NewsDahlias, immortelle and dill - The florist's competition

Dahlias, immortelle and dill – The florist's competition

Created: 08/20/2022 10:23 am

The florist Thi Phuong Nhung Nguyen competes in the German Florist Championship. © Carsten Koall/dpa

Nine florists from all over the country are fighting for the German championship in Berlin this weekend. What must the participants be able to do? And what’s trending with flowers right now?

Berlin – the shop door rings again. “We’re still on vacation,” florist Thi Phuong Nhung Nguyen calls out to the customer. She took the extra time to take part in the German Florists’ Championship this Saturday in Berlin.

Her customers warned her weeks ago, she reports. Nevertheless, some would still come in from time to time if they saw the 36-year-old practicing in their almost 50 square meter flower shop in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

She’s just cleaning the flowers she picked up from the wholesale market that morning. Nguyen has been training for the past week: tying bouquets, flower arrangements, everything has to be right. A piece of wisdom for the day of the competition: “You have to rely on the flower”, on what shape it is in at the moment.

Loose and light bouquets are popular

The motto of this year’s German Florists’ Championship is “Freedom”. Nine competitors from all over Germany present their works, which are assessed by a five-person jury. With their works, the participants should pick up on nationwide trends.

According to the association, flowers are once again held in high esteem. “Currently, loose and light bouquets are popular,” says Nicola Fink, spokeswoman for the German Federal Association of Florists. “In the direction of vintage, they sometimes look as if they were freshly picked. Naturalness and nature are in.” This is also observed by the competitor Nguyen. In the past, compactly tied bouquets were popular.

Nguyen has been a florist since 2014. Her parents, who run their own flower shop not far from their daughter, actually wanted her to choose a different profession. “I’m allergic to grasses,” she says. But you have to live with that.

The competition isn’t just about winning: “I’m really quite happy that I’m even allowed to take part.” Nguyen takes dahlias, helichrysum and dill, but also trumpet flowers and geraniums from her own garden to the competition. There are so many plants that she has to use a big transporter to get them. “You need at least 100 flowers for a workpiece.” She has already spent more than 1,500 euros on the basic material alone, she recently revealed to the “Tagesspiegel”.

The industry is urgently looking for skilled workers

The participants were able to prepare three of the four competition tasks, which will then be set up and presented on the day itself. The fourth task is a surprise. The florists then have 30 minutes for the preparation and an hour for the processing itself.

“With this championship, we would also like to give young florists the opportunity to set creative impulses that will benefit the entire industry,” says Fink. The options for florists have become more diverse over the past 20 years. The profession no longer only includes the work in the classic florist shop, but goes beyond that. Many specialized in event agencies or trade fairs. But there is also a desperate need for skilled workers in this sector.

Many well-known faces in the industry are taking part in the competition, says Fink. In 2018 a participant from Baden-Württemberg won, in 2016 one from Hamburg. A few years ago, Nguyen took second place at the state championships for florists in Berlin, which qualified her to take part in the German championship.

The Corona period was hard for her too. However, the situation is gradually improving. “People are starting not to invest too much in vacations, but rather in spending at home.” For the upcoming weekend, she now hopes that the announced rain won’t drown the competition. “A week ago I thought it would be very hot, catastrophe. And this week I saw it’s raining – and we’re standing outside.” After all, the conditions are the same for all participants. dpa

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