Welcome to the website of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies, an area of NAFAS.

Enjoy browsing through our site, as we hope to keep you informed, as to what floral events are happening around the area.

We are affiliated to NAFAS the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies a registered charity. Currently the NIGFAS Area has 21 clubs with a membership of 1000. Our aim is to encourage all in the art of flower arranging, through demonstrations, talks, classes, flower festivals and show work. Many of these activities take place in local flower clubs to which you would be made most welcome.

No experience is necessary to join a flower club. Go along to one, you might discover a new talent! Please click on Flower Clubs to find one near you.

NIGFAS take an active part in the Belfast Spring and Autumn Fairs. Come and see us at our stand. See the Belfast Parks Department events brochures or website for details of these Shows.

There are lots of exciting events coming up and we would love to have your support at as Many of these as possible
Please Check Floral Events for Information
Liz Manning NIGFAS Area Chairman

Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies Presents their next event
Join us for Afternoon Tea via Zoom and A Virtual Spring Flower Competition


Information for Zoom Afternoon Tea on 6th March 2021


As this is a first for NIGFAS members on a Zoom event, we are keeping things to a

minimum.  We want you to relax and enjoy, with your cup of tea to hand and your favourite treats in front of you.

If you really want to impress us, a little Spring arrangement to set off your table will get us all in the mood for a lovely Afternoon of Friendship through Flowers.


To attend you must inform your Club Chairman by 1st March 2021 so that the log on link can be forwarded to you by 4th March 2021


Information for the Zoom Virtual Competition


We have also kept the Competition to a minimum Open to all members with a Novice Class and an Open Class - both have the same title - the photograph of your design is front facing.  Further details on the Poster.  

Please take this opportunity to show of your flower arranging talents

Elaine cannot wait for her inbox to be full of entries.   Log on link of the event will be forwarded to you by 4th March 2021


We are delighted that our NAFAS Chairman Katherine Kear will be joining us and saying a few words of greetings from NAFAS.


If you have any problems and your Club Chairman cannot help you out, please contact

Elaine on her email address  elainetaylor29@btinternet.com


We in the Executive look forward to seeing your competition entries and your attendance

at our “Afternoon Tea”    please attend and we will have a couple of hours of

Fun, Flowers and Fellowship.





Chairman's Challenge

This is the NAFAS Chairman's Challenge for 2021
Please click on the link to view the message

This is the schedule for the NAFAS Virtual Competition
Please click the link below to view 

NAFAS National Photography Competition 2021
Please click the link below to view the schedule

Congratulations from NIGFAS 
Milton Porter a member of the Omagh Floral Art Society has been awarded the BEM in the Near Year Honor's List
For Services to Cancer Research and The Community in Castlederg Co Tyrone 

This is the link to view the NAFAS AGM to access please click on the link below

The Flower Arranger Magazine
Save 30% if you are a Club Member and order through your local club.
Find your nearest club to join go to NIGFAS Website and click on Flower Clubs. Then tell the Club Flower Arranger Officer you would like to subscribe £12.80 for 4 issues.
Annual subscription Rate, Price includes postage and packing for the convenience of having each issue delivered directly to your door.
UK Addresses £22.00 Subscription form on page 50 of Spring issue 2021 or go to NAFAS Website and click on The Flower Arranger.
The Flower Arranger DIGITAL EDITION to day £9.99and receive
See page 71 of Spring issue 2021 or go to the NAFAS Website and click on The Flower Arranger

NIGFAS Christmas Video Demonstrations
Leslie Brant Bangor Flower Club
Presents  " Reach for the Stars "
Please click on the link below to view the Video
List of Materials used for making the exhibit
1 Block of Oasis sprayed silver
Cones sprayed silver
5 Dried Stalitiza leaves
3 straight canes
8 Glass tubes and cable ties
8 White Gerbera
8 Stars made from Midelino canes
( 5 Pieces to make a star)
Silver bullion wire
Christmas ribbon
Metal Tray and 2 frogs

