Monday, 8 June 2015

A posy for Her Majesty The Queen.

For the past seven years The National Federation Of Women's Institutes (NFWI) or the Women's Institute have chosen us to supply plants and flowers for the AGM.   This year, on the centenary of the founding of the Women's Institute I was also asked to supply three posies for members of the Royal family: Her Majesty The Queen, The Princess Royal and The Countess of Wessex.

There have been countless florists that have supplied beautiful posies for Her Majesty and I am sure every one of them has felt very honoured to do so.   I too felt honoured and grateful for the opportunity to supply not one but three posies for The Royal family!   It was a wonderful feeling to see pictures of The Queen holding her posy in newspapers the next day.  The Times had a particularly beautiful image on the front page.  The Daily Mail had a number of images:

The WI had commissioned a hybrid tea rose named 'Inspiration' to mark the centenary.   A hundred were due to be delivered to us a few days before the event and these were to form the centrepiece of the posies and table arrangements but due to the vagaries of the British weather only twelve buds were showing and eight of these were very tight.   Unlike the roses grown in Dutch nurseries, the buds hardly opened at all and the posies had just four Inspiration roses in each.  We had to try to match the colours of the Inspiration rose at rather short notice and chose colours to complement the WI rose.  The other flowers included Lisianthus (Eustoma), Peony, Dahlia, Ornithogalum and three other roses in similar hues.

The route for deliveries to the stage at the Royal Albert hall is rather tortuous and halfway through delivering the plants and flowers the large lift I use was nowhere to be seen.   After pressing the button for ten minutes I decided to walk up the stairs only to find a carpet fitter fitting a red carpet in the lift!   I thought that I would be barred from using the lift and forced to use an even longer route used for deliveries for catering.   Fortunately the WI are adept at resolving last minute hitches and the carpet was quickly covered in protective sheeting so I could finish off my work.

At every AGM, just before the end of the event the ladies sing Jerusalem.   They sing it very well I must say.   Within minutes of the song finishing the WI members are making their way to the coaches that will take them back to their respective counties.   It has become a bit of a tradition to hand out the flowers from the displays to those ladies to take home with them.   The table arrangements are shared between the WI organisers and hopefully on this occasion The Queen, The Princess Royal and The Countess Of Wessex took their flowers home too!