RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

On the 1st February 2017, I took part in the regional heat of the Chelsea Flower Show at Greenmount Campus. I came in 2nd place with 82 points and was so thrilled that I had done so well in my first competition. 

After this initial competition there was a long wait until April to find out whether or not i’d be going through to the final. A tuesday night in April, standing in my gym class, I got the word that i’d be going to Chelsea! I never imagined when I entered that I would actually be lucky enough to go, so I was ecstatic with the news! 

On tuesday the 23rd June, three of us from college flew over to London, with many boxes of flowers and tools, ready to get working. Upon arrival at the hotel, all flowers were unpacked and straight into water to get a good drink before we started glueing them. On tuesday night both of us competing (on different pieces) worked until 1am, doing base work and glueing foilage. We slept a bit and then got up to start work again on Wednesday at 7am. 

I remained in a separate room alone whilst the other competitor and tutor worked away in the other hotel room. I was lucky enough that my boss and friend Tracy Burrows flew over for two days to support me at the show. She arrived around lunchtime on Wednesday, we had some food (finally) and them got straight back to work. I worked away on my piece until about 9 o’clock Wednesday night , then it was time to pack up and get to the show. We were given from 10-2.30 in the morning to work on displaying our pieces and adding the finishin touches. Exhaustion took over and by 2am I was ready for bed, it was a tough night and by about 4am we finally got to bed.

Thursday was our first chance to properly look around the show and it was beautiful! Not as vast as I imagined, but so much hard work on show, and so many beautiful flowers! Results on Thursday for our competition were due to take place at 2pm, but unfortunately were held back until 4, this meant that Tracy missed results which was disappointing, but it’s okay, because I didn’t win! The category was very tough and everyones pieces were fantastic! To be competing with such talented people was an amazing experience! Even though I didn’t win a medal this time, I wasn’t far off and hope to get the opportunity next year to compete again! 

The show has such a lovely environment and atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed the Pimms and ice cream available! (For quite the price) It was a lovely experience to be able to go and look around the show myself and gather up some lovely photographs and even some shoes! 

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had, and all the support I’ve received from friends and family, and my church family, as well as all those who saw it on facebook or in the paper and visited the shop to ask or wish me luck! I still can’t quite believe i’m one of 14 U25 competitors and a finalist for the Chelsea Young Florist of the year 2017🌸

Uni

University is finally completed!! (Provided my results are okay) and on thursday we had our final year show. I got some great feedback on my work and also some criticism which I expected! I studied a slightly touchy subject and so I understand the images are weird and not all that pleasant but that was the aim!!
My topic was Religious Iconography and the sublime, also touching on gothic theory. So I chose to create a range of photographic images which showed edmund burke’s view of the sublime through distorted religious iconography. The colours relate to the gothic and the subject matter creates a sublime spectacle based on research into the work of Madonna and Lady Gaga. They’re odd but they’re unique and I love them 
   

Wedding Flower Hotlist

As we break into spring/summer we see a new range of flowers creeping back into shops and into weddings.  The most notable is the peony rose.  A popular favourite among summer weddings each year is the peony rose, with most varieties only becoming available in May, such as ‘Angel cheeks’ which is only available from May until August.   The peony is a very delicate rose which is highly favoured among brides for its delicate beauty and their wide range of pink blush tones.

A popular theme within wedding flowers at the moment is cottage garden.  This theme has grown increasingly popular over the past couple of years particularly through Pinterest which showcases many images and ideas of country garden themed weddings.  The use of twine and bark has become popular too with many brides opting for the more natural beauty within their venue decoration and the flowers fit well into this theme.  The likes of spray roses, hydrangea, lisianthus, ranunculus and scabiosa all help to create a very natural and rustic look, with limonium, astilbe and bouvardia adding a delicate filler of colour.

A quirky way to display some of these around the venue is to have little bunches in milk bottle wrapped with twine, or perhaps jam jars wrapped in bark.  Even just an assortment of little jars and pots placed sporadically around a venue.  Flowers really help to liven up a venue and make a room feel more exciting and more romantic, (provided you aren’t suffering with hay fever of course!).

Something else to consider is flowers to great the guests as they enter, an archway can be costly but a lovely idea for this could include flowers and foliage from your very own garden! A floral arch could be created from eucalyptus, ivy and fern with things like honeysuckle and stock put in to add bursts of colour and a beautiful scent.  This creates a lovely romantic feel and creates a wow factor for guests as they arrive, and a very fairy-tale look is added to the wedding.

The bride’s bouquet is the most important part of the whole wedding flower package with it being in every photograph.  This is where the peony roses are most commonly spotted.  They are a great focal flower and look beautiful mixed in with some other roses and fillers such as astilbe or bouvardia.  The bridal bouquet should be big on impact and most importantly, should make the bride smile!

Sick 2

About a year ago I shared a story about the beginning of my struggle with chronic migraines, well now as I lie in bed with full body muscle pain I feel compelled to write again.

  Just last week the doctor pushed my tablet dosage up to the maximum amount allowed. So much infact that he’s never given it to a patient in one dose so it’s split between morning and night! The first few days I felt fantastic, even spent the first day on this rearranging all the furniture in my room. But this week things have gone a little downhill, the exhaustion i’ve been suffering the last few months has returned and an ache has settled all over me. I’m being tested for a few things but most of the ache and tiredness can be linked to the tablets i’m currently on. 

I don’t always suffer with the headache type pain of a migraine but recently what i’ve been experiencing is the dizziness and ache associated with a migraine, what some people don’t realise is you can have a migraine without the headache, its a whole rush of symptoms. At this point, nearing the end of my university degree, I had hoped to be migraine free, but the next step for me will be a daith piercing! 

I’ve heard many people have it done and have all said it’s been successful in atleast reducing their migraines, next time I’m around belfast i’ll be going for it and hopefully it’ll work!

Todays Drink

Went with a mix of Spinach, Banana, Cucumber and bootea vanilla shake today all mixed with milk! More veg than fruit giving a healthy green colour and hopefully lessening the sugar content in the drink! The ingredients in the picture are exactly what went in to the nutribullet and then I just add milk, whatever amount appears appropriate! 
    

   

This am

The nicest smoothie this morning! 

A banana, handfull of blueberries, half a dozen leaves of spinach, a small amount of bootea vanilla shake and filled up with milk! Made a lovely creamy shake with a hint of vanilla! And it made enough for another glass with lunch! 

  Bottle of water first though ofcourse to kickstart your body!

Rocky Horror Live!

About a month ago i went to see Rocky Horror live in the Grand Opera House in belfast! Was a bit unsure as it’s hard to beat the original cast obviously, but I have to say everyone involved was fantastic!! Well worth going to see if you enjoy the film or maybe if not! I took a friend who’d never seen it and she laughed as much as me! Great fun night out! Very crude and very funny!