Fourteen contestants spent five days competing in thirteen categories that included preparing wedding arrangements, creating a table display and decorating a live model. They started the week designing their own floral shop on the theme ‘A Novel Affair’.
Contest organiser, Joy Knight, founder of Florists New Zealand Incorporated (FLONZI), says the judges were looking for interesting and intriguing displays that showed the contestants were adventurous and imaginative. “Overall the standard this year was higher than ever, the bar is being raised every year,” she said.
Judges said MacIntyre’s work was outstanding on every level. “Her ideas were brilliant, innovative and highly artistic,” they said. Emily Alice Jeffries of More Than Flowers in Westport won the junior section of the contest.
The senior winner can represent New Zealand in international floristry competitions and the former title holder, Ashburton’s Nicole Hazlehurst, who was a trainee judge this year, came 15th at the Worldskills event in Germany in July 2013.
The five-day florist competition was open to the public during the Ellerslie International Flower Show 2014 in the floral art marquee.
Meanwhile, the first EllerslieHort Couture hat competition proved a winner, with entrants embracing the opportunity to show off their garden-inspired creations.
Top prize went to Jacqueline Doolan-Tindall from Rolleston, who artfully arranged chicken wire from her Rolleston farm with peony roses to create a high-fashion floral fascinator. Judge Rachel Vogan said Doolan-Tindall achieved the 100 percent look from top to toe, presenting her with a one hour high tea styling experience with four friends in AnnahStretton’s Christchurch store.