Welcome to the British Florist Association

Welcome to the British Florist Association online. The only trade association in the floristry industry representing florist retailers, florists, freelance florists, students and wholesalers.

News & Happenings

Read all about what's been going on within the association and our involvement across the industry sector.


CLICK HERE > to visit the noticeboard


Membership to the BFA shows your customers that you are committed to your profession and that your business abides by the industry approved BFA Code of Practise.

CLICK HERE > to join the BFA

Institute of Professional Florists

The Institute of Professional Florists, upholding the professional status of florists in the UK by maintaining consistent high standards within the floristry industry through training and qualifications

CLICK HERE > for more information

Floristry Industry 2020 Vision

The Floristry Industry 2020 Vision – 19th April 2015. Through debate and discussion we will delve into the toughest of our industry's issues with speakers aiming to bare all

Click here > to read more

FleurEx 2015

The BFA's Annual Show for all things floral. Live demonstrations, workshops, competitions, seminars and trade stands. A great weekend out for the Professional Florist and those who love flowers

CLICK HERE > for more information

Shows & Events

Throughout the year the BFA organises and participates in a number of events. Both consumer facing events such as RHS Flower Shows and industry based events like BFA FleurEx.

CLICK HERE > for more on our events


Each year the BFA organises a number of floristry competitions for florists who are keen to showcase their professional skills. They are held across the UK at RHS Flower Shows & BFA Regional Meetings.

CLICK HERE > for more information

Florist Vacancies

BFA Members looking for staff are able to advertise their vacancies for FREE in this new feature. Individual BFA members that offer themselves for temporary work are able to post their CV.

CLICK HERE > to see current vacancies

Corporate Weblinks

The following businesses and organisations are either corporate members of the BFA, and/or member benefit partners providing complimentary or discounted goods and services to our members.  Click here >

International Womens Day 2015

International Women's Day 2015 

All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.

‪#‎MakeItHappen‬ the 2015 theme for this year, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. On the website www.internationalwomensday.com you will find lots of useful information to create your own in store campaign.

Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. On this day thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media world wide celebrate the day. Many of them also adopt a relevant theme or campaign to mark the day that raise awareness and encourage onations for good causes. The UN has been declaring an annual equality theme for many years. Over the past few years we've heard from members reporting they have seen a significant increase in trade on this day. The day is an important date on the annual calendar in many Eastern European countries. The celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political, and social achievements.

In some countries the day has lost its political flavour and has become simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. Depending on the area in which you are based you could find yourself busier than normal with many men buying flowers for their wife, girlfriend, partner or female admirer. With the day being one week before Mothering Sunday expect flower prices to be affected due to the demand on flowers from the Dutch auctions to the Eastern block.

Chelsea Florist of the Year Update

** Chelsea Florist of the Year UPDATE **

Due to unforeseen circumstances the BFA regretfully announces the pending Bristol Heat will not be held. Remaining heats for those who wish to enter can be found on the ticketsource events page by CLICKING HERE

WorldSkills UK Registrations now OPEN

Do you have... 
what it takes?


 WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions are open for entry from today 9 February to 20 March 2015.

You could be crowned the UK Champion The Skills Show 2015.
Competitors that excel could also have the opportunity to be selected for Squad UK for WorldSkills

in Abu Dhabi 2017.   

CLICK HERE to register for the competition

Thank You from No.10

The postman delivered a rather special letter following the launch of the Institute of Professional Florists last month at the House of Commons. Here it is for you all to see, a very proud moment for the Association and the entire industry that we represent.

FlowerVision London Market Day

This Sunday 25th of January is Market Day at FlowerVision London. Join in the fun from 10:30am onwards, watch the entries in the Regional Qualifying Heat of the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition, see the wares on display from all the different suppliers and make use of the many special offers on the day. All are welcome to this FREE event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Institute of Professional Florists Launch Day

Thursday the 15th of January saw the Institute of Professional Florists (IoPF) launched officially at the houses of Commons. Dignatories from all sectors of the industry were invited to attend the event hosted by Graham Brady MP and sponsored by Opiflor. During the launch the IoPF awarded Honorary Membership to leading florists Simon Lycett, David Ragg and Neil Whittaker for their life time contribution to the industry. Flowers for the event were provided by eFlorist and created by one of their members Dennis van Wonderen. Following the event the flowers were donated to Parliament as a gift from the IoPF and delivered by BFA Chair Brian Wills Pope MBE, BFA Vice Chair Sandie Griffith, BFA Secretary Carl Hodgkinson, IoPF member Dee Watkins Chichester College and Dennis van Wonderen BFA Events Director to number 10 Downing Street where they have taken centre stage in the lobby.

FleurEx 2015 - Master Class Tutors

The FleurEx organisers are delighted to announce first of the tutors for the 2015 Master Class sessions: Lana Bates

Lana started to work with flowers later in her life, being captured by the power of nature, offering to express an inner vision through the emotional language of flowers. 

Devoting herself to both commercial and artistic projects Lana has a successful business in Leeds, UK, as well as extensively travelling the world, with a relentless curiosity to absorb new impressions, focusing on floral projects and new challenges. 

Expanding her artistic vision to the photography field Lana works on bringing together these two powerful tools of self-expression, creating floral designs as a physical projection of her inner world and vision.

Learn all about the Botanical philosophy of Master Florist Lana Bates at FleurEx 2015 as she offers an insight into her exciting world of Floral Art where she presents her own vision of the fragile but ever captivating living beauty of plants and flowers.

A Very Happy Christmas from the BFA


The last date for receipt of book orders where delivery is required before Christmas will be Wednesday 10th December. You'll still be able to order after that time, but delivery will then be during the week commencing 12th January.


All membership applications and renewals received in December will be processed in the first week of January and you will receive your membership pack on or around 16th January.


The BFA office will close at 5 pm on Friday 19th December and re-open at 9 am on Monday 5th January.

Skills Show 2014 - The Result

The Skills Show 2014 winners are;

Lisa Wilkinson
Trudie Easton

Caroline Miller
Andrew Smith

Gold advanced
Anna Eite
Gold Higher
Vicky Rymell

Congratulations to all our competitors for taking part in this years competition and a big well done to all the winners

FleurEx 2014 - Competition Winners

Many Congratulations to all the FLEUREX 2014 COMPETITION WINNERS. The photo's of all the entries have been uploaded on the FleurEx Facebook Page

Here are the winners in each class 

Class A-  Society Floristry Training Fund Cup

1st place   ALISON PENNO – Flower Scene
2nd place HELENA PIKE – Daisy Chain
3rd place  KATY COLEMAN – Lee Berrill Florist

Class B – Chrysal Cup sponsored by Chrysal

1st place    SARAH MOTLEY – Sarah Harper Flowers
2nd place  CHARLOTTE Le MARQUAND – Flower Scene
3rd place   ANNIE WEST

Class C – Opiflor Cup sponsored by Opiflor

1st place  TINA POUND - Telford Florist
2nd place  CLAIRE HAMMOND - Moreton Morrell College
3rd place  ZOE PODMORE – Lily Hopper Floral Design

Class D – Floral Tours Cup sponsored by Floral Tours

1st place KARLA HALE – Daisy Chain
2nd place TINA POUND – Telford Florist
3rd place JULIE CAMBRIDGE – Julie Cambridge Floral Design

Class E- Sylvia Bird Cup – Sponsored by Sylvia Bird

1st place CANDICE WICKHAM  - Moulton College
2nd place SARAH CLARIDGE  -  Moulton College
3rd place KIRSTY McGILLEY – Skipps Florist

Class F – The Lehner Wolle Cup sponsored by Lehner Wolle

1st place HELEN PANNITT – Helen James Flowers
2nd place JANE BENEFIELD – Moreton Morrell College
3rd place AMY MANLEY – The Tomlinson Flower Company

BFA Industry Awards 2014 - The Winners

Congratulations to the 2014 winners of the BFA Industry Awards

Flower Wholesaler of the Year    Southeast Flowers
Sundries Wholesaler of the Year    Southeast Flowers
Flying Dutchman of the Year    Dutch Quality Flowers (DQF)
Delivery Driver of the Year    Jamie Taylor - Forever Green Flowers
Employer of the Year        Ambers Florist
Floristry Tutor of the Year    Melanie Webb
Training Provider of the Year    Keits
Floristry Newcomer of the Year    Louisa Budd - The Village Florist Storrington

Gala & Student Awards Evening

The BFA would hereby like to invite all Level 4 and Level 5 students who have successfully completed their studies 
to have their awards conferred at the Gala Evening held at BFA FleurEx on Saturday 25th October 2014 at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

The BFA is pleased to invite all Level 4 and Level 5 students that studied for their qualifications from September 2013 till August 2014  or were registered from January 2013 and have their results this year. At the the Gala Evening the students will be formally presented their pass certificate by the BFA Chair Mr Brian Wills Pope MBE.

