At our February
meeting, the ladies of Snitterfield WI found themselves enveloped
in clouds of perfume, strains of romantic music and the seductive
voice of Frank Sinatra. Not your usual monthly meeting, you
might say, but eminently suitable as St Valentines Day
was drawing near.
Our committee had found a true artist in Barbara Shepherd, florist
and flower arranger extraordinaire. She took as her theme Flowers
with Style, a reflection of her own elegance as she guided
her audience through the construction of her masterpieces. Starting
with a small shopping bag and using a plethora of garden greenery
curled laurel leaves, fatsia and phormium she
cunningly added cerise carnations and pink rosebuds to create
her tribute to Pretty Woman.
Her training began at 14 with an apprenticeship, then City &
Guilds and a position in Birminghams Grand Hotel, creating
two bouquets a day everyone different as she discovered
her inspiration in music.
Effortlessly, she passed on tips and suggestions for our own
arrangements as she teased eucalyptus leaves, blue/grey ivy,
freesias, white rosebuds and sprays of carnations into a crescent
moon, in an appreciation of the American Smooth dance in Strictly.
Then, before our very eyes, she changed mood completely, with
hyacinths, pussy willow, tulips, paper white narcissi and small
tufts of skimmia, to the tune of Country Gardens,
bringing Barbaras inspiring demonstration to a beautiful
Sadly, the meeting had started with the news that our WI notice
board had again been vandalised. A pity, as our social secretary
had a full programme of events to advertise throughout the year:
cookery demonstrations, visits to festivals, celebrations for
the Queens 90th birthday, bridge and skittles evenings,
the annual barbecue and, rounding off the year, the popular
However, the evening concluded with four lucky ladies (one of
whom was about to celebrate her birthday) humming Fly
Me to the Moon as they carried away raffle prizes of expertly
assembled floral arrangements.