National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 October 2019

Ellie Davis from Bedfordshire might spend her working day buried in spreadsheets but it hasn’t stemmed her creative flair, as the 25-year-old is the proud winner of the Floral Arts senior trophy.

Ellie, who works in the sales department for a fashion retailer monitoring stocks and sales, discovered a passion for floral art through YFC.

“I got into Floral Art through the County Rallies. Seeing how incredible all the other members’ designs were and then asking my mum – a former YFC floral art competitor – our advisory and ex-members for advice has led me to the national finals. I’ve had no formal training – I’ve just learnt from others and by making my own mistakes along the way,” said Ellie who competed at the Malvern Autumn Show at the end of September. 

“It was a complete shock to win as some of the designs were incredible – definitely inspiration for another year!”

Ellie’s category was tasked with creating a design using the theme of an invention that changed the world. After much Googling for ideas, Ellie chose ‘steel’ as her focus.

“I really wanted to think of something outside of the box,” said Ellie who admits the County round is extremely tough due to the talent in her local area. Using Calla Lilies and orange Pincushion Proteas Ellie used a bold design to show how steel is made.

“The flowers I chose showed the orange sparks that you see when steel is being made and poured into moulds. I was keen to use bright colours as they attract the eye,” explained Ellie about her design.

Ellie is no stranger to a national final though – having competed twice before. Back in 2016, Ellie won the Intermediate category but a year later and she was down to the bottom place in the same category.

“I attempted doing three designs in 2017 and I ran out of time creating it. I have since learnt that you need to practise a lot before competing. It can be expensive with the flowers but you need to time yourself and check that the flowers you have chosen will work. I changed some of mine when I was practising this year as I realised they weren’t going to work on the day,” said Ellie.

The Bedford and District YFC member has two more years of competing and is hopeful she’ll make it to the national final again. She also hopes that she has inspired others in her club and County to take part – even if they have no experience in flower arranging.

“I would never have dreamed I would be doing flower arranging before I joined,” said Ellie. “It’s a bit of a cliché but Young Farmers really does change your life.” 

It was another amateur floral artist who won the Intermediate category too. Katie Hughes from Clwyd YFC impressed the judges with the design she created to the theme of Great Craftsmanship.

"I based my arrangement on the craft of wool work," explained Katie whose only experience of floral design is from competing in the NFYFC competition for the past three years and getting to the national finals each time. "I used lots of plaited leaves, which replicated the process of weaving wool. I also used dried pine ones, which dried in a way that made them look like sheep’s horns."  

Katie who said she was shocked to win due to the standard of all the entries chose a design that was influenced by farming. "I wanted to do a craft that was relevant to farming and I felt this was the best one and I could do a good arrangement for this craft." 

Rhys Griffiths from Carmarthenshire was the winner in the Junior category after creating a design to the theme of My Great Hobby.

For the full results from the Floral Art competition, please see here. 





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