The BFA Chair will also present four cups to the candidates with the highest marks in both theory and practical at both Levels.

Level 5 is  not a graduate qualification. The awardee is able to apply for a Professional Recognition Award (formally called the Senior Awards) to become a Licentiate of the City and Guilds Institute if they make a written application and meet all the criteria laid down. 
For this a fee is payable to the City and Guilds Institute. Awardees already in posession of this licentiateship are eligable to wear a cap and gown for this occasion at the Gala Evening. Any candidate that does not go through this process cannot be called a licentiate.

All students are requested to bring their pass certificate with them in the form it was presented to them (i.e. framed or paper copy)

To book your seat at the event please CLICK HERE

BFA Industry Awards 2014 - The Nominations

We're deligthed to announce the nominations received for the 2014 BFA Industry Awards.

The below nominations have been shortlisted for the awards and appear in no particular order. The winner in each category will be announced at the Gala Dinner & Industry Awards held on Saturday 25th October at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth.

Has the company or person that you nominated appeared on the shortlist? Why not come along to the event and share the experience with them! Be there to see the action first hand and congratulate the winners on the night. 

Tickets for the Industry Awards are on sale now and can be purchased by CLICKING HERE

Why not make a weekend it, for more information about the Industry Awards and FleurEx CLICK HERE



Flower Wholesaler of the Year

    J. van Vliet - Northampton
    Tom Brown Wholesale
    Southeast Flowers
    FlowerVision Bristol

Sundries Wholesaler of the Year    

    Southeast Flowers
    Excelsior Wholesale
    Peter H Smith
    Florist Supplies UK
    GT Flowers

Flying Dutchman of the Year

    Dutch Quality Flowers (DQF)
    van Bohemen

Delivery Driver of the Year

    Valerie Sarsons - Grand Flowers
    Andrew O'Brien -  Helen James Flowers
    Charlotte Chinnery - Ambers Florist 
    Tony Burkett - South East Flowers
    Jamie Taylor - Forever Green Flowers

Employer of the Year

    Shellies Flowers
    Myerscough College    
    Forever Green Florists - Sara Leonardo
    Ambers Florist
    Wild for Flowers - Carol March

Floristry Tutor of the Year

    Caroline Miller
    Jane Benefield
    Kay Stone    
    Sam Cook
    Melanie Webb

Training Provider of the Year

    Academy of Floral Art
    Myerscough College
    Judith Blacklock Flower School
    Hadlow College

Floristry Newcomer of the Year  (less than 2 years experience)

    Roz Chandler - Field Gate Flowers
    Adele Brown - Tin Can Floral
    Louisa Budd - The Village Florist Storrington
    Charlotte Holding - Ambers Florist
    Rhona Brown - Blooms' Bishops Stortford

The 2014 BFA Industry Awards have been made possible with the generous sponsorship from Chrysal UK, eFlorist and Bridge Insurance Brokers


Terrific Tuesday (last FleurEx offer!)

Today is Terrific Tuesday and for the final time this month BFA members are able to receive 20% off the price of their FleurEx entry tickets if they book their tickets before midnight tonight (Tuesday 30.09.14)

This is THE LAST offer available to BFA members. After today we will not be running any further money saving promotions in the final run up to the show next month.

Enter promo code TT300914 when booking your tickets to receive the 20% discount.

CLICK HERE to buy your tickets today!

BBC 'Rip-Off Britain' on-line Florist storyline

The popular consumer programme 'Rip-Off Britain' features a number of on-line florists that are receiving large volumes of complaints. The programme contacted the BFA and interviewed PR Director Sarah Cunningham. Watch the episode in full on the BBC iPlayer by CLICKING HERE. 

Link available until the 15th October 2014 

To read what fellow florists are saying or add your own comments visit the BFA Facebook page by CLICKING HERE

It's Wonderful Wednesday!

Today Wednesday the 17th of September is WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!

BFA members can SAVE £10 off the ticket price to attend the Gala Dinner & Industry Awards.

Book your tickets between 09:00am and Midnight save £10 off the ticket price!*

Enter promocode WW170914 during the booking process to receive your discount.

* discount applies to BFA members only

visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/bfaevents to book your tickets 
or look at the fleurex pages in the top menu bar for more information about the event.

AGM 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the British Florist Association Limited will take place at 16:30 on Sunday 26th October 2014. The meeting will be held at the following venue:

Chesford Grange Hotel

Further information and documentation can be found in the Members Only section.

RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year - Heat 1

The first Regional Qualifying Heat for the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year Competition 2015 is almost upon us. 

Date:     Sunday 5th October 2014
Venue:   South East Flowers, Ashford - Kent
Time:    10:30AM till 15:00hrs. 

Fabulous Demonstrations by South East Flowers who will be showing you some wonderful autumn and Christmas displays and using some fantastic new products from Germany and Holland, all of which have all been sourced by Chris Wolfe and her team. Be inspired by the extensive choice of floral sundries and fantastic selection of fresh cut flowers at this outstanding wholesaler.






To register your entry into the competition please visit: www.britishfloristassociation.org/chelsea  


This year's schedule for the Regional Qualifying Heats is: 

Design and create a floral cake for an Asian themed wedding.
The cake does not have to be edible.
The whole design must not exceed 50cm in diameter. 
There are no height restrictions.
At least two thirds of the finished design must be fresh flower and/or plant material.
The fresh flower and/or plant material must be visually dominant
The judges are looking for a high standard in Design and Technique
The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into

Competition rules and regulations apply. Please check the website for more information. 

For more information on the venue visit www.southeastflowers.co.uk

Marvellous Monday

Today Monday 1st Spetember is MARVELLOUS MONDAY. Book a ticket for one of the Saturday afternoon Master Classes at BFA FleurEx and save £5.00 off the ticket price.* Enter MM010914 at the check out to claim your discount.

Offer valid for BFA Members only



To book your tickets CLICK HERE but hurry, the offer ends at midnight tonight!


Purchasing Discounts

The BFA are delighted to introduce REDUCEMYINVOICE.COM - a new service for members.

Reducemyinvoice.com aims to save businesses money on their stock, sundries and other business items that they buy every day. It does this by providing a single market where florists can order exact quantities, no matter how small. As other florists do likewise, orders are combined so that everyone receives a bulk discount, offering savings of at least 30%. 

Reducemyinvoice.com was born when one of its directors watched a florist receiving a delivery whilst struggling with the task of trying to stack what seemed like mountains of rolls of wrap, raffia and other sundries. All this whilst trying to keep enough elbowroom to work whilst getting the mornings orders out!  He commented that the florist was placing very large orders for such a small florist shop and the proprietor informed him that the only way they could get the price down was to buy so much at once.  Not only did it get in the way for weeks, but it had to be paid for many months before it was all used! From that experience, Reducemyinvoice.com was born.

Reducemyinvoice.com gives the buying power back to the small business, no longer forcing them to choose between buying excessive quantities each month and paying over the odds for their supplies.

