Elizabeth Newcombe of The Botanical Company in Bramley, Surrey has been crowned Interflora Florist of the Year 2022 in a nail-biting final at RHS Garden Bridgewater in Manchester. She will now go on to represent the UK and Ireland at next year’s Interflora World Cup, which is being held right here in the UK for the first time ever.
Elizabeth was buzzing with joy as the scores were announced, beating off stiff competition from four other very talented florists. Charlotte Davies from Hilary's Floral Design of Abergavenny and Caroline Crabb of Fleurtations Cornwall in Bodmin came in a very close second and third place respectively.
The final took place in front of a live audience with each florist having to complete four tasks devised to test their skills, push the boundaries of their art form and encourage creativity and innovation, all under the theme Growing Together.
Elizabeth and her fellow competitors created a shawl inspired by botanical roots (made in advance and brought to the competition for judging), a table for two inspired by nature and a tied design inspired by bark. The fourth and final design was a complete surprise with the brief only being revealed at the start of the session. Each finalist had just 15 minutes to review the flowers, tools and materials available then two hours to complete the free-standing design.
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."
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.”
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."
For more information about the Interflora World Cup 2023 which is taking place from 7th – 9th September in Manchester go to www.worldcup.interflora.co.uk