SAFAS   Scottish Association of Flower Arrangement Societies  
Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club

SAFAS Club Information

Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club

Meeting day: 2nd Wednesday at 2pm

Venue: The Tolbooth

Address: High Street,
IV36 1NX
Nearest car park is at Orchard Rd

Subscription: £40 per year Number of meetings per year : 8

Chairman: Jean Holder Secretary: Marjorie Mitchell

The club founded in 1959 was formed to promote ‘Friendship through Flowers’ the aim may still be the same but with an association with the Scottish and National Associations of Floral Art Societies we have developed into the era of technology. Access to new way to communicate, along with access to a greater variety of plant materials from around the world and the continuing opportunity to experience the talents of demonstrators from all over the country who visit our club to entertain and inspire our members.

We recently moved our venue to The Old Court Room of The Tolbooth, High Street, Forres. This interesting historical building has proved to be most popular.

We have recently changed our monthly meeting times to 2.oo pm as decided by our members.

 We are a very friendly club who look forward to seeing new members and visitors at our professional demonstrations . Join us for a relaxing afternoon of flower arranging, stories , and lots of chat too , of course, over an end-of-afternoon tea, and delicious home baking .

There will be a variety of meetings, including hands-on and speakers .

 For more information please phone our Secretary - Or just come along, we would be delighted to see you

Contact Club if you require more information, or just turn up. Visitors £6.



The first meeting of the year in March, was a special one, when we celebrated our Diamond Anniversary year with an afternoon meeting held at the Muthu Newton Hotel in Nairn. A most appropriate title of “A Floral Journey” the demonstration was presented by Audrey Buchan from Montrose. The event was well attended by past and present club members and many visitors from Elgin and Inverness Clubs. It was a most enjoyable day to reminisce about the wonderful times spent at an amazing number of demonstrations, day schools, workshops, shows and social outings.


We also reflect on how times change. Moray and Nairn FAC began in 1959 with members from large catchment areas around Nairn, Forres and Elgin. Membership rose to the hundreds but by the millennium numbers were falling steadily, there being lots more opportunities and demands on people’s free time.

In April, May and June we club had interesting and varied designs by demonstrations from Inverness, Ayr and Wick Annette, Ada and Amanda.


June was also AGM, when it was proposed to trial an Open Committee for a year to operate the club. This will involve all club members contributing what they can with rota system. It is an idea that is being used successfully by several groups & organisations.



The next meeting will be on Wednesday 11 September at 7.15pm with a demonstration by Julia Louden from the Scottish borders, Title of her exhibits to be “A world of Interest”.
New members and visitors will be very welcome.

 Further information is available from club chairman.



Web Page report January 2019

Moray and Nairn Floral Art Club.

The 2018/19 session began well with the return of most our past members and a couple of new faces. The Tolbooth in Forres continues to be a most popular, cosy venue; the enthusiastic and talented team who manage the building have continued to complete more improvements and upgrade of the essential facilities.

In September, October and November the visiting demonstrators (Sue Spencer, John McDonald and Gill Garrow) provided excellent entertainment. A wide variety of imaginative designs were created with interesting accessories with colourful selections of flowers and foliage.


The Christmas Lunch held at the Mosset Tavern provided an excellent start to the festive season. A hearty traditional Christmas meal was followed by a demonstration of seasonal designs provided by some of our talented club members. Also, in December club members decorated a tree with small floral lanterns for a Christmas Tree Festival. The fundraising event in St John’s Church Forres, was a show-case for many local businesses, clubs and primary schools.


Now the new year is well on its way we look forward to the meetings ahead. A very special year for the club as it celebrates its Diamond Anniversary. The first event on 13 March will be held in the Muthu Newton Hotel in Nairn with an afternoon demonstration to be followed by a high tea. The demonstrator is Audrey Buchan from Montrose whose most appropriate title is “A Floral Journey”. The club looks forward to a nostalgic gathering of past and present members and friends. [Anyone requiring further information should contact the club chairman].



March to June (2018)

 The club meetings for the first part of the year continued to be successful with a high attendance and a few new members joining.

In March everyone enjoyed the ‘work shop’ when all the members made small ‘ floral topiary tree’ arrangements set on a wine bottle.

In April demonstrator Linda Souter from Dunfermline provided a charming demonstration with a lovely selection of flowers and variety of designs to depict her title of ‘Reflections’.

In May due to illness there was a last-minute change of demonstrator. We were most grateful to Sandra Halket for stepping in. A popular old friend to our club her ‘Meanderings’ included some interesting stories illustrated with a colourful selection of plant material.

The June meeting began with the Club Annual General Meeting. There was a very high turnout of members which reflects the positive and friendly atmosphere of the club. The present administrative committee agreed to continue for another year with the proposal for a fundraising and events subcommittee group be formed that will discuss and formalise a variety of proposals for activities that could encourage recruitment of new members and maintain the viability of the club.

The AGM was followed by a demonstration by Jane Gordon from Renfrewshire. Jane provided a delightful selection of designs and plant material, a fitting end to the session. We have already enjoyed a good start to the summer let’s hope the lovely weather continues.

(September, October, November, December 2017).