All staff at Reducemyinvoice.com love helping local florists to source the supplies they need, and they take a keen interest in keeping on top of industry trends to better understand florist’s needs. Complete customer satisfaction is their mission. If they don’t have what you need straight away, let them know and their dedicated team will set to work sourcing your bespoke requirements.


  1. Customers recommend a product that they would like to purchase, for example, raffia.
  2. Reducemyinvoice.com will then list the product on its website and get in touch with other companies that use the same product.
  3. The more orders that are placed, the more the price is reduced for everyone. You pay a price which is based on the volume ordered by all customers, rather than just the size of your own order.
  4. Once the deal closes, the buyer pays and the goods are then shipped.

Reducemyinvoice.com is supporting the BFA as a corporate member and is keen to work with the association in order to benefit its members.

For further information, and to sign up free today, please visit: www.reducemyinvoice.com

BFA Financial Accounts Now Available

The BFA financial accounts for the year ended 31st January 2014 have now been uploaded to the Members Only section

Special offer on Fleurex admission

We have a special offer on Fleurex admission just for BFA members - and for one day only!

This Friday - 22nd August - BFA Members Only can book their Fleurex 2014 tickets between 9am and midnight and receive 30% off their total ticket price!

This year's event is being held at the Chesford Grange Hotel, near Warwick, on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th October and it promises to be the best yet! We've listened to feedback from exhibitors and delegates alike and we're sure that this new luxurious venue will be highly popular. The venue has easy access from the M1, M5, M6 and M40, and both Warwick and Leamington Spa railway stations provide convenient access by rail and taxi. Visit the BFA Fleurex page to see what's on offer: http://www.britishfloristassociation.org/BFA_FleurEx.aspx

Why not make a weekend of it? Historic Warwick - with its medieval castle - is on the doorstep whilst Royal Leamington Spa, it's beautiful Regency architecture and excellent shopping facilities, is close by. Or how about the birthplace of William Shakespeare? Stratford upon Avon is just twenty minutes away by car.

To buy your tickets, enter the Promotional Code FF220814 during the booking process to receive your discount - http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bfaevents

If you're not a member, why not join the BFA today? You can join quickly and easily online using your debit or credit card. Please visit our website: http://www.britishfloristassociation.org/shop/BFA_Membership.aspx

Flowers at Oxford 2014

The months of planning and organising have nearly reached the end for the organisers of Flowers at Oxford 2014 as this weekend over one million cut flowers will transform one of Oxford’s most beautiful colleges into a real floral feast for the eye. 

Many of Europe's leading florists and designers will be taking part in Flowers at Oxford as they transform the Lady Margaret Hall and the surrounding grounds with breathtaking displays and exhibits. 
In true Fleur Creatif style there will also be dozens of demonstrations and floristry workshops held at the event where you can learn a new skill or two.

Organiser Judith Blacklock says: "This is the biggest event of its kind in Britain. It’s going to be stunning!" One of the highlights at the event will be 'Senseless Acts of Beauty' an installation devised by John Warland and Indoor Garden Design. The exhibit features 7,000 gerberas which will be “reflected into infinity”, using a prism. 
Gregor Lersch and Per Benjamin, two of the global stars of flower design, will be among the experts delivering floristry demonstrations to the crowds. There will also be a chance to join them, and many other leading florists, in hands-on workshops.

The event has joined forces with charity Walking with the Wounded, and will include a “Ready, Steady, Arrange” competition between two injured servicemen. There will also be a flower sale in aid of the charity. Other highlights include the Wedding Marquee, in which up-and-coming British designers will create arrangements of British-grown flowers.

Flowers@Oxford runs from Friday 22nd August until Sunday 24th August, at Lady Margaret Hall, and entry costs £35 a day. To book tickets visit www.flowersatoxford.com

Professional Florists’ Manual Now Available to Pre-Order

The Professional Florists’ Manual brings together The Society of Floristry Handbook, Form Linear Design and Floristry Techniques Definitions booklet in one expanded and enhanced volume. Edited by Lynda Owen and published by the British Florist Association and The Society of Floristry Training Fund, The Professional Florists’ Manual is the essential reference book for up-to-date professional floristry terminology, designs and techniques. Detailing current florist industry practices, it is a single source for all learners.

With a finish size of 25cm x 21cm, matt laminated cover, 150gsm silk paper and lavishly illustrated throughout, this high quality publication runs to 224 pages.

The Professional Florists’ Manual is priced at £29.99 and will be launched at BFA Fleurex 2014. You can also pre-order now by visiting our website bookshop [click here] and your book will be dispatched during the week commencing 3rd November.


Congratulations To Our Finalists For The Skills Show


  • Caroline Miller – Hadlow College
  • Katie-Jane Pridmore
  • Lisa Wilkinson – Myerscough College
  • Vicky Rymell – Hubbards Florists, Coventry
  • Samantha Evans – Jemini Flowers, Oxford


  • Andrew Smith – CAFRE- Greenmount Campus
  • Ray-Anna Collins – Bishop Burton College
  • Ellouise Hasler-Stott  – Lindas Florist
  • Anna Eite – Reaseheath College
  • Trudie Easton – Hadlow College
  • Karen Foy – South Regional College, Lurgan Campus
  • Aneekah Hussain – Farnborough College

Following 7 heats around the country at : -

                South East Flowers co-hosted with Keits Training

Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester

                Farnborough College of Technology, Farnborough

                Hadlow College, Hadlow, Kent

                North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, Nuneaton

                Myerscough College, Bilbarrow, Lancs

                CAFRE, Belfast, Northern Ireland


With Grateful thanks to our Hosts and Sponsors

RHS Hampton Court Floristry College of the Year 2014

And the winner is: Hadlow College - with their exhibit entitled 'Cirque de Fleur'

This prestigious new competition is open to UK based floristry colleges and training providers and showcases the talent of their students within their institution. This years winners Hadlow College have scooped the title RHS Hampton Court Floristry College of the Year 2014 - and by winning they have also secured their place at The Chelsea Flower Show in 2015, where they will be competing against the winner of the RHS Tatton Park Floristry College of the Year competition which will be held later on this month in Knutsford Cheshire.
Just outside the Roses and Floristry marquee, visitors to this years show are able to 'Have a Go' at floristry and create a floral cupcake. BFA volunteers will be on hand to assist visitors with creating their design and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their help at this years event. This popular feature is normally found at the Tatton Park Flower Show, and due to it's popularity it is now making an entry at Hampton Court. Provided by the RHS, with the generous support of Oasis Floral Products, who produced all the cupcakes used in the feature, and FleuraMetz, who supplied the fabulous flowers, we really hope that visitors will enjoy the opportunity to experiment with flowers and have some fun creating their own masterpiece. 


British Flowers Week 2014

What is British Flowers Week?

A week‐long celebration of the wealth and variety of the Best of British cut flowers and foliage, championed by New Covent Garden Flower Market.

What's it all about?

British growers have been sending to London's famous Flower Market for centuries, and whilst cut flower production is now a global business, British flowers and foliage are enjoying a long-awaited resurgence in interest.

New Covent Garden Flower Market initiated the first ever British Flowers Week in June 2013, and its social media campaign reached over 200,000 people via Twitter, facebook and newcoventgardenmarket.com

What can you expect?


Specially invited florists from some of the most interesting flower businesses in the South East will be commissioned to create an exquisite series of inspirational designs using the Best of British summer flowers, foliage and plants from New Covent Garden Flower Market.

The 2014 designs, flowers and the creators will be revealed during British Flowers Week at newcoventgardenmarket.com



During British Flowers Week, florists from around the country are encouraged to send in photos of their stunning work with British flowers and foliage for the British Flowers Week Photographic Competition.

The best images will be posted to the British Flowers Gallery on the website (newcoventgardenmarket.com) throughout British Flowers Week, and the winning design will be announced on Friday 20 June.

Send them to info@cgma.co.uk or tweet them to @MarketFlowers



British Flowers Week will see the release of New Covent Garden Flower Market's first ever British Flowers Chart, an invaluable reference tool for florists.

The Chart will identify which varieties of British flowers are in season at what time of year - weather permitting.

