Florists smelling of roses
TWO Northern Rivers florists have proved themselves the pick of the bunch after coming first and second at a state-wide competition.
Alstonville Florist co-owner Mark Pampling came first in the Interflora District 3 Florist of the Year Seniors category and his colleague, shop manager Alison Elford, was runner-up.
The competition was held on Saturday at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where six of NSW's best florists competed within this year's theme - tight, white and tangled.
Participants had to arrange a "tight" item suitable for a dinner table, a "white" item for a bride to carry and a "tangled" item to be placed near a lectern.
"They gave us a list of materials two weeks before we got there, so we were allowed to prepare in terms of our ideas," Mr Pampling said.
However, competitors were also given a surprise item to decorate on Saturday.
"They gave us each a long postage tube and we had 30 minutes to gift wrap it in flowers," Mr Pampling said.
"You just have to find an idea quickly, make a decision and then work with it because you don't have much time."
Mr Pampling said having his colleague, Ms Elford, in the competition gave them both an advantage.
"We're lucky we work together because we can bounce ideas off of each other and workshop before the competition," he said.
The pair's other edge in the competition was the natural beauty of the Northern Rivers.
"We're lucky to be able to live in this area, which is so bountiful and lush in terms of horticulture and materials. We're constantly surrounded by amazing things that inspire us to look at things differently and I think that helps when you get to a competition."