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🌸