Florists create festive designs at Arley Hall

Deb Kenny (rhs) and Rachel Collinson-Fletcher L3 Dip Arley Hall prepOur floristry students have been making an impact by decorating one of Cheshire’s finest country homes ready for Christmas.

Managers of Arley Hall, near Knutsford, invited our students to help design and decorate the Gallery in time for the thousands of visitors who pour through its doors in December. The Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma students, who include mature learners and career changers, have decorated the grand staircase, dining hall and library using traditional techniques and materials – some of which are collected from Arley’s gardens.

Twenty-five students have been involved in the project, which is in addition to their course studies.

They visited the venue last month to get a full understanding of requirements and worked out their designs at college. A giant Christmas tree was one of the most important tasks.

Course Manager Fiona Davies said: “The students have been working in teams on a grand scale  with the aim of  creating a real impact. This has really challenged their creativity as well as giving them valuable experience of working on a public event.

“One of their greatest challenges has been working with and around the furniture, much of which is irreplaceable. They have also had to choose materials that will last for the whole event.

“It has been an excellent opportunity for them to become involved in commercial practice. They have also very much enjoyed working in such a beautiful and grand setting.”

Arley Hall’s annual Christmas Floral Extravaganza opened on Saturday and continues until Thursday, December 11. Admission is £7.50 for adults and £2.50 for children.

 On Monday December 8 and Wednesday December 10 visitors can see the hall by candlelight between 6pm and 9pm and enjoy carols. Admission is £9.