Over the first weekend in July Interflora held their Florist of the Year finals. This was to find the UK representative for the Interflora World Cup in 2023. The location was the beautiful grounds of the RHS Gardens Bridgewater near Manchester.
The five finalists rose to the challenge and really pulled out all the stops to show the judges and the public what skilled floristry is all about. The overall theme was ‘Growing together’
There were four tasks overall starting with a shawl to be brought pre-made on the Saturday evening. Pre-made designs allow the competitors to really show their designs skills. It can take them as long as they like and we are sure they all spent hours on these fabulous pieces.
The second task was a table for two and this was made within a specific time frame with materials and frames pre planned by the competitors.
The third challenge was to create a tied design, again with the competitors being allowed to bring in a pre made framework and their floral materials of choice.
The final task of the day was a surprise task. This tests the competitor to the max as they perform under time pressure and are given the schedule and materials. Having no prior knowledge really means they have to think on their feet and it can really be a make or break task in any competition. The final task turned out to be a structural arrangement and the materials were all sponsored by the fabulous FleuraMetz
Managing the panic, figuring it out, sketching and planning. All as cool as cucumbers……
And then it’s make or break time……..everyone had the exact same materials to work with and their designs are all so different!
The UK Floristry Judges Guild
The UKFJG provided all the schedules, Judges and Technical team for the event and we are sure the decisions were tough on the day with such high quality work!
Competition judges Lynda Owen and Jane Benefield said, “It’s been a fabulous opportunity, a delight and a pleasure to judge the Interflora Florist of the Year final on behalf of the UK Floristry Judges Guild, to find the designer who will represent the UK in the Interflora World Cup next year. Thank you to Interflora for showcasing competition floristry at its best.”
Our Interflora UK Competitor for World Cup 2023 is Elizabeth Newcombe!
Talking about the competition, Elizabeth said, “I can’t believe I’m Florist of the Year, next step is the World Cup. Tonight, we’re going to celebrate, catch up on some sleep and then we’re going to get the designs rolling and the ideas flowing ready for next year.”
Well done Elizabeth! we can’t wait and all at the BFA are so pleased for you!!!!!
Second Place went to Charlotte Davies and Third to Caroline Crabb
Best of luck also to Caroline who jets off to Poland soon to compete for the UK in the Europa Cup! No rest for you! and we can wait to see your designs there!
Well done to all the competitors involved across the whole competition and the finals, you are all superstars in our eyes!
So!…. don’t forget to save the date and head on to Manchester for the Interflora World Cup 2023. You’ll see top designers from each country battle it out to be the best and we know we’ll all be cheering on Elizabeth Newcombe for the UK!!
Nick Priest, director of Florist Services at Interflora, said, “Interflora’s Florist of the Year is about celebrating creativity, passion, flair and design skills in floristry and these five have certainly demonstrated they have plenty of those things. We knew there were going to be some really great pieces created because of the calibre of the florists we had in the final and we weren’t disappointed. Every finalist should be extremely proud of what they’ve achieved here today. Elizabeth’s creations are truly spectacular, and I look forward to seeing more in September next year when she goes on to represent us at the Interflora World Cup. Being held here in the UK for the very first time, the competition will see some of the world’s best florists going head-to-head at Manchester Central convention centre in a bid to take the trophy.”
Image credits: Interflora and BFA