Planting the seeds to success

Great ambition leads to great opportunities, says RHS Young Chelsea Florist of the Year 2015 Charlotte Murrant

I progressed from GCSEs onto A-levels at Richard Huish in Taunton, studying psychology, English literature, and health and social care, with an aim to have a career in teaching. However, after bumping into Jane, the owner of Eden wedding florist and flower school, at a wedding fair, I enquired about becoming a Saturday girl at Eden; this involved helping out in the bustling high street shop, cleaning buckets and generally mucking in with various jobs.

After working at Eden, a passion for floristry overtook my ambition to become a teacher and I became a trainee, the equivalent of an apprentice. My floristry training started at Bicton College where I gained my Level 2 and 3 qualifications, and then onto The Academy of Floral Art for my Level 4, where I was taught by English–Dutch Master, Tina Parkes. Here, I achieved a distinction and the highest score across the country in my practical exam.

I attended college one day a week and spent the rest of the week helping out in the shop, which gave me a lot of experience and knowledge, helping with my college courses.

I think an apprenticeship is a beneficial way of learning, having that on-the-job training really helps with the skills needed for floral design.

I now work full time at Eden as a wedding florist, but I have been known to turn my hand to demonstrating at a national show and have also taught some of Eden’s flower schools, which combines perfectly my passion for flowers and my previous desire to be a teacher. As well as achieving my Level 4 Higher diploma in floristry, I have competed in national and international floristry competitions.

I became the first ‘Edenite’ to compete at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show, where I achieved a silver medal in the Chelsea Young Florist of the Year category in 2011 with my floral jockey silks.

In 2014 I competed once more at Chelsea, achieving an amazing gold medal for my floral frock. Then, in 2015, I topped my gold medal by being crowned RHS Young Chelsea Florist of the Year 2015, gaining another gold medal for my Fantasy Floral Tree, which also won me a record-breaking score of 98 out of 100!

I find one of the greatest outcomes from competing in competitions at the top level in the country is that it has instilled a lot of trust in brides and grooms who want me to design their wedding flowers. It’s a real treat to have free rein when designing flowers for the most important day of someone’s life.

I think it’s amazing how your ambitions at 16 years old can change, and how grabbing every available opportunity can ignite a new ambition and lead to fantastic opportunities.

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