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Moreton Morrell College lecturer to represent the UK at Interflora World Cup this weekend

An award-winning floristry lecturer from Moreton Morrell College is getting ready to represent the UK at the Interflora World Cup in Philadelphia, USA between 1-3 March 2019.

Laura Leong, who teaches on the Master Diploma in Professional Floristry course, secured the opportunity to represent country after she was crowned the UK’s Interflora Florist of the Year in 2018. This top spot was achieved after beating off tough competition from the nation’s top florists at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show last summer.

The Interflora World Cup is one of the most prestigious events in the floral industry and showcases the most talented floral designers from around the globe. Laura will compete against 22 of the world’s best florists, each of whom are aiming to go home with the premier accolade.

The competition is held every four to six years in a different location and will take place this year at the Philadelphia Flower Show – America’s largest and longest-running horticultural event in Pennsylvania. The show is known for featuring stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers.

Laura, who has being accompanied to the USA by colleague Jane Benefield, the floristry course manager at Moreton Morrell College, said: “It’s a tremendous honour to represent UK and we are both really excited to travel to Philadelphia to compete with some of the worlds best florists.

“The build up to the competition has involved lots of experimentation and hundreds of hours of practical designing and making, alongside the unique logistical challenges of importing props and flowers into the United States. As competitions go, it doesn’t get much bigger than this and my opposition couldn’t be tougher, but I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.”

During the competition, Laura will be asked to produce five floral design showcases; having received just three briefs ahead of the competition, two tasks will remain a mystery until they are revealed on the second day of the competition. Each display will be judged by a prestigious jury of some of the floristry greats from around the world, including novelists, celebrity stylists and industry leaders.  

She added: “I absolutely love getting to grips with the design schedules sent through ahead of a competition. This year’s brief is ‘Flower Power’, and I am so inspired by the open nature of the schedules allowing for very diverse expressions. I am also looking forward to getting stuck into the surprise tasks which will be set during the competition, a little pressure is great for creativity.”

During her 30-year career, Laura, who also works as a professional florist in Stourbridge, has travelled across the world successfully representing the UK in numerous competitions. She is also twice winner of the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show Florist of the Year.

Her background in fine art means that her interest in contemporary design and crafting techniques are at the forefront of her design work. Laura’s inspiration is the English country garden and her designs incorporate natural textures and the pastel hues of blousy summer blooms, intricately woven together with perfect precision.

Jane Benefield, floristry course manager at Moreton Morrell College, said:“’I am delighted to be Laura’s assistant for this prestigious competition and excited to see the outcome of the designs after many months of planning and preparation. I am sure she will make the UK very proud – we are very lucky to have her as a tutor at Moreton Morrell.”

Moreton Morrell College offers floristry courses at a range of levels. 

Laura Leong, floristry lecturer at Moreton Morrell College, photo credit Interflora II.jpg
Laura Leong and Jane  Benefield, floristry lecturers from Moreton Morrell College.JPG 



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