Johann Henderson Holywood and Inspiration Club
Presents "ALL Wrapped Up "
Please click the link below to view the Video

Colleen Hamill Ballymena Club
Presents Title "Second Time Around"
Please click on the link below to view the Video
These are the materials needed to complete the designs in Colleen Video

Image may contain: text

Elaine Taylor Lower Bann Flower Club
Presents "Hoarded Christmas"
Please click on the link below to view the Video
Part 2 "Hoarded Christmas
Click on the link below to view the video
Part 3 " Hoarded Christmas "
Click on the link below to view the video

Linda Lyons
Presents " Home for Christmas"
Please click the link below to view the Video

ECT Travel Virtual Demonstration with NAFAS Katherine Kerr and Di Smith
Click on the link below to view the video with full list of all materials listed

AOIFA Advent Calender
Please click the link below to view the calenderhttps://www.facebook.com/AOIFA.Ireland/posts/16081142360620

NIGFAS Facebook Page
This is the link below to click if you wish to follow the NIGFAS Facebook Page

This is the Autumn Virtual Photography Competition

These are the links to view 
The NIGFAS Autumn Virtual Photography Competition
They have been sent to our Judge Brian Hennessey and the winners will be announced shortly
Class 1 Hydrangea with Style    1st George Madden Belfast Flower Club

Class 2 Colours of Autunm             1st Jacqui Anderson Greenisland Club

Class 3  Times are Changing                 1st Marbeth Wilson Ballymena Club

Class 4 Twig Tastic                1st Ingrid Jellie Comber Flower Club

Class 5 Animal Antics                  1st Jacksie Catherwood Comber Flower Club

Judges Choice Marbeth Wilson Ballymena Club

This is the Latest NIGFAS Virtual Flower Show

NIGFAS Autumn Virtual Flower Show
People's Choice Award
Class 1 Hydrangea with Style
Phyllis Loughrey Letterkenny Flower Club

Class 2 Colours of Autumn
Phyllis Loughrey Letterkenny Flower Club

Class 3 Times are Changing
Elaine Taylor Lower Bann Flower Club

Class 4 Twig Tastic
Ingrid Jellie Comber Flower Club

Class 5 Copper Glow (small scale exhibit)
Liz Manning Londonderry Flower Club

A Message from the President of NIGFAS
I would encourage everyone to download The Stop Covid NI App. A small thing we could all do to help in the fight against Covid 19
Liz Manning NIGFAS Area Chairman
The link below is the CovidCare NI App

A Message from the President of NAFAS And The Board

NAFAS Christmas Demonstration with Chairman Katherine Kerr and Di Smith
Please click the link below for information on this event

Looking Forward News from our National Chairman Katherine Kerr



Christmas lights seem to have cropped up earlier in gardens, windows and on house fronts. It’s so nice to see their familiarity giving a sense of anticipations towards Christmas.

I hope all Areas are working towards my December challenge, the title is ‘A Festive Gift’.  I have been interested to hear how some Areas are approaching the year full of my challenges - appointing a Challenge Officer, drawing club names out of a hat, the list goes on.  Don’t let your Area miss out, I look forward to viewing the entries.  Remember the closing date is the last day of the competition month.  A selection of the entries will be put on media platforms. 


We are pleased to welcome Chris Brown, Surrey Area Chairman and Louise Jones, Cheshire Area Chairman to the Articles of Association Sub-Committee. We also have welcomed Suzi Castle (South West Area) and Debbie Wadge (Wessex and Jersey Area) to the Finance Committee and Pip Bensley (Wessex and Jersey Area) and Janet Schofield (Cheshire Area) to the Strategy Committee.

I know several Areas have successfully explored Zoom festive demonstrations. I was touched to hear one Area spent considerable time after the event delivering the flowers, once collected from the demonstrator, to members in the Area who needed a treat and surprise. 


