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Finalists selected in Interflora Florist of the Year


The wind may have been blowing a hooley when the Interflora Florist of the Year semi-finalists arrived at the gorgeous Bridgewater Gardens in Manchester but by the end of the two days it wasn't just the sun smiling!


Because an unexpectedly sunny and warm Sunday in Manchester (April 23rd) was when five of them were announced as the florists going through the Grand Final in July; not just a chance to be crowned Interflora Florist of the Year but represent the UK in the Interflora World Cup.


And not only will the September 2023 World Cup be held for the first time in the UK, this time the competition was open to every single florist in the United Kingdom whether a member of Interflora or not. A ground making decision that saw record numbers of entries in the first round.


Having competed in a photographic round which saw the UK Floristry Judges Guild whittle 63 entries down to just 10, the semi-finalists, working the overall theme Growing Together, had to complete three tasks.


1: A fully wired bridal bouquet suitable for a wedding to be held in the Paradise Garden at RHS Bridgewater and which had to contain at least two thirds fresh flower and/or plant material.


2: A hand tied design, suitable for the entrance of the Garden Cottage at RHS Bridgewater, to be displayed in a container of their choice, and again containing at least two thirds fresh flower and/or plant material.


3: With just 15 minutes assessment time and 90 minutes to complete, create a free choice design from a surprise package range of flowers, foliage’s and sundries chosen by the competition organisers and sponsored by FleuraMetz. The design to be suitable for placement in the Community Wellbeing garden at Bridgewater.

Pictured here in more serious style than our lead shot! the 10 semi finalists with Eddie Deighan and Andrew Vassar of sponsors FleuraMetz, Caroline Marshall-Foster, Editor of Florist Magazine and Su Whale who did a fabulous job of compering the whole day.

Left to right back row: Caroline, Dean Sharpe, Eddie, Andrew, Charlotte Davies, Victoria Antonietta Clemson, Rebecca Hough.

Left to right front row: Su, Jill Winton, Hannah Beckley, Tracey Griffin, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Newcombe, Caroline Crabb and Helen Pannitt.

Pictured: Judges Kate Whelan and Isobel Wilton. Kate and Isobel with the Technical Judges Julia Ryde and Sarah Hills-Ingyon. The wonderful Maureen Lipman, up for filming Coronation Street and who took the time to talk to the contestants and share a cup of tea!


The Bridal Bouquets were brought completed and judged on the Saturday afternoon by Kate Whelan and Isobel Wilton. On Sunday the judging duo had to work around a packed marquee as visitors – which not only included many local florists and supporters but the delightful and oh so impressed Maureen Lipman – took advantage of seeing top flight florists at work.


However with the support of the Technical Team, Sarah Hills-Ingyon and Julia Ryde, they managed to keep to the tight schedule and the winners were announced on time by Su Whale, who had been compere for the event throughout the day and had answered hundreds of questions from fascinated members of the public.


In another break from tradition no placements were announced, instead just the names of the five florists going through who are - in alphabetical order

Caroline Crabb, Fleurtations, Bodmin, Cornwall

Charlotte Davies, Hilary’s Floral Design, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Dean Sharpe, Dean Sharpe’s Floral Studio, Stafford, Staffordshire

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Newcombe, The Botanical Company, Bramley, Surrey

Rebecca Hough, Rebecca Hough Floral Design, Peterlee, Durham.

Left to right: Rebecca, Caroline, Dean, Elizabeth and Charlotte


However credit must also go to the competitors who didn’t get through but who worked so hard to create a range of stunning designs. To have got this far is brilliant and we not only share their designs but send our congratulations to - in alphabetical order – the following.


Hannah Beckley, Level 4 Student at Moreton Morrell College, Warwickshire

Helen Pannitt, Helen James, Flowers, Harrogate, Yorkshire

Jill Winton, Plantology, Sheffield, Yorkshire

Tracey Griffin, Sandra’s Florist, Southampton, Hampshire

Victoria Antonietta Clemson, Rotherhithe, London


The Grand Final will be held at Bridgewater Gardens on July 2/3. Having been at the semi-finals and seen the designs 'in the flesh', if the standards set then are anything to go by it is going to be an exciting and nail-biting competition. Entry to the competition area is free, entry to the Gardens is £12 if you are not a RHS member.


To see all the florists entries click on the Galleries below.


Caroline Crabb, Fleurtations, Bodmin, Cornwall

Charlotte Davies, Hilary’s Floral Design, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire


Dean Sharpe, Dean Sharpe’s Floral Studio, Stafford, Staffordshire



Elizabeth (Lizzie) Newcombe, The Botanical Company, Bramley, Surrey


Hannah Beckley, Level 4 Student at Moreton Morrell College, Warwickshire


Helen Pannitt, Helen James, Flowers, Harrogate, Yorkshire

Jill Winton, Plantology, Sheffield, Yorkshire


Rebecca Hough, Rebecca Hough Floral Design, Peterlee, Durham

Tracey Griffin, Sandra’s Florist, Southampton, Hampshire

Victoria Antonietta Clemson, Rotherhithe, London



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