A French Adventure…

Former lawyer Karen Cope has found her true vocation as a florist! Karen completed her Level 3 Diploma with us and then spent part of the summer gaining work experience with French Flower Style in France. Here’s her personal account of what sounds like the perfect adventure!

Nantwich Flower Festival

Nantwich Flower Festival

Nantwich Flower Festival

Reaseheath Floristry students got involved in British Flowers Week this week, producing designs for the Quinquennial Flower Festival being held at St Mary’s Church, Nantwich.

Level 3 Diploma students, Shiona Fosh, Jackie Tudor and Abbey Rowley and Level 2 Diploma student Miriam Lewendon, went to the Nantwich church to design displays for the Nantwich Flower Festival. Held for four days from Thursday 16th June to Sunday 19th June, the festival’s theme is ‘The Glory of Nantwich’.

More than 40 floral displays will feature many aspects of Nantwich life, both past and present. Our students completed designs for the altar area.

If you’d like to see their designs for yourselves entry is just £3 and free for children.

standardisation day CROP

Setting the standards for Floristry training

standardisation day CROP

Hugh Baird College’s Floristry team hosted industry professionals, training providers and florists from across the country for a Floristry Standardisation Day.

The aim of the day was to get as many employers, professional florists and training providers as possible to maintain high standards in all of the qualifications delivered.  Working in collaboration ensures that the training provided helps our students develop the skills, knowledge and experience employers need in their future staff.

Members of Reaseheath’s floristry team joined other delegates (including employers, international designers, a BFA representative and a leading wholesale manager) for the day jam packed with latest updates on industry best practice. The morning session involved representatives sharing news and updates from both the British Florist Association and Country Baskets Wholesalers.

delegates to industry standardisation day

The event also included updates from Kate Whelan who was representing the British Florist Association and the Institute of Professional Florists. The afternoon session looked at current and upcoming qualifications and an internal quality assurance exercise, enabling delegates to compare their own assessment methods and levels with those of other providers, as well as against examining guidelines.

The finale of the day was a demonstration by International designer Julie Pearson who inspired the team with her innovative and creative work.

floristry trip holland

Florists see latest developments in international industry

Our floristry students enjoyed an action packed one day study tour to Holland, where they had their eyes opened to the latest technical developments and commercial business practices within their multi million pound international industry.

The group, who were accompanied by lecturers  Sue Poole and Helen Cooke, visited the Rijnsburg auction house, which is part of the Flora Holland group. FloraHolland is  the world’s largest auction organisation, processing over 12 billion flowers and plants a year.

Our students were privileged to have a behind-the-scenes tour of the site and learned how the auction clocks work, a system used to ensure the highest prices are always established.

Robyn Longden, Sophie Garratt, Bethany Allen and Pip Atkin enjoy a spectacular flower display in Holland

Robyn Longden, Sophie Garratt, Bethany Allen and Pip Atkin enjoy a spectacular flower display in Holland

They then went to the headquarters of Heemskerk Flowers, one of the largest exporters of flowers and plants in the Netherlands. Our students experienced what it is like to be a buyer and enjoyed hands-on experience of winning a bid at auction!

The group also toured the picking and logistics areas, where systems are mostly automated, and the bouquet department, where a small team of staff make up pre-ordered bouquets for delivery; packing and transport areas.

Two visits to growers of lilies and roses were also fitted in, with our students being bowled over by the huge expanse of glass and sheer quantities and quality of flowers grown.

Despite the long day, both students and staff had a brilliant time. Commented student Jennifer Guyan: “I loved the day and would definitely recommend it. The tours were a real eye opener, particularly into just how much the international floristry industry is worth.”