RHS Chelsea flower show is one of the most prestigious events in the floristry calander and a must see event for budding florists and gardeners. Every year florists from all over the country compete at a national level for the title of either young florist or florist of the year. This is a dream for every florist to be awarded with and this applies also to me. Chelsea is a competition I have dreamed about entering for a few years now but was a step above those I have competed in before. With four months until the London heat I decided in September of 2014 to enter the competition for the first time. Four months to plan loads of time I though! But being such a busy floristry bee three months flew past and Christmas one of the busiest times of the year came and went. Three weeks were left and all my ideas and inspirations were coming together. When I first applied to take part I thought the brief was a really difficult one to realise. What was the brief I hear you ask?
Design and create a floral cake for an Asian themed wedding.
The cake does not have to be edible.
The whole design must not exceed 50cm in diameter. There are no height restrictions.
At least two thirds of the finished design must be fresh flower and/or plant material.
The fresh flower and/or plant material must be visually dominant
The judges are looking for a high standard in Design and Technique
The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
This was the brief!!!! Google gave nothing away no images no information nothing to go on. I felt overwhelmed. What is an Asian wedding cake? What colours and flowers should I use? Gold, Black, Green, Silver, Red, Pink all rich colours came into mind but which to combine was a hard choice. I didn’t know what I was going to do until after Christmas when I ordered some cake dummies. I had researched into how the wedding cake makers displayed their wedding fayre cakes and decided the base should be plain so the flowers stand out as the main attraction. I spent a lot of time on the base painting it and making it the best it could be.
With a colour scheme of black silver and pink I used Asian symbols to create detailing on the cake and help it to fit the brief. The flowers were Phalaenopsis Orchids and a mixture of foliage’s such as Lily Grass and Aspidistra leaves. A mixture of floristry techniques were used to create this design which helped to create depth. I displayed the design in London on Sunday 25th January where one member of the judges guilds came to judge the designs. The whole day was wonderful with food, demonstrations and growers talks it didn’t matter if I placed or not because I had a lovely day and met some great people. 5 hours of judging had been confirmed and the results were about to be revealed! I was a nervous wreck as we waited for the names to be announced. “First place goes to Emily Hepworth”. These words were what I wanted to hear of course but I didn’t think it was true! First Place in the London heats of the RHS Chelsea competition ME Emily Hepworth The Freelance florist from Malmesbury is now going to compete for the converted title of young florist of the year 2015.
Wish me luck and I will of course keep you updated with my progress.