Dutch floral designer Els Teunissen gave an overflow crowd at the Boca Grande Garden Club meeting Wednesday glimpses of the famous people she has designed for as well as samples of her incredible talent and versatility.
She demonstrated her skills live on stage by creating arrangements later auctioned off at the post-meeting tea.
"Many club members felt that Els was by far the best speaker the Garden Club has ever brought to the island, and are hopeful for an encore presentation in the future," said Club President Nora Lea Reefe in a press release. Reefe hopes to return to Boca Grande before the March meeting.
Memorial to the late Nancy Clarke.
A roses-and-tulips design was dedicated to the late Nancy Clarke, whom she once worked with and who was supposed to have been the speaker. Clarke passed away in January, and Els, already on the club's list of speakers for next season, agreed to take her place.
She created one design large enough for a hotel lobby
Her presentation, included photos of designs that included one on a wooden plank designed for a group of men on a hunting trip, and several of a large wedding in Des Moines, Iowa, where she has a home and a floral design business.
What: Boca Grande Garden Club
Who: Guest speaker is landscape designer Mary Ellen Flanagan
When: 11:30 a.m. March 7
You should know: open to guests on a space-available basis for $25. Send checks payable to the Boca Grande Garden Club to Kay Ferland at P.O. Box 807, Boca Grande FL 33921.
Christian Scott-Hansen and Jen Hanna, who brought flowers and partially completed designs, assisted Els. As she worked, she discussed the origin of flowers she was using, including some from Holland, California and other places. The flower auction in Holland sells 30 million flowers every day.
She said it is important to instill a love for flowers in children, and with most people introduced to flowers either by parents or grandparents.
A good way to involve children in floral design, she said, is to plan birthday parties that allow attendees to create floral arrangements to take home to mom. One design she created on stage featured a child's birthday party centerpiece, which included a floral cake and hula dancer.
Els received a standing ovation at the end of the presentation, and then distributed a rose to each attendee.
The tea featured an incredible centerpiece by member Bettie Coulter with a Valentine theme featuring red roses.
Because Els is familiar with Boca Grande, she came to town Sunday, and will stay for a few days.
Jane Moore, dressed in a fairy costume, encouraged members to attend the February field trip to the Children's Garden in Sarasota.
Jean Meanwell took a sold-out group of members to Selby Gardens for a tour and lunch Thursday after Jan Wechsler had organized a Jan. 23 horticultural walk with Woody Thayer.
Membership in the Garden Club is closed but will reopen again April 1.
The next meeting will be held March 7 featuring landscape designer Mary Ellen Flanagan. It will be open to guests on a space-available basis for $25. Send checks payable to the Boca Grande Garden Club to Kay Ferland at P.O. Box 807, Boca Grande FL 33921.