Although she’s been working in floristry for 16 years, Timandra Houltram of Tauranga is still an apprentice, albeit a senior apprentice, and is competing in the five-day Interflora Apprentice Florist of the Year competition at the NZ Flower and Garden Show in Auckland.
Competitors are given 18 different design tasks over the five days – including a bridal bouquet and a Christmas wreath – and work in their own 4m by 4m space. The theme of the floral tent is this country’s multicultural society and the apprentices were able to choose their own backdrop for their stand from a selection provided – Timandra picked a large-scale photo ‘curtain’ that shows a 1950s ship arriving in Auckland, saying she enjoyed the retro vibe it gives her stand.
“We all have the same materials to work with so it comes down to how we interpret each challenge,” Timandra told me on Tuesday. The florists were able to take their own items to accessorise a tailor’s dummy for which they created a floral skirt but had to judge carefully how much floral material they used on each challenge as their reserves of flowers and foliage were finite.
Working at FreshFlowers in Bethlehem’s Countdown supermarket, Timandra holds NZQA Level 3 in floristry and has previously been Florist of the Year for Fresh Direct. She started her week of competition well, being awarded a NZFGS Silver medal for her stand.