Ribchester florsit wins silver at Chelsea Flower Show

Sara Collinge at Chelsea Flower Show
Sara Collinge at Chelsea Flower Show

A RIBCHESTER florist has won a prestigious silver medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, despite fierce competition from some of the country’s top florists.

Sara Collinge (48), of Flowers With Passion, won the medal in the world-famous competition.

“I’m completely overwhelmed,” said an ecstatic Sara. “I only took up floristry four years ago so to get to Chelsea so soon in my career is incredible. I was up against 15 of the best florists in the country, many with more than 20 years’ experience.

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won silver.”

The competitors had to design and make a jockey “silk” out of flowers and plant material. British Florist Association event director Dennis Van Wonderen said this year’s brief was the toughest schedule yet and the judges had a really tough time trying to pick the winners.

Sara was singled out for praise by the judges for the amount of painstaking work that had gone into the design. “I made the silk from thin strands of hot glue and then wove tiny pieces of black grass – Ophiopogon – through the glue. It took hours and hours. Normally I’m not very patient and at one point I was in tears because I thought I would never get it finished. In fact, I was still gluing flowers onto the silk in the Great Pavilion at 12-45 a.m. on Thursday!”