Printed charts will be handed personally to trade visitors to the Flower Market during British Flowers Week or you will be able to download the chart from newcoventgardenmarket.com


To mark the launch of British Flowers Week 2014 we're going to be in the Market on Monday 16 June handing out the new British Flowers Chart (see above). These are big, wall chart versions, perfect for your shop or workspace!

There will also be some delicious British strawberries and cream on hand and you'll have the chance to win a bottle of British bubbly!

We'll be on the stand next to Coffee Break from 4am - 10am. Come and say hello!



Growers, wholesalers, florists and the Great British public are more passionate than ever about local and seasonal flowers.

British Flowers Week is a chance for everyone to show their support for locally grown and to celebrate the very best of British flowers and foliage.

Join and follow the conversation during British Flowers Week on Twitter at #BritishFlowersWeek

If you would like any more information about British Flowers Week please visit http://www.newcoventgardenmarket.com/britishflowersweek or email info@cgma.co.uk or call 020 7501 3495.

Chelsea Florist of the Year 2014 - The results

What a fabulous week we had at the Chelsea Flower Show last week. The competitors absolutely adored the schedule this year as they were asked to design and create a fantasy floral dress to be worn at a crystal themed ball. But it wasn't just the competitors that loved the schedule, the 168.000 visitors to the show this year were literally falling over themselves to see the dresses the competitors had made and take a pose in front of the exhibits.

In an unexpected turn, and a first in the competition's history all the competitors in the Florist of the Year category were awarded with a medal. The judges had a real job on their hands as the standard was the highest they'd experienced. In fact, so high that they were not able to award any bronze medals this year. 

The results for the senior category were:

Lisa Fowler, Eden Taunton Floral Design - Chelsea Florist of the Year 2014

Gold medals:
Amanda Randell, Academy of Floral Art - Gold Medal
Di Marvell, Petals Florist - Gold Medal
Jillian Page, Something Special Flowers - Gold Medal
Sara Barrow, Flowers With Passion - Gold Medal

Silver Gilt Medals:
Alison Penno, Flower Scene - Silver Gilt Medal
Helena Pike, Daisy Chain - Silver Gilt Medal

Silver Medals:
Ciara Quigley, The Flower Boutique - Silver Medal
Heather Rogers, Springbank Flowers - Silver Medal
Karen Massey, Fleurtatious - Silver Medal
Katy Coleman, Lee Berrill Florist - Silver Medal
Lucinda Knapman, Broadwater Flowers - Silver Medal
Peter Alan Bodnar, World of Mandaps - Silver Medal
Sara Lewis, The Bay Tree - Silver Medal
Sharon Dower, Neath Port Talbot College - Silver Medal
Vicky Rymell, Hubbards Florist - Silver Medal

In the Junior category the judges saw some inspiring pieces of work and the word fantasy had been interpreted in some wonderful ways. Daisy Ellen Burgoyne scooped the prestigious title this year in her third year at the show. Her Chelsea experience started in 2012 when she was awarded a silver medal. Last year she got a Bronze but not to be defeated she returned this year to claim the winning title. "This is beyond my wildest dreams" Daisy commented when Nicki Chapman asked her how she felt in the BBC coverage of the competition. 

The results for the junior category were:

Daisy Ellen Burgoyne, Flowers at Frosts, Sandy - RHE Young Chelsea Florist of the Year 2014

Gold Medals:

Charlotte Baker, Hubbards Florist, Coventry - Gold medal winner

Charlotte Murrant, Taunton Floral Design, Taunton - Gold medal winner

SIlver Gilt Medal:

Hannah Lee, Scentiments, Tetbury - Silver Gilt medal winner

Silver Medals:
Tammi Hargreaves, Hugh Baird College, Liverpool - Silver medal winner
Kirsty Berridge, Minnie Bee's Floral Design, Cloughton - Silver medal winner

Bronze Medals:
Emma Sinnamon, CAFRE Greenmount Campus, Ireland - Bronze medal winner
Sarah Motley, Daisies Flower Shop, Oxford - Bronze medal winner
April Bennett, Castle Flowers, Banbury - Bronze medal winner
Zoe Rowlinson, The Garden, Oxford - Bronze medal winner
Charlotte Le Marquand, Flowers Scene, Launceston - Bronze medal winner
Laura Marie Birch, Penn Hill Flowers, Poole - Bronze medal winner

Remaining entrants:
Amy Bennett, Bicton College
Hannah Marie Cheeseman, Berkshire College of Agriculture
Katie Jane Pridmore, The Flower Cabin
Shannon Ormandy, CAFRE Greenmount Campus

For more images of the dresses visit our Facebook page by clicking the icon on the left



With thanks to The Florist & Wholesale Buyer for allowing us to use their images of the winners

Flowers@Oxford 2014

Many of the greatest designers in the world will be converging in Oxford in August 2014. The event is Flowers@Oxford, masterminded by Lieven Hemschoote from Fleur Creatif - who has produced many major floral events in Belgium such as Fleuramour at Alden Biesen - and Judith Blacklock, editor of The Flower Arranger and principal of an international school of flowers in Knightsbridge, London that is recognized worldwide.
Flowers@Oxford, www.flowersatoxford.com is an event that will create floral history in the UK. Building on the success of Flowers@Chicheley that was held in 2011, Flowers@Oxford is hosting demonstrations, workshops, a new trends theatre, a specialist wedding marquee with British florists using British grown flowers, workshops, trade stands - and much more - in the idyllic setting of an Oxford college located close to the banks of the River Cherwell. Naturally punts are to be decorated!

Gregor Lersch,  Johann Obendraus, Robert Koene, Carles Fontanillas, Lana Bates, Laura Leong, Per Benjamin, Stijn Simaeys, Tom De Houwer, Jan Deridder, Joe Massie, Angelica Lacarbonara and Rudy Casati are just some of the A List personalities that will be taking part in this unmissable event - be sure to book your ticket.

For more information at the event at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford www.flowersatoxford.com

Assist at Flowers Oxford 2014

An exciting opportunity to assist world renowned floral designers at the most prestigious floral event of 2014. Applications are invited from florists with C&G Level 3 qualification or above to take place at Flowers@Oxford from 22nd to 24th August 2014. Further details and an application form can be obtained by sending an email to: secretary@sof-trainingfund.co.uk. Closing date for entries is 31st May 2014. Please click here for further details

Extraordinary General Meeting

An Extraordinary General Meeting of The British Florist Association will be held on Sunday 13th April at 10am at the Marriott Hotel, Smith Way, Grove Park, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 1SW. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and vote on the proposed addition of an AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP category.

By Order of the Board, Carl Hodgkinson, 4th March 2014.

BFA Local - Central Region

Join us and your fellow florists of the region for the last of the BFA Local meetings on the UK mainland. This popular meeting always draws a great crowd and with over 30 pre registered competition entries it cetainly is a meeting not to be missed. Laura Leong is your Regional Host for this meeting and she will be looking forward to meeting you all on Sunday. Remember, entry to the meeting is FREE so you'd be mad to miss it! See you there?!?!

WorldSkillsUK Competitions now Open!

National Competitions - Register to enter

Apprentices and learners can register to enter WorldSkills UK Competitions from today until 21 March, 2014.  

These Competitions inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level.

Watch the WorldSkills UK industry sector films and see how entering these Competitions can catapult a person’s career.

Competitors who are successful in the regional heats and reach the finals of the WorldSkills UK National Competitions will battle it out to be ‘named the best in the UK’ in their chosen skill in front of over 80,000 visitors at The Skills Show, which takes place from the 13 – 15 November at the NEC Birmingham.

Don't delay, enter WorldSkills UK Competitions today!

FleurEx 2014 Tickets now on sale!

Tickets for FleurEx 2014 have gone on sale. Visitors are able to book Entry tickets, Master Class tickets and Gala Dinner & Awards tickets via our website. BFA / IoPF members are able to scoop FREE entry to the show (worth £15.00) when booking one of the Early Bird Offers. This offer will only be available until the end of April so don't wait around too long to book yours.

