Belfast Telegraph

Made for Chelsea: Armagh student Emma Sinnamon's flower dress wins bronze medal

By Linda Stewart

Forget your posies and your table displays – this is the stunning floral creation that has wowed the judges at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The glorious strapless dress is the brainchild of Greenmount floristry student Emma Sinnamon, who was awarded a bronze medal at the UK's most celebrated garden show.

The Armagh student got to rub shoulders with celebrities like Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, Nick Knowles and even Princess Beatrice as she showed off her creation in the floristry section of the competition.

The 20-year-old, who is finishing her Level 4 Floristry course at Greenmount, as well as working at Lavender Lane florists in Lurgan, told the Belfast Telegraph that her big win was only just beginning to sink in.

"I had to make a floral fantasy dress that was suitable to be worn at a crystal-themed ball," she said.

"So I used fabric to make the dress from scratch and then brought the flowers over to Chelsea with me."

With fellow student Shannon Ormandy, who also made it to the Chelsea final, Emma travelled over on Saturday and spent Sunday putting her display together, ready for the visit from the judges on Monday morning. "I used different colours of orchids – a variety of large orchids and small orchids – along with some succulents and ivy," Emma explained.

"I've been to Chelsea before as a visitor a couple of years ago, but this is my first year competing. It was brilliant, really good."

Skill with flowers obviously runs in the family, as Emma's dad Alwyn is a gardener at Castlewellan Forest Park.

"He's really proud – he's absolutely over the Moon," Emma said.

Floristry course manager Caroline Mathers said Emma beat off competition from 150 people across the UK who competed in eight regional heats.

"Chelsea is all about showing that you have a very good technique and a clean finish, and she definitely does that," Caroline said.

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