October 2023

The October meeting started with Extraordinary General Meeting for the purpose of adopting a number of amendments to the revised constitution. The amendments were passed and we progressed to the general meeting.

With the monthly reports finalised we progressed to Flora of the Month, a chance to show case their floral achievements.

Maree Pfisterer introduced Flora of the Month.  The presenters were:

  • Diana Sharpe – Queens Anne Lace Duacus carota brought in by Steven Wedd at the last meeting is still going strong. Curled into a cup shape. Excellent cut flower. In vase in front of painting of a English country lane bordered with Queen Anne’s Lace..
  • Steven Wedd – A number of pink and cream Hippeastrums – seed grown. Planted white cultivars next to red flowers for more variety in seedlings.
  • Joelle Baker – African Violets.
  • Joan Neate – Tropical Rhododendron ‘Simbu Sunset’; Jumellea arachnanthus, This large, fan-shaped Angraecoid is native to the Comoros Islands off the coast of Africa
  • Fay Bogg – Syzygium wilsonii subsp. Wilsonii
  • Carol Lea – Rosa polyantha ‘Straw Rose’ – tiny dark red rose on very thorny stems and leaves
  • Beth Noble – Statice. In nurseries as Limonium ‘Perezzi Blue’.
  • Julia Bambery- Dendrobium polyanthum.


This month’s Guest Speaker was award winning international floral designer, teacher and co-owner of Alstonville Florist (a favourite in our area). Mark gave us an informative and inspiring talk and slide show of his floral art.  . Mark has been involved in floral design for 25 years. Floral design sits in the middle of floristry, floral art and flower arranging. Floral design does not use water (except for small test tubes for specific flowers).

He explained he was not a planter but a picker, using a wide variety of plant products, sticks, seed pods, palm trash, reeds and some flowers in his work

He favours browns and greens and follows the principals of balance, rhythm, contrast, dominance, proportion, scale and harmony.

He gets inspiration from materials e.g. Calla Lilies. He showed us an image of Calla Lilies used with fig fruit, orchids, Sanseveria and Fishbone Fern.

Another image showed Australian native materials – Banksias. Lotus pods, Grass tree flowers. A series of images showed Bird of Paradise leaves and flowers, both fresh and dried.

The containers that he used respond to shape, line, form, texture and space. He uses sandpaper to create containers and as backdrops. Weaves tatami screens using a stiff reed. Also, paper wrapped wire chicken wire shapes to use as supports.  He makes wire bound fibre sickles to use in designs and “chicken wire” like forms.

He has won numerous competitions and he described the preparation that he does for these.

Marks talk had us all enthralled.  See contact details and photos in this blog.

The meeting concluded after another exciting plant auction.  Thank you to all who brought plants to auction and to those who purchase them.

Afternoon tea was superb as is the norm.