We have a great line up at the show this year with fabulous demonstrations, workshops and seminars. For more information please visit the FleurEx page on our website or visit www.fleurex.co.uk 

There is also a dedicated Fleurex Facebook page  www.facebook.com/fleurex which you can 'Like' to be kept up to date with all the latest news as it becomes available.

BFA Local joins FlowerVision Open Day

 This Sunday 2nd February the LondonRegional Qualifying Heat for the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year will take place at FlowerVision London in Stanwell. Join us and the FlowerVision Team for a great day out. There will be live floristry demonstrations as well as the competition, suppliers and great discounts on the day. The event starts at 10AM and runs until 3PM and is FREE for members & guests. More info below

Mothers Day Chrysanthemum Workshop

World Skills UK Partner of the Year

The BFA are thrilled to be one of three organisations to be nominated as World Skills UK Partner of the Year. Lead director, Sandie Griffith, has worked tirelessly to promote floristry skills within the UK, and so we're especially delighted to receive this recognition. Please visit https://worldskillsuk.apprenticeships.org.uk/ for more information. The World Skills UK partner of the Year will be announced on 12th February.

BFA Local Meeting - Cornwall



Join the Floristry Revolution


BFA Local comes to Bristol

Join us this weekend as BFA Local visits the South West Region. We'll be at Country Baskets in Bristol to stage the Regional Qualifying Heat for the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition. A great day out for the florist (and their friends) with FREE entry so you'd be mad to miss it!

BFA Helpline Christmas Closure

The BFA Helpline will be available until 5pm, Thursday 19th December. The BFA office will close for Christmas at 5pm on Friday 20th December and re-open at 9am, Thursday 2nd January.

Christmas Holiday Period

Due to the Christmas holiday period, the BFA bookshop will close on Friday 13th December and re-open on Thursday 2nd January 2014. We wish all of our members, customers and website visitors a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

New RHS Competition for 2014

 The Royal Horticultural Society has announced an exciting new competition designed especially for Colleges and Training Providers. Take a look at the image below and if you're a student or tutor at a College or being trained or working for a Traning Provider sign up before the 15th of January 2015 to be a part of this exciting new competition to find the best in the country!

The Skills Show - The 2013 Winners

The WorldSkills UK Competition winners were honoured at The Skills Show grand finale on Saturday night. The closing ceremony hosted by Will Best delivered the long awaited results for the competitors. Congratulations to our floristry winners who are:

Gold medal advanced
Heather Hume - CAFRE College

Gold medal intermediate
Zoe Rowlinson - Moreton Morrell Campus / Warwickshire College

Silver medal advanced
April Bennett - Castle Flowers

Silver medal intermediate
Bethany Gunn - North Warwickshire College

Bronze medal advanced
Samantha Evans - Jemini Oxford

Bronze medal intermediate
Louisa Cooper - South Staffordshire College

WorldSkills UK Competitions inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level and are the highlight of The Skills Show.  During The Skills Show, over 700 of the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners battled it out in 70 Competitions ranging from Forensic Science to Floristry to be named the ‘best in the UK’ in their chosen skill.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:  “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Skills are vital to the future of our country and it’s great to see so many talented young people taking part and demonstrating their expertise. I hope today’s winners will inspire others to begin learning a new skill which could lead to a new career and then to become the stars of tomorrow.”
Visitors to the Skills Show were able to watch the competitors in action in the WorldSkills UK Competitions, try their hand at different skills and meet with National Careers Service advisors to receive the latest information on Apprenticeships and other training opportunities.
Entering the WorldSkills UK competitions is proven to catapult a person’s career.  Taking part enables competitors to build on their skills, test their knowledge against their peers in industry and showcase their potential to employers.

Keith Smith, Director, The Skills Funding Agency and UK Official Delegate to WorldSkills International said:  “I offer my congratulations to the winners of WorldSkills UK.  It takes hard work, determination and a high level of skill to compete against the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners.
“By holding the WorldSkills UK National Competition Finals at The Skills Show we can showcase and celebrate the high levels of talent entering the UK’s workforce.”

Competitors from this year’s cycle of WorldSkills UK Competitions may be eligible to compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015.  The WorldSkills Competition takes place every two years in cities around the globe and is the largest international skills competition.

To register your interest for the next cycle of WorldSkills UK Competitions please visit www.worldskillsuk.org


The Skills Show 2013

What a wonderful week we've had at the NEC in Birmingham for this years Skills Show. BFA is the Official Competition Partner delivering the floristry competition for WorldSkills UK and we're very proud to be given a stage in this gigantic showcase event. The Skills Show inspires and transforms young people's lives through a series of interactive events held across the UK, changing the way we think about skills, training and apprenticeships. Our National Show is the UK's largest skills and careers event that delivers visitors an opportunity to taste, see, feel and experience what it is like being a skilled professional. You can Have a Go at building, bricklaying, repairing an airline engine, bodywork repairs, plumbing, more than we can mention and not forgetting of course Floristry. Over the last three days the show has seen more than 110.000 visitors through the doors - a staggering 40.000

more visitors than last year. This is a great indication that the entire education system is getting behind this great event. Our 99 floristry competitors competed at 6 Regional Heats that were held in the run up to this event which delivered our 12 finalists for this years show. All came with their toolbox packed with goodies, prepared for an intense three days of competing. They have not just learned from this experience but also made friends for life in the process. Later this evening the official closing ceremony will take place during which we will find out this years winners. The full details will be revealed early next week and will appear in the next issue of the BFA Florist Magazine. The competition wouldn't be what it is without the tireless support of Sandie Griffith - BFA Training & Education Director. Sandie is single handedly responsible for delivering every single aspect of the competition. The Regional Heats, liaising with BFA college member venues, The competitors and answering their many many questions as well as orchestrating the final of all finals here at the Skills Show. Sandie, our warmest thanks for all you do. Assisting Sandie are her team of dedicated helpers and BFA volunteers without whom we wouldn't be able to do what we do so well. A BIG Thank You to you all for all your concentrated efforts.

For the full picture collection of the Floristry Competition please visit the BFA Facebook Page or you can visit The Skills Show website for more information on this years show and how you can be apart of the event in future years.

Inspiration for Christmas Demonstration

Join Tina Parkes on Tuesday the 3rd of December for a fabulous demonstration to inspire and prepare for the Christmas peak period.

Full details are on the flyer below. Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/bfaevents

BFA Local - Leeds 24th November


Calling all florists in the North!

BFA Local is coming to Leeds on Sunday 24th November. Come along and see not just 1 but 2 inspirational Christmas themed demonstrations by Melanie Garbutt - RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year 2010. Get your competition piece into the Regional Heat for Leeds and secure your place in the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year final in 2014. It's a great day out for the professional florist. Book your competition entries now  The meeting is free to attend for all, so why not join us and bring a friend?! We'll look forward to seeing you at Country Baskets, Ardsley Mills, Common Lane, East Ardsley, WF3 2DW


FleurEx Competition Winners 2013

The Chrysal Competition

1st place – Charlotte Murrant of Eden- Taunton floral Design, Taunton
2nd place – Lisa Fowler of Eden- Taunton floral Design, Taunton
3rd place -  Charlotte Le Marquand of Flowerscene, Launceston

The Sylvia Bird Competition

1st place – Natalie Duke, Bishop Burton College, Bishop Burton.
2nd place -  Fern Bloom, Bishop Burton College, Bishop Burton.
3rd place – Mandy Pearson, Bishop Burton College, Bishop Burton.

The Opiflor Competition

1st place – Samantha Evans , Jemini, Oxford
2nd place – Claire Hammond, The Tomlinson Flower Company, Coventry
3rd place – Tina Pound, Four Seasons, Wellington.

