The Floristry Students with their Competition Entries in the Houghall Campus grounds

Floristry Students Bloom in London

Thu, 29/11/2001 - 00:00

This week saw a group of students from East Durham College’s Floristry Department travel down to New Covent Garden Market, in London, to take part in the Flower Market College Day, with one of the teams picking up a highly credible fourth place.

The two teams of four set off with their lecturer late Tuesday afternoon from the Houghall Campus to get to London, grabbing a few hours sleep at a hotel, before having to arrive at the busy market for 6am Wednesday morning.

At 06:15 the judge read the brief to over 100 eager students who were taking part. The task was to produce a heart-shaped hanging design for a woodland wedding, to be hung on a branch of wind fallen oak set in a leafy glade, it could be constructed on the Oasis heart provided or a self-made frame, 80% of the design had to be made from seasonal fresh flowers.

Each of the 27 college teams were given £30 to go out into the market and buy their own flowers, noting the supplier and origin, before heading back to design, create and hang their finished design.

The teams had until 9am to complete the task which was then judged by respected judges Tracey Tomlinson and Francis Fenwick.

Unfortunately, both the teams from East Durham College fell just short of the top spots which went to East Surrey, Plumpton and Chichester Colleges, but both sides were pleased with their personal feedback, and when they got the feedback one team were ecstatic to find out they had been placed fourth.

Sue Lee, Lecturer in Floristry, was very proud of what both teams produced and how they handled the pressure of a competition scenario for the first time.

Sue said: “Both teams were fantastic at the competition. The group only started on the Level 3 Floristry qualification in September, and in that short space of time had clearly developed their skills which they were able to apply to their competition designs.

“It was a huge surprise when we found out one of the teams had come fourth, especially when the team rushed to the finish after a slight mix up with the times. But what both teams produced was fantastic and they both deserved high scores.”

And the experience has really given the students a huge boost as they now plan for future competitions and aim to work even harder to aim for one of the top three medal places.

Sue added: “The students returned today very proud of their achievements and with a huge spring in their step. They’ve comeback with an enormous sense of confidence and self-belief in their ability - having worked so well as a team, under pressure and having to think on their feet.

“The first thing they asked me today was when is the next competition and when can they enter.

“I’m enormously proud of them; they were a credit to the department and the College.”

If you are interested in enrolling on a full or part  time floristry course at the College’s Houghall Campus please visit or call 0191 375 4710.