The six students, who are in their final year of their BA Floristry Design programme, triumphed at this year’s show after completing a dazzling floral arrangement that incorporated an Indian tuk tuk. Crowned ‘Future Florists of the year’, the team was also awarded a highly-coveted Silver Gilt award; just one point away from the ultimate Chelsea Flower Show accolade; the Gold ‘Best in Show’.
Up against four other floristry schools from around the world, the team was tasked with devising a floral arrangement that incorporated a tuk tuk. The design needed to be portable; meaning that it couldn’t prevent the vehicle from moving once constructed. What’s more, the design had to complement the bright yellow body of the vehicle.
Using exotic and unusual flora, including vivid yellow Calla lilies, Water lilies and Bishop’s Balls, the students crafted an intricate design that wove its way around the body of the car. Using fibre glass effectively to create additional body panels, the team created a three-dimensional design that felt organic to the shape of the vehicle.
On the whole experience, Olivia Whitley, aged 21 from Harrogate, said; “The last three years has been a wonderful journey; we have had some fantastic experiences and this week has been the perfect way for the six of us to finish that off.
“Every one of us has put our heart and soul into this design and it has paid off. To qualify for Chelsea was one thing; but to take home the Future florist of the year crown is unbelievable. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.”
The team were commended on their unusual design which intentionally stepped away from the vehicle’s Indian routes. The judges also commented on the students use of flora, which weren’t typical floral choices. The use of aloe vera, bear grass and rhipsalis, they felt, brought a natural, living feel to the overall design; allowing the design to become part of vehicle rather than simply adorn it.
College Principal and Chief Executive, Jeanette Dawson OBE, said: “To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. The team has, over the last three years, done a phenomenal job in preparation for shows like this, and all done in addition to their studies. To win a major award each year of their degree has been fantastic, and it’s been wonderful to see their style and skill evolve as they have taken on bigger and more high-profile, challenges.
“This week’s success is testament to their hard work, dedication and determination. But like with anything, they couldn’t have done this on their own. Their friendships, teamwork and camaraderie has driven them every step of the way, and, with the support and training they have been given by my floristry staff Ruth Robison and Theresa O’Grady, they have been able to achieve things established florists can only dream of.”
The team of six students, which range in age from 20 to 45, will graduate this summer with a string of gold awards and the most prestigious of titles; as future florists of the year. We wish them the best of success for what no doubt will be an incredibly exciting career.