There’s no better way to say it than with flowers. Which is exactly why the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) used beautiful little bunches to spread some love on National Flower Arranging Day, last Friday.
In celebration of their Emerald Anniversary, the charity distributed over 60,000 bouquets across the UK embracing ‘The Lonely Bouquet’ concept on a scale never seen before.
Over 100 bouquets were distributed in Northern Ireland and the lucky person who claimed Lisburn’s ‘lonely bouquet’ was the Mayor, Councillor Margaret Tolerton.
NAFAS members distributed mystery bunches of blooms across far and wide. Flowers were placed everywhere, from park benches and shop doorsteps, to well-known landmarks and surprise locations.
Locally, flowers were placed at Lagan Valley Island and Lisburn Health Centre, as well as Belfast City Hall, Stormont Castle, Giants Causeway, Titanic Centre and many more.
The random act of kindness initiative dubbed the ‘Lonely Bouquet’ was the brainchild of a young florist in Belgium named Emily Avenso.
This year NAFAS took the concept one step further with the help of its members.
Lisburn woman Joan Lockhart, Chairman of NIGFAS (Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arranging Societies) the 21st area of NAFAS, commented, “The concept is simple. We asked all our members to make a bouquet, attach a tag asking, ‘Take me home and adopt me’, and leave the Lonely Bouquet in a spot where a lucky stranger will find it and give it a new home.
“With over 60,000 members we hope we were able to communicate our love of flowers on a national level by becoming part of this great, heart-warming movement.”
Nicki Chapman, NAFAS Honorary Patron, added:
“The ‘Lonely Bouquet’ is a lovely idea which is fast gathering momentum around the globe.
“It’s a simple idea really with no ulterior motive other than to brighten somebody’s day and to spread the joy of flowers and floral design.”
NAFAS also hopes that by promoting the ‘Lonely Bouquet’ concept, it can in turn promote the flower industry itself and attract new members to join NAFAS clubs.
Nicki Chapman added; “With Kirstie Allsopp flying the flag for homemade crafts, Mary Berry teaching us how to bake and customised clothing becoming all the rage thanks to Claudia Winkleman’s Sewing Bee, now is the time to bring another great British tradition into the spotlight.
“Floral design is a true art form and we hope that this huge initiative can help spread our passion across the UK.”
The bouquet’s new owners are encouraged to post a message back to NAFAS, to let them know it found a good home at www.nafas.org.uk or on Facebook or Twitter.