her remarks about what she looks for when photographing nature.
Water in various forms, whether as droplets of rain, soft dew or even icy coatings on berries, is a favourite feature of her photos. She noted that even dead leaves take on a special quality when encased in ice, and that the patterns of ice on the surface of a pond can suggest dramatic images.
Jill spoke about seeking images from various elements in nature, mentioning the wonder she feels when photographing “critters”, and pointing out the advantage of close-ups that often reveal detail overlooked in the larger views of a scene.
She said that approaching familiar objects from a new angle can open up interesting perspectives whether that object is a flower, a boat’s reflections on water, or the knarled shape of a tree trunk. She doesn’t hesitate to crop photographs to bring out the best in the subject matter and, she reminded her audience of the basic aspects to keep in mind when creating a photograph: texture, line, form and light.
A short business meeting followed Jill’s presentation and the members in attendance were delighted to receive healthy slips of Brugmansia that had been potted up by last month’s speaker, Susan Davis, of the Risley greenhouses as a gift to members of the Garden Club. Membership has its privileges!
Due to technical difficulties (your blogger being out of the country and working on a substitute computer) this month’s Bloom Day North post for Chester is rather limited. The photo below was taken by Sandy D. and shows some of the blooms on a witchhazel (Jelena), stretched in front of the evergreen leaves of a rhododendron.
By the time of the next post we should be able to offer more illustrations of plant life. In the meantime, members of the Chester Garden Club are reminded of the forthcoming meeting, scheduled for March 21st, at which Jill Jeddrie will be offering valuable tips on making the most of your photographs when the subject is your garden.
At the risk of being repetitive, here’s another shot from the “garden with latitude”, otherwise known as the Naples Botanical Garden in Florida. Bougainvilleas abound in the Naples area, whether in public gardens or on private properties. Coupled with the high temperatures (unseasonally warm for a Nova Scotian sensibility), it’s hard to remember that we are actually still in the month of March.
Nevertheless, the weather in Chester brings one back to reality and a glance at the calendar reminds us that the next meeting of Chester Garden Club will take place on March 21st. The guest speaker will be Jill Jeddrie – an excellent photographer who does commissions on a variety of subjects: gardens, nature, homes, and portraits. She will talk about Elemental photography – the art of photography using the elements of nature like ice, wind, water, fire – and for this event she will focus on plants and other aspects of our natural surroundings.
So, don’t be stand-offish, shyly holding yourself aloof, and hiding ‘way back in the shadows…It’s time to follow the crowd!
On March 21st, head on over to the St. Stephen’s Parish Community Centre and join the Chester gardening crowd for an engaging talk on improving your photography skills. The start time is 6:30 for 7:00 pm. See you there!
Having been inspired by discussions about tropical plants at a recent Chester Garden Club meeting, it seems timely that two members of the club recently found themselves surrounded by tropical plants, although in a sub-tropical setting, which stretches between 26 degrees latitude north (Naples location) and 26 degrees latitude south.
Naples Botanical Garden has expanded in the last year, with the addition of an Asian garden, a water garden and a Florida garden that incorporates a variety of features including wildflowers, an “enabling” garden and a “river of grass”. The Asian garden offers temples and plantings that reflect cultural practices from Southeast Asia. The river of grass represents nature’s filtration system, by which a filter marsh slows down water passing through and removes contaminants, thus improving the quality of the water.
Strolling through the well-manicured paths and marvelling at the variety of plants, we kept an eye out for some of the tropicals that Susan had mentioned in her February talk. The Ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa) above is an example of the showy colour that Susan spoke of as one of the appealing features of tropical plants. Below, we see the young bananas emerging from a flower that has just opened.
Architectural features are another appealing aspect of tropical plantings. At the Botanical garden, the many varieties of palms are used to good effect but there are also many smaller plants (bromeliads and bougainvilleas ) that add a structural element as well as vivid colour to the winding paths.