Bath College has been named RHS Chelsea Floristry College of the Year – making it the top place to study floristry in the country.
A team of floristry students from the college joined exhibitors and world-renowned designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week.
They spent weeks creating their exhibit, a reclining lady with a full skirt of flowers, complete with a floral headdress and parrot.
This hard work paid off when judges awarded the college with a gold medal and the prize for best college floristry exhibit.
Floristry student Emily Smith also took part in the Young Florist of the Year competition and achieved a bronze medal.
The 17-year-old was selected to compete in the final after being awarded 90 points out of 100 at the Chelsea Flower Show South West regional heat.
For the final, she was asked to design a floral headdress with a Brazilian carnival theme which could be worn by the judges.
She said: “It was a really hard competition. Four of us hadn’t been to Chelsea before, but the others were seasoned veterans who knew what they were doing.
“I wasn’t expecting to get a medal at all, so to get a bronze was really good. I felt really happy, really relieved that I had a medal. There were so many phone calls afterwards.
“After meeting the other girls, it’s made me feel more at ease doing different competitions. I would love to do it again.”
Bath College was given a place at Chelsea after winning RHS Hampton Court Floristry College of the Year in 2015.
The college was one of four colleges chosen to compete at the show, with judges marking exhibits on ideas, colour, composition and technique.
Floristry tutor Jo Matthews was delighted to see her students’ work recognised at the world’s biggest flower show.
She said: “It’s great to see the students have the opportunity to compete. This will give them a really good grounding for their future careers.
“For us as a college we have done Hampton Court twice and then Chelsea.
“We have won gold three times and best college three times, which is really special. Not many people get a gold medal.
“The students are absolutely ecstatic. It’s all about precision and they worked very hard as a team. We can now call ourselves the top college for floristry in the UK.
“I’m very proud of them and it’s great to be at Chelsea.”
Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “I am extremely happy for the staff and students. This achievement formally recognises what we have known for a very long time – that floristry at Bath College is truly outstanding.”