The Floral Tours Competition

1st place – Amy Manley, The Tomlinson Flower Company, Coventry.
2nd place - Charlotte Murrant of Eden- Taunton Floral Design, Taunton
3rd place – Caroline Crabb, Fleuratations, Bodmin

The UK School of Floristry Competition

1st place – Maddy Ralls, Eden- Taunton Floral Design, Taunton
2nd place – Netta Tucker, Moreton Morrell College, Warwickshire
3rd place – Caroline Crabb, Fleuratations, Bodmin

The Society Training fund competition

1st place – Helena Pike, Daisy Chain, Kingswinford
2nd place – Alison Penn, Flower Scene, Launceston
3rd place - Caroline Crabb, Fleuratations, Bodmin

Thank You from the FleurEx Team

 What a fantastic weekend we've just had! 

Some great competitions, demonstrations, exhibitors, workshops and tutorials. All at the 5th BFA FleurEx at the Bethel Convention Centre in West Bromwich. It certainly was an inspirational weekend for all who attended.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all who came along to BFA FleurEx 2013 yesterday. We really appreciate your support for our event and sincerely hope you enjoyed your time with us. It was great to see so many like minded individuals coming together, showing how committed they are to their profession and our industry. 

So that we can analyse how well we did we would really appreciate your feedback.We have created a short survey which will take just a couple of minutes to complete. Please share your experience with us whether it was good, bad or indifferent by CLICKING HERE

Your voice does count and we will use the feedback when planning starts on next year's event.Once again, a BIG thank you on behalf of the Chairman and Board of Directors at the British Florist Association.

Savings on NI Contributions by new Parliament Bill

EMPLOYMENT ALLOWANCE - Reduce your NI Contributions by £2,000

Today we have received the following letter from David Gauke MP at HM Treasury, London. It reads as follows:

Dear Sirs,
I am writing regarding a new Government policy announced by the  Chancellor at Budget 2013, which will be introduced to the House of Commons today.  The National Insurance Contributions Bill will receive its first reading in the House and within this Bill is the legislation for the Employment Allowance.
Available to every business and charity in the UK, the Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off their employer National Insurance Contributions bill. From April 2014, up to 1.25 million businesses will benefit, with 98 percent of the benefit going to small and medium sized businesses with fewer than 250 employees.
The Government believes that small businesses are the  lifeblood of our economy and we want to do what we can to support them. The Employment Allowance will reduce the cost of taking  on new staff, supporting small businesses than have an ambition to grow by  hiring their first employee or expanding their workforce. The Employment Allowance will wipe out the NICs bill of 450,000 small employers; as a result of this policy one third of employers will pay no employer NICs at all. Every business will be able to employ someone on a salary of £22,400 without paying any employer NICs on that person. Alternatively, they could employ four adults on the national minimum wage without paying any employer NICs.
Simple to administer, all businesses and charities will have to do is notify HM Revenue & Customs that they are eligible for the allowance through their regular payroll processes. HMRC will then deduct up to £2,000 from their employer NICs liability over the course of the year.  This will be delivered through regular payroll software and Real-Time Information.
In order to help businesses understand what this might look like, we have developed an online tool which illustrates the effect of the allowance on their NICs bill. This can be accessed at www.employmentallowance.com.
We have listened to lobby groups and small businesses' concerns about the tax on jobs. The Employment Allowance is open to all businesses in the UK regardless of age, size  or location and we are making it simple for businesses and HMRC to operate.
Demonstrating the Government's commitment to helping small businesses and job creation, the allowance is a bold step towards the UK becoming the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.
I hope you will share this letter with your members to ensure that they are aware of the Employment Allowance and the benefit it could bring to them.
Yours faithfully,
David Gauke MP


Save your High Street - Help Needed!!

 We received the following e-mail from one of our members: 

Dear BFA & fellow florists,
 I know we like to talk about Flowers, but there are business matters which are important as well. On July 12th, I went to talk to David Cameron, as he is our local MP as well as the Prime Minsiter. We wanted to talk to him about rents, rates and VAT. We have also been in contact with Bill Grimsey, ex CEO of Iceland, who has started the website www.vanishinghighstreet.com. Bill has started a petition 'Reform of Business Rates'. What we now need is 100,000 signatures for action to be taken. PLEASE NOTE: The closing date 01/01/2014. Wouldn't it be great if all the florists in the UK got behind this campaign?! Click on the below link to be directed to the websiste. Once on the page follow the links to sign the petition. Please Sign it in support of small businesses. AND get your friends & family to sign as well. 
Kind regards,
Rosa Ashby 
Rosa Flowers Witney

to Wire or not to Wire

Wiring - A skill of the past or a modern design driver?

We are looking for your help, we would love to see your techniques for wiring, maybe a clever short cut passed down through your shop or your own development or something that was taught to you which has stuck.
Please send either a photo/s or sketch/ and explain how to use your technique to Tina at tinamparkes@aol.com
Many thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and skills.
We will share the best ones on the BFA Facebook page

BFA FleurEx Master Classes

Want to learn from the best? Join us at FleurEx for a couple of fantastic Master Classes!

Back by popular demand we have Melanie Garbutt who will be inspiring you with ‘ Creative Hairpieces’ and showing some wonderful wiring techniques and handy tips to get the perfect design.
Melanie is joined by the Interflora 'Young Florist of the Year' Rebecca Hough. This talented up and coming florist will be sharing her secrets of wired Bridal bouquets with you. 
The BFA Master Classes are charged at £30.00 + VAT & Booking Fee for BFA members
Non members pay £40.00 + Booking Fee & VAT
The cost includes all your flowers and sundries. You can choose for a morning or afternoon session. To register simply select the ticket of your choice when booking your entry tickets for FleurEx.

BFA 'local' - The Heats are On!

BFA 'local' is Your meeting in Your Region on Your Doorstep. Come and join us for demonstrations, competitions and shop with discounts.
The next series of BFA local events has just kicked off and we had a great start in Glasgow with a fabulous turn out from all our Scottish members that had travelled the length and breadth of the country. BFA 'local' events operate on a simple formula: Florists meet after work for a natter and network together to catch up on the latest happenings in the industry. Watch a floristry demonstration for some informative and profitable design tips over a light buffet style meal. The current series of meetings runs from September till March next year and are packed with activities suitable for florists of all levels, students, florists, tutors and business owners.  
Some meetings will be an evening event whilst most of the events are held on a Sunday. We will be bringing a mini trade fair to your region where anything floral is at the forefront of the agenda. Live floristry demonstrations by a leading designer, sound business advice from the BFA Skills Academy team, and floristry competitions such as the ‘RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year’ where the finest talent from each region in the UK battle it out for a place at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. There are also opportunities for you to meet our corporate and patron members to find out about the money saving affinity schemes, especially designed for you to help you succeed in business in these challenging times.
The BFA is very grateful for the continued sponsorship from Country Baskets who provide their warehouses to hold the events and Chrysal UK who provide the demonstrators at the meetings. Because of this generous sponsorship we are able to welcome all attendees to the BFA 'local' events totally FREE of charge, so you'd be mad to miss out!
The dates for this series of BFA locals are:
Sun 24 Nov 2013     10.45AM - 15:00hrs BFA Chelsea Heat - North         Country Baskets, Leeds
Sun 19 Jan 2014      10.45AM - 15:00hrs BFA Chelsea Heat - South West Country Baskets, Bristol
Sun 26 Jan 2014      10.45AM - 15:00hrs BFA Chelsea Heat - South         Van Flora, Portsmouth
Sun  2 Feb 2014       10.45AM - 15:00hrs      BFA Chelsea Heat - London            FlowerVision London, Stanwell Moor Middlesex
Sun 23 Feb 2014      10.45AM - 15:00hrs BFA Chelsea Heat - Central         Country Baskets, Birmingham
Sun 2 Mar 2014        10.45AM - 15:00hrs BFA Chelsea Heat - Ireland         Greenmount Campus, Antrim, Nrth. Ireland
To enter a competition piece in the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition you will need to register prior to attending the meeting. You can register your competition entry by CLICKING HERE and select the meeting of your choice.

BFA Industry Awards - Who is your winner?

Have you cast your vote yet?

