Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Student florist set to bloom at Chelsea Flower Show

A student florist from Camlough is set to blossom at this year’s world famous Chelsea Flower Show, having secured a final place in the Young Chelsea Florist of the Year competition.

Eilis Quinn, who is studying for a Level 2 diploma in Floristry at the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Greenmount campus, will be joined by her fellow college student Clare McAuley (22) as they vie for the prestigious prize.

Both girls crafted hand-tied presentation bouquets to secure their places in the competition final.

Seventeen-year-old Eilis says she is delighted to have made it to the final.

“I’m really excited to be taking part in such a prestigious horticultural show and have started to work on my final piece for the competition,” she revealed.

“It’s a floral kite and we will be judged on colour, technique, idea and composition – so there has been lots of designing and trying out different techniques over recent weeks to get it right. We are so lucky to have fantastic facilities at Greenmount and great staff supporting us.”

Clare (22), said to get this far in the competition is “incredible” and she is really looking forward to the event.

“I love the whole process of deciding on what flowers, colours and fresh foliage I’ll use to represent my interpretation of the design brief. But we’ve only a few days left to prepare and create our designs, which must have visually dominant fresh flowers, before showcasing them to a worldwide audience,” she said.

Head of Horticulture at CAFRE, Paul Mooney, said Greenmount florists have an amazing track record of design competition success at the show, with a current student or floristry graduate winning a Chelsea Medal in each of the last five years.