Chelsea Flower Show

Having only just landed back on earth after a fabulous two weeks preparing and staging Chelsea please find below my story from the beginning to the end of my Chelsea journey.

Most people have heard of the RHS Chelsea flower show either from its huge publicity drive each year or just because it’s the biggest flower show of its kind in the UK. Horticulturists from high and low aspire to exhibit at the show and take many months of designing the show gardens if successful. For florists although it is not known by many, Chelsea is also a key show. The BFA team up with the RHS each year to hunt out the best florists around the country to compete for the converted title of florist of the year or young florist of the year.

So where does Persephone violet fit into this prestigious platform? Emily, owner of Persephone Violet qualified for the RHS Chelsea finals of young florist of the year 2015 this year. Having come first in the preliminary heat in London in January this year Emily was eagerly awaiting the brief for the final.

Emily’s brief for the heats leading up to the final at Chelsea was to create an Asian inspired wedding cake. Below is a picture of Emily’s entry to the Chelsea heat. The cake wasn’t edible but the design itself was of superb quality gaining Emily 1st place.


A few months passed and Emily grew more and more impatient as to the brief for Chelsea. April arrived and the brief was released at last! For all the finalists it was a nerve wracking time thing about all the possibilities. In April the brief was released as an Alice in Wonderland inspired fantasy floral tree. A structure not simple or small but of a minimum of 1.5m in height! This was going to take some planning and planning it took.

From many initial ideas to sketches to trials the final design was leaps and bounds above what was ever imagined. Two months passed very quickly and within days Chelsea had crept up on Emily. So much planning and time had to go into the whole logistics of the competition to ensure it was the best.

Here’s to Emily championing RHS Chelsea flower show 2016!

Emily’s thoughts behind the final design are as follows,

  1. I used cards as part of the design as this closely links to the Alice in wonderland story
  2. Cut glass tea cups were incorporated into the display as part of the mad hatter’s tea party.
  3. Gerbera’s were used as part of the display with wire imitating clock hands attached. These were attached up the trunk of the design – these symbolised rabbit always being late.
  4. A plastic tube was used as the trunk with contorted willow inside the tube. This was to imitate the small to large worlds in Alice in wonderland it was a tree inside a tree.

The experience was overwhelming and I feel like I should be so proud of getting to Chelsea and being in the top 12 of the county this year. The show itself I have never been to and so to go and compete there was amazing.

The judges comments included:-

  • a very good attempt at the brief
  • an ‘ideas’ florist
  • one to watch in the future this isn’t the last we have seen of this talented florist

Here’s to Emily championing RHS Chelsea flower show 2016!


Emily Hepworth – Young florist of the year finalist 2015

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