HomeBlogInterflora Florist of the Year 2022 – Meet the Finalists
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Interflora Florist of the Year 2022 – Meet the Finalists

4th December, 2022

It was a tough battle of the blooms at RHS Bridgewater Gardens in April, but five talented florists were named as finalists of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022. These skilled artisans will next be competing in the Grand Final on Sunday 3rd July, not only in hope of being crowned Florist of the Year, but also for the opportunity to represent the UK and Ireland in the Interflora World Cup in 2023 (which is being held in this country for the very first time - exciting!).

We caught up with our five finalists after the event to find out a bit more about them…

Meet Elizabeth Newcombe from The Botanical Company in Surrey

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How do you feel about reaching the final of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022?

I feel so lucky to have reached the final of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022, and it was an honour to compete against such talent!

What is your favourite thing about competing?

My favourite thing about competing has got to be deciding what to create and how to interpret the brief. I love the planning element and sketching ideas to see what I can come up with and how to incorporate such beautiful plant material into each brief.

How did you first get into floristry?

I always remember being really creative during school (I remember saying to my friends at 15 years old "I’d love to have my own Florist one day!”) and I was about to apply for my A-levels when I came across the Floristry course at my local college. I went for a taster day there, and from then on, I was hooked! I have not looked back since.

What are your favourite flowers to work with and why?

This is a tricky one; it’s so hard to choose because I love working with the best of what’s in season as it keeps things interesting throughout the year. Overall, I think I’d have to say that my favourite flowers are Orchids. They’re available in such wonderful colours and forms, and can be used in any colour harmony, making them perfect for intricate bridal work or big installations.

With this year’s theme being ‘inspired by nature’, where did you draw your inspiration from?

Without giving too much away for the finals in July, I have drawn my inspiration from nature itself and the structure of plants and flowers. It is not until you really look at the detail within each flower and structure that you realise how truly amazing nature is!

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Meet Charlotte Davies from Hilary’s Floral Design in Abergavenny

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How do you feel about reaching the final of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022?

I’m so happy and excited to have reached the final of Florist of the Year. The semi-final was such a fun day, and then to have made the top 5 and to progress to the final was just the best news ever. I am so thrilled!

What is your favourite thing about competing?

I really enjoy the challenge and creative freedom each task brings. Competitive floristry allows you to explore areas that you might not normally do, such as a new technique, choice of material or use of flower, for example.

How did you first get into floristry?

I actually fell into floristry at the age of 18. My mother Hilary had the shop, so I thought I’d go help out one summer and then 17 years later here I am, loving my profession.

What are your favourite flowers to work with and why?

I have so many flowers that I love to work with on a daily basis, but currently, my favourite flower is actually a foliage, Chasmanthium Latifolium. It has these super delicate oat shaped droplets that just dance about off the end of the stem. Absolutely love them!

With this year’s theme being ‘inspired by nature’, where did you draw your inspiration from?

I consider myself to be super lucky, as I live within the Brecon Beacons, South Wales. I have the beauty of nature literally all around me, so I will be drawing my inspiration from my local surroundings.

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Meet Rebecca Hough from Rebecca Hough Floral Design in Durham

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How do you feel about reaching the final of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022?

I’m very excited to be part of such a big competition. It’s been a few years since anything like this has been able to happen, so it’s even more exciting to see everyone again and be part of such an inspirational community.

What is your favourite thing about competing?

I love challenging myself and trying new things. The process of coming up with ideas, the trial and error of new or different techniques and structures, then finally to see a finished design created is very satisfying.

How did you first get into floristry?

My first experience of floristry was 2 weeks work experience when I was at school. The local florist welcomed me in and gave me a really positive experience of the industry.

What are your favourite flowers to work with and why?

This is a question I get asked a lot, but it’s really hard to answer! I have so many favourites, which change with the seasons. Near the top of the list though has to be Hyacinths – they are of course beautiful and smell amazing, but they’re also great for working with in designs, especially when broken down. Orchids are of course up there too – for their colours and also durability. And one that is probably a little less known would be Tillandsia (or air plants) – although they’re not usually used for their flowers, it’s the beautiful silvery grey foliage, along with their unusual form and texture which make them great to work with.

With this year’s theme being ‘inspired by nature’, where did you draw your inspiration from?

This theme is so great as it allows for such freedom in your creativity. Personally, I have started my research in the local area, looking at what is on my doorstep in terms of natural beauty – nature reserves, parks and gardens. I’m not sure where my research will take me yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

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Meet Dean Sharpe from Dean Sharpe’s Floral Studio in Stafford

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How do you feel about reaching the final of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022?

I’m absolutely delighted to have reached the final after not competing for a few years - especially with being up against some really amazing contenders at the semi-final.

What is your favourite thing about competing?

I love the excitement and the buzz that competing gives me - every competition is different, and this allows me to continue to learn and grow, not only as a competitor but as a florist too.

How did you first get into floristry?

I have always been a very creative person, but it wasn’t until I helped with my sister’s wedding flowers that I began to think that maybe this was the career for me. I have never been very academic and therefore it really was a huge decision for me to go back to college at the age of 30 and study floristry, but it was definitely the best decision I’ve ever made!

What are your favourite flowers to work with and why?

This is a tough one! There are so many flowers that I love working with for different reasons but a classic favourite for me will always be orchids - they are so versatile and can be used for all occasions.

With this year’s theme being ‘inspired by nature’, where did you draw your inspiration from?

My inspiration for my bridal bouquet was centred around a DNA strand and to demonstrate growth. My hand tied bouquet was all about having a solid base which was represented by the framework and the twisted willow was again to show growth in nature.

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Meet Caroline Crabb from Fleurtations in Cornwall

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How do you feel about reaching the final of Interflora Florist of the Year 2022?

I’m very excited to be in the final, it gives us all the chance to showcase our profession.

What is your favourite thing about competing?

I wouldn’t say I had a favourite thing about competing, I compete to challenge myself which is something I don’t always get the chance to do in my day-to-day life in the florist shop!

How did you first get into floristry?

After leaving school, I worked in various roles including being a trainee dental nurse ... then one day I announced to my parents I was going to be a florist and my mum said we don't know any! I have always been creative.

What are your favourite flowers to work with and why?

I don’t really have a favourite flower, all flowers have their place it’s always been about colour for me. If I were forced to choose it would probably be… oooh, I just don't know!

With this year’s theme being ‘inspired by nature’, where did you draw your inspiration from?

A friend said this year’s theme was picked for me! I just love anything that is inspired by nature, I’m lucky to live in rural Cornwall and just love walking my dog and watching the season change, gathering treasures to use in my designs.

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A massive congratulations to all five florists, and good luck for the final.

The Interflora Florist of the Year Grand Final will be held at Bridgewater Gardens in Manchester on Sunday 3rd July, so why not come along, and join us for what we’re sure will be an exciting and nail-biting competition.

Watch this space for more to come!

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