By now you will all have received the NAFAS Virtual National Show Schedule and Entry Form.  Do circulate it to clubs, let’s make this a welcome back to creating together and enjoying what our members have to offer.


Below is a press release for clubs.  Please feel free to use the wording to advertise the event on your various news outlets:-


Looking forward to next year and the NAFAS Virtual National Show April 2021

The Spring.... The Happy Time of Singing Birds is Come

This is our first Virtual Show, and it will have everything you would expect.  Each week for the first three weeks of April there will be a demonstration, talk and ‘how to’ session viewable on all our various media platforms including the new website.  These will be provided by our National Demonstrators, Speakers and Teachers. The full list of these platforms will follow nearer the time.  During the last week of April all the judged competition entries will be on view.  The Schedule ‘Springtime’ created by our National Judges Committee has a wonderful variety of 12 classes.  A feast to look forward to. 


Media update:  Steven and I have met with the Director of Magic Bean Media, they are to take over all parts of our social media i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.  They start working with us on January 1st.  We will be having monthly meetings with them. 


Keep safe all, best wishes.


Katherine Kear

National Chairman MDPF

National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies

Osborne House, 12 Devonshire Square , London EC2M 4TE Telephone 020 7247 5567

Email: info@nafas.org.uk            Website: www.nafas.org.uk


Company Registration No. 4934904 Charity Registration No. 1101348

Registered Office: Osborne House. 12 Devonshire Square. London EC2M 4TE

VAT Registration No. GB239 8888 88

Exciting News from our National Chairman 
Katherine Kerr

NAFAS National Chairman Resignation

Can NIGFAS MEMBERS and Flower Clubs please check the Guidelines for Northern Ireland
This is the link for Guidelines for Northern Ireland

This is the link to the NAFAS Bringing People and Flowers together
Please click the link below to view the Facebook Page
Flower Arranger

This is the link to The Flower Arranger Magazine Facebook page
Please click the link below to view the page


NAFAS Appointments


Congratulations to Alan Beatty on his award as a NAFAS National Associate of Honour
 in recognition of his work and dedication in many areas of NAFAS and NIGFAS . 
Well done Alan from everyone in NIGFAS

Challenges during Lockdown
Good Evening Members
The NIGFAS Executive Committee have come up with some challenges for our members over the coming months.
There are some exciting things to look forward to.
To start of we are asking for you to send in a photograph to sum up your personal experience during lockdown.
Please send them to nigfassocialmedia@gmail.com
They will then be posted to the Facebook page by the 20th July 2020
Many Thanks in Advance
Social Media Officer Bernie Jackson Challenge 1 Here's a selection of the challenges to view all the entries see NIGFAS Facebook page Decorating has become a big part of Lockdown Liz Manning
Paperwork doesn't stop for NIGFAS Treasurer Lorraine Bothwell
PSNI Teddies Mary Tompsett
Time to admire the beautiful May Sunsets Phyllis Boyd
Amaryllis glowing brightly as the sun shines indoors Phyllis Boyd
Walking on the back roads from home wistfully looking at the Mournes Mary Pearson
Taking the opportunity of using old magazines in a more interesting and decorative way Marietta Coleman
Challenge 2 We would like you to design a Foliage Design from your Garden Material There is no judging in this challenge just a chance for you to make an exhibit Inclusive until the 3rd August so there is plenty of time to make your design. Thank you for participation in challenge 1 looking forward to all the photos of exhibits of Foliage Design Please send the photo of your design to nigfassocialmedia@gmail.com 2 Garden Foliage Designs by James Burnside
Challenge 3 The NIGFAS Virtual Flower Show

Challenge 4
Photo of Flower /Bloom or Blossom
Cherie Nummy sunflower with Butterflies

Beverley Stevenson Peony in the Garden

Joan Muldrew Gerbera

Mary Pearson from the Garden


This is New NAFAS Committee Chairman of all NAFAS Clubs and Administration
Please Click on the link below to view

