What an incredible weekend of floristry at Tatton Park flower show. Both Saturday and Sunday saw some of the finest talent Interflora has to offer competing for the titles of Interflora Florist of the Year and Future Florist of the Year. With the Floral Design Marquee filled with visitors enjoying the competitions and regular demonstrations from Interflora florists Derek Armstrong and David Ragg the atmosphere was buzzing.
Saturday saw the finals of the prestigious Interflora Florist of the Year. Eleven top florists battled it out during the day working to the theme of ‘Garden Show Time’ a schedule inspired by the Victorian landscaped gardens that surround Tatton Hall. They had four items to design, a foyer design with a Japanese theme, a hat for a garden party, a woodland table centre and a bridal bouquet.
After a tense few hours of competing and judging the announcement that we were all waiting for came – and Neil Whittaker from the Design Element in Irlam, Manchester, was announced as the winner. Neil is an inspired designer, well known on the competition scene and he had produced some breath taking work with incredible attention to detail, right down to rolling and stitching individual rose petals together to create his beautiful bridal bouquet.
Sunday was the turn of the competitors in the Future Florist of the Year, and was no less testing. Working to the same schedule, with the added tension of every move they made being watched by fascinated members of the public, they too produced some stunning floristry. In fact, the visitors to the marquee were treated to not only a close up view of the excitement and tension of a major competition but also thoroughly entertained by the demonstrations with witty and informative commentary from Master of Ceremonies Dennis van Wonderen, Interflora florist and Events Organiser of the British Florist Association.
At 4pm the winner of the Future Florist of the Year was announced and congratulations to Karen Sherwin from George Preston High Class Florist in Newry, Northern Ireland, for taking the title. Her free expression piece for the Japanese Society Dinner, which dominated her competition booth, was a stunning red pergola, decorated with densely packed groups of flowers beneath an extravagant spray of orchids and stately eremurus.
And if winning wasn’t enough, this was Karen’s first competition – what a fantastic start! Having worked as a catering manager in Birmingham, Karen moved back to Ireland only three years ago to follow a career in floristry in the family business. A wise decision.
The whole weekend was one of incredibly hard work – from the competitors, demonstrators and those behind the scenes, but also one of great achievements and it was plain to see that visitors to the Tatton Park flower show enjoyed every minute of it.
We’ve also put together two fantastic videos detailing the Florist of the Year and Florist of the Future competitions. You can watch them below –
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