The Christmas demonstrations commenced on Tuesday, 3rd November.
Seasonal gardening advice by Denise Gill, RHSI and South Dublin Flower Club
Favourites through the Gardening Year by Bríd Kelleher, Sutton Floral Art Group
Remedies for the Winter season by Mary Frahill, Cobh Flower and Horticulture Club
Letter from Chairperson
The year has turned to autumn very quickly. The season of jam making, preserving leaves and sourcing gleanings from the countryside is well and truly here. Here, in the southern coastal counties, we were made to pay for our good summer with the arrival of storm Ellen. Our gardens were lashed mercilessly and transformed overnight by the winds coming in from the Atlantic. Sweet pea, sunflowers, hydrangea, dahlias and roses all stooped to the pressure. As a result of this devastation the focus turns, earlier than usual, to planting for spring.
There seems to be no end in sight to the menace that is Covid-19. It is very disappointing for us all not to be able to return to club activities in September and meet up with our friends. To compensate, in some small way, a programme of talks, demonstrations and articles will be available on the AOIFA Facebook over the next few months. There was an amazing response from our demonstrators to provide short virtual demonstrations, starting with “Gleanings” (September and October) and then continuing with “Deck the Halls” (November and December). These demonstrations will provide a range of designs, from those featuring readily available autumn plant materials, to seasonal ideas for our homes at Christmas time. Other presentations will include seasonal gardening advice by Denise Gill and advice on the cultivation of plants suitable for floral art by Malcolm Kitt. We will also have articles entitled “Favourites through the Gardening Year” by Bríd Kelleher and “Remedies for the Winter Season” by Mary Frahill. We are indebted to all of these members for their generous commitment and to Geraldine, our Webmaster, who will ensure that all runs smoothly on Facebook.
As you can see, work continues behind the scenes. The Judges’ course got off to a very successful start on Zoom on 5th September. Plans are going ahead to stage our National Flower Festival in Naas, on the first weekend of July next year. This is the ideal time to start potting-up for the plant stall. We extend congratulations and good wishes to Kitty Gallagher, who assumed the role of Chairperson of WAFA, in August and to Felicity Satchwell, Chairperson of AOIFA 1986 -1988, who celebrated a significant birthday recently. Congratulations too, to all our members who have produced such creative work and done so well in recent virtual shows. (See images and results on the websites of Cork Summer Show and Irish Shows Association (ISA) and South African Floral Union (SAFU) Facebook).
The order form for the Flower Arranger magazine has been emailed to clubs. Sadly, we won’t have the Friendly Bouquet this September.
As we enter this new phase of restrictions, it is very important that we keep ourselves occupied. When the weather isn't suitable for outdoor work it is advisable that we have indoor hobbies to turn to. Let’s support each other in whatever way we can.
Take care and keep safe.
A meeting of the AOIFA Executive was held via Zoom on 18th June with a view to regulate for the Association, in these unprecedented and unpredictable times. It was unanimously decided that, due to Covid - 19, AOIFA gatherings should cease until the AGM in March 2021, when the new Executive will take over. It is envisaged that such activities will return to normal in 2021.
This decision was made in order to secure the health and safety of our members and to bring some degree of clarity to the current uncertainty. In the interim, the current Executive will remain in place and manage the Association’s affairs with the help of the incoming Executive.
As each club is autonomous, it may make its own decisions regarding its activities and is advised to do so based on HSE and Government Guidelines. Please refer to https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself-and-others.html as how to protect yourself and others.
A revised schedule of events will be issued in the autumn.
Congratulations to Rosemary Smyth who was awarded Silver at Canada Blooms 2020
Canada Blooms had to close early due to Covid-19. The competitors had just enough time to stage their exhibits and have them judged before they had to take it down again.
AOIFA Council Meeting 7 November 2019
The AOIFA Council meeting took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork on Thursday 7th November 2019 followed by a demonstration by Carola Kean of NAFAS. Photos here