• It’s a silver medal for Lola the Showgirl!

A sassie fantasy bug called ‘Lola the Showgirl’, made by our talented floristry students, took centre stage at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Future Florists competition.

Our students created the shapely lady in her dressing room, preparing for her latest stage appearance, to fit in with the ‘Bugs and Beasties’ theme. Lola’s stunning jewelled costume in contrasting burgundy, peach and blush pink, set off by spectacular embellished wings, made her a hit with the many thousands of visitors to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

She also introduced a fun element to the competition by listening to music from a floral 1920s gramophone and peeping into a vintage mirror on loan from the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry.

The exhibit earned the students a silver medal and an impressive 18 out of 20 marks for artistic impression, with Julia Ryde, Chair of the judging panel, praising the creative idea and its excellent construction.

Eight florists were on our show team, all of whom are current full time or part-time Level 3 Diploma in Floristry students. Sue Kinsey, Karen Cope, Clare Brindle, Nicola Gregory, Vicky Evans, Heather Spencer, Marion Downes and Marie Anderson are using the experience to enhance their career opportunities in the industry.

They spent several months preparing for the show, including weekends and late nights, developing the design, researching techniques and selecting flowers in contemporary colours. Lola’s frame was built by Reaseheath engineer Justin Connor and colleagues, who worked closely with the floristry team to help them turn their vision into reality.

Level 3 Diploma in Floristry Course Manager Fiona Davies, who led on the project, said: “This was an amazing opportunity for our students to be involved in a very prestigious event.

“Competing at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park gives our florists the chance to showcase the skills and knowledge they have learned through their vocational training. It also provides a platform for them to test their team work, problem solving, determination and sheer hard work.

We are now waiting to see whether our florists have qualified to compete at world class level at RHS Chelsea Future Florists 2018. The competition is designed to reward the best floristry college, school or training provider in the UK and we have contested the national title at Chelsea for the past three consecutive years.