Floristry College of the Yr Carol Edginton, Robyn Longden, Jackie Tudor, Shiona Fosh

Nantwich floristry students proved they are among the nation’s best by taking two awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Reaseheath College’s  diploma in floristry students were runner-up for the second consecutive year in the show’s College of the Year class.

Carol Edginton, Robyn Longden, Jackie Tudor and Shiona Fosh were also awarded a silver-gilt medal for their interpretation of a Brazilian carnival.

Just four marks separated Reaseheath’s entry from the eventual winner, with judges praising the exhibit’s  colouring, individual elements and workmanship.

The stand, a riot of yellow, pink and orange flowers with a mannequin as its centrepiece, wowed thousands of visitors to the show throughout the week.

Students spent three days at the event, attended by HM The Queen, other members of the Royal Family and many celebrities.

Robyn Longden on floristry college of yr stand

Carol said: “This was the experience of a lifetime.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable and we were all so proud to be actually taking part at Chelsea.”

Reaseheath head of floristry Sue Poole said: “I am very proud of the way the team pulled together to create their display and delighted the quality of their work was recognised by highly regarded judges.

“The students did an amazing job considering they were performing to world-class standards. They were also fantastic ambassadors for the college.”

A second team of floristry students and staff helped to prepare and install a floral arch to welcome The Queen as she arrived at the show.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrive at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 in London, UK Monday May 23, 2016. RHS / Luke MacGregor

The arch, a gift to the Queen on her 90th birthday, was at the iconic Bull Ring entrance on the bank of the River Thames.

The makeover of the famous gates was led by royal floral designer Shane Connolly.

Students Clare Street, Lee Law, Sophie Garratt and Abi Rowley, accompanied by course managers Fiona Davies and Helen Cooke, spent a day preparing and conditioning the floral materials in New Covent Garden flower market.

Fiona and Helen returned to London to join Shane’s team of 30 volunteers as they worked through the night constructing the arch from British blooms.

Shane, who holds a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM The Queen and HRH the Prince of Wales, said: “I was honoured and delighted to be asked to design this archway for The Queen’s birthday.

“I wanted it to showcase the beauty and range of British grown plants and flowers and the skills of the British flower and plant growers.

“Having students of floral design to help install it provided the icing on the cake.”

Helen added: “We jumped at this opportunity to give our students this amazing experience.

“It was a great honour and fantastic that Shane genuinely appreciated our contribution.”

See Reaseheath’s florists talk about their Chelsea experience, below:


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