Moreton Morrell students go for gold at Chelsea Flower Show

Dean Sharpe going for the senior Florist of the Year title
Dean Sharpe going for the senior Florist of the Year title

A trio of talented students from Moreton Morrell College have made it through to the national finals of the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition.

Zoe Rowlinson, Hannah Beckley and Dean Sharpe hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow student Rebecca Hough, who was crowned the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year in May 2018. They will be in the spotlight as thousands head to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, from May 21 to 25..

Hannah Beckley in the finals of the junior florist of the year contest

Hannah Beckley in the finals of the junior florist of the year contest

The three will compete at this year’s event after making it through last year’s regional qualifying heats.The competition, run by the Royal Horticultural Society in association with the British Florist Association, is designed to showcase the very best floristry talent within the UK.

Hannah and Zoe are two of the 16 finalists from across the UK who will be competing in the RHS Young Chelsea Florist of the Year competition. The brief for the final is to create a floral crown to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday.

Zoe, age 24 is from Oxford and currently works for Fabulous Flowers which is based in the city. She has previously won two bronze medals at Chelsea and also a gold at the World Skills UK competition. She started studying floristry at Level 2 aged 16 and has now progressed onto her Level 5 Master Diploma of Professional Floristry, the highest qualification within the industry in the UK.

She said: “I'm really proud to have reached the final of this year’s competition and hopefully will be putting into practice my Level 5 masters skills on a national stage.”

Zoe Rowlinson, one of 16 competing for the junior florist of the year crown

Zoe Rowlinson, one of 16 competing for the junior florist of the year crown

Hannah Beckley, from Evesham, is competing in the Chelsea Flower show for the first time. The 18-year-old is currently studying for a Level 3 Technical Diploma in Floristry and works for Silver Birch Bouquets in the town.

She said: “Being selected to compete at Chelsea Flower Show is a privilege and one that has been a dream of mine since working at my local florist at the age of 15. Attending Moreton Morrell College floristry course has helped me flourish and develop my techniques which I will take forward into the competition.”

Dean Sharpe, a professional florist from Stafford, who completed his Level 3 Diploma in Floristry last year, walked away with a bronze medal in last year’s competition. This year he will competing for the title of RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year 2019.

He said: “I started my floristry journey at Moreton Morrell College studying my Level 2 and Level 3 diploma. To be selected again to compete at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is an honour and I’m really looking forward to not only showcasing my designs, but putting into practice the knowledge and skills I have gained whilst studying at the college under Jane Benefield.”

Floristry course manager, Jane Benefield, said: “We’re so proud of Zoe, Hannah and Dean, and want to wish them the very best of luck for the finals from everyone at the college. They are so creative and talented and thoroughly deserve all their success.”

Moreton Morrell College is a British Florist Association member college with dedicated floristry workshops and specialist equipment. It has broad industry links and work experience opportunities with local florists and a high proportion of students gain employment in the industry while studying.

For further information about the variety of floristry at Moreton Morrell College go to www.wcg.ac.uk/floristry or call 0300 456 0049.