Laura Leong has been crowned Interflora Florist of the Year in a tense final at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show!
Laura of The Flower Basket in Stourbridge pumped the air as the scores were announced, and after beating off stiff competition from four other very talented florists, will now go forward to represent the Interflora British Unit at the FTD Interflora World Cup in Philadelphia, USA in March 2019.
During the Grand Final, which took place in front of a live audience in the Floral Design Studio at Hampton Court Palace, Laura and her fellow competitors had to create three floral items in line with the ‘Summer Garden Party’ theme; a parasol and table decoration and a gift arrangement including a bottle of champagne. The fourth item, a floral picnic basket, was made in advance of the show and brought along for judging.
Laura was awarded top marks for both her picnic basket and parasol and the judges praised her exquisite workmanship, eye for detail and choice of colour palette – they described her parasol as “magical” and a “stand-out design”. Weeks of planning and preparation went into these designs – the frame for the parasol was handmade from aluminium and steel and then coated with a wax finish to look like bark and Laura sewed dozens of ‘leaves’ from cotton thread.
Inspired by an English country garden, Laura’s designs incorporated natural textures and the pastel hues of blousy summer blooms, intricately woven together with perfect precision. She said, “When I read the brief I was drawn to the idea of a country garden and this is what’s inspired my pieces – those lazy, hazy days of summer. I’m delighted to have won. I wanted to come here and prove to myself that I could take the title of Florist of the Year and I couldn’t be happier to have done it. There was some really tough competition to beat though, it wasn’t an easy win by any means.”
A huge congratulations to Laura! If you’re visiting RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week, you can see all of the finalist’s creations on display in the Floral Design Studio.