16 March 2014 16:44

A flower-arrangement club is inviting interested people to drop in to sessions to experience what is on offer ahead of an annual festival celebrating the art of arranging.
The Paphos Flower Club is currently at a very exciting time of year as it is preparing for the popular Flower Festival which takes place at Ayia Kyriaki Church in Paphos next month.
“Anyone is welcome to drop in to any of our lessons to see what we do and see if flower arranging would be for them - and they would always get a cup of coffee!” Margaret Keeble of the Paphos Flower Club told The Cyprus Weekly.
“We now meet weekly during the cooler months of the year on a Thursday morning from 10am to 12 noon, in the Anglican Church Hall in Kato Paphos. We are an independent organisation, but closely associated with both the Anglican and Latin Churches, who both use the Church of Ayia Kyriaki where the Flower Festival is held.”
The club was started by two British florists and two flower arrangers who were looking for an activity that they enjoyed while living in Paphos. They decided to bring a taste of a British Church Flower Festival to Paphos and following the first festival in 2004, had numerous requests for lessons and so organised a series of classes to encourage people to take up floral art.
Flower arranging is an ancient art dating back to the 2500 BC in Egypt where stylised arrangements were used for sacred events such as burials and day-to-day secular table decorations. The use of flowers passed through the ages in ancient Greece, Rome and China where cut flowers were used in religious settings. At the end of the first millennium, flower arranging reached Europe with displays focusing on sacred rituals. Interestingly, the crusaders brought new and exotic plants back with them from the Middle East which were combined with local flowers in arrangements. During the Renaissance, flower arrangements became elaborate, abundant affairs as can be seen in painting of the time. In later centuries, arrangements became more controlled and symmetrical and very colourful.
In Georgian Britain, small handheld bouquets carrying sweet scents were used on a daily basis. Called nosegays, they helped to hide body odours in a society which thought that bathing caused ill health. In the Victorian era, flower arranging was a more improvised affair which led to the early days of professional guidelines and training for the emerging profession of flower arranger.
The 11th Annual Flower Festival will take place in Kato Paphos at the Church of Ayia Kyriaki on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday April 30 and May 1 and 2 by kind permission of the Cyprus Antiquities Department. The theme for this year’s Flower Festival is the ‘Book of Psalms’. Over 20 floral displays, each depicting a Psalm or a quotation from this Book of the Bible, will decorate Ayia Kyriaki. The Church will be open from 10am to 5.30pm each day and in the evenings from 6pm there will be an hour of music.
On the Wednesday, the Paphos Voices have been invited to sing, on the Thursday evening there will be an organ recital and on the Friday evening the Festival will be concluded with a ‘Songs of Praise’ when members of both Churches will be invited to choose their favourite hymns.
Meanwhile, anybody who wishes to get a taste of what the Paphos Flower Club organises each week is welcome to contact Keeble to arrange a drop-in visit at keeble@cytanet.com.cy
“The Club which is open to everyone, whether connected to a Church or not, is still going strong and now even includes gentlemen!”


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