Competitors at The Interflora World Cup have been showcasing their incredible creations as the competition heats up.
Taking place at Manchester Central, the event sees the global elite of competitive floristry go head to head in a series of heats.
The first day saw competitors face two rounds. In the first challenge they were asked to create a floral installation based on the theme ‘Our Forest Canopy’.
The second surprise challenge was bee-themed and saw all competitors provided with identical honeycomb structures and the same selection of flowers from which they made their displays.
Florists from 20 countries from as far afield as Japan, USA and Germany are being put through their paces in a knockout format over three days.
The event culminates in the grand final on Saturday evening.
A rigorous judging process is run by a team of 14 international judges and adjudicators managed by the International Florist Organisation, Florint. Competitors will be required to demonstrate their interpretation and respect for the planet, focussing on a sustainable ethos and utilising natural elements.
The competitors will be tested on the four key aspects of good floristry design; idea, colour, composition and technique – with the winner walking away with a £15,000 grand prize.
The nation’s hopes rest with UK entrant Lizzie Newcombe, 26, from Guildford, Surrey.
Lizzie said: “I’m so excited to be representing the UK in the Interflora World Cup this weekend. It’s the world’s most prestigious floristry competition – exceptional florists from around the globe will be battling it out for the title of world champion all while making the most jaw-dropping floral creations. It’s the pinnacle of competitive floristry and I can’t wait to experience it for the first time alongside the public”.
The flagship event in competitive floristry happens every four years. This is the first year that it is being held in Britain. Alongside the competition visitors can also enjoy a fun day out with shopping, live music, entertainment and floristry workshops.
Interflora’s director of florist services, Nick Priest, said: “Manchester is a vibrant, multicultural city with the most brilliant energy, which reflects the creativity and diversity of our competitors. We’re excited to bring visitors from all over the globe to discover all the city has to offer.
“The World Cup will be a real spectacle and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see floral designers at the top of their game at work. They will be creating complete works of art on an impressive scale and our tasks will provide the ultimate test of nerve and skill”.
Tickets are available here: from £10 to £28
Full list of competitors: Canada: Lea Romanowski, Columbia: Ivan Moreno, Denmark: Katharina Albrechtsen, Finland: Saija Sitolahti, France: Stéphane Chanteloube, Germany: Nicolaus Peters, Hong Kong: Leong Solomon, Hungary: Attila Nemeth, Italy: Daniela Pighetti, Japan: Hironori Komatsu, Norway: Elisabeth Pålsson, Peru: Monica Patricia and Garcia Villegas, Portugal: Emanuela Araújo, Republic of Korea: Hyunghak Kim, Spain: Patricia Aguin, The Netherlands: Melissa Smedes, United Kingdom: Elizabeth Newcombe, USA: Jennifer Thomasson, Venezuela: Alejandro Figueira, Vietnam: Thanh Tran
In 1923 Interflora started with a simple idea: let’s connect florists across the country, so people everywhere can connect too. We wanted to help people share their joy and sadness, their celebrations and news; to help them come together wherever they might be, through fresh, beautiful flowers. 100 years later we’re still doing just that. A few things have changed of course – we now help people connect in over 130 countries, for one! – but our incredible community of florists are still at the heart of what we do. Handcrafting every bouquet, handwriting cards, adding in favourite flowers – their care and skill goes into every single gift. Blooms, designed just for you, crafted with love, it’s what we do.