Students from Bath College have won two bronze medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, impressing judges with their colourful creations inspired by the theme city streets and summer skies.
Floristry students Linda Sorenson, Lora Stevens and Sarah Hampton all won the chance to compete at the world-famous flower show after scoring highly in the South West regional heat.
Linda, from Bristol, won a bronze medal in the Chelsea Florist of the Year competition and Lora, from Radstock, also won a bronze in the Young Florist of the Year competition.
All three students worked exceptionally hard to create their floral kites, made using fresh flowers and plant material, attached to intricate wire structures wound with brightly coloured wool. Linda was one of two college students selected to compete for the title of Chelsea Florist of the Year, with most of the places for the final going to professional florists.
She said: “I didn’t expect to win a medal, as when I arrived to set up at Chelsea it was clear that all the entrants had worked so hard to create their exhibits. The details and the thought that had gone into all the designs was very impressive.
“I was positioned to stage my exhibit between two lovely florists from the north. Jillian, from Scotland, had been to Chelsea before and had previously won a gold medal and Becky, from Preston, was the other college student.
“They were both very lovely and the three of us supported each other throughout. I hadn’t expected this camaraderie and it was a bonus on top of being in Chelsea Florist of the Year.”
Lora, 24, also won her first medal at Chelsea Flower Show. She has been studying floristry at Bath College for two years and finishes her Level 3 qualification at the end of June.
She said: “I won a bronze medal, which I still can’t believe. Some of the judges commented that it was innovative, looked like it could fly, had great movement and construction and was well-made.
“I’m so happy to have found a passion on flowers and can’t wait to continue my journey in floristry. I have two little girls, so it has been a challenge studying and competing at Chelsea, but I hope they are proud of my achievements.”
Linda, who enrolled on a floristry course at Bath College, after working as a nurse for 30 years, was just a point from gaining a silver medal. She said: “I knew it was an achievement to compete in the finals, but it was only when I was talking to one of this year’s gold medal winners that I discovered how difficult it is to qualify. She had been trying to get into the competition each year, after previously competing six years ago.
“We took turns at opening our envelopes and sharing the experience together. When I got my score card from the judges, I found out that I was one point away from a silver medal.
“I was absolutely delighted because I did better than I ever thought I would. There were tears of joy for all of us and it was very rewarding.”