Top florists from across the country competed against each other to be crowned as Interflora Florist of the Year, including two competitors from Worthing.
Rachel Matthews and Natalie Alexandroff from Greenfingers in Montague Street took on the challenge and made it to the grand final on Tuesday at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which was a huge achievement in itself.
Natalie said: “It was a very busy day. We were up at 5am getting things ready and making sure the pieces we had already created were looking good and it was full on from there on in.”
All five florists taking part had to create four pieces on the theme of summer garden party, including a surprise task which was a floral gift to hold a Magnum of champagne.
Onlookers said that the level of floristry skill on display was amazing and the designs the Worthing florists produced were nothing short of spectacular.
Unfortunately, Rachel and Natalie did not win the final, but they enjoyed the experienceand Rachel said that it will help them with thinking on their feet.
Natalie said: “We felt we held our own as far as we could as it was our first competition. It was definitely a learning curve.”
The flower arrangements from all the competitors were left on display at the flower show all week for visitors to enjoy.
Rachel said: “We went back on Sunday. At 5pm, when it was closing, people were still looking at our flowers and taking pictures which was quite surreal.”
Natalie retrained as a florist nine years ago, and loves the creativity involved with the job. Rachel owns Greenfingers, after taking over the family business.
Rachel said: “My mum and dad bought the shop in 1987. I helped out in the shop on Saturdays, then went to college for three years to do floristry courses before taking over in my 20s.”