Paper roses at Spring Flower Festival

John Dowling went along to the flower festival at Christchurch Methodist Church at the weekend. Pictures by Margaret Garcia.

John writes:

The annual Festival of Flowers once again drew large numbers of admirers to Christchurch Methodist Church.

Members of the Christchurch Ladies’ Supper Club, led by Sue Parkinson, Joan Turnwell and Lyn Harmer chose as this year’s theme “In praise of paper.”

It proved a worthy challenge to the creative imagination, yielding a wide variety of ingenious subject matter as the basis for floral displays which covered the entire range of Nature’s Spring palette.

The paper theme began with cartography. Maps covered the bases for a display featuring anthirrium and red and pink carnations.

Wallpaper was the backdrop to a multi-element display beneath a window and a safe together with currency from many countries set off a green-and-white arrangement featuring spray chrysanthemums.

Rolled newspapers and newspaper mastheads made into paper chains contrasted with red roses and carnations in Newspapers.

Carnations, gladioli and mimosa graced a bookcase together with a vertical display of Ladybird book covers.

“Oh, how real thoses roses seem to be…” runs a line in the song Paper Roses. The difficulty for visitors was in telling the pale pink reality from the white and pale pink artificiality.

From a bold collection of parcels spilled the beauty of gladioli, roses and carnations to illustrate Brown Paper.

A colourful vertical arrangement featuring alstroemeria, spray carnations and gladioli drew visitors to pit their brains in identifying the scenes illustrated in Greetings Cards.

Red roses, carnations and poinsettia lined a front pew dominated by large bon-bons for Crackers.

Art Papers can involve everything from sheet music onwards, as a linear display bridging rows of pews graphically conveyed.

What else but an abundance of red roses would have sufficed for the huge Valentine which dominated Greetings Cards?

A lunar disc formed the centre of an arrangement featuring white carnations, gypsophila and stocks illustrating the old song Paper Moon.

Cup-cake confections in cream chrysanthemums on one level and mauve and white on another with gypsophila looked good enough to eat in Paper Cases for Baking.

A bridesmaid’s dress and wedding bells made entirely of exquisitely-fashioned paper where the eye-catching focus of Confetti, a tall arrangement featuring white roses and carnations above a piano with the Wedding March on its stand.

The major focus of a delightful festival was Christmas Gift Paper. Arranged around the Lord’s Table, this was a reminder in alstroemeria, gypsophila, roses and gladioli that without God’s gift there would be no Chrismas.

As is traditional, live piano music helped set the scene as visitors marvelled at floral displays covering every part of the church.

Tea, coffee, light refreshments and lunches in the hall and stalls, competitions and a plant sale gave completeness to yet another highly enjoyable festival – the church’s 27th.

The proceeds from this year’s three-day festival will be shared between Computers for Charities (which has handled more than 200,000 computer systems for projects in the UK and 106 overseas countries), Methodist District Children’s Holidays and ongoing church projects.