Neil heads to Ger­many for florist world cup

Salford Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Abigail O’Leary

AN in­ter­na­tion­ally award-win­ning florist is gear­ing up to com­pete in the pro­fes­sion’s world cup.

Neil Whittaker, from Sal­ford, will travel to Ber­lin to show­case his cre­ativ­ity and crafts­man­ship along with 22 other lead­ing de­sign­ers from around the world.

The battle could see him crowned as the World Cham­pion Florist.

But with 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, Neil has al­ready crafted a ca­reer as one of the UK’s and Europe’s most renowned and re­spected flo­ral de­sign­ers.

Neil rep­re­sented the UK at the Europa Cup in the Czech Repub­lic, and com­ing third made him the high­est placed Bri­tish com­peti­tor since 1960.

And the flo­ral vir­tu­oso has even been named Bri­tish Florist As­so­ci­a­tion Florist of the Year, In­ter­flora Florist of the Year and has three gold medals from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Com­ment­ing ahead of the In­ter­flora World Cup 2015 Neil said: “I feel in­cred­i­bly priv­i­leged and ex­cited to be given the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete at the World Cup again.

“Now Valen­tine’s Day and Mother’s Day are be­hind me, I’ll be fo­cus­ing my prepa­ra­tions for Ber­lin.

Neil is pre­par­ing hard to give the up­com­ing com­pe­ti­tion ev­ery­thing he’s got

He added: “It takes an enor­mous amount of time and ded­i­ca­tion to com­pete at this level, but I’m go­ing to give it ev­ery­thing.

“I’ll spend hours prac­tis­ing dif­fer­ent de­signs in the shop, ask­ing my staff to make up sur­prise tasks and se­lect flow­ers for me to work with.

“Noth­ing can com­pletely pre­pare you for the sur­prise el­e­ment of a com­pe­ti­tion, but on the day I will just have to stay calm and use my ex­pe­ri­ence and time wisely.”

The theme of this year’s World Cup is ‘Free­dom’ and the host city, Ber­lin, will play a spe­cial role in the event.

Or­gan­iser Fleu­rop Deutschland ex­plained: “The end of the Sec­ond World War left the city di­vided. On both sides of the wall, peo­ple ex­peri- enced re­stric­tions on their free­dom in dif­fer­ent ways.

“All this changed in 1989 with the fall of the Ber­lin wall.

Af­ter 40 years of Ger­man di­vi­sion, Ber­lin­ers ex­pe­ri­enced what it means when, all of a sud­den, pos­si­bil­i­ties are un­bounded.

“The quest for free­dom in­spires the imag­i­na­tion, breaks down walls and over­comes bor­ders.

“This ex­cep­tional force is to be the in­spi­ra­tion for contestants at the World Cup 2015.”

Neil will com­pete in three cham­pi­onship tasks over the first two com­pe­ti­tion days, en­ti­tled 100 per cent per­sonal, 100 per cent hand­made and 100 per cent re­cy­cled, be­fore hop­ing to reach the grand fi­nal on Satur­day, June 13.

●●Award-win­ning Manch­ester florist Neil Whittaker is now gear­ing up for the 2015 In­ter­flora World Cup.

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