Pre- National Assessment and National Demonstrators Test Revised Dates Wednesday 21st April and Thursday 22nd April 2021

National Demonstrators Test
to be held at
Northwich Memorial Court

Wednesday 21st April 2021
Thursday 22nd April 2021
10.00am to 4.30pm
(doors open at 9.30am)

TICKETS £12 per person, per day
available from
Vanessa Keys, NAFAS, Osborne House, 12 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4TE

cheques payable to NAFAS – please include a SAE
card payments taken at Headquarters 020 7247 5567 – digital tickets issued
tea & coffee available
Reg Charity No. 1101348
Test held by kind permission of The Cheshire Area of NAFAS

Update on Deliveries of The Flower Arranger Magazine 

Our Flower Arranger Officer George Madden has forwarded this information from Sylvia Loader NAFAS 

Just to let you know during this very difficult time, Warners are having to make some changes to their staff levels.  I have been advised that my normal contact for delivery issues will not be around for the next 3 weeks, all the Flower Arranger work is being spread between different staff all now working from home.   Please continue to report problems in the normal way, but please be aware that delays in information getting back to me/you will be inevitable.

It is essential that when reporting problems to me that you supply the following information:

Club Ref and Club name

CFAO name and address

Problem reported

Number of magazines ordered

Rings of Hope & Appreciation


Flower Arrangers all over the country are creating door rings to show their appreciation of the NHS staff and essential workers during this emergency. They are decorating them in green and blue, with ribbons, flowers and foliage.


The ring symbolises unending and everlasting love, the cycle of life and hope. Green is for renewal, balance and progress, and blue for the NHS.


Gloucester based NAFAS member and Master Florist Katherine Kear, whose idea this was, thanks all who have already decorated their doors and encourages the public to find creative ways to take part in this gesture of thanks.


Step by step ideas, suitable for beginners and children, can be found on the NAFAS Facebook page @NafasFlowers and also Katherine Kear’s Facebook page @KatherineKearFlowers. A ‘How to’ video is available on the nafasflowers YouTube 

Obituary to The Rev Mac

NIGFAS members have been very saddened by the death of the
Very Rev. William McMillan MBE, MA on 19th. January 2020.
This is a tribute to our wonderful friend who is so sadly missed by everyone.
With affection he was called “Mac” by all who knew him and in a strange way he didn’t need the title “Rev” to indicate his Christianity and his love and respect for all aspects of God’s Creation. When Mac left school, his teacher said he would either end up on the stage or the pulpit. She underestimated him. He did both.
Mac said that he became involved in flower arranging by accident! His first love of flowers stemmed from gardening and he was a member of Suffolk Garden Society. Observing the Floral Art Competitions, he expressed his opinions on the matter of drapes and was challenged to do better. He accepted the challenge and joined a class taken by the late Mrs Betty McCrory. He used to arrange the flowers for special events in church and pretend that his wife Sheila had done them. It was not long before the Newry congregation realised that it was Mac and not Sheila who did the flowers. To quote his son” Dad, it is bad enough having to be the son of a clergyman, but a flower arranger as well?”
On moving to Dunmurry he ‘discovered ‘Julia Clements and Betty, recognising his particular talents, encouraged him to enter competitions. He was then persuaded to take his Area Demonstrator’s test. It wasn’t long until he undertook his National Demonstrator’s Test and was asked to demonstrate at the next National Show in Bournemouth. More National Shows followed. He has travelled the world demonstrating from Mexico to India, Barbados to Bangkok and many places closer to home. He used many of these events to raise funds for charities at home and abroad seeing every invite as a privilege and feeling that he learnt so much from the different cultures that he could not take a fee for himself.
He was chairman of NIGFAS from 1978-1980.
In Northern Ireland he worked to establish cross community nursery schools, places that did not exist at that time. At the 1978 Congress in Oxford he was awarded the IARF Albert Schweitzer Award for his work in breaking down barriers and in promoting religious freedom.
He was appointed a Special Associate of Honour of NAFAS in 1989.
He received the MBE in 1999 in recognition of his charity work.
Garden Clubs of America made him an Honorary Member, their highest award, granted only to 4 people outside the United Sates.
He lectured on several occasions in the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