We're delighted with the nominations received for this years BFA Industry Awards and will be announcing the short list of candidates for each category at the end of this month. Don't miss out voting for your winner, you've got until the 30th September. Simply CLICK HERE to register your nomination.


RHS to Reshape for Future Growth

Gardening Charity announces changes to its Leadership Team 
The RHS is making changes to its structure to further modernise and improve the organisation as it takes another step closer to realising its vision to be one Society that is open, easy to understand, and welcome to all.
The changes to the Leadership Team, effective 01 January 2014, will ensure customers receive a consistent level of world class horticulture, excellent service delivery and inspiring product innovation wherever they are in the world of the RHS. It will also mean the Society is in the best shape to deliver its long term programme of ten major projects that will see it invest more than £27 million in the future of horticulture*.
The most significant element of the RHS restructure will be the amalgamation of the three divisions of Gardens, Shows and Retail  into one unified division that will work together to improve synergies and consistency for RHS customers, and increase the delivery of new innovations in products and services. 
RHS Director General Sue Biggs said: “These changes will put us in a great position to deliver one of the most exciting phases of growth in the charity’s history.  The newly structured Leadership Team will have a clear focus on delivering our incredible projects and driving efficiencies, whilst making sure our members and visitors get a warm RHS welcome and even more inspirational horticulture and experiences across all our visitor destinations and activities.  
“This will also enable us to inspire more people to garden and get involved with horticulture, andto continue our commitment to drive the all-important Horticulture Matters campaign forward, raising the profile of horticultural careers.”
The key changes are: 
RHS Gardens, Shows & Retail
A new role, RHS Director of Gardens, Shows & Retail, has been created to oversee the portfolio of activities across the Society’s Gardens, Shows and Retail.  It will have responsibility for the increasing success of our world class horticulture and visitor experiences, which in turn will generate further income to invest in RHS initiatives, including Campaign for SchoolGardening,apprenticeships, scientific research, and the conservation of plants, botanical art and horticultural books.
The separate divisions of Gardens, Shows and Retail will be combined into one vibrant, customer-focussed division responsible for delivering the very best horticulture and events, shopping, plant centres, cafes and restaurants. 
RHS Head of Retail, Will Havercroft, will report into the RHS Director of Gardens, Shows & Retail.  He will continue to manage RHS Retail and the investment project at RHS Garden Wisley, and will remain on the Leadership Team reporting into RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, until the new Director’s position is filled.
The creation of the new division means there will no longer be a separate RHS Director of Shows and RHS Director of Gardens and both roles have been made redundant, although RHS Director of Gardens James Rudoni and Director of Shows Stephen Bennett will continue in post until the end of the year.   
Over the last five years James has taken RHS Gardens from strength to strength and today more than one and a half million visitors enjoy the four gardens each year. James has introduced a number of successful events, including Butterflies in the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley and the popular Flowers Shows at Hyde Hall and Wisley, which have both recently enjoyed record visitor numbers.  
Sue Biggs said: “On behalf of everyone at the RHS, I’d like to thank James for his hard work, infectious enthusiasm and commitment to widen the appeal and quality of the RHS Gardens over the years. We look forward to staying in touch and wish him all the best for the future.”
Stephen, who has worked for the RHS for 28 years, has seen the RHS Chelsea Flower Show become an internationally admired, world renowned horticultural showpiece, attracting over 160,000 visitors each year.  Stephen also instigatedChelsea Charity Gala Preview and the RHS management of RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which is the largest annual gardening event in the world.  
Sue said: “We thank Stephen for all his loyalty, dedication and work over the years.  He has helped us to consistently deliver some of the best and most famous gardening events in the world, which today are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors and attract worldwide media attention. Ever the showman, Stephen has entertained and charmed us over the years; I look forward to seeing him at Chelsea and wish him the very best for the future.”
Also in the Shows Team, RHS Head of Judging, Bob Sweet, has decided to retire from the RHS.  Sue commented: “I’d like to thank Bob on behalf of the RHS for his contributions to the success of so many RHS Shows.  In his previous role he was responsible for ensuring the highest horticultural standards at our world famous events.  Bob also introduced Britain in Bloom to the RHS and helped us to develop RHS judging to be a leader in its field.  We wish Bob well, especially with his voluntary work with his local horticultural causes, and look forward to welcoming him back to Chelsea next year as our guest.”
RHS Executive Vice President
Jim Gardiner, currently Director of Horticulture, will take on a new role, Executive Vice President, the first in the history of the RHS.  Jim will be the RHS’ primary ambassador to promote and share horticultural excellence and his new role will help the RHS work more closely with the rest of the ho’ rticultural world.  He will help the RHS to share best practice, source external expert advice for its major investment projects and raise the profile of the Horticulture Matters campaign.  The search for the new Director of Horticulture will now begin.  The two high profile roles further embed Horticulture at the heart of the RHS and across all its work.
RHS Head of Communications 
The RHS Head of PR role will be upgraded to RHS Head of Communications and, from 01 October 2013, Hayley Monckton is promoted to be a member of the RHS Leadership Team, overseeing all internal communications as well as external communications.  The role will report to the Director General, reflecting the increasing importance of communicating the impact of the RHS major investment projects, Horticulture Matters, and the Society’s far reaching work to as wide an audience of staff, volunteers, members, supporters and the public as possible. 

Eurofleurs 2013 - Norway scoops the cup

Norway win the European Championship of Young florists – Eurofleurs 2013

After the final part of the competition in the European Championship of Young Florists – Eurofleurs 2013, which ended just before midnight the 7th of September in the Mestrovic Gallery in Split, president of the International Florist Organisation, Mark Ward announced the Norwegian competitor, Elin Susan Havreberg  (aged 20) as the winner of Eurofleurs 2013. Second place was taken by the Dutch contestant, Roxanne van Schellen, and third place went to the Spanish competitor, Alex Molini Carrillu. Sofie Watton from the UK came a very credible 6th place out of the 12 competitors.
During the gala dinner, 12 young competitors (under the age of 25) from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom had the task of creating the last two pieces from the schedule “Poppea’s Party Dress” and "Surprise piece” after they had been competing in the topics “Becoming one of the European Stars”, “A feast for Diocletianus and Prisca“, “Adriatic wedding / Miljenko and Dobrila“ and “Magic of Croatia” for the last two days in the Diocletian Substructures and on the Riva.
Eurofleurs 2013 was organised and Croatian Chamber of Crafts and Trades (HOK), the Section of Florists of HOK and, the Regional Split-Dalmatian County Chamber of Crafts and Trades, and numerous other co-organizers, under the auspices of the International Florist Organization – FLORINT who own the competition rights.

Eurofleurs 2013 was made possible by sponsors: Smithers Oasis (platinum sponsor) Zagrebačka banka and MBM – Vrtni centri (gold sponsor, along with silver sponsors, Splitska banka, and bronze sponsors, Bolsa Flora. Other sponsors included Anco Pure Vanda , Waterdrinker Aalsmeer and Arileo.

Pictures of the competition entries may be found at the following links; https://www.facebook.com/Florint.org/photos_stream and http://florint.org/

Along with a video of the closing ceremony by platinum sponsors, Smithers Oasis at the following link; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baQ6ltfHuAI

FleurEx Package Deals - Extended

 To make sure you don't miss out on the fantastic savings on buying your FleurEx & Industry Awards entry ticket we are extending the offer until the 30th of September. Don't delay - Book Today! 

Interflora Florist of the Year 2013 - Results

The finals of the Interflora Florist of the Year took place at RHS Tatton Park on Friday 26th July and defending champion Neil Whittaker from the Design Element, Irlam, retained the coveted title with his stunning designs.

The BFA would like to wish Neil their congratulations.

In 2nd place was Erica Tippet, Bleujen Florist, Bude, Cornwall who really gave Neil a run for his money! with her stunning screen design depicting 90years of Interflora's history. And in 3rd position overall was Tracey Griffen, Sandra's, Holby with gorgeous designs and a cake that looked good enough to eat.

