Writtle University College has won a national college competition to create a floor-standing floral screen.
The British Florist Association's annual FleurEx competitions were held in Birmingham Hilton Metropole NEC Hotel last weekend (21/22 October).
A team of four degree students from WUC entered the college floral screen category, which involved making a floor-standing floral screen measuring 2m by 1.2m using fresh material and accessories provided by Opiflor, a German florist supply company. The items were kept a mystery - so the team did not know what to include in their design until they arrived on campus.
The third year BA (Hons) Professional Floristry students - Hee Jung Rhee, Raekyung Lee, Gayoung Eom and Kyoung-Eun Kim, all from South Korea - designed and constructed the entry at WUC and it was taken to FleurEx and presented to the judges.
Hee Jung Rhee said: "It was really exciting to work on this competition and I am so thankful to all of the lecturers and my team members for their dedicated work, which led to this first place achievement. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to have such a valuable experience of a big competition, and it was a good opportunity to learn from the work of other participating florists.”
Linda O'Sullivan and Christine Turner, Higher Education Lecturers in Floristry, supported the students. Linda said: “It was fantastic to be there and see the students' dedication, hard work and amazing floristry skills rewarded with first place. We are very proud of their achievement.”
Meanwhile, Natalie Straney, a second year Foundation Degree in Professional Floristry student, demonstrated at the show on the Debut Designers Stage after entering the UK Skills Heats.
For her demonstration, Natalie created a contemporary structural wedding bouquet, while answering questions from the audience and the compere.
Linda said: “Natalie produced a beautiful, very innovative design that the audience were enthralled with. She gave a confident and fascinating demonstration.
"To demonstrate for the first time on the stage at the British Florist Association's annual event is a remarkable achievement. As a young floral designer, I am sure this is just the beginning of a very successful demonstrating career.”