The first meeting of the new session made a good start when we were delighted to welcome a few new members who joined many regular, familiar faces. The demonstrator Audrey Buchan from Montrose produced a magnificent selection of exhibits to illustrate her title of ‘All washed Up’ using accessories and items associated with or found on the beach.
Audrey used an assortment of foliage and interesting plant material with a beautiful variety of colours and quality flowers.

 Visiting from Yorkshire Sue Spencer presented a splendid demonstration at the meeting in October. A most interesting and humorous dialogue illustrated her beautiful selection of designs was truly a “Rhapsody of Flowers. The variety of colourful quality flowers and foliage were a delight.

In November Christine Ogle visiting from Northumberland asked, “Do you Believe in Fairies”? After her enchanting demonstration the audience certainly did. Christine’s inspiration was drawn from the poems by Cicely Mary Baker, with charming accessories complimented a variety of quality, well-conditioned flowers and plant material.

Our club will certainly be requesting return visits from all these demonstrators.

The last meeting of 2017 was the Club Christmas dinner that was held in the Mosset Tavern in Forres, who provided an excellent meal and service. The meal was followed by a delightful seasonal demonstration and talk given by local florists Bev and Caroline from ‘Wild Blossoms’.

A great start to the seasonal activities. The first meeting of 2018 will be member’s night on 14th March in the Tolbooth in Forres.



June is the month our cub holds its AGM when we review the events of the year and seek a committee to administer the running of the club. Like all clubs we have a very small core committee. It continues to be difficult to replace team members when they stand down, as most members have served many terms in the past.

Our club was well entertained by some excellent and experienced demonstrators recently. John Dalton from Cumbria in April. Humorous stories of his experiences of the life of a floral designer were flamboyantly illustrated with a wonderful selection of flowers and plant material. John has travelled all over UK demonstrating and entering competitions with great success; most recently at the Chelsea flower show this year.

 In May Jean McClure, by contrast provided a delightful and immaculately presented demonstration of more compact designs set in some interesting containers, with a good selection of colourful flowers.

John McDonald’s demonstration this month (June) was a spectacular end to the session. A unique variety of containers supported the designs with a vibrant selection of flowers. It was most interesting to hear about his work as part of the team of florists that are responsible for the displays made for the Gleneagles resort.


Now the question of the moment is “How do we change and project our image to attract new and younger people?” There appears to be a huge interest in gardens and increased numbers visit garden centres, sales of flowers have greatly increased. Media cover of the likes of the Chelsea Flower Show and garden programs seem well attended. However, people are not joining clubs that specialise in the appreciation of floral craft and design……. What can we do???

March Meeting 2017 - Buttonhole Workshop

Moray &Nairn Floral Art Club members spent a most enjoyable evening workshop at their March meeting. A charming young guest speaker demonstrated the traditional ways of wiring flowers and foliage required to make into corsages and lapel- buttonholes. There was a lovely selection of floral blooms, leaves and appropriate wires, tapes and ribbon available for each member to assemble lapel buttonholes for themselves, which was carried out with great enthusiasm and concentration. It was great fun and everyone was delighted with their efforts they took home.

The club membership consists of a wide variety of experience so it was especially encouraging that so many members expressed the pleasure the meeting provided; for some it was a refresher of old skills and others the opportunity to learn to do something new.

Following the success of the evening, we will certainly have to repeat the format of a workshop.



Demonstrator Shows How

Table of busy ladies

A happy member

Finished results


Flower Festival – A Seasonal Selection.

On 12th and 13th November Moray and Nairn Floral Art Club presented a flower festival in the Tolbooth in Forres. The theme was a seasonal selection of ‘What’s on” in the Forres area. The exhibits interpreted just some of the many, varied activities. We who live in Moray know that it is a wonderful place to live with towns and villages that offer good community spirit surrounded by picturesque countryside. There is always such a lot ‘going on’, something for all ages and interests. Community, Social, Leisure, health and wellbeing groups as well as the many charity organisations. Most of these organisations rely on support of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. 

November is the month of Remembrance; the rich glow of autumn colours begins to fall.These thoughts in mind inspired the floral art exhibition of traditional and modern styles using garden plant material and flowers in autumn colours. Several of the club’s talented designers produced varied and imaginative exhibits with the following titles: -


tribute to fallen heroes

Forres in Bloom

(multiple award winners),

The Angel Award for Volunteers

 (won by the Forres Heritage Trust for their renovation of the Tolbooth and Nelson Tower)

Photography-Memories saved

(always an interesting display of old photographs in the refreshment room)

Woodland Walks

(community woodland trusts, ramblers groups)

M&NFAC - Friendship Through Flowers

 (the moto of the national floral art societies)

Music- Flower of Scotland;

Toast of Moray

(Forres the jewel in the crown)

Forres Academy

(Youth is our future)

Colours of Cluny

(in evergreen foliage with a background of seasonal floral colour):

Arts and Crafts

A Bushel of Grain

(Moray is the granary of Moray).

In the tea room Autumn Glows, with a Warm Welcome, of posies and baskets. Our members provided a delicious selection of homemade cakes and biscuits. There was a well subscribed raffle with a variety of prizes that enhanced the fundraising event to support the floral art club and the Forres Heritage Trust.