In 2000 Mac was asked by Father Finnegan to design a festival to celebrate the Millennium at Dromantine House, Newry, Co Down and 120 of his friends from 26 different countries came to Design 2000- An International Symposium of Floral Art. Delegates gave him a standing ovation and Mac quoting his beloved Yeats ‘Tread softly / Because you tread on my dreams’ said simply ‘You have made my dream come true’. This international gathering was repeated in 2006.
A prolific writer Mac penned books, articles and pamphlets on many subjects. His writings displayed both a depth and breadth of knowledge presented in a style that was eloquent, accurate and instructive. ‘Floral Designs – A Celtic Way’ and ‘Beyond Mere Words’ are examples of his published Floral Art books
To celebrate his 80th Birthday and the contribution he made to flower arranging NIGFAS arranged to have a plant named after him and in 2011 the name HOSTA
‘Reverend MAC’ was registered.
He won Best in Show at WAFA in Canada and in 2014 Mac won the special WAFA award for the MOST INNOVATIVE design at the 11th World Flower Show held in Dublin, and this was after he supposedly retired!!
MAC was a true friend to many, had a great interest in history, a wonderful command of language, worked tirelessly to unite communities in Northern Ireland and served Dunmurry First Presbyterian (Non- Subscribing) Church faithfully. We in NIGFAS are so proud to have known this outstanding man.
He is survived by his wife Sheila who over the years had to stay at home because of work, family commitments and to ‘mind the shop’ but was his rock and constant support.
Our Thoughts and prayers are with Sheila and the family at this sad time and he will be missed by all in the Flower Arranging world.

Liz Manning

NIGFAS Chairman

Condolences Message  From Our Chairman

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Rev William McMillan MBE died  peacefully this morning. Rev MAC was a Special  Associate of Honour of NAFAS , a past Chairman of NIGFAS and a friend to many and will be greatly missed . Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time. 

Liz Manning 

NIGFAS Chairman


20 April 2020 


In South Island, New Zealand

14-25 March 2021

Dear members

The UK has been invited to send 10 delegates to take part in the above event. The Seminar will give attendees a chance to experience the host country’s culture, see floral art presentations and competitive work (which may involve judging), take part in workshops with top tutors and view wonderful scenery around the Seminar’s hubs in Christchurch and Queenstown in an atmosphere of fun and friendship along with other delegates within the WAFA family. 

The cost of the Seminar ONLY for shared accommodation has been estimated as approximately NZ$8,000 and single occupancy as NZ$10,000. Due to the New Zealand Government’s plans/rules for post lockdown in the months ahead, the programme and costs are subject to alteration. The WAFA NZ Host Committee suggests that WAFA members keep up to date by using the website www.wafanz.co.nz 

PLEASE NOTE: Delegates will be expected to pay for themselves, arrange their own insurance and organize their own travel to and from New Zealand at the appropriate time. If desired, delegates can make their own arrangements to extend their stay in New Zealand before and/or after the Seminar.

If interested, please submit your name and contact details to me by 30th May 2020, via vanessa@nafas.org.uk and a list will be prepared. Should there be more than 10 applicants then a ballot will take place. Some countries do not take up their whole allocation of places and if unsuccessful in the ballot, attendance may still be possible. 

