Seen as the pinnacle of achievement in the industry, this year the title is particularly highly valued as Interflora marks its 90th anniversary with a calendar of special events and celebrations.
Neil, who works at The Design Element in Irlam, faced tough opposition from seven other professional florists but demonstrated a level of talent and creativity that delighted judges on the day. It is the third time Neil has won the prestigious title and he will now go on to represent the UK at the Interflora World Cup.
Each competitors was required to design four pieces for the competition. The first piece, a Floral Handbag, was pre-made and brought to the show – the ultimate designer accessory for the Interflora 90th Anniversary Gala Ball. Then, under the pressure of timed conditions, and in front of a live audience of show visitors, Neil created 3 key pieces.
A free standing Floral Screen to express floristry from the past 90 years, a Floral Cake to wow guests at Interflora’s 90th Anniversary Gala Ball, and then a surprise item, revealed only on the day, a spectacular centrepiece to grace the tables at the celebratory ball. Neil secured first place position for three out of the four items.
Commenting on his win Neil said: “This is truly amazing. The competition has been incredibly hard, researching new designs and innovative techniques, but retaining the title has given me the confidence of knowing that I am still on top of my game, that I can still compete at this level.”
“You have to have the conviction to go with your ideas and your approach, but it has been very tough this year – I thought that the other finalists produced some exceptional work.”
The Florist of the Year competition, running for over 50 years, is seen as the premier league arena for Interflora florists working in the UK and Ireland.
The coveted title has been clinched in the past by internationally acclaimed florists including, David Ragg and David Denyer (who between them have won multiple awards including Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show).
Helen Quinn, Commercial Director at Interflora presented the awards to the finalists: “Florist of the Year provides us with an amazing opportunity to showcase some of the most talented individuals operating in the floristry industry today. It’s a much anticipated event for the Interflora brand and has been mesmerising for the visitors at Tatton Park today.”
“The title carries such weight, such confirmation, that the competition has been tense and fierce. Finalists are battling to win the highest recognition of their craft and Interflora is proud to provide that unique arena.”
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