Floral Art and Gardening
The WI offers a wide variety of opportunities for members to develop their floral art skills.
Whether you are interested in learning how to create a beautiful flower arrangement for the home, or as a gift, to the more advanced and technical such as becoming an NFWI Floral Art Judge, there is something for everyone, from beginner to the more advanced.
The image above is a feature of the Herb Garden at Denman. Today it is surrounded by the tall blooms of purple allium, towering amongst the wide variety of herb plantings, and a restful place to sit in the sunny warm weather
Notes from the Denman Garden
If you come to Denman now you will see the late spring warmth helping the garden to flourish. The tulips have been spectactular and are still lasting well. Even amongst the herb garden are very vigorous pink tulips (Mistress variety) standing out well against the many green hues of the herbs.
John the Gardener prepares a blackboard, to draw attention and highlight the flowers in bloom, shrubs and the birds that visit the garden daily. Well worth a walk round the garden in between classes.Tulips originated from Central Asia and the number of tulips available exploded in the nineteenth century when the Dutch growers learnt how to breed new varieties.
The long established and well stocked Herb Garden is befitting of a great Georgian House and you can imagine that it would have been much used in previous times. It is stocked with the popular as well as less well known herbs used for both culinary, medicinal and craft purposes.
Below is Sweet Woodruff a low growing herb that is also known as New Mowed Hay as well as Woodrowell. It is from the family Rubiacae a native of Europe. It is ideal for planting in shade or underplanting in borders and the leaves are a rich green colour brightened with white flowers On May Day in Germany it is believed to be added to Rhine Wine (as well as sugar, strawberries and sherry) to make "Maibowle". In this country the leaves can be used to make tea. It is said to relieve stomach pain and be beneficial for those prone to gall stones. As with all herbs care should be taken with consumption, avoiding large and frequent consumption and following the advice of a doctor.
Other herbs proliferating at the moment are lovage, sorrel and fennel as well as lavender clumps and some beautiful golden Hops winding its way round the juniper tree.
Below, one of the herbs; is some Sweet Cicely, also known as Anise or Myrrh. Quite a vigorous growing fern with white flowers in umbels; sweet cicely has culinary uses. The root can be cooked as vegetable or grated and served raw. The seeds which have a sweet flavour can be used to provide sweetness and texture to fruit salads or puddings. Additionally a few chopped leaves can be added to stewed fruit to provide sweetness and reduce the amount of sugar used.
For more information on Denman click here.
Are you a member and want to brighten up a piece of land in your area or get children outdoors growing flowers and vegetables? The WI Garden Project was open for applications until 28 February 2013. 23 Applications were received covering a wide range of activities, including working with children in schools, allotments and growing food as well as growing to encourage wildlife.
Follow the link to find out how.
As part of our ongoing commitment to find a variety of ways to help WI members to continue to improve their skills, or learn a new one, the NFWI have teamed up with NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) to deliver new, practical training workshops. For more details contact Diane Sanderson, Home Economics Adviser email email@example.com.
Contact the NFWI
- Phone: 020 7371 9300
- Open hours: 9am–5pm Mon–Fri
- Address: 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY
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