A Burnley florist has made it to the last four in the grand final of a prestigious national competition.
Katherine Murray (33) of Going Dutch, Nelson, will battle it out next month in front of a live audience at the world’s largest annual flower show.
The winner will be crowned Interflora’s Florist of the Year before taking their talent stateside.
They will go on to represent Great Britain and Ireland at the Interflora World Cup in March at the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Katherine said: ““I love to be creative and opportunities like this allow me to do something completely different and come up with some really wild designs.
“The different things we need to create offer so much scope, I just can’t wait to get started!”
Katherine beat back strong competition to top a regional heat in Rochdale where she created a ring-bearer and a bridal necklace, under the theme, To Have and to Hold.
“I really stretched myself to create something different for the heats,” she said.
“I like coming up with quirky and unusual ideas. I like to sit down and sketch out my ideas first.
“My previous designs were quite intricate and unusual and I’m looking forward to producing some more distinctive creations in the final too, especially when it comes to the surprise item.”
The talented florist has been tasked with creating original designs under the theme of A Summer Garden Party at the final on Tuesday, July 3rd at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
She will create a floral picnic basket in advance of the competition and both a garden parasol and a table arrangement on the day at the Floral Design Studio marquee.
The pressure will then be turned up when Katherine is given just over one hour to complete a surprise challenge.
The task will see her take on the clock as she interprets the brief, reviews the available flowers, materials and tools and completes her design.
But Katherine is far from phased.
For the most memorable moments of the florist’s career so far include creating arrangements for some very special clients.
“When Burnley FC won the play off finals at Wembley,” she said, “we provided buttonholes for the players and manager – claret and blue of course!
“I’m a big Burnley fan so this was a real privilege.
“We’ve also provided posies for the Queen when she’s visited the area.”
Nor is she a stranger to a little competition, having taken part in the Florist of the Future, not to mention the 14 years of experience she clocked up working at Going Dutch.
“I actually like the challenge of thinking on my feet and don’t mind it when the pressure is on,” she said.
“In fact, I think some floristry instincts kick in!”
Tickets to the event can be purchased online at www.rhs.org.uk