Talented floristry students from the City of Bath College have struck gold with their first ever exhibit at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
The eye-catching floral 1950s living room exhibit won a gold medal after judges awarded it a very impressive 89 out of 100 points.
The students’ work also beat off competition from six other educational establishments around the country to win the Best Floristry College Award.
The exhibit included an armchair, coffee table, cabinet and lampshade covered in flowers and leaves, plus a rug and ‘living’ floral wallpaper.
From July 9th to 14th the public admired the 2m by 2m design titled ‘Bringing the living into the 50s living room’, which included craspedia, orchids, roses and blackberries.
The College’s double award success at one of the world’s biggest flower shows has also attracted lots of online coverage and messages of support from near and far.
Louise Rawlings, City of Bath College’s Floristry Tutor, said: “We feel ecstatic, we are absolutely elated.
“We worked so hard for the recognition; it’s fantastic; we are so chuffed.
“We have received so many positive comments; the biggest compliment we kept getting was that the exhibit reminded people of their parents’ or grandparents’ living room.”
A panel of three judges from the Royal Horticultural Society described the College’s exhibit as “beautiful” adding that the two awards were “well-deserved.”
The judges awarded both the idea and the use of colour 19 out of 20 points, the composition 25 out of 30 points and 26 out of 30 points for technique.
Describing the moment staff and student found out they had won two awards, Louise said: “I ripped open the judges’ envelope and shouted ‘It’s a gold’ then I burst into tears.
“We just hugged each other and said ‘we’ve done it’. It was so emotional.”
Staff and students had just two-and-a-half days to put together their exhibit from scratch in the Roses & Floristry Vintage Marquee.
They then spent six days at the flower show answering questions from members of the public, as well as celebrity gardeners and journalists.
Comments about their exhibit included: “I love it,” “It’s amazing,” “It’s so clever,” “It deserves gold” and “I can’t believe students did all this.”
Floristry Level 3 Diploma student Stephanie Eastwood, 24, said: “I’m so pleased that we did so well. It was an amazing opportunity to just be at the show, so to win topped everything.
“There was a lovely atmosphere at Hampton Court, everyone was so interested in the College and our floristry courses; we were talking to everyone.”
To be invited to exhibit at Hampton Court is the latest in a line of achievements for the College’s Floristry department.
Students beat top florists to land bronze medals in the Chelsea Florist of the Year competition in 2011 and 2012 and the College saw student Megan Troughton competing at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.
Several students have also scooped top prizes in the New Covent Garden Market College Award, beating off completion from 25 other UK colleges.
And the department’s talents will continue to be shared at Tatton Park Flower Show in Knutsford, Cheshire, from July 25th to July 28th.
Students are currently hard at work creating a black and white floral display called ‘Orbit of the Galaxy’ to represent the planets and shooting stars as the theme is The Galaxy.