 The club is grateful to all who supported the event. There was very positive feedback from the numerous visitors.


Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club October 2016 Meeting.

This month our club members were treated to a most entertaining demonstration by Kathleen Gibson an area demonstrator from Tyne and Wear. Her title of Around the World certainly provided a journey of descriptive exhibits that began with a visit to the Artic to the undersea barrier reefs, volcanic eruptions, the desert regions and finally the tropics. A wonderful variety of plant material and flowers the designs delighted all in attendance and especially those lucky people who won the arrangements in the raffle. We will certainly look forward to a return visit from Kathleen in the foreseeable future.

Photos; Artic to Tropics.

Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club Meeting May 2016.

The May demonstration was provided by Amanda Coghill a young florist from Caithness. She is a keen active competitor at many flower shows and is entering an exhibit at Chelsea later this month. Amanda is a regular participator in workshops where arrangers explore and develop trends in design and so was able to incorporate ideas and pass on some hints during her demonstration. Each design was in contemporary style with blocking, weaving and linear form, however the containers were both modern and traditional – pottery vase, a bowl, a small stone pedestal, along with posy pads covered in manipulated leaves and covered in twigs.

Supportive plant material included garden pruning’s and exotic foliage. A variety of delicate and bold flowers included an unusual variegated pink & lemon chrysanthemum called ‘charlotte’ and some large headed roses a dark mauve rose called ‘blueberry’ and a cream and coral rose called ‘pebble’ where of particular note.

Amanda’s friendly individual style and enthusiasm for her occupation provided our members with an interesting, enjoyable evening.

Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club - April 2016 Demonstration

 The April meeting welcomed a return visit from Gill Garrow to provide a demonstration entitled “Seasonal Delights”. It truly was a delight with a variety of designs, colours and quality plant material. The demonstration began with thoughts of the outdoors, a picnic basket with a drape bursting with an array of pinks and creams, followed by a tapestry cushion of cerise flowers and dark foliage, then came a design set in two grey slate coloured pots a large headed rose named ‘ice cream’ was also most noteworthy . The pale apricot lisianthus was a new shade to most of us set of with a bright orange rose called ‘voodoo’. The final arrangement of yellows with spikes of pussy willow really confirmed that Spring is here. The evening closed with refreshments including excellent home baking provide by some of our members.

MARCH MEETING - Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club

On the first meeting for 2016 we were treated to a power point presentation by Ann Allan a member of Aberdeen County Floral group and Northern Lights. The subject “Going for Gold” charted her time as a member of the SAFAS team who exhibited at the Chelsea Flower show in 2013. It was a fascinating journey of research, planning and preparation for the exhibit that took over a year to assemble here in Scotland before being transported down to the Chelsea show. Their subject “Far Below the Sea Blooms” was inspired by the colours, textures and biodiversity of the coral reefs that play an important part in the eco balance of the seas of the earth.

The team of eight highly talented arrangers, led by Valerie Davidson who designed the exhibit, was drawn from floral art clubs across Scotland and were supported by a variety of organisations, as well as families and friends. An academic from Aberdeen University provided advice on the structure and species to be found on a reef, which enabled the arrangers to match up appropriate flowers and plant material found on land. Specialist nurseries supplied an amazing variety of the required high quality plant material. A construction company provided premises to work in and tradesmen to build the staging required for the display. The team of arrangers also collected quantities of driftwood and produced organically dyed coloured fibres for the exhibit. Months of hard work practicing and organising the display resulted in an authentic depiction of a scene of the incredible colours and textures to be found on the sea floor.

It was a truly stunning exhibit and the reward was a Gold medal award. It was greatly admired and drew a lot of interest from general public and celebrity visitors to the show. The BBC Gardeners World team even produced a short feature about this SAFS exhibit; it is rare that floral art society contributions are ever mentioned in coverage of the Chelsea show.

For our club on this evening it was a most interesting and entertaining presentation. We also enjoyed some great home bakes with our coffee and lovely fresh flowers as raffle prizes.



Flower Festival in Tolbooth, Forres --- August 2013

The exhibits displayed were dedicated to Community spirit of the people, facilities and activities to be found in Forres.

The event involved most of our members contributing to over twenty-five displays and providing refreshments for the many visitors. The club was delighted to be able to highlight the restoration of the Tolbooth, being carried out by the Forres Heritage Trust who manage the building.

Legal Bench

Grant Park

Pipe Band

Nelson Tower


Military connections –RAF & Army

Floral blooms.


SAFAS Festival in Glasgow Cathedral “Roots, Shoots & Fruits” July 2014

This event was a show case for the talents of many Floral Art clubs from all over Scotland.

Moray and Nairn club’s exhibit depicted –‘the early times’ -inspired by Neolithic Standing stones and ring sculptures’. It was a challenging subject constructed by a team of club members using a selection of dried and preserved plant materials.

Christmas is Coming – 6&7 December 2014 held in Tolbooth, Forres

Exhibits of a variety of Christmas arrangements

Contact Moray & Nairn Floral Art Club


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