It was a dream come true for Blackpool florist Victoria Clemson, when she was awarded a Gold medal and title of Florist of the Year at Chelsea Flower Show.
The 27-year-old, who completed her apprenticeship at Jeanette’s florist in Highfield Road, was the pick of the UK’s professional florists, having beaten hundreds in the nationwide competition heats, then 16 competitors in the final.
“I am absolutely thrilled”, said Victoria, who this week has taken a job at a high-end florist’s in London, having previously worked freelance at events throughout the North West.
“It’s been a really challenging six weeks in the making, so I am delighted to have achieved such a fantastic result.”
Victoria and her fellow finalists were given six weeks to design and make a floral kite using mostly fresh flowers along the theme of ‘Urban Streets and Summer Skies’.
As the show opened to the public, the Floral Kites were suspended in mid-air from the rafters of the Floristry Zone in Chelsea’s Great Pavilion.
My floral kite design a traditional shape is based on where the kite originated from, china
“My floral kite design a traditional shape is based on where the kite originated from, china”, said Victoria, from the Norcross area, who completed a floral design degree at Myerscough College.
“I used bamboo, embroidery silks and Phalanopsis orchids to depict the origin of the design. I then used the colours cerise pinks and oranges to depict the sunsets and sunrises.
“Finally the yellow craspedia balls are used to represent the sun”.
The piece took 600 hours to create, with Victoria working alone and tasked with finding flowers that would withstand four days on display and rising temperatures.
She now hopes to enter European competitions and travel during her career.
The RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competitions are organized by the British Florist Association in association with the Royal Horticultural Society.
Tracy Tomlinson, manager of the British Florist Association, said: “The RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competitions are a fantastic showcase of the technical skills and creativity of the UK’s professional florists.
“To compete in the Chelsea finals is an incredible achievement and these florists can be very proud of their success.”