Experts from the world of floristry world descended on Devon for a specialist training weekend to help blossoming careers across the country.
Floristry tutors from leading UK colleges and training providers shared their latest design techniques and developed new skills at the special event held at Bicton College near Exmouth.
Lecturers went back to the classroom to design and construct complex floral pieces including a floral necklace, a form linear corsage and a planted arrangement with a structure.
The sessions, supported by the Society of Floristry, were led by two industry experts, Laura Leong, a professional florist, demonstrator and Training Manager for World Skills UK, who has competed in floristry at international level and Lynda Owen, a professional florist with over forty years of experience, now an international floristry judge.
Both demonstrators are well known for continuing to push the boundaries of floral design and encouraged the tutors to experiment and innovate with their designs.
Lynda said changes in the floristry industry over recent years included greater competition “with supermarkets selling cut flowers and getting into hand-tied bouquets which used to be only available from florists”.
“Now everyone sells flowers, so we have to develop skills that can’t be replicated by mechanisation,” she added.
Jo Biddle, one of two floristry tutors at Sheffield College explained that the weekend represented an opportunity to “keep up to date with trends and see what’s happening in the industry”.
“We’ll create handouts and revise what we’ve done with our students – it’s been brilliant, really inspiring,” she added.
Laura Leong, led the sessions on the design and construction of the set pieces and highlighted the need for florists to use design to demonstrate their true skills as a means of standing out. She went on to recommend a career in floristry “you work with perfect materials, they are so beautiful and give you so much and work with growers; you develop the design and have control from start to finish.”
The demonstrators were supported by Patrick Welch, horticulture expert and lecturer at Bicton College, who shared his in-depth knowledge of plants and botany.
Both Laura and Lynda agreed that floristry as a career may not be an instant route to riches, but cited determination and good business skills as essential components of success alongside creativity and excellent floristry skills.
“You’re working with wonderful natural materials, it’s creative and gives such customer satisfaction, flowers can soften the sorrow or make people happy, it’s a great career,” Lynda enthused.
Carol Cuthbert, Head of Floristry at Bicton College was delighted with the success of the event, stating it “exceeded our expectations”.
“Our floristry team at Bicton College were delighted to host the weekend event and experience new ideas and inspiration to take back into the classroom and into practical sessions with our students,” she added.
For more information on the range of Floristry courses available at Bicton College, including professional development for florists, please visit www.bicton.ac.uk or call 0845 60 50 455.