With kindest regards

Yours sincerely

Dr. Christina Curtis


These are Hints and Tips for Members who would like to know more about taking Photographs of their Exhibits. Courtesy of Brian Hennessey (judge)
Some of the members who took part in the Challenges we have held made comments that it took them longer to photograph the exhibit that it did to make it. So our Photography Officer Jackie Gilmour kindly asked for hints and tips from Brian Hennessey Judge.
Here are his hints and tips .
Flower Arrangement Photography Guide
One of our golden rules in portrait photography is “never practice on the customer”.
How this applies to flower photography is - ‘do not build your arrangement and then
wonder how to photograph it’. Preparation is key!
Read the rules of the competition as regards the dimensions, if stated, or, if not, your own
choice of size and then prepare a physical representation. This could be a cardboard box,
pillow, frame, mirror or just some bamboo or similar sticks.
Next is to place your dummy in front of a suitable background. Ideally, the background
should be as unnoticeable as possible. A white background is possibly the worst as our
eye (and the judges’) is drawn to the lightest point in an image.
Some contrast between your arrangement and the background will help it to stand out. A
predominately blue arrangement against a blue background, or similar combinations, can
be confusing as it may be difficult establish which is which.
How you light your arrangement is crucial. Avoid on camera flash at all costs as it will
create harsh shadows on both your arrangement and background. It will also produce
unwanted highlights, especially on glossy foliage.
My number one choice is natural daylight. Today in Portstewart we have perfect lighting
conditions for this type of subject. Cloudy but bright, with no harsh shadows. Hazy
sunlight will also work reasonably well.
Example 1
My arrangement, cardboard box 36” X 18”, placed on a black cloth covering our blue
wheely bin that is parked about 6ft in front of a dark stone wall. The dark stone and grey
mortar will be an out of focus, dark grey mottled background. If only we did not have the
gale force winds and heavy rain, this would have been the perfect setup!
Today’s lesson is always have an alternative if timing is important.
Example 2
As I was not allowed to bring the wheely bin inside the living room, the support was my
wheeled computer table. Again parked about 6ft in front a cream painted wall, facing a
bay window. Had to move TV to one side and some pictures off the wall. This is where a
tripod comes in handy as after composing the image I can stand to one side to make the
exposure and avoid casting a shadow. While the dummy was closer to the light source the
background appeared several shades darker.
Always take some photos of your intended setup, study and refine as necessary
NATIONAL Photography Competition 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen, you have just 13 weeks left to sort out your winning images for the 2020 NAFAS National Photography Competition. Even if you haven’t been able to get out and about, most of the class titles can be interpreted from your own home or garden, or from your photo archive, so what are you waiting for? We look forward to receiving your entry, so don’t delay, download the schedule now if you haven’t already! https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nafas.org.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F11%2FPhotography-Competition-2020.pdf%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2uL2bmyMcH8KaRYDg5gjnfsJ6OZEmEpJRPaBq5dedfsasTdPz0YJKFaIg&h=AT1SszbyNVoW5K4Wvp0kZNj0pKvqM221NJwbsIO9yESLngbF8-aX2amQ_sP23on5omizf-4HJqOfj2k3ow-os7a5L3eapLcHbIC5Kt3GGiBU2n5NEuzCi607sHBFhTFFdL1mZHPF-d4aINTDd991&__tn__=-UK-y-R&c[0]=AT2OHdvBcNwroK2qwFMPrr7HJ_nW5X606GMiSXSEbvh3V-YwRq44_Q8IIOsBbqMscp_xNDj8AS5i7_lULNIgMxa-84aRrkDddBTqOVU9worU2MCcF2BICbERdQYu9mlPmmgNTa1E-OXw-08PTOuopeYfE0YBFsdkEveZsMhtbgus29rLDygsv4N_CEviaOXbJi1yfHNcSRfjwRe5F0WXDlT8nY-euRSW2ZDzZotZBJkTOqhQIKLrgUFfAxE71fcx4cvcJg
These are the winners of the NAFAS National Photography Competition
Please click the link below to view the results
These are the winning Images from the NAFAS National Photography Competition 2020
Please click the link below to view the winning Images


Congratulations to Mary Pearson Comber and Inspirations Club 
Receiving 3rd Prize Class 5 "Something Beginning with A"
NAFAS National Photography Competition

For latest Photos & Videos from NIGFAS & NAFAS