The BFA would like to congratulate all eight competitors on their amazing designs and would encourage them to enter the competitions at FleurEx 2013 being held  on Sunday 27th October at the Bethel Convention Centre in Birmingham.

Interflora Florist of the Future 2013 - Results

1st Place:- Rebecca Hough, A Secret Garden, Hartlepool wins Interflora Florist of the Future.......  Congratulations from the BFA

2nd Place:- Amy Manley, Hubbards, Coventry

3rd Place:- Gemma Thresher, The Orange Pip, Wilton, Somerset

Well done to all three Interflora competitors in securing a winning spot and massive congratulations to everyone who reached the finals.

Volunteering Opportunity

 From the 23rd-28th July we will be exhibiting at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in Cheshire. 

During the week we are looking for volunteers with a minimum of 2 years floristry experience. You will be asked to work on the following tasks:
- Assist with flower conditioning
- Assist the floristry demonstrators on the main stage
- Create quirky & commercial pieces of floristry to be used for display/sale in the BFA shop
- Liaise with the visitors to the show and provide assistance when required.
If you are interested please e-mail us on: volunteers@britishfloristassociation.org and we'll send you more information & times

FleurEx 2013 - Tickets on sale now

 Tickets for this years FleurEx have gone on sale today. Don't miss out on your chance to join us for a great day out for the Professional Florist.

Tickets to the Gala Evening are always the first to go so don't delay and book today!

NEW for this year are our package prices. Save around £8.00 per person if you book early. But hurry, these package prices won't be around forever... You need to book before 31st August!

CLICK HERE to buy your tickets

The Lonely Bouquet Campaign

Have you heard about the Lonely Bouquet Campaign.  Some of our BFA members are taking part..... why don't you join in too?

For more information search the internet for Lonely Bouquet and join the ever expanding network of florists wanting to take part on Sunday 30th June

Exciting News about Fleurex - Coming Soon

The BFA are very very excited about Fleurex this year.... We have some amazing news coming soon ... look out for the new BFA magazine coming out in July - Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Hacked e-mails

Here at the BFA we are receiving an alarming number of e-mails from members that appear to have had their e-mail accounts hacked. Whilst we are not responsible for our members personal or business e-mail accounts, we decided that we should perhaps offer a little bit of advice that may help you to prevent your e-mail from being hacked. Here are a few handy tips that would improve your on-line security:

  • Never open a link in an e-mail that has been sent to you without any explanatory text from the sender.
  • If the sender is a friend of yours and has sent you a link they would like you to view, please check the text used in the e-mail. The spammers often write in a different way to your friend or contact that would seem out of character.
  • Try and change your password for your e-mail account on a monthly basis.
  • Do not use part of your e-mail address as your password.
  • When creating a new password make sure to use numbers & letters - try to use capital and lower case letters.
  • Do not send your password or any other sensitive personal information in an e-mail to anyone.
  • Always try and create different log in details for all your on-line activities. Keep your usernames and passwords separate so that hackers won't gain access to any of your other profiles such as Facebook or Twitter should they manage to hack into your e-mail account.

Hopefully this will help you to be more secure whilst surfing the web

BFA Inter-College Challenge - Registration Open

This summer the BFA presents a brand new competition for college students and college members of the association.

The BFA Inter-College Challenge will showcase the talent that is harnessed within the college members that belong to the BFA. What better way to promote yourself and your college to an audience of circa 100.000 visitors for the duration of the show. It is a great experience for students and will deliver great exposure for not just your students but also the courses on offer at the college. 

This brand new competition will take place this July at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. Three people from each college are able to take part as one team, there will be a maximum of 8 teams able to battle it out to win the BFA Inter-College Challenge trophy.

To read the full competition rules and regulations and details on how to enter please CLICK HERE

Laura Leong RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year 2013

Laura Leong who competed in the BFA Regional heats for Chelsea has claimed the coveted title of RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year 2013 .... Here she is collecting her award from the RHS

Well done Laura .... The BFA are extremely proud of you

RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year 2013 - Results

The BFA are pleased too announce the following results from RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition.

Chelsea Florist of the Year 2013 - Laura Leong

Gold medals were awarded to:
Laura Leong - Moulton College, Northampton

Tracey Griffin - Tracey Griffin Flowers, Hambledon

One Silver Gilt medal was awarded to:
Neil Whittaker - Design Element, Irlam, Manchester

Silver medals were awarded to:
Amanda Coghill - Amanda's Creative Florist, Wick
Alison Doxey - Academy of Floral Art, Dunchideock, Exeter
Di Marvell - Petals Florist, Margate, Kent
Erica Tippett - Bleujen Florist, Bude, Cornwall

Bronze medals
Karen Sherwin - George Preston Florist, Newry, Country Down
Caroline Crabb- Fleurtations, Bodmin, Cornwall
Melanie Garbutt - Passion Flowers, Pontefract, West Yorks
Julie Cambridge - Julie Cambridge Floral Design, Letchworth Garden City, Herts

RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year 2013 - Results

The results are as follows

RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year 2013 Paula McLagan, Something Special Flowers, Blairgowrie, Perthshire

Gold medals awarded to:
Paula McLagan, Something Special Flowers, Blairgowrie, Perthshire

Jessica Richards, Lavender Florists, Penkridge.

Joe Massie, Plumpton College, Lewes, East Sussex

Charlotte Baker, Hubbards Florist, Coventry

Victoria Richards, Lavender Florists, Penkridge.

Sliver Gilt was awarded to:
Amy Manley, Hubbards Florist, Coventry

Silver was awarded to:
Rebecca Hough, A Secret Garden, Hartlepool, Cleveland

Siobhan Hughes, George Preston Florist, Newry, County Down, Ireland

Bronze medals were awards to:
Sophie Watton, Bleujen Florist, Bude, Cornwall

Daisy Ellen Burgoyne, Flowers at Frosts, Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire

Congratulations to every competitor who took part.

RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year

We're just days away until we find out who this years winners will be in the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition. In the past the title has been won by Neil Whitaker, Melanie Garbutt, Sarah Horne and Jennifer Murphy in the over 25 category. The undisputed winner in the under 25 category has been Joseph Massie who has won each year since the start of the new format competition back in 2009.

The RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year is organised and sponsored by the RHS in conjunction with the independent trade association for professional florists, the British Florist Association (BFA). Staging a piece at this world famous flower show is something every florist in the UK dreams of. Only 16 places are available each year in the competition final and this makes it even more challenging for florists to be able to secure a place. The BFA is delighted for all the competitors who have made it into this years final. This opportunity is a great floristry show case, not just for the individual that takes part but also for the entire Professional British Florist Industry.

When this years winners are announced we will update this page

BFA Industry Awards 2013, who will you be voting for?

This autumn will see the return of the annual BFA Industry Awards 2013. Following the success of the awards that were presented at BFA FleurEx 2012 you will be able to vote for your winners once again this year. The awards are being presented to individuals as voted for by the BFA membership. Do you think your wholesaler is the best in the country? Perhaps you employ the best delivery driver or is your apprentice the best florist of the future? To recognize the individual of your choice all you have to do is complete the contact box at the bottom of this page and supply the details as outlined below. All nominations received will be counted and shortlisted. The final number of people from the shortlist will be invited to BFA FleurEx 2013 where the winner in each category will be announced at the Gala Evening.

The categories for this year are:
• Flower Wholesaler of the Year
• Sundries Wholesaler of the Year
• Flying Dutchman of the Year
• Delivery Driver of the Year
• Floristry College of the Year
• Floristry Tutor of the Year
• Florist Newcomer of the Year (less than 2 years experience)
• Employer of the Year

Please complete the contact form below with your nomination

In the subject box please provide:

• The category of your entry (as displayed above)
• The name of the person/organisation
• The contact details for your nomination (address, e-mail & phone number)
The shortlist of all the nominations received will be published in the Autumn Issue of the BFA Florist Magazine in the run up to Fleurex.

Click here to send us your nomination >

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