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Competition Floristry: Tips for Competing

Competitor working

Taking part in competitions is a great way to show off your skills as a professional florist, to gain confidence in your working life and to show your customers how good you really are!

However, approaching a competition for the first time can be daunting, so here are some useful pointers on how best to start.

Enter the right competition for you by looking at the Schedules available. Some will indicate a professional level you should be at to enter, for example a L2 or L3. Others will be free for any competitor to enter. If you’re nervous, start small and work your way up. Sometimes it is good to enter higher competitions to push yourself and to view the work of your peers.

Some people like to get the basics right first and then push the boundaries. Some competitors like to stick to their tried and tested methods adapted slightly each time whilst others like to be more free. Competitions are for you to enjoy and find out your strengths as well as identify weaknesses. You’ll mix with peers and feed off each other’s talents. What kind of competitor are you? Have a go and find out!

florist competitor working on installation


Think carefully about the creative idea that the competition schedule is presenting. Research the words used to describe your task. Use the dictionary as well as the internet, books and magazines to find out the possibilities open to you. Research the theme; a judge will have researched it too so explore the title, task and theme thoroughly. The trick is to make sure your piece is related to the task without needing explanation.

wearable flowers


Explore what colours you will use. Colour often links or comes with your idea, although not always. Explore the traditional colour harmonies and advance your design by using tints, tones and shades. The tiniest details of colour in the stems, petals and throat of a flower can help to transition through the colours. Take care with quantity of colour too. Flower and plant variety knowledge will give you a great advantage.

The Pantone Color Institute experts are not holding back this summer with a palette of colours so bright you may need sunglasses.

Interflora Florist of the year entrants

Consider Composition

This section is where your Elements and Principles of design come into play. Making a harmonious piece which uses each element and principle effectively is a great skill and some find it useful to sketch a design first to see placements in 2D before creating the real thing.

When you are looking for floral design inspiration, it's important to be open to new ideas.

competition flowers in a bowl

Technique matters

Make sure whatever you make is practiced. Neatness is the key. Ends of wires, glue or floral foam showing will all lose you valuable points. In addition, think about your method of construction. Is it suitable for the design, have you used the right gauge wires for example to support the weight of the flowers?

It’s always wise to practice your design before the real competition. Practice timing yourself to minimise stress on the actual day. Test your flowers and how they react to heat, lack of water and cold. Practice with water sprays and finishing products to see what suits your florals and the design and to test longevity. Your design must always be fit for purpose. Practice by repetition to wire, tape, glue, arrange and tie designs until you are happy. Set aside some days prior to the competition to do this.

Competitor wining florist competition

Above all make sure you are enjoying what you do. If you find it all a bit overwhelming, remember that other competitors are only worrying about their design, make friends and encourage others always. The Judges are always supportive and encouraging and look forward to meeting you and seeing your creations!

two judges looking over floristry installation

UK Floristry Judges Guild Logo

Established to create a level playing field in the world of competition floristry, in the UK and Ireland. The Floristry Judges Guild sets the standard for how floristry competitions are run, ensuring consistency in all aspects of judging, and upholding the highest standards and quality for floristry competitors.




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