Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Concord's Lunch and Learn

The Merry Weather Garden Club joined the crowd at the Concord Garden Club’s Lunch and Learn on Thursday, April 17th. Always a popular event, the program draws a crowd that grows larger every year.  

The old Strickland General Store is a perfect venue accommodating the many tables for the attendees and their sack lunches or purchases from the Concord Café, and the store has space for the vendors ranging from garden artists to jewelers to plant growers.

The “learn” segment of the meeting featured Sharon McGukin, florist, who was named by Floral Management Magazine as one of the Top Ten Floral Rock Stars. She is the past-President of the American Institute of Floral Designers and is a member of the prestigious Smithers-Oasis Design Directors Team. Her forty years as a floral designer has taken her to almost every state in the US and abroad many times.

After her presentation where she designed over a dozen arrangements in about as many minutes, she was available to sign her new book: Flowers of the Heart which features decorating with flowers for weddings. Flowers set the mood and tone of an event and her book covers weddings in each of the four seasons along with tips for planning a wedding and of course incorporating flowers.

McGukin’s programs are called ‘edu-tainment’ and by demonstrating fast, easy, design tips and techniques she “takes the fear out of flowers.” The Concord club provided her buckets and baskets of flowers from members’ gardens and a variety of container types. She emphasized expanding your space as she used traditional containers and seasonal flowers. New trends and techniques, like adding wool to an arrangement, to design shortcuts and ways to budget the floral necessities for an event were part of her presentation.

McGukin videos and tips can be seen on her Facebook page and she has many UTube videos available that demonstrate working with difficult flower varieties and unusual containers. Her fresh modern innovative approach to design made for a delightful day for Merry Weather Garden Club members who secured the front row tables at the program.

The garden club has many activities going on this April after the Concord event: the Atlanta flower show is April 25-27 in Buckhead, Antiques in the Garden will be at Petals from the Past in Jemison, Alabama April 26th, and Art in Bloom is in LaGrange May 1st.