Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - WHAT'S ON PLANNER -

IN­TER­NA­TION­ALLY renowned flower king Matthew Lan­ders flew the flag for Aus­tralia to scoop sil­ver in his first Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety com­pe­ti­tion.

The 29-year-old ac­cepted a UK in­vi­ta­tion to de­sign a Rio Car­ni­val-themed flo­ral cos­tume for the “School of the Fu­ture” chal­lenge.

Mr Lan­ders, of Can­ning Vale, was re­cently a guest of the UK School of Floristry, where he ran work­shops fea­tur­ing na­tive flora of Aus­tralia.

The op­por­tu­nity to en­ter a RHS com­pe­ti­tion was the ic­ing on the cake.

“I thought feath­ers would be a com­mon theme for a Rio car­ni­val, so the fo­cus was on cre­at­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent with a feath­ery ef­fect,” he said.

“Us­ing translu­cent Per­spex, we were able to cre­ate dif­fer­ent shapes.”

UK School of Floristry stu­dents as­sisted in as­sem­bling the vi­brant spec­ta­cle, which was re­cently dis­played at the RHS Tat­ton Park Flower Show.

Pinky-red Glo­riosa and va­ri­eties of roses were among the flow­ers cho­sen for the colour­ful dis­play.

“To the stu­dents, it was just in­cred­i­ble to win sil­ver; I was just grate­ful to have won a medal,” Mr Lan­ders said.

Mr Lan­ders said he was on ten­ter­hooks wait­ing to hear if his score was high enough to se­cure a place in the UK’s Chelsea Flower Show next year.

“I had to step out of my com­fort zone to meet the judges’ cri­te­ria for this chal­lenge. I know what to ex­pect now and I’ve learnt a lot,” he said.

“Only the top four po­si­tions go through to the Chelsea Flower Show in May and it’s be­tween me and one other florist.”

Ear­lier this year, Mr Lan­ders won his sec­ond sil­ver award in the open flo­ral de­sign sec­tion of the Mel­bourne Flower Show.

His floristry academy in Vic­to­ria Park has grown ex­po­nen­tially in re­cent years to be­come the largest floristry­train­ing provider in WA.

Matthew Lan­ders with his Rio Car­ni­val cos­tume dis­play.

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